About the Author

I am Stephen Shellard, currently living  in  Dumfries in South West Scotland, having grown up in Newry Northern Ireland,  and spent about 8 years in Reading, where I attended the University.

Our interests to some extent define us.  Whilst my own particular mix of interests is probably unexceptional, someone out there may find them to their taste;   for my own part this blog may develop as a kind of diary of things I have felt to be important or of interest.  The blog  has had previous incarnations as a platform for constitutional polemic,  and that does indeed interest me, but has not really sustained a continuous stream of ideas, and so has lapsed.  I do not in any case think the Internet is  the place I wish to bare my soul or to be intemperate – though I don’t automatically  condemn those who are drawn to express themselves without restraint.  “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” wrote William Blake.  Excess is not really my own story however, having neither the temperament nor the constitution for it, but I do pay some attention to those who live life without restraint and who from time to time can end up doing something remarkable.  Shane McGowan;   Jimmy Boyle;  Robert Burns;  Brendan Behan;  Jim Morrison;  Hank Williams;  F Scott Fitzgerald;  I am sure we all have our own list of favourite drunks, addicts or villains who have, despite all,  turned up something memorable.

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