J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

Brighton & Hove

Have a Word Summer Special

Founder of Have A Word

Founder of Have A Word

Ellis Collins, the brainchild behind Brighton literary event, Have a Word, returns for a summer special on 27th August, at the Latest Music Bar, Manchester Street. An all male line-up promises to be an exciting and diverse range of poetry, story telling and music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

poet

poet

Nicolas Collins first collection of poetry, Washing the Duvet, spanned the life of a gay man exploring subjects: love, lust and loss with equal amounts of soul searching and humour through personal experience and wry observations of the world around him with a panache of exploring the world of cats! For the Have a Word Summer Special, Nicolas will be reading from his new collection of poetry.
Nicolas’s first book, Washing the Duvet will be on sale on the evening and from amazon.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Glenn Stevens passion is the short story, taking great pleasure in dissecting the world of suburban gothic in his collection of stories, Blanche Street: where all the neighbours are a nightmare, available on the night to download as an ebook. He will be reading the Brighton based tale, Dead Famous.

During a ghost walk in Brighton’s Lanes, Bryan bumps into Janice and Nick. As a new boy in town, Bryan is pleased to meet such a nice couple. Even better, Janice loves the fact that Bryan longs to be a writer, an actor or someone famous. With their help he will be, but at what cost?
www.blanchestreet.co.uk (website coming very soon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novelist

Novelist

Liam Murray Bell who will be reading second novel,The Busker, published by Myriad in May 2014 and Scottish Book Trust 2014 Pick of the Year.

“A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic exposé of the music industry, the occupy movement, homelessness, squatting — and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”
www.liammurraybell.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer, song writer.

Singer, song writer.

Paul Diello is a Brighton based singer songwriter and it is a real treat that he will be bringing his soul drenched songs to Have a Word Summer Special, singing songs from his second album, Looking Glass, including new double side single, (I am) a Voodoo Doll, reminiscent of Soft Cell’s Marc Almond in both sound an dark lyrics, with the flip side bringing Paul’s soulful sound to the Bronski Beat/Jimmy Somerville classic, Small Town Boy

www.pauldiello.com

Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Gay, Gothic horror, Leisure, Music, Uncategorized Leave a comment

Holiday! Celebrate! 2

Holiday! celebrate! (2)

 Sicily.

I visited Sicily earlier in the year and loved it. Why? Well, I loved the balance between history and good taste versus the craziness of contemporary life, mad driving and bin strikes. Somehow the beauty of the past came alive by the casualness of the contemporary residents. The food was amazing, served with an ease that only tradition could offer. We dined in a cave by the sea where we pointed at the fish we fancied on the way in the door. The grumpy chef then shrugged and nodded towards a table as his wife plonked a jug of unnamed wine in front of us. What followed over the following hour was possibly the best meal of my life. 

Sublime. 

J.P.

th-1

 

 

 

 

In the time it takes you to drive from Brighton, to Leicestershire (3hrs) you could be basting in the sunshine of the beautiful island of Sicily.

Sicily, a collection of nine provinces, each linked to the mainland (with the exception of Enna) giving travellers a host of experiencers to explore. Furthermore, the inhabitants of Sicily are extremely friendly, proud of their heritage and eager for tourists, particularly families, to have the best holiday during their stay. 

San Vito lo Capo.

For sun-lovers, the temperatures starting at a pleasing 19c (60f) at the start of May and  can reach up to 26c (79f) during July and August. Even in the later months of September and October, the heat is still a pleasing, 24c (76f), 21c (69f respectively. This of course mean stat the crystal blue waters are equally warm, making the whole summer experience so much better.

Catacombs of the Capuchins

Villa Romana del Casale

Mount Etna

 

However, Sicily is so much more than just a place to catch some rays, it is also a place steeped in history; from the fascinating Catacombs of the Capuchins, where thousands of preserved corpses dating back from the 16th century are on display, to something less macabre like the Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale, or to get your pulse racing visit th worlds most active volcano, Mount Etna.

Even for the most seasoned tourist, Sicily continues to surpass and delight on each returning visit, with sunshine, good food, excellent hospitality and a breathtaking landscape that reminds you just what a fantastic holiday destination you have arrived in.

Sicilyian pasta Sicilian cakes

Sicely Fish

Sicely shell fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting there: Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Manchester, Birmigham and Dublin airport each offer direct flights to Sicily

Accommodation, Places to Eat: Sicily has a huge range of hotels, B&B and apartments to rent: www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g187886-Sicily-Hotels and equally some stunning places to eat: www.baroquesicily.com/sicily-ten-must-eat-treats

So, while the weather continues to lash and bash outside, do yourself a favour and book that bit of summer sun now. 

P.S. Random New Year Eve fact about Sicily: An old Sicilian tradition says good luck will come to those who eat lasagna on New Year’s Day, but woe if you dine on macaroni, for any other noodle will bring bad luck. ”

Posted on by admin in Leisure Leave a comment

Holiday! Celebrate!

With Christmas all but a distant memory and the new year getting ready to kick 2013 into the long grass, the British nation’s thoughts will be thinking of two things and two things only, diets and holidays.

th-5Camping At st. David's Pembrokshire

My first and only thought on diets is life is too short, eat chocolate in moderation and you should be fine, as for the second, I have asked a group of friends to tell me their favourite holiday destination, which in turn should give us all a little inspiration to start imagining what the sun on our face feels likes as opposed to the biting wind that is lashing our windows at this very moment in time.

First up: Camping at St David’s in Pembrokeshire.

Calm warm sea, seagulls riding the wind, soft white, perfect sculpting sand, tea, toast and papers in the morning, the sound of the tent zip, unzipping to see the edge if the cliff as it dips away gently into the blue sea. I like it cos it’s idyllic, with calm space and the most beautiful weather. 

Sarah.

th-7

With its miles of golden sand, blue waters and some of the best surfing in the country, St David’s in Pembrokeshire offers the perfect break with a range of budgets to suit all pockets. Although their are some fantastic bed and breakfasts guest houses, their are equally some brilliant camp sites dotted across the coastline.

For the uninitiated, the idea of camping may send a chill down their spine, but for that very reason camping should be given a second chance. These days their are a range of tents to suite all families, couples of for those who want to seek a little solitude and get away from it all. 

The other main thing to remember is comfort. Invest in a descent inflatable mattress. Their are two main types, those that can charged via the car’s cigarette lighter, or pumped by foot or even a reachable pump. For a stress free experience, invest in a self-inflate mattress, with a twist of the toggles a perfectly comfortable mattress is ready to stretch out on in minutes. F.Y.I. the former have more bounce, but the latter are firmer.

Forget sleeping bags, who wants to roll over onto a cold zip in the middle of the night? so, grab your duvet and pillows and be assured of a decent nights sleep and be ready and refreshed to wake up to amazing sunrises and the beauty of the expansive ocean on your doorstep.

th-1

Pack a camping stove (never ever use any type of gas stove inside your tent. Ever) to make that morning cuppa, or just take a flask of your favourite beverage to get you up and running in the morning and get the local cafe or eatery to fill your flask with hot water for the next day; yep it really can be that stress free.

th-3

As for St David’s, the place is perfect for whatever kind of holiday you have in mind, from taking yourself off to the quieter parts of the beach to catch some sunshine, to the perfect blue waters, many of which continue each year to win the prestigious clean water, ‘Blue Flag Awards’; something of great importance to all those who are seeking the perfect wave. Further along the coast the rock face offers stunning coastal walks and fantastic climbing opportunities to the adventurous, while inland their are many historical places of interest to visits  includingSt David’s Cathedral, fantastic pubs and restaurants with lovers of fish cuisine spoilt for choice, while those with an artistic bent can absorb themselves in the many art galleries St. David’s boast.

For more information about St David’s in Pembrokeshire and camping outlets, visit:

Packed with further information about What St David’s has to offer:

www.stdavids.co.uk

For all your surfing needs, from shops to surf reports:

magicseaweed.com/Pembrokeshire-Surfing/12

For all your camping needs:

johnscamping.com

Posted on by admin in Health, Leisure Leave a comment

Countdown to Brighton LGBT Pride.

Brighton-Pride120[1]

In just over a month’s time, Brighton will be awash with people from all over the LGBT community, celebrating what is set to be a fantastic LGBT Pride. With this year’s theme, Gay Icons, expect the parade to be filled with troupes of’ Marilyn’s; both seven year itch and 80’s icon variety, along with a few Madonna’s, Divines, and a smattering of Diana’s; Dors, Rigg, Princes.   

 

madonna_justifymylove[1]divine[1]diana dors. 008[1]diana-rigg-09[1]princess-diana[1]

Read more

Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Gay, Leisure, LGBT Leave a comment

World Book Night

World Book NightIt’s that time of year again when I, along with 20,000 other volunteers will be hitting the streets tonight to give away 400,000  book titles to random strangers in the bid to get more people reading fiction that they would not normally consider, or to get people who don’t normally get stuck into a novel.

This year I will be giving away Bernhard Shclink’s thought provoking novel, The Reader.

Glenn Stevens, ready for World Book Night

Glenn Stevens, ready for World Book Night

Read more

Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Fiction & Books, film, Leisure, Literature Leave a comment

Role Models & The New Normal….

For all of us, when growing up, regardless of our sexuality, we seek role models in a variety of ways, the most obvious place to start is with our parents or guardians and then our wider family and the friends we choose to be with. Beyond that we turn to the media, be it famous people in magazines pop stars or actors and personalities on the television, or world leaders, people in power….personally, with very few gay role models around when I was growing up, I settled on Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones as my perfect male icon.

Harrison-Ford-Indiana-Jones[1]

Thankfully, television and those that make the programs happen, have been more willing to embrace peoples differences; admittedly it has taken years, but at least this media is moving in the right direction.     Read more

Posted on by admin in Leisure, LGBT Leave a comment

Peers in Action

PA logoBack in April 2010, Richard Generway, along with Paul Harrington and Steve. A discussed the lack of a HIV+ social support group, specifically for men in the 45 year old and above age group. Although there were the very successful groups run by THT South and other independent run groups like, Lunch Positive and Outdoor Positive whose aim has been to to break down the isolation and bringing together all those affected by HIV, the team behind Peer Action were keen to find out if there was enough enthusiasm for a social peer led group that could compliment what was already being offered. By talking to existing service users of these groups, the message that came back loud and clear was yes, there was very much a need.

 I have used the other HIV groups, but was interested in what Peer Action had to offer, particularly through their social outings. Since then I have become very much involved, I now help run their website and have organised some of the theatre outings. Along the way my partner and I have made new friends and got a lot of support from everyone who use Peer Action.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jimmy. Peer Action 

Read more

Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Gscene, HIV/AIDS, Leisure Leave a comment

Sequential Art: Part 2. The Birth of the Graphic Novel.

American artist, Lynd Ward is considered as one of the major artist to have influenced the development of the graphic novel. Ward was a prolific artist, providing illustrations for hundreds of children’s books, many of which were collaborations with his author wife, May McNeer. Although Ward used a wide variety of mediums to create his at work, it is his stunning woodcut illustrations for which he is perhaps most famous for. Works Include: Gods’ Man (1929), Prelude to a Million Years (1933) and Vertigo (1937). Read more

Posted on by admin in Fiction & Books, Leisure, Literature Leave a comment

Sequential Art: From Bosch to the Beano.

At the beginning of 2012 QueenSpark Books ran a competition (Alt Brighton) asking writers to send in a short story based around Brighton’s history; from the hundreds of entries, thirteen stories were picked to be developed into a graphic novel later in 2013. My own story, Dead Famous was one those chosen, but during the first meeting I opted to develop a new story centred around some of the key moments in Brighton’s LGBT history, more of that later. As part of my research I have looked into the history of sequential art.

Part one: in the beginning…. Read more

Posted on by admin in Brighton & Hove, Fiction & Books, Gothic horror, Leisure, LGBT, Literature, QueenSpark Books Leave a comment

Welcome to the Dark World of Dualism (Vol 1)

The Dualism photography book (Vol 1) has not been created for those who like to leave out heavy tombs on their coffee tables, expressing their love for all things interior design or the latest high fashion. This book is for those who think left of field, for those who like to open forbidden doors and then pray that the world they are viewing doesn’t exist.

The space created by the artist behind The Dualism Book conjures up a place that is frightening, fascinating, disturbing and beautiful. To some it will have echoing influencers from both Robert Mapplethorpe and Terry Richardson, photographers who also push the boundaries of art.

The Artist behind The Dualism, has taken the title of the book to create his vision, of unravelling sheets of love and hate, stripped of empathy, but never quite indifferent – wandering through Caravaggio’s shadows and the crisp suburbs of hell.” 

Indeed, many of the darker works (both literally and figuratively) have echos of Caravaggio where the viewer is dragged into the nightmare and just like Caravaggio’s work they find themselves deeply disturbed, but unable to look away. This is particularly true for the artist’s work where muted colours and scratched surfaces give a feel that the viewer has stumbled across a forgotten place of purgatory.

Just as Mapplethorpe and Richards toyed with various taboo subjects, the artist behind Dualism also devlves into the dark where love and anger, fun and fear, the grotesque and beautiful are blended into each other, creating the strange hybrid of Vol 1.

With each turn of the page the viewer is taken into a different landscape, where gender is questioned,  nightmares explored and even when the reader comes across the classically beautiful portraits, they only help to emphasise the darkness that seeps from the artist’s imagination within his other work. 

With Volume one drumming up much interest worldwide, the artist is constantly on the lookout for subjects to become part of the next collection. Plans are also afoot for a gallery space to show a variety of work by the Artist from Dualism, along with other creative artists who share the same vision. For more information on the philosophy behind the work and how to get your own copy of the book please visit, thedualism.com.

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Fiction & Books, Gothic horror, Leisure Leave a comment