Somewhere behind the rainbow

7 Jul

My latest piece in Premier’s Christianity magazine is about the effects on children of coronavirus and associated lockdowns around the world. If you think things are a bit pants here, what happens when you add in war, famine, pestilence and other assorted horsemen of the apocalypse? (And isn’t 2020 the most apocalyptic year you’ve ever experienced?? It certainly is for me.)

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A paean to Peppa Pig

2 Jul

This post is about one of my many niche interests, specifically that gentle satire on the English middle class: Peppa Pig. You might think that this is just a children’s cartoon about a family of pigs but you would be wrong. It is laugh-out-loud funny in its dissection of human foibles and frailty through the medium of stylized animal drawings.

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There was a young woman from Glasgow…

15 Jun

Very quick post to say that I have a limerick about lockdown published in On the Premises, a fiction e-zine I subscribe to. And they paid actual money, which is always helpful in these straitened times. If you want to read it, and the other winning entries, click below. If not, move on with your life.

Reducing your misery footprint

9 Jun

It seems quite appropriate that, just after the statue of a man who profited from the slave trade is pulled down, my article on modern-day slavery comes out. I started writing it way before the incident that kicked off the recent protests, of course, and even before lockdown (although it’s been edited to reflect the new situation) but the problem has not gone away.

There are more slaves now than there have ever been.

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Noir from the Bar

5 Jun

Some of you may have virtually come along to session five of Virtual Noir at the Bar when I was doing a reading from my unpublished novel The Sarcophagus Scroll. Virtual Noir at the Bar has been running all through lockdown, and 100 authors have taken part to date.

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Esperanto is fun, ĉu ne?

4 May

If you so much as glance through the old posts of this blog, you’ll notice that I have a fair few interests and hobbies, from the domestic to the arcane. There’s crochet, of course (the temperature blanket is coming along beautifully) and baking, which under lockdown has got a bit out of control. I suggested baking some biscuits today and my sister looked at me in horror. “But we’ve already got crumpets, potato scones and flapjack!” I think the problem is that people aren’t eating fast enough 😉

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Video

Back to the Bar

30 Apr

If you didn’t make it to Virtual Noir at the Bar last night, you can attend on demand using the video below. You couldn’t do that in the old days. See, lockdown has some advantages! Continue reading

Join me at the (virtual) bar

27 Apr

This Wednesday, 29th April 2020, I’ll be reading from my unpublished novel The Sarcophagus Scroll at Virtual Noir in the Bar.

vnatb

Noir at the Bar is a crime fiction event that used to take place in pubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Newcastle, but has now moved to Zoom, like everything else in the world. Continue reading

Five stars for Robin Hood

22 Apr

Robin Hood cover Readers Favourite badgeI just got another lovely review for Why Everything You Know about Robin Hood Is Wrong, this time from Reader’s Favorite. As it was a five-star review, I now have the right to put their lovely badge on my book, if I like (as in the picture above) or buy some sheets of sticky badges for oodles of money. I think I’ll make do with the digital kind.

The woman who did the review gave me too much credit for original research, when WEYKARHIW was really just a synthesis of existing research. But a five-star review is a five-star review and I’ll take it, thank you very much.

If you want to read it, it is here: Reader’s Favorite review. Otherwise, you can just coo in admiration over the rather snazzy metallic-effect badge superimposed above.

Life in Lockdown

3 Apr

Here in the UK we are approaching the second week of ‘lockdown’. It’s not a real lockdown because you can still go out for exercise (once a day), shopping (ideally once a day) and many people are still going to work. In Azerbaijan, you now need permission from the government to even step out your door, I’m told.

But still, it’s fairly restrictive, and it has altered my life as I expect it has yours. I’m actually on the third week of lockdown because I’m in one of these ‘vulnerable groups’ and so was able to go the supermarket during one of their restricted hours and wrestle pensioners for toilet paper. Heroism is not dead.

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