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3 days ago

Two wheels good.

Neil Smith · I’ve owned three motorbikes during separate and distinct parts of my life. · The first was a Honda CG125, a classic first bike used by many thousands of people. They were light; cheap to buy, cheap to run and amazingly reliable. They gave about a hundred miles to the gallon and t ...

1 month ago

Political violence.

Neil Smith · The murder of the English politician David Amess has made all sorts of news headlines but the media discussion, above and below the line veers from sanctifying him to justifying his murder. In the midst of the vilification and hagiography there’s a real man with a real life who h ...

2 months ago

Down but not out in Paris. Part one

Neil Smith · ‘Vous voulez laver les vassailles?’ · ‘Oui.’ · ‘Mais Pourquoi?’ · I then pushed the absolute limits of my schoolboy French attempting to explain to the bemused man across the desk that I was inspired by George Orwell’s description of life as a scullion in ‘Down and out in Paris a ...

2 months ago

On the road again

Neil Smith · I enjoy writing. It’s not the torture that some experience and the only major problem I have with it is that Life gets in the way too much. Without work, socialising and personal hygiene, there would be more time spent pecking away at a keyboard but a need to eat and not live in ...

6 months ago

Darkness on the Edge of (London) Town

Neil Smith · 1984/85 was my final year of high school. I was no great student, didn’t like school and was a shy, insecure outsider. I stayed on for sixth year because I had no idea what I was going to do with myself after school and many of the traditional options had been eliminated by the T ...

3 years ago

Happy Lansings

Neil Smith · This is the final part of an unreliable memoir of early travels in the USA from an unreliable author. The events below all happened a long time ago and my memory of them is partial and uneven. In fact, it's probably best to not pay any attention to it at all. Any names used are f ...

3 years ago

War and Family.

Neil Smith · Apart from the genetic inheritance I don’t have much from William Leslie, my maternal grandfather. He died a fair while back and we last met when I was about two years old. Mostly he exists in my mind as a collection of fuzzy, black and white photos. Pictures of a man I hardly kn ...

4 years ago


Neil Smith · Back in the “Good old days” of my 1970s youth there were really only two kinds of rucksacks to choose from. One was the small knapsack used by county council road menders to hold tea and sandwiches and the other was the larger army rucksack used by people who charged around field ...

5 years ago

It’s Your Funeral.

Neil Smith · This was written for the website of an Irish funeral director. It was a bit out of my “Writing about sport” comfort zone and took a long time to get started. Once I had a start the rest just fell out onto the screen. The piece was specific to Ireland but obviously the situation i ...

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