Lord Joe Wells.

I have a confession, due to a joke which I first shared with my friends some time in the 1980’s, I have been masquerading as a Lord. This was originally started due to my being adopted when I was one year old and as many adopted people I had delusions of grandeur and was always waiting for my birth father The Marquis of Bath to turn up and bestow the county of Berkshire upon me. Needless to say he never came, but the Lord Joe Wells stuck.

I am proud to announce that I am no longer a charlatan as I have been awarded a Lordship from the Principality of Sealand, an old wartime fort off the English coast far enough out to be in international waters which has declared itself a principality.

Here is a copy of my registration deed as proof.

 

 

 

 

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My latest children’s book.

I am delighted to announce that my latest children’s book is now available on Amazon and I have to say I think it is rather splendid. I have been working with the same illustrator for the last four books and she is producing better and better illustrations with each new production. Her name, should any of you reading this be looking for an illustrator is Oksana Basarab and she can be found on the Fiverr website.

The Animal Olympics cover_jpg

 

I do hope some of my readers will purchase the book and enjoy reading it, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

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Si5 Spy Missions.

I went with our grandchildren and their father to play Si5 Spy Missions in Cambridge which turned out to be quite amusing although not what I was expecting or hoping for as suggested by the name.

The experience was not SOE and World War Two as I had hoped, grasping with learning Morse code, waiting with ten shillings at the ready for my call to visit Captain Ridley’s hunting party at Bletchley Park and solving the complicated Enigma codes and winning World War Two.

It turned out to be a much more modern scenario where we had to capture a ship from a group of baddies called Lobster or Shrimp, I think. I could be completely wrong with the name but I have a feeling it was something to do with some form of crustacean.

Much crawling about through tunnels, up and down ladders and over and under lasers was involved which caused me to think that the pair of stout leather soled shoes which I had chosen to wear was not the ideal footwear. Perhaps I might have more purchase had I worn a pair of trainers, although not the same degree of sartorial elegance.

Each room entered involved the solving of various problems which then enabled one to continue to the next, unfortunately half way through the children decided they were dying for a pee and had to leave by a door which led behind the scenes to the toilet.

Finally we had defeated the baddies and were told all we had to do now was to make our escape by solving the clues and exiting the next room. I did enquire whether it might not be a little easier using the same door the children used to find the toilet but was encouraged to continue with the game.

The children enjoyed themselves and were kind enough to compliment me on the assistance I had given during the mission, which made it all worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

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Mrs Fox Goes To War.

Some of you may be familiar with the website Mrs Fox Goes To War which concerns the goings on of a wartime village and is written by the talented Julie Warrington.

One of the characters is an agony aunt called Mrs Hilda Ffinch to whom one may write for advice and guidance the following being the link to her page.

https://www.mrsfoxgoestowar.co.uk/hilda-finch-agony-aunt

This is the second time I have had reason to consult Mrs Ffinch and am posting my communication for your amusement.

Dear Mrs Ffinch,

I have written to you before on my own account but I now find it necessary to communicate on behalf of my close friend and neighbour Mrs Aphelia Butox-Gently who is currently in dispute with a tradesman concerning some shoddy goings on.

My friend Aphelia had been promised a large erection to be placed up her back paddock, and had chosen a particularly strapping builder who looked more than capable of the task, sadly she was to be disappointed.

The erection in question was to be a folly, an extremely tall tower to be placed in her back paddock to the rear of her estate from which she had hoped to view the entire county of Hertfordshire, however the finished folly was to prove to be a very limp affair and not remotely the sort of erection she had hoped for.

Having seen the erection I can confirm that, not only was it considerably shorter than promised but was also bent, much in the fashion of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

To add insult to injury the young builder then offered to place a clock face on the tower as if to make amends, suggesting “it’s no use having the inclination, if you haven’t got the time.” Whatever that may mean?

I have offered Aphelia the services of my solicitor but as she has nothing in writing as to the size of the promised erection by the young builder I was wondering if it would be folly to continue with this legal action.

I would much appreciate your opinion on this matter as you may be more experienced in this field than I.

I remain, your obedient servant,

James Arbuthnott.

 

 

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Television casting.

As some of you who read my blog may be aware, I was in the dim and distant past an actor and my how things have changed.

I am obviously old enough to remember when television actors were almost totally white people, until gradually more and more ethnic minorities started to appear.

Drama included black people, although somewhat predictably the West Indians in the scene were the ones robbing from the corner shop which was run by an Indian family and when the police arrived they were white men. A medical  drama would have a smattering of Indian doctors, all male while the Matron would be a white Irish woman whose nurses would include West Indians, and Asians.

If it were a situation comedy, one could have two couples living next door to each other, one white couple and one black. Humour, such as it was seemed to stem from the insults traded by the men folk of each couple and from recollection the white fellow generally making a fool of himself.

Comedy was awash with any number of programmes in which foreigners of any denomination were portrayed as not very bright if not down right stupid.

My how things have changed, for it seems that either the writers or the casting directors have noticed the existence of the female of the species. We are now inundated with dramas where the lead characters are female, especially it seems police dramas, or those containing people of standing or power in the community, where all the senior police officers or politicians are now female.

We have gone from one extreme to the other, it must be quite hard for a white male actor to get cast in anything especially in the advertisements. I assume the advertisers feel they must try to appeal to all members of the community who might purchase their products.

It started slowly with a few adverts containing mixed race couples and then came to include their mixed race children, which to someone like myself who is in a mixed race relationship seemed to make sense. Unfortunately and I’m sure it was with the best intentions, it seems to have gone a little too far and is becoming slightly comical.

We now have deaf people, those in wheelchairs, vertically challenged people and couples where the man is mixed race and his wife is white and their children are obviously mixed race too. Oddly and somewhat ironically the only one I can think of that has blind people is for the Royal National Institute for the blind.

Obviously one would want television to reflect modern life but you can almost hear the casting people desperately trying to be politically correct when viewing the advertisements.

“Have we got the same number of blacks to white, do the browns count as white or black?”

“Can we put someone in here in a wheelchair, even better if we can get a deaf one in a wheelchair.”

“I’ve checked the boxes and we have room for another vertically challenged person, but I can’t work out what colour we need?”

Forgive this slightly tongue in cheek look at television casting, from the old days when black people were taken by surprise when the token black person appeared on television to today where it has almost become a game in our house, to get out our mental checklist and tick off all the different permutations of characters that the casting people manage to squeeze in.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the other category of people that have taken over television, men with large bushy beards.

Next time you are watching television, play along and see how many varieties you can spot, plus size models, bald men, red heads, Sikhs, gay people, the list goes on and on.

Obviously we need diversity, but don’t try to squeeze them all into a domestic kitchen party scene, that’s where it starts to look silly and a little contrived.

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Not Churchill, but a speech none the less.

 

I had to write a speech for a ten minute blurb at a POP Connect networking meeting with a view to gaining exposure for the children’s books I have for sale on Amazon. After completing the speech I read one of the books, complete with the appropriate accents, I think it was well received.

Pop Connect Ten Minute Blurb.

When I accepted the challenge of speaking for ten minutes at this meeting I hadn’t realised how life was going to get in the way of my preparations.

With there being barely sufficient time to write a ten minute speech let alone memorise it too, so I have come up with a cunning plan.

I have managed to find time to write my speech but not sufficient time to memories it, so as an author and blogger the solution is to read you the story.

Are you sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin.

Once upon a time in a land far far away I was born and my name was Michael Nolan and when I was one year old I was adopted and became Joe Wells.

My father was a baker as was my grandfather and it was expected that as the eldest son I too would enter the family business. I can remember asking my father, “dad, dad draw me a picture?” He drew me a picture of a bread delivery van full of cottage loaves.

I was a cosseted and sheltered child and I think a little immature for my age which may have had some bearing on the fact that I wasted the benefit of my education at Haberdashers Askes School for Boys.

Times were different in those days, corporal punishment was the norm. I can remember many a happy time in lessons staring daydreaming out of the window when a piece of chalk would crack you on the head to regain your attention to the lesson. The teachers had remarkable accuracy, even with objects as heavy as a board rubber.

It may seem harsh today but the teachers had carte blanc to inflict injury on us with any number of objects, from rulers across the knuckles to large plimsoles and finally six of the best with a cane.

By today’s standards it may seem a little over the top, but I’m certain it did instil in us a sense of discipline lacking in the youth of today.

Strangely enough when I was at school I wanted to be a script writer but this was in the days when one was conditioned with a sense of responsibility and so I did what was expected of me and became a baker.

Even if I had continued with my desire to be a script writer one wouldn’t have had the faintest idea how to become one, I suspect today one might be able to go to University and do a degree in script writing.

I have no recollection of ever seeing a careers master, I suspect that all the boys with family businesses were never called to see them and even if one did I can imagine their response when asking for advice to become a script writer. “A script writer, have you lost your mind boy!” “Cut along now and forget all this silly nonsense, you have an obligation to your father, do close the door on the way out.”

I later became involved with The Variety Club of Great Britain which had an amateur theatre group who would put on shows to raise money for charity.

Starting backstage I soon graduated to the stage itself. “We need someone to do a line in act four, you’ll do!” By this time the bug had bitten, adrenaline is such a wonderful drug!

Eventually my father retired and asked me if I wanted to carry on the family business, to which I replied, “I think I’ll take the money and run, if that’s okay with you.”

Having sold the business and being financially secure I set about obtaining my Equity card, for in those days you were not allowed to perform without one.

I worked hard and progressed from the bottom to just above the bottom, which may not sound that impressive but earning a living in the performing arts is a result in itself.

Sadly, as the years progressed my mother’s health gradually deteriorated to the point where due to her dementia I became her full time carer.

Unfortunately, this had a detrimental effect on my acting career and I eventually received a “Dear John” letter from my agent.

One of the few useful things I learnt from school was the fun of writing so I have always written things and continued to do so to satisfy my creative side.

I’m fairly certain my children’s book character Nobby Brasso, from up North where they don’t wear coats even when it’s freezing cold was originally dreamt up one freezing winters day whilst waiting for school to open. He’s come a long way over the years!

Most of my children’s stories were written for the daughter of a girlfriend who later became my wife and were shorter and never thought of as something to put in a book. It was many years later thanks to being able to publish relatively easily on Amazon that the idea of turning the stories into books became a reality.

I have written a collection of plays, called The Plays Wot I Wrote, the title of which was a small homage to Eric Morecambe, although I wonder now if anyone gets the joke or merely thinks I just can’t spell.

One of the plays therein, Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori which is based on letters sent and received by soldiers in the First World War has been produced by the Wireless Theatre Company and is available as an audio download on their website.

Another of my plays, also available on Amazon is The Battle of Barking Creek which tells the fascinating true story of a friendly fire incident on the third day of World War Two which resulted in the death of one of our airmen. One day someone will find the story and make a full length feature film about the event.

My first children’s book, Nobby Brasso Football Star tells the story of Nobby a young boy who graduated from the school football team to playing in the Cup Final. There are little gags in the book for the grownups who may be reading to a child as I believe the object of a bedtime story is to assist the child to sleep but to keep the adult awake.

The second Nobby book, Nobby Brasso and the big bash birthday will soon be available for the children who enjoyed the first story.

As you can tell, I had a fairly old fashioned education and this is reflected in the books which all have lessons about morals, ethics and aspirations and rewards hidden in the stories.

They say the best way to write anything is from truth, which leads me to Oliver the cat who went to the top of the world. The opening of the story concerns a friend giving a kitten called Oliver as a Christmas present and is based on the kitten given to me one year by my friend Collette. In the story Oliver goes to the top of Mount Everest and saves the lives of his companions on the way and is rewarded with a medal from The Queen on their return.

Once again Samantha’s fantastic space journey has elements of achievement and reward when Samantha goes into space and saves the life of one of the other astronauts, this time receiving a medal from President Obama. All of the books have black characters so hopefully can appeal to a wide audience.

Finally, The Cows Yacht Race is the amusing story of a group of cows who learn to sail and take part in The Cowes Yacht Race.

Coming soon, The Animal Olympics is jam packed with morals and tells of Mole who won the 100 meters proving even with poor eyesight he could beat far superior animals.

Also coming soon is Norman the pirate who didn’t want to be a pirate but would rather be a florist like his friend Dorothy, with gags yet again to keep the adults amused, all of the books are available on Amazon.

Lastly, I write two sometimes serious, but mostly amusing blogs. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin, is one and the other is Joe Wells, of whom it has been said.

You can find links to all the books, plays and blogs on my website https://lordjoewells.com

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EU to treat us with respect.

Just recently Theresa May has demanded that the EU should treat us with respect and I’m inclined to think she has a point, which caused me to comment on her statement on another news site.

I wrote in response that; I’ve had many holidays in France over the years but if the EU continue to treat us like this I’m beginning to think that I no longer want to go there.

To which someone else wrote back and said; Do you think the French will care, or that the Brits are the only people that go on holiday within Europe.

My response was as follows; It’s obviously going to surprise you but I had noticed there were other holiday makers in France other than the British. I think the big clue was the fact that they were not speaking English and sadly I have to include the Americans in this as they too have lost the ability to speak English as well.

Whilst not being old enough to remember World War Two, I’m beginning to imagine how we must have felt; one tiny nation standing alone against the massed hoards gathering across the English Channel.

Whilst I’m tempted with the old war time idea of fighting them on the beaches I feel I may have more impact by not spending my hard earned money in France. I’m going to draw the line at digging up our railings for the Spitfire fund as I know last time they were not used, although a few pots and pans could be sacrificed.

When those of us that do take holidays in France band together and collectively refrain from doing so causing the enemy to weaken and finally capitulate and I hear the words; Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few, ringing in my ears. I shall be a happy man, I’ve always rather hankered after a DFC.

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