I want to live in Fentonton!

The first blog post, so much pressure … come on man, think …

The Oxford English Dictionary defines blog as …



Welcome to Fentonton. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I did not set up this blog while drunk and misspell my own name. “Fenton.blogspot” was taken. I admit I was listening to Ben Folds while I was trying to think of a name, which must have had an influence. If you’re familiar with “Effington”, just swap the words around, hum a few bars, and before you know it it’ll be stuck in your head like a catchy Justin Timberlake track, or tinnitus, whichever you prefer.


Can be a wonderful Fenton place

I can see it from the highway

And I’m wondering

Is there Fenton in their yards

Fenton in their cars

Fenton in the trailers and the back roads and the parking lots

Of Fentonton …

And so on.

So why do I have a blog? Well for one thing, it’s considerably cheaper than setting up a proper website. Also, I can get by without having to learn much HTML, which is fine with me because I’m sure it would be superseded by some new vastly superior programming language about a month after I mastered it.

What makes me think anyone is interested in what I have to say? You’re here, aren’t you? Unless you were trying to get to Fenton.blogspot and you’ve had a few too many ciders. What this blog is not going to be is a brain dump of every random thought which wanders into my head. No, it’s going to be a tightly focused brain dump.

First things first:

I was prompted to set up a blog after joining a book review group called “Booksquawk”. They said, give us a photo and a link to your blog. After two hours of teaching my four-year-old daughter (heretofore referred to as “Kid A”) the principles of SLR photography, lighting, aperture settings, and where the take-the-damn-photo button was, I had my picture. And here’s the blog. It’ll look much better once Kid A finishes that HTML course.

Booksquawk is a book review site whose contributors are all writers. Some of us have even had our books published! Not me. No, I write for the (ahem) love of it. If someone would pay me to do it, however, I would love it so much more. I would love it and care for it and feed it every day, honest. If you’d like to pop over and check the site out, that would be just super. If my HTML tags above failed to work, it’s at “www.booksquawk.blogspot.com”

That’s enough from me, at least until I have something interesting to post. Interesting to me, anyway.

I want to live

In Fentonton!

I want to die

There too!

Folds, if you read this, feel free to put Fentonton on your next album. Or at least play it next time you’re in London.



  1. Melissa Conway · November 8, 2009

    I drove through Fentonton once. Our truck wasn't quite air-tight enough to keep out the smell, but luckily the town is a blip on the map and we got through it quickly.Hahaha! Paul, you're so funny. Booksquawk is lucky to have you.

  2. Kwana · November 9, 2009

    Wonderful 1st post! So funny. Welcome to this wacky blog world. I'm so happy to be on Booksquawk with you. Now I gotta go listen to some Timberlake to get rid of this strange tune in my head.

  3. S.P. Miskowski · November 9, 2009

    If Fentonton is this funny, I want to take a vacation there. Fentonton also reminds me that my husband and I always have trouble recalling the name of Sir Ernest Shackleton, so we call him Shackletonfordson. So I am laughing at your blog twice. No, not at–with your blog. Laughing with your blog. 😀

  4. Fenton · November 14, 2009

    Melissa – sorry about the smell. Some say it's a weird fusion of Vegemite and Marmite.Kwana – thanks! Try an advertising jingle to clear your head. Nothing gets rid of irritating tunes like different irritating tunes.SP – you've reminded me of that classic scene from A Fish Called Wanda, Otto improvising an alias … Harvey Manfredjensenden. If I could choose my surname, that would be it.

  5. Malcolm · November 3, 2010

    Actually, I used to live in Effingham. It was perfectly effable.Hey FentonI've been plugging Ch 9 of Punchline on the Authonomy blog. Wodehousian in its comic mastery, I tell ya, and still as funny as when I first read it. Ever consider publishing it as a stand alone short?

  6. Malcolm · November 6, 2010

    Philistine for the Philistinians. Paul, in your time on Authonomy I know you encountered some Authonomites in the flesh. They're best met in very small groups, eh. I bumped into a multitude all at once, with twice as many again in associated friends and family, at the Diiarts Publishing launch this time last year. And oh! the trauma. Let me explain. The venue was the London Canal Museum. A most sophisticated and pleasant evening, in full swing when I arrived. A happy affair. You know, writerly types being Londony and enjoying the ambience of gossip and free booze. And shy me, rudderless, not quite mixing, grinning like a pillock. At the appointed hour we all trouped upstairs to where the eagerly awaited Diiarts readings were to take place and I, naturally, stood at the back. Corduroy jacket. No through draft. Overdressed and soon beginning to sweat. In fact I ended up standing under a halogen light with an exhibit of a canal horse directly behind me. All went well through House and Ses (good show, lads, with Harbour and Pistols) and then, early doors into MMB's recital (a dramatic scene from May 1812), the exhibition stirred horribly to life. It started making these sporadic flushing farty noises. At every wet sound of neighing literature buffs of the back rows twisted to stare at me in shock and disdain. Didn't help that by now I was sweating profusely. My self-deprecating blushes and grimacing seemed to settle matters in the eyes of rows eight through nine. Why is that large sweaty man farting like a horse! Can't he control himself? After a few more acutely regretted fartnoises (he's doing it on bloody purpose!) from the inanimate object behind me, which earned me a sibilance of marked shhsh'es, I gave up on the I-can't-help-it look-it's-really-not-my-fault mime routine and turned to investigate. Determined to locate the speaker, I crawled under the rope (decisively, to sneak in a dread adverb) and bumped around the underside of the horse, actually becoming trapped for one time-slowing moment. Finally, wriggling wormlike through to the back wall, I ripped the wires from the speaker and rolled free, covered in fake straw. These actions, heroic if wholly misunderstood, served to diminish my status from merely flatulent oaf to Affirmed Art-Hating Protester (anti-hunt, I'll be bound) and the back rows' cold shoulder. The acoustics of the room were such that the front and middle rows were unaware of ME, thank god, and engrossed with MM's splendid narrative performance. (MM, incidentally, had begun spectacularly by outing herself as a woman after a full year of quite brilliant masculine masquerade over on Autho. What a gal!) In the end the back row were united in their conviction that I must be a dangerous loony. Before the final reading had begun (Whom Must I Kill by good ole Jace) I was approached sidelong by a back-row spokesperson who suggested, alas, that perhaps it was time for me to move on. I'm glad to have got this sensible act of vandalism off my chest. A year is long enough. If anyone from the Canal Museum wants a cheque for the damage…

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