Trouble sleeping?

Hardly surprising in these anxious times. With many of us kept awake by the worry worm, wriggling its way through our nocturnal thoughts, making each of our concerns seem worse, I thought I’d share a few helpful tips on dropping off, ones that I’ve used and found to work.

  • Imagine you’re standing on a sandy beach, close to the water’s edge, and the sea begins to gently lap around your feet. Is it cold or warm, a pleasant sensation? Are you getting deeper?
  • Walking alone along a windy clifftop on a clear day. What’s the sea like? Do the crushing waves engulf the black rocks with sparkling white spray?   
  • Looking at a map of the world, working from left to right, try to name the capital of each country. Likewise, try to figure out the population of each country, hopefully you drop off to sleep before you reach 7.2 billion. 
  • Starting at A, run through the alphabet thinking of as many foods as you can starting with each letter, then move on to the next one. E.G., A – avocado, apple, apricot, anchovy, aniseed. B – beetroot, blueberries, blackberries…
  • Work through a list of US presidents or British prime ministers backwards. E.G., Biden, Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton…, or Johnson, May, Cameron, Brown, Blair, Major…
  • Try willing yourselve to sleep, think of sleep and only sleep. Imagine what sleep is like. Is it fluffy with warm breezes wafting around your face? Your eyes going to sleep, your mouth, your nose, neck, shoulders, working slowly down your body…
  • Something mathematical, like doubling figures, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192… See if you can get to a million. 

They’re all mind games. Try making your own versions, anything to stop you tumbling into an endless vortex of worries, one thing leading to another. Just don’t go there!

If none of these work, try reading for a bit. You may end losing your place in the book, but you’ll get some sleep.

~

I’ve just started writing a new novel, based on a short story I wrote last year – The parents I did not know.

In the novel, A life turned (working title) a man looks back on his troubled past and his unusual relationships with his parents to consider the impact on his life. 

To read the first chapter go a, A life turned.

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Half full or half empty – focusing on the positives

Each day, as I drink my first cup of tea and start to make porridge, I try to find at least five big or small things to look forward to. I write them down. Today I listed:

  • More and more daffodils in bud
  • The snowdrop clumps seem to grow larger every day
  • A new visitor to the bird table – a tiny wren. I haven’t seen one for some time
  • A zoom call with friends later
  • Cooking a new recipe from a new cookbook

Being a ‘glass half full’ person I always search for the positives in the media.  It’s hard, but here are a few. 

Covid vaccines 

This must be the most applauded achievement of the last decade. To develop a vaccine that protects us from infection or reduces the severity of the virus in less than a year can only be called outstanding. Most vaccines take three or four years to develop, and then have to be tested. Smallpox took ten years. Malaria is not yet there, although it’s close, but that’s after several years in the making. And the scientists developing the Covid vaccines are not stopping. More efficient vaccines are being developed as are modifications to existing ones to deal with the variants. 

Diversity in space 

Europe launches recruitment drive for more female and disabled astronauts. European space chiefs have launched their first recruitment drive for new astronauts in eleven years, with particular emphasis on encouraging women and people with disabilities to join missions to the Moon and, eventually, Mars.’ The Guardian

Green energy

Several big car makers, Ford, Jaguar, and others have stated they will not be making any petrol cars after 2030. Most companies will follow.

Electricity. The UK produces over 50% of its electricity from renewables. For some months last year, no coal was burned to produce electricity. It’s likely that within three years all the UK’s electricity will come from renewable sources. 

Endangered species

There are many, unfortunately, and due (mainly) to man’s destruction of nature to satisfy his own greed. The good news is there are many projects around the world that are reintroducing to the wild some of the endangered or almost extinct species with success. As each day passes, more projects begin. Take a look at the WWF website.  

Coral reef rebuilding

Coral reefs are being destroyed by the rise in sea temperatures due to climate change. Coral is essential to the health and welfare of the oceans’ ecosystem. Without coral most sea life would be wiped out. But there’s a fight-back. Throughout the world several successful projects have regrown and replanted coral. See: Can new science save dying coral reefs?      

Rewilding

Across the world, many natural forests and savannahs have been destroyed by humans to grow crops, in the process, depriving wildlife of its natural habit.  Rewilding efforts aim to create ecosystems requiring passive management, and the stepping back of man. There are an increasing number of these projects around the globe, Rewilding Britain is one such project.

Man will continue to discover new ways to solve the climate crisis, it won’t be easy, and we don’t have much time, but I’m optimistic and hopeful we’ll succeed. And the same goes for Covid. Medical science will prevail.

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

My ten lockdown pleasures

1Cooking and finding new recipes and techniques. I’ve found a new cookbook I recommend, The Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 by Dr Rupa Aujla – a whole new, delicious way of cooking and eating. 

  • ‘As a busy doctor, I know that one of the main reasons people choose not to cook at home is lack of time as well as the effort to cook it. In my new book – I promise you flavourful dishes that consistently look after our bodies, helping to beat illness by optimising our food choices. This is a prescription to fill yourself, one plate at a time.’ Dr Rupa Aujla.

2: Sour dough splatter. Those hours of abandon, flour and dough-splattered clothing and the kitchen, the mind-cleansing processes of stretching, kneading, shaping and baking, and the delicious, unique taste of the finished loaf.

3: Lye ins and not feeling guilty. There’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, anything that needs urgent attention, so why rush and stay an extra hour in bed. 

4: An extra chunk of chocolate or two and a smallish (or not so small) glass of wine to uplift the spirit. It works.

5: Binge watching of Netflix and finding shows I didn’t think I’d like, although the cupboard is nearly empty!

6: Reading. There are a whole host of good books out there, and most I haven’t read!

7: Wearing pyjamas well into the morning and I confess, sometimes all day!

8: Lighting an extra fire.

9: The availability of many more online talks and live performances, and at a minimal cost. These started off quite clunky, now the producers have discovered the right formula and the shows are much smarter.  

10: Zoom chats with friends and family. For me, with my family spread all round the world, Zoom’s been a tremendous benefit. Of course I’d prefer the real thing, in the flesh, but that’ll come. In the meantime, it’s wonderful to be able to link-up live with loved ones. 

Lockdown has been no picnic, we all agree on that, and for some it’s been life-changing and a huge challenge. I’m thankful and grateful to have a home, a roof over my head, and food to eat.

Stay well and safe.

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

On chocolate

Chocolate cures the blues, helps you through lockdown, and certainly brings joy. I’m a self-confessed chocolate addict and happily experienced that particular feeling of joyousness when on Sunday, my birthday, I started to consume several gifts of chocolate that had been sent to me. Today, with my birthday a couple of days behind me, my chocolate pile just a mere bar or two, and a feeling of withdrawal beginning to immobilise me, I stumbled across this article in The Guardian. ‘Handmade bars you may not wish to share.’

The article tells how pâtissier and chocolatier, Gabriella Cugno makes a selection of ‘gourmet filled chocolate bars’ about four times a year, as well as other specials (Easter eggs) that you pre-order, which I’ve done, hoping Gabriella might sense my desperation and dispatch some of my order early. It’s not cheap, but like fine wine and good whisky, it seems to a chocoholic like me essential to have one or two of Gabriella’s products stashed away somewhere for when you might need them.   

Thanks to all who sent me birthday greetings. It was strange, with lockdown confining me to home, but with Zoom and social media I managed to make contact with friends and family, enjoy a special meal and some excellent wine and watch a couple of movies. And of course, chocolate, but I’ve already mentioned that. 

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Snowdrops

Like a signpost pointing to sunny spring days, a walk in the countryside, better times, and doing more of the things we’re not able to do at the moment, snowdrops have always been a symbol of better times to come. In normal years, their simple beauty heralds spring and summer. This year they mean much more. As each day passes and another 250,000 people in the UK alone receive a Covid vaccination (I had my first this week) the infection rate will drop – proof is Israel, where 30% of the population have been vaccinated and the infection rates have dived – and we’ll begin to return to life as we knew it. 

Soon snowdrops will be joined by crocuses, daffodils, tulips and other flowers. And soon buds will appear on trees, and then without knowing it spring and summer will be all around us, while Covid infections keep dropping. 

Snowdrops are the white flag of hope, pointing to a brighter future, telling us not to give up, giving us pleasure, and so significant.

I’m thankful for my garden and being able to pick the snowdrops in the image from there, and to my wife for making the vase I put them in. 

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Reindeer reign

Well, they do in Sweden, where the government announced plans to build renoducts – a play on the Swedish word for reindeer and viaduct – over the highways, like bridges, so reindeer searching for lichen, their favourite food, can cross busy highways in safety without the risk of death from fast vehicles and the holdups they cause when they cross roads in large herds. 

‘In Sweden, where the temperature is rising more than twice as fast as the global average, it’s getting harder for native reindeer to survive. One challenge is finding food in the winter: As warmer weather means that rain sometimes mixes with snow, the ground becomes icy, so the animals can no longer dig down through the powder to reach the lichens that they need to eat. Because they have to travel further in search of better pastures, they often have to cross busy roads – and that’s why the Swedish government is building a set of reindeer bridges to help them move safely.’ Fast Company.

The article goes onto to say that similar bridges are being used in other parts of the world, like in Los Angeles for mountain lions to cross a ten-lane highway and in The Netherlands for squirrels to cross a fast motorway. 

So, it seems man is beginning to take seriously the damage he has done to the habitat of many of the world’s species and act to rectify his selfish actions. Let the enlightenment continue – there’s much to be done.    

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Mailing list

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Me on Sourdough

Apparently, sourdough breadmaking is fashionable and will pass, a project for lockdown some say. Well, maybe it is, but I’m not giving it up once the pandemic is behind us and the lockdowns are lifted. I think I’ll be baking to the end of my days. 

Making sourdough may be a bit of a faff and time-consuming, but with days without end at the moment, it’s an hour-gobbling pursuit that leaves you with a tasty and moreish loaf at the end. Sourdough bread is healthier than standard commercial bread, containing no additives, just water, flour and a starter – also made from water and flour. Some gluten intolerant people say they can eat sourdough without any adverse reactions because it’s additive free.

I became addicted to sourdough about four years ago when I was given as a present a one-day course at E5 Bakehouse in East London, an artisan bakery, cafe and mill, who are passionate about sourdough and the lost traditions of our baking ancestors. Using organic, locally sourced ingredients, they make delicious daily-baked breads and run bread-making courses that give you all the confidence you need to bake at home. During lockdown their courses are online and virtual, but whether virtual or real, they’re excellent, leaving you with a skill you’ll enjoy and the ability to make a loaf or two to feed the family.     

If the course isn’t for you or isn’t practical, there are a host of sourdough recipes online, and many have tutorial videos that guide you through the process. It might look complicated, but really isn’t. I bake a loaf every week, alternating between a white and wholemeal loaf (70% white/30% wholemeal) and a rye loaf (see image of one baked today). Sometimes I make a spelt one. All take time and concentration, involving leavens made one or two days in advance, doughs that require folding every half an hour – up to five times – and overnight proving, but the finished products are truly magnificent and well worth the time and effort. 

I finish with this quote from E5 Bakery. ‘The sour in sourdough is a by-product of the bacteria in the dough. This bacteria create organic acids as they feed on naturally occurring sugars; by controlling the time and temperature the dough is proved at, the baker determines the flavour of the bread. At the right concentration this acidity is delicious and also preserves the freshness of the bread.’  

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Mailing list 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Left or right brain?

 ‘Creative or prefer a jigsaw,’ was a heading that caught my eye in my constant trawl through the internet looking for stuff of interest to help escape complete boredom and shut down.

I’ve known that the brain splits into two halves, left and right, but in the article ‘Left Brain vs. Right Brain: What Does This Mean for Me?’ it quotes we are either left or right brain people.

Left brain

  • Thinking in words
  • Sequencing
  • Linear thinking
  • Mathematics
  • Facts
  • Logic

Right brain

  • Feelings visualisation
  • Imagination
  • Intuition
  • Rhythms
  • Holistic thinking
  • Arts

‘The theory is that people are either left-brained or right-brained, meaning that one side of their brain is dominant. If you’re mostly analytical and methodical in your thinking, you’re said to be left-brained. If you tend to be more creative or artistic, you’re thought to be right-brained,’ so says the article. 

Oh,  so I’m right-brained, I told myself, wanting to be classified as creative, and ticking at least four of the character traits in the right brain list, but then I recognised as many in the left brain list.

Could I be ambi-brained, (derivative of ambidextrous) if there is such a word? I questioned, thinking for a short while, just a few seconds, that I could have the best of both worlds, pulling traits from both parts of my brain to create a truly magnificent work of art, piece of literature, mind-blowing poem, blockbuster movie, maybe all. And then I came down to earth. Further on the article reads:

‘The two hemispheres are tied together by bundles of nerve fibres, creating an information highway. Although the two sides function differently, they work together and complement each other. You don’t use only one side of your brain at a time.’

Coming slowly to terms with not being unique, and being normal, I read on to find ‘tips for keeping your brain sharp,’ and ‘tips for boosting creativity.’

It’s worth reading.

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Mailing list 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Meet Max Langstone

Max, the central character in my next novel, had a tough life until he met Anna. Bullied at school and the victim of a fraud instigated by his best friend that left him almost bankrupt, he felt at twenty-five life was not the great gig people had made out, and he questioned the worth of living.  Luckily, as he started to slide into depression and nearer to taking his life, he was offered the job he had sought as a journalist with a well-respected weekly current affairs journal read by millions throughout the world, giving him the fillip he needed and restoring his sanity.

He met Charlie six months into his time at The World Today. Never having a serious girlfriend before, it was easy for him to fall in love with her. She was pretty, outgoing, and popular and they moved in together after a torrid month of dating. A warm and loving relationship, he thought, until after a year he found she was cheating on him. Twice every week she’d say she was working late, but she wasn’t, she was sleeping with another man. A common lie, he was told by friends, but not a situation he had ever suspected.

Devastated, and fearing his demons might return, he searched online and found Emma. Eager and without hesitation, he struck up a relationship with her. After six weeks they started to live together, and the time Emma started to take control over his life. He could go along with her bedroom and bathroom linen, her cutlery and crockery, her kitchen aides and utensils, but when she started taking down his ornaments, his paintings and pictures, rearranging his books and telling him what to read, eat, and how to dress, he flipped. They had a flaming row and an acrimonious split.

Work became his saving grace. For a year he worked almost every waking hour. He’d jump out of bed, shower, and walk out of his apartment eating his breakfast while checking news’ updates related to his current project. Always first in the office, he’d work until nine or ten most nights, and once home he’d make a snack, check over his day’s work and go to bed. His diligence was noticed and rewarded. Shortly into his second year, he was offered a position as The World Today’s correspondent in Rome; and there he found Anna Bagloni.

They met through work, and to Max’s surprise, his reticence, and not in any way expecting or wanting their meeting to lead to anything further, he found her charm and warm heartedness captivating and infectious. To his surprise when she offered to show him around Rome he accepted and within a couple of months he’d moved in with her. 

A relationship that was meant to be, they both thought. A true partnership, both best friends of the other, and supporting each other in everything they did. Anna only wanted the best for Max and he the same for her. They were truly in love. When Anna asked Max about his parents and he said he had never known his father and his relationship with his mother was not close, he found she’d opened up a part of his life he had kept locked away. He felt good talking about it.

So, at the age of the age of thirty-five Max started living the second part of his life and discovering the parents he had not known.

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

All proceeds go to the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Mailing list 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Sprouting green shoots

 A cluster of green shoots, buds on the wisteria, snowdrops pushing through frozen soil. Each year, these and other signs of spring ignite in me a sense of revival, a knowledge that the days are growing longer, and winter will soon be past. This year, like I guess all of us, I’d like to be able to fast forward from now until spring’s eventual arrival. 

With the daily news almost too awful to absorb, it’s difficult to see through the gloom, but as each day passes more people will have been vaccinated against Covid, and for once, our government can take some credit: to date we’ve immunised more people than has been done by the whole of Europe.         

There are many more people to inject with the vaccine, and there’ll be some bumps along the way, obstacles to navigate around, and maybe some delays, but we’ll get there. We have a good history of vaccination in this country. This programme is a challenge, and will test our resources and organisational skills, yet I believe we’ll achieve the target. On a cynical note, the PM and his government have come under so much pressure over their handling of the pandemic, they know they simply cannot fail on this.    

We will come through this crisis, on that I have no doubt, and life will gradually return to normal, be it there will be some restrictions and precautions for a little while yet. Life this time next year will look a hell of a lot better than now. Covid – 19 will still be around in the world, but with the US re-joining the World Health Organisation (WHO) and agreement from world leaders, the WHO can set up and lead a world-wide programme to eradicate Covid entirely. 

Let’s look forward to Spring and better times.

Stay safe.

~

My recent publications

Life in four stories 

Four shorts: two about life, love, and death; one a poignant and disturbing memory that dangles a question unanswered; and one a wild fantasy – plus the first chapter of my latest book, Otto and Frankie.

All proceeds go to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help the most vulnerable communities fight COVID – 19.

By buying this book you are helping fund ICRC in its valuable work.

Thank you.

Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

My latest novel, Otto and Frankie, is about a dying man’s fight against injustice, his wife’s unusual affair, and the love from his long-lost daughter. 

Otto and his daughter Frankie could not be more different. He’s rich, an acclaimed author, human rights activist, and lives in England. She lives in New York, just about survives from one pay cheque to the next and hasn’t seen or spoken to her father for twenty years. Dutifully reunited by his impending death, she’s amazed to find him a kind and noble man who, while grappling with his wife’s bizarre affair, champions for the world’s forgotten and dispossessed to his last. After Otto’s death, Frankie’s admiration for her father leads her into a dangerous and life changing pursuit. 

amazon.co.uk. amazon.com.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.