Friday, 6 October 2017

Bit of a washout

Our cunning plan was to go back to the boat and spend a few days travelling up the Peak Forest canal.  Unfortunately the weather was dreadful and even getting out of the marina would have been a challenge so we decided to stay put.  I had been planning to do some repainting in the Spring so decided to bring it forward.  The roof is now a nice simple red which should be much easier to keep clean. The large white squares of the old roof used to get dirty very quickly. I only wish the colour was the same as on the tins of paint as it's rather 'redder' than I anticipated.  Still it should settle down over the winter. 
Of course now we are home the weather has settled down quite nicely...............................

Jacky with her new, rather bright, red roof.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

New book

Been working hard on the new 'Jon Hunt' and I've come up with what may be the definitive title. I've also been doodling with cover images. I usually have a ship or aircraft (or Ekranoplan) but for all sorts of reasons this one needs to be different. Anyone have any thoughts??

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Have to start writing the acceptance speech now

Cor - just been told that my book 'The Royal Navy Lynx - an Operational History' had been nominated for an award at the Mountbatten Maritime Media Awards.  The Maritme Foundation is a very prominent charity supporting British Maritime interest across the world.  I've absolutely no idea whether it has the slightest chance of winning anything, in fact I've no idea how it even got nominated in the first place but I do get a discount to a really good dinner just down the road from Buck Pal, so watch this space.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Over the hump

A milestone - I hit 40,000 words today on the latest 'Jon Hunt' which is a psychological half way. More importantly, I've got over the major 'plot hump'. This is the point where I've written myself totally into a corner and can't for the life of me work out where to go next, despite the fact that I know how I want the story to end. It's seems to be something I experience with all my books. The only way to solve the problem is to do anything but write. We've had family down for the last week and I've been concentrating on playing my usually crappy game of golf. This morning I sat down in front of the computer and started hitting the keys. Suddenly, from nowhere, the words started to appear and I could see the way ahead. There's still lots to do but now I know where I'm going I reckon I should be finished in a couple of months.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Thank you to all my readers

Every month I have to do a spreadsheet for the blessed Inland Revenue or whatever they're called these days.  I also keep a running total of all my book sales.  At the end of this month I cracked 20,000 Kindles.  As my books are also taken out as library loans from Amazon I've also had the equivalent of another 10,000 Kindle sales (rough figure as it's an estimate from pages read) and a measly 400 paperbacks.    These figures may not be earth shattering compared to some 'bestselling' authors but last year 'Jacaranda' was an Amazon best seller in the 'travel adventure' category so I can claim to be one anyway.  So to all my readers - thank you.  (next novel in about two months).

Saturday, 1 July 2017


Back at home for the last few weeks and I've been getting things sorted and also getting stuck back into writing.  The Wasp book is shaping up well.  I am in the 'herding cats' phase which means chasing up all those people who promised me input and then immediately forgot about it.  That said, some good dits are coming out fo the woodwork  I've got some excellent shots of what happens when a Wasp gets taken out by a bowl of custard - you'll have to buy the book to find out what that's all about!
However, Jon Hunt number 9 is now in full swing.  My aim is to publish in the Autumn.  Below is a very, very draft cover just to keep some interest going.  WMD is only the working title and the picture is probably not the one I'll use. I might have one of a skyscraper falling down for no apparent reason at all on Sept 11.  'Nuff said.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

End of the line

Anyone looking out of the window this week mught just have noticed the odd gale and torrential rain.  We certainly noticed it as we were trying to get up the 12 locks of the Bosely flight.  With the forecast as it is, it seemed a good idea to get into our marina today as it looks like the only respite from strong winds.  You might think that a fifteen ton boat would shrug off a little breeze.  Nope, she sails sideways with ease, normally just when you don't want it, like when coming alongside and you jump ashore with the one centre line in your hand trying to pull her in.  In top of that becasue of our layout the boat needs to come into her berth stern first.  Anyone who has driven one of these things knows that steering them backwards is hit and miss at best.  Our last boat had a bow thruster which simplifies things greatly.  Jacaranda doesn't have one.  So it was with a little trepidation because it was still quite windy that I took her into the marina this afternoon.  My incredibly cunning plan was to turn across the wind, upwind of the berth and let the breeze set her down so that I could simply reverse in at the last moment.  You can always rely on the wind to catch you out.  Normally its a gust just when you don't need/want it.  This time it simply said 'sod it mate you're on your own' and died completely.  Still with a bit of throttle, rudder and prayer we made it in.  So, we will be sorting things out for the next few days and back home at the weekend sometime.  Next exciting adventure will probably be in August for a week or two.

All snug in the marina.  Actually my reversing in was pretty good so of course no one saw us do it.  Why is it only when you cock things up that you have an audience???