He was a small, round-faced man with a moustache and a baseball cap and I always remember him with a bundle of writing under his arm. You’d see him out and about the village, sometimes hobbling along, when the sea air played havoc with his arthritis. He left us for Meza Arizona, where the climate agreed with him better. But he loved Strandhill and came back and visited - members of the writers’ group met him for a pizza in Bella Vista one time. He talked of another visit.
We corresponded annually at Christmas and he was always mad for news of the village and the other writers. When I didn’t receive a letter from him last year, I thought nothing of it but, a couple of weeks ago, the Christmas letter I sent him was returned unopened. I checked on Twitter and his account was closed. Then I found his . Phil died unexpectedly in Arizona on July 31st 2018 aged 63. He was a great guy. The world is poorer for his loss.
For those of us who knew him, here is a recording of Phil reading his wonderful short story A Native American in London. This was recorded in Dolly’s Cottage for the Dolly Mixtures (Voices from Dolly’s Cottage) anthology in 2005.