The Ghost Train (re-written)


Cornish Railway Station waiting room at night.


  • Richard and Elsie Winthrop – married couple
  • Two newlyweds – Charles and wife, Polly
  • Teetotal spinster lady with a caged parrot
  • The Stationmaster
  • Teddy Deakin – the guy who pulled the cord to stop the train (lost his hat).

Scene One

Parrot: Pretty polly.

Polly: (blushes) Charles, dear – could you perchance quieten that parrot?

Charles: My dear, you are a radiant light on an otherwise dull stage – any parrot would be foolish not to have a crush on you. I certainly have. Since the day we met I’ve been looking forward to this evening when we can finally …

Richard: There’ll be no ‘finally’ for you two tonight, unless you want to pop out back and …

Elsie: That. Just that is exactly why I don’t want to be with you, Richard. You are a boor and and bore and now – you’re a boar too.

Teddy: I think she means ‘pig’.

All: Shut up!

Teddy: Listen, it was an expensive hat! I just had to pull the cord!!

All: Shut up you idiot!

Stationmaster: Look, it’d be best if you didn’t stay here. How about you all walk up the lane a little ways. There’s a fine establishment where you can spend the night. It’s not more than five miles away!

Teddy: Five miles! I’m not walking five miles without a hat!!

Stationmaster: There’s things afoot tonight that you’d be better off not to see.

Richard: How dare you talk about my wife like that. She may have a vicious tongue in her head but she’s not as ugly as …

(A bang offstage and everyone jumps)

Polly: (grabs Charles around neck) What was that?!

Charles: (turns red as windpipe is steadily crushed) Gggghh.

Parrot: Pretty polly.

All: Shh.

Stationmaster: Be quiet. It’s come. Listen …

(there’s probably more, but who’d be interested)


Scene Setting

Lighting: dark and stormy – lightning flashes periodically to illuminate them – backlit otherwise – silhouettes

How & where: centre stage as curtain comes up – wind is blowing

What are they like: all angles and elongated limbs/fingers – grotesque faces that are twisted and unreal with teeth exposed and long hair (black or maybe pure white) – long, tattered clothes

Sound: howling wind – random scary background noises – lulls in sound when they start to speak

First Scene

(Clifton Backies on a rank night in September. Three alkies stand over a bush they’ve set on fire and added a car tyre to. Warming their hands and swigging on cans of Carlsberg (buy six get two free at the offie)

First Alkie: Bollocks to this, I’m off.

Second Alkie: What’s up, Fred – you too good for us?

Third Alkie: (echoes) Too good?

First Alkie: We’re out of booze, innit (gestures to enpty cans scattered around them). Besides, this smoke’s getting on mi lungs (coughs)

Third Alkie: Lungs (laughs)

Second Alkie: Same time again tomorrow?

Third Alkie: Tomorrow?

First Alkie: Yeah, same time, same place. I’m going to bring me mate.

Third Alkie: (rising voice ends with shouting) Mate, mate, mate!

First Alkie: Mi mate Macbeth. In from Glasgow tomorrow morning.

Second Alkie: He’s a right wanker he is. Let’s have some ‘fun’ with him. (cackles).

Third Alkie: (whispers maliciously) Fun.

First Alkie: (doubtfully) He’s up for the week so it’ll have to be …

Second Alkie: … quick and brutal.

Third Alkie: Stab ‘im.

Second Alkie: Tricks ‘im.

First Alkie: You horrible buggers. (grins) I’m in. Set it up. I’m off.

Seond Alkie: Me too.

Third Alkie: Too.

(All stumble off into the dark in various directions.)

You know how the rest goes, right?

Pass the Past-the-Sell-By-Date Crisps

Went in to my workplace to collect a few things (books, mainly) and was poking around trying to find anything by else worth rescuing when I had a thought to look under my desk.

Bear in mind that I’ve been working from home and it’s been about a year since I last worked here and so …

Well anyway, you can probably guess from the picture what I found … yep, crisps. Yum!

One six-pack is (was) best before the fifth of September 2020 and the other expired on the 30th of May 2020; except that they didn’t!

I just ate (the contents of) a packet from the older six-pack and the crisps were as crisp and crunchy as the day they were fried with all the flavour you would expect from a tip-top bag of crisps. Lovely!

So, yeah – don’t bother worrying about the sell by dates for stuff like this. But if it’s fruit or veg or something like that? Don’t eat that stuff; it’s gone!


Just figured out why I stopped posting to this blog. It’s because someone cursed me on my last post. I deleted it, but the curse still stuck. I’ve only just broken it.

So, yeah – no, I’m not going to <deleted expletive> off.

Have a nice day. 🙂

Something New

I started something new yesterday. Something for me. Something that I don’t mind sharing with you. It’s a podcast.

I’ve never done a podcast before; unbelievable, right! So this is bright, blue skies as far as I’m concerned. And yeah, I know – there are many podcast out there, but I promise that there are none quite like this!

This one features Sklugoo, who is a frog that lives on my kitchen windowledge (and sometimes at the side of the sink if he’s feeling brave). He meditates and has two disciples (so far). He’s accepting new disciples, but don’t get too carried away – this will not give you the right to sit on my kitchen wimdowledge. You’ll be what I’m going to call eDisciples, okay?

So here’s where you can access the podcast: Sklugoo Speaks. He says that you’re cool to click on the link now. And I agree.

Love For No Reason

Love for the gate that rattles at night because a warm breeze has dried the wood and shrunk it down. Not love because the gate tells the night that man is here and the sound tells man that drier, warmer weather has come to this place. Not love for these reasons.

Love for the sun that shines in my face as I walk the path with squinted eyes, head held back and fingers tucked away. Not love because the sun sings of easing chill from the air, warming my face and drying these eyes. Not love for these reasons.

Love for the birds that coo in the morn to tell their tales of ache and yearn. Not love because we share this space with gentle beings that lull with songs and flutter and swoop to say that life goes on. Not love for these reasons.

Love for the buzz and slash of life. Love for the jagged edge we cut against. Love for the crash and rush of breaking. Not because they teach us all how to move and grow. Not love for any reason except to say that love is love; and love is always good. So just love me, love you and love always.

Thinking of You

How many people do you reckon are thinking of you right now? Would you like more of them? Would you like to be famous so that many people are thinking of you right now? Would you like to be so famous that millions of people all around the world are thinking of you?

If they were, do you think you would know about it? Would you feel the pressure of all that attention like air pressing against your skin? Do you believe that people’s attention is an energy that can touch and affect you?

Would you want that in your life? Would you want waves of attention lapping (or pounding) against the shores of you?

Or do you suppose that it depends on what they’re thinking about you? If they were thinking good things (whatever that means to you) then would you be okay with it? But what if you were famous for something nasty or unpleasant? Would you try to be nicer if you felt depressed as a result of the downward pressure from all those thoughts? Or would you even make that connection between being unpleasant and feeling down?

There were several directions I could have gone with this so how did I end up here, putting the responsibility for how you feel on your own head? It’s unkind. No wonder I feel so down. Quick, Robert – do something nice. No, not like taking a nap. And no, not like eating some chocolate. Yes, I know they are nice things, but that’s not what I meant. It has to be nice for someone else. No, it doesn’t really matter who. Yes, that would be nice. Okay, do that then. Yes, now. Okay. Good. Well done.