Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Archive for March 2019

1970’s Pop Procurement

The Alpine pop man – For decades an extinct species akin to the dodo, Spangles and an inspirational politician. Sadly, no longer cheering up the homo sapien fledgling young with his bottled soft beverages; drinks whose sugar content was so high just pouring it from the bottle started the process of tooth rot. His crates of kaleidoscope coloured pop turning him to a pied piper on each street where his […]

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Four Candles, Please

The 1972 Miners’ Strike introduced me, along with the rest of the UK populous of that time, to the joys of power cuts. Not to mention more frequent use of the query “Has anyone seen that box of matches?!” January and February’s frequent electricity shortages, caused by the Central Electricity Generating Board’s fuel saving strategy, hit domestic residences hard. My childhood home in Low Fell, Gateshead, included. Always a pragmatist, my undemonstrative […]

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Defiling That Chaste Page

“That famous writer’s block is a myth as far as I’m concerned. I think bad writers must have a great difficulty writing. … They have become writers out of reasons of ambition. It must be a great strain to them to make marks on a page when they really have nothing much to say, and don’t enjoy doing it.” Words from the mouth, or pen (or maybe even both) of […]

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Angel Contemplating My Fate

Recently, I’ve felt moved to pen a few unreliable memories from my upbringing on Low Fell. The Gateshead borough which on its southern border, shared with Low Eighton and Birtley, resides one of the countries most iconic sculptures, the Angel of the North. When I left my parent’s three bedroom semi-detached home on Dorchester Gardens in 1987 would’ve been only a twinkle in the designers eye. Like George Bailey’s guardian angel Clarence in […]

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Shape Of My Heart

As I write I’m sitting in the entrance waiting room of Leeds General Infirmary’s (LGI) Jubilee Wing. Accompanied by my wife Karen, yours truly indulges in the addictive pastime of people watching. The ‘entertainment’ provided by scores of individuals oblivious to my surreptitious surveillance techniques – Some plying their trade within the chambers of this mighty hospital; others congregating to take advantage of the NHS’s hospitality. Shortly I’ll be undergoing […]

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Shush!!!

As I recall, the Low Fell library was built-in the early 1970’s. Progress of its construction at the corner of Durham Road and Chowdene Bank something I witnessed during games of football on adjacent grassland on the cusp of a small dene. A near neighbour of the Thomas Wilson WMC. A club I’m told was named after an acclaimed Low Fell based poet. I didn’t ask the person who informed […]

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Darling Happy Anniversary!

My website provider WordPress this morning reminded me today is this 4th anniversary of me setting up my website writesaidfred.org . A domain I created for the purpose of sharing the blogs I’d commenced writing at that juncture of my life. Outlets from the more challenging aspects of my life, including my wife’s incurable cancer journey. On launch of the site my expectations were I’d have the creative capacity to […]

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