Monthly Archives: March 2017

Inspirations: Living in a nuclear-armed world

There have been many false alarms that could have led to nuclear retaliation. A chance of large-scale disarmament was missed in the mid-1990s, when US-Russia relations were good. Former US Defence Secretary William J Perry thinks nuclear catastrophe is likelier

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

Coldwater Cottage – 2: The Dive

Previous instalments: 1 “You know what to do when I come up?” “If you do nothing, I do nothing. If you wave, I turn the clutch,” she fingered the lever on the outboard, “and drive over to you.” Ian heard

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Posted in Coldwater Cottage, Uncategorized

Bertha’s Handbag

“You can have the chocolate when we get home, Sam,” said Bertha. “You promised to be good and I promised you the chocolate if you were. But until we get home, I can’t tell if you were good the whole

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Coldwater Cottage – 1: The Surface

Welcome to the promised new serialisation from the Eclectics, which will post at the same time every Monday for the next few weeks. I have fond memories of outlining Coldwater Cottage in a bar in Dahab, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula,

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Posted in Coldwater Cottage, Uncategorized

The Magnet’s Pupils

I swear, we only wanted a coffee until Phil set eyes on the barista. He walked into the place, took one look at her, then grabbed Andy and I and bundled us outside. “What d’you think?” “Huh?” Andy wasn’t the

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Posted in Story development

The pontifications go irregular

  On the high note of the squabble over the morality of coffee in Restoration-era England, I now declare that I will no longer be pontificating to a weekly schedule. They’re a lot of fun to research and write, but

Posted in Notification, Wednesday Pontification

Inspirations: The gendered war on coffee

In 1674, a ‘women’s petition’ denounced the craze for coffee in England. It claimed that it lured Englishmen away from ale and rendered them impotent and effeminate. The men’s response declared that Englishmen were so virile that they all had

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Posted in Inspirations, Wednesday Pontification

The Scent of Sea and Nectar

It came back to me last week, when I was wheeling my chair between crocuses and daffodils. They’re hardly unusual flowers. They come out every spring. This spring, I happened to be visiting our grandchildren and I could hear waves

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle, Uncategorized

The Casual Conjurings of Perchance to Dream

What would happen if a Second World War Spitfire pilot found himself in the ancient Greek underworld? That was the starting point for Perchance to Dream, which became my first published short story. That was longer ago than I care

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Posted in Publishing news

Non-fiction Review: The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré

I discovered John Le Carré in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market. I picked out a battered paperback Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy from a tiny used book stall. It looked as though it had been round Southeast Asia in a few backpacks, but

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Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification
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