Authorship and Poetry

The History of My Creative Writing

My First Book

People might think I never took myself seriously as an author until I was 29 or 30 but this is not the case. I actually wrote my first book when I was 6.5. I was a fantastic speaker with a clear talent for drama; an enthusiastic reader, but was slow to form letters at first visually I was more of an aural talent early on. Mum was a prize winning essay writer at Maldon Grammar School in the 1950s and she was having none of it. You are a writer my son! She declared, and made me write my first book. The Summer Holidays 1984 with words and pictures! So she encouraged me to write creatively. That's one of the brand new Intercity125 trains we went down there on with cousin Kate. I think depicted there in the titles was a logo inspired by the the 1984 TUC conference which was televised live in those days oh yes, comrades!

The Titel Page
The Title Page
Dairyland Entry
Dairyland Entry
The Rocket Climbing Frame
The Rocket Climbing Frame

My First Play

I haven't written a lot of drama, but when I moved from Central London to Widford Lodge Prep School for Boys as it was then in Chelmsford in South Essex my then English teacher who also doubled as my music master and choir master the multi tasking James Smith got me to write creatively all the time. All we did in English was copy out and make our own poems, and create booklets with themed short stories in. I got so used to this so that when I was asked to write once dramatic scene from the story of Henry II and Thomas á Becket for History Class with Simon Trowell I was divinely inspired somehow to grab mums typewriter for days and type out a complete 3 page classic of the whole thing. My teacher was so delighted and because we had no national curriculum in those days they went with it and asked me to direct my class in a complete performance of it which I gladly did. I still have it tucked away with mum's stash of parent's letters. I want to write about it sometime. I was about 8.5. Henry II was my favourite British King responsible for the common law and justice in Britain. he had the most beautiful wife in Eleanor of Aquitaine of his age but he had this weakness in accidentally ordering the death of his best friend from two ambitious knights who wanted to gain his favour. They had taken the drunken line over dinner 'Who Will Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest?' too literally and he was wracked with guilt for the rest of his life.

First Page of History Play 1
First Page of History Play 1

Creative Writing at Ipswich School in the 1990s.

The Crystal Bed and the IJ

Although the subject of creative writing wasn't part of our core education at my public school in Suffolk; I did briefly write for the unofficial school magazine the IJ or Ipswichian Journal which we used to sell for 5p in the playground until it was shut down and put out of business by the official school newsletter the Ipswichian Occasional which was composed by the deputy head Mr Warnes. The IJ was a witty take on goings on around the school which was frowned on I think by the teaching old guard as being far too socialist and The Ipswichian Occasional to over from the free press to create an official line to impress parents, but I did get one of my poems in the school's yearly publication and review The Ipswichian 1993. This poem was my first poem of any significance. It didn't have a title for years but it is now known as The Crystal Bed; it's about my first love playing the flute in the school orchestra at out annual concert at Snape Maltings. I had a vision like Robert Schumann of this better version of myself flying around my head like a wraith playing the flute. I came home still thinking about the performance and wrote the poem in five minutes before nodding off to sleep. The next day me being that disorganised I'd forgotten to practise anything for the final of the school literature reading prize and won it with that with a unanimous verdict. It was recorded as an A* in my GCSE Oral English log and I got a little cult status as a leader in my set because we had talent, but weren't considered the best academically at that stage. That said some of us went on to be world class in what we did in life. Winning that was important psychological motivation for my development as an artist in general. It kept me going and won my an Assisted Places Scholarship to the school after my father died of cancer as the breadwinner and mum as 10 years unemployed. I was given a term to pull the rabbit out of the hat and show me true colours or leave and I survived because of Sarah's poem. I went on to write about 145 poems at school and 435 in total so far most of the early ones were about the crush on my first love. I didn't win her because there was so much competition we only had 20 little princesses in the 6th form in those days and the competition was murderous for a woman, but I was determined to go on and win such a Cambridge bound genius in later life, someone similarly as multi tasking as a wife. Here is a voiceover of the edited version in The Ipswichian 1993 and my name and poem in the mag.


The Crystal Bed 1993
The Crystal Bed 1993

The Five Epochs of my Poetry

My poetry can be divided into 5 Epochs. My philosophy is largely that of a love poet but the most interesting thing is that my approach to love has changed so much over time and this is evident in the poetry itself. It can characterised under the following headings and approaches; it is a lifelong enquiry in to the perfect partner. There are about 435 in total so far. My aim is to write 650 by the end of my life roughly the same number that appear in Ted Hughes's anthology and the same number that Rudyard Kipling wrote (both major poets)as like Kipling I don't just write poems, but prose works and musical compositions as well prolifically. They are merely aspects of love pertaining to individual thoughts I was having at the time but they are a perfect snapshot of the emotional journey and pilgrims progress that is my life to be contextualised by the tree rings of memoirs I'm currently writing for them. I'm still collating, transcribing and editing them for a combined works before I write the final 250 or so, to make up the book.

My Five Poetic Epochs

Epoch Number Epoch Name (& Number of poems) Epoch Mission Statement Life Phase
1 Early (190+ including those non transcribed as yet) Innocent, Intellectual, Idealistic School and GSMD pre 2001
2 Kassel (15) Confident, rebellious, condescending My Time in Kassel December 2001 - August 2002.
3 Wuppertal (100+) Erotic, Witty, Barbed, and Fun Wuppertal Times September 2002 - May 2005 in German and English
4 Cologne (15-20) Anticlimax, Fulfilled, Dishonest Cologne Magic May 2005 - May 2007
5 Late (120+) Reflective, Sad, Deflated, Loss, Unfulfilled Since 2010.

The Novels 2009 - 2013

During the period in which I was splitting up and dare I say 'divorcing' the love of my life so far. I wrote my first novel in dedication to her; we split up for good when I was doing my masters dissertation in English for Specific Purposes. I just about passed, but I lost my career because I completely lost it for a while. All three novels feature characters which remind me of her. They are :

New Leather Jacket (or Pig!) 2009/2010

I wrote this novel in just six weeks. It's genre is Romantic Fiction. It started off as a creative essay of 3000 words the same length as my 8 coursework essays for my MA degree in English Language. I doubled it and tripled it in successive days and then realised it was my chance to write a novel and to go for it. I knew I could write 3000 words a day comfortably. So I worked out how long it would take to write 50,000 words which is the official length of a short novel and divided up the days onto a tick list, when I did 3000 words I ticked the day off on the list and tried to stick to it as religiously as possible for my first novel I had a 2 week break in the middle for Christmas. It was my first full length creative essay at 54,500 words. I got into the routine of doing the morning write in a cafe called Loofers in Colchester City Centre, UK as if going to work, having a mug of coffee in there with my HP notebook, 1500 words and then the same again at the evening at home.

Basic Plot

Francesca Lohn (Fran) is a German woman with the dilemma of having two great men in her life. Justin the high flying chief executive of Barclays Trading, the bully of her life, and the Translator, John, whom she finds truly sweet, but has next to no money. She is a high flyer herself and treats John to everything, if carrying him a little, and they end up living together as she managed to say no to Justin in a very difficult situation. Unfortunately, the management are sympathetic to Justin and allow him a business trip with her on which she buys John a new leather jacket, but on which Justin gets her pregnant. Despite betraying each other at the same moment, John and Fran meet up for one last Tango in Paris to give him his gift, because she's not that pregnant, yet!

Germanic Potential

I used to be a member of a German Catholic Student Society at the University of Cologne despite being a protestant CofE man. I was splitting up from them at the time and over there outstaying my welcome with them. Indeed, I was eventually made homeless. I had gone over there initially on my way to Leipzig to see that elusive love of my life one last time to apologise for such a horrible break up. I ended up staying for the 2010 World Cup. I went for an Italian when we lost 3-1 and they were all blowing their vuvuzelas.


I say myself in my favourite Boheminan student cafe Cafe Doodle on Zülipcher Wall (known in German as Cafe Duddel) where I used to go ofter Writer's Workshop in German at the University of Cologne when studying there from 2005-2007 and bashed out another 50,500 words in just 3 weeks in the back room come performance space of Cafe Duddel. I wrote a poem about writing in Cafe Duddel which I've got here. I love Cafe Duddel.

The Plot

It starts with the protagonist casting the communal plastic telephone of the KsTV Virualia zu Köln into the River Rhein from the Deutzer Brücke. They try to decide if the protagonist is guilty of it in one of their 3 hr long meetings. They came up with the fact that he would be ejected from the frat if the protagonist had used the scissors from the kitchen to cut the telephone's umbilical chord rather than his own pen knife. If he'd cut it with the knife that was fine but it was totally unacceptable to deface Virualia property with it's own property. He was guilty.


It ends up with the provost sexing up the future wife of the protagonist in a less than kosher way. It causes the victim to have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the Cologne Psychiatric Hospital from which he escapes via an open door in a vision of being bathed in the white light of his true love's memory 'the ghost of the actress'. So she saves his life, and as if by magic the novel ends with him escaping to Bremen on the train with a new girlfriend he'd bumped into on a Cologne park bench.

Your Knight in Shining Armour

This one was written in February 2013 again in just 3 weeks 51,500 words at home in Colchester after the purchase of a 5 Star Silk and Steel LP from the 1980s on a CD from a Charity shop. It is a modern take of a knight's adventures he carries out called 'Aventiure' in medieval German in order to build a worthy reputation and status as a Lord and man of battle.

The Plot

The woman protagonist meets her first love and decides he is too innocent for her. She tells him to go away and make love to a woman for every track on his new 5* LP he bought to get him through his early mid life crisis. Approaching his task with each one in a different new and creative way because every woman is different in a relationship. Then when she's finished doing the same she will allow him to come back and marry him afterwards.

The Memoirs

There have been a number of memoirs written about my life also. These are serious and as close to the reality of my memory as possible. I've been inspired by the annals of the Venerable Bede to write about a typical life ie my own of my age.


My parents were amateur photographers and have many photos about our lives to caption enhance and present with text dating back to 1979 and beyond. they are intended as a photo-realistic account of what happened. There are five completed ones and I'm writing a sixth. this constitutes the majority of my work right now in creative writing.

America Illustrated (or My American Pie)


In 2001, I wanted to do some travelling on my own and decide to explore the whole of the American continent form the East to the West Coast and to include a bit of Canada in the process. As I was going for the safe option I decided on an organised bus trip with Australian Company Contiki that covered the following places on a 23 day tour with a few days in NYC and LA at either end:


  1. New York City
  2. Newport RI
  3. Boston and Cambridge MASS
  4. Montreal
  5. Thousand Islands
  6. Toronto
  7. Cleveland,  OH
  8. Chicago IL
  9. Milwaukee MI
  10. Sioux Falls SD
  11. Deadwood, Lead, Crazy Horse, & Mount Rushmore SD
  12. Devils Tower WY
  13. Cody WY
  14. Yellowstone National Park WY
  15. Salt Lake UT
  16. St George UT
  17. Bryce and Zion Canyons UT
  18. Las Vegas NV
  19. Anaheim CA
  20. Disneyland CA


There are 72 pictures and digitised slides and the word count is an ameliorated version of the diary I kept on the trip by hand it's 9,500 words in length. It's been made into a voiceover and blog on U-Tube with videos of each day. The text was originally published as a booklet on Create Space as The Calm Before the Storm (being 911), which happened a week after I had returned. The leather back personal copy was printed after a professional editing run with Karl French in 2018 with Barry Brignell's in Cambridge boxed with a bookmark ribbon. A special treat.


History of My Political Activism 2003 - 2024

This is going to be printed and bound in a final version but is an ongoing blog. It includes the following campaigns and protests. I got involved in politics as a hobby protester in my student flat. My flatmates were activists and members of the had left PDS the former daughter party of the SED the Communist Party of East Germany. They roped me into doing a protest with them or be too boring to live with them. I had to make up the numbers or they couldn't have gone on such a cheap ticket. It was one of the most memorable trips of my life that weekend ranking equally with America as a positive experience and costing not 5000 GBP but just 15 euros per head travel. I like both sorts of experiences in life:



Die Linke (PDS) Activism in Germany

  1. Anti Iraq War Protest in Berlin 15th February 2003
  2. Antifascist March in Wuppertal, Oberbarmen 2004
  3. Student Strike Against Tuition Fees at Cologne University 2006



Unite Against Fascism

  1. March against the EDL in Luton 2011 (standing protest in square)



StrongerIN Campaign

  1. Yes to Europe Campaign in Colchester June 2016 including vote checking in charter hall
  2. Letter Writing to MPS and MEPS



Stand Up for Europe

  1. Munich Conference November 2017
  2. Brussels mini conference November 2017
  3. New Years drinks in Brussels Jan 2018
  4. Conference at ULB April 28th 2018



Union of European Federalists

  1. We are Europe Conference Brussels November 2018
  2. Budapest Citizens Agora February 2019



Open Britain

  1. Help with a door to door survey in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 2018



New Europeans

  1. One day conference at Europe House Westminster 2019


Suffolk for Europe

  1. Anti Pro Rogation March December Ipswich Town Hall 2019


Labour Party Election Campaigning

  1. For Mrs Pam Cox Parliamentary candidate and local councillors 2024



The blog is available on a different section of this site.


Books About My Life In 00s Germany

These books are about my association with the other country in my life in many ways my adopted country of Germany. I've had German friends from living in West Berlin from a very young age in 1979. I studied and worked in Germany for 7 years from 2001  - 2007 and again for 8 months in 2010.

I've lived in the following cities in Germany:



Kassel, Hessen

Wuppertal, NRW

Cologne, NRW


My Little Book of Berlin 1979 - 2023

little book1
img_0295 Kopie

This book tells the story of my German exchange with my friend in Berlin during our schooling and remaining friends beyond that time. The von Wittich family were originally our neighbours in West Berlin and Lily the mother befriended us and got me speaking German and listening to music for the first time from 18 months old until when I was three. the family have remained friends ever since. Various members of my family have lived there ever since. My cousin is there at the moment with his German wife but my aunt also lived there from about 1981 - 1997. Lily the mother of the family my exchange partner's parent died in 2022 and we buried her last year in his home village of Reitwein near the polish boarder in his family grave. That was the last time I visited last year. I love Berlin. I've started to voice it over on a podcast. It's currently 13,500 words but needs extending to include the funeral and revamping in general. One of the first memoirs I wrote it includes another exceptional day in my life; my day trip to the GDR in East Berlin on the 2nd June 1988 I got some pictures I could have been arrested for taking, including this one from the Eastern side of the Brandenburg gate looking towards the wall.

Berlin Wall and Brandenburg gate 1988 Hugh

My Time in Kassel December 2001 -  September 2002

My time in Kassel
Me in the teacher's room
Me in the teacher's room

I went to Kassel to teach EFL but it fell through. I decided to stay on and sing for Kassel Bach Choir for a performance of the Bach St Matthew Passion in Fritzlar Cathedral with my friend Julia Graf, the Neurologist, I also sang for Kassel Uni choir with my other friend there Susanne Weber and did a German course with the VHS and passed the Goethe Institute ZMP the old B2 course. I hung out with my friend from Mombassa Kenya Darius from our class for economic migrants and refugees from all over the world learning German. Also had voice lessons from Alexander Stevenson and audition for my college inWuppertal. I successfully applied there and for four unis in GB for German including Manchester and Aberdeen. I also sang in a professional opera project in Goettingen just before moving on to Wuppertal in September 2002 for the start of term there. The word count for this one is 23,500 words.

Wuppertal Times September 2002 - May 2005

Trip to Schloss Brúhl and Phantasialand with my Russian girlfriend from German class, Dasha who came from St Petersburg
Trip to Schloss Brúhl and Phantasialand with my Russian girlfriend from German class, Dasha who came from St Petersburg

I was studying Classical Voice and Piano as well as theory and history of music at Cologne Conservatoire Wuppertal Campus from 2002 - 2005. I also ran my own business there as an EFL supply teacher and did some protesting and had many relationships with the student population. Wuppertal was really hard left and great fun. This is complete but largely unedited an epic 88,501 words it's my longest book so far.

In my flat in Wuppertal Gesellenstraße 9 42119
In my flat in Wuppertal Gesellenstraße 9 42119

Cologne Magic May 2005 - November 2010

Me by the Heidelberg barrel in full masonic regalia.
Me by the Heidelberg barrel in full masonic regalia.

Currently being written this tells the true story of my life in the Cologne frat and the other places I lived whist studying at the University on a Musicology English and German course. During this time I was working all over the NRW including in Solingen. some of the happiest years of my life. We travelled down to Heidelberg to a big student party in the castle and dressed as Prussian Students from 1900. My friends there were centre right but I'm naturally more of a socialist I just went through a phase of being more conservative and having conservative friends.