Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Book Rev: The Desolate Garden by Danny Kemp

Liked and loathed this book!

When reading on my Kindle it is easy to make notes and highlight passages and excerpts in a book and I have even started doing this as I now write these reviews when reading a 'paper' book.  It's easy then to go back in and review what I thought at the time

Up until now, the number of notes and highlights have numbered no more than 15 and they have been more in marking interesting phrases or passages than errors,  on this particular book though, if you have an absolute abhorrence of poor grammar and spelling you just might wish to avoid it as I have 63 highlighted spelling and or grammatical errors with a couple of formatting issues thrown in for good measure......  You have been warned.

Having said that the author, on his first attempt did write an intriguing novel. It revolves around the Paterson Family who have been the British Governments Secret Bankers for generations, funding everything that the governments of the day would rather the public did not ever find out about.  The management of the bank is passed on from generation to generation and only the highest echelons of government and ministers are aware of its existence.

Harry Paterson an ex Army officer is informed about his fathers murder and then his brother, the latter who is running the bank today, is also found murdered. Is this an attack on the Paterson s, a titled family, an attack on the bank or an attack on the Government? Who knows, Harry certainly doesn't  and he has little or no knowledge of the bank or its affairs and has been estranged from his father for years and on first hearing the news of his death shows little concern at the news, caring little for the fact that he is now elevated to 'His Lordship' at his fathers passing.

There begins an investigation by the Secret Service with Harry being assigned a 'minder' whose job it is, is to get Harry to tell her everything about his Father, Maudlin Paterson s past and what he knows of it.  Nothing is to be excluded.  Every detail of their lives is to be scrutinised in the hope that the identity of the murderer can be discovered before another Paterson is killed.

It does get a bit convoluted in places and the 'action' switches from Harry's interrogations to Russia as we find out that Maudlin fathered a child to a Spanish woman during the civil war and they fled to Russia at Maudlin's insistence, the mother dying, and Harry's half brother growing up and becoming one of Russia;s top officials and a spy, funded by Maudlin and the Paterson Bank......

This is, I understand Kemp's first book and not withstanding my opening comments, he has done well in stringing  a long and convoluted story together.  It does become a little tedious in places but if you can stick with it, it is a good story and has a surprising revelation as the killer in the final few pages, really never saw it coming which is always a good indication and promising for future books.  If you can be kept guessing right to the end then the author has done what he or she probably set out to do when penning a thriller.

Editing for Kindle: 2 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 4 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Chapters: 45
Page length: 334 apparently but not evident on my kindle or iPad app - just % read

Friday, 27 September 2013

Don't Mess with an Old Lady!

Don't know where this came from, but it's a keeper.......

Two businessmen were sitting down for a break in their soon-to-be new shop...
As yet, the shop wasn't ready, with only a few shelves set up.
One said to the other, "I bet any minute now some pensioner is going to walk by, put their face to the window, and ask what we're selling."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when, sure enough,

a curious old woman walked to the window, had a peek, and in a soft voice asked :

"What are you selling here?"

One of the men replied sarcastically, "We're selling arseholes."

Without skipping a beat, the old dear said, "Must be doing well . . . only two left."

Lesson: Don’t mess with the wisdom of the old .   .  .  .  .  .  .  we are not yet brain dead!!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Mr Fat: An Update and an End Game !

So, I started to write this post yesterday morning and was well into it before heading off to see Mr Jayanthi our consultant surgeon and the nursing staff.  Before I go on, and just to lighten the mood I thought I would sprinkle a few cartoons throughout, because while life can sometimes seem hard, there is always something waiting round the next blind corner that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and even make you bust a gut laughing about the sheer absurdity of life!

Angel of Death, take me now, well I thought it was funny and I imagined Ishbel and me in this situation in many years to come but, unfortunately that does not seem to be the case......

So, the meeting Friday.  We arrived at Broomfield in plenty of time for our 2.20 PM appointment only to find Mr J was held up in the wards, me feeling irritated as usual, although not his fault and there are more people than me he has to deal with, it's just that I always have never been able to sit around for anything and there is something about that bloody hospital that apart from the main atrium there appears to be nowhere else inside that frigging building where you can get wifi, aaaarrrrggggghhhhh.  Anyway, I digress.  Mr J welcomed us in, pleasantries were exchanged and then we got into it.  It seems that the Doctor who increased my chances of surviving the surgery, on giving me the results after the recent Cpex test had more than a little over reached himself in the information available and according to MR J and agreed with the Thoracic surgeon who would also be working on me at the same time; my chances of surviving surgery and tumour removal are pretty slim at the most!  Life can sometimes be a bugger, can't it.

Mr J went on to explain that it had nothing to do with my weight, he doesn't care how fat the patient is, he likes to dice and slice into anyone, loves his job, bless, but really it was down to the rest of my major organs not being up to the task.  You'll recall, my first visit to Broomfield showed I had a heart problem, it seems also that smoking since I was 11 has taken its toll on my lungs, who knew,  and during the op they would have to collapse one of them while they were having a good old dig around inside my chest and oesophageal cavities.  It may not have been as bad if I had only allowed myself to get fat but continued to at least keep fit at the same time, apparently my fitness regime like that on the right just wasn't cutting it, Oh dear!

He then went into, in great detail, the problems that I would have if I elected to still have surgery, the main one being that he and the other surgeons really thought my chances of being revived are pretty slim and even if they did manage to keep me alive then the prospects weren't good as it was likely my remaining time could be spent on a ventilator, if I was lucky! "So, I wont, as planned and as I had told everyone, be going back to work within three weeks then, says I........." "Not an option. Says he.  "I wouldn't like to say when or even if, you would be returning to work."

Not good I suspect and many of you are probably beginning to feel sorry for me now, but don't! Enjoy your lives, TAKE MORE CARE OF YOUR OWN BODIES AND LET THIS BE A SALUTATORY  LESSON TO ANYONE READING THIS - TAKE BETTER CAR OF YOUR BODIES WHILE ENJOYING LIFE.

I feel sorry not for myself, well maybe just a little bit, as I really did want, and expected to be around for many years to come. Ishbel and I have only been married for a short 37 years and she keeps telling me that women in her family live well into their 90's even knocking into the century, so while I always expected to expire before her I had hoped for at least another 20 to 30 years of making her life miserable........

Then of course there is Marie, Jennifer and Brian my wonderful kids, even although Brian seems to have fallen out with me for some reason I love them dearly and they make me laugh, often it is gut busting laughter and I in turn, do what all good dads do, I make them groan in despair at another stupid antic of mine.

Mollie, Shannon, Charlie, Holly and Lacey Mae my five adorable gorgeous smart intelligent grand kids who I so desperately wanted to be around to see them grow and develop and get into their teens and go to college and maybe university and then getting great jobs as astronauts, engineers, doctors or computer programming geniuses.  Well I hope they do go on to do some of those things, but whatever they end up doing they should know their Grand dad, him with the big belly and the bald head and the funny face will always be so proud of them and love them for eternity, even when I am not around to see and hug them.

And of course there is family and friends, especially those two bright sassy nieces who terrorise the populace of Inverness on their nights on the town and who can reduce people to speechless dumbassidy (new word) by their witty, cutting and cerebral retorts to the more idiotic of the human species who have the misfortune to be dumb-asses when the girls are around.

Brothers and sister.  We have never been a particularly close family, splitting to the compass points as soon as we were old enough to leave and make our own way with only Jim, the one above me keeping in occasional contact, that's the way it is with some families but there should be no regrets on anyone's part, it's just the way of the world.

And then of course there are the many wonderful friends, truly wonderful friends I have made on twitter and can I just say, if you are an author and you have been writing a series of books that I am reading and you aint finished that series, if you want your computer to crash at inopportune moments or the lead in your pencil to be continually breaking by incorporeal means - then don't finish the series before I pop off. On the other hand ......... just saying ........

Anyway I'm going to wrap up this with the final thought of by not going for the surgery as I have chosen as I really do not want to go in for an operation in the next week or so in the knowledge that I may not wake up again or even if I do I will be dribbling and comatose and wheezing and being a pain in the arse to everyone who come into contact with me, so I am going to enjoy the next few months or year and get a laugh out of every day and so to should you Get on with your lives, enjoy them, love your family and friends and SMILE, I am

oh and now that we have an end game of sorts I am going to try and be more interactive again on twitter and blogs, be warned .....

Love to you all

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Son-in Law having a funny turn, or is he?

Had this forwarded from one of my sons-in-law,  I thought he was having a funny turn but all was revealed to be well, in the end ......... 

A real woman is a man's best friend. She will never stand him up and never let him down. She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him after a bad day. She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to live without fear and forget regret. She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to his most intimate desires. She will make sure he always feels as though he's the most handsome man in the room and will enable him to be the most confident, sexy, seductive and invincible...

No wait...Sorry.

I'm thinking of whisky. It's whisky that does all that shit.

Never mind.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Mr Fat: An Update

So, Sunday 1st September and I woke up feeling like a new man today... I have no idea why,still have cancer, still have a 30 odd centimetre tumour growing from my oesophagus downwards to gawd knows where, and I was taken off the chemo two weeks ago as it was making me terribly ill and giving me particularly dark thoughts.

I don't think I would ever have ended it but I do have to confess the footbridge across the M25 close to us was looking particularly inviting but then I would have had to call myself all kinds of names and used extreme profanity in a self loathing description for causing havoc to the road users who suffer every day on that parking lot approaching the Dartford crossing!

I thought that as soon as I came off the chemo that I would start to feel much better but alas not. And I seemed to just get worse as the last two weeks progressed. I felt not too bad yesterday morning, last day of summer, managing a trip to the supermarket with Ishbel but from the moment we got back home I really did feel like a luke warm cadaver ready to be picked over by a committee of vultures. I couldn't even manage to take Ishbel to work later who had been asked to do some overtime. In fact she says she said goodbye to me and that I was wide awake when she gave me a kiss and a cuddle but I couldn't even remember any of that either.....

Today, a complete volte face if you like I feel absolutely marvellous and it may well be just a short lived hiatus, the chemo may now be out of my system and I am patiently awaiting the next phase, having had a CAT scan during the week, hopefully ahead of surgery, which I am hoping will be in the next few weeks if not sooner and then no doubt back on the chemo. So, I am going to make the best of today with Ishbel's warnings ringing in my ears to not be a tit and not to start rushing about today doing all the jobs I have been ignoring, the garden, stripping the hall and stair paperwork that Steve my defacto son-in-law started a couple of weeks ago and generally tidying up although I have managed to keep on top of the ironing ......

What I haven't managed to do is any reading, although I have pre ordered the next Kydd novel CARIBEE from the wonderful Julian Stockwin and the next in the series from Bernard Cornwell in the Uhtred, The Pagan Lord, as he serves the Kings of Wessex and tries to retake Bebbanburg in the North, so looking forward to them. Nor have I managed to keep up with all my friends blogs and posts or to engage on Twitter so apologies to my friend for all that but if I 'go dark' again don't worry too much as I am and always will be, a Survivor......

And then, I started this, which I think may have been a bad idea but got to press on now ....

Keep smiling :-))))