Rhythm and rhyme

'tis time I answered another question, and this occasion sees a cultured one.  These worry me a little, as I'm never sure how well I'll be able to respond, but I'll give it a go.

The enquiry was about my thoughts on poetry, and was prompted by some of the stranger verses which I occasionally post on the long-suffering Twitter.

The answer is that I love poetry and always have, since even before schooldays.  In those early years I delighted in trying to read the tongue twisters of Dr Seuss (Tweetle Beetles were my favourite, along with the chicks with... Read more

Play time

As they say in the theatrical trade - and now, ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present... an update on the play, as requested.

Sunday saw the first full run through of An Unnecessary Murder and thus an overexcited Hall, perhaps akin to a puppy out for his first walk, and with a choice of balls to run after and scents to sniff, as it were.

It's the first time I've been to a rehearsal for a few weeks - they don't need me hanging around, getting in the way - and I was hugely impressed with how the cast have... Read more

The blessed night

I was walking along the river last night, reflecting upon the beauty of this changing time of year, and in particular the nights.

It might have been because of the conjunction of the twin diamonds of Venus and Jupiter in the western sky, or the warmth, clearness and peace, but it was a stunning evening.

(And first aside here - to the more cynical of you, because I can almost hear you thinking it.  No, I'm sure it wasn't anything to do with the three pints of ale I'd enjoyed beforehand.)

Anyway, the point of this blog was a little... Read more

An awed author and some handy tips

As regular readers will know, I take a notebook with me everywhere. It's an indispensable tool for an author; you can have an idea for a book, or piece of writing, can see a quirk of character or a nuance of description anywhere at anytime, and I hate losing them.

This weekend, my notebook grew very fat remarkably fast with all I witnessed on my 70's themed Butlins weekend stag do.  How could it not?

Being the jealous type, I'm keeping them to myself. I can definitely see a tvdetective book based on such a premise!  But, as part... Read more


I was privileged to enjoy a simple, but very beautiful experience at the weekend, which set the Hall mind on one of its little treks into the musinglands.

(Don't worry, it's nothing too shocking, reading on is safe - or as safe as it ever is with me.)

It was about midnight, the turning point between Saturday and Sunday, and I was strolling home along with river.  There was a big splash and I looked over, but could see only ripples in the water.  I thought it was a fish so kept on walking, but then looked back - and... Read more

The Sweet Bird of Youth

I've been working on some ideas for a new tvdetective book, and a potentially fruitful theme which has emerged is the disaffection of today's young folk.

It's not easy being young at the moment.  We're saddling the generation with huge debts if they have the cheek to want to go to college for further study, and when they come out unemployment is a constant stalking spectre.

The thoughts - and obviously I can't give too much away here, they're mine and precious! - were along the lines of what might happen if a group became dangerously disaffected, so... Read more

Lessons of Life

A question that often comes up, particularly when I do a talk about the tvdetective books, is - why do I write?

I don't think I've ever found a satisfactory answer. Sometimes I go on about a feeling inside, some drive or calling, or the desire to amuse / entertain people.  But there is another good reason and perhaps a little deeper one, which I didn't realise when I started out.

Writing is a great way to learn about life.

I love the whole education thing.  I think that's partly why I chose this strange career as a hack -... Read more

An anniversary

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of me joining Twitter.

How do I know? Not because I've looked up the tweets in question, or that the info is stored in my smartphone (I don't think it's so smart, it's never made me a cup of tea or won an argument with me etc, but that's an early aside.)  I know because I've written the snippet in my diary.

Which, in itself, probably tells you much about where this particular musing is going. I don't keep my life on a computer, as do many these days, but still in that spectacularly old... Read more