There are several kinds of writer. The young, the not so young and
those who make a fossil seem downright nimble. Writers of fact or
fiction, prose or poetry. There's the type who knocks off a bestseller
at the drop of a quill and makes a fortune. And the sort who earns
a steady income from a host of lesser books. Then there's the writer
who does it just for fun and makes the occasional penny.
Writing mainly short prose fiction, I’m only halfway to fossilization.
Rarely do I see a penny but cherish high hopes for my first novel.
Writer's Work - Wings Over Nottingham
Thirty nine to forty five, we were fighting to survive, and life,
for Nottingham, was pretty ominous. The dirty, rotten Fritz had failed
with the Blitz. In forty three, another enemy started bombing us.
The pigeons in our city had a habit, more's the
pity, of swooping down and painting people's hats. Then some new
birds came along, big and fierce and strong and loaded with a V-2
size of splatts.
They arrived here on a Sunday, which normally
is a fun day but, this time, Nottinghamians missed the joke. The
pigeons in the air, diving down toward Slab Square, scored hits
on many different kinds of folk.
They came in anger from the clouds to just above
the crowds of passers-by who, blithely unaware, when the leader
cooed ''Attack'', looked neither fore nor back and got the benefit
of dollops from the air.
There were decorated trilbys and the pillbox of
Miss Gilby changed from red into a mottled shade of grey, while
the fire-chiefs brassy helmet grew a dripping, sticky pelmet
and the milkman's horse turned piebald for the day.
A baby's pretty bonnet had revolting stuff upon
it. His mother's snood was pebble-dashed as well. And lawyer's jet-black
toppers, bombarded by white ploppers, grew much paler by the minute.
It was hell.
An airman's fore-and-aft was swirled up in the
draught as falling bombs of refuse passed it's way. And a comic,
Tommy Boyle, who was starring at the Royal, had nothing much to
laugh about, that day.
A refugee from France did an angry foreign dance when he received
a layer of muck on his chapeau, While a turncoat out of Hamburg
wore a polka dotted Homburg and decided, ''Back to Hitler I will
''Sister Mary's well-pressed wimple had broken out in pimples of
pigeon waste before the day was done. And many a fine fedora had
had it's day before a halt was called when the pigeons faced...
The Council, in alarm at the headgear-wrecking
harm the birds had caused, did something quite absurd. They called
in Major Morris who arrived with khaki lorries and swore that he'd
eliminate those birds.
Turning to the soldier, the Council said, 'We're
told ya can reduce these bird's antagonistic ranks.'' ''Don't doubt
it,'' cried our hero, ''Population
Zero. I've got guns, grenades
and military tanks.''
''We hope you'll not be hasty,'' said the Council,
faces pasty at the sight of all that regimental might. ''Dont
worry,'' said the Major. ''I'm an Alamein old stager. If there's
one thing I have learned, it's how to fight.''
So he set up his offensive and was not the least
bit pensive. After Rommel, this action seemed quite tame. Major
Morris ringed Slab Square with an elaborate affair of ack-ack guns
and rifles and yelled, ''AIM!''
Soft Sam, the bird food seller, a mardy little
fella, squealed ''Crikey!'' and he dropped his tray of nuts. The
pigeons, seeing food, forgot their feuding mood and set off down
to fill their empty guts.
The Major, with a frown, ordered ''Barrels
forgetting that the birds were on the ground. They were not down
there for long 'cos the military throng sprayed shells, grenades
and bullets all around.
The pigeons sensed their doom at the armament's
first boom and they flew to Griffin's roof, (bar those who'd died).
Some escaped from there as well, when a high-explosive shell removed
their perch and half the shop's inside.
Saint Peter's prized pilaster was denuded of it's plaster when a
mortar bomb unwisely lost it's way. The statue of Victoria had no
reason for euphoria, and the Carlton crashed down on a Shipstone's
A striker on a podium, just outside the Odeon, was blasted off his
feet and he saw red. ''Hey up,'' he yelled, soprano. ''Whose army's
that? Fred Karno's? I got a ton of shrapnel up me trouser leg.''
A doctor's Rolls Royce motor, it, too, received
it's quota and diminished 'til it was a Sunbeam Nine, while a chap
from Austin Reeds's found his ears were full of seeds's from a windowbox
up the Lodge of Yates's Wine.
The upshot of it all was that the Albert Hall
disappeared in steaming clouds of acrid smoke. The Council House?
A goner. The Black Boy Inn went on a lengthy flight and crushed
the Major Oak.
When the soldier'd had his fill, well, he returned
his troops to Chilwell and told them to say nothing of the fight.
And the Council did a runner and spent the rest of summer up a tree,
in Sherwood Forest, out of sight.
You very well may wonder, when the army made that blunder, what
happened to the pigeons that were left? Some took themselves to
Newark and their numbers quickly grew, according to statistics that
Most others went to Lincoln and reduced the local's
income by eating all the crops the farmers ploughed. But a few,
when it was dark, flew straight to Wollaton Park and started all
the pigeons we have now.
Nottingham was rebuilt and, with just a little
guilt, the Council swore the Nazis hatched the scheme. Said the
pigeons were all German, sent here by Goering, Hermann. But he failed.
Our city is still the Midland's Queen.