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‘mafficking’ ‘jammiest bits of jam’ & other fine Victorian slang [Wednesday Words]

50 bits of fantastic Victorian slang.

My own mutton shunter, Sergeant Lawless, wears gaspipes in his latest outing but I will now insist on him backslanging it, sticking his parish pickaxe into podsnappery, and mafficking with the jammiest bits of jam. Or is that buttering the bacon?

Thanks to Betty Herbert. “The goods are not ‘afternoonified’ enough for me.


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Fairy Tales

As tickets go on sale for

a tasty piece about  [for Grown-Ups] appears on p8 of Hampshire View Magazine this month.

Tessa Ditner, also know as @Culture Kiddo, writes about the 11 contributing writers who will be reading on 23 Oct in Portsmouth Guildhall as the launch event for Portsmouth BookFest 2014. Tessa tells amusing tales

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Insomniac Discoveries

Sometimes in the dark small hours, I leaf through books I’ve forgotten I’ve downloaded. I’m not an electronic reader by nature, but the pale glow of the phone is less disturbing than even the most discreet nightlight.

Canongate’s celebration of their 40th anniversary looked a neat giveaway when I spotted it.  Still a free ebook, it features a host of

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Knocker-up [Wednesday Word]

Knocker-up, Knocker-upper [noun]  A job in the Victorian era: a human alarm clock

I have read that pea-shooters were another option.

“It’s a ticklish job, with some of the heavy sleepers. They take such a lot of hammering to wake ‘em that the neighbours don’t like it; and he’s been pelted from windows and had water chucked down on

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Bampot [Wednesday Word]

Bampot [noun]  Insane person, nutter

In honour of my home nation of bampots voting Thursday. #indyref

Portsmouth Fairy Tales launch

Portsmouth Fairy Tales is a collection of wild and wonderful stories by talented friends of mine, ranging from the futuristic to the fatalistic, from memoir to noir. It features crime writers, fairy tales, magic realism, science fiction, a wolf, a whale, a frog, a flea and an elephant on Southsea beach.

Picture by Nick Ingamells

Sergeant Lawless

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Writer [Wednesday Word]

Writer: a peculiar organism capable of transforming caffeine into books.

It was via Pinterest I found this definition of our unruly trade. I was testing its veracity today  where this exquisite flat white blew my head off. The best

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Numpty [the Wednesday Word]

Scotland. As a dreich afternoon in Perthshire reflects the current dark pallor of the nation’s mood, gorged on intoxicating rhetoric and hot referendum debates, it seems apt to share a word dear to all Scots to decribe their enemies, their friends, and most of all themselves.

Courtesy of a Scots dictionary tea towel purchased at the mighty Gretna Green services. Along

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Dancing on the Dead

Campbell Lawless is having a few sneaky outings between novels. Thanks to performances and magazines, Lawless has ventured into the short fiction format, encountering Delinquents in Pentonville, Pickpockets at Piccadilly, and Three tasty little Piglets in Portsmouth’s Spice Island. These will be collected anon into a tidy little volume, and the Portsmouth Fairy Tales contributions may be heard in Portsmouth

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Bookish terminology [the Wednesday word]

Do you book shimmy? Here is some bookish terminology culled from the nice people at

I particularly recognise the book shimmy. Ooh. Mmm.

And Book Hangover is the excuse I gave my philosophy teacher at a 9am tutorial after reading 100 Years of Solitude all night instead of writing my essay.

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