…what price a bottle of water when you have nothing else?

Another goodun from Seumas

Seumas Gallacher

…over a chat about life in general, and about charity in particular, with a great pal of mine at Bahrain Islamic Bank, Mahmood Qannati, the superb Brand and Marketing guru, I recalled an incident that occurred in Manila in the Philippines around 20 years ago… at the time, I was the boss of a domestic shipping company, Negros Navigation Co Limited, whose fleet of vessels carried cargo and passengers up and down the length of the entire country…

…with my armed bodyguards (another story for another time!), I was out mingling with the queuing passengers before one of the sailings, and in the crowd a young woman, looking kinda battered by circumstance, was standing there silently, with a small girl about three years old by her side, a veritable angel with a dirty face… in one arm, the woman held a chubby wee Buddha of a baby boy, in…

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About Goodreads – enough said…


Many of you will be familiar with this company. I know that some of you take the book-reading challenges, and write about them on your blogs. I checked it out, and found that I could leave book reviews, choose my favourite type of genres, and receive suggestions for books I might like to read.

That sounded pretty good, as it is also free of charge. Since I have been determined to read more, after buying the Amazon Kindle Fire, I concluded that joining Goodreads might be worthwhile. So I created an account, using the app on my Kindle Fire. I soon received confirmation, along with some suggested titles, and an invitation to participate in a challenge. (Which I declined)

Early days, but it looked like something I would come back to in the future, and might make some use of. Either way, I didn’t see how it could do any…

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How does gardening help writing? – Guest Post by, Jemima Pett…

How does gardening help writing? – Guest Post by, Jemima Pett…

What has gardening got to do with it? 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I was out in the garden picking frosted kale last Sunday morning. Yes, that’s the sort of rock and roll lifestyle I lead. Kale, grown in the garden, picked on a frosty February morning, for the guinea pigs’ breakfast. It takes about five minutes to lose the frostiness, in case you worry about giving my boys frozen food. Frozen veg should not be given to guinea pigs (or any other animal I can think of, save reindeer, maybe).

I only have one kale plant, because I didn’t sow many last year. There’s not much overwintering veg at all, in fact, because last spring I was planning to move house. I’m still planning to move house.

And now the seed catalogues are coming in, and I’m wondering whether to get new ones of my favourite things, like tomatoes, cucumber and carrots, and having deja vu because I’m sure I debated with…

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Prudence and Obedience

More from my lovely friend Stephanie. 😉


Was parenting much simpler once? Who knows? But one thing I can say for sure, roles were more defined.Letter XVI from Richardson’s Clarissa is a proof of what I am saying. Clarissa has understood to be promised to old and odious Mr Solmes, a rich man, whose marriage with the girl would satisfy the social ambitions of Clarissa’s father. When the girl understands that everything has been settled, she tries  to do whatever is in her power to avoid her sad fate and decides to speak to whom she believes to be the weaker of her two parents, that is her mother, as she had found her particularly condescending at breakfast, while her father had left the house early with a “positive, angrydisposition“. So much the better. Clarissa sends quickly a note to her mother to inform her that she needs to talk to her:

“I had…

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Seven Today!

Wish Ollie a belated happy seventh birthday…


Today is Ollie’s seventh birthday. As usual, he was refusing to pose for photos on the walk, even though I took him somewhere nice for a change. After many attempts, this was the best I could get.

(Please enlarge the photos, by clicking on them.)

He was happy to receive two birthday presents this morning. A stuffed toy version of the famous ‘Grumpy Cat’, and a new nylon chew bone to replace his much loved previous one. He was so excited by the gifts, he wore himself out, and slept for the rest of the morning.

I drove him the short distance to Beetley Common, for a change of scene, and he was happy trudging through the mud over there. He spotted some sheep, and probably expected a birthday greeting. But they eyed him suspiciously instead.

Further down, he saw a swan on the fishing lakes. But that was busy…

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When cats go bad… #humor #politics #cats

When cats go bad… #humor #politics #cats

For all you cat lovers!

Barb Taub

There was a story this week about the Los Angeles City Hall’s rat infestation. In addition to the irresistible conflation of rats and politicians, the LA Times pointed out that Los Angeles is experiencing a typhus outbreak, probably spread by the rats and their fleas. Seems the FBI is also investigating (at least the political side of the infestation), while others are calling for immediate action.

[I’m really, really trying to avoid fat cat/politician/rat jokes, but it’s just so hard…]    Oddly, nobody has proposed importing cats into City Hall. Of course, cats are now recognized as the premier predators on the planet, so I get how the politicians might be wary of the competition. Myself, I’ve always liked cats, and have personally been owned by several. But I couldn’t help remembering this post from some years ago.

When cats go bad…

I was sitting in the hospital emergency…

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A particularly fine hare

Jimb Webster’s alter ego Tallis Steelyard is back!!!

Tallis Steelyard

a particularly fine hare

Magic is unchancy stuff and the wise man doesn’t get involved, but unfortunately involvement can be thrust upon you. To a degree I can lay the blame at the feet of Madam Mudfold. The celebrated, indeed notorious Mudfold and Cockeren feud was over. Order had been restored and both ladies had quietly drifted back into Port Naain, and under the keen eye of family and friends were being forced to keep up at least the appearance of affability.

Still, a rivalry remained, and when somebody told Madam Mudfold that Madam Cockeren had served a truly remarkable hare as the centrepiece of the dinner, Madam Mudfold wasn’t going to be surpassed. I think her plan was to serve a really fine joint of horrocks, but with the hare as a side dish. Of course you can see the message that would send out. “Yes we can serve hare, but frankly it’s…

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We’re not dopey idiots!!!

Image result for Dopey idiot pics

Why is it that literally every platform, Social Media or otherwise, thinks its necessary to offer a small selection of writers, bloggers, etc, etc to follow. Do they honestly believe that people are incapable of making up their own minds? I don’t know about you but whenever any platform I use does this, I make a point of ignoring its list!

We’re not idiots. so stop treating us as if we are. I will decide who I follow – not you!


Retro Review: The Third Man (1949)

One of the best films ever made…


This British thriller is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made. I wonder if there is a film fan out there who has never seen it? If so, you are missing a treat indeed.

Directed by Carol Reed, screenplay by Graham Greene, and cinematography by Robert Krasker, this black and white film is simply stunning, in every way imaginable. And that’s even before you consider the cast, led by Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, and Alida Valli. Add an amazingly memorable soundtrack from Anton Karas, and ‘masterpiece’ is the word that springs to mind.

The setting is post-war Vienna, and location filming puts us right into the heart of that European city. Like Berlin at the time, the city is divided into zones controlled by each of the victorious allies, and Black Market dealing and racketeering is rife. American fiction writer Holly…

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