I’m Back! Meet Tikki!

Yeah, I’m really back, and there will be a flurry of catchup postings coming up. It’s been a weird few months.

Last time I was here, it was to write about the passing of my Westie, Fred, aged 14. Not long after that, Steve “adopted” Oscar, a two-year-old miniature Yorkie. It was nice to have a dog back in the house without too much of a break, and he’s awful cute…

Oscar

But… BUT… for me, there was a Westie-sized hole and it wasn’t getting filled so easily.

Enter Tikki. She was born in March 2017 and came into my life in mid-April this year.

Tikki

No one can replace Fred, but she’s a great companion in her own right!

And Oscar and Tikki do get along… some of the time. At other times, not so much. What the hey.

Oscar and Tikki

Next up: some work from recent months and news on various projects!!

Fred H, RIP (2004-2018)

So: a belated return to posting on here, but it’s for a very sad reason. After getting over the New Year slash January funk, around January 24th, my beloved dog Fred started to get sick. At first it was extreme exercise intolerance, soon followed by alarming breathing difficulties and severe weakness/lethargy.

An initial vet appointment early in February gave us a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis (apparently common in Westies) and suitable meds were given. I was not convinced or happy about this diagnosis; I had my own suspicions/fears, which later turned out to be correct. Anyhow, after a week or so, there was no improvement… and in fact, Fred had started to experience very obvious fluid build-up in his belly, which was having a big impact on his mobility and comfort.

We ended up going to a different vet by mid-February, and this time received the diagnosis I’d feared: Fred had terminal stage congestive heart failure. They drained his belly and started him on new meds (Vetmedin and Flurosemide), but in less than three days the fluid build-up (which was making it very difficult from him to lie down or rest) was becoming obvious once again. The drugs seemed to be doing nothing at all. We took him into the vet again last Saturday (Feb 24th), fully expecting him to not be coming home… but the vet we saw recommended an additional drug (Cardalis), as a last resort.

Again, this drug had no impact on his condition, and Fred was suffering mightily from the fluid in his stomach, hardly able to get any sleep at all—and finally his declining appetite completely vanished too. We had no choice but to take him in and have him put to sleep, last night (Feb 28th).

He was born on March 14th 2004, so he had a run of 14 years, more or less, which is a good lifespan. He wasn’t far from 100 years old in dog terms; and he’d seldom been ill enough to warrant visits to the vet. He remained quite active and full of life until the last five weeks. So this is not a tragedy… I keep telling myself, because I am so fucking upset it can’t be put into words. It’s just the way in which he was a permanent fixture in my life for so long… a constant companion, and for some spells my only companion. He was there and a comfort when my mom died 12 years ago. He was a rock. We were quite fond of each other!

Nothing else to say right now… I’ll be posting some new work shortly… for now, here’s a gallery of Fred through the years… for my own enjoyment/therapy, but I hope you like them.

Fred, May 2004
Fred as a puppy… May 2nd 2004

Me & Fred, November 2004
Me and Fred… November 2004

Fred in London, October 2006
Fred in London… October 2006

Fred, September 2008
Fred in HIS Chair… September 2008

Fred & Toy, May 2010
Fred and his BESTEST Toy… May 2010

Fred, November 2010
Fred Smiles for the Camera… November 2010

Fred, July 2013
Fred in Bearwood… July 2013

Fred, June 2015
Fred in the Back Yard… June 2015

Fred, July 2015
Fred in the Sun… July 2015

Fred Wearing Glasses, May 2016
Fred Wearing Glasses… May 2016

Fred & Cigar, September 2016
Fred and His “Cigar”… September 2016

Fred, February 2017
Fred Looking Adorable… February 2017

Fred @ 13, March 2017
Fred’s Happy 13th Birthday… March 2017

Fred, September 2017
Fred Looking Sharp… September 2017

Fred, February 2018
Fred Looking Hopeful… February 24th 2018

Me & Fred, February 2018
Me and Fred… February 24th 2018

Fred's Final Walk, February 2018
Fred Bravely Takes His Final Walk… February 28th 2018…

The last one is the final photo ever taken of him. He was gone less than 30 minutes later.

But never forgotten, my old friend…

Happy New Year

So we’ve had a bit of radio silence over the holidays, pondering what comes next (and there was an abortive house move in there, too, but that’s another story). Hope everyone is feeling good and all the best for 2018… lots of news & new stuff coming soon!

Grindhouse Planet Film Festival Screening

Yesterday (Nov 27), All Bad Things was screened at the 2017 Grindhouse Planet Film Festival, in Leicester. This was the first public screening following the cast & crew screening last month. So let’s have a couple of photos…

This one was taken during the actual screening.

All Bad Things Leicester Grindhouse Screening

And here we have producer Steve Green with festival organiser Marc Hamill (no, not that one).

Steve Green & Marc Hamill @ Grindhouse Planet Film Festival

Finally, here’s a detailed report from the Midlands Movies Website: Midlands Movies Grindhouse Festival Report.

Grindhouse Planet Film Festival 2017

All Bad Things: Cast & Crew Screening

Incidentally, today is my birthday. Don’t ask.

Last night, we had our cast & crew screening for All Bad Things, plus the two Club Vamporama shorts “Who Is Bette Noir?” and “Hail Cthulhu!”, plus we screened some early footage for the Terror at Bell’s End trailer.

We drafted in our good friend & talented author/performer, Jasper Bark, to MC the proceedings, which was held at the Victoria, Birmingham city centre. I think overall the night went very well and we had most of the cast & crew from our various projects there (although we dearly missed Dru and Lizzie, who couldn’t make it).

The evening kicked off with the superb local actor, William Hayes (with whom we are planning to work very soon), giving a stirring rendition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

Bill Hayes Reads Poe

After the screening of “Who Is Bette Noir?”, Jasper interviewed Jude herself, Melyza Fay.

Jasper & Melyza

Following the main event, All Bad Things, Jasper quizzed the main cast—Demelza O’Sullivan, Liam Woon and Sham Zaman.

All Bad Things Cast & Crew

To complete the evening, Jasper himself performed his infamous short story, “Taking the Piss”!

Jasper Takes the Piss