Advise for the Young



I started this blog, not so long ago, as a receptacle for my ever growing collection of creative writing failures. But, even at the rate that I can turn out rubbish, it has been difficult to maintain direction and momentum. I felt that it was time to refocus it a bit. And to give it a greater purpose.

It occurred to me that I was not, in fact, defined by creative failures. To view me through this narrow lens would be to see only the tip of the iceberg. For I have, over an astonishingly tedious lifetime, failed at so many other things. It is time to recognise the painful value of failure. It is time to give something back.

On the long highway that is life one is regularly confronted by pot holes. Some are only minor cavities that hold a few raindrops of discomfort and merely splash a little mud on the tyres whilst others are great chasms providing refuge for bottomless reservoirs of misery that result in broken windscreens and permanent stains on the paintwork. It is not always easy, on a dark night, to tell the difference.

But rest assured that I have seen them all. Some of these potential hazards are surrounded by high fences and flashing lights. Armed guards standing in front of huge warning signs printed clearly in a dozen different languages deter anyone but an utter moron from standing even close to them.

Yet I have managed to fall into every single one.

The positive side of this is that, via the resultant wealth of accumulated knowledge, I can now provide guidance for those of you younger than me (i.e. all of you) in what to look for along the road in terms of the traps and perhaps even provide the occasional hint at possible methods of escape.

Areas of interest might extend from the minor irritations (persistent attacks of the hiccups/a dislike of carrots) to unmitigated disasters (infectious terminal illnesses/marriage)

What I had in mind was a sort of ‘Dear Brutus’ column to which people might address their queries or provide some answers of their own to life’s mysteries. It is intended as a prompt mechanism within which anyone can provide the prompt and anyone can respond to it.

Some examples of what I mean might be:-

Dear Brutus,
Last summer holidays Nathan, our precocious 9 year-old, constructed a fully operational intercontinental ballistic missile in the garden shed. It seemed like just a bit of harmless fun at the time but more recently he has begun playing old recordings of Wagner over loud speakers late into the night and the neighbors are beginning to complain. He has taken to referring  to my husband and I collectively as ‘the proletariat’.
Should we be concerned?


Dear Brutus,
My husband’s erotic obsession with Elizabeth, the Queen of England, is beginning to impact on our marriage. What are the basic ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ of murdering him in his sleep

That sort of thing.

Let me know.

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