Sunday, 20 June 2021

Me and Abe Lincoln










Another Father's Day, and yet another year without my old pop. Here we are in New York, well over half my lifetime ago. I fucking hated that 'Abraham Lincoln' beard he'd decided to grow, but now I'd give anything to give that bristly chin a cheeky scratch. Miss you Dad x

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Over the rainbow ..

rainbow, countryside










After three years, I'm still trying to get my books published, and I was rather encouraged to hear that the daughter of a friend of mine has just had her work accepted, until she told me that it had taken ... FOURTEEN years for that to happen!

I'll be almost 75 in fourteen years. I hope I've still got my marbles about me to enjoy all the acclaim, the TV shows, the book tours, the wine, the women, the song ..

Ah, dream on, Martin. Still, it's a nice dream .. the publication, that is, not the wine, women and song. One just needs to keep one's chin up as one trundles along that long and unforgiving road. 

There must be gold at the end of the rainbow ..


Sunday, 23 May 2021

To Dad ..










It's twelve years today since my Dad died. Here he is around 1980, aged about 47. Sharing a flat with him in my twenties, I was never short of a model whenever I needed to test a new lens, or a new way of lighting. He absolutely loved having his photograph taken, and you can see why. He really was a handsome bastard ..

This week, my Carte de Sejour finally came through .. my legal permission to live here in France. I was delighted, of course, but one of the things that cheered me most was the reaction from people who saw my card. Wow, they said, you look just like your Dad. Ha ..

Love you, Dad ..


Thursday, 29 April 2021

The wait goes on ..








"A good read."

"Your powers of description are excellent."

 "The characters are nicely portrayed, to the extent that they're easy to visualise. I can even hear their accents."

 Just some of the compliments coming in for my latest book, called SNAPS, which is out now in .. absolutely no form whatsoever! (So a big thank you to the patient pals who've taken the time to read the stuff I've sent them!)

No, sadly, I still haven't had any publishing interest in my work and am now seeing that as a badge of honour. Hey, if it took 47 attempts to get Booker prize winner Shuggie Bain into print then I'm right on track!

I'm sure success is just around the corner, though. I can feel it in my bones. The best-seller list beckons for both SNAPS and my first book, intriguingly entitled Page 99, by Joe Bancroft. Both are based on photography. 99 is semi-autobiographical, and SNAPS is the completely fictional story of the South Neldon Amateur Photographic Society. Well, they do say 'write about what you know,' don't they?

 So, any literary agents out there reading my blog? I'll be home all day if you want to get in touch!

Meantime, a nice shot of my Mum, taking my picture in about 1974. Question is, where's my Mum's bloody picture of me ..?

Friday, 19 March 2021

No ordinary Joe ..













I'm marking Saint Joseph's Day with a photograph of my favourite 'Joes' .. my Dad and my Grandad.

In the Catholic Church, Joseph is the patron saint of workers and, in these two guys, the name couldn't have been more apt. Man, they were grafters ..

My Grandad always used to tell me he was a gravedigger and, to this day, I'm not sure whether or not he was joking. I know he used to scare me to death with stories of ghostly sightings in the graveyard ..

As for my Dad, the poor fella never stopped working, right up until the day, way back in the early 80s, when he was made redundant. Talk about being thrown on the scrapheap .. 

Tonight I'll raise a glass of Guinness to these two strong Ulstermen, now both long gone. And to Dad, an extra special thank you. He gave me the middle name of Joseph and, today, I couldn't be more proud .. 

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Hail Mary ..







A year ago today we dashed out in the morning for one last bike ride before a noon lock-down kicked into being ..

That's it. End of blog. Well, it's not as if I'm the only person in the world to be going through this, is it? No, it's just an excuse to show you one of my travel shots, this one from Brazil showing care-free holidays and a bit of intercession from The Virgin Mary. Two things we're probably all praying for, right now ..  

Monday, 22 February 2021

Just like the old days ..







This weekend I did something I've not done in a long time. I unwrapped the cellophane from around a new CD ..

(I almost feel that, at this point, I should explain to younger readers exactly what a CD is!)

How exciting it was to open up that clear little box and listen to versions of songs I've never heard before. It brought it all back. All that rushing to record shops to buy the new Blondie single, and waiting outside HMV for The Smiths latest album. I can even remember when CDs came into my life, picking them up second-hand in America and then having to buy a CD player when I got back to the UK ..

My friend says I'm stuck in the past when it comes to my taste in music but I try, I really try, to listen to new stuff that I might like. The trouble is, I don't like it. Music really was better in my day (© My Dad, circa 1978)

So yes, it's been a long time since I bought a new CD. The irony is, it was a CD of Manchester band The Diagram Brothers 'Peel Sessions' recordings, which came out in 1980 ..

Ooops ..