Andy Willoughby photo by Louise Wilkin

Crossing the Tees: Between Stations Live

My first event of 3 at this year’s Crossing the Tees Book festival was Between Stations Live.

So pleased recordings of this were streamed and remain so you can enjoy it even if you weren’t in the beautiful room which is the Reference Library in Middlesbrough. Andy Willoughby performs a multi-media version of Between Stations with unexpected and lovely music opening from Ella Joy Hunton. This was followed by an Open Mic.

An enjoyable meditation on absurd and meaningful journeys we take in life, the humor that gets us through – there’s serious stuff in there – but as the phrase goes from the ridiculous to the sublime.


Couldn’t agree more with Louise, and always happy for an excuse to share her pics. Photo in the header is by Louise Wilkin, who is a wiz at taking quick snaps that look great.

Book recommendation: Warren Ellis – Crooked Little Vein

The first two paragraphs are so vivid and the evil rat made me gol – giggle out loud. Kev bought the book for himself and I read it super quickly. When we were just on holiday he started reading it on the train and I read it over his shoulder and remembered how much I enjoyed it.

Fun, seedy adventure exploring obscure fetishes across the USA not for the squeamish. Readers of BME modblog will be fine. For fans of noir, Elmore Leonard, Kinky Friedman and link surfing online.

First two paragraphs reprinted here with permission of the author. You can read the whole first chapter from his website.
Just order it now you won’t regret it.

I opened my eyes to see the rat taking a piss in my
coffee mug. It was a huge brown bastard; had a body like a
turd with legs and beady black eyes full of secret rat
knowledge. Making a smug huffing sound, it threw itself
from the table to the floor, and scuttled back into the
hole in the wall where it had spent the last three months
planning new ways to screw me around. I’d tried nailing
wood over the gap in the wainscot, but it gnawed through it
and spat the wet pieces into my shoes. After that, I spiked
bait with warfarin, but the poison seemed to somehow cause
it to evolve and become a super-rat. I nailed it across the
eyes once with a lucky shot with the butt of my gun, but it
got up again and shat in my telephone.

I dragged myself all the way awake, lurching forward
in my office chair. The stink of rat urine steaming and
festering in my mug stabbed me into unwelcome wakefulness,
but I’d rather have had coffee. I unstuck my backside from
the sweaty leatherette of the chair, fought my way upright,
and padded stiff-legged to the bathroom adjacent to my
office. I knew that one of these days someone was going to
burst into the office unannounced to find a naked private
investigator taking a piss with the bathroom door open.
There was a time where I cared about that sort of thing.
Some time before I started living in my own office, I

Food Friday 2014 – Slide at the free buffet and a good book

Still having trouble with temptation. Offers of chocolate from coworkers and this week, a krispy kreme, a nice buffet spread at a workshop I attended followed by an ice cream….

The work temptations are also pick-me-ups when staying inside. Need to make sure to walk outside during the day. Then saying no to things I am tempted by rarely (fresh krispy kremes) or free food….It is not as though I’m hungry and need  the food…

Been reading a really good book (so far) called The Flat Tummy Club Diet (should I have left the typo in as Fat Tummy Club Diet??).

The chapter on getting ready to make changes in your life talks about the Stages of Change model which has been around for a while in various forms.

1. Pre-contemplation
2. Contemplation
3. Preparation
4. Action
5. Maintenance
6. Relapse

damn but you can get to relapse quickly.

The trick with these relapses is to not let it lead to more, but rather to go straight back to contemplation, pass quickly through preparation, action and back into maintenance, or ‘happy balance’ mode. – Kate Adams, Flat Tummy Club Diet, p. 25

Axe Cop at Animex

Ethan Nicolle speaking at Teesside University for Animex had a lot of helpful things to say for people beginning their career paths and also was a lot of fun for fans of his work.

I LOVE Axe Cop. Because of the talk I have since picked up copies of Chumble Spuzz (how neat that Doug Tennapel, creator of Earthworm Jim has written the intro) and The Weevil. How much would I love to see a copy of The Drug Busters?

I was a bit fangirlish and asked for a smooch cop here it is:

Smooch Cop