Sad To See Them Go!

A strange thing, to sell off old toys from my childhood. But yesterday I sold off a cowboy figure and two knights (one black, one silver, naturally). Like Action Men, they are all one foot tall, and their selection of weapons was quite well made and designed. The Action Men will also be going to … Continue reading

Nôtre Dame

Old ruins, like those shown in these pictures of Okehampton Castle, are appealing. It is wonderful to walk about them and imagine what the places would have been like in their heyday. Yet no one who loves history can help but be appalled at the sight of an international monument like the cathedral of Paris … Continue reading

Working While Family’s on Holiday

There is no doubt that writing is a great deal easier (for me) when school keeps my family at bay. My wife helps at the local college. When teachers were off sick, away on training, or otherwise engaged, the school used to call in qualified teachers through an agency. But agencies tend to charge large … Continue reading

Situation Normal – AFU

Apologies for the military slang – but what a couple of days I’ve been having. And no, not in a good way! For the last couple of months – perhaps longer – I’ve been suffering from the famous Apple spinning wheel of death. I had my suspicions about the causes, and was pretty sure that … Continue reading

Writing and Editing

And so, having disposed of the copy edit last week, I am now reliably informed (Natasha is never wrong) that Severn House will post the proofs of the next Jack Blackjack story to me today, so I’ll have to work through them from tomorrow or Friday. It’s an odd job, being a writer. You need … Continue reading

The Trials of Typing

I have used many computers in my time. I started out with dedicated wordprocessors such as the Olivetti, and progressed to simple personal computers like the ACT Sirius (which was gorgeous) and Apple Ice. But I never could get to grips with Supercalc! I progressed from them to the lovely Wordplex machines, which I sold … Continue reading

Hoarding Can Be Good

Okay, I admit it, I am pretty bad for hoarding. Look at my bookshelves. I am not going to read every one of these again. In fact, I suspect only perhaps 15% of them will be read. I have books I adore (and know pretty much off by heart), and which I cannot get rid … Continue reading

New Pens

I am very fortunate, having a number of very good fountain pens – the best of which are definitely my two Viscontis. I love the material the Homo Sapiens are made from, which is based on volcanic rock from Etna, and is seriously indestructible. They are ideal pens for daily carry, because nothing will scratch … Continue reading

Writing in the Cold!

It is rare indeed that I can wake up, stare out towards the moors, and see snow smothering the top of Cosdon Beacon. This is all wrong. The snows should not continue into April. I am happy enough to wake to the sight of snow in February and March, but those months have gone. I … Continue reading

Book reviews

I made it a firm policy many years ago that I would not give a bad review to someone else’s work. It’s not because I am a particularly kind person. I have most definitely read several books that truly did not deserve those hours of my life. Those are hours I could have spent with … Continue reading