Browsing articles from "October, 2012"

When The Clocks Go Back!

  Bob proud to be in uniform 1973 – well it is Halloween! ;-)

When the clocks go back!

Tis the season to wary,

Not because of Halloween, although that’s scary.

The clocks ’ave gone back and darkness draws in,

Now is the time the burglaries begin.

 

Don’t let your home be the one they spot.

In darkness, is anyone home? They think not.

Use timer switches for radios and lights,

Illuminate your home bright during these dark nights.

 

Put your mobile phone to good use and photograph valuable things,

Include serial numbers and those lovely rings.

Recovery of stolen property is usual when burglars are caught,

For every item an owner is sought.

 

If you spend time now and do things right,

The burglars will be locked up, not out at night.

So don’t leave it until later. Do it now!

No, you’re not busy, its important find time somehow.

 

So be alert keep your property safe and secure,

Look out for your neighbour too just to be sure.

If something suspicious is taking place,

Ring 999 the Police will arrive at pace.

 

Pass on information, be one of the mystery shoppers,

Use your phone to ring ‘crime stoppers’.

We all work hard for the things in our home and look after them with care,

So remember when the nights are dark the message is ‘burglars beware.’

 

Your home is your Castle,

And after working all day you don’t want to arrive home to hassle.

Security is really down to me and you,

Get switched on too.

 

 

A Criminals Mind – I’ve Sought, Interviewed, Arrested and Charged…

 

As the world celebrates Halloween, a little understanding on what goes on inside a criminals mind from a man who has sought, arrested, interviewed and charged them and is also an expert in body language. These people are often highly charming, persuasive and plausible – they have to be to lure their victims into their traps whatever type of crime they seek to commit. We have to be vigilant in deciding who we can trust, as the traits of a criminal are not written on their faces – if in fact we actually see them! Our crime novels might be fictional but the feelings, sights and emotions of DI Jack Dylan in relation to the perpetrators are written with 30yrs experience in the police force and 28 of them in CID. In fact the series which is co-authored by husband and wife team Carol and Bob Bridgestock have 47yrs experience in total in this field. The first in the Dylan series ‘Deadly Focus’ has 30 5* reviews (two editions) and its sequel released in June this year has 15 5* reviews, so far. A third is to be released at the beginning of next year. There is a promise of at least 6 in the series and each deal with a different crime and a way it is solved. It’s as near as you will ever get to fact in fiction. So for those who like to watch a horror movie between splayed fingers or behind a cushion these are also for you as you have the knowledge that the actual crimes are fiction. The novels are also in kindle and ‘Deadly Focus’ has just been released in an MP3 unabridged audio version narrated by the great Paul Ansdell ;-)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Focus-D-I-Dylan-Bridgestock/dp/1907565086

You can read more about some of the cases  Bob took charge of in his 30 yr career by googling Bob Bridgestock.

Just in time for Halloween and Bonfire Night – A Recipe for Yorkshire Parkin!

 

 

Yorkshire Parkin

 

8 oz brown sugar

8oz margarine

11b treacle (small tin)

2 cups of milk

11b self raising flour

4 oz oats

4 oz oatmeal

1 teaspoon of ginger

1 egg

 

Method

 

Melt sugar, marg, treacle and milk in a pan.  Do not bring to the boil!

Add to flour, oats, oatmeal, ginger and egg and mix!

 

Place in a tin appox 24cm x 30cm x 5cm,  greased and lined, and place in a pre heated oven to 180c, gas 4, for approx 45 mins!

 

On Hillsborough. As a retired police officer who was ‘commanded’ by some of these people, sick to the stomach is how I feel.

 

When major incidents happen and people died,

The last thing we want to hear is a Police Officer lied,

Saddened, disgusted and repulsed is what we hear,

A further scandal against those we hold dear.

Year after year and as time has gone by, people have covered up this outrage and lie.

At last documents are disclosed, in the public eye.

On that fateful day in Hillsborough our friends and family didn’t have to die.

Those in charge made up a story looking us straight in the eye.

From the very start the families have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth.

Just as good, as any police officer sleuth.

Now it is time for those involved in this shameful scam to pay the price.

Over the years they have been looked after and living a life that’s been ‘very nice’.

For the bereaved there has been no closure but a continued fight to seek the truth.

Sadly those responsible still remain detached.

As a police officer, sick to the stomach is how I feel, others I know feel the same, right back to Robert Peel.

All everyone wants to know is the truth,

So those in the know can’t remain aloof.

Tears have been shed and the pain goes on for those involved.

Isn’t time for this crime to be solved?

 

 

 

Thirty Years In The Job… Bob’s Thoughts On Police Commissioners

POLICE COMMISSIONERS

The advertising has begun,

About the candidates that will run.

A nice salary and a company car too,

And there’s very little we can do.

Keep an eye on the Chief and the Force,

Take part in lavish lunches of course,

Reporting back to Government a daily task?

Rather hiding behind an expensive mask.

Super heroes I think not! White elephants at their best,

Will voting for this be done with zest?

If the turnout for voting is really low,

Will the government stop this now and shout, ‘No?’

Or will it simply happen driven forward with speed,

After all this campaign will have cost us a fortune indeed.

Will we ever get to know the number of votes cast?

Or simply it’s inevitable, this will be passed.

Policing is already top heavy, there’s too many at the top.

We don’t need another ‘would be’ cop.

We need officers on the street, money well spent.

Not an over inflated commander’s tent.

If you believe it will make a difference to Policing, it won’t!

If you are considering voting my advice is simply, ‘DON’T’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLICE COMMISSIONERS

The advertising has begun,

About the candidates that will run.

A nice salary and a company car too,

And there’s very little we can do.

Keep an eye on the Chief and the Force,

Take part in lavish lunches of course,

Reporting back to Government a daily task?

Rather hiding behind an expensive mask.

Super heroes I think not! White elephants at their best,

Will voting for this be done with zest?

If the turnout for voting is really low,

Will the government stop this now and shout, ‘No?’

Or will it simply happen driven forward with speed,

After all this campaign will have cost us a fortune indeed.

Will we ever get to know the number of votes cast?

Or simply it’s inevitable, this will be passed.

Policing is already top heavy, there’s too many at the top.

We don’t need another ‘would be’ cop.

We need officers on the street, money well spent.

Not an over inflated commander’s tent.

If you believe it will make a difference to Policing, it won’t!

If you are considering voting my advice is simply, ‘DON’T’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol’s ‘Close Up’ today with Caffeine Nights Author Shelley Weiner!

I’m ‘close up’ today to the very lovely and amazingly talented Shelley Weiner, who is an acclaimed novelist and creative writing mentor. Her novels include A Sisters’ TaleThe Last HoneymoonThe JokerArnost, and – her latest – The Audacious Mendacity of Lily GreenHer short stories have appeared in various anthologies and on BBC Radio 4.

Shelley is an Advisory Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and has taught fiction for institutions that include Birkbeck College, Anglia Ruskin University, the Open University, the British Council, and Durham University Summer School. She tutors for the Skyros Writers’ Lab, is a mentor on the Gold Dust Mentoring Scheme and a reader for The Literary Consultancy. She is presenting a workshop at this year’s Cheltenham Literary Festival and a Guardian Masterclass on The Art of Fiction. Website: www.shelleyweiner.com

And today she has very kindly taken the time out of her busy schedule to talk to us. I’m very excited! :-)

 How on earth do you manage to juggle your work as a Mentor and Creative Writing Teacher and write yourself Shelley?

It’s more a case of dividing my time than juggling: I see the teaching/mentoring as a completely separate activity from my own writing and definitely don’t subscribe to that horrible old axiom: ‘Those who can, do, and those who can’t teach.’ Teaching – which involves communicating practical skills that I’ve had to master over many decades, as well as imparting a kind of permission to write – has always been as important to me and, in its way, as creative as producing my own fiction. At the same time, I have to be very careful not to let it eat into my time so much that there’s none left for writing. Like most writers I know, I tend to procrastinate horribly, and leap at any opportunity (cupboard tidying? Sweeping the patio? Any displacement activity at all – the more mundane the more appealing…) to avoid sitting at my desk and stringing words together. So having a kind of ‘day job’ like teaching, preparing workshops, reading the work of others, can be a justifiable excuse. So I have to be very strong-willed about setting aside regular chunks of time that are for writing, and nothing else.

What inspired you to write a novel in the first instance?

Having worked as a journalist for many years, I felt that I’d honed my writing skills to the extent that I was very fluent and could communicate clearly and coherently. There was something missing, however, and I had a sense that I wanted to say more than the structures of feature writing or news reporting allowed me. I went on an Arvon Foundation course to explore my options, and wrote a poem that made people cry. The idea that I could write something to touch people (rather than inform or amuse) was a revelation. The poem was about my father, who had been a Holocaust survivor, and communicating my loss and bewilderment seemed to point the way to stuff I’d never articulated before. That’s when I decided to write a novel, based on the experiences of my parents, who’d both been in concentration camps. As a rather awkward mix of fiction and autobiography, that first novel never found a publisher. It was an important learning experience though, and my next one, A Sisters’ Tale, was bought by the first publisher to see it.

Who do you admire in the literary world? Who do you consider your mentor?

That’s a hard one. ‘Admire’ is a complicated word. I admire any writer who shows quiet and dogged persistence, a determination to keep going, to say what’s important, ignoring as far as possible the literary flavour of the day. I admire the greats, those like Tolstoy and Chekhov and Shakespeare and Austin, who have bequeathed on us such treasure – and Americans such as Roth and Bellow who have written so profoundly about issues of displacement that so deeply concern me. As for a mentor: when I went on that significant Arvon course, my tutor Alice Thomas Ellis encouraged me. She allowed me to feel interesting, a huge bonus, and gave me the kind of permission to write that, ever since, I’ve been trying to offer other new writers. We went on to teach together and became great friends.

Where do you write? Do you have a regular pattern or routine?

I’m fortunate to have my own office. It’s small and quiet, crammed with books and photos of my family, and gives me a sense of serenity and (when I discipline myself to switch of that dratted email!) creativity. My pattern, as I’ve said, is dictated by how firm I am about dividing my time. When I started writing fiction and had to fit it in between a day job as a journalist and the demands of two young children etc, I wrote each morning from 4.30am. I don’t know how I managed – but I did. Now things are less hectic, yet I’m far less productive. Which is a lesson of sorts, I suppose.

What are you writing now?

My fifth novel, The Audacious Mendacity of Lily Green, has just been published, and I have several tentative projects on the go. Nothing that I feel is substantial enough to share – and, you know how it is, a half-conceived story can dissipate into nothingness if it’s spoken about.


Share something with me that nobody else knows about Shelley Weiner…. Piers Morgan eat your heart out! ;-)

Hmm. How I wish I had some dark secrets – or a few tantalising shades of grey (that I could turn into a lucrative piece of ‘fiction’). But alas  … on the other hand I do have a passion that’s very unliterary. It’s dancing flamenco, which I’ve been doing, or trying to do, for the past five years. It’s a wonderful, dramatic release from real life, and I so wish that I could lose myself into it without worrying about footwork, arm co-ordination, etc. One day …

Oh, wow that’s fantastic Shelley! Now I’m interested to know who you like to share a cup of coffee and a natter with?

My lovely girlfriends – and my daughter Nicole, my son Steve, and of course Jack (husband). Anyone who has interesting things to say and hears me out and makes me laugh!

How do you relax though? 

That’s a fraught question. I’m not good at relaxing. My days are busy, busy and my thoughts/anxieties keep me awake at night. I do yoga – but prefer ashtanga to the slower versions, which is good for the body but less so for the soul. My plan is to spend a day doing yoga nidra (which involves six hours of relaxation) but I’m getting really tense about organising it …

If you won the lottery what would you spend it on? 

A family holiday home – a beautiful spacious house to accommodate all of us, plus present and future grandchildren. Somewhere easy to reach, near the sea.

Are you a savoury or sweets girl?

I was about to say ‘savoury’, then remembered how much I crave fruit jellies, marshmallows and marzipan.

Yes, I know what you mean! Tell me what do you have in your handbag right now?

Alas, nothing of great interest. Purse, make-up essentials, a few broken pens, sweet wrappers (see above). Oh, and my phone – I’m addicted to my iPhone, which is another terrible distraction, but what can one do?

 
Yes, aren’t we all! Although I must say Bob will have nothing to do with our phone. He always professors that he can’t see the text – what an excuse! What’s your earliest memory Shelley?

I have a hazy recollection of taking my first steps – my hand being held as I placed one uncertain foot in front of the other along a very dirty pavement in the very slummy part of Port Elizabeth, where I was born.

 

What has been your favourite year and why?

The year I turned 40 (I won’t say when!) which, for me, was significant and felt full of potential. It was the year I started writing fiction, and it came pouring out of me: a novel in six weeks, then another – short stories – a radio play. I’ve never felt or been more creative.

That’s so inspirational for others Shelley. Just shows what you can achieve and at any time in your life. I guess it has to just be the right time for you. What’s your favourite smell?

Jasmine.

I love Jamine too… What was the last thing you laughed and cried at?

I felt very emotional – ok, I cried – when I was writing my speech to welcome guests to my son’s forthcoming wedding. Our Burmese cat, Poppy, makes me laugh – sad but true.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given or best advice you’d give?

The best advice is embodied by my two favourite teaching by-words that apply as much to writing as to life. The first is tenacity, the second is curiosity. Remember and apply them both and there’s every chance that you’ll finish writing that novel and/or have a long, fulfilling and creative life.

 

What’s was your favourite book as a child & as an adult?

As a child I was obsessed with ballet and addicted to the ‘Wells’ stories by Lorna Hill. And Little Women et al. Anything, as long as it wasn’t scary (I was a nervy little thing). Now I love a good story that’s psychologically astute – Philip Roth’s Nemesis was the last novel that bowled me over.

Has your world changed since you became a published author and how?

There’s no doubt that writing novels and transmitting what I know to others has illuminated my world. It has brought me into contact with so many fascinating, generous and creative people. Being published (never mind fame or money) definitely adds validation to what one does but, as I always say to new writers, the determination to write is far more important (and likely to be more gratifying) than the ambition to be a published writer.

Is being a published author all that you thought it would be, or what’s been a surprise to you?

Following on from the above – the trouble with being published is that the goal-posts keep moving. Achieving publication calls for readers, reviews, acknowledgment, etc. It never ends. And I’ve seen, through the experiences of friends and colleagues, how fickle the world of publication can be (agents as well as publishers – not to mention readers). So the important thing is to be able to switch off from the outside world and keep hold of that original impulse. To write!

Thank you Shelley! It has been lovely talking to you today and just to let the readers know that you can buys Shelley’s latest book from Caffeine Nights book store or its eBook store. You can also buy from your local bookshop or online!

 

 

More about Shelley @ http://www.caffeine-nights.com/shelley-weiner.html

Here’s a link to a sample of  her latest novel ‘The Audacious Mendacity of Lily Green via Caffeine Nights Publishers website http://www.caffeine-nights.com/uploads/5/0/9/6/5096295/the_audacious_mendacity_of_lily_green_-_free_sample.pdf

Website www.shelleyweiner.com