Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Mr Fat: Thanksgiving

While we in the UK do not celebrate this particular holiday I thought it might be an appropriate time to say a little thanks for all the support, kind thoughts and well wishes I continue to receive from Family and Friends, far and wide. And, for those of you who celebrate Hanukkah too, here's to a happy one of that as well....

I am still keeping not to bad if just lacking in energy all the time and just want to, or rather am, almost permanently asleep. Many would say that's ok coz if he's sleeping, he's not being irritating, unless of course I am farting and snoring when asleep, but then it's only Ishbel and the family who get irritated by that when I'm asleep in bed or on the sofa during a family gathering... but as I am asleep, I don't care.

So, how have I been, well ,as I said, largely fine; had a scan last week and there is no deterioration in my condition as yet and over the last couple of days I have been waking up feeling as if nothing is wrong with me and I could take on the world but by days end I am so knackered and suffering from a sore back I am almost doubled over.  The scan didn't reveal any clues as to why this should be and wee Olivia Chan my wonderful and beautiful Oncologist at Basildon Hospital is reluctant, at this time, to put me back on Chemotherapy after the last time where I was sinking into an abyss of quicksand and so, wants to keep that, along with radiotherapy and whatever else she has in her wee handbag as a reserve.  Oh, just a point of interest, Ishbel came with me yesterday as she thinks Flirting with Dr Chan and Mel and the other nurses may not be conducive to my overall health, in that continued skelps on the back of ma heed fae her, may not knock some sense into me, but would make her feel a whole lot better, sheesh, I jis cannae win......

Anyway, I am to take some steroid tablets to see if that increases my energy levels and I'll probably end up looking like The Hulk or Mr Muscle and of course that will be problematic too if I bulk up and am even bigger than I am now, sheesh glad I will not be required to carry my own coffin at days end ...... but that my friends is a long way away and anyway apparently there is also a candle burning for me in the Cathedral of the Plains too.

It's 28th November today and that means it's two days to my wee bro Johnny's birthday in Coatbridge on St. Andrews Day, I wonder why he was never called Andrew! And three days to December 1st and you know what that means, FUN and GAMES on the official NORAD tracks Santa site before we get to the 24th of the month and I can sit and track Santa on his sleigh with Mollie, Shannon and Lacey Mae who are arriving on 23rd December to spend Christmas with Ishbel and me, oh the excitement is really building to that, especially as Ishbel and I are having so much fun, even if our pockets aren't, while doing the Christmas shopping and NO Jennifer and Mollie I will not be wearing a onsie for Christmas ...... but you may bury me or burn me in it if you like, regardless of what mother says and if you do I want an open casket ........ It's the only time I will be seen in one and Jules, no comment required on that one thank you very much .

Well, that's it for now, sorry to all those blogs and tweets I haven't been visiting I am trying, hush your mouths, I meant trying to visit not trying your patience, sheesh a jis canne win ...


Sometimes; but not for me

(c) All cartoons copyright to somebody else 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Book Review: The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith

If you have not read Mr McCall Smith, why not? He writes gentle humorous stories filled with a cast of star studied characters who seemingly make the the most innocuous comments on life but at the same time can be so thought provoking.  Homilies of a bygone time when respect for our, families, friends, fellow man and neighbours was once upper most in our minds .....  and he reminds of us those times in a modern day setting with Mma Ramotswe in Botswana.

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency is in a state of flux as 'associate' Detective Mma Makutsi takes maternity leave to have her and her husband Phuti Radiphuti's first child, mind you, as usual when Mma Makutsi doesn't want to discuss something, she won't and so the fact that she is pregnant and the subject of maternity leave are not open for discussion until it is to late, not to late in that something goes wrong except for the fact that another encounter with a cobra brings the pregnancy to an end and the delivery of a healthy boy is announced.  So snakes do come in useful, sometimes, and this again proves to be the case in dealing with a Radiphuti aunt later on, so funny .....

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, husband to Mma Ramotswe and owner of Speedy Motors on Tlokwen  Road, has a desire to become a more modern husband and enrols in a new course at the university and then Mma Ramotswe finds him, for the first time ever, helping to prepare dinner, but she is gentle with him in explaining,

"So you are mashing them now?’ He nodded. ‘And it’s rather hard work, Mma.’ ‘You’re mashing them even before you have cooked them, Rra?’ He frowned. ‘You cook them first?’ Mma Ramotswe reached around him and took the pan from his hands. It was half-filled with water in which fragments of raw potato floated morosely, like a soup. Very gently she poured the mixture down the drain. ‘I will show you how to start with new ones,’ she said. ‘You cook the potatoes first and then you take them out and mash them up with butter and salt. That is how mashed potatoes are made, Rra.’ He turned away sheepishly. ‘I was only trying to help, Mma.’ She felt a warm rush of affection for the man beside her. ‘But of course you were, Rra. But I am quite happy to cook mashed potatoes."

In the background of course there are two cases to be solved as business still has to continue even without the assistance of the Associate Detective and Mr JLB Matekoni's lack of cooking skills, but he is still an excellent mechanic...

These books are for anyone who wants a gentle meander through the countryside surrounding the city of Gaberone in the wonderful country of Botswana or so it appears to be from the descriptions in these books, waiting on the rains to revive the country and it's people's, dealing with the serious and the not so serious.

For the first time in reading though I have only two small criticisms; 1. We don't get to read the outcome of the case with Mma Sheba the Lawyer, although we know what Mma Ramotswe wants to do, it is left somewhat unresolved, and 2. how did the cooking of the sausages go with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni?

Editing for Kindle: 5 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 17
Page length: 256

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Book Review: Reaping the Harvest (Harvest Trilogy book 3) by Michael R Hicks

What can I say about Hick's 'Harvest' trilogy people, if you haven't read any of the three books, you really should, and he even makes it easy for you by giving the first book in the trilogy, 'Season of the Harvest' free across all e-book reader formats, so whatever you read on, there is no excuse.

Hicks weaves a tale of terror across these three books borne out of his mistrust of GMO's, or rather his mistrust of the self regulation of the companies behind GMO's as allowed by the US government. 

An organism has been discovered by a few people that seems to have been around on planet earth for hundreds of years. It has achieved sentience and can mimic human form.  The organism believes that it is the ultimate life force on the planet and that human kind are nothing more than a food supply for them, but as yet and even after being around for lord knows how long, their numbers are too few to take what is rightfully theirs, the whole planet.

They devise a plan to genetically modify wheat that once ingested will wipe out the human population.  

Once in human form the harvesters as we come to know them, are undetectable except for the insane frenzy that they send cats into when they come near them.  They kill by deploying a poisoned stinger from their bodies and they take the form of any human they kill with all the knowledge that the human possessed, after digesting the body.

Reaping the Harvest is a non stop blood bath from beginning to end with first the Russians nuking large parts of their own and adjoining countries, including Moscow and then the Americans doing the same to some of their own cities in a bid to slow down the spread of the larval harvesters.  These creatures have not and will not attain sentience, they only have one goal to consume anything in their path human or material, anything that is carbon based is digestible to them and as they eat, they multiply and there aren't enough high explosive rounds or bullets or manpower on the planet to stop them from spreading.... The age of the human is not just collapsing in on itself it is being consumed and it's final annihilation is only months away in this final book of the trilogy.

Can Jack Dawson and Naiomi Perrault find a solution that will slow their demise down and reverse it ......

Hicks has written a clever series here and joins up all the dots for all three books.  He writes well and gives you a story that is gripping as it is horrific but compels you to turn page after page......

Editing for Kindle:  5 out 5 
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 43
Page length: 373 

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Book Review: High Heat (A Jack Reacher Novella) by Lee Child

16 year old Reacher is on school holiday from South Korea and is passing through New York en route to visit his older brother who is a cadet at West Point Military Academy.

It's July 1977 and it's hot. Son of Sam is on the rampage and a sweaty guy is slapping a sweaty woman in the face......

Even at 16, Reacher has already established a code of honour and conduct, and a guy slapping a woman on the face falls outside of what is permitted....

Reacher prevents the guy from doing any more harm to the woman and a night of cat and mouse with a local drug lord ensues although as usual Reacher, even at 16 is not the hunted but the hunter in the blacked out streets of New York dodging fires and looting as a city wide power cut takes affect.  In between making the drug lords life unbearable, he finds time to hook up with a co-ed a and is introduced to a special first time encounter in the front seat of a sports car and then to assist a suspended FBI agent with information on Son of Sam.

These occasional diversions by Child into Reachers past are as entertaining as the 'up to date' titles. They show us the boy who became a man growing up inside the Marine Corp and being enveloped by a system of honour and do right at all times, even if that means taking extreme actions to find a solution to a problem.  As long as the solution achieves the aim of winning the contest / solving the problem, then it is the correct way to go.......

There were a couple of small issues with the editing for the Kindle with extra spaces between words, but other than that no problems.

Editing for Kindle: 4 out 5
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: none
Page length: 77

Friday, 1 November 2013

Book Review: Caribbee by Julian Stockwin

Number 14 in the Thomas Kydd series from Mr Stockwin detailing the life of 19th century Royal Navy mariners as they protect England and it's dominions from the threat of Napoleonic domination.

Caribbee sees Thomas Kydd and his Frigate L'Aurore dispatched from the successful but ill fated attack on Buenos Aries to the Caribbean to request a relief force. 

On arrival, station Admiral Cochrane denies the request and informs Kydd that he and the Frigate L'Aurore are now under his command and that he and his crew will patrol the Caribbean to protect British interests from the French and Privateers! 

With Napoleon issuing a decree that makes all trade with Britain and her colony's illegal the economic threat to Britain and the Crown is a crushing one and added to the threat of capture most trading and commerce is brought to a standstill.

Once again Stockwin draws us in to this 19th Century world and throws everything at us, from hanging on for dear life in a ship and soul destroying hurricane (chapter 7) where you end the chapter relieved but drained, to heart pounding chases of sighted enemy vessels, to formal dinners where upon at one it is revealed drunkenly in front of peers and local aristocrats of Kydd's humble and lowly beginnings ....  Can he recover his status after that 

It is revealed that there may be a secret French base commanding ships and privateers in the local and Nicholas Renzi is firmly in the firing line after gathering information that leads to an attack by British forces only to find that there is no evidence that a base of operations ever existed.... Can Nicholas recover from the embarrassment of being a failed master spy too....

All in all another exiting read from a master storyteller and very much worth the annual wait for the next instalment 

Editing for Kindle: Hardback 1st Edition
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Chapters: 13
Page length: 347 including authors note