Did I Really Say That?

Joseph Sinclair

A miscellany of his writings

Being published to coincide with his 80th birthday, this is a selection of writings from a variety of sources.  It covers a large range, comprising verse written in the immediate post-WWII period and including much material from the magazines he has been associated with, generally as editor as well as contributor.

Inevitably it has not been possible - for reasons of space, time and cost - to include his twenty or so short stories, the seven one-hour TV plays, the two TV pilot series scripts, the vast output of music and lyrics (dating from the 1950s, before the death of ballads), or his two musical comedies. Their absence from these pages, he has suggested, is probably no great loss.

He tells us that "people, on learning that I am a writer, almost invariably ask me what I write.They are convinced that I am being facetious when I respond: Words.  But the response is not intended to be facetious. For, after all, what else could I say that simply conveys the vast output of such diverse forms?  So I hope, dear Reader, that within these pages you will find a word that you like.  And to you, and the other readers who have so graciously tolerated me over the past half a century, I dedicate this book. with love". 

Extract from the preface

The material published in this book is not original. It has been cobbled together from a number of sources, primarily the variety of magazines and journals with which I have been associated over the years.

As has been said in the Introduction, there is inevitably an absence of most of his longer works, but a number of smaller pieces, culled from diaries and notebooks maintained over the years, have been used as occasional space fillers.

It was my late, and greatly lamented, dear friend and colleague, Rob Ward who encouraged me to indulge my passion for aphorisms, limericks and (his personal favourites) clerihews, and aided and abetted me in producing many of the cabarets that marked the end-of-year Sea Containers festivities. I have drawn on some of these for the aforementioned space fillers.

I offer them with scant hope of filling the reader with as much delight as Rob and I got from their production, and they are repeated really as a memorial to him.

Here are two items that were written specifically with Rob in mind, both in clerihew form.

First an entry I made in the Visitors Book at his cottage in Portland, Dorset, where my family and I spent several enjoyable holidays, :

Its nice to know

That one can count on Ward

To have a holiday one could not otherwise affford.

And in despair at the rarely useful 2-hour Sea Containers Services weekly Managers Meeting,

It is said that Rob Ward

Is eternally bored

At the constantly self-defeating Monday morning meeting.



 Belief systems 7

Building bridges 27

Business practices 57

Education and learning 89

Health and Therapy 103

Language and communication 123

Parodies, verse and doggerel 181

Spot On 213

Time Was When (Third Age) 233



DID I REALLY SAY THAT?: 236 x 155 mm, Paperback, ISBN 0 9513660 5 X, 256 pages illustrated


 Further information available from publishers:


18 Leamington House

23 Stonegrove


Middlesex HA8 7TN

Phone: (44) (208) 958 5462

Email address: joseph.sinclair@btinternet.om

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