dave-pescodDave PescodScalp
Inspired by guilt – about cashing a Jubilee crown I nicked from my dad’s desk though it belonged to me and was my heritage. All because my dad wouldn’t give me pocket money unless I got my hair cut. I’m lucky to still have a head of hair, and think my dad should’ve celebrated hair and been more generous, as I’ve tried to be, even when my sons have shaved it all off in a weird celebration of baldness, and of course to have the last laugh.

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wayne-priceWayne Price - The Golfers
Like most of my stories, ‘The Golfers’ began life as a simple image in my head: in this case a vaguely menacing tableau of three or four ‘rough’ young lads, bored and quarrelsome, standing on a small, neat putting green, gripping their putters like bludgeons. I can’t remember now where the image came from, but I do remember it coming to me during a long drive south from the far north of Scotland. In hindsight, I’d guess the reason it seemed so resonant to me has something to do with the latent tensions in the image: the basically comic contrast between the cultured, manicured, ‘safe’ setting, redolent of middle class mores, and the unpredictable frustrations of the lads – awkward in that protected environment, impatient with the unfamiliarity and sheer difficulty of the game, and maybe ready to vent that frustration in some way… The tensions within the group and the family tensions beyond that are mainly extensions of childhood memories: certainly not autobiographical, but rooted in actual situations, characters and circumstances that were part of my childhood and teens.

I think the notion of ‘theme’ in any narrow, interpretative sense is misleading or even meaningless in fiction or poetry, but there’s definitely a kind of integrity of vision that makes or breaks a story. I’m not completely happy with ‘The Golfers’ for various reasons, but I hope I managed to stay true to the blend of half-comic menace, frustration and underlying need for release that the initial inspiration presented me with. I should probably add that my dad took up golf when he retired. He says it’s quite good.

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