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Benidorm sign

Anywhere but Benidorm!

I never expected that we would buy a second home abroad and I never expected to write a book about it, but that is the joy of life’s journey. As one of my friends commented: “You have now exorcised the agony and the ecstasy of being a part-time...

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Kylo Ren’s restored helmet in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX. Lucasfilm Ltd. (c) 2019 ILM and Lucasfilm Ltd.

A Standing Ovation at the Cinema

Sometime in the mid-1970s I, and about 90% of a fair-sized crowd, got to our feet to applaud and then cheer, not a football match or a ‘live’ show, but a film. What’s more, this wasn’t Hollywood or a West End premiere. This was a matinee at the...

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Photo by Jemima Whyles on Unsplash

Caution – Soldiers Crossing

For every small child, the world is like a pile of jigsaw pieces without a picture showing you how the finished job is meant to look. Worse, than that, whenever you think you’re starting to fit a bit of it together, make sense of it, some adult...

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Kid's tricycle

The First Cut is the Deepest

A friend of mine once ruined his parents’ Christmas morning by throwing a blue strop because the tricycle they’d saved for months to buy him didn’t have the boot that he’d so clearly explained to them was essential. The boot was the bit where he was...

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Police on the street

Matching the Description

The second time I was stopped in the street for questioning by the police, was not an ordeal. It was a bright spring morning. I was walking away from Bolton town centre, on my way to teach a class at the Chadwick campus of Bolton Institute of Higher...

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Gray horse. Photo by Oscar Nilsson on Unsplash

Who Was That Pointy-Headed Boy?

“Hi-yo, Silver, away!” the Lone Ranger used to cry at the end of each episode. Silver, as the name suggests was a magnificent grey horse, the trusty steed of one of the most popular heroes of children’s TV in the 1950s and early 60s. I imagine this...

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Stars in the Night Sky

A Bedroom with a View

The first place we lived in after I was born was an ancient stone cottage, with walls four feet thick, property of the printing and dyeing factory in Bradshaw, where my dad worked at the time. I was not quite three-years-old when the factory closed...

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