Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

family

Any Old Iron

Living back in the matriarchal abode has many challenges, one of which the regression back nearly half a century to experiencing admonishment for actions my mother finds irritating. This includes the incessant tapping of my fingers on the kitchen table, bad table manners and the increasing use of curse words, which in recent months have habitually entered my conversation. Maggie (the family matriarch) is of the opinion that use of […]

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Life In An Episode of ‘Sorry!’

It’s Tuesday and I’m still afflicted by the catarrh laden cough I penned about in Sunday’s literary offering, Untuned Catarrh. A fact leading to my disenchantment growing ever stronger, as I’m still not able to get through the night without regularly waking myself by coughing up phlegm. Taking into account the overnight capriciousness of my middle-aged bladder, it’s fair to say my current sleep pattern is pretty erratic. This morning, on […]

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We’ve Got High Hopes

Today, I’ve had another venture west across the Pennine Hills, my third or fourth visit to the north west in a month. This time to pick my mum Maggie up from my sister Helen’s home in Macclesfield, where she’d spent a few days with her youngest offspring. A visit including mater’s attendance at a performance by the Macclesfield choir who count among its throng the sibling ten years my junior. […]

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A Rose For The Garden of England

Tomorrow, my daughter Rachel leaves her childhood home in Leeds, moving into a flat with her partner in Kent. The town of Tunbridge Wells becoming her new home, in the county whose aesthetic beauty earns it the moniker of ‘The Garden of England’. What amazes me is how many people seem to know she’s moving to Kent; lots of individuals have recently muttered it in my direction while walking past […]

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Beside The Seaside, Beside The Sea

I’m back in East Ardsley, West Yorkshire, after an enjoyable few days break residing in a lodge at Heysham on the Lancashire coastline. This pleasant enough town, an Irish Sea port for ferries to the Isle of Man and Ireland, which although accessible by road not wardrobe I’ve been unreliable assured is twinned with Narnia. Thankfully, though, there was less snow, lions and witches in Heysham than Narnia. When I say […]

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A Quatermass Query

Since taking up residence in my mum’s home she’s felt moved to make sporadic reference to the plethora of device charging cables that now languish unceremoniously from her plug sockets. On one occasion commenting “It’s like being in an episode of Quatermass with all these bleeding cables, Gary!!”……. I’d no idea what that meant, however I laughed politely anyway at my landlady’s baffling submission. This morning, in reference to the knotted […]

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Jack Strachan’s Chippy

In the late 1950’s/early 1960’s my grandparents owned a fish and chip restaurant on land which later became the roundabout at junction 27 of the M62 at Birstall. This land on the cusp of Gildersome and Morley – Suburban bastions separated by Gelderd Road in the  west of Leeds. Although his tenure as the Harry Ramsden*** of Gildersome didn’t extend until I was born, anecdotally**** I’m told it was an […]

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