A Lady And A Poet – Guest Post by Jim Webster

A Lady And A Poet – Guest Post by Jim Webster

A little something from Jim 😉

Bookish Fame

I’m not sure how many of you have eaten at Granny Muggart’s Eatery? It’s just off the Ropewalk in Port Naain. Granny Muggart died long before my time, it was her daughter, ‘Young Muggart’ who ran it. She and her husband still used her mother’s recipe and still served up the same single dish.

This was a stew which contained a reasonable amount of meat, a fair dollop of vegetables, and gravy which was frankly delicious beyond words. You paid your half-vintenar as you entered, and ‘the husband’ would hand you a bread trencher. You took your place on a bench at one of the long tables and waited while Young Muggart circulated with a large pot of stew. She would pour a generous ladle full over the trencher, and if she decided you were obviously still hungry, she might appear later with another ladle full.

Now a half-vintenar isn’t…

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Comfort zone…

A little something for us to cogitate upon from our Sue 😉

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Image: Pixabay

I felt a tad fragile and the thought of sitting in front of a bright computer screen had no appeal at all. I could have done the ironing, I suppose, but there was no hurry. I could have cuddled the dog and done nothing… which I did for a while; doing nothing can be the most productive way of spending your time. But eventually, I started to fidget. I turned to an old, familiar friendship and picked up a book.

It was not one of the many interesting books still waiting to be read, their pristine pages silently urging me to explore their secrets. No, it was a book that is falling apart from having been read by several generations of my family over the past forty years. A book I have read so many times before that it held no surprises at all, apart from the fact…

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Brittany, Dinan and The Sculptured Rocks

Brittany, Dinan and The Sculptured Rocks

This from Andrew 😉

Have Bag, Will Travel

Dinan Brittany France

We had enjoyed two good days in Dinard and St Malo but the next morning it was time to move on.  We woke earlier than planned on account of some seagulls flying past our window and screeching so loud it was as though it was a fleet of police patrol cars driving by on the way to attend an incident with emergency sirens blaring.

Before travel I always carry out careful research but sometimes something just crops up while you are away.  At a shop in Dinard I was looking at postcards and came across one for the nearby town of Dinan and it looked exactly like the sort of place that we should visit.  Kim was elsewhere in the shop and spotted exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.  Simultaneously we said “come and look at this, I think we should go here” and we decided there…

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Running Away from Valparaiso

Running Away from Valparaiso

More from Justin on his trip to South America. 😉

The Champagne Epicurean

The bus comes to a stop, the winter sun shines heavily on the hills. The hills are burdened with the ant-farms of old, wooden houses. Walking away from the worn bus station we enter one of the main streets of Valparaiso.

First impressions of Valparaiso: no, not yet. You don’t want to express your first impression straight away. When you see the city, you want to hold it back. Hold back what? As soon as you set eyes on the port city favoured by artists – even by Pablo Neruda – you don’t want to say what you’re thinking.

Because what you’re thinking, is decay.

But no, you want to give it a chance. This is one of Chile’s major tourist hotspots. That many people can’t be wrong. So we begin walking from the bus station into the centre of town. We walk along the promenade. Beside us are…

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Just been watching…(72)

More from Pete in Beetley…


Bridge Of Spies (2015)

***These are historical events, so spoilers do not apply***

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I consider Tom Hanks to be overrated as an actor. With some notable exceptions, I also consider film-maker Stephen Spielberg to be over-sentimental to the point of mawkishness most of the time too. So, here’s a film starring the first, and made by the second, and what am I doing watching it? The answer is easy, Mark Rylance. The talented British actor co-stars, and I enjoy watching (almost) anything he appears in. I just had to give it a go.

The film is based on the true-life events of spy exchanges during the Cold War, and the 1960 case of US Pilot Gary Powers, who was famously shot down whilst flying a U-2 spy plane to take photos over Russia. Not long before that happened, a Soviet spy…

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The jury is still out…

Related image

Will I or won’t I? What am I on about? Whether or not I will ever write another book. At the moment I have no burning desire to torture myself once more. Having said that, If (and I do me if) an idea should make itself known to me, there is a chance that I may write again.

My initial enthusiasm for writing until my fingers bleed has thankfully passed. These days I’m still catching up on my reading. In the past most of my books came from something I’d read. Something that on its own was nought but a vague idea alluded in passing by the author of the work.

Meanwhile the world still turns. Does it need another book from me? It’s not for me to say…



Love a bit of poetry from time to time…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Hackneyed, outworn,
Sighing, mourning, why-ing
Penned expressions of emotion


It is, they say, just a cliché
To pen a mournful verse,
An ode to love, a billet doux,
A burning flame…or worse…

And yet, the universal pen
Of lovers everywhere
Turns first to rhyme and doggerel
When seeking words of care.

Perhaps the poet and the heart
Have gone too deep for skill
And with emotion’s misaimed sword
Their own expressions kill?

Sometimes a cliché’s all that works
… The rose and turtle dove…
To confine hearts to paper words
(Or find a rhyme for ‘love’).

Do not dismiss the doggerel;
Within outmoded form,
The heart that seeks the words to speak
Is genuine and warm.

Although the words are shaped awry
And though the phrases pall,
The love they hold is not cliché’d
But at the heart of all.

(Cinquain for Colleen’s poetry challenge)

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… ‘that damned, elusive Pimpernel… for ‘Pimpernel’, read ‘Literary Agent’…

It’s that man Seumas again…

Seumas Gallacher

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has been at this glorious writing game now for ten years… not so much, ‘man and boy’, more ‘man and older man’… during that time, the joys, the excitement, the much-more-ups-than-downs, have attended my creation of the wee literary masterpieces which have become the Jack Calder crime thriller series… the decade has offered me abundant blessings as an author, not the least being the successful downloads of my books over that period…

…on Auntie Amazon Kindle, the aggregate sales/downloads broke through the 100,000+ level quite a while ago… I had been engaged with a modest-sized publisher for a year along the way, but split amicably from them, as the sales volumes weren’t matching those produced through my own promotional efforts… likewise, for a short period, I linked with a newly-established publishing agent, but that relationship also didn’t generate the sort of publishing-house…

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Boredom Therapy

A bad day at Adam’s place. Or should that read days?


In the midst of a series of rainy days, it was quite easy for general malaise to become boredom, then all-inclusive griping.

What was there to do? Watching paint dry wasn’t possible. Grass and mold continued to grow with each passing shower.

Griping was something, once started, had no end. Last year, continuing into the current year, my laptop developed issues. Frustrating to me–summarized, in chronological order.

6-1-17: The craziness continues. Can’t search, even from home page.

8-5-17: Wi-Fi quit working–Oh, what fun!

8-6-17: Cooling system problem. Warning–return for servicing.

8-9-17: No internet. 8-15-17: Slow internet.

9-12-17: Still stuck in mud. 9-14-17: Ditto. 9-15-17: More of the same.

9-19-17: No home page. AOL briefly came, then went kaput.

10-23-17: Updated internet security, then everything went wonky.

10-26-17: After security update, frequently visited sites, couldn’t be visited. They’re suddenly not secured. Perhaps I should contact Mark Zuckerberg, as suggested, ask him…

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