Showing posts from June, 2016

More about the UK and the EU

Writing is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment. Being a passionate Europhile and form believer in the benefits we in the UK have reaped through membership in the EU I have been a little bit down and finding my mind a little torn in other directions than writing. Sorry for anyone who wanted to get updates on my writing but it's just not happening at the moment.

Well after nearly a week since Brexit the falls in the FTSE 100 have been reversed; in fact the FTSE has closed higher today than it was before the referendum. The FTSE 250 too is seeing a fairly impressive rebound although it is still considerably below where it was. But I fear this is not indicative of our future merely that the markets are playing a let's see. I'm sure we are in for more turbulent times in the future.

Now I'm not going to go on about how I consider this to be a wrong decision. I'm not going to bemoan my fate. After all whether or not I consider the decision right or wrong it is now …

Goodbye HS2! Goodbye Trident!

We are not going to be a member of the EU for all that much longer. As a result the UK economy is going to suffer a negative impact. As is the norm in times like this government incomes are likely to fall at the time when expenditure is likely to rise. This will mean an extension to the austerity this government have been running for the last few years. And in my opinion it should also mean the end of some of the large projects they have been planning which have dubious return.

Or to put it another way, can all you politicos please cancel the HS2 and Trident programmes. Doing this will commit the UK government to £100billion less spending - and yes I know this is a figure that would have only grown so in truth it will save far more.

Now this will cause a few job losses in and of itself. I live near Derby, a city which would have seen some benefit from Trident as it is home to Rolls Royce and potential some through HS2 as it also has a large Bombardier presence. But I am not advocatin…

An apology to the people of Europe

I've been umming and ahing about how to write this blog entry since I saw the result on Friday. I'm still not totally sure I know what to type here. I just feel I need to.

As anyone who knows me, or anyone who's read this blog over the past few weeks/months, will know I am a passionate supporter of the European Union. I don't consider it perfect. I'm not blind to its imperfections but I have faith in it. I hope I still can even if the UK is no longer a member as looks inevitable.

I have watched the EU grow over the years and celebrated each new accession. I have been happy to see people from all member nations come to Britain, believing their arrival has improved my country both financially and culturally. I have visited several EU countries, even learning an amount of French, Italian and Dutch to make this a more immersive experience. (BTW - I am not claiming to be a good speaker of any of these languages.)

But on Thursday most of my fellow Brits and UK resident …

I hate the word "great" (An EU blog)

Okay, maybe hate is a little too strong; I don't really know if there is anything I really hate. I dislike a lot of stuff; who doesn't? But hate? Anyway - enough of semantics. I really do feel a need to type and it's not on my novel (much as I do want to work on that a little more).

It's the EU. Obviously it's the EU. With it being four days away from a referendum in the UK how could it be anything but the EU Referendum. I feel passionately about the EU. I don't blinker myself to its faults, of which there are many, but I believe that it is a tremendous force for good in the world. And that world includes the UK. I think we have benefitted enormously from being a member nation over these past 43 years. And this isn't just a fat cat big businessman benefit. Yes, being in the single market does make a lot of cross border business easier (even given some of the bureaucracy it adds) but it extends beyond that. It affects us all and in a mainly positive way.


Book collecting update

On Saturday just gone I happened upon the book stall in Derby market. It's a good little stall, one I've visited often, and my hopes were high. I was not disappointed. You see, fairly recently, the stallholder bought a collection of old science fiction books and many of them were on the stall. So I had a bit of fun sifting through them - and buying several. So I am here to brag a little about my finds and to list them (I do like a good list). There might be one or two you've not heard of....

Ray Bradbury - The October Country (okay maybe this isn't one you won't have heard - bear with me)
H. Beam Piper - Gunpowder God
Jonathan Fast - Prisoner of the Planets
Christopher Priest - Real-Time World
Gardner F. Fox - Warrior of Llarn
Barrington Bayley  - The Fall of Chronopolis
Joanna Russ - Picnic on Paradise
John Russell Fearn - Conquest of the Amazon
Philip Jose Farmer - The Wind Whales of Ishmael
Philip Jose Farmer - Inside Outside
Judith Merrill - The Tomorrow Peopl…

Back to writing

My wife is out tonight playing a gig (for anyone who's not read my earlier postings; she's a saxophonist in a 40s style jazz band). This means I had plenty of time to give some writing a try. And fortunately I also had a novel idea I wanted to work a little more on and the mood to do it.

So after three CDs of listening (Metallica, Paul Simon and the Smiths in a wonderfully eclectic mix) I have written four new scenes totalling 2,911 words and brought chapter one to and end on 4,347 words.

I am relatively happy with it. I also have a couple of sketches of what will become chapter 2 on paper. Hopefully I will get time to work on this a little more in the next day or two. I like the idea of this story.

To give you a quick précis - the story follows a 12 year old girl as she enters holy orders (in a religion where there are thousands of Gods). She is a devotee of the religion believing in it totally. Of course she's going to get a quick course in reality and some dark things …


I've been quiet. There is a reason. I was in Holland; on holiday.

If you think this is strange; I can understand you. Holland is not top of many people's list when they think of where to go. Spain and Greece might be several leagues higher. I suppose I've never been normal.

For one thing I don't like beaches; or crowds for that matter. I have a fondness for history; for old buildings; canals; art; and coffee shops. Or to put it another way; old European cities. In the past we've visited many Italian cities; Rome; Venice; Milan; Turin; Verona; Brescia; Asti; and so many more.

About four years ago we rented a cottage in Northern France and headed across the border into Belgium once or twice and instantly fell for the country. So much so we rented a cottage in Belgium the following year; as well as the year after that. And on one of these trips we drove into Holland; score another obsession.

This year we rented a cottage in Oosterhout. I would tell you the details so…