The Force Awakens

Last night we finally managed to surprise the children and take them to watch The Force Awakens at the cinema. Read on for my impressions of the film as an avid Star Wars fan.

*****There will be SPOILERS ahead*****


I’ve had my doubts for a long time now, and that’s probably why I wasn’t queuing at midnight on the day the film came out. That’s certainly something that part of me would consider doing. But ever since they announced that the Expanded Universe (EU) was no longer anything to do with the official Star Wars timeline, I’ve found myself emotionally distancing myself from the release of this film. My kids have been going mad. “When are we going to see it? When are we going to see it?” is all I’ve heard for the past few weeks. If it was up to me, I’d probably wait until the DVD came out. But that would be more than a little unfair, as I’ve shaped them into the Star Wars fans that they are… know what I mean. Action figures, Star Wars lego (by the ton), books, games, DVDs: you name it, they’ve almost certainly got it. So last night, off we went. Their little faces when we turned into the cinema, after pretending we were going shopping, were an absolute picture as you can well imagine. Not long afterwards… started!


Calmly sitting back watching the film open, I was reminded of going to see the first Star Wars film with my grandfather in 1977. I can recall clearly both of us giving each other looks of absolute amazement throughout the film, and him and I being blown away by it on leaving. I was only nine at the time, but it always seemed to me from that day forth we shared an unspoken bond. That played on my mind a lot last night. The introduction, music and writing scrolling down the screen certainly evoked the right emotions. Perhaps all of my worries had been for nothing? Perhaps these were the right people to safeguard the legacy?

Watching expectantly in hope that all of my dreams would be delivered, it felt for me as though things were on a knife edge. I couldn’t possibly predict which way it would go. Just as a feeling of ‘it isn’t going to go well, because it all looks rather sandy and a lot like Luke Skywalker’s home planet’ started to swirl about in my stomach, the Millenium Falcon appeared as a complete surprise, totally out of nowhere. I inched forward on the edge of my seat. My favourite spacecraft flying again brought renewed hope, despite the fact that the pilots weren’t who I’d hoped they would be. But it didn’t take long for Han and Chewie to make their entrance, one that would have had so much more impact had I not already seen it strewn across the internet. That would have been the emotional impact, the goose bumps up my arm, had I not already seen it. Why on earth didn’t they save it for the film? To make everybody go…..of course. Things moved on at pace, but I wanted to know more about my favourite characters. There was of course no time for that. But a couple of questions immediately dropped into my mind. Finn and Rey thought the Falcon was being boarded by stormtroopers and were unleashing a poison gas. You never see them stop unleashing the gas. They didn’t know it was Han and Chewie. What was that all about? As well, Han and Chewie were transporting very dangerous creatures for money, something that becomes apparent. You don’t learn much more than that, but to me it seemed out of place. Looking a little like slavery, but maybe not, it doesn’t seem like something that either would do. Han despises slavery, having set Chewie free from the Empire’s grip, hence Chewbacca’s life debt to him, while Chewie would never have let Han become involved in something like that. Of all the things the two of them could be doing when they came across the Falcon, this really shouldn’t have been it. Not very well thought out, methinks.


Quickly the action moves on to a noisy bar full of aliens, music playing in the background. So we’ve had the sandy planet, and now we have the bar. I’m having more than a little deja vu. Not for the last time. Luke’s lightsaber appears out of nowhere, without any explanation, before the enemy arrives hunting for the new band of heroes. Cue action, explosions, fire fights, a very brief lightsaber sparring session, before the rebels arrive, albeit just a fraction too late. It seemed a little hasty, and Han using Chewbacca’s bowcaster seemed totally wrong. It isn’t something he would, should, or could do. He should be barely able to lift it, but that definitely isn’t the case. Wrong! Just wrong. I thought so at the time, and then amazingly, he goes on to use it later on in the film. For goodness’ sake. But we move on. To something I was rather looking forward to, and something which the film was building up to: Han and Leia meeting up again. Given their relationship throughout the previous films, and as we go on to learn, the fact that they have a son together, you can assume that they might even have been married, but their reunion after so much time is just little in the way of anything. No emotions, no nothing. If you ever come across the expanded universe books, you should read them for many reasons, one being the relationship between these two. I’ll say no more. But we do go on to learn that the evil Jedi (no mention of Sith) is none other than Han and Leia’s son. Now to most who didn’t know this (and I’ve tried hard to stay away from any spoilers over the last few weeks, so I didn’t know) it might well have had the same kind of impact as finding out that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. Perhaps that was the intention. But Han and Leia’s son turning into an out of control evil Jedi is straight out of the expanded universe. Talk about taking the mickey. The writers must have worked really hard to come up with that one. Where on earth do they get such fabulous ideas?

So what’s the threat from the ex-Empire that the so called rebels have to stop? Oh that’s right, a planet sized machine that can destroy multiple planets. Funny….sounds familiar. You kind of mean like a Death Star Mk3, only it harnesses the power of a sun. Again, it must have taken ages to come up with that. So back to base for the heroes for a quick conflab about what to do. Low and behold there’s a weakness in the planet destroying machine…..REALLY! I didn’t see that one coming. But the shields need taking down. NO! By a small assault team. It’s beyond my wildest imagination. I don’t suppose there will be any Ewoks will there? So yes, basically the plot of Return of the Jedi. BRILLIANT!


So off go the small assault team, lead familiarly by Han Solo. They blow up the shields, but not before Han dies by his son’s lightsaber. All Chewie does is howl, and fire a couple of shots in the son’s direction. I’m really sorry, but Chewie owes Han a life debt. If you knew anything at all about Wookies, you’d bloody well know that he’d do a damn sight more than that. Pathetic! As Han dies, it cuts back to Leia, who I suppose is feeling his death through the force…’s not very clear. You’d think there might be a bit more feeling, (falling to her knees, crying, yelling…..that kind of thing), but it looks as though she’s suffering from a severe bout of wind, or has had the seafood for dinner. Poor doesn’t begin to cover it.

Back to the action: the explosives are set off, the heroes flee into the snowy forest, the shields come down, the X-wings attack, and just to add insult to injury, out of nowhere, there appears a trench for them to attack the weakness in the weapon, one that wasn’t there before when they were attacking it from the air. A trench? I’m sure I’ve seen something like that before. But where? Oh yes…..more deja vu. Muppets! By this time I’m long since ready to walk out, and if my kids weren’t there, I would have. Oh well, nearly over. What on earth could make it any worse? The battle continues into the forest, with Han’s son chasing down Finn and Rey. Finn gets knocked unconscious with Luke’s lightsaber ending up buried, with just its tip showing in the snow. HANG ON! The lightsaber quivers and shakes gently, about to leap out of the snow. Uhhhh…..are there any Wampas about to show up? Seriously… just can’t make it up. So of course the lightsaber flies through the air to the hero…..cue fight, Chewie rescues them both in the Falcon, and they all fly away with the X-wings from the great big explosion. Totally original. NOT!


R2-D2 wakes up for no reason from a self imposed exile and they then have the complete map to find Luke’s location. Rey, Chewie and the droids all head off to find him. No ceremony for Han, not really so much as a mention.

So there you have it, a few hours of my life wasted in a cinema last night. A few more random thoughts in no particular order.

  • Where the hell were Wedge and Lando? They should have been there. Wedge most certainly would have been.
  • BB8 is almost certainly the star.
  • The best line in the whole thing was C-3P0 saying “Princesses”.
  • Han most certainly wouldn’t have died that way. I’m trying to write my version of how he died (in the expanded universe) but it certainly wouldn’t have been like that, and he certainly wouldn’t have been mourned like that.
  • It looks to me as though they convinced Harrison Ford (who always said that he hated Han Solo and would never play him again) to come back just for one film so that they could kill him off and he’d never have to hear the words Star Wars ever again. What’s that all about?
  • It was basically a ‘Now That’s What I Call Star Wars’ best of, taking tiny snippets from each film and rushing them stupidly together. Whoever wrote all that rubbish, should really be strung up by their coralskippers.
  • I have to say out of the four of us watching the film, my youngest daughter loved it, my wife was indifferent (not really a Star Wars fan), my eldest daughter was not particularly impressed, while I, as you can probably tell, was hugely disappointed. This was not unexpected to me, but what I was surprised to find, was a lot of other people coming out of the cinema, moaning about just how bad it had been. That’s not the impression you get in the press since it’s been out. There’s a surprise.
  • As for all the five star reviews the film’s been getting, I have to wonder exactly who’s been writing them. Yes the effects are great, and I for one could sit and watch the Millenium Falcon fly around on the screen for a couple of hours (if only that had been it), but the plot with all of its borrowed bits and pieces was weak, with no real connection to the characters, old or new. And getting rid of Han Solo in that manner was just appalling. Even Darth Vader got a send off. Even as a one off film, did it really merit five stars? You’ve got to wonder.

Anyhow, I’m off now to reread some of the expanded universe, and see if I can complete my fan fiction on how Han really dies.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.





FREE Christmas Gift

All three of my books in all formats free on Smashwords with the coupon codes below in the hope of some honest reviews in return. Offer up to and including 26th December.

A Threat From The Past      FREE

A Chilling Revelation     KT75T

A Twisted Prophecy     YB86F

Happy Christmas!

Paul Cude

Christmas Giveaway 1_edited-2


Life seems to be flying by at the moment, a non stop rollercoaster whirlwind. Half term, baking cakes, children’s birthdays, DIY, wife working away, all the normal household chores, etc. Everything is so full on.

The kids made this birthday cake. Unfortunately they were hindered by me!

The kids made this birthday cake. Unfortunately they were hindered by me!

I spend almost every hour of every waking day, working.

At the moment, I’m currently writing the fourth instalment of the Bentwhistle The Dragon series. Book 4 is called Bentwhistle The Dragon in Earth’s Custodians.

Just over 25,000 words done, it will be sometime before it’s ready to go.

Currently though, something else has all my attention, something that has haunted my dreams, much like the Bentwhistle series normally does. Fan Fiction. I’ve never written fan fiction before,  and I’m not going to tell you exactly what it is, but I’ll post it here when it’s finished. I’ve felt compelled to write it.

Birthday Sparklers

Birthday Sparklers

It won’t be short either, by the look of things. I’m quite excited, but as per usual, it’s tough finding the time in my day to write for any length of time. But I am working hard on it, and hopefully it will be something that everyone will love. Update over. Take care.

Half-Term Mayhem

Writing duties are mostly put to one side as the job of dad/entertainer takes over this week. Luckily I’m not getting any sort of rating from the kids (that might be a bit depressing, and a bit on the low side).


Our first trip was to Splashdown in Poole. Not entirely sure what to expect, I did regale the kids with tales from when I went there with a friend, pretty much when it first opened (I won’t mention how many decades ago that was), and told them about my most vivid memory. My friend had been before, and knew all about all of the slides. Taking me to the start of one up what seemed like a million flights of stairs (there was even a lift, I seem to recall…..that should have given me a clue), we both stood alone at the start of a very darkened tunnel, with only the rushing sound of water for company.

He’d told me this one was tame, and just a long winding ride down to the bottom. Gullibly I believed him, and with him insisting I go first, I duly jumped in. FLIPPIN’ HECK! When we met up at the bottom, he was beside himself with laughter. SAMSUNG CSCHe said, “I knew when you’d got to that bit, because all I could hear coming up the slide was, ‘Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!'” VERY FUNNY! The bit that he was referring to was a straight down, vertical, sheer drop, and given that the tunnel was entirely black, shrouded in total darkness, there was no way I could have even known that was going to happen. It was more the surprise than anything that had me screaming. Well at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The park had changed somewhat since I was last there (no surprise there given how long it’s been), and it took a while to get the hang of where everything was. The outside rides (the really, really fast ones) weren’t open due to the weather, so we were confined to the inside. No bad thing really given that I really had to keep an eye on both kids. But we explored pretty much everything. I was shocked, in pretty much the same way as my first visit, by a ride called the Space Bowl. It’s a leisurely slide down to an open bowl where you whizz round and round before unceremoniously being plonked through a great big hole in the middle, which I mistakenly thought would lead to another slide, but instead dumps you into a two metre tank full of water. SAMSUNG CSCAgain, more the surprise than anything else. Both kids followed me down, with them both being surprised like me. My youngest and I decided we didn’t much care for that one, while my eldest went on again, straight away.

We all had a great time on the rapids with our blow up rings. That was a hoot, despite how many times we all came out of the rings, and the best ride by far that we encountered, in my opinion anyway. The rest of the slides were quite mild, with only the Baron’s Revenge causing a little angst, and making my youngest scream for all she was worth. Given that it’s under six seconds from top to bottom, something of an achievement I think you’ll agree.

All crammed into two, what seemed to me, like very long hours. A good time, despite all of the bumps and bruises, and boy do I have a badly bruised knee.

Hengistbury Head was next, one of our usual haunts. SAMSUNG CSCMuch skate boarding (not me…..WAYYYY TOO OLD) and mucking around on the beach, lots of photography,(me) and given that it’s the end of October, we were all in tee shirts by mid-morning. MAD!

Another familiar haunt in the shape of Swanage followed. We did manage a brief walk along the beach, but for the most part, it was a bit too blowy. Taking in the shops and the fabulous steam railway, you can take a look at our journey back on the train from Norden to Swanage on my YouTube channel.

Gunwharf Quays was our next destination, with both of them excited at the thought of looking around the shops, the eldest more so. Trainers were the main objective for both of them, and had been sorted after the shops had been open for only twenty minutes. RESULT! SAMSUNG CSCAfter that, a leisurely stroll around, interrupted by a family game of bowling at the Bowlplex. I’d not been in there before, and would have thought with the kids being on holiday it would have been packed, but no. It was relatively quiet, and very enjoyable. A great way to break up a shopping trip.

So there you are, dad duties so far. Back to the writing and social media soon.



Goodreads Competition

Check out the competition on my Goodreads page to win signed paperback copies of all three of my books. Enter now. What have you got to lose?

3 Books Together _edited-1


All Bentwhistle the Dragon fans can now subscribe to my monthly newsletter. In return for signing up for this, I’ve written a very specific, 34,000 word story about the lives of the dragon friends from way back in the nursery ring, nearly fifty years before their current time above ground. You will be able to choose which format you download this story in. Here’s a little more.

Barely hatched from their eggs, young dragons learning how to fly amongst other things, find themselves thrust into the limelight, with the annual History Fest Face-Off beckoning. Ebook Cover 4 small for blogShowcasing a fierce rivalry going back centuries between two famed nursery rings, the grand competition is renowned throughout the land, and the importance of winning can’t be underestimated.

Richie eager to represent the nursery ring, Peter eager to help his friend, both are lost for words when the class bully, Cowl, outwits everyone in the race to represent Purbeck. Suspected of using unknown magic to get ahead, the friends are determined to get to the truth and expose him for the cheat they think him to be. But can things ever be that easy?

An unflappable newcomer proves to be a worthy ally as aerial acrobatic antics abound in an illicit laminium ball match, the outcome of which may well determine the fate of one of the young dragons.

With so much at stake, can the dragon friends hunt out the truth? Will their combined might be enough to save not only their nursery ring, but the reputation of the competition itself?

Crazy new spells and magical elixirs combined with much skulking around give a valuable insight into the young dragons’ education and personalities. Not only that, but one of the students will end up with much more than they bargained for. You’d be absolutely BATTY to miss it!

Cover Reveal

Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Twisted Prophecy (Book 3)

Finally here after what seems like a lifetime to me: Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Twisted Prophecy, book 3. To be released on Wednesday 7th October, the action continues on from book 2 in the series, Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Chilling Revelation.

Casey The Dragon_edited-1 reduced 4 wordpress

Amid turmoil surrounding devastating attacks across the world, the dragon domain faces the planet’s greatest fear: global terrorism by an unknown force of magic users.

Against this backdrop of fear, the friends’ relief at having Richie back from the jaws of death is quickly tempered when they discover the price she has paid and exactly what she will have to forfeit.

With Manson’s deadly scheme in full swing, events quickly turn from bad to worse. An army of nagas controlled by the threat to their king, help the evil dragon storm the kingdom, capturing Peter, Tank and Flash in the process.

With no help on the horizon and the dragons below ground neutralised, how will the threat be stopped? Will the white dragon turn out to be their saviour, or will a fierce lacrosse match prove to be the turning point for a rescue so unconventional, nobody could ever see it coming?

With a hoard of treasure and more magical artefacts than a witch’s kitchen, you’ll have to read on to find out if everything will turn out all white!


Amazon Kindle

All Formats On Smashwords


To Celebrate The Release Of Book 3, You Can Now Download Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Threat From The Past (Book 1) For Free From Smashwords In All Formats For A Limited Time only Here


Booking Ecstasy

My love of all things fantasy and comic books seemed to go up and down throughout my teenage years. At one time there was a fabulous comic book store in Salisbury (think Stuart’s store from The Big Bang Theory, only smaller) just a few moments’ walk from where I currently live. It was heaven, and I could often be found in there, spending what little money I had on Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Justice League comics.

My tattered and worn old copy

My tattered and worn old copy

Unfortunately it didn’t last more than a few years, which wasn’t surprising really given the distinct lack of trade. So with my life revolving around playing hockey, all thoughts of strange new worlds and the events unfolding within them, drifted to the back of my mind. Until, that is, the day I had to go and fix a fax machine in a very large bookshop in the middle of Southampton. Tool case in one hand, paperwork in the other, I remember trudging through the store, only focused on getting the job done and getting out. It didn’t take long, and the manager was very grateful. After getting him to sign the paperwork, I weaved my way in and out of the bountiful bookshelves, heading towards the huge glass framed exit. It was then that it caught my eye. Unbelievably, I’d nearly walked straight past it, or rather… them. A whole display advertising one book. I was stunned, that is until I dumped my tool case on the floor and picked one up. The cover was intoxicating. thrawnMy favourite characters were looking out on me in all their glory. It was one of those moments when time stands still. I can recall it as if it were only yesterday and not 1991. Taking in the droids on the spine as I turned it over in my hands, I stood lost in another world, reading the blurb on the back. Short but sweet would be how you’d describe it, but I was long since hooked. I had to have it… NOW! Struggling back to the front desk of the store with my tool case, paperwork, and my precious purchase, the staff, who I’d just been working amongst, all looked bemused. I didn’t care. After paying I rushed to the car, and made the fatal mistake of starting to read it. I should have been working. I had other jobs to do. I must have read for about half an hour, just until my parking ran out. Star Wars novel Heir to the Empire Timothy ZahnAfter that I had to get on and do the rest of my calls, but all I could think about for the rest of the afternoon was that book, sitting on the floor of the passenger side of my car. My evening had just been booked up. It wouldn’t of course be difficult for you to guess that I stayed up nearly all night. Yes it was that good. I couldn’t put it down, and the weariness that I felt the next day was well worth it. And more momentous than all of that, was the fact that the book in question had started me off on a journey that would last with me for a lifetime. Numerous other books in the saga have been bought, read all in one go despite everything going on around me, and nearly all have given me the same sort of satisfaction as that one.

Ahh… so now you’d like me to tell you the name of the book. It was Star Wars Volume 1 Heir To The Empire by Timothy Zahn. And it was nothing short of fantastic, especially to this huge Star Wars fan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read my battered and tattered copy… but who cares? Each time it sends shivers down my arms, even though I know what happens. For me it’s a classic and that’s without the fact that it has led me deep into the Star Wars expanded universe. As well as this three book cycle, the second and third instalment of both of which I had to buy on the day they came out in hardback, reading them both the said same day, Timothy Zahn has written many other great expanded universe titles.  He is definitely an author I would love to meet and get to know better. I only hope that Disney in all their wisdom do justice to the new film coming out. The books of the expanded universe have meant, and still do, a great deal to me. While I understand the reason for the changes, I’m not entirely sure I agree with them. Only time will tell. Here’s hoping.

Booking Marvellous

For almost as long as I can remember, one of my favourite things to do has been to read. Getting lost in a book is a magical experience and one that I’m always happy to lend my free time to. Recently for me though, it’s become harder and harder to find that free time to give over, not only because I seem to work almost every hour of the waking day currently, but because what I’m doing now is…..EDITING!


Polishing up the third book in my series is as hard as anything I’ve done, and seems to be taking its toll on me. Just the thought of reading for pleasure at the moment makes me feel physically sick, given how long this process has been going on, and just how hard I’m working to getting the book just right. I say just right, I suppose I mean PERFECT, well, in my mind anyway. Can anything be perfect? I suppose it’s a very subjective point of view. Each time I go back through the book, I always spot something. I suppose that’s to be expected, given everything that’s been going on in the storyline of the last two books; bringing it altogether and adding to the excitement is bound to offer up the odd challenge or two. It certainly has, and it seems hard for me to reach a point where I’m one hundred percent happy with it. Hopefully that point will be any day now. With that in mind, and the fact that something as important to me as the pleasure of reading has been temporarily taken away from me, I’ve decided to write about some of the most important books that I’ve read. While they may not seem important to you in a literary context, they have had a deep impact on not only my reading habits, but on the way in which I write and develop my stories. Hopefully over a period of time, I can tell the stories of the stories that have led me to being where I am today. Your thoughts are most appreciated.

A Debt I Can Never Repay

I hark back to the heavy days of 1994, and having long since been bitten by the book bug, admit that I was ever so slightly stupid in the way in which I fed my addiction. Instead of just wandering into a bookshop and browsing until I’d found something to quell my hunger (of course I did do this as well) I was, for a time at least, a sucker for all of those mail order book clubs. You know the ones I mean. I did, some years later as a service engineer, have to go to said book club’s head office, long after I’d realised just what a sucker I’d been. That was something of a revelation. I digress. Anyhow, having ordered my five books at fifty pence each, or whatever it was, I was delighted when the huge box of books finally arrived, with all thoughts of having to buy one book a month at full price for at least the next twelve months, soon forgotten. Upon opening said box, I pulled out all the lovely tomes, and soon set about slavering over them. They were all fantasy and science fiction, both at the time my preferred genre, all with the exception of one. One was a thriller, and hadn’t been a book that I had ordered. How odd. Stupidly, I couldn’t even remember the book that was supposed to have arrived. Must have been good. So being the lazy twenty something that I was, instead of sending the mistaken book back (far too much like hard work), I just left it lying there on my bedside table, gathering dust. At the time, I read every night, as well as a great deal at the weekends. I suppose a couple of months must have gone by before I found myself without anything to read. Looking at the hulking great hardback that I had been too lazy to return, I can remember being quite unenthusiastic as I picked it up early one evening. What stands out in my mind from that relatively innocuous event, is how tired I was the next day at work, having stayed up reading until well gone 3am. What a book addicted muppet I am. So perhaps now you’re wondering what the book was? I’ll tell you. Debt Of Honour by Tom Clancy, one of the most eye opening and addictive books that I’ve ever read. Needless to say, I rushed home from work the following evening and stayed up again into the small hours to finish it, no mean feat I assure you. 174777As well, and I’m sure this will come as no surprise to those of you with the same addiction, I had to go out and hunt down the rest of the books in the series, and then read them all in order. I wasn’t disappointed. They were, and still are GREAT! Everything about them just sends goose bumps up my arms, from the level of detail to the naval knowledge, from the characters to the way tiny, almost insignificant little bits of storyline weave their way seamlessly into the whole of the plot, something that I’d never seen in quite such a way before, and something that I think has influenced me as a writer, more than a little. The character of Jack Ryan is brilliantly thought out and brought to life, and a wonderful hero. But it is perhaps not him that had me hooked. John Clark for me was the one…..the one that stood out, the one that had that almost Han Solo appeal. A good man with a dark side. Partnered with Chavez, they made quite a team. The staying up late was well worth it for me, especially considering the book’s end, something which I’m not going to spoil for you if you haven’t already read it. Those couple of days, and the fluke with which left me with the book in the first place, play a pivotal role in my reading habits and the way in which I write. I always wished to meet Tom Clancy, I mean who doesn’t wish to meet their writing heroes…? I know I certainly have always wanted to. It always makes me wonder what I would have asked him. Would it have been about his intricate naval and military knowledge? About his inspiration for the well defined characters? Did he start from the end and work his way backwards when figuring out the plots of his books? Or just how it was he learnt to incorporate such insignificant pieces of text, that, like tiny pieces of a puzzle, all fit together in a much larger picture, perfectly at the end? I suspect the latter.

Thanks for reading.

Bournemouth ComiCon

August bank holiday weekend….something very special to me. Even before it had started on Friday, I was caught up somewhere in the past. Grass pitches, scorching sunshine, bucket loads of friends and of course my trusty stick. Image0060 (2)Somewhere out there, I was caught up playing hockey on my favourite pitches, with all my friends, whether it was in the past, or somewhere else. All weekend I haven’t been able to shake that feeling, and I doubt whether I will on each and every August bank holiday to come. I digress.

So with no hockey, and two very excitable children, it was off to comicon in Bournemouth on Sunday.


The kids have been excited for months, ever since we told them we’d got tickets. The monster comicon in San Diego has been on their ‘bucket’ list (although why they have one of these, I’m not quite sure) for a very long time now. So the excitement was no surprise. What was surprising was just how keen my wife was to go, although I couldn’t persuade her to hire a Wonder Woman outfit for the weekend. (Not just for comicon!)

Thinking that we’d do our usual, arrive much earlier than everyone else thing, this time it didn’t quite go to plan.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger queue in my entire life. It was great to see all of those in costume, however. Many Dr Who’s, Wonder Women, Ghostbusters, Supermen, you name it, they were there. The best for me though was an adult Spiderman who looked a dead ringer for the real thing. Wonderful!

Despite the length of the queue, things got moving pretty quickly, and we soon found ourselves inside. The kids were goggle eyed at everything, much like their parents. The crowds it has to be said were horrendous, with us having to keep hold of the children pretty much all the time. But it was great to get a look at such unusual stuff from all our favourite films and TV shows, as well as so much more.

From gazing at television celebrities from a distance, to the Delorean from Back To The Future, to meeting Stormtroopers, Chewbacca and Darth Vader.


We all had a great time, with the kids blowing nearly all of the pocket money they’d been saving up, knowing that they were coming here.

Most certainly will be going again.

Book News

Editing finished of Book 3, Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Twisted Prophecy. Hopefully released towards the end of the month. More information to follow.