It is 1962. 

In Vietnam the US Air Force spray South Vietnamese forests with Agent Orange. 

Margaret, aged ninety-two, is dressed all in black. Her widow’s weeds are not of the regal flouncy variety once favoured by Victoria and her progeny but the simple black of a working-class Welsh woman and therefore almost identical with her counterparts right across the mainland of Europe.

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Problems with this weeks post.

You may have noticed this weeks story was first published incorrectly and without a link to the content earlier in the week. My web editor has no understanding as to why.

This weeks story, Cowboys, published this morning – as it was set up to do – but for some reason the system has not sent out a message notifying my followers – again, we don’t know why.

Hopefully this was a rogue event and future posts will go out as they should.

You can connect to, and read this weeks story, from the link shown below.


Sorry for the confusion.




John and Rob are eleven and have been saving their pocket money for months. They want to buy two six-guns from the toyshop next to the bus stop they pass each day on the number 46 to school. 

On Saturday the bus has hardly stopped when they jump off. They are anxious. Will the two silver six-guns still be in the window?

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Evan sits in his armchair beside the coal fire holding a copy of the South Wales Echo in front of him; the newspaper is upside down. 

His two teenage nephews, Mick and Ken, stand in the doorway whispering.
He’s not reading, Mick says.
Nobody reads upside down, Ken answers.
He’s always hiding from us.

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Billy Spider

Billy Spider is admitted, via A&E at Guy’s Hospital, London, to a vacant bed in a mixed surgical ward. He’s been in a fight. He refuses to sleep in the bed he’s offered; he’s a regular at Guy’s, has a temper and is thus allowed to sleep under his bed in a blanket. He’s eighty years old and can’t remember where he was born; he only knows his date of birth, 1896, because it’s tattooed on his penis. His body is entirely covered in tattoos; his head is decorated with a tattoo of a huge spider.

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