Author: maintenantman

My blog is named after the central character in Pick Up the Pieces, my novel based on a 7 month journey through British Columbia, The Yukon and Alaska. If in doubt as to the origin of the name, dredge up a memory of your school French, unless of course you are actually French.

Website Goes Live!

Click on :

This is my new website. The blog archive will remain up here on WordPress, but all new blog posts will be included within the website above (in the NEWS tab).

The website has poetry, prose, collages and cards. Just click on the headers on the home page and follow the dropdown menus.

Please share the link to the website on social media and with friends and contacts.

Big big thanks to Jack Eames and Rosaleigh Harvey-Otway for making this transition possible.



“Ch-ch-ch-ch changes…”.

So sang David Bowie out of the Konrads, the Mannish Boys and the Lower Third.

Maintenantman emerged from the wilderness beyond the volcanic ridge on the horizon, strode out onto the glowing sands and slipped out of his costume (and his walking shoes).


Where he went next will remain a mystery until November 1st.

But one thing is for sure: “A Change Is Gonna Come”. So sang Sam Cooke out of the Soul Stirrers. Souls will be stirred.

Ted x

Sing a Song of Cinderloo

By scrolling back to the post on here dated 2nd April 2018 you will see a brief summary of the Cinderloo Riots that took place in what is now Telford in 1821.

The text of my ballad Farewell Tom (Sam Hayward’s Blues) is in that post, along with a link to a recording of it by Mary Keith.

I have since smoothed out the syllable count at one or two places in the ballad, and Mary has kindly done a second recording at a slightly slower tempo.

So here are the links to both versions. Let me know which you prefer, via email, Facebook message or the comment / message box on this post!

Mary Keith has a band called Mary and the Mudlarks, they do a great live show and Mary has a rich background in music, including direction at the New Vic in Stoke and at Birmingham Rep.

Mary and the Mudlarks

Mary (with the accordion) and the Mudlarks

The Cinderloo project featured a well attended walk on August 11th, along part of the original marchers’ route in Dawley. Sainsbury’s car park now covers the site of the old Cinder Hill slag heaps, so I declaimed the ballad just before a jobsworth security man threw us off the site…not quite Colonel Cludde and the Shropshire Yeomanry but it was a nicely timed reminder that when it comes to power relations the more things change the more they stay the same…

Ted x

Off the Beaten Track

This new collage is called Off the Beaten Track and is a response to a short poem by Sarah Davies on the subject of her dyslexia. The work will appear in an exhibition highlighting the subject of dyslexia, via poetry and visual art, to be held at Crewe Lifestyle Centre (CW1 2BB) from 4th August to 10th August.

The standard of artwork is very high and I’m grateful for the chance to be part of this project (tip of the hat to Helen Kay).


Off the Beaten Track (mixed media collage 90cms x 60 cms)

I have incorporated the two verses in Sarah’s untitled poem. Verse one is repeated twice in the top half and verse two is repeated twice in the lower half. I was struck by her rope climbing metaphor and by her athletics track metaphor.


I couldn’t climb the snaky rope / I couldn’t monkey up the tree / I spent years tripping over myself / Every motion made me dizzy

I am fascinated by the processing of images that went into the making of sports and film annuals in the 1950s. The crude airbrushing over photographs gives a unique presence to the images. I have tweaked and subverted some of the cut-outs. The reclining speakers of the second and last verse are culled from an old Russian expressionist painting.


There wasn’t a chance that I could catch / Slept cross-legged at the edge of the track / Never ran in the sports day race / Never took the risk that I’d come last

Ted x

Comicollage Cards Are Here!

This is the current set Comicollage Cards. Only ‘found’ text and images, blood, sweat and tears are used in the making of these cards.

They are blank for your own message, each one in its own cellophane wrapper with envelope. Most are 22 cms x 16 cms.

Each card has a title and contact details on the back.

The cards are £2.50 each, or 5 for £10. Please add £3 per order for postage and packing (UK and Europe) or £4.50 per order USA, Canada, Australia.

There are 36 different designs. Sets are £70 each.

They are on various websites but please order direct from me via my email ( or Facebook personal message or the comments icon on this blog site.

TEC 37 Crampons Over the Prairie

37. Crampons Over the Prairie

TEC 35 Cliff and God Were Made For Each Other

35. Cliff and God Were Made For Each Other

TEC 05 Imperial Mince

05. Imperial Mince

TEC 33 True Grit

33. True Grit

TEC 10 Heterosexual Theme Park

10. Heterosexual Theme Park

TEC 01 Crisis Management

01. Crisis Management

TEC 25 The Look of Lunch

25. The Look of Lunch

TEC 26 Waves of Apathy

26. Waves of Apathy

TEC 15 Cold Call Warm Welcome

15. Cold Call Warm Welcome

TEC 17 Just Eat the Pious Prat

17. Just Eat the Pious Prat

TEC 14 Challenging Authority

14. Challenging Authority

TEC 06 Happens Everyday

06. Happens Every Day

TEC 12 Another Empire Bites the Dust

12. Another Empire Bites the Dust

TEC 08 Esperanto At Work

08. Esperanto At Work

TEC 07 Serious Stuff

07. Serious Stuff

TEC 36 Hope Springs Eternal

36. Hope Springs Eternal

TEC 22 Life Is a Maelstrom

22. Life Is a Maelstrom

TEC 21 Hang On To Your Dreams

21. Hang On To Your Dreams

TEC 18 Power Relations

18. Power Relations

TEC 02 Just Say No

02. Just Say No

TEC 13 Classroom Teaching Assistant

13. Classroom Teaching Assistant

TEC 30 Stable Relationship

30. Stable Relationship

TEC 31 He Will Do Anything To Please

31. He Will Do Anything To Please

TEC 32 What a Cad Indeed

32. What a Cad Indeed

TEC 34 Dixon of Dock Spleen

34. Dixon of Dock Spleen

TEC 20 Truncated

20. Truncated

TEC 19 Bedside Manners

19. Bedside Manners

TEC 24 Officer Material

24. Officer Material

TEC 27 Hole In One Plus Four

27. Hole In One Plus Four

TEC 28 No Kings No Queens

28. No Kings No Queens

TEC 38 The Playing Fields Are Eaten

38. The Playing Fields Are Eaten

TEC 23 Travelling Companions

23. Travelling Companions

TEC 11 Everything Put Together Falls Apart

11. Everything Put Together Falls Apart

Hope you have found some to enjoy. The Christmas Comicollages can be found by scrolling back on here to December. Order details as above.

Ted x