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Once a Head waiter to a Duke, then a Window Cleaner, Dumper truck driver, Market Trader, Chef, Salesman, Company Director and finally retired for parts of the year to Greece from the age of 52.
The above tells the tale quite lucidly, a Jack of all trades by nature, but without a doubt the master of none. But hey, who is these days?
So now I write, paint, create music animations on youtube and sculpt faces from small local rocks, I tend a big garden, make wine from my own vines, grow vegetables and generally catch up on all of those little pleasantries of life that a lack of time denied me when I was younger.
I hold a regular article slot in a local newspaper, and write about whatever catches my interest at any particular time.
To date I have three published fiction novels and two non fiction histories, one on the island of Crete, the second studying the reign of King Henry VIII. More writing is in the pipeline at various stages of completion which would have sent my old English Literature teacher bald as she advocated working to a rigid format and plan, alas my mind and efforts go to whatever takes my fancy and at a time to fit in with the rest of my busy existence
I also enter writing competitions, one of which I spy on this very website and I will be duly putting my mind to creating something in due course.
All of this Brexit malarkey brings back to mind a book I wrote in 2004 about the European Union going rogue, making the UK a vassal state then closing it down... Sound familiar? Tony Blair and Mandelson were our PM and 'Prince of Darkness' back then. My book 'Looking Forward to the Past' has just been republished, watch the video if you will to get a flavour.
King Henry VIII ruled over England from 1509 – 1547. His subject thought him wonderful and yet history tells a different tale. Watch this short one minute video to see how much you knew about him.
When my father sadly passed away some years ago he left me as the proud owner of a packet of pipe cleaners...among other things. As a none smoker the question came to mind of what exactly does one do with such amazingly versatile objects? So with a long history of painting and drawing for fun, I decided to have a go at creating a simple animation using pen, artist pad, plastercine, digital camera and computer. I chose the theme of a Kevin Ayres record that I have long enjoyed called ‘The Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes' and started my production. My resulting video can viewed on Youtube by searching ‘Hobson Tarrant' and if modesty permits I must admit to some pride in the appreciative comments based upon its naive charm. Spurred on by enjoyment of the task I invested in ever better systems and programs to develop a long progression of mainly tongue in cheek music cartoons. The process of developing my skills took me down numerous roads, one particularly opened the doors to the production of Digital Art, which I now use primarily for t-shirt or merchandise designs sold through an online retailer called Redbubble. As in all my creative works, I am freelance and will happily discuss any needs or projects for online development.
When I was young ‘creative writing' was a term of mysticism. “Writer's do that! Special people, with qualifications.” This seed was sewn by a teacher at school... “Creative Writers are born,” she'd say, names like Dickens, Wilde and Orwell, were woven into her words, yet her meaning was plain: ‘You lowly children won't aspire to such heights'. Well on that count she was probably right, but this begs the question of why us lesser mortals still settle to write creatively? Clearly if the aim is fame or fortune, then few will achieve their desired rewards. Yet if writing becomes the medium for the release of one's imagination, then the purpose can be cathartic, not to mention opening hidden doors to readers, inviting them to follow on your magical journey of fantasy. To me the act of writing is better than watching a movie, as I don't often have the faintest inkling of where the tale will lead. For some reason my mind refuses to stay confined to a pre-defined plan. My fingers play the keys unrestrained to a tune only heard by my imagination, whilst often my conscious self merely sits here like a lemon and watches. “What Tosh!” I hear you say, but it's true, with 5 published books to prove it.
I was lost in the emptiness of the passage of time, but this wasn't being lost in hope, far from it, this was simply a period between this and that, a collation of ticks of the clock that stared at me vacantly. “So what are we doing next, watching the daily news...Again? Yes that mind numbing collage of stories, what Victoria Beckham had for lunch last Wednesday or Teresa May mud wrestling with Boris for the big seat at the table? You need the attention span of a small snail on a giant cannabis plant to find that satisfying.” Intimidated I reached for the pair of spectacles that actually focus with clarity given my aging eyes. “Now we're talking! Let's do some writing...What's the subject?” “Does it matter? I'll let my fingers tinkle away, then maybe tidy up at the edges.” “Is it that writing competition you read about?” “Possibly, time will tell.” “Well I'll tell you now! Tinkling fingers won't cut the mustard. You need a plan, a story, maybe a sad tale they always go down well, what about a rhyme about your Granny's knitting wool and throw in a cute kitten.” “What planet are you on? You know as well as me that Granny hadn't the first idea about knitting. Plus she was allergic to cats, or so she said after one nicked her sardines on toast while she was gassing on the phone. You obviously forget that my dear sweet old Granny was more hooked on betting shops, strong lager and Karaoke, than cuddly scenes with soft animals on the sofa.” “Alright I was only trying to help. But if you do go in for this competition thing, then please write something people will actually want to read, not your usual ‘passing the time' drivel.” “Drivel? Thank you very much! Do I hear a subtle suggestion that my time would be better spent listening to radio 4?” “No, I didn't mean that, your stuff can be very good, it's just that sometimes, well, you can go a bit ‘off the wall', do you hear what I'm saying?” “Message received! Besides an idea just rolled up the flagpole.” “Dare I ask?” “Of course... Now did I ever mention when I learnt to fly an aeroplane?” “Countless times, but carry on, I don't doubt that someone, somewhere is on the edge of their seat waiting to hear about your First Solo!” “Ok... So it wasn't a big plane, small in fact, a two seater, quite old, twenty odd years or so.” “Twenty seven it was last time.” “Whatever... Anyway it had all the requisites, two wings, an engine and a propeller, so that was all to the good.” “I'm getting bored already, what's on Radio 4?” “Alright, I'll cut to the chase.... Warm up circuits done, landed, instructor jumps out and declares ‘All yours chummy!'...Bugger! I thought.” “Tell them about your two passengers.” “No hang on! So there's me alone in this small cockpit ready for takeoff for the first time on my own, knees trembling, dying for a pee, some pesky fly starts landing on my nose.” “The broken door!” “No ignore that, I've only got 1000 words and it didn't swing open so we'll give that a miss.” “I thought to build up the suspense?” “Who's writing this me or you?” “Sorry!” “So I lined up, hit the throttle and away we raced down the runway.” “That's when Biggles chipped in!” “No! Well yes actually. So there's me sweating on a good takeoff when this fighter flyboy type voice pipes up.” ‘Tally Ho Roger!” He shouts, “Up we go into the clouds Matey, Up, up and away!' he starts to sing... ” “I know that tune, Up up and away-y-y-y, So what happened then?” “Well, up we went, truth is I was too busy to clock when he stopped. Golf Sierra Whiskey, downwind. I remember calling in to the tower next.” “Then the odd chap?” “I wish you wouldn't keep chipping in! But yes, another voice comes from behind, this was a frightened, whimpering little chap type voice, round spectacles, comb over hair and carpet slippers came to mind.” “We're too low!” he whinged, “the fuel gage looks on empty? What was that cracking noise?” I tried not to listen, but he did start me panicking a little. “Go round!” He shouted, I never found out why, “Oh my gosh we're all doomed! Look out it's a bird! Was that thunder?...Abort! Abort!” My palms were beginning to sweat. Then Biggles shouted him down. “Don't listen to that dishcloth Ace!.. Full throttle! Hard right rudder!.. Victory roll.. How about a loop?.. Yippee!... Come on Ace show em what you're made of!” My mind was going blank, all the checks and routines were going to pot, I stared at approaching runway but all I could think of were the two voices rebounding around the cockpit, my first solo landing, surely not a good time to dig an aging aircraft into an early grave.” “We're all going to die!”... “Buzz the tower Ace!” The soft rumble of wheels touching the runway miraculously sent my world quiet. “Well done Golf Sierra Whiskey, nice landing.” The radio crackled. Somehow I had got me and my aging plane with the broken door home safely. I was one step closer to becoming a qualified aviator. Peace and serenity were mine... Until next time!