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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Rock of Ages

November 8, 2018 Leave a comment

www.radio45.co.uk/

Spike Thomson, aka Scott Wilson, is back on the radio!

Categories: General

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

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

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

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

Crunch!!!

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

Zzzzz

October 11, 2018 Leave a comment

news.sky.com/story/princess-eugenies-wedding-ultimate-guide-11464476

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

Categories: General

Risen

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