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Teenage Mutant Ninja Hurdles – How Martial Arts Have Taught Me Persistence Pays And Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Back in 1983, when I was 14, I started practising martial arts. Like many people who become martial artists, I started off with karate. Shotokan karate, to be precise. And like many people who start fight training, I became absolutely obsessed with it. Here is a photo of me taken at Christmas that year: Read More…

Context – Why Charity Can’t Be An Excuse For Everything And Not All Uniforms Are Sexy

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One Friday afternoon, when I was in Sixth Form, me and my friend Shane abandoned our usual lessons, put on our Ku Klux Klan uniforms and ran around the streets demanding money. I realise that sounds a teeny bit racist and possibly a trifle thuggish, so please allow me to explain myself. There was a good reason for our little afternoon outing. Read More…

Poisoning Pigeons In The Park – How A Tin Box And A Magic Virgin Made Me Realise I Might Be Becoming A Man

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We all have teachers who inspired us when we were at school. We were ungrateful little bastards back then, of course, and didn’t recognise or appreciate that inspiration. But it was always there, waiting to be remembered fondly when we eventually became adults. Read More…

The Wily Ways Of The Elephant God – How The Obstacles In Your Life Might Actually Be Springboards

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I stopped believing in my childhood god a very long time ago. I was raised as a Catholic and I have to say that this fact has been a less than positive influence in my life. Read More…

Black Bullets And Big Daddy –  Why The Seventies Weren’t All That Great And How A Comic Strip Taught Me What I Really Am

 

I used to visit my Grandma every Saturday when I was a kid. We didn’t call her “Grandma” though. We called her “Nana”.  There was one question she would always ask me at some point during these visits. “Do you want a bullet?” she would say. Don’t worry, she wasn’t threatening me or anything. She wasn’t “Gangsta”. She wasn’t pointing “nine” in my “grill” because I’d broken one of her Royal Doulton china poodles. Read More…

A Brief History Of Hong Kong Hip Hop – How Bruce Lee Invented Everything And Audrey Hepburn Liked It Rough

It is a little known fact that Bruce Lee invented Hip Hop. Like most people, I had assumed that Hip Hop came Straight Outta Compton and was hammered into shape by Dr Dre and his crew. Not so. Scratching, mixing, beatboxing. All invented by Bruce Lee.  Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof: Read More…

Football Crazy, Football Mad –  Why Footballers Get Paid So Much And Aren’t Called “Nobby” Anymore

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When I was a kid, back in the 1970s, footballers were called things like “Chopper” and “Nobby.” The “Choppers” were solid men. Walls of meat almost entirely immune to injury and pain. The “Nobbies” of the football world were nippy, sinewy types. They were cobbled together out of elastic bands and kneecaps and consequently also immune to injury and pain. Read More…

Second To None – Why Catholics Only Have Two Emotions And It’s Often Better Not To Remember Who Came First

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There were many gasp worthy events in the year 1981. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated. Ronald Reagan was assassinated. Well, sadly he wasn’t, but someone did shoot him. And someone tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II. That attempt was also unsuccessful. As someone whose life has been blighted by Catholicism, my feelings on that are mixed. A mix of guilt and shame. Though the fact that guilt and shame are the average Catholic’s emotional reactions to virtually everything makes it difficult to read anything into that. Read More…

Get Out! – Why Some Homosexuals Shocked Me Back In The 1980s And How I Recovered From It

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That is the first school photo ever taken of me. I was four years old. My mum was a huge fan of Liberace. You can tell can’t you? Read More…

John Wayne Is Big Leggy – How To Re-Invent Yourself Using Celebrities As A Template

“It’s never too late to be the person you could have been”. Yeah okay, it’s a bit twee as sayings go, but there’s a great deal of truth in it. Read More…