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Archive for February, 2010

Fumadores, si.

February 27, 2010 Comments off

I’m waiting for the law to be enforced. We ate in one of our favourite restaurants last night, in what is now an alien environment for much of Europe. By the time we were in mid-meal, the place was full of cigarette smoke. (Much of it came from a table of eight Brits, incidentally.)  In Spain smoking is still allowed in bars and restaurants with less than 100 sq m of public space;  in effect that means most of them. In larger premises, self-contained and separately ventilated areas must be provided for those who wish to puff. This botched enactment was introduced a couple of years ago, and led almost at once to the ludicrous situation where places serving food and drink indoors have green signs on them saying, ‘Yes, you can smoke here’.

Now there is a statute in the book which will make the ban total, as it is in more and more Western countries these days. I’m told that all it will take to enforce it is an order by the Justice Minister. When that is made, people like me, who resent having to put up with the offensive and anti-social  habits of others, will be happy. We’ll be able to go out to eat without having our lungs and clothes polluted. But there will be losers. Those larger premises who have spent large sums of money to comply with the original attempt at control legislation will find that their investment was pointless. Maybe the government will give them tax breaks in compensation, but somehow I doubt it.

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Debra Enigk

February 27, 2010 Comments off

I don’t know what you mean by e-books, but if you now use a Kindle 2 exclusively, you have no problem.   Just go to the Kindle book store on the Amazon US site, enter my name and you’ll find all but two of my titles available there, including Fatal last Words, and the  new Primavera,  Blood Red. Happy kindling.

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David Craddock

February 24, 2010 Comments off

No, I don’t know him, and have no plans (or time) to change that state at the moment. Glad you’re enjoying him, though. Actually the name of the game should always be to push the envelope a little more with each work, in one’s own eyes, if no-one else’s.

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Joan Duguid

February 24, 2010 Comments off

Yes, A Rush of Blood, Skinner 20,  publication date early June.

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Martin and Sylvia Wilkinson

February 24, 2010 Comments off

With respect, it isn’t difficult at all. Just hit  the purchase link here or on my main website, and all will become possible.

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Bill Kavanagh

February 24, 2010 Comments off

Go back and re-read the book. You surely did miss something, but you can’t expect me to tell you what it was on a public forum.

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Louise Morris

February 24, 2010 Comments off

The older you get, the younger old people seem. Good for your Papa-in-law, but at 82 he isn’t nearly ripe yet.

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Lynne Potter

February 19, 2010 Comments off

Trust your mother. She’s right, and where is her age relevant to this? Click on the purchase link on the main site and you’ll find all she wants to know.

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Norah Rothwell

February 19, 2010 Comments off

I know what you mean. I suspect that old Kurt is as sad in the original Swedish as he is in English, and in the TV version. When I was a kid, I had a French teacher who assured the class that Dr Zhivago was much better in French than in English. I thought he was a poser at the time, but he was right; some translations are better than others and only the multi-lingual can judge between them.

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Tigger

February 19, 2010 Comments off

I’ve just watched Tiger Woods apologise to everybody on the planet for his sexual athleticism, before retreating back into ‘therapy’. I’m not entirely sure how what role ‘therapy’ has in instilling  the necessity of keeping one’s cock in one’s pants when one’s wife isn’t around but I’m sure that whoever is  providing it to the Tigger has found a seam of pure gold and is mining it furiously.

My impression after watching the guy is that he’s stunned by the media shit-storm he’s provoked and that it will take a lot of personal courage for him to go out again into its midst. My fear is that he never will, and that we’ve seen the last of him on the golf course. I hope I’m wrong.

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Bunty Jackson

February 13, 2010 Comments off

Let me get this right. You’re an Aussie and you’re having language difficulty reading Death’s Door? That’s strange because I’m Scottish yet I don’t have any trouble reading Gabrielle Lord. Ah sorry, you’re concerned about the disappearance of good old English swear words. Okay, here’s an offer; you send me a list of your favourite ‘good old English swear words’ and I’ll include them in a future work. Maybe you can teach me some new ones.  Oh, you’re asking why we have to follow the Americans. Maybe you should ask John Howard that question, but I don’t think ‘we’ do. ‘We’ pretty much invented and defined the dictionary of industrial language for the cousins, and every other English speaking nation for that matter, to develop and adapt. That said, my characters’ work-place vocabulary is strictly King James version. Why do they use it at all? Because mostly I write about people and places as they are, and it’s part of many real people. Joking aside, it’s a question that comes up . . . raised invariably by ladies,  in my experience. That’s my standard reply and I’m sticking to it.

I recognise that this is a matter of regret for many people, but it’s becoming more and more difficult to live in the cosy English speaking world, as opposed to the hard boiled, to use an analogy that US mystery fans will understand.  For example, don’t watch live sport on television unless you’re prepared for the songs of the crowds, or for a coach forgetting about the near-by effects mike as he shouts advice to one of his players, or a golfer who’s hit a bad shot when he really, really needed to hit a good one. Don’t even watch it if you can lip-read. Years ago, my friend Jack conducted a work-place poll to choose the official Scottish national anthem. (We don’t have one.)  In third place, Flower of Scotland. Que Sera, Sera, came second. But the overwhelming winner was an untitled terracing song, the simple words of which are, ‘If you hate the ******* English, clap your hands.’ Life as it is lived, English as it is spoken, like it or not.

And it is just another language after all. What’s foul to us might be fair to other people. If I was at a dinner party and  I said to someone, ‘You know, you’re a real cule,’ and I smiled, he’d preen himself and be impressed. But if I said, ‘You know, you’re a real arsehole,’ even if I was still smiling he’d take it ill out, although I’d said exactly the same thing both times. Years ago, my friend Kathy in L’Escala was given a puppy. Being from Carmunnock, she decided she’d like to give it a Scottish name, and she settled on Shona . . . until her Catalan husband and sons told her what that means in their industrial language dictionary.

My point finally being, Bunty, they’re only words and they’ll never break your bones. If you allow them to come between you and an experience that you say you were finding very interesting, then all I can do is ask you how a face feels without the nose?

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Yolanda Pérez

February 13, 2010 Comments off

I admire your persistence, Yolanda, and I thank you for your kindness. You’ve got my day off to a great start. Let me add to yours now. It’s dead easy to find my books in Spain. All you need to do is log on to my website, hit the purchase link, and you’ll find them all, available through http://www.campbellreadbooks.com, and signed into the bargain. The titles are listed on the main website in order of publication, so you can add to your library one by one. By the way,one of my favourite songs is named after you. It’s the anthem of a Cuban singer, Pablo Milanes, who was largely unknown outside Latin America for much of his career. ‘Yolanda’ must be one of his favourite songs too. He’s recorded it at least four times. The very mention of his name has sent me rushing off to iTunes to download his latest album.

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Anna Bohanna

February 13, 2010 Comments off

Thanks for that. Yes, I have heard of East Coast FM. I’m a listener and now I’m a major supporter of their bid for a community radio licence. Once I get my life back from Skinner 21, I plan to crash their airwaves. Next step, community TV.

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The lives of others

February 4, 2010 Comments off

I was glancing at the BBC golf website the other day, when a headline caught my eye. The story turned out to be a report of comments made by Tom Watson, who took it upon himself to remark  that when he returns to the PGA tour, Tiger Woods needs to show ‘a bit of humility’. He also took the opportunity to put the boot in over aspects of his on-course behaviour.

Now Tiger’s been a bad boy in the domestic front, no doubt about that, and it showed on his last few appearances on Tour, by his sometimes explosive reactions to bad shots. However these are separate issues, and it’s unfortunate that Watson chose to cover them in the same outburst. No, it’s unfortunate that he chose to cover them at all.

I don’t recall old Tom showing too much humility in 1997, when he divorced his wife of 25 years. I don’t recall Tiger Woods or any other pro golfer choosing to comment on that. And I don’t recall too much humble regret shortly afterwards, when the wife of another pro golfer left her husband for him. But why should he have spoken about it? No reason at all, because these were not professional issues  . . . although Dennis Watson, the second Mrs Watson’s first Mr Watson,  might not agree. As for Tiger’s on-course behaviour, that’s a matter for the Tour Commissioner . . . I don’t recall Tom being elected to that office . . . but since the guy lives his professional life no more than twenty feet away from a live microphone, I have a degree of sympathy for him.

Like many men of my generation, I was sorry when Watson just failed to win the Open last summer. I’ve changed my mind about that.

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Willie Walker

February 4, 2010 Comments off

I received your message. Now I’m wondering whether you’ve got mine.

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Dot Hicks

February 4, 2010 Comments off

Will there be a murder in Gullane? I can give no absolute assurances, since we’ve had a couple in the last 30 years, but I can tell you this. If there is, it’ll have nothing to do with me. I’m under lock and key, working on another Skinner.

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