A few weeks after her 100th birthday celebrations, the same people gathered together to say their last farewells to my mum. It seemed almost as if she had held on to make sure her extended family, and all of the friends and neighbors who knew her so well could share that last big party before [...]

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100 Years on…..and still knitting.

by Author on October 9, 2013

A lot happened in 1913 – 100 years ago.
- Charlie Chaplin made his first movie.
- Stainless Steel was invented, in Sheffield.
- The Post Office started its parcel service.
- The first drive up petrol station was opened in the USA, and Henry Ford introduced his first production line.
- The USA introduced income tax for the first [...]

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Pass it on

by Author on March 3, 2013

Alan Bennett’s great play The History Boys is full of fantastic quotable lines. The one that has stuck with me most, and still provokes a real emotional gut reaction in me, comes from Hector near the end when he’s addressing all of the boys. I don’t know any better way to express what education, teaching [...]

“Down the chimney,
‘neath the door
through the keyhole
more and more”
Among all of my father’s poems we found over the years, only one was written specifically for Children – “Wee Ann’s Fairies“.
Although it is unquestionably a “childrens poem”, as ever, the story that lies behind it shows it to be a whole lot more than that. Never [...]

Stories behind the poems (2) – The war poems

December 14, 2010

Although the poem “The Knitter” had always struck a special chord with me that eventually led to the book of the same name, being objective – if that’s possible with your own family – it wasn’t my dad’s “best” poem. His war time poems would vie for that honour, and as always, there’s a story [...]

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The stories behind the poems (1) – Human Alarm Clocks

November 19, 2010

There’s a story worth knowing about behind each of my dad’s poems, and over time I plan to tell them all in this blog. To get things going, I wanted to start with a real piece of history – part of his world that you just don’t find anymore – at least in Britain.
Most [...]

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A short history of John Mallaghan (Snr)

November 2, 2010

It struck me as I started on my latest blog that – unsurprisingly -  I know a lot about my father, and that it might be useful to flesh out a few details for the vast majority of people out there who don’t! Reading The Knitter will tell you all of course, but even then, [...]

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God bless you, Mr Vonnegut

October 12, 2010

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” From [...]

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Vanity publishing? It’s all in the mind (and the quality of the book…..)

September 29, 2010

Remember, back in the day, it was all so much easier! Publishing seemed black and white – either you could convince a publisher to take your book, or not. Your percentage chance of success were low, but we all knew that. Your percentage chance of ever making any money were even lower – but although [...]

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E-Books + Kindle + Sony E-Reader + iPAD = The death of books?

September 6, 2010

Back in the early 1960s, Marshal Mcluhan probably didn’t know just how prophetic he was being when he coined the phrase “The Medium is the Message”, talked about how technology would shape “the global village”, and mused over the effects new technologies – including the printing press – have had over the way we think. [...]

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