Tag Archives: Speccy

I invented risk

riskI invented risk. The Game of Risk that is. The strategic board game of world conquest began on my kitchen table.

But hold on with the begging letters to share in my vast royalty riches until I explain how it happened.

Back when I was wee, we had to make our own entertainment. Oh we were so poor. It was a combination of the Four Yorkshiremen and Angela’s Ashes (by Frank McCourt).

When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

Okay okay – I’m exaggerating a little bit. In fact, it’s a barefaced lie – we were well looked after my brother and sisters and I. But the bit about inventing The Game of Risk is true.

KamchatkaI did it by opening out some empty cereal boxes and sellotaping them together. On the blank inside sides I drew up a map of the world, divided into regions. Kamchatka – my favourite – was there of course. Madagascar was a secure deadend niche. Indonesia was the gateway to Australasia.

The soldiers, cannon and cavalry were little cut out cardboard counters rather than factory moulded plastic figurines. But hey, cut me some slack why don’t you. I was only wee.

So  – game created – we played it. And this prototype lasted for ages and worked very well.

And my creative inventive reputation was sealed.

Until Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, family history

Olympics Part 1

Not sure who’s behind this graffiti – Criminal Chalklist or Maximilian Holden Perchik.

The Olympics has seeped its way deep into my day.

A typical business call goes like this:

ME: Hello, It’s HH from blah-de-blah.

THEM: Hello….

ME: Oh wait, Tom Daley and the other guy are about to dive.

THEM: Yeah, we’re watching too.

…time passes, splosh.

ME: Hmm, not sure. (Or other learned judgement.)

THEM: I think little baldy went too soon. Anyway… Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

The Obituarist: Early days for the ebook

Here’s the latest news for The Obituarist – that stupendously thrilling ebook written by me.

But first – if you’re wavering – how’s this for a review?

Really enjoyable ride! A page turner from the outset!

Beautifully insightful characterisation, delivered with a good helping of dry wit and with just the right amount of information for the book to play like a sumptuous film in your head!

Paul does justice to our wonderful World War II heroes, capturing perfectly the upstanding nature of their morals, together with their playful, youthful comradery. The Obituarist is a delicious juxtaposition of the pinnacle of our war heroes’ lives, perfectly ‘twisted’ with today’s unscrupulous media-crazed society.

There are some fabulous observations of human behaviour and thought processes, which are simply sublime and rather thought-provoking in their description.

This is not just a well written story which kicks along at a hell of a pace but also a clever multilayered observation of human behaviour, with a backdrop from two eras and what happens with the passing of time. The Obituarist certainly leaves you with something to think about.

Thank you to the most lovely and discerning Su Verhoeven who downloaded The Obituarist from Smashwords.

Thank you also to Speccy for her encouraging review at Me, Mine and other Bits.

And to Emma for “devouring” The Obituarist and writing a “small but perfectly formed” review on her Adventures of an Unfit Mother blog.

So this is what’s happening…

  1. The Obituarist is now available on various platforms, including here on Smashwords.
  2. And here at Amazon.co.uk
  3. And here at Amazon.com
  4. And for kobo devices here.
  5. So far only one typo – a very small one – seems to have sneaked through. Thank you to the spotter for letting me know.
  6. The Obituarist has been awarded “premium status” on the Smashwords site.
  7. People like the cover.
  8. Some people – who I love – have actually downloaded Continue reading

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Filed under My Writing, Obituarist

Irish mysteries

Actor Brian Kennedy who plays The Lover, Bassanio in the Fringe Benefits Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice. That'sBelfast City Hall he's posing in. This version of the play is set in 1912

I’m just back from an intriguing week in Ireland. (Where I met some people you may know – more on that below – with a pic.) But the whole place was unexpectedly mysterious.

I’m not talking about leprechauns or the absence of snakes. These are modern mysteries.

1. Fat people. Where are they all hiding? Continue reading

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Filed under life, theatre

The Day I Met… Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg packs a political punch

(Ta dah!) It gives me a queasy feeling in my stomach to introduce the latest entry in The Day I Met… Competition.  Here’s a taster:

We had to stop at a hotel to collect someone. A performer. Someone whose first album I owned. My first discovery of political music for myself. Even my dad rated him. Squeak!

But then it all goes wrong. The story is from Speccy and her Me, Mine and Other Bits blog in Belfast.

I’m trembling a bit. This is about a musical hero of mine. An inspiration (of which more below). A singer songwriter. If you’re from somewhere that has not yet had the pleasure of Billy Bragg (also at his official website), he’s an unashamed leftie. The “Bard of Barking” has sung against the right-wing press, Thatcher, the arms industry, war as an easy option (he had a brief spell in the army himself) and racism; in favour of trades unions, international solidarity, sexuality in its various manifestations and the humane treatment of asylum seekers; and about loss, relationships and love.

But he’s mainly known as being incredibly right-on. (Which is an odd term, as it generally means being on the left, in a politically correct sort of way.) Right on – and fun. And a good song writer. I’ve seen and heard him live quite a few times – every time a good ‘un.

But hark! Perhaps the Braggster is not quite as saintly as he seems Continue reading

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Filed under Guest Posts, The Day I Met... Competition