Alan Johnson Failed Rock Star!

This was great fun. A series I made with my mate Alan Johnson, just as he stopped being Home Secretary (but still had the security and armour plated jag). Alan and his security came up in said Jag to interview Jacqui Abbott from The Beautiful South. Jacqui had been in two minds about doing the interview and there was a chance she wouldn’t be in. I took the risk anyway and she was in. I would have been in so much trouble if she hadn’t been! Her story about how she became a singer with Paul Heaton is fantastic

Model of Virtue – a short story

Model of Virtue

Marian was desperate to get to the Rose Garden. She hadn’t been all week and this was definitely the best time of year for it. And a particularly glorious day today. Many of the roses were now out. But there was one in particular she wanted to see.

Model Of Virtue?

She’d grown it by accident. Or experiment really. Accidental experiment. Just to see what would happen if she mixed a pink one with a yellow one. And she had come up with something so perfect. Mainly a pale yellow but with touches of soft pink around the edges. The yellow was almost translucent in the sun. And the pink reminded her of raspberry ripples in ice cream. The colouring was so powerful, and the flower heads were strong shaped and uniform. That’s when she decided to name it. Officially. Coming up with the name had been fun and taxing. Quite a responsibility. Because she was doing it properly, a kind of copyright for plants, it meant no-one else could propagate from it for 25 years. The whole process had made her feel quite grand.

A Model of Virtue.

So how did she get into this? Propagating new roses? And how did she end up with this rose garden in Suffolk?

It had been her uncle’s. And it had been attached to a grand old house, not far from Needham Market. The grand old house had been her uncle’s too. But he hadn’t looked after it and when she inherited it, and the garden, unexpectedly, there was very little she could do about its state. It’s no use inheriting a house if you don’t have any money to do it up.

She’d gone there a lot as a child. With her parents. Her uncle was her Dad’s brother. He didn’t have a name. He must have had a name but he was always just uncle. He’d never been married. Never had children. Marian didn’t know quite how he had got the house in the first place. No-one else in the family lived in anything so stately. Or creaking. Parts of it dated back to the 1600s.

Marian’s favourite bit had always been the rose garden, especially at this point in the summer.

She hadn’t really known how to look after it beyond pruning, but she had the time to learn. She’d sold the house to a developer who was known locally for sympathetically  developing old buildings and turning them into flats for first time buyers, rather than investors.

Models of Virtue

Most of the land had gone to the development. But she’d kept the rose garden.

She had a decent amount of money in the bank thanks to the sale and was allowed to be a bit frivolous. Which is why she had decided to start having a go at creating new varieties of roses with varying success.

Her uncle would have been impressed. It was his favourite place. The rose garden. He told her it was where he escaped from what he called the ‘lunacy’.

Marian never really knew what that meant. Was it village life? He opened his house up for local events. He hosted and ran National Garden Scheme days. Often finding other committee members irritating. Useful idiots he used to say.

But maybe it was his work. Marian didn’t know what he did for a living. The rumours were he worked for MI5. She could imagine that. He was quiet, calm, private.

With those attributes and his charity work he was he was considered locally

 A Model of Virtue.

Registering a new rose properly, isn’t cheap. Marian had spent over £2,000 and today was the day she got the certificate in the post. She was now the official creator. Of a variety of rose. That’s why she was in such a hurry to get to the rose garden this morning. To share her news with the rose and her uncle. And to stand back and look at……

The Model of Virtue.

New website

I’ve just rashly got my website host to delete my old website and replace it with this!

Now the small matter of learning how to design a wordpress page.

In the meantime, the aim of this new site will include my work in radio (reporting and producing) and TV development producing as an Associate with Uplands TV. I’m also going to add some of my photographs and my short stories