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Crazy

November 8, 2018 4 comments

When I’m working, my top pick for background music, and Bob’s, is often my contemporary, Sir Van Morrison. His newest work, ‘You’re Driving me Crazy’, a collaboration with a fat bloke name of Joey Francesco, arrived today. It’s being played once, and that’s all, because it’s too damn  good. There’s background, and then there’s distraction. File under jazz.

Categories: General

LOL

November 8, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: General

Persecution

November 7, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: Sport

Between the lines

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Two daily newspaper titles buck downward trend in sales – BBC News
— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-scotland-43271178

There is some hard truth buried in the piece above. For example the two titles ‘bucking the trend’ only did so by heavy subscription discounting or by including free issues in the count.

For those who buy newspapers for information and education, the future looks bleak. The tabloids ceased to be newspapers some time ago, and the Daily Mail is a horrible right wing organ in a sub class of its own. They’ll stagger on but the quality newspapers, as we used to call them, seem doomed to a spiral of decline until none are left, other than the Courier and P&J if you’re lucky enough to live in Dundee or Aberdeen.

Categories: General

Fireworks

November 5, 2018 4 comments

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot . . .

It’s a tenuous link but maybe, hopefully, it will come to be memorable. This is the day that I begin work on Skinner 31. Treason is unlikely too feature, and I doubt that there will be gunpowder either, but for sure there will be plot.

Title? I have one in mind but its too early to say.

Categories: General

Out there

November 4, 2018 Leave a comment

I’ve had a busy weekend, doing things that I didn’t think were possible and which should make my non-Skinner work available to a wider audience. i have posted already about some of it, but hopefully a summary of new and revised publications  will help those who are interested.

1 ‘Miller Time’.

The fourth Oz short story is now available as a single volume in the Kindle  store, priced 99p and, I’m happy to say, selling well.

2 ‘Green Bananas and Oz’

I trailed this a couple of days ago. I’ve put it together mostly to help me reach out to those  who don’t or can’t read ebooks. It pulls together, for the first time in printed form, the four Oz tales, ‘Born to be Wild’, ‘The Last Chickenpig’, ‘The Quasimodo Trunk’ and ‘Miller Time’, plus three Skinner shorts ‘Skinner’s Elves’, ‘Anger Management’,  and ‘A Hint of Death’. Also there is a treatment called ‘The Block’, of which there may be more later, and an essay entitled ‘The Bomb’.which tells the story of an experience I would rather not have had. It concludes with a collection of all the angry blogs I wrote during the Scottish referendum campaign. As I say  in the prologue, you may not agree with my political stance, but my rhetoric is heavy duty.

‘Green Bananas and Oz’ is available on Amazon now, in paperback form, priced £8.99, as cheap as I can do it for now. The Kindle version will be up on Wednesday, and is available for pre-order, priced £3.99.

3 ‘Resurrection’

To meet the needs of those who only have eyes for Oz, I have also published the four stories in a single volume. I call it ‘Resurrection’, because that’s what they’re about in essence. There will be at least one more  tale, maybe two, and when they’re released they’ll be included in an update, but for now it is what it is.

It’s available on Amazon now, in both formats, paperback at £5.99, cheaper because it’s shorter, and Kindle at £2.99.

4 ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

Finally, I have produced a new Amazon paperback edition of my standalone comedy novel. It’s available now, at £7.99, which means I’m pretty much giving it away, The ebook is re-priced at £2.99. (I love that book)

Categories: General

Secret ingredient

November 4, 2018 2 comments

Categories: Pics

Never!

November 4, 2018 Leave a comment

Categories: Pics

Compendium

November 2, 2018 Leave a comment

Since I published the first Oz short story on Amazon Kindle, and those that followed, I’ve been asked frequently when they might be available in print.

Hopefully it’ll be soon. I am in the process of putting together a collection of all my short stories, beginning with the Oz four, and some other work. Initially it will be electronic but my hop is that there will also be a paperback version.

Its entitled ‘Green Bananas and Oz’ and it will publish on November 6. It should be available for pre-order as of now.

Categories: General

The boys are back in town

November 1, 2018 Leave a comment

Look out this weekend for ‘Miller Time”, the fourth in a series of short stories featuring the resurrected Oz Blackstone and his son Tom, last seen staring at the slaughtered corpse of Tom’s wicked stepfather, with his mother, Primavera, as a likely prime suspect. Talk your way out of that one, guys. (Available only on Amazon, in the Kindle store.)

Categories: General

Greed

November 1, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: General

Not even then

October 31, 2018 Leave a comment

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46042794

will Scotland qualify.

Categories: Sport

Consolation

October 28, 2018 3 comments

It’s almost November, the month that sees the publication of the paperback edition of ‘A Brush with Death’, and also of ‘Cold Case’, the thirtieth Bob Skinner mystery.

Categories: General

In the dark

October 28, 2018 Leave a comment

It’s the last Sunday in October, my least favourite day of the year, the day when suddenly it’s dark earlier. It would be okay if we could keep our body clocks in summer mode, but life doesn’t let us do that.

It’s likely that next year the EU nations will abolish daylight saving: Morocco has done it already. Chances of the UK following suit? As Muhammad Ali said, ‘Slim and none, and Slim’s left town.’

Why do we put up with these unnecessarily depressing afternoons? The argument against change has always been that children in the north of Scotland would go to school in darkness. Its proponents cited the tragedy of a multiple fatality when a bus queue was mown down by a vehicle that didn’t see it. Fact is that never happened, but who ever let facts get in the way of a cause?

There’s a simple answer to that question: change the school day by an hour where necessary. Why not? Let’s go for it and let a little life into our lives.

Categories: General

No tip

October 28, 2018 Leave a comment

www.skysports.com/share/11538056

The begged question is, how could four people run up a bar bill of £50,000 in a single evening? No wonder they were reluctant to pay up.

Categories: General, Sport

None taken

October 25, 2018 1 comment

I owe a vote of thanks to my friend Bobby. Like me, he is an avid TV watcher, (and recently a programme subject) but not being a Sky subscriber his exposure tends to be different. Last time I saw him he told me about a series called No Offence, which he had seen on Channel 4, which has the reputation of being a place where stellar careers sometimes go to die. (In my eyes it’s one level above C5, which is a kind of telly purgatory.)

It’s always worth taking Bobby’s advice, so I did. Last night Eileen and I completed our binge watch of all three series. As each episode finished we just kept pushing that green button. The star, the virtuoso as DI Viv Dearing, is the wonderful Joanna Scanlan, who has the courage to hold nothing back. She is best known for being the bumbling press officer in The Thick of It.  That is appropriate, for  No Offence is an unremitting ode to political incorrectness, and it screams for more exposure and a wider audience.

If you don’t know it, do what we did. Binge it. And make sure you start with Series One, Episode One. There’s a scene in the police station Ladies, that kicks it off beautifully. Cheers Bob.

Categories: General

Fellow travellers

October 23, 2018 2 comments

news.sky.com/story/racist-abuse-on-ryanair-plane-investigated-by-police-11533011

I fly Ryanair often but I have never seen anything like this. In my experience the cabin crew are pleasant and efficient.

The Sky News report is built around the comments of a guy who seems to be blaming everyone else for not intervening. What did he do to stop the abuse? No Samaritan, it would seem.

Categories: General

Who?

October 21, 2018 Leave a comment

www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-45927344

I confess: I never knew he was there.

Categories: General

Maybe

October 20, 2018 Leave a comment

I just heard that Mauricio Sarri, the Chelsea manager, used to be a banker. It makes me wonder if it might be worth giving Fred Goodwin a run in the Scotland job.

Categories: Sport

Persecution?

October 16, 2018 Leave a comment

www.skysports.com/share/11527274

Question: how many Portuguese speakers does Sky Sports have among its UK subscribers?

Supplementary: how extensive is the FA’s knowledge of what is and is not offensive in Portuguese?

The charges laid against Jose are based on lip-reading of something he said as he walked off the pitch after the last United home game. That begs another couple of questions. How many Portuguese speaking lip readers were consulted? If only one was used, what was their level of expertise? Finally, who really gives a porra?

I don’t like Jose. I think he’s arrogant and well past his sell-by. But I like vindictive persecution even less and that’s what I see happening here.

Categories: Sport