Monthly Archives: September 2011


Trolley Rage


Hello dear readers. I write this as I try to calm my nerves and steady my racing pulse – my heart is at this moment trying it’s very best to pump large quantities of blood around my poor aging system at record pace. I’m sorry to say that this is a quite regular occurrence and had absolutely nothing at all to do with a good old dose of healthy exercise (I gave that up years ago once I’d worn my knees out pounding the roads – yes I was quite fit at one point many, many, many eons ago). Nor is it the result of some congenital malady (though I have studied the statistics and according to various ‘authorities’ I am now a prime candidate for some kind of coronary attack – I just have to wait and see which particular variety I will be gifted; I’m not sure which one I’d prefer (none if I really had a choice) but I think if I am going to shuffle off into another universe then I’d much prefer the version one of my all time heroes, John Peel, was unlucky to suffer, very briefly: the drop down dead in your tracks variety –I know it doesn’t give much chance for ‘good byes’ but it saves any lingering pain (and when it comes to any pain I am a complete sissy).


No dear readers, the real reason for my increased heart rate and red face (a bane for all us fair skinned folk – I think I even have a few freckles left under those hard earned lines), is my usual Saturday morning shopping trip. Now unlike many people I actually like shopping, I enjoy the discovery of a bargain amongst the rotting oranges and putrefying tomatoes. I even enjoy listening to the music, sometimes tunes I wouldn’t normally give the time of day to get my feet fair skipping across the mottled tiles!


Yes it can get a little boring doing this activity every Saturday, so I do like to vary the routine a little by rotating my visits to two or three large supermarket chains  (I couldn’t possibly mention Morrison’s, ASDA and, when I’m feeling a little flush with cash, Tesco). I have to profess to a pride when it comes to ASDA and especially Morrisons; both are of course born and bred in West Yorkshire just like me and Morrisons is actually from my home town of Bradford! I once, up until a very short time ago, walked my dear beloved dog past their head quarters twice daily (and he took great pleasure in anointing the haloed ground). I still like to shop there, it reminds me of home (not the actual lay out or colour schemes you understand, I don’t have swathes of yellow decorations at home and I don’t pipe Take That into every room; no I like to read the Bradford address on their own brand packaging, it almost brings a tear to my eyes).


Despite the differences in branding and sometimes culture that these establishments have, they do unfortunately attract a type of creature that, were I to meet them in normal circumstances (riots, cocktail parties etc) I would probably end the evening having found my long lost soul mates. But place them amongst the aisles and products of your typical supermarket and they turn into ‘shopping cows’.


Like their bovine name sakes they are more likely to fix you with a ‘dead’ stare than acknowledge your existence and just as likely to barge into you, sending you face first into a carefully arranged display of custard creams (which I’m not keen on incidentally – I much prefer anything with coconut, though I’ve never actually tried a real coconut, I think the hairy outside puts me off).


There is nothing worse when you’re intent on winning that week’s Supermarket Grand Prix or at least beating your fastest time (so far 40 minutes and 20 second for a full family shop – I did lose a few packets of cereal along the way and a bunch of bananas but they were bruised anyway), than a ‘shopping cow’ lumbering into your path!


But I’m a naturally calm person, I can see that their minds are elsewhere, perhaps still sat at home waiting for the X Factor or calculating if an extra tin of beans is maybe a little too expensive given they have already splashed out on quilted toilet roll. So I let the anger and disappointment simmer, gather myself to continue and then get back into action – sometimes I find that the rush or adrenalin actually helps me and I do manage a faster time! Today though was quit appalling and I forgot the sausage rolls, the ‘cows’ were everywhere!


Anyway I can feel my cheeks losing some of that red heat and I think my heart is slowing (but hopefully not too much). Now where did I put those coconut macaroons?


Copyright John D Rhodes 2011




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On the Benefits of Having a Woman’s Brain


On the Benefits of Having a Woman’s Brain


I once completed one of those online quizzes the BBC are so good at supplying, via one of the numerous ‘science’ pages on their fairly successful website (alright very successful but I’m sure within a few hundred years you will all be speaking of mine in the same exalted tones).


I’m not usually one to take the time for this type of thing, I much prefer resting my brain these days than answering questions. My brain is getting very foggy, I have great difficulty for instance finding the instructions for opening my eyes first thing in the morning or remembering to actually turn the kettle on before pouring the water, cold off course, into my cup; but this particular quiz dangled a tantalising question before my (now open) eyes: ‘What sex is your brain?’. Being the inquisitive person I am, I just had to give it go.


Now I’m a man. The clue may well be in my name but, as you do actually find the odd Mary etc who is (was) a man, rather than a lady (hello all you John Wayne fans), then why not a few ladies named John or Dave or Herbert (I’m not going to count ladies here who wrote under a male pseudonym, George Elliot et al, I know they had their reasons but they were not legally named as such)?


I will confess here and now, I have no penchant for wearing lady clothes (though in the heat of a hot summer’s day, I can well see the benefit of a nice short skirt to help with the cooling of the nether regions).


I don’t wear make up, it does no good for my skin and I’m glad I didn’t go through a big New Romantic phase; it would have done my delicate fair complexion no good at all.


And so on completing the said quiz, I well expected to be given a nice chunk of points and a clear ‘your brain is all man’ result. But no, apparently I have a predominantly female computer in my noggin! Yes I have to admit I did panic for a while and found my self very sensitive whilst out shopping; I didn’t want people to think I was overtly glancing at the likes of Women’s Weekly or Esquire.


Now all you men out there, I know a good proportion of you have at some point in time had a good old look at these very same or similar magazines. You can’t really miss them with their bright primary coloured fascias and eye catching headlines such as: ‘I Married a Teenage Zombie who ate my Liver as She Watched TV’ or ‘A Tree Grew on my Head and I was terrorised by Apple Pickers’! But I would guess that you do it surreptitiously, just in case somebody questions your manliness (and to those of you men who are quite brazen about it, I solute you but really there are far better magazines out there, and I don’t mean Penthouse or Razzle).


And I am very well aware that the male species (ok it is gender but stereotypical ‘evidence’ does seem to indicate two separate types of creature), has a reputation for being lazy, not knowing where the washing machine is or what it does, watching large amounts of sport and drinking copious amounts of alcohol (mainly beers, lager and bottles of whisky, usually from the same glass whilst whistling Dixie) etc.


But apparently, according to the very same quiz and its supporting information, having all the opposite characteristics (yes I do the tidying thing, I don’t like beer that much though I have been known to down a half a lager in one on a blazing hot day and I don’t like football – of either type) indicates a female brain but, and here is the important bit (you can relax guys) it has nothing to do with sexuality!


Of course in this cosmopolitan age (note lower case ‘c’ please), this should not be a huge surprise, the human animal comes in a whole spectrum of varieties, but I will in future try to stick to the more usual regular quiz type subjects, ‘Name your favourite films stars’, ‘Find out your IQ’, ‘Are you a Smurf’ etc. Much safer I think, especially at my age, I get confused too much as it is.







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My New Interview

Hello all!

Just a quick hello to say please check out my new interview on the Kindle Author web site.  Please take a little time to have a look:



John :O)

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Helpful Hands

Helpful Hands

And in this week’s news a dog so bendy it can see around corners, a clown with buttons for eyes, which flash in the dark on birthdays and a stripy fish that drinks shoe polish while dancing to Cliff Richard’s ‘Summer Holiday’ sung in Esperanto.

No, no please it’s ok you’ve not stepped into a parallel universe (one where it was I not JK who imagined a bespectacled boy wizard darn it!). This is simply an example of what can the big brown dog came lolloping over the hill. In short please be careful when putting your ideas down using a big red bus stopped in a puddle of chocolate mud. Unless you lock your laptop, pc or apple strudel is a bad rabbit with melting brains.

I particularly find that children can be the want to go to bed with a gallon of custard. If you are not entirely careful you could end up with a quite lovely sausages and eggs please. And then where will you be!

Please beware of helpful hands!


Copyright John D. Rhodes 2011

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Good News – Last Part of ‘On Finding His Feet’ is online NOW!

Good News – Last Part of ‘On Finding His Feet’ is online NOW!

I couldn’t keep it from you any longer so here it is!  Please click here or on the link at the top or to the right!

Find out what happens to Buster (the sentient dog) and Edgar (the almost sentient wizard type chap)!  Please enjoy and then please keep a watch out for the next story!


John 🙂

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Short Story – ‘On Finding His Feet’ – Pt 3 & 4 now ONLINE!

Hi all

Thought I’d upload Pt 3 and 4 this time so there is a bigger chunk of Buster and Edgar!  Please have a read – please click here  or on the link at the top or to the right! 

What peril are the pair in, will they escape and who are what is after them?  What mystery and mayhem awaits, will I get my cd player to work so that I can play some suitably sinister music as I write the ending?

Have fun and I look forward to your responses!

John :O)

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A Little Piece of My Past

Hi all

Many many years ago when I was but a young pup I had dreams…   sorry drifted off then back to the days of dark clubs throbbing with music, the smell of something sweet and funny (not me I always washed) and music music music!  Anyway I have some of that past on MySpace (remember that, it used to be the old Facebook) – please if you are on it (or want to sign up) or just want to visit please have a listen.






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