About Me

I was born in Luton, known for hat making, Vauxhall cars, London Luton Airport and a great football team who once beat Arsenal at Wembley in a Cup Final, currently languishing in non-league football for the 4th season. I moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and now live in Leith, Edinburgh's 'waterfront'.

Married for 24 years to Louise (who is on day release from Fife), I have 4 children: Holly (aged 28) who's studying medicine at Dundee University, William (aged 26) at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, Alice (aged 23) and Maddie (aged 16).

We live in a 226 year old Georgian house which we are slowly renovating. We once had a note from an artist posted through the letterbox asking if our semi-derelict house was available to rent as studio space. Things have improved lately; the stonework has been repaired and we have shiny new railings. Just the inside to do now then.

Current CNPS score: 999


Header Image: Richard Bloomfield

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    The sperm donor

    The last week or so I have been very lackadaisical (that’s such an odd word when you come to write it, isn’t it) about my appearance and personal hygeine: it helps me get into full builder-mode if I don’t wash and shave. It’s a bit like being an actor when you have an activity portfolio as large as mine: it helps you get into character. William even laughed at me a couple of days ago having noticed my builder’s bum (you know, a half-moon, arse cleavage while bending over).

    Fortunately, I had to don my Leith Festival hat today and visit one of the UK’s top design agencies for a meeting. This involved a haircut (hair used in the singular in it’s literal form), a shave, shower and suit, and replacing The Sun in the back of my briefs with The Guardian in my briefcase. A successful meeting was followed by the *inevitable visit to The Port O’Leith Bar where I chanced upon Wooly Dave the photographer.

    Somehow (probably as we were chatting about poverty and the fact that I am to be a father again at any moment), we ventured onto the subject of sperm donation. It must have been because of the high-powered marketing meeting I’d just attended, but I couldn’t help thinking that sperm donation must be one of the most poorly marketed activities there is. I was listening to an item on Radio 4 the other day on the very same subject and apparently there is a grave shortage of donors. How can that be? I mean, come on guys, they pay you to wank! How hard a sell is that? It’s hardly work, is it? I don’t know about you, but I’d even be happy to throw in the odd freebie now and again, out of sheer love of the job.

    Anyway, Dave pointed out that new legislation means that there’s no longer anonimity for a donor: the fruits of your labour could come looking for you in the future, curious to meet Daddy. How would you explain that one to them? And of course, the way this government is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Child Support Agency came after you too. Every silver lining has it’s cloud.

    *Lightbulb syndrome:

    Q: How many men does it take to change a light bulb? A: Six. One to change the bulb and five to congratulate him down the pub afterwards

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    2 comments to The sperm donor

    • Lovely post, if a bit confused as to why a festival needs the UK’s top design agency, and how much that’s going to cost. (I *think* I’m a member, so naturally am interested in these matters.)

    • Yes, I did make it sound as though Leith Festival has money to burn. We don’t of course, the design agency are offering their services for free in order to raise their profile within the community.

      As to why we need a top agency, well, we want Leith Festival to become bigger and better, and to reach core ‘Festival’ funding which wouldn’t be available to something perceived as a Gala day and nothing more.

      All memberships are due after the AGM (which was a couple of weeks ago) so we’ll happily take your £2 off you again :-)