Climbing Trees Backwards published early April 2018

November 26, 2017 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
This contemporary romance was published early April 2018 and is available in both print  –  hard and soft back  –  and all electronic forms. Order from your local bookstore.  

Publicity for my photo essay, Alien Feet, Artsmill Winter Exhibition, Hebden Bridge

November 10, 2016 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
Artsmill Winter Exhibition

Ullapool Music Festival Weekend 2016

October 23, 2016 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
Ullapool is more than a name on a Highland map. More than a port where seafarers savour and devour dry land, relax from the vagaries of a heartless, conscienceless ocean, rich in bounty. More than a tourist destination I fell upon in 1968. Bedded for the night I explored the town.  Along Shore Street to the ferry terminal where I still recall bright red gas cylinders upright awaiting collection, to West Terrace, then parallel to the Ullapool River, strolled Castle Terrace, to meander (and meet) the A835. This highway, with various number changes,  leads to  Durness, where a short trip to Cape Wrath awaits the adventurous.  I remember that hamlet too. The creative community that was  –  is   –  Balnakeil, and the old A35 van being dragged from a  sandy track  by a large army truck. Relieved I gave the guys enough money for several pints: once more my bacon saved. Once more a scouse accent bonding solidarity with strangers. Another trip, years later, revealed a memorial garden to John Lennon who visited relations as a child.   Ullapool is a cultural and gastronomic delight.  Its tiny, huddled streets, a redoubt from the worst vagaries of Highland winters. Music, impromptu, […]

Alien Feet

October 11, 2016 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
Alien feet   Memo from:  William Blake To:              Jerusalem   “And did those feet …” I know I’ve heard it thousands of times; massed choirs chorused voices proudly sang it myself in school shivers down the spine, hearts bulged by being chosen as different on this  land eons ago He walked upon sandal footed a belief we embraced loved seized it as ours Jerusalem! cradle of our holy civilisation wholly alien dark skinned middle eastern wandered Africa mendicant foreigner. We sing of Him in joy gifted honoured in the name of Holy Ghost son of cymbals crash in bands bald northern folk ruddy faced, fat southerners complacent hear them sing uplifted full throated foreign feet green and pleasant land upon our shores sure of the welcome a seeker of truth spiritual enlightenment peace found a haven from thoughts that would kill you knowing you returned and were crucified (temporarily) stranger alien in our green and pleasant land     In thrall we followed the foreigner Declared our allegiance Monarchs Nobles Peoples Built edifices to His memory We christened children Baptised the virtuous Priests preached morality Forgiveness Self control Stoicism In the face of adversity Mercator became bright red (or was […]

The Abe and Dave Chronicles

November 23, 2015 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
Hi Abe, Reading your angry, distraught and depressed message in France: cinema bar, Black singer, ‘got the world on a string’. Solo piano plonks melodiously, bluesy and heart affirming. Spent morning on the dunes after a night of downpouring, so flowers sprung and sprouted. Mauve edged with white, vascular white streaks on each of the five petals. Profusion clumped next to Atlantic detritus. Leaden clouds, lazily scudding overlooking tiny fried eggs of flowers. Yellow hearts with snow white petals, bees humming collecting pollen to DNA further appreciated profusions. A large black beetle staggers across the sand, whilst the tide ineluctably pulls against the pine littoral. Silly little bugger gets washed out then back again; illegal immigrant urge surging its minuscule black heart, eh? I do the decent thing, after all I’m a bourgeois Englishman abroad, so I picked it up and placed it in a drier spot. I desisted from the kiss of life, I’m not sure it would have been appreciated: do you, old man? The café dog just shit by the bar and its irate female owner picked it up, slapping it a couple of times about the chops. Startled, maybe frightened, the dog began yelping, bitch in […]

The Abe and Dave Chronicles

November 17, 2015 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
Hi Able Questions for you – if your infernally insane teaching schedule doesn’t derail you first! Do we own our lives or are we a container for someone’s life to carry forward past lives? A living haze interpreting our own world through the norms and previous experiences of others – primarily parents. Should we interpret our opportunities, and the world, through the life of those who are dead, and through the eyes of those who began their own journey in conditions vastly different than we do? Are we able to admit other voices, interests, classes, places, religion, expectations, prejudices, have more power over us than we do? Isn’t this the struggle to assert our own free will? So, are we a shell, empty of ourselves but crowded with other memories and socialisations, or an authentic body complete with our individual desires, wishes, ambitions and loves? I’ve always considered power – both personally and socially – the most important thing to have to overcome external influence, to use faith and confidence to achieve. What’s your power? Where is it, more importantly, how do you use it? External power: what is it, where is it, and how is it used to limit […]

The Abe and Dave Chronicles

November 16, 2015 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
I am pondering your point. It’s a clever question because we cannot predict what outcomes there will be from the consequences of our actions. Therefore how can we know what we will or will not regret? We can always regret lack of action, but if unforeseen consequences of actions are worse than we anticipated then the regret may be more. Maybe that’s your point. What ifs are pointless because we cannot possibly know the real outcomes of them. We can only speculate with the same rose tinted glasses that we often see the past and other people’s lives. I cannot believe I am writing this as I am the greatest what if person in the world and it is this fear of unforeseen consequences that has always stopped me being too adventurous in the past. Or to put it another way: the paradigm I have always stuck too is both comforting and frustrating. Are the two inevitable bed fellows? We stop being frustrated when we have a crises in our lives. It is in the mundane day to day activities that we see too clearly our limitations. We build up these comfortable walls and then want to demolish them. Only […]

The Abe and Dave Chronicles

November 16, 2015 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
Hi Dave, Are you enjoying your retirement at present, or what? We received your post card from somewhere in France. Writing a bit hard to read. Did you eat many frogs? I should get on. Regards, Abe   OK Bollox, I hope the right side of Yorkshire went well. I had a lovely time with Ron and Della and have been invited back in autumn for cepe picking. Might stay for a while as there’s not much happening here in the great retiree ennui of Siberian style exile. No good complaining about your lack of money ‘cos education will never pay anything but piss nuts and lumpy cold vomit. I don’t care a camel hump who owes an email: me or you? I think my dream like existence in retirement sends me to places only the socially deprived, the long term unemployed or those dependent on social, marooned in sinking estates, inhabit. Or, maybe being buggered in a gay sauna. No, Eton. Now, where did that slip out from? Yours Dave   I’m totally fucked, spending most evenings recovering from my day time efforts. Am I too old to go gallivanting to become a stand up comedian? I should have […]

Coarse Silk: Volume Four of Billy Day’s Story

November 15, 2015 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
And he’s screaming in the night again, and I’m seven or eight, and the noise wells and fills our tiny flat, and I’ve no thoughts to what our neighbours must be thinking. It goes on and on and on. I’m frightened the ceiling might fall on top of me, his screams shifting an avalanche of plaster: white, heavy, choking and breath ending. Were the final memories in my life to be the crashing and splintering of plaster, with Dad’s pained voice, his mouth a volcano, threatening to engulf the living daylights from me? I pee myself again and place my head beneath the blankets. There until the morning, when I thought it was safe to emerge from my cavernous under world of damp safety, I lay hidden. Then Mum started on me: another slap and more tears. I can’t repeat what she’d say to me. I want to, but find it impossible. It would be no more possible than holding my hands up to a gale, capturing it in my palms, an’ pushing down my pockets for safe keeping. I don’t want to remember those times in any detail: I’ve lived it and that’s enough for me. It’s what it […]

Coarse Silk: Volume Four of Billy Day’s Story

November 15, 2015 by Richard Lyon in Blog 0 comments
She was a dreamer who wanted another person to make them real. Expecting my Dad to love her, carry her, cushion her from the unpleasantries of normal life she lacked the guts to confront. He couldn’t. Not then. Too many other things, real unpleasantries crowded his mind for attention. Why is that dreams cause so much trouble? I mean, they don’t exist in the world I live in, do they: or maybe they do in yours? They inhabit that stuff your skull protects, and even then only when you sleep, yet there was my Dad and my Mum, having glorious dreams of a love happy ever after life. A never ending something that turned sour when they awoke from their slumbering dreams. But they thought it was real enough to bring me into the world they imagined was forever. It never felt like that for me: honest. Did I have some foreboding, some sixth sense that life would go pear shaped and that Dad and me would be left to fend for ourselves? The old man didn’t, that’s for sure. And me: would you believe me if I admitted that even as a young kid I sensed life would be […]