Words for Friends #1

I STARTED blogging at www.seagullnic.wordpress.com in September 2013 as a form of therapy and catharsis following my nervous breakdown earlier that year.

Now some 462 posts and tens of thousands of words later I have reached the third anniversary of my leap into hyper space.

During the ensuing time I have blogged about everything under the sun, including a navel-gazing exposure of my life, my family, politics, opinion, plus poems and songs.

I have also reloaded a score of pieces from my years in newspaper journalism, written extensively about my villains and heroes and published the first 12 chapters of my new children’s novel.

At this point, my blog posts have received 145,433 hits with over 460 comments and 214 regular followers.

Topping the popularity stakes is These MPs voted confidence in Jeremy Corbyn with 30,941 hits.

The Crippled Estate of BBC Spin  currently has 24,500 hits.

And Traitors’ Gate: 28 Labour MPs named as part of Coup has 9,179 hits.

About 85% of my readers are from the UK, while a further 6% are from the USA and there is a sizeable audience in Canada, Australia, Pakistan, France and Spain. My blog has been read in every country in the world, with the exception of Paraguay, Greenland, Kazakhstan and a few countries in central Africa!


Thank you all for reading my missives and thank you so much for your wonderful support.

The writing journey now continues with a new series of blogs entitled Words for Friends, in which I will try to acknowledge some people in my life for whom words of thanks are not nearly enough. Each piece I will endeavour to keep to 150 words or less.

These living epitaphs will be published in a random order as fancy takes me.

True friends cannot be measured by the length of time you may have known someone, but I will in tribute start with my oldest friend.

#1 Alex

Alex and I have been friends since we were 12 years-old, after my family moved house and I was parachuted into the local secondary school as the “new boy”.

Alex’s memory of my first week will always haunt me: “You turned up for your first swimming lesson wearing a vest!”

We were soon best buddies, sitting next to each other in class, cheating in maths lessons, playing and following football together, and he introduced me to proper music.

On leaving school he became a DJ and thanks to him, music has been the driving force throughout my life.

An abiding school memory is of Alex opening a carrier bag under his desk to reveal a pair of 32” loon leg trousers in school regulation grey. We dared him to change into them at break time. He did, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The fact that 45 years later he is still a friend, is more important to me than he will ever know.