Words

Hoo yeaaah! I’ve uploaded a playlist of music and songs I made for season 1 of Cartoon Network’s The Fungies!

The director Stephen P. Neary and I decided on the musical world being full of warm analogue synths that sound like they’re recorded to warped VHS tapes, with lots of parodies of 80s songs to create an overall feeling of nostalgia for the kind of TV Stephen enjoyed watching as a kid :)

I hope you enjoy listening to the choooons, I had tonnes of fun(gies) making them!

Listen on Soundcloud!

Listen on Soundcloud!

Leave a comment!

Play on YouTube!

Play on YouTube!

As part of my work on the Playdate, Panic founder and all round fun guy Cabel Sasser and I wrote a full length track of the Playdate theme!

It’s imaginatively titled Playdate Theme and you can listen to it on all the big streaming services or via the YouTube video above!

I had such a good time working with Cabel on this, he would send me these hilarious and enthusiastic voice recordings of him playing piano and singing different melodies, then I got to work fleshing it out, and turned it into a fully produced sparkly funtrack! We did a fair bit of back and forth, and even enlisted the string playing skills of Jeff Ball to take the track to the next level. Woooo!

Leave a comment!

I recently worked on some music & sound design for a new handheld game device called the Playdate. It’s kinda like an old school Gameboy but with a crank. And they’re making it so that anyone can create games for it! AMAAAZZIIINGGG!

They just released an update video and the animation I worked on is in the “intro” section if you want to check it out! Lots more fun stuff in the rest of the vid too…

Watch on Youtube!

Watch on Youtube!

I also did the sound design for the device’s user interface i.e. all the noises that happen when you navigate menus and click buttons etc! I collaborated with Cabel, co-founder of Panic) (the maker of Playdate), to make the music, and we have a full length version of it to release sooooon :-O

The whole thing is so exciting, I love the way they’re releasing all these indie games and the new web editor for anyone to make their own games looks amazing! Wahooooo!

Leave a comment!

Happy days! An extended version of the title song I made for The Fungies (Cartoon Network) has just been released. You can listen here:

Listen on YouTube!

Listen on YouTube!

You can also listen on Spotify!

This was based on an original song by the show’s creator Stephen Neary. He wanted to evoke the feeling he had watching cartoons from the 80s and 90s when he was a kid, so I really went to town with the 80/90s production style and earnest vocal performance! This extended version included some squelchy Fungie synthesizer and a growly sax solo for good measure. I hope you enjoy it!

Leave a comment!

Hey hey hi!

I’ve not been posting much on here recently. I’ve found over the last year or so that making weekly music for a cartoon show and having a son to care for in the midst of a pandemic has not left me with a lot of energy for other creative pursuits!

One low-energy thing I’ve been enjoying is learning different ways of making websites. As part of this exploration I made a website to archive all the cool things I find on my internet/media adventures that I think you might enjoy too!

It’s called Good Stuff and you can find it here!

For the nerds out there, I made this website with a static site generator called Hugo and it was a lot of fun (if you’re into staring at confusing words and symbols on a screen for hours).

Leave a comment!

I recently worked on an animated pilot called Pancake Panic with a YouTube channel called Mashed. It’s about a struggling jingle writer called Frankie who ends up in weird situations writing jingles for bizarre things - this time for the Pancake Guild to help promote pancakes! I wrote the music and performed the voice of Frankie and Chocolate Sauce. My partner Katie voiced the Egg and Maple Syrup!

Watch on YouTube!

Watch on YouTube!

I think it turned out really nicely! I had loads of fun being Frankie, but I regret eating so many pancakes to get into the mind of Frankie getting into the mind of pancakes. I’m still finding batter in ungodly crevices…

Leave a comment!

A film student called Filipa Silva made a video to my song Dinosaurs by editing found footage from old films with some original footage she shot. The final result is awesome!

Watch on Vimeo

Watch on Vimeo

Filipa tells me she got a good grade, but I give her an A*** and my grade is worth about 12 university degrees and a Phd so congratulations Filipa!

If you like this song you can find it on my album Smells Like Rap. It’s also on Free Music Archive :)

Leave a comment!

Mutske Mini-Animation!

After I sent Meg the story of Mutske The Electric Chicken, she sent me a lovely email saying how much she and her family and friends enjoyed it. She also sent an awesome mini-animation of Mutske zapping some popcorn to say thank you! I made some sounds for it, check it out!

Thanks Meg, it’s rad! You can see more of Meg’s wonderful work here.

Leave a comment!

Animation by Meg Dupont

Meg said: “I once knew a little red chicken who had been struck by lightning. She survived but as a result was quite loopy and had an hilarious personality. She’d happily stand for ages on peoples heads, so they named her Mutske (‘Silly person’ in Dutch). Unfortunately she recently passed away, so a nice little story about her would be fun!"

So here’s a story about Mutske for Meg… You can listen or read or both!

Mutske The Electric Chicken

Meg was a farmer. She grew corn and had a little red chicken called Mutske. Mutske didn’t lay any eggs but she kept Meg company and that was nice.

“Oh Mutske,” said Meg, “You‘re a silly thing, but I love you.” Mutske cocked her head to one side and clucked.

A storm cloud came one night. Meg was in bed and Mutske was out in the yard pecking at corn kernels. The air grew thick and greasy. The hairs on Meg’s arms stood up as she slept, and a frown pinched her forehead. Mutske continued pecking corn, as the black clouds swirled above her.

A deep rumble loomed in the air, but still Mutske pecked in the middle of the yard.

Everything was quiet.

KAKLAZSSHHH! A thick bolt of lightning shot down from the cloud and smashed into Mutske. Meg awoke with a start and ran downstairs in horror.

The air crackled. On the dusty ground in a frame of scorch marks and feathers, Mutske lay limp.

“Oh no! Mutske!” Meg dropped to her knees by the lifeless chicken and bowed her head. She didn’t clench her fists and yell “Whyyyyy?” at the sky, but she wanted to.

Meg sat quietly for a moment. The farm was calm and sad.

Suddenly, Mutske clucked, then hopped up on one foot. Meg gasped.

Mutske cocked her head, clucked, then hopped to the other foot. Meg grinned.

Mutske hopped from one foot to the other as she cocked her head this way and that, in a silly jogging dance as she clucked. Meg giggled.

Then Mutske hopped, clucked, cocked and jogged onto Meg’s knee, up her arm to her shoulder, and scrambled right on top of her head.

And there she stood!

Hardly daring to move, Meg strained to peep at the bizarre little chicken now perched and balanced perfectly atop her noggin. “What are you doing, Mutske? You silly thing!”

Meg swayed gently from side to side, testing Mutske’s balance, but the chicken didn’t even wobble. So Meg slowly rose to her feet.

Mutske stood firm and clucked.

So Meg walked, then jogged, then ran around the yard, with Mutske jutting from her head like a fancy hat.

“Wow Mutske!” said Meg, “You’re amazing!”

She bent down to pick up a kernel of corn and tossed it up for Mutske to peck. The chicken watched it rise, cocked her head, then sneezed.

ZKSSHSHKKK!

A bolt of electricity flew from Mutske’s nostrils and zapped the kernel in mid air. POP! It puffed into a tasty popcorn treat and Mutske plucked it from the air like a little nummy cloud.

Meg was dumbfounded. “What the heck just happened?” she gawped. She bent to pick up another kernel and threw it in the air.

Sneeze-ZKSSHSHKKK-Pop! It happened again!

Meg was giddy with excitement, she plonked Mutske on a post she could observe, grabbed a handful of corn kernels and threw a rapid succession towards Mutske, who sneezed as electric bolts shot from her beak like lasers…

ZAP ZAP ZAP ZAP! POP POP POP POP!

The smell of freshly puffed popcorn filled the air, and fluffy nuggets fell around Meg’s feet. Mutske danced her silly jogging dance.

Over the next year the two of them developed a dance routine involving expressive poses as Meg tossed kernels of corn for Mutske to zap. They toured the country with wild success, each show climaxing with the audience flicking showers of corn for Mutske to zap all at once like a popcorn plasma ball. The children would laugh and run onstage to eat the popcorn and dance with Meg and Mutske.

When they came home at the end of the tour Meg decided to throw a Winter party at the farm for the village to enjoy. A hundred excited people sat around a very long table in the yard and enjoyed a festive feast of corn-on-the-cob with redcurrant jelly and mint sauce.

When everyone had finished their meal Meg shouted, ”Now please give a special welcome to my best friend, artistic collaborator and showbird extraordinaire… Mutske!”

She pressed play on a boombox and jinglebells-infused electro-dance-party music blasted forth. Mutske hopped onto the far end of the long table and started the head-cock jogging dance. The villagers laughed gleefully and clapped in time. Mutske danced all the way along the table, with a particularly crowd-pleasing section in the middle where she span around and did a clunky moonwalk. Every now and again someone would flick a corn kernel which she zapped into popcorn to loud cheers. By the time she reached Meg the crowd were going completely bananas.

Mutske danced onto Meg’s hand, and Meg thrust her aloft for the party to behold and applaud.

Mutske stood and watched, cocked her head at the beaming faces, then stretched her wings out wide.

“What are you doing, Mutske?” said Meg. Her friend had never done this before. Mutske’s wings twitched, then flapped haphazardly and all of a sudden Mutske was in the air, tumbling and somersaulting upwards in a flurry of feathers.

“Where are you going?” shouted Meg, as Mutske jumbled through the air towards the corn barn. The guests gawped in silence as Mutske flapped and flopped through the big barn door and plopped into the huge container within.

“Oh no. That’s the corn container. There are millions of kernels in there!” said Meg.

They heard a cluck. Then another. Then a relentless quick-fire clucking that got louder and louder, echoing from the barn. The ground began to rumble; all the plates and cutlery were jangling.

Mutske sneezed.

KABOOOOOMMM!

A massive flash of light engulfed everything. The roof of the barn shot into the sky and the air was filled with the sound of an army tap dancing on bubblewrap. The entire container of corn had violently blossomed into a billion fluffs of popcorn which gushed up to the clouds like a savoury geyser.

And then it snowed. With popcorn!

The party guests ran around with their mouths open, catching the snacky snowflakes on their tongues and throwing great handfuls at each other as they ducked and dodged, and soon the whole yard was covered in a thick bobbly carpet of fresh white popcorn. They tumbled and rolled and rustled on their backs and flapped their arms to make popcorn snow angels. Everyone had the best time ever.

No one saw Mutske again. Meg wasn’t sure if she blew herself up in the popcorn explosion or if she cannonballed miles through the sky, to entertain and delight a new friend on a new farm somewhere exotic and far away.

Weeks later, as she was sweeping up the soggy remains of the popcorn wonderland she found a red feather in the barn. She smiled as she stroked it with her fingers, then tucked it in her headband where she felt it belonged. Meg smiled and softly murmured, “Oh Mutske, you were a silly thing, but I loved you.”

Then she carried on sweeping until all the popcorn was gone.

The end.

Leave a comment!

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

The show I’ve been working on for the last year and a bit has just been released on HBO Max! I think this means it’s only available in the USA at the mo, which is a bummer, but it’s a sweet, heartfelt, silly show and I hope it brings a lot of joy to people, small, big and in-between!

It’s called The Fungies! and it’s set in prehistoric times, following a fungal creature called Seth as he explores Fungietown and the wonderful world beyond with his friends and family!

I’m writing music and songs for the show, along with another composer called James Venable who I worked on Clarence with too :) The theme song you can hear in this trailer was originally written by Stephen Neary (creator/director of The Fungies) but I produced and performed this version. Stephen wanted to capture the kinda feeling he had watching cartoons as a lad, so we went all out 80s/90s kids TV pump-up style with the theme song!

There’s a nice review here and another one here if you’d like to learn more.

Leave a comment!

This was a secret post for subscribers of my newsletter. The comment thread is now locked and I’m making some of the things! If you’d like to get involved next time you can sign up here!

I would like to make a silly gift for you! What can I make that would cheer you up this week? It could be…

  • A song
  • A video
  • A photograph
  • A story

Chuck some ideas in the comments below like:

  • A song about ducks in trucks
  • A video about cooking a ‘special’ meal
  • A photo of someone caught doing something they shouldn’t be
  • A story about a space explorer who finds a planet that looks exactly like a butt

But these are just my ideas. Share your ideas below and I’ll pick my favourite(s) to make reeeaaal!

Leave a comment!

Oh my gosh, I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but I’m finally brave enough to do it! I’m deleting my social media accounts. I’ve already deleted Facebook and Instagram, and Twitter is soon to follow! Here are some reasons why:

1. I hate using social media

I mean maybe there doesn’t need to be any more reason than this? I used to enjoy it when it was much simpler, but now I just don’t enjoy logging on to a website and being bombarded with hundreds of things a computer thinks I want to see. Twitter now shows me what people I follow have “liked,” not just what they’ve chosen to share. I don’t care! If they wanted to share it they would share it! Facebook used to only give notifications when someone had commented, replied or liked one of my posts, but increasingly it’s constant pinging about other people’s posts, events, stories, nagging me to post on my page and AGH! There’s just so much noise and I find it overwhelming.

2. I feel bad when I use social media

Whenever I spend time on social media I don’t come away feeling better for it. Maybe I’ll learn something about a friend, find a few cool things or interesting articles, but most of the time I’ll just read a stream of all that is broken in the world, and a bunch of people shouting their opinions and being rude to each other. I don’t know why I would ever consciously choose to do that, but I do it multiple times a day!

3. It messes with my focus and self control

I’m completely addicted to social media, even when I have a break or try to instill some self-controlling measures I always end up back in the same pattern of refresh the feed, refresh the feed, refresh the feed. While I acknowledge that I am to blame for this, it’s difficult to maintain measures of self-control when the platform you are using is actively designed to foster addictive behaviour.

4. I don’t like giving my data to huge corporations to do with as they please

There’s a saying that on the Internet if you are not paying for the product, you are the product. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are free to use because they’re collecting data about their users all the time and selling this data to advertisers. The amount of data they collect on us is horrifying, and the data collecting follows us all around the internet, not just when we’re using the platforms directly. I’m not willing to give that kind of data away anymore.

5. Social media companies have too much power to manipulate us

Following on from this, there is now public evidence that companies use the data they collect through our use of social media to actively manipulate us into behaving in certain ways. This can be used to encourage people to buy products, but even more sinisterly to sew division and hate in order to influence political outcomes - as seen with the Cambridge Analytica scandal during the Trump election. I’ve had a feed blocker on Facebook for a long time so I think I’ve been immune to such tactics, but I don’t want to feed companies which allow this kind of psychological mass-manipulation to happen in the first place. These platforms also use algorithms that promote content that sparks strong emotional reactions whether the content is factually correct or not, which can serve to galvanise extreme viewpoints and increase polarisation, recently harnessed by the military in Myanmar to incite a genocide. Ultimately I think these systems are driving people further apart rather than closer together.

6. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing

When I am an old man, I hope I’ll look back on my life and say “Wow, I spent a lot of time with people I care about, made loads of cool things, and had fun doing it!” and then die with a smile on my face, as the last fart leaks from my bum with a contented sigh.

I don’t think I’ll have the same feeling of contentment if I look back and say “Wow. I spent a lot of time on social media.” No matter how many memes I heart.

Further reading

Here’s a big list of the harms of social media and other attention manipulating tech with relevant sources and studies. I may add more links here as I find them.

What about you?

How do you feel about social media at the moment? I’m interested to know your thoughts!

Leave a comment!

A few weeks ago I had a chat with my good pal Nuala Honan (whose awesome new album is out soon!) for a lovely podcast she’s making where she calls her friends and has a lil chinwag about life in the pandemic and whatever else comes up. We ended up talking about mental health and the immortality of my child! You can listen to it below or in whatever podcast app you use by searching ‘Phonin With Honan.’

Listen on Soundcloud

Listen on Soundcloud

Leave a comment!

We’ve started trying to build a bedtime routine into our evenings so Lil P can get to sleep at a more regular time, without hours of grizzling and screaming while we’re trying to eat our dinner please we just want to eat dinner with both of us sitting down while the food is still warm, or watch Star Trek please just let us watch Star Trek we’re very tired.

Part of the routine is some wind down time where we try and minimise the amount of stimulation going into our baby’s earholes and eyeholes.

So I’ve started finding the fun in it by telling the most boring stories I possibly can. Here are a couple of examples I recorded the other night. Maybe they’ll help you calm down too so whoever you live with can watch a whole episode of Star Trek without having to pause it every 5 minutes to pat you on the back and go “shhhhhh shh shh shh."

Babara Finds A Penny

The Baker Who Only Made One Type Of Bread

It’s pretty fun trying to be boring. I mean I don’t have to try very hard tbh.

I COULD USE YOUR HELP THOUGH! If you have an idea for a title of a boring story let me know in the comments below!

Leave a comment!

I’ve been watching the US news with horror and sadness. George Floyd’s murder is just the tip of the iceberg of unjust treatment against Black people in America (and worldwide) and I want to make my own stance against racism and police brutality clear.

There are much deeper long-standing inequalities at play here which I am woefully under-educated about, but, taking things one problem at a time, police violence seems like a good place to start.

I decided to make a donation to Campaign Zero who use analysis and research to inform policy change and decrease police violence in America. I’m also grateful to have the chance to give my musical skills to help this cause, and I’ll be writing some music for a video to help promote their new campaign 8 Can’t Wait. Thanks to Pasquale at Thinko for organising!

Edit: That particular campaign is now on pause. More info on the 8 Can’t Wait website.

Here are more recommendations for criminal justice reform and Black rights organisations which I hope to investigate soon, maybe you’ll find them useful/interesting too.

Leave a comment!

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube

I made this video for an excellent organisation called The Life You Can Save who curate well researched, highly effective charities that do incredible work saving and improving lives across the world.

Find out more: thelifeyoucansave.org,

Thanks to the following people who gave their time and skills to this project last year!

Emma Powell made the puppets!
SmallBu did the animation!
Tom Martin shot this at Band Studios
Adam Blake and Kim Heron brought the puppets to life and gave them character!
Emma Keaveney-Roys voiced the orange puppet!
I did the rest! 🎶📣✂

I know many people are struggling financially at the moment. If that’s you, I wish you all the best in these trying times. But if you find yourself in a position where you have some disposable income AND you’d like to use it to do more good in the world I encourage you to investigate the charities recommended by The Life You Can Save and support the highly effective, life changing work they do worldwide.

I made a pledge 6 years ago to donate at least 10% of my income each year to charities recommended by TLYCS and givewell.org and it’s become a practice that brings great value and meaning to my life.

You can read more about my own story behind making this video here.

Stay strong everyone! I hope you’re doing ok. ❤️

Lots of love,
Simon

https://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/

Leave a comment!

Self Fumigation

Downstairs at 3am, I was trying to calm The Pea, my baby boy. I’d found a method that seemed to be working, swaying gently from side to side while breathing slowly and deeply in and out. If I stopped swaying The Pea would grumble, so I had to keep swaying. If I stopped breathing deeply The Pea would grizzle, so I had to keep breathing deeply… In… Out… In… Out…

Things were going well, so I let myself relax and leaked out a hot, long fart.

BIG MISTAKE!

Forgetting my commitment to breathing deeply in and out, I had trapped myself in a slowly worsening torture chamber as the fart crept up inside my dressing gown. The first whiff was bad, but for fear of waking the baby I calmly breathed out, then slowly, deeply, deliberately took in the next breath. VERY BAD. Again! And again! Out… then iiiinnnnnnnn. AWFUL.

I was stuck in a cycle of horror, a stinky prison of my own making as I swayed to and fro, calmly and deeply inhaling my own rancid gasses, packing the stench into my nostrils with the focus and clarity of an eggy woofter connoisseur, a guff loving monk.

As I sniffed and swayed, baby in arms (apparently unfazed by the noxious nightmare), I suppressed my gag reflex and kept breathing.

I love being a dad.

Leave a comment!

I'm a freakin' dad!!

Check it out yous guys, this is my baby! The small one, not the big one. The big one is my partner Katie who is the strongest person I know.

A picture of Katie kissing our new behbeh

Following induced labour due to concerns about his small size, our baby boy was born on 6th Feb at 02:07am. He weighed 5lb 3oz (2.4kg). We were kept in hospital until Sunday 9th Feb so they could monitor his condition and make sure Katie was recovering well. After a bit of treatment for jaundice, everyone was deemed healthy and happy and we went home.

The following two weeks has been like one never ending day with insufficient naps sprinkled throughout! We are both very tired but very happy, and we find ourselves inhabiting a magical dimension made of 99.9% snuggle, 0.1% sleep (for Katie and me anyway!)

We don’t know our new lil buddy’s name yet (nickname “Lil P”), but we’re enjoying getting to know him :)

Leave a comment!

Helping Hand

I woke up really early last night, like 4am. As I was lying in bed, hoping for a quiet mind, I noticed Katie’s breathing next to me became erratic, like she was terrified. I thought she must be having a nightmare, so I very gently took hold of her hand and started stroking it. She woke up and took a deep breath.

“Thanks!” she whispered.

In a mumbly half-asleep voice she told me her dream. She was on a sunny river bank. People around her were jumping into the deep, clear blue water. She thought it looked fun so she jumped in too, but as soon as she entered the water she sank quickly down, deeper and deeper, made heavy with our unborn baby in her tummy. Struggling, drowning, she looked up at the surface, hoping that I had seen her. Sure enough, my hand reached into the water, grabbed hers and pulled her out to safety.

She woke up to find my hand holding hers in real life!

Today I saved the lives of my partner and child before I even got out of bed.

I’m worried I’ve peaked too soon this year.

Leave a comment!

I’ve been tinkering around for the last 9 months or so building this website and a companion professional portfolio FROM SCRATCH! I only rebuilt my website fairly recently using Squarespace, but I started to have niggles. I think Squarespace is an amazing service for people who don’t know a lot about web coding, or who just want something quick, simple and easy to maintain. But I grew dissatisfied with using it for my own site for the following reasons:

  1. If Squarespace went bust I’d lose my website. I don’t think they’re likely to, but I started feeling uncomfortable uploading stuff without being able to access the files directly or back up the whole site if I wanted to move elsewhere.
  2. I didn’t have the control I wanted over how things looked or how things worked.
  3. It gets expensive to pay for a Squarespace site each year! I thought there must be cheaper alternatives out there.

After exploring and experimenting with lots of different options I decided to build a site from scratch using a framework called Kirby. It’s not the easiest thing to get yer bonce abaaht as it requires a fair amount of knowledge of HTML, CSS and PHP, but it’s been really fun to learn and DEEPLY SATISFYING to get things working as I desire! If you’re interested in learning HTML and CSS I’ve really enjoyed using Codecademy over the years, but there are a lot of great resources out there.

This version of my website hopes to address a few aims of mine:

  1. A fun and simple way to categorise, organise and display many types of creation. I can’t and don’t think I’ll ever stick to one type of creative output, so I wanted a place to keep it all safe and tidy, and easy to explore.
  2. Minimalist yet playful design. I’m sick of websites being so flashy and bloated and in your face, so many things on screen at once! I wanted this site to be fairly minimal, and try to find a way to make it easily navigable and enjoyable to use.
  3. Adaptability. I want the site to be able to grow and change as I do, so I can use information and content I’ve uploaded in different ways as I see fit.

Consider this a work in progress! There’s much more I’d like to add, and I’m really curious to learn about what it’s like to use for other people. If you have any feedback on how I could make the site better, or anything you’d like to see please email me or leave a comment below!

Leave a comment!

Bad Spray

This morning Katie was spraying the cooker with a cleaning spray. After a while she sniffed and said “Does this spray smell weird to you?” I got my nose in there and gave it a sniff.

“Hm, yeah, that does smell weird. Is it the cloth?”

“No the cloth’s fine. Can spray go off? Spray can’t go off, can it?”

She carried on spraying and wiping while I rummaged under the sink for the other bottle of spray. I gave it a spritz on another surface and took a breath in. “Oh yeah this smells nice! That one’s definitely gone bad. I’ll throw it away.”

I took the spray from Katie and unscrewed it, ready to pour down the drain. As I took the top off my nose twanged with an overwhelming garlicky pong.

Then I remembered - we made a potent garlic spray in the spring to stop the slugs eating the plants! Katie had been spraying the surfaces with rancid garlic water!

“No way!” She laughed, “I did the whole kitchen with that the other day!”

Leave a comment!

Insane Hold Music

Katie phoned up a hospital the other day to book a tour of a birthing unit. The lady on the phone put her on hold while they transferred her to the right number.

This insane music blasted out of her phone…

It’s like their telephone switchboard is hacked together from parts of old ice cream vans!

Leave a comment!

Gran's Last Meal

I was at a Day of the Dead dinner at my friend Pablo’s house. We invited the spirits of dead loved ones to join us for dinner and made a dish of their favourite food for them to enjoy with us. Over the course of a few hours we took it in turns to talk about our dearly departed and share the dish we’d brought - a kind of DEATH TAPAS.

It was a beautiful evening, and wonderful to have a space to talk about death and grief. To remember and celebrate significant people in our past, as well as to give voice to painful relationships, and acknowledge the grizzly aspects of their personalities too.

Here’s a snippet of a story that tickled me…

A friend of mine was having dinner with his Gran and their family. All was merry, wine was flowing and Gran had had a good couple of glasses. Dinner conversation continued and food was being chowed when suddenly Gran slumped face first onto her plate.

Panic ensued as they rushed to check if she was ok. No response! They called the ambulance and rushed her to hospital. Was she dying? Dead?!

At the hospital the doctor checked her over. He gathered everyone for the verdict.

“Your Gran… She’s… How do I put this…?

Pissed.”

Leave a comment!

Lord and Lady Luck

Katie and I went to the wedding of one of her oldest friends. We were supposed to be staying in a shepherds hut in the woods, but a leaky roof meant our accommodation was changed last minute. It was for the best really as we would have had to go outside for a wee in the night, and Katie’s pregnant so she needs wees A LOT.

Instead, to our delight, we were housed in one of the guest rooms in this massive manor house, with a huuuuge bed and amazing views over the fields.

Not only that, but we had a knock on the door at 9am and they brought us freakin' breakfast in bed! Luxury! Not even the bride got breakfast in bed, much to her annoyance!

NOT ONLY THAT! But our friend Deborah came to our room to practise her viola for the wedding ceremony. So there we were in our manor house, enjoying breakfast in bed to live classical music!

It was certainly more than we bargained for and I hate my life now that I have to make my own breakfast. Without live viola.

What’s the point of anything any more.

Leave a comment!

Fart Fan

In our bedroom we have a fan to keep us cool in the summer months. The fan is on my side of the bed, because I tend to get hotter.

Whenever I fart in the night, the fan blows the fart straight up Katie’s nose and she hates it.

But I think it’s very funny.

I guess there are only two fart fans in the room.

Leave a comment!

This short story is inspired by this true story.

The seagull carried the banana in its beak, guardedly - head darting left and right to spot any would-be banana grabbers. This is it, thought the seagull. This is what will set me apart from all the rest. Everybody knows seagulls are bastards, but I will be the biggest bastard of all. The Banana Bastard.

The seagull found a shadowy corner and began to peck at the banana, carefully moving up the seams so the skin stayed largely intact. The banana flesh mushed into mash.

Those other idiots have been doing the same old thing forever, it thought. Flying over humans and dropping plops so the squit hits the hair or face if you’re lucky. Maybe a dive bomb sandwich grab, just before the long-awaited first bite. Anything to spoil their day.

But it’s all been done! This’ll show them. This’ll show them all.

The seagull took the now empty banana skin in its beak - classic in appearance: three dangly arms; stalk holding it all together. The seagull was ready. With a couple of aggy flaps it scuffed up into the air and soared above the seafront.

The pier. There was a clown earlier. There he is.

This is gonna be so good.

The seagull circled the air high above the clown on the pier.

Wait. Wait, not yet. Oh god, now. Now - this is perfect.

The seagull released the banana skin and watched. The banana skin fell surprisingly gracefully through the air, down towards the pier.

The clown finished tying a knot in a freshly blown balloon snake. He started twisting it into a dog with the practiced speed of someone who only ever made dogs.

The banana skin landed, splat, just behind the clown.

The little girl stretched her hands out, ready for her balloon dog. The clown put the flaccid rubber tail in his mouth and sucked a bubble into it. Bwop! It’s a poodle! He held it aloft to show the crowd, stepping backwards for effect.

The clown’s foot landed on the banana skin.

The banana skin slipped under the clown’s weight, whose smile froze as his foot shot out from underneath him. The other leg whipped up to balance but his massive shoe kicked the little girl right in the face as the balloon dog flew out of his hands, up and over the doughnut stand.

The girl screamed her kicked head off, barely noticing the balloon heading straight for the bubbling doughnut fryer until a speck of boiling oil just pipped on the dog’s nose and BANG! It popped.

The doughnut seller jumped out of her skin, jolting the stand with the dodgy leg that was just about to give up the ghost, and, yep, there it went, and the whole stand crumpled.

The screaming girl kicked the sprawled clown right in the nuts as payback and he’d barely had time to enjoy the pain before the boiling oil slashed down on his face, sizzling sickeningly as it fixed on his painted grin forever.

From above the chaos the seagull listened to the howls of agony, calmly assessing the scene. Only one thing left to do. It swooped down lower and, just at the right moment, plopped out a sloppy white shit.

The poo streaked through the sky and landed, with minimal splatter, right in the clown’s gasping mouth.

Then the seagull, happy with its work, went off to find some chips.

What an absolute bastard.

Leave a comment!

Banana Bird

Today I saw a seagull carrying a whole banana in its beak. So I guess this must be the best year of my entire life.

Leave a comment!