My Weekend’s Work

Weekdays are working days, and they have a routine. My mornings are hindered because I am a proper night person: brain synapses don’t work until sometime around midday and a lot of coffee. It is in the afternoon that I start to write. I am currently working on another DCI Catchpole thriller. I may carry…

Trumped-Up Charges

In the UK I believe that we have a fair and impartial justice system and as writer of crime thrillers my police characters always try to live within the law. Investigators collect evidence which is presented to a court, a jury determine guilt before a judge determines the penalty. It was the failure to follow…

Power Passes – Robert Mugabe

After he was reported as being unwell and that his wife Grace Mugabe was likely to succeed him, I have just heard on the radio that in Zimbabwe President Mugabe seems to have been deposed. I can’t feel any sympathy for him at all after all he has done to ruin a great country. I…

Letters in Japanese

I receive letters and emails about my books from all over the world and in many different languages. Unless they are in English I am sorry but i have to resort to Google Translate. I always get the gist but sometimes the translations are so wonderful the words just have to be shared. This is one…

Now is the time to support the people of Ukraine

I have been patiently silent on the situation developing in the Ukraine. Now I believe is the time to give my views. There is a great and global danger and we are all involved.  Much of my novel, The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove  is set in the Ukraine and is about the rise of Ukrainian…

A Broken Hip and A Broken Heart

The power of human recovery is perverse. On Boxing Day, my sure-footed, eighty-five year old Mum tripped while out walking.  She sat on the side of the road for a time, a friend brought us home in his car, gingerly she walked into the house and sat on the sofa getting over the shock.  We…

Christmas thoughts on being happy

Danielle is Romanian.  She moved from  Bucharest to the USA to marry George, a Russian émigré to the USA.  I was chatting to her last week about her goals in life, a task set by her school in Boston, where she is now studying.  She is twenty-six and, sadly, so early in her life, questioning what she has achieved. …

A summer of reflection

It has been a summer of deep reflection for me spent in England and sometimes France. And during this period I entered a period of forced abstinence from all the social media sites to allow me to look at the world from a different angle without having to explain myself as my thoughts came together.…

A dictatorship in the heart of Europe: Belarus

My history draws me to news and articles about Belarus.  But we should put my past to one side and concentrate on the facts. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/we-must-not-forget-hundreds-still-in-belarus-gulag-warns-freed-dissident-7648294.html President Lukashenko is at the head of a brutal dictatorship generally overlooked by the West.  Most of you will probably not even know where Belarus is.  Let me tell you. …

What would you take, keep or sell?

As I have chronicled over the last few weeks I am leaving Dubai, where I have lived for six years, to move to Riyadh.  I don’t know how long I will stay but I cannot imagine setting up a home there. In my six years I have built and created a home.  I have bought…

The happiness tree from Slonim

Three years ago Sviatlana came back to Dubai and in her hand bag was a small, green and waxy leaf wrapped in damp tissue in a plastic bag.  It was a cutting of a Happiness Tree from the gardens of Slonim, Belarus. The leaf was planted, it rooted and soon started to grow. And for…

Do some songs give you the shivers?

I had no plans to write today but then on Face Book I got sent a link from a friend and it raised a number of thoughts which have been swilling around for some time. The  link was to yet another Simon Cowell talent show: Britain's Got Talent. Onto the stage walked a shy 17-year-old boy and…

Stay thin – Eat chocolate

So now chocolate makes you thin.  If you don’t believe me then check your internet news provider. The exact quote on BBC News was “People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner, new research suggests…… lead author Dr Beatrice Golomb, from the University of California at San Diego, said: ‘Our findings appear to add…

Consumer Eugenics?

‘Soon it will be a sin for parents to have a child that carries the heavy burden of genetic disease. We are entering a world where we have to consider the quality of our children.’ These are words of Bob Edwards, an embryologist and IVF pioneer which I have been discussing with my daughter, Maddie,…

Simon Pegg and his 2011 film – Paul

We loved Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in ‘Shaun of the Dead’.  They were brilliant in ‘Hot Fuzz’ and then quite by accident I found their latest film together ‘Paul’ which I have just watched. I won’t spoil your enjoyment by even starting to explain the plot other than to say that the two are…

An era ends

Leaving Dubai!!!  Well it looks like the era has come to an end.  I am making a clean break from my past and all my memories both happy and sad.  I have taken a piece of work in Saudi.  I am selling up everything that I and others bought together and getting back to being…