With the recent hoopla over the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit I was reminded, I’m perhaps, the worst living chess player known to humanity.

It’s a bold claim I know.

With the caveat we’re excluding young children, the educationally subnormal, and only including, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the rules of chess, I’m probably the lowest unranked chess play in the world.

When did I come to this shocking realisation?

In Vietnam, with Francis on a slow train to Saigon, that’s when.

“You’re getting away at the right time. There’s a storm on the way tomorrow. A big one…

In my third story I wrote…

Selling is easy, finding someone to sell to is hard

This Tao of a Salesman could easily be applied to a writer’s lot in life…

Writing is easy, finding readers is hard

When I started writing I had this existential dread that I would be terrible at it and I’d be a laughing stock.

With the benefit of hindsight I’d pay good money for that.

To be a laughing stock means ones work had been read and was worthy of commenting on.

Initially, I wrote plays, which even less people would read and nobody…

Have you ever heard of the laws of attraction?

It was a belief system that gained traction with some of my friends around the millennium.

Essentially, the secret as it’s acolytes called it believed in the power of positive thinking.

You want fifty grand? Visualise in minute detail being presented a giant cheque for the exact amount you require.

And you keep visualising your hearts desire day and night, eventually the universe will respond to all this positive energy you’re projecting into outer space and bend itself to your will.

It’s prayer for agnostics.

The kinda people who don’t believe…

“I’m from Liverpool, is that gonna be a problem?”

Oh no, she’s a scouser.

“Of course not, whatever made you think that?”

One of my pictures was taken at end of a Brazilian Jujitsu session. I’m lying on the mats, looking relaxed, but bloody and sweaty. Yes, I am trained in the martial arts and I will protect you, now swipe right. That’s the image I hope it conveyed anyway.

It turns out it was the Manchester United badge on the t-shirt underneath my Gi that caught her eye.

You see Manchester United and Liverpool FC, the two most successful…

This is a sequel to the story, Strangeways, Here We Come

The after session depression was kicking in particularly hard this morning.

My usual admin Monday had been rudely interrupted. The Governor, no less, gave me the curly finger first thing demanding I visited the gaol post haste.

I was an accessory to the suicide of a 23 year old male, which took place at the jail the previous day.


And worse, the visit meant I had to see Sheila, the last person I wanted to run into.

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. It’s weirder than that. …

I walked along the corridor trying to look unfazed as the occasional inmate threatened to rape me. My guide, who seemed to be the only female for miles exuded the confidence I was trying to fake as she quieted down the rabble.

Sheila was a screw at HM Prison Strangeways. She was I suppose, my friend, and most definitely was the reason I nailed the pest control contract at said prison.

I’d cold called the site a couple of years before in the forlorn hope of getting past the gatekeeper. With these sorts of places they tend to be a…

Behind the telly was an imposing set of wooden bookshelves.

On these shelves was a wide range of hardback books. From encyclopaedias and reference books, to fancy leather bound novels by the likes of Tolstoy and DH Lawrence. Less high brow were Girl and Rupert the Bear annuals from the 1950’s, and a book about the comedy duo, The Two Ronnies.

One book in particular caught my eye. On the very top shelf out of reach of my tiny mitts was the splendidly titled…

Sharkeeper’s Wife

A book about a person who looked after sharks would be intriguing enough to…

Phil, swivelled round in his massive office chair.

“Big boy, take a seat. I’ve got an opportunity for you.”

I took a seat.

“Do you wanna be on TV?”

I carefully considered the offer for a millisecond…

“Do I ever.”

“Good man, good man. I’d have done it myself but, you know I’ve got a great face for radio.”

How we laughed.

Pest control general manager, Phil O’Shaughnessy, was the best boss I ever had. Firm, but fair, and always one of the lads. He was the sort of leader you’d go over the top for. …

You: Good click-bait title and cover picture. You’ve got my attention.

Me: Thanks. So you’re the new kid in town?

You: Yes.

Me: You don’t know a soul. What are ya going to do about it? I mean you’re not the most out going of people.

You: Well, for starters comments like that do nothing for my self-esteem.

Me: Sorry. I only ask as I want to help you make friends in your new hometown.

You: Why do you want to help me?

Me: Help us both really. The thing is I write these stories and nobody reads them.


I’ve always wanted a job where I could declare…

“It’s not as glamorous as it sounds”

Doctors, Pilots, DJ’s, Crime Scene Investigators, Record Producers, Models, Fleet Street Journalists, Make Up Artists to the Stars, Special Forces Operatives, Film Makers, TV Presenters. The list goes on and on…

I am friends with, related to or have dated people in all those professions.

Most vexing of all is my brother who works as a close protection bodyguard for an impressive list of A-list celebrities.

He of course is insouciant about his job as dealing with the erratic moods and petty demands of…

Guy Lewis

This is a true story only the facts have been changed

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store