Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Who Do I Turn To......

Who do I turn to when I’m feeling down
  Who do I turn to when I want to share
    Who do I turn to when the day isn’t going well
      Who do I turn to when I want a smile
        Who puts up with my grumpiness and moods
          Who never complains when I get it wrong

Life is tough for most people, and some have no one they can turn to  whether it’s a Mom, a Dad, or a Brother or a Sister, a Granny or a Granddad or even just a Friend......

Me, I’m lucky, I’ve got


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Another Reason Why I hate British Gas /Centrica (swear alert)

Received this letter in the post from British Gas, addressed to UNKNOWN, informing Unknown that electricity prices are going UP and the new prices are enclosed.

1. It is addressed to UNKNOWN
2. No NEW Prices were enclosed, and
3. It was sent in 'April 2012' *

* I want to see a frigging date on post, an actual day date, not a vague sometime in the month date.  

And let's not forget that the bloody thing was sent out to UNKNOWN in the first place, how can you send to a letter to unknown.  I accept that commercial properties may have changed hands and the previous tenant may have had an account with one utility company, but all of the utility companies and I deal with most of them, seem to have no trouble in tracking down the telephone Number of premises.  If it is a multi tenanted building the office suites either have their own metered supply or are re-billed from the landlord through a sub meter, the first option means that the tenant is billed direct and therefore the meter is attached to an individual address within the building, which they, the utility company must have had in the first place, don't you think? And if it was re-billed through the landlord and they had changed companies they wouldn't be unknown in the first place, now would they? Arrrrgggghhh     

And why can't someone phone and say something like, 

Hi, sorry to trouble you, but British Gas here, we previously supplied electricity to the property you are in to the previous tenant and to meter number so and so.  We don't seem to have your details on file and would like to get it sorted out for you ASAP, before you run up a big bill.  Can you give me your company details so that we can log you on to the system. Oh and by the way as you are a new customer, these are the types of deals we can offer you........

But no,  this is a letter to UNKNOWN, and Unknown does have an account Number!!!!! stating that you have a contract with us, but as you have not renegotiated it with us, so we are increasing your prices


Oh and by the way I do not have any electricity contracts with British Gas at this time or in recent past.......

It's a bit like the heating instructions on the back of a packet of hot cross buns I noticed the other day, which were also rather stupid, like the letter above, and the instructions were these:

Best enjoyed hot, for best results,  

To Toast: cut in half and place under grill until golden brown, remove and butter.
To Grill: cut in half and place under grill until golden brown, remove and butter.
I kid you not, those were the actual instructions on the packet, and so I ask,


Monday, 23 April 2012

An Unexpected Consequence

There I was, as I usually am, sitting with my thumb up my bum and mind in neutral.  Contemplating as I do, absolutely nothing of consequence, when suddenly, a tweet appears on my timeline, and here it is.

Zero Point grand prize nominees: @shayfabbro @WELinde @dimartin6 @SharkbaitWrites @tomstronach @ericswett @twistedscifi http://ow.ly/asxbW

On clicking on the link I discovered that Mr Umstead, in 'celebration' of the publication of his recent novella, Gabriel: Zero Point, had decided to put me and those other fine people (although I suspect they are all much more refined than I), up for a prize award nomination for reviewing or tweeting about his book.

Now just how cool is that.

The link to his site, just in case the link from the tweet doesn't work is here , and once there you will find links to all those other nice people too.

Now this was, as I said earlier, totally unexpected and,  well most welcomed....

You know me by now, I pick up a book to read because I think I may enjoy it and as I already had the mutterings and ravings of a lunatic blog in place, well I thought, 'why not share my views on what I have read here too'.  And so the book review section was born.  I don't think that my reviews are particularly eloquent, certainly not as eloquent as some of the books I am reading, but they are what I think at the time having finished my reading and so off I go rattle of a few paragraphs and stick it out there for folks to see.

To then find that an author decides to run a competition and through it open to his readers, and to include what I wrote, is nice.  But you know what, that's the thing about twitter, blogging and Indie Authors they all seem like nice people, damn them I like to have a moan and a grumble and they are making it difficult for me, STOP BEING SO BLOODY NICE ALL THE TIME, you read my bio up there on the right haven't you,where it specifically says GRUMPY. Well, you aint giving me any opportunities here folks to be GRUMPY and I am in danger of turning into Mr Nice guy and that aint good for my credibility, so give me a break....... PPppppplllllleeeeaaassseeee....

Related Posts: Book Review - Gabriel: Zero Point

Amazon UK
Amazon US 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Book Review: The Blood Upon The Rose by Tim Vicary

Set in Dublin after WWI and Michael Collins is leading the Irish Uprising in its final fling to gain independence from Britain.
Look Inside UK here
Look Inside US here 
Sean Brennan a Medical student at University College Dublin and his friend have joined the Cause.

Catherine Maeve O'Connell-Gort daughter of Colonel O'Connell-Gort head of Military Inteligence in Ireland and answerable to Field Marshal Sir John Denton Pinkstone French, KGB, KCMG, Viscount of Ypres and High Lake, Viceroy and Lord Lieutenant of His Majesty's Kingdom Of Ireland

Catherine is exercising her freedom and she too is studying to become a doctor at UCD, where she meets Sean Brennan.

While Catherine's family history is that of land ownership and part of the ruling classes in Ireland  a profoundly disturbing incident from her youth has made her despise her class and wish for the British to be out of Ireland for good...

Tricked by her father in getting onto theViceroy's train, Catherine embarrasses him by arguing with the Viceroy telling him that she wished they would leave Ireland to the Irish, accusing him and his Army and Police of unspeakable acts of torture and killings against innocent Irish.

Then, almost killed in an attack on the Viceroy's car, by Sean, this serves to drive her deeper into his arms and not away from him

Both are virgins and the tenderness of the love scene where they both come to sexual maturity is short, as one might expect the first tremblings of love to be, but it is written so tenderly and you feel for the lovers as they come together in the muted firelight of the tenement building that Sean is hiding out in.

Major Andrew Butler, a man who found that he is an efficient killer while serving in the front line, and surviving the horrors of WWI, is enlisted by O'Connell-Gort and Harrison, a Civil Servant, to find and kill Collins.

There are a number of twists and revelations in this that just enhance the story as it unfolds and like Julian Stockwin and his Kydd series of books, the mix of real life events into a political, murderous, love story novel has been done so masterfully by Mr Vicary and will make me check out his other books.

This book is a mix of political intrigue, honour and dishonour, of  cold blooded killing and tender lovemaking of a Country and a Woman who both want desperately to be recognised for what they are; Independent and able to stand on their own without bowing to Colonial Masters or to Male Dominance.

Link to Tim Vicary's website here

Editing for Kindle: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5 
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Book Review: Gabriel: Zero Point by Steve Umstead

Steve Umstead wrote three books in the Gabriel, series but has now released this shortish Novella as a prequel to the three books.

I've read the first book in the series, Gabriel's Redemption and enjoyed it, see that review here ,  and fully intend to download and read the remaining books in the trilogy, but as always the TBR pile is rather large, so they are probably some way off, but then I saw mention of this one pop up on Twitter and so as it was a novella decided to take a punt on it.

So, Evan Gabriel has joined the navy after both his parents have died and his older brother has disappeared off world leaving him alone.  He then applies to become an officer and as we know from reading the first book in the series he is one tough soldier with enhanced neuretic implants.  Zero Point tells us how he came to be selected for Special Forces and how he was turned into a super soldier with the abilities that he has.

Pulled out for a transfer that he did not request, but accepts, transported to a lab and submerged unconscious for 22 hours while nano probes enhance his body he comes to in the empty lab with a blood trail but no bodies.... still trying to orient himself to his situation he finds that he is fighting for his life, the enemy have guns, grenades and body armour, he has managed to get his socks on and ..........

Umstead is a SyFy writer who writes, or so it seems to me, with some clarity; in that his prose flows seamlessly along without the uncomfortable trap that many of his contemporaries fall into.  By that I mean that many SyFy writers out there seem to feel that there is a need, as they are writing about 'off world' existences and other planets, that they have to make up the most complicated language and names for people and technology, it is of course needed in some stories, particularly if you have created a whole new species, but still!

I don't know about others but when I am reading, the words are actually being spoken aloud in my head by my brain and while Ishbel sitting opposite me on the sofa clearly can't hear me, I can hear them, and so when reading to myself and I find that suddenly I am stumbling over another made up foreign name or word, it can be more than slightly off putting as well as irritating, Umstead doesn't do that [much] - he writes in good old fashioned English without, I suppose, feeling the need to complicate the language, which makes for a flowing narrative....

A good read and good value for the money and, I am sure,  a good addition to the first three books.

Editing for Kindle: 5 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Our Day - 17th April 1976

Well it was 36 years ago today that Ishbel took pity on me and saved me from becoming a drunkard at 18, Oh yes, I liked a drink, think I have been tipsy twice since that day, but we're still going strong annoying the hell out of each other, but to be fair, I think I do most of the annoying in this relationship (but I don't think she'd have me any other way, well maybe sometimes, just a little, but I usually win her round)!