…the most wonderful moment of my writing career… and it’s not what you may think…

More from that man in the Middle East 😉

Seumas Gallacher

…I may have touched on this story before, but I make no apologies for its reappearance here… in my ten years of ‘serious’writing, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has experienced so many emotional ‘highs’… from the first-ever typing of ‘The End’ – on THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, ten years ago, which lifted me onto a pink cloud that I refused to vacate for months afterward… from the astonishing award of ‘BLOGGER OF THE YEAR’ in December 2013, in which, as far as I know, my Granny did not vote… from the receipt of the first-ever Auntie Amazon Kindle royalty payment, even though it fell somewhat short of the downpayment on the Rolls Royce convertible… to the mind-boggling realisation of aggregate sales for my Jack Calder crime series novels surpassing 100,000…  all of these were terrific, not only for my confidence, but for that ever-so-fragile ego that, deep…

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Deceived|فریب خورده

Deceived|فریب خورده

Another wonderful tale from Laleh 😉

A Voice from Iran


A hungry fox was passing by a village when he saw a rooster. Eager to relieve his hunger, the fox tried to find a way to hunt the rooster.


The fox told the rooster: “Hello friend, I knew your father, he had a great voice. How about you? Are you a good singer?”

The rooster replied: “Of course I am. In fact, I sing better than my father,” and closed his eyes to sing.

The fox’s plan worked well, it was the perfect opportunity for him to hunt the credulous rooster.  The fox jumped and grabbed the rooster with his teeth.


The rooster regretted how easy he was deceived and started to crow.


The village’s dogs heard the rooster’s crow and ran toward the fox.

The rooster told the fox: “In order to stop the dogs to follow you, you should shout and tell them, ‘This rooster doesn’t belong to…

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Some things I have never done

From Pete…


A few years ago, I don’t recall exactly when, I heard the term ‘Bucket List’. I think it originated in America, and involved people compiling lists of things they intended to do before they ‘kicked the bucket’. (Died) Some of these were merely dreams, but most were achievable goals, given sufficient funds, and good health. This later progressed onto the blogs with adaptations, such as people listing things they wanted to do ‘Before I am 30’, and so on. They still pop up now and then, so the idea seems to have never gone away.

Over the last few years, it has occurred to me that there are not only things I will likely never do, but also lots of things I have never wanted to do, even with unlimited funds, and full fitness. On a bus journey in the rain yesterday, I got to thinking about some of those…

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I’ve always suspected this to be the case…

The subject needs repeating!!!

Have We Had Help?


… but until now there was precious little evidence to back up my theory.

If you live in a country like England, when it comes to making it as a serious writer, believe it or not the two things that will always determine whether or not you succeed are your social class and which school you went to. If you are working class and attended a state school, forget it the publishing houses simply aren’t interested!!

Yesterday the BBC showed a program about why most of today’s top British actors are no longer working class.


The same criteria applies to many of today’s writers here in England, unlike Scotland who treasure their working class authors, actors and artists.


Fact – unless you are the product of a privileged upbringing (upper middle class or above), meaning you went to a public school like Eton or Harrow and then on…

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Honest Flower|گل راستی

Honest Flower|گل راستی

Here’s another wonderful tale from Laleh. 😉

A Voice from Iran

The greatest moments of my childhood was all the beautiful fairy tales that my mother told us as we fell asleep. All the stories that I share in my blog are those memorable tales with important morals.


Once upon a time there was a young prince who wanted to get married. He knew that every girl would marry him for his name and power, but he wanted to find true love. He invited all the young girls in his kingdom whether they were poor or rich, famous or unknown.


One of the young girls invited was the daughter of the palace’s gardener. She saw the prince every day from a distance and loved him secretly like all the other girls in his kingdom.


At the day of the prince’s party, he handed one seed to each girl and announced that he would wed the girl that could develop the most…

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SAMEERAH AL BSHARAH: “Between Light and Shadows” Part II

More from Léa in Southern France…


Like part one, this was originally posted in 2015. However, I felt it well worth the repeat and there will be a few other, older, repeats in the next few weeks. A dear friend arrives from California on Thursday and I believe there will be some travel involved which should result in some interesting posts around mid November. Thanks for your continued support.

... Mort de l’accouchement

... Transformations humaines

The artist (R) and her daughter (L) The artist (R) and her daughter (L)

... Even the children are interested in the artist and her work

Olive grove where we parked Olive grove where we parked

Entrance to the gallery/Tasting room Entrance to the gallery/Tasting room

Vineyards surrounding the olive groves Vineyards surrounding the olive groves

Back on the road and heading home Back on the road and heading home



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Bombs and the B17


Growing up after World War II in the UK, while my counterparts in town used the bomb sites that still existed in cities like London, Coventry and Liverpool as their playground, those of us living in the country had our own version.

In my own case it was the hawthorn hedge in the back garden that borders the road, the barn and the bottom field closest to Barsham church and village. Be patient, I will explain…

Every year during ploughing time I used to follow along behind whoever was ploughing that field looking for treasure whenever the horse-drawn plough got to the slight dip in the field. It was where an American B17 Flying Fortress crashed on its return from a bombing raid in mainland Europe. Despite the bulk of it having been removed during the war, every year without fail pieces of the remaining wreckage would be ploughed up. I had a treasure trove of things like pieces of curved perspex from the bomber, throttle controls and hundreds of spent .30 calibre machine gun cartridges. I used to do a roaring trade at school swapping them with the other boys for whatever they had to offer.

As for the Hawthorne hedge, us kids had made our club house in it after one of the older kids spotted something hanging in it. Between us we spent days cutting two entrances into the hedge with our pen knives. One was an obvious but false entrance, the other was hidden away from prying eyes (nosy adults) at the other end of the hedge. The one thing we all swore an oath on was to never reveal to any adult what we had in there. As far as we were concerned it was our secret, not theirs!


It was an unexploded German Butterfly bomb like the one in the above photo. So long as they never came into contact with the ground like our one, and providing we didn’t touch it, it wouldn’t explode. At least that’s what we believed. But what do young kids know? When someone blabbed to her parents, and after we had all recieved the hiding of ours lives for frightening our parents, and then being sent to our bedrooms, the bomb squad was called to remove the best treasure ever to be found on the farm by us kids.

Parents are no fun. They don’t look on these things the way kids do. 😉

There was one other treasure our parents never ever found out about. In the roof space of the barn I had found two German Incendiary bombs that had not ignited when they buried themselves in the thatched roof! I put them inside an old amunition box and buried them in the back garden. During their lifetimes I never ever told my parents about finding them. Had I done so there would have been a lot of head shaking and the rolling of old eyes. 😉


For all I know they’re probably still where I buried them…



More from Pete. This time about my home county of Suffolk. 😉


All photos can be enlarged for detail, and look much better that way.

The Suffolk coastal town of Aldeburgh has been a settlement since Roman times, when it was used for the production of salt. It later became very prosperous, and was a thriving fishing town. The local museum is housed in the Moot Hall. (Meeting hall). This building dates from 1520, though the brick chimneys were added much later.

We arrived on a rather grey and windy day, though the sun did appear later that afternoon. There is still a small fishing industry operating there. Because of the shingle beach, and the absence of a harbour, boats have to be lowered into and raised from the water, using tractors on the beach.

My cousin and her daughter took their spaniels down to the water. The dogs, Jess and Dennis, were enjoying the change of scene.

Meanwhile, Julie was browsing…

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Born With No Tail| بدون دم متولد شده

Born With No Tail| بدون دم متولد شده

Another priceless tale from Laleh 😉

A Voice from Iran

A long time ago, on the way to a small town, a donkey was stuck in a hole and the owner was trying hard to rescue his donkey.


A passer saw the situation and came to help.


The passer held the donkey’s tail and tried to pull hard to help the donkey come out of the hole but instead, he ripped the tail off. The owner started to yell. The passer ran away and the owner ran after him.

The passer ran into a dead end, so he entered a house without permission.


There was a pregnant woman in the house and got very scared which made her lose her fetus, so her husband started to run after the passer along with the donkey’s owner.

The passer was running fast and jumped over a wall and fell on a sick man who was there with his son and killed the…

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Crawling backwards and other things…



A typical priest hole

The following is drawn from what I was told by my grandmothers, my three aunts and my mother at various times…


When I was born on the eighth of March 1948, my parents had a jet black Cocker Spaniel barely out of puppy-hood named Rex.


From what mum told me Rex decided I was his responsibility. I remember seeing a black and white photo taken on dad’s Box Brownie showing me in my pram with Rex laying on top of my legs. Whenever I was on the ground, unlike most babies I crawled backwards everywhere. Better to bump into things with your bottom swathed in nappies than to bump your head. Well that’s my explanation for the way I crawled – so there! 😉

But there were times when even Rex couldn’t keep his eyes on me all the time. Apparently one day I disappeared. Mum panicked and sent one of the farm workers to get dad. Between them they searched for my throughout the house. Finding no sign of me they then went out into the back garden. During summer, mum would put me in my pram in the shade of the Oak tree in the center of the lawn. This time however apparently I had crawled out into the back garden through the opened french windows in the living room. At the bottom of the garden was a very deep pond.

Yes, you guessed it. I had crawled backwards towards the pond. When mum, Rex and dad found me I was suspended by the heel of my left thumb on one barb of the barbed wire fence at the top of the pond’s steep bank. According to what I was told I wasn’t crying. Nor was I wriggling. If it hadn’t been for the barbed wire arresting me I wouldn’t be here today! I still have the tiny arrow-head shaped scar to this day.

The next time I went missing has to do with a very small priest hole entered from the top of the stairs. The priest hole was situated beneath the stairs themselves. To one side of the stairs was my slide. It was the wooden roof of the priest hole. From about three until I turned nine or ten I loved to slide down it. Anyway, back to how Rex found me. I think I was about four or five at the time, I can’t be certain as it was such a long time ago now. I had been playing with some of my Dinky toys on the landing at the top of the stairs. It was while running them across the landing that one of them hit the skirting board in a particular place.

Before me was a partial opening in the old house’s internal wall. You guessed it, I just had to explore. So in I went. Unfortunately for me the door shut behind me, leaving me in the dark somewhere behind and below the stairs. Once again Rex, mum and dad soon missed me. According to dad, Rex spent ages going up and down the stairs, in and out of my bedroom looking for me. Then he started sniffing at the hidden door, scratching at the skirting board until he managed to open it, much to my parent’s great surprise. According to mum, when dad squeezed himself inside he found me at the bottom fast asleep. Even the farm’s owner Mrs Mather knew nothing of the priest-hole when dad told her about it! Thank goodness for barbed wire and Rex’s nose!!!

PS – Rex and I went everywhere together on the farm for several years before he sadly died long before his time after contracting distemper. Every young child needs a four-legged best friend and protector like I had way back then…