Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Monkey Gone To Lancaster

I got dragged into the Lancaster branch of Waterstone’s on Sunday morning by two friends, who proceeded to pull ‘Wiffle Lever To Full!’ out of the 3-for-2 pile before my eyes. It was nestling between Abi Titmuss and Rudolf Nureyev, which sounds like the perfect way for anybody to spend a Sunday morning.

If you’re one of the chosen few who’s read the book already, you’ll know I’ve got a bit of an attachment to Lancaster. I went to University there between 1991 and 1994, and it was the scene of my terrifying dope-smoking Prisoner-related debacle (I’m not proud) and my 1993 ‘heights of denial’ rant against sci-fi fans, in the front room of 33 Ashfield Avenue (I’m even less proud).

Present on both occasions was my friend John Jaques, who was also there this weekend. He’s the ‘bespectacled comic book fan from Burnley’ who helped me home after I’d sucked on a joint the size of a football corner flag and drank three cans of the virtually poisonous Scandia Gold round at Simon Crabbe’s house. (This was also in 1993 by the way, not this weekend… these days I can barely manage two pints of Workie Ticket before sliding under the table and singing the Ents Marching Song).

Anyway, it was lovely to see John, and also Gareth Johnstone (mentioned on Page 301 of Wiffle Lever), who still lives in Lancaster. A few people have asked me recently to post up more pictures of the old friends mentioned in the book, just so they can put a few names to faces. And I’m always slightly reticent about this, as I’m keen to protect their privacy, however I think in this particular instance it’s safe to offer up a picture of John Jaques taken at the top of the Ashton Memorial overlooking Lancaster City Centre at approx 1.30am on Sunday morning…


If you ever see him around, tell him he left his peanuts in my car.

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