Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Frisbee Adventure

I nearly lost Pippa's frisbee this morning. We were on the cliff top and I was throwing it for her inland into the fields, but then (inevitably, I suppose, it had to happen sooner of later) the frisbee snagged my gloved fingertip and went spinning out over the cliff top. We watched in horror as it went sailing down to the high tide-washed beach below.

I looked for a way down, but there wasn't one. There were other dog walkers on the beach but none of them were going that far because of the incoming waves. However I was too cross at the thought of losing a brand new frisbee to just shrug and forget about it. So we walked on until I found a way down. It's a clay cliff, all wet mud and tufts of grass, and I had to tread carefully to avoid slipping and tumbling down on my arse.
Once down, we went back through the incoming waves to where I guessed the frisbee should have come down. Every other wave sloshed into the tops of my wellies, slowly filling them until we got to the spot. I scanned the hillside up and down, but there was no sign of the frisbee anywhere. But then, at my feet, a flash of red! Washed up right to the cliff line was the jolly red disc, half submerged and smothered in sand. Huzzah!!
I plucked it from the water and sloshed back to dry land, where we resumed the endless cycle of throw, fetch, and stubbornly refuse to give it up no matter what, all the way home.


I forgot to tell you - we got a dog. Pippa is a rescue dog that we adopted from the great people up at ASH Animal Rescue Centre in Co. Wicklow. She's a three-year old mixed breed (border collie and Labrador). She's ridiculously adorable, and is proving much better than a Fitbit at getting me out of the house and reaching 10,000 steps a day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Glitterballs 3 - Pants 5°

Episode 3 of my written for TV sitcom set in a 1990s music venue, Glitterballs is now available in my public podcast feed. This time gig promoter Tom gets an unusual request on a bands rider (that's the list of food, drinks, and other items the band's agent requires the gig promoter to provide for the band). Meanwhile Max and Doreen plan a swinging evening of their own.

This podcast contains adult language and themes ... you'll be delighted to hear.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Wexworlds 2018

Yesterday I was speaking on a panel at Wexworlds sci-fi and fantasy convention at Wexford Opera House. It was at 9.45 on a Sunday morning so I was expecting maybe a couple of people at most (you wouldn't normally get me out at that hour on a Sunday morning). But it was almost a full house, and the audience were great. My fellow speaker was David Turpin, the screenwriter of the Irish gothic horror movie, The Lodgers. He's a smashing chap, and The Lodgers will be out on Netflix very soon, so keep an eye out for it.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Car Crash

So we had a car crash last Saturday. I haven't mentioned it till now because i wasn't sure if I should, I mean, it's not good news, is it? But then I thought, well, this is a blog, so I really should blog it, if only for my own recollection later on. So here's what happened.

We were driving along on Saturday afternoon at about 70 kph on two-lane main road. The speed limit is 80 kph and we're driving at a sensible distance from the car in front (in hindsight, maybe that sensible distance was part of the problem. If we'd been tailgating the car in front, the accident mightn't have happened ... but another one might). So anyway, my wife is behind the wheel, her dad, Jim, who's 97, is in the front passenger seat, and I'm in the back.

As we approach a junction, a sort of crossroads, we see a Mercedes waiting in the other lane of the main road to turn across our lane into a side road. The car in front of us (remember that sensible distance?) passes the turning, and then the Mercedes starts moving, turning to cross our lane. I remember sitting up, eyes wide, incredulous that he's actually going to drive in front of a speeding car - our speeding car - and knowing that the rules of physics mean there's no way on earth we're not going to hit him if he does. But he does, and he's not even in a hurry. He takes a leisurely turn across our lane, the side of his car rushing towards us, filling the windscreen. We brake. We jerk forwards - all stopped by seat belts - and then wham! My eyes close, and when they open it's to see both air bags deployed, my wife and father in law disorientated and smoke rising from the dashboard and steering wheel from which the airbags have burst. But we're all alive. I have no pain, I'm just disorientated. The horn is jammed on, blaring in a long scream as I and my wife get out. We go around to the passenger side and she checks on Jim. He seems okay, no blood, no obvious injuries. She's tending to him, so I go and try to shut off the horn, which is still blaring. I can't shut it off. The engine is off but it makes no difference. I wrestle with the airbag that's burst from the steering wheel and it kind of cuts in and out as I do - which is almost worse than constant blaring - but ultimately it won't give up, so I do.

The other driver is pacing around beside his car. He comes up to my wife and tells her he's only had his car for three weeks. He asks me if everyone is okay and I say yes, are you? He says yes. Then another guy, a passing driver who's stopped at the scene, comes up and tries to help shut off the horn. On seeing he can't, he goes to his car and returns with some pliers. He pops the bonnet and disconnects the battery. I feel inept and curse myself for not having any tools in the car. I don't even have a mobile phone on me. But then I remember I have a breakdown kit that I've never had a use for in fifteen years, so I go and get that. It has some reflective triangles in it and some replacement bulbs. Oh well, it's something. As my wife calls emergency services, I place the triangles on the road in front of and behind the crashed cars. I see the guy who shut off the horn is now directing traffic like a pro. He has a faded fluorescent waistcoat thing that's seen a lot of use, so maybe he's a construction worker and directs traffic as part of his job, I don't know, I didn't ask him, but he was a great man to have around at the time.

Another great person to have around at the time was Marion, another passing motorist who has stopped at the scene to help out. She used to be a nurse and she's talking to Jim, chatting to him about this and that, but at the same time assessing his condition. Then the police arrive. Two male cops. They take over traffic directing duty from the fluorescent top guy, and he so he wishes us well and goes on his way. We both thanked him, and my wife asked him his name. He said he was John, and then he was gone, like some kind of Lone Ranger whose work there was done.

The police take both our and the other driver's details. They don't breathalyse either driver, nor do they take a statement. I thought this was odd, so I asked why not. I was told they only do it in the event of serious injury or a case of bad driving. Bad driving? But surely this is a case of bad driving?? Unhappy with the lack of official investigation, I take my wife's phone and start taking pictures of the scene, otherwise it's just going to be our word against the other driver's in the event that he doesn't accept responsibility.

Then the ambulance arrives and they take Jim on board and check him out. He has some heart rhythm irregularities so they take him away to hospital. Marion goes and we thank her. Turns out she's met Jim in the past. She's actually related to him, and so my wife, and so me, by marriage somewhere in the mix. Small world, eh?

Then the tow truck arrives and our car is loaded up and taken away. My wife's sister has arrived and she gives us a lift back to Jim's house. She gets some things for him in case they keep him in hospital overnight, and goes. Then my brother in law gives a lift back home.

And that's it. In the end, neither me nor my wife were injured; Jim was given a battery of tests and found to be okay, though his chest still aches a bit a few days later. Maybe from the seat belt, maybe the air bag, I don't know, I'm not a doctor. But it's nothing life threatening. We're all okay.

Being a weekend, there was nothing we could do with the insurance company until Monday. They told us the other guy isn't accepting responsibility so it's our word against his. We sent in the photos and within thirty minutes his insurance company accepted liability. So that was a relief. Our car is a write off. We still don't know what we're going to get for it, but probably not much; it was a 2006 model, and once cars get over ten years old, insurers take a dim view of them here.

I'm p*ssed off, obviously, but also greatly relieved that no one was hurt. And I'm grateful to everyone who helped out, especially to John and Marion, who had no obligation whatsoever to do so. I hope if ever I'm in the situation that I pass an accident I might be able to stop and be half as helpful as they were ... Note to self: get some pliers!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

U&F Underground 42 / Dracula Chapter 10

Two new podcasts out this week. In my public feed you can hear my reading of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Chapter 10. If you're not subscribed, you can do so by adding this link to your podcast app: http://mikebennett.libsyn.com/rss  

Also, at Patreon, I've just posted Underwood and Flinch: Underground Episode 42.  I say! That's 42 episodes of UFU for just $3! That's the cheapest big audio book you'll see this month, I'm sure. 

The beginning of the month is the best time to sign up to Patreon, as you can enjoy a whole month of listening for just $3. And if, at the end of the month, you decide you want to opt out and not pay for another month, you can! But why would you want to? U&F Underground is still in progress, and I guarantee you won't want to leave. Sign up today, and when you do, be sure and make a note of your personal RSS code and add it to your podcast app. That way you can get the podcasts streaming straight to your phone with no fuss.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Glitterballs Reaches Episode 5 at Patreon

Glitterballs, my situation comedy written for TV (that those fools at the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 turned down back in 1996) now reaches its fifth podcast episode at Patreon.com.

In this latest episode live music promoter Tom finds himself stranded alone in a snowstorm with the secret love of his life - Dave's mum. An episode that oozes sexual tension ... sort of, Glitterballs 5: Snowbound is available now at Patreon for patrons at the $1 a month level and over. And if you bump that up to $3 a month, you can access 42 episodes of the ongoing Underwood and Flinch podcast adventure, Underground. Get in!

"Glitterballs is probably the funniest unproduced '90s TV sitcom about a live music venue ever podcast. Hilarious!" 
Mike Bennett, author of Glitterballs.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cosmic Rebels Con in Enniscorthy, Wexford, Ireland.

I did a reading at Cosmic Rebels Con in Enniscorthy, Ireland. My audience was small (2 people), but hey, that's not bad for a total unknown (which is what I am in Ireland). I had a nice time all the same. My audience (Madeline and Pauline) was charming, the convention itself was great and the weather was wonderful. I even got arrested by Judge Dredd. Huzzah!!

The convention continues today and tomorrow at the Riverside Hotel, Enniscorthy. So if you're around, drop by. It's a fun day for all the family.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

After the Plague Begins in My Podcast Feed.

Hi there! Yes, many of you will have heard it already, but many won't have. And so I'm going to start podcasting my zombie apocalypse story, After the Plague, into my public podcast feed

If you have heard it, you can listen again (it stands up to a second listen) and you haven't then be warned, listener discretion is advised on this one; in an apocalypse, people can be rather unpleasant.

Listen / download