The Pets Factor Interview

Here’s the link for an interview I did for Northern Soul magazine with Cat, the lovely vet from CBBC’s The Pets Factor. Given that my 10 year old is a super-fan as well as aspiring vet, it made sense to involve her and, boy, did she come up with some corking questions?! My personal favourite – ‘What is the strangest thing you’ve pulled out of an animal?’. Anyway, Cat was a delight and daughter is even more firmly fixed on becoming a vet, so an excellent result all round.

Poetry Commission for BBC Radio York

It’s been another quiet month of lockdown but I did have a lovely commission from BBC Radio York to write a poem to celebrate their Make a Difference campaign which connects people who need help with the huge numbers of people offering help across North Yorkshire. The launch day involved a chat with the excellent Georgie Spanswick on the Breakfast Show as well as some lovely comments from friends and strangers. You can see it here:

A week’s a long time…

A week ago it was just the cat and me at home all day,

Me tapping away on my laptop,

Him napping away on the chair.

Our lives would overlap at lunchtime

When I would squeeze a pouch of smelly jellied meat into his bowl,

As I waited for my soup to reheat.

One week later and our lives are unrecognisable.

We have FOUR new full-time work colleagues

Who overlap with us ALL the time

(And won’t settle for a squeezed pouch for lunch).

They don’t do much work either – they are noisy and always want sweets and want to bounce on the trampoline and sometimes they just lie on the carpet.

Our new work colleagues often leave their pants on the bathroom floor and one of them occasionally gets into bed with me in the middle of the night (one of them ALWAYS gets into bed with me).

On the plus side, they often kiss me and tell me that they love me and are less judgy than the cat.

BBC Radio York again, SJT First Draft and more…

Life has been a joyful whirlwind recently. The lovely Harry Whittaker invited me back onto his Radio York show, this time to read some of my family life column, Home Sweet Home. It was another fantastic evening and I’ve had some great feedback – just need a permanent home for the column now…Then I was invited to be part of the company reading for First Draft, the platform for the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s script writing course. Always a fun night, this was particularly good – interesting scripts and many old friends. I am currently researching a feature for the Dalesman which requires a lot of time spent poring over old photographs and accounts of Scarborough in the mid-19th century – definitely the place I would choose to time travel to, given the choice! I am also working on various poems (dusk is particularly magical at the moment), various drafts of short stories, lots of feature ideas and a couple of scripts. And I am desperate to paint a picture of the sea; it is shimmering this morning and the seagulls are gliding victoriously above it. What a life!

Dalesman November

My latest work for the Dalesman is a feature about the fascinating northern game of quoits. Read it now to understand why a peaceful summer evening in the Dales might be punctuated by shouts of ‘Frenchman,’ ‘dead end’ and ‘hob drawer’…

Count Arthur Strong Review

THE most hilarious evening reviewing Count Arthur Strong’s new show, Is There Anybody Out There?, for On: Yorkshire magazine.

Read it here: