La Fontaine


Pete looked incredulously at the winged serpenty-lions gushing water into the fountain. According to his online guide, they were supposed to be dragons. But the heads were definitely lions. And the bodies were snakes. What do you get when you cross a lion and a snake? Not a bloody dragon that’s for sure. He was prepared to concede that the wings were dragonesque, but the sculptor had clearly not been watching the same films as Pete when it came to fire-breathing reptiles. Continue reading La Fontaine

James Reviews The Tesco Hudl Replacment Charge Board Port Socket Micro USB Port

If, like me, you realised about a year ago that this whole ‘iPad’ malarkey wasn’t just a fad and that maybe technology was starting to get away from you, then you too may have rushed in a mild state of panic, to your nearest Tesco, in order to rectify the situation.

Obviously not to buy an actual iPad – that would have been mental. Have you seen how much they cost? No, the supermarket ‘own-brand’ equivalent is more than good enough. It’s a thrifty and savvy purchase. Continue reading James Reviews The Tesco Hudl Replacment Charge Board Port Socket Micro USB Port

James Complains About Monkey Monkey Monkey

You’d never know it to look at me but I’m reasonably fit. Not athletic you understand. I have no actual ability when it comes to sport, but when it comes to taking part there are few people as gifted as me at ‘making up the numbers’.

I’m even a member of a local gym. Sometimes I actually go there.

Continue reading James Complains About Monkey Monkey Monkey

Alice Accepts Her Fate

“You’ve got to live life to the full,” Pete declared, through mouthfuls of chicken and leek pie, “you could get hit by a bus tomorrow and kablam! Then it’s all over before you even realise what’s happened!”

Alice knew her brother meant well, though he could have chosen a better example to support his argument. The village of Nettleton hadn’t had a bus service in over twenty years, so the odds of being hit by one seemed fairly minimal. Heavy-duty agricultural vehicles were another matter entirely… Continue reading Alice Accepts Her Fate

James Reviews – Fifty plastic money bags

Do you get really stressed when you’re at the checkout, and always pay with a note, even when you’ve got the exact change in your pocket?

Then these plastic money bags are absolutely essential!


Because inevitably you’re going to have lots of loose change lying around.

And that can be annoying. Continue reading James Reviews – Fifty plastic money bags

James Complains – About An Unplanned Nap

No-one loves an afternoon nap more than me. It’s a fundamental part of the working day as far as I am concerned…

I jest, of course- I’m a teacher, if I were to fall asleep at work I’d no doubt wake up with a very different hairstyle, a creatively drawn moustache and, in the same indelible ink, some choice expletives written on my forehead.

And that’s just what the other teachers would do… Continue reading James Complains – About An Unplanned Nap

All Hail King Bromfell

Bromfell saw the village in the distance. It was a welcome sight. He had ridden for many hours and both he and his beloved horse, Alcris, were tired.

He patted the stallion’s neck.

“Not far now old friend,” he said, “soon we shall find respite.”

The smell of freshly harvested hops served as an extra impetus, for he yearned to quench his thirst, and the local ale had a fine reputation.

He tugged the reigns and Alcris picked up the pace. Before long they were entering the outskirts of the village.

A young man was walking by the road. Bromfell hailed him.

“Hello lad,” he said warmly, “is there an inn nearby, where I and my companion may quench our thirst?”

The youth gave Bromfell a startled look.

“Listen mate I don’t want any trouble, ” he said. Continue reading All Hail King Bromfell

James Reviews – A Jedi Themed Dressing Gown

This dressing gown is a must have. When you’ve had a tough day fighting Sith lords and Stormtroopers, there’s nothing better than kicking back and relaxing in one of these luxurious robes. Equally if the force isn’t quite as strong with you, or you’re now in your mid-thirties and therefore ‘too old to begin the training’, then there’s nothing to stop you from buying one of these and just pretending that you’re a Jedi.

jedi gown

Like I do.

All of the time. Continue reading James Reviews – A Jedi Themed Dressing Gown

Summer Wardrobe Essentials

summer wardrobe essentials

Early one morning
On a high street like any other
Before the retail giants had even begun to yawn
I saw a man asleep in a doorway

In the window of that same establishment
A well-known clothing outlet
Written in garish pink, were the words
‘Summer Wardrobe Essentials’ Continue reading Summer Wardrobe Essentials

James Complains About People He Doesn’t Like

I think I’m often misrepresented as someone who doesn’t really like other people. I’m overly sarcastic and it’s been suggested more than once that I don’t suffer fools gladly. I suppose that’s true, I don’t ‘suffer’ anything gladly. Who suffers gladly?

But I’ve got nothing against fools who don’t make me suffer.

In actual fact I like people as a general rule. I just don’t very much like being around lots of them at the same time. But I don’t think social anxiety should ever be mistaken for misanthropy – they really aren’t the same thing. Continue reading James Complains About People He Doesn’t Like

Making Merry

“Ok Bazza, it’s your round!”

Barry looked at the three-quarters-full pint of warmish lager in front of him.

“I don’t really want another drink to be honest,” he replied.

“But it’s your round!” Toby remonstrated, aghast at his friend’s poor comprehension of pub etiquette.

Barry took a sip of his tepid pilsner, and felt the recriminations of his belligerent bloated belly. Continue reading Making Merry

James Reviews – The Oxford Paperback Italian Dictionary, 1997 edition

If you are a student of the Italian Language in the late nineties then this dictionary is a ‘must have’.

If you’re an Italian speaker who is trying to improve your knowledge of the English language circa 1998, then it may also prove useful.

The cover boldly claims that it’s ‘The biggest paperback dictionary of its kind’. It doesn’t clarify what it means by ‘its kind’ so it’s difficult to confirm if this statement is accurate, or even if it was accurate in 1997.

518I6rRdlbL Continue reading James Reviews – The Oxford Paperback Italian Dictionary, 1997 edition

More Haste, Less Speed

Welcome back to my regular Monday feature where I publish something that looks like it might be a poem but on closer inspection may not be a poem. Is this a poem? You decide…


More Haste, Less Speed

“More haste, less speed!”

Said the Rabbit

This was an odd thing for a rabbit to say, Continue reading More Haste, Less Speed

James Complains – About A Sore Throat

Before I begin this particular diatribe, I need to point out that this is part of the, now regular, ‘James Complains’ feature of this blog, so even though I’m not really that ill and I’m bearing up quite well, this feature is very much focused on my ability to whinge about things that don’t really matter. If it was called ‘James Copes Quite Well In Mild Adversity’ or ‘James Makes The Best Of It’ then, obviously the tone would be different. But as it’s ‘James Complains’ I feel duty bound to lament the current state of affairs.

And the current state of affairs is that I’m not well. I’ve been not well since Friday night. On Friday night I woke up with a really sore throat. It was so painful that I couldn’t sleep. It’s now Sunday and it has got a bit better, but I’m still not well, which means I’ve been unwell all weekend. Continue reading James Complains – About A Sore Throat

A Bit Of Introspection

James Proclaims (4)

I nearly made it a whole seven days without blogging about blogging, but yesterday I cracked and wrote a tongue-in-cheek post that was very much about blogging. It was partly through the limitations of time and partly through a total lack of inspiration. ‘Blogger’s Block’ if you will.

So today I thought I’d use my blog entry to ruminate a little on what the point of all of this is. Through careful analysis (by the blog itself not by me…) I’ve worked out that I get very few people visiting ‘James Proclaims’ on a Saturday, so if I’m going to be a little self-indulgent then today is probably the day. If such a thing as a ‘die hard’ fan of this blog exists, then I suppose this is the DVD ‘making of’ extra rather than the main content. If you are a ‘die-hard’ fan of this blog then you might want to reconsider how you spend your time. There are better things than this out there for your entertainment, not just in the form of other blogs but also books and films and art and stuff. If you’re a die hard fan of my blog then you might instead want to to try the Die Hard films. At least three of them are better than this. Continue reading A Bit Of Introspection

Some people will think this post is clever, but it isn’t clever at all…

James Proclaims (4)

Today is looking dangerously like the first day in a while when I won’t update this blog.

I’ve been blogging consistently for days on end now. I haven’t yet let something like ‘having nothing to write about’ get in my way.

I’ve hit a few milestones along the way.

On the 21st June I completed the ‘blogging landmark’ of 30 posts in 30 days. Then I kept the run going and blogged every day for the whole of June. Two days ago I achieved a phenomenal 40 posts in 40 days and, to top it all, yesterday was my 50th post on James Proclaims. I only started this blog on May 10th. If the benchmark of success is quantity over quality then I’m truly a talent to behold. Continue reading Some people will think this post is clever, but it isn’t clever at all…

Robbie Wants A Rocket

The familiar melody was growing louder. Robbie was excited. So often he was forced to listen to those chimes come and go, leaving him with nothing more than a bitter taste of disappointment.

“We’ve got ice-lollies in the freezer,” his mum would say.

Robbie always protested. The ice-cream van sold rocket lollies… Continue reading Robbie Wants A Rocket

James Reviews – Drumstick Pencils

Could this be another new feature on James Proclaims? A feature where I regularly review stuff that you may, but probably won’t, find useful?

Only time will tell.

Today I’m reviewing something that I got given as a Secret Santa gift in December 2013. I am reviewing these drumstick pencils.

suc051_drumstick_pencils_3 Continue reading James Reviews – Drumstick Pencils