Welcome to the Sunday Morning Show and this week a writer and blogger who not only manages to make us smile with his witty posts but also provides interesting articles on a wide variety of subjects. Of course I can only be talking about Hugh Roberts.
Things that I managed to discover about this lovely Welsh blogger… He likes the pop group Bananarama…hates gardening has recently taken up photography and lives in Hove in East Sussex with his partner John. A part of the world that I know quite well.
Hugh has a great sense of humour, supports other bloggers whole heartedly on WordPress and social media and has offered to be my PR agent should I ever consider turning to stand-up comedy to make a living.
He also throws great parties and at the end of March he threw a blog party that attracted guests from all around the world to enjoy great company food and conversation.
Hugh has a wonderful selection of short stories on his blog and they range across a number of genres and here is the link to a very poignant tale of undying love and dancing. He also has a love of Flash Fiction and treats us to quick and insightful slices of life.
Hugh has a wonderfully eclectic blog and even more so since he began to explore photography further in recent months. You will find reviews, poetry and also a chance to take a step back in time in his feature Digging Deep… A trip in Hugh’s time machine to explore such programming delights such as Thunderbirds… And films such as Muriel’s Wedding an Australian film that was brilliant.
The funniest and most creative post that I have seen for quite a while was The Mildred Awards. For those of you who like me watched Man About The House from 1973 onwards with Yootha Joyce as Mildred Roper you will love the witty setting for showcasing Hugh’s favourite bloggers. I recommend that you pop over and read the post for yourselves.
Hugh is also a guest reviewer over at Lit World Interviews which is great resource for authors and readers alike.
As well as humour we also share a love of dogs and Hugh has a muse in the form of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. A breed that has recently hit the headlines due to the rapidly diminishing numbers and the news that her Royal Majesty the Queen will not be bringing any new Corgis into the Royal Household. She is concerned that at 88 she will find it difficult to cope with a puppy underfoot.
Hugh’s assistant is called Toby and as he himself revealed recently there were only 99 of his breed born in the UK last year. Toby has his own posts that are worth reading to get an insight what it is like to live with a writer and blogger.
Perhaps time to welcome Hugh and to get this interview started.
Toby is a wonderful looking dog but perhaps Hugh you could give us some key reasons for having a corgi as a pet. Why is the breed in decline?
It was my partner John, that first spotted The Cardigan Welsh Corgi a few years ago while watching Crufts. He immediately declared to me when we got a dog, that was the breed of the dog we would have.
Unfortunately both Corgi breeds are in decline in the UK due to many people believing that the Corgi is not a family dog. They have a little bit of a reputation for being unfriendly, especially towards other dogs, but we’ve never found that with Toby. He’s a great socialiser and loves nothing better than meeting and being chased by other dogs (the bigger the better). Corgis are also known for moulting all year round, so they need a lot of grooming and owners will need to use the vacuum cleaner everyday. Dogs such as the Labradoodle, who do not moult, seem to be far more popular as pets these days.
When were you diagnosed with dyslexia and how did it affect your schooling and life since?
I was only properly diagnosed with dyslexia a few years ago. When I was at school, dyslexia was something that most people thought did not exist. I struggled at school and it was thought that I was just not very bright or clever. I often found myself in the lower groups during lessons because I struggled with reading and writing.
One of my biggest mistakes is that I never sought help with having dyslexia when I left school and entered the workplace. I struggled on as best I could and would hide it as much as possible. However, I had a real passion for writing fiction and one of my life’s ambitions has always been to write a book. The days of computers helped with spell checks and the likes, but it wasn’t until last year when I started blogging that I finally began to overcome having dyslexia. I was amazed by the support I was and am still getting from other bloggers which has helped me to overcome having dyslexia and doing what I have always wanted to do and write.
What advice do you have for parents following a diagnosis for their child?
Don’t ignore the diagnosis. Help them as much as possible with their reading and writing and, if possible, seek out groups where anybody with dyslexia can go and meet other people with the condition and where extra lessons are available to help with reading and writing. The condition is so much more accepted now than it was when I was a child.
You have some wonderful collection of stories on your blog Hugh and I understand that you are working on a book can you tell us more about the project and at what stage you are at with it.
I started writing the book a few years ago. It is about my life when I went to live in London during the late 1980’s and has elements of fact and and fiction in it. Unfortunately, the project came to an abrupt halt when I started my blog because blogging was allowing me to interact with other writers and authors. I started writing short stories for my blog and discovered that my real passion for writing was whenever I was writing a short story. Some of my short stories have had wonderful comments from authors who have published books and some have recently encouraged me to publish my short stories on ReadWave. I’ve published my last two short stories on Readwave and was delighted when both stories started trending on the site. ReadWave is all very new to me and I need to look into it further as it seems to be another great avenue for getting my short stories read.
I am sure that your short stories would be very popular in a published collection. Have you plans to do that at some point?
I have been challenged by another blogger to have a short story collection published by the end of the year, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to start with it. I also want to write a few more short stories to add to my collection before I begin the process of publishing them in a book. I understand it also takes a lot of time to put a book together for publishing, so I know my blog would probably have to suffer a little neglect from me, and I hate the thought of that. In answer to your question, yes I do have plans, but they are only plans at the moment and I have no idea if and when I will put them in place.
You have mentioned that you can be inspired to write by household chores such as ironing. WordPress challenges and prompts but also music which I would like to explore further. Apart from Robert Miles which other artists over the years have you enjoyed and collected?
The first ever single I purchased was Dancing Queen by Abba. It was released some years after they won the Eurovision Song Contest, but it was the song that got me interested in music and I have since been a huge fan of theirs. Other music I love to listen to is anything from the 1980’s especially by Stock, Aitken, and Waterman. The music they produced brings back so many happy memories of my early years in London and also inspired me to start writing my book. I am also a huge fan of High Energy music, which was very popular with Gay Men back in the 1980’s and 90’s. It never made it big in the UK, but artists such as Eartha Kitt, Sylvester, Patrick Cowley, Miquel Brown, Boys Town Gang, and The Weather Girls, all did very well with it.
And just for Hugh here is Stock, Aitken, and Waterman with Roadblock which will also bring back memories of traffic jams in London in the 80s.
A funny thing happened on the way to…
The central theme of this series is ‘A funny thing happened to me on my way to…….. ‘ It really does not have to be anywhere exotic but I am hoping Hugh will share his experiences of travel and perhaps the people he has met along the way which have added a smile to his face. Over to you John.
Last November, John and I took our niece, Anna, to New York. The flight over to New York was rather a bit of an eye opener and below is an extract from one of the posts I published about our trip
“Once onboard the flight we were treated to more drinks and another menu offering us delights such as roast beef, chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and a salted chocolate caramel pudding amongst other things. I settled into the on flight entertainment and started to watch the first of three movies.
However, I and the rest of the passengers in our part of the cabin were treated to rather more entertainment than we had bargained for when two of our fellow passengers started to hold hands, tell each other they loved each other very much, and then proceeded to get on top of one another on one of the seats which had now become a flat-bed. Fortunately, one of the cabin crew saw what was happening and asked the man to remove himself from the lady he was laying on top of.
Settling down to continue to watch ‘The Inbetweeners 2’ movie, it was not long before the couple were at it again and the same member of cabin crew was once again tapping the man on the shoulder asking him kindly to go back to his own seat. Wow, was this the kind of thing that went on in Upper Class I asked myself? By this time, Anna was fast asleep and I was concerned that the guy might come over and try to get on top of her, but fortunately it seems he only had eyes for his new wife. Before the end of the flight, the couple had to be removed from each other twice more, the latter by the Cabin Services Director.”
My thanks to Hugh for sharing that, puts a whole new slant on onboard entertainment! Usually my only excitement in a flight is to spot the one person who takes ten minutes to stow is carry on and blocks the aisle.
Here are links to connect to Hugh and please feel free to reblog and share across social media to introduce this charming blogger to others.
Blog – http://hughsviewsandnews.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/108647661887874692677/posts
Now that you have seen the first show in the new series in action perhaps you would like to participate. I have a great line up of bloggers and authors in the next few weeks including Jane Dougherty and Judith Barrow coming up in following weeks. Here is the link for the details. Look forward to hearing from you.