So, on with the first exercise, I posted a short story in the meantime, I don't think it's up to the standard I'm aiming for but then that's the point of all this work.
Chapter one is very readable, but this is essentially a book of exercises so
I can't just give them away, you need to go and buy the book. You could infer
the questions from the answers in a kind of 'Jeopardy’ style but you’d be
missing the all the context and build up. Trust me, it’s worth reading.
I’ve chosen a nickname of mine and written a few paragraphs about it.
‘Timmy Da Phish had a complicated
birth. I played cricket, back when I lived in England, and if there’s one thing
that cricketers obsess about it’s the weather. E-mails would be tossed back and
forth between players in the days leading up to a crucial cup match discussing
the fickle English weather. Having made his prediction, a team mate signed off ‘Kettles’
(an affectionate nickname of famous weatherman John Kettley). In return I
signed my own prognostication Timmy Da Phish (After Michael Fish) and it stuck
Later, my team shirt had Da Phish (To
save on letters) on the back and my e-mail account became
It is a comforting name that reminds
me of playing cricket and of the team-mates and friends of that era. It has
gone out of use now that I’m in France , which is sad but I still use it online
from time to time, it’s apparently unique.
I look back on that time with a lot of
fondness, the Real Oddies Cricket Club lived up to their name. We were the only
team in the league that didn’t have a home town or village, we were a pub team (The Odd One Out Free House)
and we found our players drinking in the lounge bar. As a result, we were not
the most athletic or gifted cricketers but we were a wide range of characters.
The pub itself was a blast from the
1970’s, sticky carpets, vinyl upholstered benches and no swearing in earshot of
TL (The landlord). It hosted the meetings for The Socialist Worker’s Party and
the local mental health self-help group. It also boasted the finest real ales
in Colchester so attracted an altogether different crowd of ale aficionados. To
say there were a few characters would be selling it rather short. From these
fine specimens, we would select 11 able bodied men and women to play league
standard cricket, very occasionally with spectacular success. Of course, there
is a downside to this selection policy reflected in a scorecard (19 all out, almost
certainly a league record low) a copy of which graces the wall of the lounge
I believe it is all still going on.’