Thursday, 15 February 2018

Seeing the right colour

February’s horse fact: horses are not colour blind but they can see greens and yellows much better than other colours.

What does Jack think about that?

He thinks it’s pretty obvious. The best food is green. Who needs to see further than that?

Thursday, 4 January 2018

National Fruitcake Day

Dang it! Just missed National Fruitcake Day on December 27th, which would have been the perfect hook on which to hang a short article about a Sci-Fi short, The 93-E Contradiction.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

International Trust Your Government Week

December 20th to 27th is International Trust Your Government Week, promoted by the United Nations to encourage temporary respect for elected officials and bureaucrats alike regardless of party affiliation, election legitimacy, position on global warming, documented legal status, education, nationality, race, heritage, gender, sexual orientation, criminal record, degree of intelligence or common sense.

International Trust Your Government Week (ITYGW), fosters diversity, tolerance and general laissez-faire in the interests of World Peace. During this week, celebrants are urged to write to their government officials at all levels with the basic message: 

You’ve shown yourselves to be such collective bozos that we no longer care, so for one week we’ll take time out from worrying when you’re going to pull the trigger, push the button or take the ludicrous decision that will end humankind’s tenure on the planet, and we’ll simply turn our backs on you.

Hang on... how is that trust?

No longer listening, bozo. Too busy reading the week’s most appropriate release, Walt Pilcher’s EverybodyShrugged

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Horse's teeth

November’s equestrian statistic is that a horse’s teeth all bunched up together are bigger than its brain.

What does Jack think about that?

He doesn’t waste time on thinking when there’s grass to be eaten.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The 93-E Contradiction

Today my first Sci-Fi book is published by Fantastic Books Publishing. I say "book" but it barely deserves the name, it's very short; a Sci-Fi short. The 93-E Contradiction.

I'm seeing it as an optimistic story, by the way. All this climate change stuff... don't worry for the planet. The planet will be fine. It won't have homo sapiens on it for much longer but hey, I guess we had a decent innings. A shame to scupper it all with a series of own goals but that - to push a mixed metaphor to its limit - is what our current circular firing squad of a human race is hell bent on doing.

And meanwhile, there are short sci-fi tales to lessen the pain.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Billy and Billy and Jack: horses of note

This is the tale of three remarkable horses, Billy and Billy and Jack - two old boys and one young whipper-snapper. The question is this: in which camp do we put Jack?

I will start with an old boy called Billy. This Billy was a cob/shire type horse, black with a white blaze, born in 1760. He spent his working life pulling barges on canals for the Mersey and Irwell Navigation Company. The amazing thing about Billy is that he lived to the age of 62. He died in November 1822. There is said to be a lithograph of Billy in a museum in Warrington with Squire Henry Harrison.

From an old Billy with a single lithograph to a younger and much photographed version. This young Billy is bigger than old Billy but also does a job that needs plenty of muscle power and oats in the tank. Under the jockey-ship of Nick Ireland, this much younger Billy won the Young Event Horse Series in his very first season in 2014.

But which of these amazing equines does Jack take after? Perhaps he has more in common with old Billy than young Billy.

Or does he?

Jack once finished a show-jumping course; ‘finish’ being the word, as the owners of the show-ground said, ‘We won’t have to buy in any firewood for a long time, but we’ll have to shell out for a new set of jumps.’

But Jack only made the effort so as to be obliging and as the mystery man pointed out to Megan, you couldn’t really expect Jack to know how to show-jump; he wouldn't have had much call to do it when he was pulling a cart.

Thinking about it, that mirrors things on the Mersey and Irwell canals back in the 1700s because it would have been a bizarre and traumatic circumstance that required old Billy to leap a fence whilst pulling a barge.

So I think we have to conclude that Jack has more in common with old Billy after all. 

Monday, 25 January 2016

Horse takes its first wobbly steps

Horse of a Different Colour stepped into the world as an ebook on Friday 22nd January at the launch of Pony Patrol.

Elderly retired Jack, who really thought his cart pulling days were over, let alone anything more energetic, was relieved to learn that for once he wasn't the horse pushed centre stage. That position was reserved for the always popular Harry the Gut whose perenial claim to fame is that he never leaves anyone in any doubt about the real length of an equine intestine.

A royalty from all sales of Horse of a Different Colour goes to support the activities of Pony Patrol.