Night Vision… is published!!!!

At last and with a fourteen hour final day behind me, my latest book Night Vision is published. Like my other three published novels it is an e-book, and should appear on Amazon within the next twelve hours!! I look forward to hearing your comments, and welcome any comments! In the past a number of you have made really valuable remarks about my work which I thank you for!

I have written quite a lot about it, the characters, the setting, the inspiration, but in brief, very brief:

Beulah and Neil return to his childhood home of Easthope to try and repair their damaged marriage. Neil is profoundly and wrongly jealous of Beulah’s best friend; however Beulah discovers that Neil has his own secrets which may damage their marriage more permanently.

Here is the actual inspiration for the story:

Scan blog hanging man

A stunted tree grows out of a quarry rock face in Derbyshire

Word of the day redact/redacted

This word only seems to have sprung into common use recently, and what a very ugly word it is. It sounds a bit like reduced, and in a way that is what it means, to make less by editing. We’re forever hearing announcements by some government spokesperson or other that some text, report or verdict has been redacted… what they mean is, censored…  and I quote:

redact – prepare for publication or presentation by correcting, revising, or adapting; “Edit a book on lexical semantics”; “she edited the letters of the politician so as to omit the most personal passages”

  • edit
  • alter, change, modify – cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; “The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city”; “The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue”
  • interpolate, alter, falsify – insert words into texts, often falsifying it thereby
  • cut up, hack – significantly cut up a manuscript
  • black out – suppress by censorship as for political reasons; “parts of the newspaper article were blacked out”
  • blank out – cut out, as for political reasons; “several line in the report were blanked out”

Hamelin town’s in Brunswick,

Hamelin town’s in Brunswick,

By famous Hanover city,

The River Weser deep and wide,

Washes its wall son the southern side

A pleasanter spot you never spied,

But when begins my ditty

almost fie hundred years ago,

To see the towns folk suffer so,

From vermin was a pity!


I learned this poem when I was a child, probably about eight or nine I would think. I had a wonderful illustrated book of it, and loved to read it and became so entranced that I learned the poem off by heart.

Rats! The fought the dogs and killed the cats

They bit the babies in the  cradles

And licked the soup from the cooks only ladles,

Split open kegs of salted sprats

Made nests in side men’s Sunday hats

And even spoiled the women’s chats

By drowning their speaking

With shrieking and squeaking

In fifty different sharps and flats!

Fifi and Sox, chocolate brown and adorable

I’m not sure I have remembered it correctly, because it is so many, many years since I last read it, but it is such fun to recite!

At last the townsfolk in a body

To the town hall came a-knocking

“Tis clear!” cried they “Our mayor’s a noddy

And as for the corporation – shocking!

To think we buy gowns lined with ermine

For fools who can’t or won’t determine

What’s best to rid us of our vermin!

Rise up sirs, give your brains a racking

And find the remedy we are lacking

Or sure as fat we’ll send you packing!”

At this the mayor and corporation

Quaked in mighty consternation.

The poem, of course, is The Pied-Piper of Hamelin, written in 1842 by Robert Browning!

Coastguard Cottages

If you keep your eyes open around our coast you can spot a lot of familiar buildings…


Coastguard Cottages Portballintrae, Antrim


Coastguard Cottages, Minehead, Somerset


Coastguard Cottages, Uphill, Somerset

You can even find them in Easthope, my fictitious town which features in several of my novels!

Word of the day… poorly

I’m not feeling poorly at all, in fact I’m feeling mighty fine because I have just learned that The Mavericks are going to be touring the UK again in May!!! They are going to be in Manchester where I will definitely try to see them, Edinburgh which is a bit far for me, and London… I’ll see how it goes on that!

Back to the word of the day; the reason I have chosen this it is because it is quite a subtle word in its use and I’m sure is often overlooked in the great language debates.

It can be an adverb, and usually one with rather negative connotations, “he performed poorly in the competition” – he was expected to do better maybe, but really did rather badly. It can also just be descriptive, of someone who has not got much money, “he was poorly dressed, in ill-fitting clothes”

It can be an adjective, and in its use can vary in degree. It can be quite mild, “I’m feeling poorly, so I’m going home and going to bed.” It can be used to a child “Are you feeling poorly, sweetheart?” or it can be used to describe someone who’s mildly hypochondriac, “Aunty Vera’s feeling poorly again.” When it is qualified by the word ‘very’, it becomes serious. “I’m sorry, you’re great-aunt is very poorly” probably means you should check you know where she keeps her will!

The funniest association I have with the word is when my children were small, their doctor at the clinic was called Dr Poorly! (OK, in fact she was Dr Pauley, but it was still pronounced ‘poorly!’)