about this site (2)
What do I want to say here? I’m not sure. Can’t we at least give it a try? Yes, of course. Just a bit tired, that’s all. I haven’t slept very well and my brain’s not working at full capacity yet. Do you need a bit more time? To have a cup of tea or something? No, no, it’s OK. Let’s get cracking. Great. So what’s this website site all about then? This website is a shrine dedicated to the boy I used to be, in the golden halcyon period of my life before puberty, before everything went wrong, when my Mum and Dad were still together and still seemed to love each other, when I created art for its own sake and not in an attempt to please people or make money out of it. That sounds a bit heavy, mate. I thought it was just about some stupid kid and his weird pictures. Well, yes, it is that. That’s what it is. But it’s about those other things too. Those things are the rationale, if you like - the things that drive me to do it. What? So you’re saying it’s a kind of therapy? Something like that. Probably. But you’re right, that’s too heavy to be starting out with. Let’s backtrack a bit. OK. Er… yeah, so what’s it all about then? This website is about a little boy called Waen Shepherd and the things he wrote at school when he lived in a village called Fairburn for two and a half years in the early 1980s. Was that you? Yes, that was me. And is that it? It’s just some stuff this kid did at school? Yes. Sort of. Well, no, not really. That’s just the starting point. There’s the stuff he wrote, and the stuff I’m writing now about him. So it’s me grown up, looking back at the stuff I wrote when I was a kid, and writing about that. And not just that, but setting a context as well, because you can’t fully understand what he wrote then unless you understand what was going on around him. Eh? There’s nothing going on around him. He’s just a kid. No. No, you’re wrong. There’s everything going on around him. Real life affected him and it shaped what he wrote. Not just the influences he absorbed, but the whole culture around him, his school and his family life, the village he lived in. They all affect what he writes and make it different to what anybody else might write. But how can you tell all that from the stuff he wrote at school? I can’t, not just from the books alone. But if you work out when he wrote what he wrote, we’ve got this thing called the internet now, and it makes it a lot easier to research what was happening on any particular day - what was in the news, what was on TV, what records and books came out that week. Is that why half of it’s structured like a diary? I wouldn’t call it a diary. It’s more like an illustrated timeline, so you can see how what he wrote fits in with what was happening at the time. What? So you’re saying he wrote all this stuff down at the time, about what was in the charts and what was in the news and that? No. Good God, no. No, I wrote a load of silly stories and drew a load of pictures, but all the other stuff, that’s me writing that now. I researched it. I looked it up. I read books, I watched DVDs, I went on the internet and read articles on Wikipedia, watched videos on YouTube, found things out on other websites. And anything that was relevant, I wrote it down here, so even if you don’t care that much about this kid and his stories, maybe you’ll get something out of the timeline - whether that’s nostalgia or genuine historical interest or just some morbid fascination with how a grown man in his late forties can find the time to do it all. Right. Sounds a bit rubbish to be honest. What? Does it? Oh. I thought it sounded quite good. Yeah, but… Kids can’t write, can they? I mean, they can, some of them, but it’s rubbish. True. But the particular kind of rubbish they write is important. This kid - me - the kid I was, he wrote a particular kind of rubbish, and for some reason he was allowed to do it at school. A lot. And he kept it. He kept those books. I don’t know if that makes him unique, but it’s still quite a good selling point, I think. If you’re interested in that sort of thing. Yes. Well, quite. I guess I’m writing it for people who are interested in that sort of thing. Not for people who aren’t. I suppose so. And besides, it’s funny, hopefully. The stuff he wrote is funny. Not because he was trying to be, but maybe because he was trying so hard to be serious, and failing miserably. Like you’re doing now? I don’t know what you mean. This isn’t serious. If I were taking this seriously, I wouldn’t have asked you to interview me. Fair enough. But you said you were there for two and a half years. All I can see is a handful of things you wrote in 1979. Where’s the rest of it? Well, clearly, I haven’t finished it yet. Are you ever going to finish it? I hope so. I genuinely hope so. How long’s that going to take? It depends on everything else that’s going on in my life. Hopefully not longer than three years. Three years? Shit! Isn’t that simply too big a commitment? The size of the commitment doesn’t bother me. It’s more whether or not I can comfortably survive while I’m doing it. Plus, I suppose, when something’s clearly going to take several years, there’s an increased chance you might die or face some other life-altering challenge which makes it more difficult to do what you set out to do. Especially if no one’s paying you to do it. But I don’t get it. Why don’t you just upload your favourite stories you wrote when you were a kid and leave it at that? Because it wouldn’t be interesting, and it wouldn’t be good enough. The context is important. And besides, the original writing isn’t the only point to this. What is the point then? Creating something new with it is the point. If it were just a case of uploading old stuff, I don’t think I’d bother. I’d have put it on Facebook a decade ago and it all would have been forgotten about. Doing it this way is much more fun. Are these stories actually genuine then? Of course they’re genuine. I can’t quite believe you doubted it. Well, it seems reasonable to doubt it. Some of them are a bit too good to be true. That’s why I’m uploading the originals, so you can see for yourself. When I tried reading some of these out on stage, I didn’t usually want to take the actual books with me. Partly because I didn’t want to get them damaged, but also because it was just impractical to be hauling twenty or thirty books around with me every time I did it. Trouble was, people didn’t always believe the stories were genuine, because they couldn’t see the original books. And if you don’t believe they were genuinely written by this weird little kid, they’re never going to work. That’s it though. I don’t think they do work. Not for me anyway. Well, that’s OK. Maybe you’re not my target audience. Why don’t you just write something new instead? I am writing something new. This is something new. Is it? I thought it was just a conversation. Well, yes, it is, but it’s one I’m making it up entirely by myself, and I’m actually writing it down. AND publishing it on the internet. I’d say that counts as new writing. But it’s been done, hasn’t it? Maybe. I honestly don’t know. But if it has, I doubt anyone’s delved into it to this extent. Even when someone’s life’s been studied to the nth degree - like, say, the lives of The Beatles in the 1960s - you still don’t hear about it from their point of view. Not to this degree. They’ve probably got better stuff to be doing with their lives. So have I, probably. There’s all sorts of things I could be doing. But I chose to do this. So basically you’re saying that, instead of spending your time helping the poor or trying to reduce the NHS backlog, you’re sitting in a room writing about your childhood? You could put it like that, yes. But I made a decision a long time ago, that I was a writer and an artist, and that’s what I do. Maybe I should have made a different decision and devoted my life to self-sacrifice, but I didn’t. Then again, I don’t think this is a totally selfish exercise. It probably is though. I hope not. It probably is. If you say so. What are you looking at me like that for? Aren’t you Pedo Kennedy? I played John Kennedy on TV in The Inbetweeners, yes. Oh brilliant! I love The Inbetweeners. Me too. I was extraordinarily lucky to be in it. Why haven’t I seen you in anything else? I’ve been in other things, you probably just haven’t seen them. Or maybe I looked a bit different. Plus I stopped acting about six or seven years ago, when I started getting more work as a composer instead. A composer? What, like Last Night of the Proms and all that shit? I hate that. No, for TV, mainly. Eh? You know, like theme tunes and incidental music you hear in the background. You might not have noticed, but some TV programmes have music going on in the background, to set the mood and punctuate the action. (brain glazes over) Oh. That Greg Davies, he’s really funny though, isn’t he? Yes, he is. He really is that tall in real life as well. Right. Well, nice talking to you mate. Yeah, you too. See you later. No wait, hang on. Is that it? How do you mean? Well, you haven’t asked me about anything specific. Like, where Fairburn is, why I left, what sort of things I wrote about, why they let me write so much crap in my school exercise books… But I don’t have to, do I? I’m assuming I can find all that stuff out by reading the rest of the site. Well, yes, but… Come on, mate. I’ve been here an hour already and you haven’t said anything I couldn’t have worked out for myself. To be fair, I don’t think there was much point in having this conversation. Everything you’re saying now is just stuff you’ve said in a more concise manner somewhere else. I thought you were enjoying it. I am. Well, I was. But I just think we’ve said everything we needed to say. And we didn’t really need to say it anyway. I’m not sure I feel satisfied with that. Look, I don’t want to be rude. You seem like an alright sort of bloke. A bit neurotic and a bit OCD for my taste, but you’re not mad or anything. I don’t feel hostile towards you. But I’ve got stuff to do. And if you carry on being so demanding, my opinion might change, and then it won’t just have been a waste of my time, it will have been a waste of yours as well. Christ. OK. I’m sorry. There’s no need to apologise. You’ve just got to learn when to let things go. Yes. You’re right. Sorry. Stop apologising! Jesus. Right. I’m off. Good luck with it all. See you later. Yeah, bye. Bye. Idiot. I heard that.
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy? (age 7)
WAEN SHEPHERD Who is this strange old man? (age 50)
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
ENGLISH 1 A few tentative steps into a world of terrible writing
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
HISTORY 1 Sept 1979 - Oct 1981
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Apr 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
Clarke Hall The place and time where it all began… September 1679?
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Bonfire Night Waen’s first time at the annual village fireworks display
Christmas 1979 Can Waen last the night without opening his presents?
Sheet Lightning Waen and his Gran shelter from the sheet- shaped storm
String Orchestra A visit from the North Yorkshire County Council Orchestra
The Old Stone Age Ancient humans try to co-exist with cave lions and giant deer
Darth Vader An autograph from a genuine stand-in
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
An earlier draft I wrote when I was tired
Great Space Battles Three mighty empires take their first steps into outer space
TOPIC 2 The one where it all kicks off
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
Superman the Movie Souvenir programme from when I went to the pictures with Louise
The Fugitive A man runs - but who is he? And what is he running from?
The Flame in the Desert An evil fire threatens the safety of the world
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
Tedosaurus Prehistoric fun with a teddy bear the size of a dinosaur!
Apeth Badly-spelt high-jinks with a purple gorilla from outer space!
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
Florence Nightingale What if Florence Nightingale had lived in the Year 2000?
Supersilver Pharoid and Supersilver fight over the Great Micromid!
Super Jesus A special pin-up of your favourite Nazarene webslinger
The Origin of Electro Waen Shepherd, TV Star, turns evil and drains the city!
Giant Karza! Arch-enemy of the Micronauts grows to super size!
A-Maze-ing! The most unbelievable maze you’ve ever seen in your life!
Optical Illusion Time Amazing visual tricks that will boggle your mind!
ENGLISH 2 A general increase in manic stupidity and excessive violence
Happy Easter! A home made Easter card I made for my Mum and Dad
The Hulk Puny humans won’t be able to resist this amazing pin-up!
More Puzzlers A trio of ‘Make You Very Crosswords’ to make you slightly cross
Fury Falls Evel Knievel in a scary waterfall adventure with Split Sam!
Grobschnitt’s Page Meet Grobschnitt, the dome-headed Harbinger of Mischief
Exploring the Underworld Eight boys go exploring in a dangerous cave
TERM 3 1980 continues with the embassy siege and The Empire Strikes Back
Lazer Lash An exciting criminal spy adventure in a world made of lasers!
Woman Line Which of these five squiggly lines leads to the woman?
What do I want to say here? I’m not sure. Can’t we at least give it a try? Yes, of course. Just a bit tired, that’s all. I haven’t slept very well and my brain’s not working at full capacity yet. Do you need a bit more time? To have a cup of tea or something? No, no, it’s OK. Let’s get cracking. Great. So what’s this website site all about then? This website is a shrine dedicated to the boy I used to be, in the golden halcyon period of my life before puberty, before everything went wrong, when my Mum and Dad were still together and still seemed to love each other, when I created art for its own sake and not in an attempt to please people or make money out of it. That sounds a bit heavy, mate. I thought it was just about some stupid kid and his weird pictures. Well, yes, it is that. That’s what it is. But it’s about those other things too. Those things are the rationale, if you like - the things that drive me to do it. What? So you’re saying it’s a kind of therapy? Something like that. Probably. But you’re right, that’s too heavy to be starting out with. Let’s backtrack a bit. OK. Er… yeah, so what’s it all about then? This website is about a little boy called Waen Shepherd and the things he wrote at school when he lived in a village called Fairburn for two and a half years in the early 1980s. Was that you? Yes, that was me. And is that it? It’s just some stuff this kid did at school? Yes. Sort of. Well, no, not really. That’s just the starting point. There’s the stuff he wrote, and the stuff I’m writing now about him. So it’s me grown up, looking back at the stuff I wrote when I was a kid, and writing about that. And not just that, but setting a context as well, because you can’t fully understand what he wrote then unless you understand what was going on around him. Eh? There’s nothing going on around him. He’s just a kid. No. No, you’re wrong. There’s everything going on around him. Real life affected him and it shaped what he wrote. Not just the influences he absorbed, but the whole culture around him, his school and his family life, the village he lived in. They all affect what he writes and make it different to what anybody else might write. But how can you tell all that from the stuff he wrote at school? I can’t, not just from the books alone. But if you work out when he wrote what he wrote, we’ve got this thing called the internet now, and it makes it a lot easier to research what was happening on any particular day - what was in the news, what was on TV, what records and books came out that week. Is that why half of it’s structured like a diary? I wouldn’t call it a diary. It’s more like an illustrated timeline, so you can see how what he wrote fits in with what was happening at the time. What? So you’re saying he wrote all this stuff down at the time, about what was in the charts and what was in the news and that? No. Good God, no. No, I wrote a load of silly stories and drew a load of pictures, but all the other stuff, that’s me writing that now. I researched it. I looked it up. I read books, I watched DVDs, I went on the internet and read articles on Wikipedia, watched videos on YouTube, found things out on other websites. And anything that was relevant, I wrote it down here, so even if you don’t care that much about this kid and his stories, maybe you’ll get something out of the timeline - whether that’s nostalgia or genuine historical interest or just some morbid fascination with how a grown man in his late forties can find the time to do it all. Right. Sounds a bit rubbish to be honest. What? Does it? Oh. I thought it sounded quite good. Yeah, but… Kids can’t write, can they? I mean, they can, some of them, but it’s rubbish. True. But the particular kind of rubbish they write is important. This kid - me - the kid I was, he wrote a particular kind of rubbish, and for some reason he was allowed to do it at school. A lot. And he kept it. He kept those books. I don’t know if that makes him unique, but it’s still quite a good selling point, I think. If you’re interested in that sort of thing. Yes. Well, quite. I guess I’m writing it for people who are interested in that sort of thing. Not for people who aren’t. I suppose so. And besides, it’s funny, hopefully. The stuff he wrote is funny. Not because he was trying to be, but maybe because he was trying so hard to be serious, and failing miserably. Like you’re doing now? I don’t know what you mean. This isn’t serious. If I were taking this seriously, I wouldn’t have asked you to interview me. Fair enough. But you said you were there for two and a half years. All I can see is a handful of things you wrote in 1979. Where’s the rest of it? Well, clearly, I haven’t finished it yet. Are you ever going to finish it? I hope so. I genuinely hope so. How long’s that going to take? It depends on everything else that’s going on in my life. Hopefully not longer than three years. Three years? Shit! Isn’t that simply too big a commitment? The size of the commitment doesn’t bother me. It’s more whether or not I can comfortably survive while I’m doing it. Plus, I suppose, when something’s clearly going to take several years, there’s an increased chance you might die or face some other life-altering challenge which makes it more difficult to do what you set out to do. Especially if no one’s paying you to do it. But I don’t get it. Why don’t you just upload your favourite stories you wrote when you were a kid and leave it at that? Because it wouldn’t be interesting, and it wouldn’t be good enough. The context is important. And besides, the original writing isn’t the only point to this. What is the point then? Creating something new with it is the point. If it were just a case of uploading old stuff, I don’t think I’d bother. I’d have put it on Facebook a decade ago and it all would have been forgotten about. Doing it this way is much more fun. Are these stories actually genuine then? Of course they’re genuine. I can’t quite believe you doubted it. Well, it seems reasonable to doubt it. Some of them are a bit too good to be true. That’s why I’m uploading the originals, so you can see for yourself. When I tried reading some of these out on stage, I didn’t usually want to take the actual books with me. Partly because I didn’t want to get them damaged, but also because it was just impractical to be hauling twenty or thirty books around with me every time I did it. Trouble was, people didn’t always believe the stories were genuine, because they couldn’t see the original books. And if you don’t believe they were genuinely written by this weird little kid, they’re never going to work. That’s it though. I don’t think they do work. Not for me anyway. Well, that’s OK. Maybe you’re not my target audience. Why don’t you just write something new instead? I am writing something new. This is something new. Is it? I thought it was just a conversation. Well, yes, it is, but it’s one I’m making it up entirely by myself, and I’m actually writing it down. AND publishing it on the internet. I’d say that counts as new writing. But it’s been done, hasn’t it? Maybe. I honestly don’t know. But if it has, I doubt anyone’s delved into it to this extent. Even when someone’s life’s been studied to the nth degree - like, say, the lives of The Beatles in the 1960s - you still don’t hear about it from their point of view. Not to this degree. They’ve probably got better stuff to be doing with their lives. So have I, probably. There’s all sorts of things I could be doing. But I chose to do this. So basically you’re saying that, instead of spending your time helping the poor or trying to reduce the NHS backlog, you’re sitting in a room writing about your childhood? You could put it like that, yes. But I made a decision a long time ago, that I was a writer and an artist, and that’s what I do. Maybe I should have made a different decision and devoted my life to self- sacrifice, but I didn’t. Then again, I don’t think this is a totally selfish exercise. It probably is though. I hope not. It probably is. If you say so. What are you looking at me like that for? Aren’t you Pedo Kennedy? I played John Kennedy on TV in The Inbetweeners, yes. Oh brilliant! I love The Inbetweeners. Me too. I was extraordinarily lucky to be in it. Why haven’t I seen you in anything else? I’ve been in other things, you probably just haven’t seen them. Or maybe I looked a bit different. Plus I stopped acting about six or seven years ago, when I started getting more work as a composer instead. A composer? What, like Last Night of the Proms and all that shit? I hate that. No, for TV, mainly. Eh? You know, like theme tunes and incidental music you hear in the background. You might not have noticed, but some TV programmes have music going on in the background, to set the mood and punctuate the action. (brain glazes over) Oh. That Greg Davies, he’s really funny though, isn’t he? Yes, he is. He really is that tall in real life as well. Right. Well, nice talking to you mate. Yeah, you too. See you later. No wait, hang on. Is that it? How do you mean? Well, you haven’t asked me about anything specific. Like, where Fairburn is, why I left, what sort of things I wrote about, why they let me write so much crap in my school exercise books… But I don’t have to, do I? I’m assuming I can find all that stuff out by reading the rest of the site. Well, yes, but… Come on, mate. I’ve been here an hour already and you haven’t said anything I couldn’t have worked out for myself. To be fair, I don’t think there was much point in having this conversation. Everything you’re saying now is just stuff you’ve said in a more concise manner somewhere else. I thought you were enjoying it. I am. Well, I was. But I just think we’ve said everything we needed to say. And we didn’t really need to say it anyway. I’m not sure I feel satisfied with that. Look, I don’t want to be rude. You seem like an alright sort of bloke. A bit neurotic and a bit OCD for my taste, but you’re not mad or anything. I don’t feel hostile towards you. But I’ve got stuff to do. And if you carry on being so demanding, my opinion might change, and then it won’t just have been a waste of my time, it will have been a waste of yours as well. Christ. OK. I’m sorry. There’s no need to apologise. You’ve just got to learn when to let things go. Yes. You’re right. Sorry. Stop apologising! Jesus. Right. I’m off. Good luck with it all. See you later. Yeah, bye. Bye. Idiot. I heard that.
An earlier draft I wrote when I was tired
about this site (2)
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy? (age 7)
WAEN SHEPHERD Who is this strange old man? (age 50)
ENGLISH 1 A few tentative steps into a world of terrible writing
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
Christmas 1979 Can Waen last the night without opening his presents?
Darth Vader An autograph from a genuine stand-in
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
TERM 1 A day-by-day account of Waen’s first term at Fairburn School
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
Ward’s 7 John Ward and his band of rebels fight the evil Federation
Superman the Movie Souvenir programme from when I went to the pictures with Louise
Tedosaurus Prehistoric fun with a teddy bear the size of a dinosaur!
Apeth Badly-spelt high-jinks with a purple gorilla from outer space!
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
Florence Nightingale What if Florence Nightingale had lived in the Year 2000?
Optical Illusion Time Amazing visual tricks that will boggle your mind!
Super Jesus A special pin-up of your favourite Nazarene webslinger
Happy Easter! A home made Easter card I made for my Mum and Dad
Grobschnitt’s Page Meet Grobschnitt, the dome-headed Harbinger of Mischief
TERM 3 1980 continues with the embassy siege and The Empire Strikes Back
THE GHOUL  ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK Available now exclusively on Bandcamp