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The Sinking of the MV Port Victor – 1943

There’s a lot in the news right now about the tragic loss of a rather large ocean liner that took place about 100 years ago. Sixty-nine years ago a rather smaller ship than the Titanic went down in the Atlantic Ocean, the victim of a German U-Boat. What makes the latter incident much more immediate to me is that the Master of that ship was my Grandfather, Captain William Gordon Higgs. The MV Port Victor set sail on her final voyage on April 11th, 1943 and in today’s blog you’ll hear a report of that sinking in great detail.

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A series of one-liners…

I am an audiobook narrator. In my day-to-day work I deal with many hundreds and thousands of words passing in endless formation in front of my eyes hour after hour… and I love it. But this blog today is not about those multitudes – it is about a mere 11 words – and how they have come to mean more to me in the past three months of anticipation than any other sentence I have uttered in the past year.

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It all began like this…

Not exactly like this, but the goal was the same: Creating audiobooks for the blind, partially sighted or dyslexic. When I began 30 years ago we recorded on reel-to-reel 1/4″ tape machines and had one engineer between two recording studios – yesterday there was one engineer to each narrator and everything was recorded onto a computer’s hard drive using rather strange software.

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The Story of My Heart – #GoingPublic on Twitter

Not my heart, in fact, but that of Richard Jefferies, a prose poet of the English countryside. I’m doing this at the instigation of my friend and fellow narrator Xe Sands.  In a moment of inspiration some weeks back she decided to introduce #GoingPublic as a hashtag to Twitter (I can’t really explain the details of hashtags, […]

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Flying High

When I first flew into the United States almost 20 years ago I hadn’t done much commercial flying.  Getting about the UK for me meant long train or car rides – I once flew to Aberdeen, but that was it. So here in the early years I was like a kid whenever I boarded a commercial airliner […]

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Weaving the Strands

Surprised myself this morning by being somewhat poetic. My wife spends part of the week down at UC Irvine during the academic year and we usually speak a couple of times a day on the phone just to check in – sometimes I spur her on and sometimes she spurs me! Today I was wrapping […]

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You’d be forgiven for thinking, if you know me well, that I’m about to launch into some kind of blog about the Pink Floyd album with the same name (which is, I have to say, a very good album). But no, this is really about ‘animals’ – or, more specifically, about household pets. I’ve just […]

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I blame Syd, Proust and Jimi amongst others…

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been able to summon up the creative energy to write a new blog in a couple of weeks (of course you have too, and that’s why I’ve been inundated with emails and tweets demanding some fresh words of wisdom – not).  Well, I think I’ve finally found the reason […]

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Grandads …and (one) other small stuff

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, so I’ve not got to this page very much and when I have started writing I’ve always out-thought myself afterwards and erased what I started.  But I kept the last thing I did, because I rather enjoy the nostalgia thing… and you can see what that is […]

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Proust, Joyce and a dead rabbit…

I think I’ve mentioned here, or at least in a video blog from my studio, that from where I sit as I record my books I can see out of the front window to the street.  In our front garden we have a couple of medium size trees and just last week, as I was […]

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