Trying a medium for sighs

Posted in Strange phenomena on April 4, 2013 by Johnnie

medium rare

I’m being menaced from the other side. Ghosts are haunting my inbox and after my money.

It’s my own fault. In my anxiety to win a silly online prize (the sort of thing Michael Parkinson sends you free if you subscribe to a 50+ life insurance plan), I stupidly said ‘yes’ when asked if I would like a ‘free’ horoscope. Where’s the harm, I thought? If it’s positive, it’ll put an optimistic bounce in my step; if it’s negative, I’ll dismiss it as the workings of a crank.

To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember what it was about, apart from the fact that she said she knew I’d had it tough lately but there was a pot of money around the corner for me. ‘Tara’ (for it was ‘she’, photo of the ‘model’ who represents her below) signed off as my ‘devoted friend’, asssuring me of her utmost attention at all times. Amazing, a ‘free’ fairy godmother, I thought. Then promptly forgot all about it.

But then the menacing started. Continue reading

Marr, Morrissey and the notion that comebacks don’t work

Posted in Grave News, Heroes, Music, Unwanted Comebacks, Words on April 2, 2013 by Johnnie


Last week, as I write, this blog and its beloved went to see Johnny Marr play at that lugubrious Dublin venue, The Academy. For anyone in their 40s who had seen The Smiths in their heyday (i.e. any point in their brief career), it was an extraordinary experience.  Johnny Marr has finally settled back into his skin, reclaiming his role as the guitar hero of a generation and the man behind some of the most delightfully crafted chord sequences ever created. He not only has a fine solo album, The Messenger, out, but he’s now merrily playing some of those old greats like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And really, it should be the most natural thing in the world. They’re 50% his songs.

The ‘surprise’ (and, really, we should have had more faith) is just how natural it is for him to play – and for us to hear.  His former sidekick Morrissey has been playing the same songs on and off for nigh on 20 years, as he was the voice and the melody we had all known and adored on those records. However, it was but a bar or so into Marr’s rendition of ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’ (the second song of his set) that it becomes obvious what we’ve been missing all these years – hearing those songs played properly. Continue reading

Reader Poll: The results are in…

Posted in Advice, Grave News, Unwanted Comebacks, WhingeRantMoan, Words on March 6, 2013 by Johnnie



Yes, it’s March, so obviously it’s spring time and this blog’s year-end. Actually, regular readers (who aren’t regular in the conventional sense) will point out that they thought the blog ended ages ago, such has been the sporadic nature of posting. So, it was to a few of those regular souls that I sent a poll about IHGN‘s very future.

The questions were:

1. Are you still a reader of I Have Grave News

2. If not, why not?

3. If so – thanks – but what would you like to read more of here?

In a sobering show of indifference, a “whopping” 20% of those polled bothered to reply.

The results were: Continue reading


Posted in Books, Grave News, Heroes, Words on December 5, 2012 by Johnnie

Berenice“Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, –as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow! How is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? – from the covenant of peace a simile of sorrow? But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.” EAP – Berenice

Depression – don’t just pretend to be aware, become properly Aware.

Posted in Grave News, Words with tags on October 10, 2012 by Johnnie

On World Mental Health Day, it’s worth noting, again, just how alone people with depression are and feel. Not everyone seems to realise this, and there is still an astonishing amount of ignorance and denial, despite a great number of awareness campaigns on depression.

Aware do incredible work in this field with their “I Am Aware” campaign, and, as their name suggests, they also encourage everyone to share the message that there is support available, that people suffering from depression need not be alone.

People are probably familiar with the great Stephen Fry’s wonderful recent quote on the symptoms of depression, and I’m sure millions ‘retweeted’ it. Still, it’s worth repeating here:

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

Continue reading

Mumford & Sons…

Posted in Disasters, Music, Unwanted Comebacks on September 24, 2012 by Johnnie

…WHY? Continue reading

“So, that novel you were writing, Johnnie…”

Posted in Advice, Books, Fiction, Words on July 9, 2012 by Johnnie

OK, I admit it. From both sides, mine and yours, this looks like an utter failure. I am the procrastinator’s procrastinator, I could make up excuses until the cows don’t bother their arses coming home anymore, and I could walk around daydreaming all day of being that person I always wanted to be since I was about 8 – The Novelist.

I’ve started four novels: I finished one to third draft; I half-wrote another, which expired along with the laptop it was written on (backing up, I know, I know); and I have begun two others, currently in “progress” on different computers. All of them have madly-scrawled synopses, which look, on the page, every bit as mad and unfathomable as their creator; only I know they make perfect sense – until I start to write them and try fitting all the pieces together, that is. Still, I have faith in the ideas – if not my ability to sit down for sustained periods and complete them. Continue reading


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