June 13, 2012 · 9:27 pm
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…
- The Obituarist is now available on various platforms, including here on Smashwords.
- And here at Amazon.co.uk
- And here at Amazon.com
- And for kobo devices here.
- So far only one typo – a very small one – seems to have sneaked through. Thank you to the spotter for letting me know.
- The Obituarist has been awarded “premium status” on the Smashwords site.
- People like the cover.
- Some people – who I love – have actually downloaded Continue reading →
Filed under My Writing, Obituarist
Tagged as adventures of an unfit mother, Amazon, blackwater, blackwatertown, book, ebook, emma, kobo, me mine and other bits, My Writing, Obituarist, RAF, review, reviews, smashwords, Speccy, su verheoven, su verhoeven, the obituarist, war, World War Two
May 18, 2012 · 12:05 am
The best statement on change I’ve seen was on Santa Monica beach in California.
No. It wasn’t this…
Even Marilyn Monroe did the beach towel dance getting changed on the beach.
It was this… Continue reading →
Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium
Tagged as Arlington West, beach, beach towel, beach towel dance, blackwater, blackwatertown, blonde, cemetery, change, lbc, loose bloggers consortium, margaret mead, Marilyn Monroe, santa monica, swimming costume, towel, veterans for peace, war
September 23, 2011 · 3:00 pm
Zsa Zsa Gabor, huge fan of marriage - nine life sentences. Her verdict? "A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.”
“Marriage, huh! Good God. What is it good for Continue reading →
Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium
Tagged as blackwater, blackwatertown, david norris, divorce, edwin starr, grover, kathleen norris, loose bloggers consortium, Marriage, martin mcguinness, relationships, sesame street, war, wedding
August 21, 2011 · 5:00 pm
Christine and two out of three of her children. (Lovely picture.)
Ever wanted a right to reply? Here’s one… A few months ago I published a post called How to come back from being burned at the stake. One reader, Christine Kalume, felt so strongly about what I had written and what had been said in the comments that she wanted to respond at length. I agreed and here is her response.
First a reminder. The original story was pegged to the row that erupted after a newspaper feature asked whether the southern English town of Lewes was racist. The white journalist is in a marriage to a black woman and has mixed race children. He listed perceived slights and discrimination. Some people in Lewes were very offended at what they saw as a slur on their community. They even went so far as to burn an effigy of the journalist David James Smith at their annual bonfire – putting him in the company of the Pope and politicians.
David James Smith and his family
So far, so inflammatory. But what appealed to me about the whole business, was what happened next. Rather than running, hiding, moving house or lashing out, David James Smith bravely took part in an open meeting with his critics, the better to discuss the issues he had raised. You’ll find details about all that in my original post.
It was great to have responses from David James Smith himself and some very long considered comments from others too. But I promised Lewes local Christine Kalume that she could write a guest post on it all, and here it is. So these are her views, not mine. I find them fascinating and enlightening – I hope you do too. But whether you like what she has to say or not, I hope you’ll leave a comment. (It’s quite long, so you’re allowed to leave a comment on just a wee bit of it, or the lovely pictures scattered throughout.)
Who are we? Partial Truths and organised forgetting – by Christine Kalume *
The Sunday Times feature article last year by David James Smith (DJS)2 on his family’s experiences of racism in the English market town of Lewes sparked some intense debates. Initial responses tended to focus on the pros and cons of the approach taken and points made in the article (like this one by local Lewesian David Bradford). However, the article also opened up a communication space to explore issues linked to racism – and diversity more broadly.
Christine and Tony's wedding day in Nairobi, Kenya
As a Lewesian and someone in a mixed race marriage for whom connections to other cultures and to Africa in particular have been important, I found myself thinking and thinking about some of the issues raised. So when Paul gave me this space on his blog to contribute, I was delighted. I have tried to provide evidence to support some of my points but this is not an academic article. I hope it encourages further discussion ‒ and even contributes in some small way to change Continue reading →
Filed under Guest Posts, politics
Tagged as acland burghley, Awate Suleiman, black, black britons, black history, black history month, black romans, blackamoor, blackwater, blackwatertown, blak, Bob Marley, Bright and Hove Black History, burned at the stake, christine kalume, David James Smith, Diversity Lewes, effigy, guest post, haile selassie, kazidje, Kenya, Lewes, mixed race, nairobi, obv, operation black vote, partial truths and organised forgetting, politics, racism, racist, simon woolley, slave trade, sussex, tony kaulme, war, white, Yaa Asare
July 16, 2011 · 4:29 pm
Not with that moustache Katy. You've got the uniform down though.
Is Katy Perry the new Hitler?
Maybe I should rephrase that. As you may know, we got famously the last time we met, nose to nose, popstrel to kangaroo. What I should have asked is this: Is Katy Perry’s Hot n Cold the new Downfall? Continue reading →
Filed under Music, politics
Tagged as arab spring, art, blackwater, blackwatertown, bruno ganz, cleaning gets old, der untergang, downfall, elmo, Film, hitler, hot & cold, hot and cold, hot n cold, Jordan, jump the shark, katy perry, leesha harvey, movie, Music, music I like, nazi, nazis, parody, politics, russell brand, satire, sesame street, subtitles, third reich, untergang, war, yemen, youtube
May 11, 2011 · 5:29 pm
I’m telling my children about Hitler. But how do I teach them about Stalin?
Looking back to when I was at primary school, I was appallingly ignorant about the Holocaust.
I don’t want my children to be as in the dark. Continue reading →
Filed under history
Tagged as archipelago, army, Auschwitz, Belfast, Belsen, beria, berlin, Bernhard Schlink, blackwater, blackwatertown, boat people, bolshevik, book, books I like, Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, british army, brits, cambodia, Che, clash, Clint Eastwood, Colin Farrell, cuito cuanavale, Dachau, David Niven, Don McCullin, donald rayfield, donald sutherland, Film, genocide, Gorky, Granny, gregory peck, Guevara, gulag, guns of navarone, hangmen, history, hitler, holocaust memorial, hotel rwanda, james mason, john wayne, jurgen prochnow, karl-otto alberty, Khmer Rouge, killing fields, Lenin, liam devlin, menzhinsky, michael caine, movie, no pasaran, oleg gordievsky, omelette, Panait Istrati, Philip Gourevitch, Pol Pot, Primo Levi, royal anglian regiment, rwanda, Sachsenhausen, sacp, Salvador Allende, sandinista, Schindler's Ark, Schindler's List, solzhenitsyn, Stalin, stalin and his hangmen, steinach, steiner, terry george, the eagle has landed, the lives of others, The Reader, The Way Back, Thomas Keneally, Viet Cong, Vietnam, war, washington bullets, We wish to inform you, what I am reading
May 4, 2011 · 2:16 pm
This is a history of my street, from 1931-2011. It’s a firsthand account. So it’s not written by me. Guess that makes it a guest post.
One of my neighbours, Pam, wrote it to share with the rest of us on the street. I typed it up and printed off copies to hand out at our recent royal wedding street party (here, here and here).
I’ve slightly edited it for this blog. And I’ll give you a little context too.
The street is on the edge of a village in the south of England. Population less than five thousand people. Used to be mainly farm workers. Now a lot of people commute to the nearest city.
Pam was born on the street and has lived here most of her life. She has some good tales. One of them features an odd woman in a beret. (Apologies. In the previous post I promised you a flat cap. Turns out it’s a beret.)
So here’s Pam’s story.
I was born at no.22, lived there for a year, then moved to no.18 for a year, then to no.17 for the next thirty years, until my husband and I bought an allotment and orchard from the owners at no.19 and built our own bungalow no.21.
Many of the houses were built in the late 1920s and 1930s by two local builders. They were mostly rented. It was only after World War II that people began to buy homes outright. Most houses have altered almost out of recognition with rooms added up and out.
I do not know if our home came with gas at first, but I do remember the excitement of just touching a switch and the light coming on when electricity was installed. Before then, one had a bracket with two gas mantles which had a chain to operate the gas flow. One then lit the mantles carefully with a match. That was only downstairs. Electricity came to the street around 1937 I think. Before then we went to bed by candlelight.
Everyone had a flower garden, a vegetable patch and a few greenhouses – fruit trees and bushes and strawberries. Everyone in those days grew most of their vegetables and shared them with neighbours.
A few chickens at the bottom of the garden and rabbits in hutches provided extra meat – especially during the war years and eggs were precious. During the war we had a retriever who when told to “catch a rabbit” over the fields, did just that and made the meat ration go further. The large oak tree (now listed) at the rear of no.17 was home to a family of red squirrels until the grey squirrels moved in.
1. It's not a woman in a beret. 2. It's the wrong type of rabbit. 3. It's a pipe not a cigarette. 4. Who cares.
Also to the rear of no.17 in the corner of the field was a reclusive lady who Continue reading →
Filed under Guest Posts, In the village
Tagged as angora, beret, big boy, big girl, blackwater, blackwatertown, burglary, coal man, coppice, education, electricity, electrification, evacuees, flat cap, freedom, glow worm, gray, grey, guest post, gypsy, gyspsy, history, local, milkman, miss frances, muddy, neighbour, nightingale, nightingales, old jane, Pam, pensioner, personal, pesticide, pothole, rabbit, rat, rat catcher, ratcatcher, red, school, Second World War, shire horse, spinster, squirrel, teacher, tractor, unlocked, unmade, village, war, World War Two
March 21, 2011 · 1:59 am
Once you get away from the explosions and help! Help! Radiation! Head for the hills… All this nuclear meltdown China Syndrome in Japan business gets a bit complicated. Too many millisieverts, half lives, critical masses and atomic bomb memories. Should we all be panicking? Or not?
Without wanting to be too complacent – and sitting far from Japan – I think, on balance, not.
Here are two options for you to make sense of it all.
1. Read this book. Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller. (Or he’s here on wikipedia.)
Or check out his University of California at Berkeley lectures on YouTube.
2. Or – watch the children’s version of events, using farting and poo. Continue reading →
Filed under life
Tagged as anxiety, atomic, BBC, berkeley, blackwater, blackwatertown, children, China, China Syndrome, cricket, crisis, Cuba, cuba missile crisis, Cultural Snow, diaper, ed balls, excrement, faeces, fart, fear, Fukushima, Gulf, gulf war, half life, history, internment, Iran, iran iraq war, Iraq, Ireland, jane fonda, Japan, millisievert, missile, nappy, newsround, Northern Ireland, nuclear, physics, physics for future presidents, politics, poo, radiation, richard muller, rugby, science, shit, smell, thailand, tim footman, trauma, troubles, war
March 15, 2011 · 3:01 pm
This story made me cry. Which is unusual. Continue reading →
Filed under life, politics, What I'm Reading
Tagged as acceptance, Arab, art, assault, blackwater, blackwatertown, bloomsbury, books, breavement, Cast Lead, Dall Lana, Daughters for Life, ehud barak, ehud olmert, forgiveness, Gaza, hate, hatred, I shall not hate, Islam, Israel, Israeli, Izzeldin Abuelaish, Jew, Judaism, loss, medical, Middle East, Muslim, Observer, Palestine, Palestinian, politics, reconciliation, religion, Shlomi Eldar, Telegraph, war
January 7, 2011 · 5:58 pm
How did these two guys find themselves in the same news story? A firefighter commended for his work in the 7 July 2005 London bombings – and a cocaine smuggler.
Their pictures may explain it. Continue reading →
Filed under life, media
Tagged as 30, 7 July, 7/7, addict, attack, bad, blackwatertown, bravery, bus bomb, cocaine, courage, crime, drug, drugs, evil, firefighter, fireman, gang, good, hero, heroic, heroism, history, Islam, Islamic, London bombings, money laundering, Muslim, Number 30, organised crime, organized crime, politics, rescuer, Simon Ford, smuggling, suicide, suicide bomber, suicide bombing, Tavistock Square, thirty, tube bombing, villain, violence, war