My background is television drama. After 30 years in the industry I wrote a series of books aimed at cinematographers seeking to move from traditional film to electronic production. The books were published globally by Elsevier Focal Press and were in print for a number of years. I then developed an interest in fiction. In 1998 I was recommended to join Bridgnorth Writers Group. Since then I have self-published two novels Shop of Curiosities and Perfectly Polished (both 2012) and many short stories, including the collections Spite (2013), Aluf and Elf (2013), and Miscellany (2020). I have also written the National Trust Centenary guide to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses in 2017.
I found BWG welcoming from the beginning with a huge collective experience. One is able to present work knowing that it will be received with courtesy. Criticism is always constructive and never destructive, a quality so important to the encouragement of new writers.
GLASSES - a tale of inevitable ageing
They're talking about me again. They saying I'm getting old. They say I must be getting past it. Saying these sort of things isn't right and I don't like it. They still go on about my glasses. Glasses… I ask you! So they were expensive but it wasn't my fault I needed them, now was it?
We all know that.
They found I couldn't see to do the job. Been in it for three months and found I couldn't see to do the job. Well, I ask you. That was years ago now. Still doing it. Been all right since, just a few niggles. You know the sort of thing when you're getting on a bit. They still go on about the glasses. You might think a pair of glasses is a bus ride down to Specsavers but not for me. Oh no, not for me. They say I was difficult. They say it was the distance. It's always the distance! I'm as close as can be but it's still too far. Same distance as Scotland is from you know where. You know… where it all happens… London. Oh yes, we all know where it happens. Makes me sick all this talk. Not good for my system. But to them, that doesn't seem to matter. They'd ditch me if it suited them. Oh yes they would. They talk like it's serious distance, London to Glasgow. How far is that? Well, I know its more than a bus ride but they don't have to keep going on about it. They have to weigh up the consequences, the benefits, what'll they do if I'm not here. Not for me, but to all of them down there. And you! Oh yes, you as well.
I'm booked up for years. Everyone wants to see what I do. It's all around the world. They've seen it, you've seen it. Don't say you haven't because I know you have. No, I'm not telling you, work it out for yourselves. You've all been to school and I've been around for years and years so you can work it out for yourselves. I know because they told me.
They've been to see me four times. Four times isn't much, is it? They don't come to see me now. Oh no. Too far, they say. All alone up here. Cold sometimes. That bothers me. My system can't take the cold like it used to. Freezes my bits and pieces. Then I get hot. Have you noticed the summers? Ah yes, I bet you have. I warned about the summers, didn't I? Did they tell you? Bet they didn't. They can keep quiet when it suits them. Things I see, you'd be surprised. I could tell a tale or to. Places where I look. When I got my glasses on, my eye in.
They haven't been to see me for a long time now. But I'm not forgotten, am I? I still do the job, don't I? You've all seen what I get up to when I've got my glasses on.
Sorry, what was that? My ears aren't very good these days. Sorry, say it again. Me? Who am I? Hubble. You all know Hubble. That's right, the telescope. Only 355 miles up. Same distance: London to Glasgow. Or is it 366?
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched on 24th April 1990. However, flaws in the optical system required corrective 'glasses' be fitted. There have been four Shuttle service missions to the telescope, the last one was 2009. Hubble continues to send back the most amazing pictures of the universe.
© Peter Hodges