‘Can Ya See What It Is Yet?’

A while back at the day job (actually a morning job at a local marine engineering firm) one of the engineers asked me how many words I was likely to produce when I went home to write that afternoon. I had to tell him that it doesn’t work like that, at least not for me. […]

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Confessions of a Pessimistic Megalomaniac

I have to confess that this summer hasn’t been as productive as I’d hoped, writing wise. This is partly due to the recent impossibly hot weather (now resolved into a more normal British summer of grey, cool and sometimes wet), partly due to a certain disillusionment at my lack of recent story sales, and partly […]

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An act of moral cowardice? Discuss

This week I didn’t ask a question which I should have. The person I should have asked is one of my American cousins who was over for a holiday. I have a lot of American cousins: my father was one of seven children, and most of his siblings followed the Irish dream of a better […]

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Music and Words

Most writers work in silence. Even the only notable exception I know of, Stephen King, apparently plays loud thrashy music only as a kind of ‘white noise’, not as something he listens to. Several writers I know say they can’t write at all if music is playing. I, however, need music. I write in a […]

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Cabin Fever

I’ve decided that having started to blog, I may as well continue, though at a much reduced rate. About once a month should be enough at the moment. Getting home wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it might be. We arrived at Heathrow just before a cold January dawn, but had a warm taxi waiting. […]

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Big Trip – Last Post

Much as I’d like to tell you about the last three days which I spent at an Indonesian beach resort, I’m typing this at Singapore Airport, with only a few minutes until we board the plane back to London, so to take my mind off the fact that the Big Trip is almost over, I’ll just […]

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Lion City

Leaving aside the Shopping Incident (see previous blog entry), I think I like Singapore. Not like as in ‘want to live here’ but I’m certainly impressed by it as a city. My condescending western assumptions had painted the place as something like Lima – high rise privilege cheek by jowl with conscience-jolting poverty, but it’s […]

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The World’s Most Expensive Jet-Lag Cure

I must confess to being a little remiss in my blogging duties as I near the end of the Big Trip. Our stay in Fiordland seems like weeks ago now, and, looking at the calendar, I see that in fact it was. After Fiordland we spent a couple of days in the Catlins, the laid-back bit at […]

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NZ Wildlife part 5 (The clue’s in the name)

I like woodland. Call it woods, forest or bush, I love places with complex, chaotic ecosystems including lots of trees. Perhaps the most complex (and exotic) woods are rainforests. But the problem with your classic rainforest is that it tends to be hot, humid and full of bugs. However, New Zealand’s rainforest, largely confined to the cooler […]

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Like Blackpool on drugs

Just before Xmas we met up with some friends who’d just been to Queenstown. They’d hated it; one of them said it was so tacky that it reminded her of Blackpool. Given that they had foul weather they could maybe be forgiven for not noticing the majestic mountains and crystal lake, and yes, it is […]

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