Saturday, 29 May 2010

Kazoo Poemz

Kazoo Poem 1


Kazoo Poem 2


Kazoo Poem 3



Thursday, 22 April 2010

A Couple of Rhinos

Sexton Ming and I successfully launched our new chapbook (Talented Losers) on the 18th April.

Like the leathery skinned rhinoceros, we are an endangered species, so many people came to see our performances and they offered us words of love, and gave promises of protection.

A Rhino Hunter

A rhino hunter named Moore,
nailed the head of the beast to his door.
He was caught and arrested
and his sanity tested -
'Cos the Big Five were now the Big Four!


Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Talented Losers

Colin Shaddick and Sexton Ming

Colin Shaddick and Sexton Ming have joined forces and released a book of poetry and some very odd short stories. The title of their book is 'Talented Losers'. The chapbook will be launched in London on the 18th April 2010.

Sexton Ming is a cult poet, painter and musician. He was born in Gravesend and tells the world that he was diagnosed as suffering from 'Thick Disease'. As a result of that shocking discovery, he now has to consume copious amounts of 'Brainy Pills' to compensate for this intrusive impediment.

At the tender age of 16, Sexton applied for a place on a foundation course at the Medway School of Art and Design, but was deemed unsuitable and was refused entry.

Sexton has appeared on over 20 LPs and CDs. He has been widely published. His musical and poetic output is unique. For more information about Sexton please go to:

Colin Shaddick is a poet, musician, singer/songwriter and cartoonist. He has been widely published and his songs are regularly played on various radio stations. For more information about Colin please click on my 'inclusifolk' website link below.

Jotting Without Blotting

I sometimes compose
little poems that rhyme.
It's an amusing way
to pass the time.

But after several years
of free-form jotting
I no longer want my book,
or its copy, blotting.

The difficult part
in writing poems, for me,
is deciding where
the end should be.

It's so different when
one writes stuff in prose:
there's plenty of time
to plan just where it goes.


Monday, 15 March 2010

I'm William Blake - Just For Short Periods

Dreaming can be such a beautiful experience.

I was alone,
by the River Taw.
The cry of distant birds
through the still
and chilly morning air.

I was looking up;
looking down
and mixing colours
on a palette
made from pale slate.

Hanging on the back
of my folding chair
was an Allen Ginsberg
The one I should
have bought
in San Francisco.

I was painting you
as an angel
drifting through
my bedroom.
You passed below
the Gyson print
I taped to the ceiling
many years ago.
Burroughs was visible
through the curtains.

Your beautifil head
was inclined to the right:
long hair flowing
like a stream over your skin.
The morning light
was playing with your eyes,
making them sparkle
as you looked out at me.

Mr Coltrane was playing
A Love Supreme
as he looked obliquely
from the bottom corner
of the large canvas.
He didn't notice
that you were in the picture.
My old guitar
was resting in the corner
of the bright room.
All was peaceful
and I felt that I was part of life

Each time I dream,
I dream of you
and I fear the picture
will be finished all too soon.


Monday, 8 March 2010

Eccentrics can be open to abuse

Here's some interesting (and amusing) information about the ups and downs in the life of an eccentric performance poet.

"Don't worry. No experience in life is wasted. Good or bad: it's all possible material for poems and songs."

I have found that being labeled 'Eccentric' can mean walking a narrow and sometimes lonesome path. To stray from this narrow path of acceptability can often mean a short period of isolation, or even worse: being expelled from part of a group that I had previously thought of as an understanding gathering of welcoming friends. (You'll quickly find out who your friends are).

Labels can be so harmful. I am no different now than I've always been. So one has to ask this question: why the sudden change in the attitudes of a few individuals, when I do something that is narural for me, but is now seen as emanating from someone with the label: 'Eccentric'? It's as if the label has now become an invisible target; people taking potshots at me from hidden vantage points along my given path. For what reason, I cannot fully understand. I will continue to ponder.

Labels can easily be attached and removed too. My 'Eccentric' label has been attached to many things locally, and the individuals who've tied it to their own particular pet cause, or event, have been very happy with its positioning, but a lack of a true understanding - by some people - of what eccentricity really is, can lead to the once appreciated label to be ripped off and cast aside.

But it is not all bad. If you are thinking about coming out of your eccentric closet and are now having second thoughts, don't be concerned. If you are true to yourself everything will work out fine. Yes, we'll get our knocks from time-to-time, but whats a few knocks when they're shared between true friends. The people I know and mix with understand that we are not all cast from the same die, and we all celbrate this fact. Let yourself go. Let your eccentricities flow!

* According to studies, there are eighteen distinctive characteristics that differentiate a healthy eccentric person from a regular person or someone who has a mental illness (although some may not always apply). The first five are in most people regarded as eccentric:

1 Nonconforming attitude
2 Intense curiosity
3 Idealistic
4 Happy obsession with a hobby or hobbies
5 Known very early in his/her childhood they were different from others
6 Highly intelligent
7 Opinionated and outspoken
8 Unusual living or eating habits
9 Not interested in the opinions or company of others
10 Mischievous sense of humour
11 Single
12 Usually the eldest or an only child

* Wikipedia

* So long as a man rides his Hobby-Horse peaceably and quietly along the King's highway, and neither compels you or me to get up behind him - Pray, Sir, what have either you or I to do with it?

* Laurence Stern (1713-1768) British Writer.

Want to have some fun? Why not become a friend of the Eccentric Club? To do so, please click on the Eccentric Club link below. Once the site is accessed it's there you'll see the friends section.


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The fly mows

In my previous blog I posted a piece of hastily assembled, but highly creative work and I called it Desk Art. Well, since then I have received a number of pieces of work from readers of the North Devon Journal who now call themselves desk artists.

Some of the pieces are not suitable for publication due to the content matter, but here's a wonderful piece of desk art (see above). It was created by that very lively local folk performer and teller of bad jokes, Mr Martyn Babb. Martyn informs me that he 'turns out a lot of this kind of stuff.'

If you are a desk artist and wish to have your work represented on this page, please get in contact with me.


Monday, 15 February 2010

No Formaldehyde Required

There is a new and creative art wave crashing through the many dull offices and work spaces of this country. Anyone with desk room and access to the internet can take part.

And there's no need to worry. This new art form carries little risk. It is almost completely safe. There are no nasty chemicals or dangerous glass cases involved in the making of, or in the displaying of this art. The danger lies in the possibility of being caught in the creative process, by your line manager or supervisor!

You need to ask yourself this one question: 'Am I willing to suffer for my art?' You must remember that everything comes at a price and the price of making this art could be too high for someone who has been newly appointed to an office. I would say to them, "Hang on. See what's what. Settle in for a while and then have a go at it a bit later on."

The photograph of the first piece of this new art (see above) was sent to me by its quirky creator . He is a reclusive type of person and works from his small studio in Barnstaple. He told me that the title for this ground-breaking work is: 'Sheepishly typing.'

He went on to explain the meaning of the work: "It's about farming, really and the way that farmers have to do so much paper work. It's also about the tagging of farm animals. Farm animals have to be tagged from ear to toe these days. There's hardly a clear space on them left. They look like mobile advertising boards. One day the animals will turn into plastic. Then we'll turn into plastic, because we eat those farm animals. We are what we eat, you know."

Well, it is an honour for me to present this new art here today. This could be the beginning of a new age of enlightenment. I'd be interested to know what you think of it and if you will be creating your own work in the future.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

Fremington Army Camp. 1944

I'd be interested to know about the camp during its duration as a post-D-Day US Army Station Hospital. I believe the 313th Station Hospital started receiving casualties for rehabilitation on 20th July 1944. The hospital had the capacity to treat 2000 patients. If anyone has any photographs of the camp during the period the hospital was functioning, or information about the date of closure, I'd love to hear from you.

Eccentrically Colin.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

A Norf Deb'm Ulfubet

A Norf Deb'm Ulfubet

A iz ver they blimmin' Appledranes wot stingz us ev'ry yer.

B iz ver them vlyin’ Biddles wot gets snagged-up een yer ’air.

C iz ver liddo Chillern. They keeps them biddles eena tin.

D iz ver big Dough Boyz. They stops us geddin’ theen.

E iz ver ar Eddicaashun. Thass wot makes us reo smaart.

F iz the Vling us uzez when us draawz up a gert goode daart.

G iz ver Graj’ly. Thaa’s the way us dooz it down yer.

H iz tu Oller. You doot when you’m zore as a bear.

I iz ver Iv’ry-wips-wile. Thaas when us goez a-courtin’.

J iz ver the Jingle o cash, an’ it maakes us veel importint.

K iz ver veelin’ Kane. Us do, when us iz gwain off to werk.

L iz ver the Larrupin’ you getz if yu shoude staart tu shirk.

M iz ver Maize. Thass wot yu iz when you ak the vool.

N iz ver the Nap. On top o’n you’m priddy cool.

O iz ver Oddz. Thass wot things coude be, an' very offin iz.

P iz ver Propper. When’ tid’n no outzider'z swizz.

Q iz ver the Kwane. Oo sitz wavin’ up in Lunnon.

R iz ver the Raud. Where zum daff vooks goes rinnin’.

S iz ver Sivver. Thass more than jiss the wun.

T iz ver they Tackerz. Jis’ like ol’ Tom Thumm.

U iz ver Unnerdz. Thass more than you’m aable tu cownt.

V iz ver a Vall. Yu zumtimes av um arder a pint.

W iz ver Waap'm. Like wot’s dun een boxin’.

X iz ver Ex’lent. Like tiz when you’m quidz een.

Y iz ver the Yet us zumtimes veel on ar ‘edz een zummer.

Z iz ver Zode. Git ridz of ur owze tu a Grockle. Wod a bummer!

Wanna have some Eccentric fun? You do? Well, click on the following link m'dear:


Photograph by: Linda Shaddick

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Hope For Haiti - Gig

All proceeds to Shelterbox.

This gig has been created in response to an article in the North Devon Journal about Isobel Rofner and her efforts to organize a 'Hope for Haiti' day on the 27th January.

Hope For Haiti - Gig
Plough Arts Centre
Tuesday 26th January 8-10 pm

Donations from £5.00

Doors open at 7.30

Performers include:

Ricky Knight
Tom Finney
Caroline Cassinelli
Chris Ayliffe
'Hetty' White
Colin Shaddick
'Big Al' Mitchell
Les Hansen, Steve Colwill, Debbie O'Shea, Ian Hudson who are 'Wing and a Prayer'
Chris Millington
Kevin Aram
Ploughcappella (invited)
Magic and comedy acts (invited)

The Plough Arts Centre management has kindly donated the auditorium space for Tuesday the 26th January, as other events are scheduled on the Wednesday.

Contact Dave Clinch.
07887 650 671
01805 624938


Monday, 18 January 2010

'Stuck' in Barnstaple

People often ask me what Stuckism is all about and whether there is a need for such a movement in North Devon. My answer to that is, ‘How do you perceive contemporary art? Does it have a positive or negative affect on your senses? The answer to these questions will give you a direction.’ Here’s how it appears to me:

Stuckism is pro contemporary figurative painting with ideas.

Stuckists vigorously promote painting as a vital visual art form and an antidote to the current commercial cancer. Stuckists have an equal commitment to writing, poetry and music too.

The Barnstaple Stuckists is a DIY movement of independent artists, who agree on a core philosophy, but are free to make individual interpretations of that philosophy.

The Barnstaple Stuckists objectives are to help bring about the downfall of Post Modernism; to undermine the inflated price structure of some British art and instigate a spiritual renaissance in art and society in general.

The Barnstaple Stuckists believe that art exhibitions should not always be confined to the oft sterile surrounds of an art gallery and that poetry readings and music should be more accessible to the public.

The Barnstaple Stuckists also realize that living in a county such as Devon, with little or no decent public transport system and the prohibitive cost of fuel, it is impossible for many low paid workers, pensioners and the unemployed to get to a town or city to experience 'art'.

The Barnstaple Stuckists say art exhibitions, poetry readings and small music concerts should be held in individual homes too. They believe the surroundings in which art is experienced should not be artificial or vacuous. They want to show people that real art/entertainment still exists and it is right there, waiting to be discovered, under their noses.

For more information about the Stuckist movement, go to:


* With thanks to the 'Stuckists' website and the 'Guerrilla Stuckists' website.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Panic buying!

The Greatest British Eccentric of the Year Contest. London 2009
I'd just like to say a big 'thank you' to those selfish and greedy panic buyers who've been rushing about the place like demented chickens, stuffing huge bags to the brim with bread and milk, without the slightest thought for the rest of us!
The only option left open to our family, is to soak the small original copy of this rare photograph (see above) in tepid water and share it out (equally) among the twelve of us. It will not taste quite as good as toast, but it will keep us going during this cold snap.
Here's hoping that fresh supplies of bread will arrive before this once cherished photograph has been completely devoured.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Beware the Taw

Lonely stands a marker in a shady place, near the unforgiving Taw. There are two names inscribed upon the marker: Lady Hilda McNeill and Glyn Prichard. I wanted to find out what had happened at this spot, so I began my research. This is what I've come up with so far. I have written my findings as a sort of folk song.

McNeill & Prichard

A tragedy that took place on the River Taw, between Fremington Quay and Yelland, on the 15th. August 1904.

Lady Hilda McNeill went down to the river.
Something that she often would do.
There she spied a young boy a-drowning
and she dived in the tide O so blue.
Yes, she swam through the tide O so blue.

The young boy’s name it was Glyn Prichard.
He was no older than eleven fine years
and the Lady and him, they both were took under
and swept by the tide, both in tears.
Yes, swept by the tide, both in tears.

Lady McNeill tried to save poor Glyn Prichard.
Young Glynn Prichard she wanted to hold.
But the tide was too strong on the Isley Marsh bend
and they both breathed their last, O so cold.
Yes, they both breathed their last, O so cold.

A stone was laid where both they did perish.
The local mothers spoke well of her deed.
And Lady Hilda McNeill is a name I’ll remember,
for reaching out to a young child in need.
For reaching out to a young child in need.

Lady Hilda McNeill went down to the river.
Something that she often would do.
There she spied a young boy a-drowning
and she dived in the tide O so blue.
Yes, she swam through the tide O so blue.

She tried in the tide O so blue,
as they swam through the tide O so blue.
And they died in the tide O so blue.
Yes, they died in the tide O so blue.


Photograph by: Linda Shaddick