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Sunday, 16 January 2022


Katy Jurado - 16 January, 1924 - 5 July, 2002

Unafraid of becoming older, she once said: “You can’t put your finger in the sun and stop time”. 

Born with a gift of a name for poetry – Maria Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado Garcia - a child from Guadalajara grew to be described as fiery-eyed, luscious, smouldering, passionate, strong, and, according to one husband, a beautiful tiger. 

She was more than westerns but that is her place in the loving memories of those of us who have watched her hundreds of times in High Noon (1952: she won a Golden Globe), Broken Lance (1954), Man from Del Rio (1956), The Badlanders (1958: she was nominated for an Oscar) and One-Eyed Jacks, and seeing her tearful and distraught as she watches Slim Pickens dying in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973).

Katy Jurado was married twice, the second time (1959 - 1963) to Ernest Borgnine.  She had a relationship with western writer Louis L'Amour.

“You can’t put your finger in the sun and stop time.” But in movies you can. Hit the rewind button and the opening credits roll again, then repeat and repeat and repeat. 

On the streets of Hadleyville, Marshall Will Kane’s clock ticks relentlessly and Helen Ramirez will always be 28-years old, just like Katy Jurado.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022


Ant and Dec

Dermot O'Leary

Real Housewives from anywhere

Katie Price

Kate Garroway

Philip Schofield

Meerkats advertising financial stuff

Prince Andrew

The Sussexes

Any TV show that has judgemental "experts" or panels

Mary Berry

David Attenborough

Jamie Oliver

Ben Fogle

Monty Don

Oprah Winfrey

Soap opera cast members who litter TV/tabloids with their characters' experiences

Any celebrity who includes their name in the title of a TV show/series

Susan Calman

Paddy McGuinness

That Go Compare singer guy

Kevin Bacon (EE bore, not the actor)

Monday, 3 January 2022


TV and tabloid newspapers are obsessed with celebrities, A-listers to Z-yawners. Here is a list of 22 people/groups I want to see less of on my television set - in no order of whatever. (And that's only the beginning of the list!)

Miriam Margolyes

Davina McCall

Rylan Clark-Neal

Jimmy Carr


Any rapper

Any Strictly Come Dancing angsters

Ed Sheeran

Any Kardashian

Ben Affleck

Anyone from Friends

Johnny Depp

Piers Morgan

Bradley Walsh

Greg Wallace

Anybody involved with a "Celebrity" TV special

Tom Kerridge

James Martin

Lorraine Kelly

Jeremy Vine

David Tennant

Anybody associated in any way with Boris Johnson and the wider Johnson clan.

Thursday, 30 December 2021


maker of footprints




Sheila Turner Johnston


Colourpoint 2019

Meeting him was easy. It was knowing him that burned bone.  Paul Shepherd is dangerous.  He crashes into Jenna's life like an asteroid into an ocean.  Wilful and exhausting, he stirs feelings that make her confront all that has kept her safe - and bored.  Relentless and determined, he needs Jenna with a desperation she does not understand.  Jenna discovers that, although she can try to hide from Paul, there is nowhere to hide from herself.  But, he is married.

What do you do when you discover you are not the person you thought you were?



This is a love story, but not one that runs smoothly for all concerned.  Jenna is a plain girl, a good girl and a bit boring with it.  Her boyfriend, Adam, does not have the inclination to develop their relationship in a romantic way anytime soon. 


Jenna’s brother Luke is a typical student, turning up frequently at Jenna’s to crash out and ponder his plan to quit Belfast for Scotland, or even Outer Mongolia.


Paul, Adam’s older brother, is all ego, blunt, opinionated and insufferable more often than not.  He has returned to Belfast from London with his wife of a few months, Dianne, a snobby socialite who hates the city and is determined to return to England at the earliest opportunity.  Paul has no intentions of returning to London permanently.  Dianne has to find a way to get through to Paul.  She loves her husband but not his stubbornness.  


Paul and Dianne meet Jenna.  Dianne is not impressed but Paul spots something in Jenna, a challenge perhaps, a project of sorts, the main plot strand of this intriguing book.  There is a kind of slow dance between the two and their relationship develops romantically.  Initially, Jenna is cautious but Paul is determined that they will be together.  His marriage to Dianne is doomed to fail.


The push and pull of relationships, old, current and new, give the book depth and draws the reader into caring about what happens to everyone involved, even the ones hard to like. 


But just when you are comfortable in the story’s groove, the book shifts gear as events turn darker and more dramatic.  Amongst other things, Paul’s superego front is not all it’s cracked up to be.


Sheila Turner Johnston conducts her orchestra of characters beautifully.  This is a wonderful novel, truly a page-turner residing in the upper echelons of the very best modern fiction.



Friday, 17 December 2021

BACK AND FORWARD - 2021/2022

Looking back,

there were decisions I should not have made,
there were decisions I should have made,
things I should not have said,
things I should have said,
people I should have forgotten,
people I should have remembered,
situations I should have avoided,
situations I should have arranged,
jobs I should have abandoned,
jobs I should have done.


Looking forward,

there will be decisions I will not make,
there will be decisions I will make,
things I will not say,
things I will say,
people I will forget,
people I will remember,
situations I will avoid,
situations I will arrange,
jobs I will abandon,
jobs I will do.


American professional baseball pitcher, Satchell Paige's famous quote always comes to mind at this time of the year:

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

And to that, I add:

"Amen, and onward."

Tuesday, 14 December 2021



Season's Greetings, friends.

From hundreds of fun Christmas poems I have written over the years.


To gadget geeks – Appy Christmas
To bakers – Bappy Christmas
To dentists – Cappy Christmas
To good blokes – Chappy Christmas
To audiences – Clappy Christmas
To birds – Flappy Christmas
To Tube guards – Gappy Christmas
To motor racers – Lappy Christmas
To explorers – Mappy Christmas
To babies – Nappy Christmas
To urban singers – Rappy Christmas
To boxers – Scrappy Christmas
To make-up artists – Slappy Christmas
To crocodiles – Snappy Christmas
To plumbers – Tappy Christmas
To puppies – Yappy Christmas
To video game players – Zappy Christmas


Good King Wenceslas looked out
And did a double take,
Despite all his initial doubt,
He rubbed his eyes awake.
Brightly shone the sun that day,
Sweltering hot and sticky,
He thought as this is Boxing Day,
The forecast’s a bit dicky.

“Bring me shorts Bermuda-style,
Bring me sun tan lotion,
Bring me cola by the crate
And ice cubes by the ocean.
Bring my sunbed by the pool,
I can’t believe this weather,
I can swim around all day
In the altogether.”

Good King Wenceslas’s dream
Ended with a bump,
He fell out of his bed it seems
And bruised his ample rump,
Groggy from his accident
And dazed and half-asleep,
He gaped out through the curtain gap
To see snow six-feet deep.


Santa likes to dig-dig-dig,
Santa likes to grow-grow-grow,
Santa likes to rake-rake-rake,
But most of all,
Santa likes to hoe-hoe-hoe


Strictly come 
Strictly come 
Strictly come 
Strictly come 
Strictly come 
Strictly come 
Strictly come 
Strictly come 


Christmas shopping,
Christmas shopping,
Really makes me dizzy.
Why can’t Christmas
Be in June
When the shops aren’t quite so busy? 


Two cows talking
In the language called Moo –
“Mooey Christmas”
“And mooey Christmas to you.”

Season's greeting friends!

Friday, 10 December 2021


 In the mid-60s, my mother knitted me an almost exact replica of this hat.

Bobble Hat

Mother’s skillset expanded out of necessity,
Back in the tight money days, post-Elvis, pre-Beatles.
Alongside kitchen and other housewifery talents,
She knitted in what seemed like every spare moment,
Aran jumpers a speciality, but also
Scarves, gloves and non-military balaclavas, hats,
Especially one unforgettable hat for me,
A bobble hat, green, an almost exact replica
Of a Mike Nesmith Monkees hat, cool woolly number. 
Should have seen my face! I was a believer. Still am.