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Monday, 11 December 2017


It's been a busy few weeks, so much so I have not posted anything here since early last month!
The day job is in its busy 'peak season' for respiratory illnesses, family commitments have also been demanding, enjoyable but non the less, all absorbing.
Thankfully, today is a little easier.

So what's happening out there?
It's snowing, cold and treacherous on the roads. We had been trying to get to Colchester, trying to travel a route that would take an hour in total... Two hours later, several skids and anxiety attacks +++ with only half the route travelled, we turned around.
The snow has eased but the roads are like sheets of ice now...
I've just returned from walking RosieG, slipping and sliding around and happy to be indoors.

The snow looks beautiful and the landscape turns a different hue with the winter-scape. The frosted leaves, trees and grass, white and glistening... Gorgeous but treacherous.
My mum, comfortable and warm in Gibraltar, has never seen the snow and is always saying we are so lucky... But mum, I'd trade the warm sun to the snow any day.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Childhood stories... Metaphors

I remember growing up in Gibraltar and listening to the many stories my grandad Louis would tell us grandkids about.
We were very close as a family and very protective of each other.
Grandad was the patriarch, he was a leader and very charismatic, far from fearsome but we would all listen to his advice and words of wisdom.

His stories were intertwined with some singing and voice changes. He was a heavy smoker so his gruff voice would make us listen even more intently. He was a great story teller, maybe why I like to write?
They were mainstream themes, issues that we needed to have insight of and learn. This was for our safety but it was delivered through a filtered and Innocent delivery by my abuelo (Spanish for grandad).

I fondly remember the story of 'El mantequero'... I suppose it was the Gibraltarian version of the boogie-man. We used to live near the botanical gardens, it was our playground but we needed to respect that although beautiful, the gardens were dangerous after dark.
El mantequero, the butter man : was apparently a big, evil and immoral man that would leap out if the shadows if he caught you lurking after sundown and take a large, sharp knife out of his hooded coat and cut into your palms, removing the fat from them (butter) that he collected and you would not be seen again.
It was a very effective deterrent for us children for many years.
So much so, I was never comfortable walking through the Alameda Gardens in Gibraltar until my late teens.

When I examine the message and the effect, I realise abuelo was teaching us about being aware of the risk we all had. The metaphor was about paedophile awareness.

On reflection, it worked and it was such a lovely way of keeping us safe. Abuelo loved us and was determined to reduce the risk of harm to my brother, cousins and I.

Have you got any memories that you can share that are similar in nature? Any wise words that are entwined in stories?

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Really interesting program about Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) or brain damage from heading the ball, likened to boxers brain.
The wobbling brain causing tares and irreversible damage from the micro-trauma over years.
What will this mean to the game and its future?
Presented by Alan Shearer, an ex-pro and header of the ball extraordinaire on the BBC.

Having been a football fan all my life, playing for many years and being good and strong at heading the ball, I loved heading the ball. It makes me wonder what will have been the result of the years of heading balls?

Being a father to three boys, coaching teams etc, I always remember my eldest, Paul, saying 'I'm not heading the ball, I treasure my brain cells' I laughed but 'Paul, you were right'.

Having played for decades, I can honestly say I've played in many weather's, with differing quality balls and have headed these too... Frankly, most headers I thought were controlled and not painful. However, there have been some that have felt like my skull had caved in and my brain opened and scooped out. Feeling a bit wobbly for a few seconds and then back to the grind and the game.

So the evidence says don't and the love for the game says yes... So don't get concussed, try to protect yourself and use chest or position yourself back a little to avoid heading where possible.

Food for thought and well presented

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Inspired writing

The ideas surge through your mind, bouncing within your head, snapping from one synapse to another... The inception of a story begins.
If it's a good idea, it stays there and you plan ahead.
As with all my novels, I have followed that eureka moment with hours of creativity and enjoyment.
The commitment of completing a book is a work of love, effort and belief.
I have no regrets and although I aspire to get these read by as many people as possible, I am also aware that they may lack in some technical perfection... However, does the 'odd editing eeror' make them poor? Maybe to some, however it should not detract from the essence and body of the tale.
The story should be told, no matter what the finish is like. By awaiting the perfect diamond, you may miss out on other precious things.
So why not give a truly independent range of books a try and judge the content and flow.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

New business start-up

The journey from inception to execution of a business... This is some information from my son's recent venture with some helpful tips and advice.
Thanks for sharing and good luck Paul

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Differences to writing

I'm not sure what the distinctions are between being an author or a writer?
I am many things before I am an author and would consider myself more of a writer / story teller.
My writing, I enjoy but I do not take it seriously. To me, the purpose of writing is to tell a story, to prompt the imagination and create a conversation.
What I hope is that these goals are achieved through the books available without them having to be scrutinised on literary standards.
My impression is that they tick some boxes for some people, not all.
Some is good for me.