What do the number 88 bus and my publishers have in common?….They are always bloody late!

Sorry folks, but there will be a teensy weensy delay in the publication of A Northern Life. But only for a couple of days whilst the editor reinserts ‘Dinner’ in all the right places (we don’t do ‘Lunch’ up here chuck) and comes to terms with the fact that ‘Me’ is the proper way to say ‘My’!

You have my word of honour (nothings crossed, honest…not even me eyes) that the book will be available by this Tuesday December 10th on Amazon and Anysubjectbooks.com

If you wish to pre-order please Contact Clive via his facebook page: Any subject books or by email Clive@anysubjectbooks.com

In the meantime, please enjoy my handy tips on how to make the most of the neighbours having a row

Be prepared: Have a glass handy in every room. The wall that separates your back room and theirs, is usually the flimsiest. But don’t be afraid to try other walls..you won’t miss much if you’re quick about it.

If they’re rowing in the back yard, have a bit of washing to peg out… If it’s not a Monday, send one of the kids to the shop and make them go via the entry. You can then justify why you are stood at the back gate…”I’ll watch til you get to the end…leave that tar bubble alone. It’ll still be there when you get back”

Change the Nets: Everyone knows you have to go in and out several times to check the ‘drape’ is right

If the clubman calls. keep him on the step by asking unneccessary questions…”Just go through them terms and conditions one more time luv…I AM listening, I’ve just got a trapped nerve in me neck and it helps if I lean this way”

If you’re the adventurous type, get up a ladder and check the loft for cladding…hopefully you and the neighbours won’t have any and sound really travels up there (not that I’d know)

If all else fails, air out the house by opening every window and both front and back doors. Gag the kids and pull on a cardi, then look forward to being crowned top dog of the local gossip at your next bus stop appearance





‘A Northern Life’ will be available for sale on Amazon and at ‘Anysubjectbooks’ from Saturday December 7th.
Am now researching – aka, rooting through stuff, and writing for volume 2: ‘A Northern Life Abroad (and back again!)
In the early 70’s my Dad took me to his homeland Barbados for three months… Or so he led me Mam to believe. There I was living the ‘life of Riley’ and pretending I was an only child (Bliss!) Unbeknownst to me, Dad in an attempt to make amends for his philandering ways (he never did – make amends – or stop philandering) had written to Mam and informed her, he had no desire to return to England and wanted her and the other 5 children to join us in Barbados to start a ‘new’ life.
Her response was, to put it in a nutshell – ‘Sod off’
To which Dad, had replied – ‘Ok then, I will keep Lesley here in Barbados with me. It’s a fair swap, I get to keep 1, you get to keep 5’. If I’d have known this at the time, I would have invented the Moonwalk way before Michael Jackson!
Faced with this ultimatum, Mam could have said “Oh well, she always wanted to be an only child, and seeing as it’s her birthday soon, why don’t I make her dream come true’…But NOOOOOO!…What Mam did was pack up the other 5 and come over…Back to sharing a bloomin bedroom…I was gonna make their life HELL!


I’ve forgotten what it’s like to wear shoes and the only contact I’ve had with some of my family is when they came to mind whilst writing a chapter. But my dear friends after what seems like an eternity, the book is finally finished. Time for a cup of Kenco Millicano (I can do Posh, when I want to) and a celebratory Roll up….I’m all out of Cuban cigars.

I’m so tempted to post a bit. i can’t stop laughing meself and I know every soddin punchline. But I don’t want you flipping through the book going “Read it, read it, read it……. I want me money back”

I’m gonna send it off to the publisher now and then get drunk. I’d better make sure I do it in that order too. Can you imagine the look on their faces if they receive a copy of my ‘leccy Bill on Monday. I promised them a Comedy not a Horror story!

Thank you to the many contributors to my Mancunian Dictionary. Look out for your name in the acknowledgements. God willing my next post will contain details of where you can purchase the Book. provisionally titled A Northern Life: Little tales from the life of a Mancunian Kid…………I’m also told I need a more ‘Authory’ name too. So I’m going with A.L. Mottley (My Maiden name) In tribute to my Mam and Dad……and J.B. Fletcher too…..Ooooh and that chap, whatisface Hartley from the Yellow pages ad…..But I digress.

It was your wonderful responses to my little stories that encouraged me to write an actual book about my lovely life and experiences growing up. I wondered if I was being a bit ‘big-headed’ and deluded writing my Childhood ‘Life’ story, after all I’m not famous or owt’ The only time I’ve been on stage is to receive a prize at School for good attendance (I went for the Dinners) But then I thought. My ‘Ordinary’ life means as much to me as any Celebrity’s means to them and even if no one else reads it. I can make me Siblings buy a copy each. There’s a soddin nuff of them to keep me in Fruit Salads and Sherbet dips for the rest of my life.

I’m off now to create mayhem…..Gonna get the Grandkids some suspiciously bright coloured Sweets and crap toy’s from Poundland. Then sit back and watch my daughters deal with the aftermath…..It’ll bring back some wonderful Memories…..Ta-ra for now.


Well for the first time ever. I’m close to finishing something I started. NOT that 1000 piece jigsaw of SKY and SEA. What sort of Mother buys an Eight year old a gift like that for Christmas?

28 Chapters done and dusted. But seeing as me Mam always said I was an odd child I’m going to have to be true to myself and write one more Chapter!
Anyway. Just to whet your appetite (and show off) here is the final Chapter list

PROLOGUE: (how posh is that?  Well if it’s good enough for the guy who wrote the Da Vinci Code. It’s good enough for me)

Chapter 1: The early days.
Chapter 2: The grown ups.
Chapter 3: Mayhem in Moston.
Chapter 4: A Sister or two…..or three.
Chapter 5: Are we there yet?
Chapter 6: The chosen one. (and i don’t mean Jesus….or Jose)
Chapter 7: What’s in a name.
Chapter 8: Great escapes.
Chapter 9: Telly.
Chapter 10: Sticky out dresses and other delights.
Chapter 11: Noseyparker.
Chapter 12: We’ve made her mad. Now let’s make her a pressie.
Chapter 13: Murder and the Mancunian Mam.
Chapter 14: Pets to poorliness.
Chapter 15: Why’s your face like that?
Chapter 16: What accent?
Chapter 17: Mancunian Medicine.
Chapter 18: Going back to my roots.
Chapter 19: Love child?
Chapter 20: Race wars.
Chapter 21: There’s loads of Parks near Collyhurst.
Chapter 22: You can’t buy Prem in the Papershop.
Chapter 23: The joys of School.
Chapter 24: Born Blue. (and not from lack of Oxygen…..Man U fans might want to skip this bit)
Chapter 25: We’re not going on a Summer holiday.
Chapter 26: It’s like being an only child (I wish!)
Chapter 27: How did I get here? (Not the chapter. I mean HOW did I get here)
Chapter 28: Roast potato’s and the Nit comb? It must be Sunday.
Chapter 29: Wait and see!

I’ll let you know when I have a definite date for publishing. Thank you for the wonderful encouragement and support.


15 Chapters done. I think I deserve an Egg Custard and a brew. Especially after completing that last chapter about food…….If you’re feeling a bit peckish yourself, I’ll treat you to my Mams Stew recipe. A little something to tide you over whilst I complete chapters 16 – I’d better shut up now!

Enjoy, and please note, more recipes can be found in the appendix to ‘A Northern Life’

These include:

OXO Cube soup
Fillingless bread with Salt and Pepper garnish
Sugar butty gateau
Jelly cube vol au vents (Pastry free)


Good for torturing young children and making Dads take over kitchen duties.

1 to 7Ibs of Stewing meat <dependant on amount of sprogs at any given time>
Please note: No particular animal/meat type is mentioned. This is not a typo error. Unnamed meat is cheaper.

A ‘Nunion’ <well that’s how we say it>

Water <Lots>

Potatoes <lovely as chips…..’orrible in stew>

Salt and pepper to taste <if you remember>

Carrots <for colour. But mainly ‘cos kids hate them>

Seasonal veg also make this a very versatile dish. For example: Sprouts turn it into ‘Festive Stew’

An OXO cube <if there’s any left. if not chuck in some gravy browning>

Take one large pan. The one for boiling nappies is ideal…..remove nappies first….or don’t. It makes no difference to the taste

Peel anything with a skin. Leave fat on the meat. It’s good for kids….anything that looks and tastes horrible is good for kids.

Chop up anything little mouths can choke on. Some of you may have a kid with a big gob….. Leave an extra big piece of fatty meat, just for her.

Put the peeled and chopped stuff in the pan. Fill to the top with water. Boil for hours. Serve.

Leave kids in kitchen with threat of ‘death’ if they don’t eat every last bit.

Watch Z Cars in peace.

Re-enter kitchen. Smile at empty plates. Send kids to bed.

Feel suspicious. Borrow next doors dog to sniff out food. Find food, behind immersion heater, in plant-pot on window sill and wedged beneath Mangle.

Find additional chunks in Ewbank.

Visit kids bedroom….Take belt….Use belt.

Clean kitchen. Put remaining stew <Loads> in Tupperware container. Serve for next 5 meals!

So far, so good…….

Five chapters done and dusted. Twenty five to go. Time for a coffee and a calm down. After documenting and reliving the trauma that was ‘The cot fire of 64’  I think I’ll throw a brandy in there too. I’ve also learnt something about myself. I can do solitude. So if the writing thing doesn’t work out, I can still work on my childhood dream of becoming an impoverished Nun


I really hope you are going to enjoy reading this book. As much as I am enjoying putting it together.

I must be weird, because I can’t stop laughing (and I know the ‘endings’!)

Most of the blog stories will be featured. But trust me, you won’t feel cheated when you part with your pennies. There are plenty of additional paragraphs to what you have read before and loads of previously unpublished stuff too.

After re-reading one such story ‘The curious case of Who threw number 3 down a flight of concrete steps?’ I’m actually amazed that I’m alive today to document these tales (such a punishment was totally uncalled for Mam, and it’s WRONG to always blame the Eldest!)

Anyway. Better get back to my Cabin in Vermont and get scribbling again.
When I say ‘Cabin and Vermont’ I actually mean ‘Cubby hole’ and ‘Blackley’ But that’s the Collyhurst girl in me. I can make owt from nowt.
Will keep you updated.Hope to have more info soon