No complaints

More news from our man in Beetley, Norfolk…


Regular readers may have been (pleasantly) surprised to see that I have not posted one of my weather moans for some time now. Those weary posts about struggling through mud, battered by driving rain or hailstones are a regular feature on this blog, all year round. But there haven’t been any recently, in case you didn’t notice.

Typing in a whisper, hopefully not overheard by the weather gods, I have something very unusual to report. It isn’t raining in Beetley. And it hasn’t rained for quite some time now. In fact, it has been the best summer since we moved here, in 2012, and much of the UK is enjoying similar conditions. Being English, I am reluctant to mention this of course, for fear of jinxing the current dry spell.

The weather forecasters are saying that this could be the hottest and driest summer since 1976. I might even have…

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Patterned in Dorset (2)

A little something from young master Tanham…

Sun in Gemini

The lovely little town of Cerne Abbas holds a secret that is easily missed.

The idyllic streets, some with intact architecture from hundreds of years ago, are a delight. Although well-visited, it feels relaxed. The local people are friendly – something we have found throughout this gentle county of Dorset, filled with villages nestling into green and flowing hillsides.

It’s the morning of day two of the Silent Eye’s June weekend, a period of reflection of the coming Summer Solstice, the longest day, the Feast of St John, the time when the ‘fullness’ of the light begins its decline.

Cerne Abbas has an ancient link to the idea of ‘fullness’. It is expressed in a well known icon of the town – the Cerne Abbas Giant. A mere ten minute walk from the main square you come to a viewing point from which this smiling mystery is revealed:

The giant’s…

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Why you need to be part of the Writing Community

Anyone can criticise us. The brave storyteller joins us!!!!!

Author Ari Meghlen Official Website

Writing is often considered a lonely profession, and while it’s true that it’s a solitary task, it does not have to be lonesome.  Even a socially-awkward, highly-anxiety-ridden person like myself, can make connections within the writing community.

Why you need to be part of the writing community. Group of writers working together. Friends. Connections.

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An Argument of Blood and A Black Matter for the King, by Matthew Willis & JA Ironside

An Argument of Blood and A Black Matter for the King, by Matthew Willis & JA Ironside

More from young Michael in Devon. 😉


There is little which is quite so exciting for me as discovering a fresh, new talent in historical writing. In Willis and Ironside I feel I’ve found two writers who can carry me back to the past and can show me a time when, amid the brutality and irrationality of politics, there were still great characters, men of vision and daring, and women of intelligence and foresight.

I have to admit, I was not keen to review these two books. They were, I was told, a two-book series about the Norman invasion, and how the invasion affected the lives of Normans and Saxons alike. I immediately thought that sounded wrong. Perhaps one book, and if there’s enough of a story, maybe a trilogy – a simple pair of books didn’t seem right to me. And at the time I was on a tight deadline (again), and I needed a pair…

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Sally works as a Senior Ambassador for Tropic #Vegan #CrueltyFree #Natural #Skincare

Sally works as a Senior Ambassador for Tropic #Vegan #CrueltyFree #Natural #Skincare

Wnat to read something different? 😉

M J Mallon YA Author and Poet

Hi Sally,  it’s a great pleasure to welcome you to my blog today.

Sally and I are ‘old,’ Edinburgh school friends!  Hey, not so old! We’re in the prime of our lives… I swear that we ladies come into our prime at this age… Our kids are grown up, we start spreading our wings and being more adventurous!

It’s quite remarkable how we have reconnected via Facebook after so many years apart.

I thought it would be interesting to interview Sally about her role as a Senior Ambassador for Tropic.

Tell me a little about your role at Tropic, Sally.

I am a Senior Ambassador (we start as Ambassador and the next stage is Senior, so I am very much at the start of the Tropic journey!)

When did you decide to join?

I joined in February of 2017.

Do you see it as a hobby or a full-time vocation?


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What do readers say?

Will she or won’t she bother to read and reply to the comment I wrote three days ago????

JF Kaufmann, Author

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

If you wondered if I’d abandoned my website–I haven’t. I have a valid excuse for my absence. I had a complicated eye surgery, couldn’t read or use the computer for several weeks. That sucked, more than my bloodshot eye.

In the meantime, Once Upon a Night flew the nest. Back in April, I offered it for free through Voracious Readers Only. Since then, I’ve received more than 200 requests for downloads.

It’s been the first time I’ve exposed any of my books to the general public. A strange, uncomfortable feeling, not unlike, for example, my private nightmare called public speaking.

It took some time for my book to gain momentum. Now I have many ratings and quite a few reviews, mostly on Goodreads, but some on Amazon as well. The overall response has been great. The most common complaint is that the stories are…

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…my life gives me writing… my writing gives me life…

More from our man in the Middle East. 😉

Seumas Gallacher

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has come to understand that being of a certain age does not necessarily bring enhanced wisdom… indeed, all too often, it highlights remarkable nuttiness… but it can breed the indulgence of pockets of awareness of some self-spun truths… my introverted philosophies can creep out of what remains of the wee grey cells at any time… and I confess, I do enjoy these interludes… one such minor epiphany struck me today… that my life gives me writing… my writing gives me life… my career, travels, experiences, and relationships, spanning more than five decades and four continents, have more than amply filled the mem’ry bank with material for a hundred-fold of the books I’ve written so far… my fiction, as with that of most authors I know, is an amalgam of all I have seen, heard and felt, mixed with a sum’times over-imaginative brain… but it cannot…

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Signatures II…

More from Stuart 😉

Stuart France


… The hollow of Dragon Hill affords a stunning vista of the Manger and the Giant’s Stairs.

From this vantage the sheer scale of the site starts to impinge upon my consciousness.

I concur with Wen that the laity would have congregated in the bowl or chalice of the hill where we now stand, shaped as it is it forms a natural amphitheatre and the scoured grass beneath our feet which according to tradition is the spot where St. George ‘loosed the Dragon’s blood’ is clearly as anything a missing piece off the horse on the hill opposite.

I am minded of the myth of Isis and Osiris and the search of the Goddess for her brother’s dismembered body…

The other disconcerting thing, from our point of view, is that the figure is not wholly visible from this elevation.

One would need to be a lot higher up or…

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Alibis in the Archives at Gladstone’s Library

Alibis in the Archives at Gladstone’s Library

Michael holds court (amongst others) at the Gladstone Library..


There are times when writing seems a doddle, and other times when all you want to do is sit down and write, but these other things get in the way …

I was very grateful to be invited to the annual Alibis in the Archive event, part of Gladfest at the Gladstone Library. For one thing, I had an increasing workload, and getting away from the desk for a weekend was appealing, but also because I had heard so much about the Gladstone Library, and this was an opportunity to have a look at it.

The journey up was rather more eventful than I would have liked. I checked with Google, and discovered that the trip would take at least four and a half hours. Hmm. Well, I thought I had better leave no later than noon, in that case. I took the dogs for a good six mile…

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