Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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


November 1, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: General


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

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

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


October 21, 2018 Leave a comment

I confess: I never knew he was there.

Categories: General


October 16, 2018 Leave a comment

For 45 minutes last night I did something that I don’t believe I’ve done since 1966. I cheered England as they went one, two, three against Spain in Seville. ‘Why didn’t you cheer for the home team?’ I hear you ask, since I spend part of my life there. Well, although I do not express a view on the independence issue, my granddaughter is Catalan, her mother is Catalan, and so by extension am I. As long as Catalunya’s leaders are in jail or in exile, Madrid is my foe.

I have to admit also that alongside the three goals, which were a mix of bravado and luck, my showreel moment came when Eric Dier, not my favourite player usually, ran forty yards forward to go right through Sergio Ramos, who has had it coming since the Champions League final, and give him and his team the message that Engerland were not there to play a friendly and roll over.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport

Hard Pressed

October 14, 2018 Leave a comment

For a brief and unhappy period in my mid twenties I worked as a reporter for a Scottish daily newspaper. I am not going to say which one because some of my colleagues are still around and I wouldn’t want to offend them.

I might do that when I say that it was the most hateful working environment I have ever known. It was abrasive, ill-mannered (Bullying was tolerated:I didn’t experience it but I saw it) and some of the things I was asked to do just weren’t my style. I was very pleased when job offer came out of the blue. It took me to Edinburgh and changed my life.

Those days came back to me over the last few weeks as I watched ‘Press’, the new BBC drama that is crying out as loud as ‘Bodyguard’ for a second series. The only fault I could find was that neither of the two fictional newspapers featured appeared to have any sports reporters. The rest was brilliant: the villain, Duncan Allen, was a face from my past, and I look forward to seeing him slither even higher.

Categories: General


October 11, 2018 Leave a comment

I looked for a ‘Yawn!’ Emoji, but this is the best I could do. 😴

Categories: General


October 10, 2018 Leave a comment

I watched the first episode of Black Earth Rising a few weeks ago, then life got in the way. But now I’m back, and I am hooked.

Not only on the series, but on its lead. Not being a C4 watcher, I knew nothing of Chewing Gum, her previous venture, but I plan to catch up once Black Earth is done.

Michaela Coel is how she’s billed. I suppose when your name is Michaela-Moses Ewuraba O Boakye-Collinson, you’re entitled to shorten it a little. Whatever, she’s a star.

Categories: General

Plotting the loss?

So, the Doctor is back and she’s made some changes. But Bill Potts has gone, taking with her a whole potential story line. I am a big Jodie fan so fine with her but I am wondering if this is all another perverted BBC ploy to kill off the franchise. Castrate the Doctor, switch to Sunday, no opening titles, Bradley Walsh as her companion: any one of those will upset some of the faithful; doing them all at once could signal the end of days.

Categories: General


September 20, 2018 Leave a comment

I am watching a piece on Breakfast about carers and caring. While I sympathise with the sad lady whose situation they chose to highlight, I disagree with her litany of complaints.

You’re looking after your partner, dear. You gave the impression that you believe you were forced to do it and that you resent it. Sorry, but it’s what you signed up for. It’s a privilege to look after someone you love. It can be tough, but it’s better than loneliness.

If you don’t want to do it or you can’t, there is support out there, from social services, the NHS and from charities. After your tv exposure I hope that it will seek you out.

Categories: General


September 10, 2018 Leave a comment

The new John Lewis and Waitrose tv ad: Greatest Of All Time?

Categories: General

Opinion | I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration – The New York Times

September 6, 2018 Leave a comment

I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.
— Read on

Categories: General, Politics

Been here before

September 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Another Girona/Ryanair fuck-up. Passengers queuing on a staircase waiting to board an aircraft that is unlit and has no steps deployed. In other words the crew isn’t here yet.

Categories: General

I don’t give a toss

September 5, 2018 Leave a comment

There is tragedy in the world and time is given to this?

Categories: General


September 2, 2018 Leave a comment
Categories: General

Come on!

Maybe we get what we deserve but … these people seem to be minimal in every respect. They are morons and any society that affords them a flicker of interest needs to take a look at itself.

Categories: General