Archive for July, 2010

John Mason

Yes, John, I know. My pal lives straight across the road. But since it is so lavish that it is something of a joke locally, it seemed  quite reasonable (and still does) to extend that by borrowing it for the stated purpose, in a work of fiction. When the French translation appears, I’ll change it to the George V, or something similar, but until then, let the ex-pats have a chuckle.

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Rohan Brooks

I’m working on the third in the series right now. And yes, I am.

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Daniel Coghill

The first time I went to Canada, I was told that I’d never meet a Canadian. I’d meet lots of people with Canadian passports, but they’d all say they were Irish, Welsh, Ukrainians, etc, but not Canadian. The person who told me that was Ukranian, by the way. From your email address I see that you’re a Scot. You may be a new immigrant, you may be umpteenth generation, I don’t know. But I do know that what you are suggesting is of no importance to those of us who actually live in Scotland today. It is also, with respect, utter bollocks. (See the following link

BUT . . . I thank you for your Scottishness, for flying the Saltire so proudly, even if only figuratively, for your sheer enthusiasm, and for your interest.

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Mike Corrie

You’re dead right; I am asked that question often. And the answer is ‘Yes’.

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Lethal Intent touches down there, and so does Screen Savers, but it isn’t the location of either.

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Susan White

Thanks for that. I’m glad you agree with me, but I don’t see a vacancy arising for another year or so, although a defeat in an early Euro 2012 qualifier and Don Fabio might be on his bike.

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Nice one, Paul

Watched Spain beat Germany last night. Thank God for Paul the psychic octopus correctly tipping the winner, yet again. Spain played them off the park, but until Puyol scored, I didn’t think they ever would. Pobolski just didn’t turn up, and Schweinsteiger spent all night chasing, rather than being chased. So Klose, the danger man, rarely saw the ball. As Low, the German coach, said after the match, Germany couldn’t keep up with them. We watched the game in a favourite place called L’Esculapi. When it was over, I told the owner that I don’t expect to see Amanida de Pop (octopus salad) on the menu any time soon.

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Carole Benson

Can’t give you an exact date, but A Rush of Blood will be out on ebook very soon.

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Gillian Dickinson

Great to hear from you again. You’re a Chelsea fan, like several of my other friends? So tell me, don’t you ever, in your heart of hearts, wish that Ken Bates was back, and  that you were a football club again, rather than a plutocrat’s plaything? That said, as a committed wearer of the green and gold, I’d rather Roman than any of those American tossers who know nothing of football, and see clubs as profit centres.

I note what you say about Tim Henman’s comment to Andy Cotter (his uncle is a pal of mine, BTW); that is the sneer of a serial loser if ever I heard one. As things stand, England and Scotland are both in the next European championship. We’ll see who goes further.

Now tell me, who would you rather have as your coach? A dictatorial Italian who is inarticulate and illiterate in the language of the country he manages and who never played there during his active years, or a sound home-boy with a track record who’s able to command the respect of his players without imposing schoolboy discipline?

Isn’t it strange that 23 Englishmen should be confined to a camp and ordered around by Italians?  Seventy-odd years ago it was the other way around. My dear old pal, the late Sid Burr, had fascinating memories of those times.

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Norah Rothwell

Worry not, Norah. In sport, everyone has to take a turn at being crap . . . unless you’re Germany. Australia managed to come back in the last two games vs England, even though they did fold against Pakistan after that. It’s good for the soul. Our turn at being crap has lasted since 1978, but we keep the faith. One day, one day . . .

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Don Billingsley

No, Oz has not been killed; Oz is dead, but he died off page, and that gives a certain flexibility to a man of my imagination. Not that I’m thinking of resuscitating him, you understand.

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Y viva Espana

Big night coming up; Spain vs Germany  for a place in the World Cup final. We may go out to watch it, question being where. I will, of course, be supporting Spain, but with some trepidation, whatever the psychic octopus may say.
In terms of quality, this has been a poor World Cup, a defeat for football in many respects. No side has played well throughout, other than maybe Ghana, moral victors over Uruguay, but only the result goes in the record books, not the manner of its achievement. Looking back, it’s easy to argue that if the England ‘keeper hadn’t let in that goal in the first match, and they’d avoided Germany in the first knock-out round, they’d be in the final now.
Of course, as a Jock, I could not care less. However it does irk me when I see Uruguay, with a population only 70% of ours , less if you consider those eligible under the grandmother rule, not only qualifying for South Africa but going as far as the semis. If I was in a position of authority in the Scottish Football Association, I’d be sending someone out there to study their development and coaching set-up. In fact, I might even volunteer for the job.
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