Note to publishers…and authors

May 25, 2015 3 comments

It would be very helpful if in the case of novels ( and perhaps some other types of book) you provided a dramatis persomae.

Also perhaps in the index a synopsis of each chapter.

Older publications often provided these and they are very helpful to those of us who are doing other things and returning occasionally to the book.

And one more thing. Travel Books !!  How about some decent maps ? Rather than the pathetic line drawings normally provided.

Actually travel books aren’t the only culprits in the map department. Field Marshall Slim’s book ‘Defeat into Victory’ suffers badly from not having comprehensive maps particularly now that many of the places named have been changed after Burmese independence.

Categories: General

You’re Welcome!

So the Swedes win Eurovision again. It only took them two years! I am pleased that Australia did well and has shown interest in competing again. My personal favourite entry, Norway, also did well at 8th place. Meanwhile, the Huns and their neighbours, the Austrian Huns, have competed with each other for null points saving the United Kingdom from bottom place again. You are welcome. Next year, watch out for China competing. In the process, could they please colonise Hunland? I’m sure they couldn’t run the place into the ground any more than the present lot!

Categories: General

Results of May 2015 Photography Competition

May 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Not many entries but thank you to James Leck, Janus and Christopher for your varied and excellent photographs.

I liked them all, the Danish coast, converted car-ports and Belfast but I think the winner is Mr Leck for his excellent photograph of Brittany Shadows, but I admit I do love boats.

Now if James would please just judge the poetry competition he can then set the next photography challenge.

Over to you, Lecky!

Categories: Competition, General Tags:

Sanity intact.

May 22, 2015 9 comments

Have just returned from a fortnight sailing on the West Coast of Scotland during which we transited in both directions the Crinan and Caledonian Canals having missed (due to Skipper incompetence ) a weather window to sail around the Mull of Kintyre.

On the plus side the scenery as ever was fantastic and the Scots natives were (with one or two exceptions ) on their best behaviour and on balance I’m glad I went.

Downsides…boat falling apart…damp quarters…..skipper incompetent every manoeuvre a drama  which can get pretty exhausting when you’re transiting a flight of locks or reefing a sail in a gale. ( inadvertent rhyme ?).

My Helly Hansen sailing gear wasn’t up to the conditions and on a brainwave i went to the Fishermen’s Chandlery at Oban and bought  fisherman’s  waterproof trousers and jacket for less than half the price of yer actual fashionable yachty stuff. It was a bit heavy duty but I stayed dry. Another bit of kit which turned up trumps were my crocs which turned out to be fantastic deck shoes totally (as far as I could see) non slip…..miles better than expensive deck shoes… and they float if you drop one into the water. All in all I was the driest if least fashionable crew member.

Apparently it doesn’t matter if you’re wet and cold as long as you look good.

One random observation. The ablutions on the canal were clean and well heated with plenty of hot water but they haven’t discovered mixer taps yet….note to Ms Sturgeon.

Corpach Basin ...Western entrance to the Caledonian Canal

Corpach Basin …Western entrance to the Caledonian Canal

Categories: General

A bit of colour

May 19, 2015 19 comments

A bit of colour in an otherwise rather rubbish back garden. I have no idea what some of them are so any ideas would be welcome!

I’ve been rather busy organising the house and after the trauma of moving and a new grandson, the garden really has not been high on my list of priorities.

Read more…

Categories: General

The Celtic Fringe

Highcliffe beach is pretty. It was also 15 minutes from my Christchurch B&B. Luck was with me because there were few people around. I wasn’t completely alone, of course, but it was pleasantly quiet and remote. To the east was London, to the west, Cornwall. To the south, Frogland. I walked out to a stone jetty and began shouting in Chinese. Poseidon had none of it and I promptly slipped on the slick, sea moss-covered rocks. My pride being the only thing wounded, I slowly made my way to wash off the grime after picking up Chinese take-away. I also organised a taxi. One really couldn’t be asked to drag luggage a mile to Hinton Admiral. Read more…

Categories: General

Who’s to blame?

May 11, 2015 11 comments

There is an interesting article in the French press about a Muslim family in Nîmes who have just lodged a complaint.

The sixteen year old daughter Hanane stole her older sister’s ID and went off to Syria. So the parents have laid charges of kidnapping, abuse of a minor and incitement to suicide. What is unclear is against whom these charges are levelled. Don’t you need to name someone you feel is guilty? In most of such cases it is of course the French state that is held responsible for not doing something or other.

Hanane has managed to contact her older sister from Raqqah and is apparently not enjoying islamist life there and wants to return to France. But it appears that this is not so easy to do, not because of the big bad wolves (sorry OZ) of French policemen waiting at the airport but because of the thugs of the religion of peace keeping tabs on her movements.

I hope the parents do find someone against whom they can bring charges. It will be interesting to follow this case.

Categories: General

Glad That’s Over

The UK voted and, as of late evening Pacific Time, Cameron is set to be returned as Prime Minister with an increased number of seats. Clegg is at risk of being made eligible for a return to the EU, I mean, lose his seat. It could have been much, much worse although I think that many Scots are in desperate need of psychiatric help. (Sheona, ColinB and John Mackie exempted from this)

Categories: General

I’ve never seen the like!

The Met Gala, how could they?

The Metropolitan Museum of Arts has been until recently a fairly august institution, a place to go.  Not anymore!

I have never seen the like, last night was more like a trip to a pre civil war New Orleans brothel with the ‘high yellers’ putting on a show. Obscene costumes, one hesitates to call them dresses revealing more than one could possibly bear to see,  on utterly revolting tarts, whores and z list celebrities.  Really too too much.  Most of them needed a night in the cells to reflect.  Does the Museum seriously want to promote such images?

I do hope they air the place out today or the unsuspecting will get more than their fair share of cocaine and HIV lurking in the ether!

Well that is another place strictly off my visiting list!  Pity, I rather liked the ‘Cloisters’.

I should imagine that those who financed the place in the past must be spinning in their graves!

Categories: General

It’s nearly time

May 4, 2015 12 comments

4 May 2015


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