Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Last week in March

Was the last of the winter and the first week of waking up to daylight. Hoorah to that. The days went real fast as well. One minute it was Monday and it was light and the next it was Thursday at about 11:45 in the morning.

In between time I wrote and posted my review of Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher offering, 61 Hours. It was one of the best. I also posted my review of the very violent but enjoyable Punisher War Zone DVD. I started reading Assaf Gavron’s CrocAttack, which is a darkly funny look at the Israel, Palestinian conflict. It took me practically the rest of the week to read.

During the week I posted my review of the hugely endearing and wonderful Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy, and then Speaking Your mind. A software product that combines Dragon Naturally speaking with MindGenius, a thought mapping tool I loved and continue to use. I also reviewed the Orabrush which is a tool for resolving bad breath. It was not given to me as an anonymous gift, honest.

Then it was Thursday and it was 11:46 and one of the Salanderites rang. The 27 year old Brazilian female one and not the bespectacled male English one. ‘Would you like to go somewhere to eat a burger with me John, we can talk about Jack Reacher’

‘Oh go on then.’ I said.

Friday I finished CrocAttack and would recommend you read it immediately (after reading my review). You will laugh and laugh and not know whether you should also be crying.

Friday night I watched Twilight: New Moon. It looked prettier than the first, whatsisface looked buff but, it was utter rubbish. I really liked the first one. Of course if all you want to do is scream and look at buff then it was probably brilliant.

Saturday I started writing my next book called Handyman. The first chapter is an extension of the New Dawn short story I posted last September. But with lots more in it. It has proven to be remarkably easy to find people that have no interest in publishing my last book.  A lot of authors are producing two books this year and publishers are not taking on new authors. Undaunted I am going to keep writing books in the expectation times will change. Writing a book is not easy and often very hard, especially when you write to be read and nobody is reading what you write. But it is also huge fun as you create characters that live and breath in your mind. Especially this new one and his wife.

Saturday I finally managed to pick up my new Vodafone SIM after they did not deliver to my house, failed to leave a card telling me they had tried and then left the SIM at the small tatty post office the furthest side of Hambury from me and not the big main one that is just down the road. The small tatty post office was full of people queuing because the Indian guy that served only managed to serve one person in the half hour I was there, inbetween handfuls of Bombay Mix that was also scattered all over the counter. I kid you not. Eventually his wife who had been scuttling about opened the other hatch and increased the turnover as they were about to close.

Despite having the original letter from Vodafone with my address on it she maintained I had the wrong address until I pointed out to her the address she was reading was the return address. Grrrrrr.

Sunday I woke up and the time and Springed forward. I wrote more and watched the Dancing On Ice final with Prideesh. We sat on the floor despite owning a very expensive leather sofa.

When I woke up the next day it was Monday again and despite the clock saying it was 6:15 it felt like 5:15. The rabbits managed to escape upstairs by one of them biting the bottom of the dining room door and pulling it ajar while the other one pawed and squeezed through the gap. Which of course I only realised as I stirred my porridge and thought to myself, ‘That’s weird, that sounds like rabbits running around upstairs.’

Monday, March 22, 2010

Last Week

Was a busy one. It started with me finishing J Robert Lee’s Angel of Death, which despite a very interesting premise was a very hard read. On Monday night I found myself in the Curzon watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was the Swedish version with the English subtitles. I went with two other Salanderites, it was a great movie with a clever script that kept very close to the books story. My train was delayed on the way home and despite leaving Paddington at 21:21 I didn’t get home to 23:51. Some controller with a personality disorder at Reading could not hold a main link for two minutes!

Tuesday I finally posted my review of Alan Bennett’s On the Margin. A comedy radio show from a time now almost completely gone. The radio show had been saved from the BBC archives and released on CD. Interestingly just as amusing as modern comedy. I also finished Paul Hoffman’s Left Hand of God, the very promising but ultimately disappointing Terry Brooks style pseudo religious, middle ages, comedy war epic. Which may hint at where it went wrong for me.

Wednesday I started reading Douglas Kennedy’s ‘Leaving the World’, which had me rapt from page one. A foray into women’s fiction.

Thursday I posted my review for Carabanchel, the non-fiction exploits of a drug runner in Spain’s most notorious prison. A riveting read I had finished a few weeks earlier but not finished the review. The Salanderites copies of Lee Child’s 61 Hours turned up Thursday as well, ready for our group read of the opening 30 pages around a table and a coffee in the Curzon on Friday.

Friday I was very disappointed when Rain (co-passenger and good coffee partner) popped up on the train in the morning as I reached for Leaving the World, a mesmerising read. Rain and me did spend the hour talking about faith and religion, and in particular his chosen flavour: Islam. Amazing the things you find out. Muslims think Jews deleted bits from the Old Testament to pretend Jesus never existed. Which is total hokum, I will only explain why on request though. Dinner time we Salanderites did the Curzon round a table reading Jack Reacher thing. Great fun. It’s cool being a geek sometimes.

Saturday Prideesh was on a study day and I was home alone. I decided to spend the day reading. My afternoon walk and intention to get some spring photos ended prematurely at the Plough. I did read the last 200 pages of Leaving the World in the good company of Kroneburg. With the tears hardly dry on my cheeks I thanked Clifftown for the recommendation, what a vivid character Jane Howard was. Then I reached across for 61 Hours.

Sunday I did some duties and the like, mostly the rabbit hutch. I can still smell the ammonia. I’m sure you could use rabbit pee as like a glow in the dark substance. The stuff is potent, I can still smell it. I ignored the Salandarites page caps and ploughed through to the end of 61 Hours. Then with the good lady Prideesh happily watching Marathon Man  I retreated to my study and watched Punisher – War Zone. Which was very, very violent. I wrote the review for 61 Hours and posted it and went to bed.

I woke up and it was Monday again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Catholic Church Paedophilia and Gay Adoption

Today a Catholic adoption society won a High Court ruling that could lead to them becoming exempt from having to consider gay couples as parents. I can only assume the Catholic adoption society consider gay couples to be morally unjust and unfit to care for the innocent of this world.

Of course this was on the same day the Catholic Cardinal Sean Brady offered an apology for his role in mishandling the case of a serial child abuser. The mishandling was his knowing cover-up of abuse of children. The abuser being the convicted paedophile Father Brendan Smyth. One of the Irish Church’s busy roster of convicted Paedophiles.

Of course the Pope is busy writing a letter that will deal with paedophilia in Ireland, magically, somehow. Quote: ‘[The Church in Ireland] has been rocked by the crises of abuse of minors.’ The Pope hoped his letter would, ‘Help repentance, healing and renewal.’

These gays must be a terrible let then, for the Catholic Church to think them unworthy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Two Short Books

Read two very different books this week, both under 200 pages. The first was Andy McNab’s very short account of a day in the life of a soldier serving in Helmand. Very powerful and very realistic as you would expect from McNab. Read my Amazon review.

The second was Christopher Isherwood’s ‘A Single Man’. This was  randomly selected from the 100 fiction topsellers at Amazon. It was brilliant. I recommend you rush out and read it immediately if you have not already. It is about a gay guy, but unlike the movie that just happens to be what he is. Read my Amazon review.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


News that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy is having an affair does not come as any great surprise, he is a man in power, and French. Nor does the news that his wife and ex model, Carla Bruni has also been having an affair. She looks great in thin cotton but, you know, there doesn’t look to be a lot else going on there.

What does surprise me is that France is gripped by the whole thing, at least according to the metro this morning. I thought the French routinely swapped partners, affairs were part of the culture. Or have I just been lured into believing the stereotype.

Of course the rather unglamorous bat eared Sarkozy might just be inventing his affair to avoid losing face.

Read all about it here