Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

There’s Worse Things In Life

Scene – Tuesday afternoon in an east Leeds coffee shop. A middle-aged man of erratic mind enjoys a catch up over a cappuccino with an uncle in his dotage. What follows are excerpts from the duo’s post-noon verbal exchange as they perch on stools in the company of local coffee aficionados and three baristas. “No matter how bad things get in your life, Gary, some people will have far worse […]

Continue Reading →

How Tall?!

Yesterday, during a conversation about height, a buddy of mine enquired “How tall are you, Gary?…. About 5ft 11, or you 5ft 12?” Humoured at this ordinarily intelligent person’s idiosyncratic use of the measurement 5ft 12 instead of 6ft, I felt moved to inform them I was 5ft 11 in the even more ridiculous form of advising “No, I’m 4ft 23!” Despite us laughing uncontrollably about their inadvertently whimsical query, […]

Continue Reading →

Oh, Gino

I commence this essay sitting in the Costa coffee shop within the Next building at The Springs Retail Park, Leeds; a recently built construction which also incorporates a Gino D’Acampo*** restaurant. **** – Or Gino D’Campingstove as my spouse, with her quirky tic of mispronouncing celebrity surnames, incorrectly calls him….. Gino D’Acampo not to be confused with Gino D’Compo the elderly wellington boot wearing West Yorkshire chef with a penchant […]

Continue Reading →

Any Old Iron

My brief time home alone ends at around midday today when my mother returns from a brief break with family friends. Mater’s stay elongated an extra day, allowing her and buddies to visit yesterday’s Ripon race meeting. An occasion when, no doubt, Mrs S would’ve likely ‘entertained’ her group with insightful jockey related observations like “That Frankie Detorri seems a nice lad!”, “Ryan Moore’s jockeys outfit is nice. I wonder […]

Continue Reading →

It’s Probably Me

The other day I inadvertently, but gratifyingly, came across an emotive Gregory Porter cover of the song It’s Probably Me, originally brought to audiences attention on Sting’s 1992 album Ten Summoner’ Tales. Porter’s version of a refrain performed live in front of an audience including the former the Police frontman, during 2017’s Polar Music Prize Ceremony. Written by a trinity of rock royalty, Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen and Gordon Sumner […]

Continue Reading →

The Second Miracle of Headingley

Prior to World War II (WWII), World War I (WWI) went by the moniker of the Great War. For a conflict which bore absolutely nothing great about it, a misnomer on the most grotesque scale. Calling it a war is even questionable in some commentators eyes. After all, the obscenity of some warfare strategies employed between 1914-1918 were little short of serving troops up as cannon fodder. Less a war, moreover […]

Continue Reading →

Leaving His Mark

What I witnessed yesterday was utterly unmistakeable. Printed handwriting of draughtsman like quality I’d seen on innumerable occasions during the half century of my existence. This chance sight that of my late father’s forensically neat scription. Words transposed onto an old DVD player case by ultraviolet indelible marker, the catalyst to manifestations of a whole spectrum of emotions and questions. One of the queries being why, after 20 years of […]

Continue Reading →