The fun in numbers

Its not meant to be a plan, not yet. For now, it’s just a passing thought but I could really enjoy teaching 5 to 10-year olds mathematics. Not arithmetic and multiplication by repetition but proper full on mathematics. I have looked at the National Curriculum and it has advanced since my day and at least…

Faithful in love – how to avoid tempation

These pieces were never meant to be a vehicle for questions and answers and particularly not an agony aunt column, but I have succumbed. A reader from America has sent me a question. I am flattered that she thinks I may have something to add that is useful. So here is the question from Lilly…

This is all too stressful #2

Carole Speirs is a great motivational speaker and stress counsellor (www.carolespiersgroup.co.uk) and as a mentor to senior executives, the management of stress has always interested me. It was no surprise then, that when she visited Dubai I went to one of her lectures. I remember it was in this lecture Carole asked us all to…

This is all too stressful! Part 1

Annie has just changed jobs and is moving to a new house. She is stressed. That is not an opinion but her own words. Maddie is taking another round of her law exams. She has revised more than anyone I know, she has worked hard, but still she is stressed. Some people use stress as…

The Seven Deadly Sins #5 Sloth

Sloth. Indulge me. Close your eyes and conjure up an image. What about a slow-moving, cuddly, mammal hanging upside down in the trees of the tropical rainforests of South and Central America. Or, what about an overweight, unwashed man, lying on the sofa, channel surfing day time TV, reaching out for crisps from a half-eaten…

How much do we owe our parents?

Did you read the news of a son in Taiwan, who was sued by his mother? This is the gist, according to the BBC and the Taiwan News: Taiwan’s highest court has ordered a man to pay his mother almost $1 million (£740,000) for raising him and paying for him to attend dentistry school. The…

Oprah Winfrey speaking at the Golden Globes

I have wanted to address the #MeToo subject but I was frightened. I was frightened that I could not find the right words to express the strength of my supportive thoughts. Then, I heard Oprah Winfrey speak at the Golden Globes 2018 awards. It is a powerful speech which strikes so close to the heart…

The Seven Deadly Sins #4 Envy

Of all the ‘deadly sins’ envy is the most debilitating, sapping every ounce of sensible behaviour, compassion, rationality, and skewing every action. In moderation I might even encourage you to commit any of the other six sins, and I recommend, in particular a little bit of lust, but at all cost, avoid envy. Envy is…

Vera: a Very British Detective

I apologise and am sorry that today this piece is published rather later than normal. I was distracted yesterday evening when I was supposed to be writing. On a normal day the bulk of my piece is written the day before I publish leaving editing as the last task as and when I finally manage…

I Hate Golf Clubs

For those that know me well they know I am sports addicted. I watch all that I can but now from the safety of the sofa and Christmas has been wonderful for the sport’s fan. The Premier League has increased the number of matches over the already crowded festive season to cope with an early…

How do you like your morning?

Here is the truth. I hate mornings. I like late night trashy TV and my bed, but it never matters what I like because everyone else wants to start their day and work well before midday.  I don't get a thrill out of a sunrise unless it is on the way home from a party…

The Seven Deadly Sins: #3 Lust

When I look at the reading statistics for these small pieces it is interesting that the first two in the series of the Seven Deadly Sins, are at the top and now that we are in the murky waters of sex and lust I know I have a chart winner. The pressure is on!! It…

Relatives and Relativity

With everything that goes on over Christmas and New Year I thought it was a wise decision to take a break from writing, but I have missed penning these short pieces. Although they are time consuming there is a therapy in the art. Other than my regular letters to Sasha and a few bits of…

Inspirational Leaders: Sir Denys Henderson

Although I worked extensively around the ICI Group I had little contact with Sir Denys Henderson Chairman of both ICI and Zeneca, but he was a great leader and I have one quote which I need to share. We were talking about the barriers that some executives put in place to protect themselves from staff…

Inspirational Leaders: Sir Paul Girolami

Sir Paul was once a Partner at Coopers &Lybrand and moved to become Financial Controller, Finance Director, Chief Executive and finally Chairman of Glaxo. It was said that as he was being promoted to stellar heights, he never gave up any of the previous jobs. He always had a firm grip on the finances of…

Commuting Around the World

When it is cold, and the sky is clear, the trails of planes flying into, or out of, Heathrow and Gatwick zig zag across the sly above my home. I get wanderlust. I have always travelled for work. I calculated that I have worked in 26 different countries and lived and worked for more than…

A Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Father Christmas, It is 60 years since I last wrote to you and because I didn’t write 59 years ago I haven't had the opportunity, since then, to say thank you for all those fabulous presents you brought me. Thank you also for all the presents you gave to Ben, Lucinda, and Maddie. Over all…

The Seven Deadly Sins: #2 Gluttony

Food is part of my earliest memories. When, little more than a year old, I would stand on a chair and help my Granny bake cakes or we would go to the large covered market in Huddersfield to buy eggs, always hunting for those with double yokes. Later, I would help my mother with the…

Inspirational Leader: Geoff Foster

Geoff Foster was a Lancastrian and although he lived in the South he retained his broad Northern accent and I first met him in the late 1970s. Among his many roles Geoff was the ‘training director’ at Coopers & Lybrand Management Consultants. I was a new consultant and it was his job to knock me,…

The Seven Deadly Sins: #1 Greed

This Friday the Euro Millions lottery is worth over £100 million. That is a phenomenal amount of money and like everyone I guess you have thought about what you would do if you won: a super yacht, a house on every continent, a fleet of cars or a French winery? What about a new creative…

Why We Need Young Leaders

Over the last few days, with thoughts of Christmas, maybe I have lost my edge and been just a little self-indulgent, but I woke this morning to a raft of news that fully restored my mood of disillusionment. If you exclude the increasing xenophobia and movements away from free trade (that is for another day),…

Love for Everyone

I talk with Annie, my ex-wife, maybe once a week and we chat about all the things best friends do. Of course, we have our children and now their children so there is never a shortage of catching up, but give her an opportunity and she can turn into a real ‘Grumpy Granny’. All I…

Truth, Lies and Fake News

To tell you the truth.  I wonder how many times have you said that in the last few days? Don't lie. I can guess the answer is many times, probably followed up by: ‘honestly, I will …..’. Without being too overdramatic, over the past few years, thoughts of being truthful and honest have troubled me…

Abacus, Calculator, iPotty and Bertie

This month my grandson Bertie has his first Christmas and  in January, birthday and I have more presents to think about buying. Today that made me think about technology because so many possible presents are driven by the silicon chip. Lucinda will be pleased to know that I have rejected all thoughts of buying an…

The Present That Lasts a Lifetime

Last night my friend Kamini sent me an email and  asked in which order should she read my books. What a difficult question as she, like everyone else, likes different genres. I know her well, but not well enough to answer that question. My family, of course, are forced fed a new title and separately…

Can I be Culturally Literate in Ukrainian?

One of my best-ever friends, Sviatlana, is Belarusian. She is very clever, passionate, and interested in the world around us and although we didn’t argue often, our conversations were robust. One day, a few years ago, we were sitting in a café in Dubai chatting, enjoying the warm weather when the conversation turned to a…

When I was a 419 Warrior

Today, it was a time for a little PC maintenance and, so I was furkling around the spam box on, looking to clean it up and of course I encountered all the usual mix of dubious invitations to extend and grow my manhood or make me rich with some strange scheme to launder money. Among…

Pen Pictures of Inspirational Leaders

For some time, I have been minded to write short pen pictures of people I have met who have impressed, appalled, or generally interested me and this is the first of these occasional pieces. Scott Davison was one of those who impressed me as a leader. He will not be known by many other than…

A Tainted Game

The beautiful Game. The draw for the football World Cup in Russia, 2018, took place this afternoon in Moscow and Pelé, Maradona, Ronaldo, Messi and a billion others must have had just a little twinge of excitement as the schedule of games became clear. Kids and their dads, from France to Panama, Iran, Korea, and…

Alexa and my night time habits

Last winter my fiancée and I went to Thailand for seven weeks purportedly to kick start my next novel and scout locations. Between these tasks we enjoyed the sun, wasted days lounging by the sea or the private pool outside the room of our condominium, and ate sumptuously on Thai fish and curries. For a…

Social media. Time well spent?

I start my working day at nine and finish just before midnight. It is a long day. It is the same every day but despite the approaching deadlines it has taken me all day to open the computer and start typing. There is breakfast, mid-morning coffee, late-morning coffee, shower and then the news. It is…

Are you bored or angry with politicians?

Are you just plain bored or angry with politicians? Probably both because all the pub talk is telling me that politics isn’t working. In the UK we pride ourselves on having the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ and throughout the Western World we promote democracy and deplore dictatorships although if I had a choice a compassionate, humble,…

Do we need a regulator for new AI life forms?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, and I can say with honesty that I was there near the beginning. Long ago in the 1980s I was working with a colleague, Dr Robin Gostick, trying to integrate AI into the systems we were developing to help companies improve their decision making. Of course, we were only marginally…

A perspective on being successful

Today I was invited to talk to a small reading group about my most recent book, ‘Maran Avdoniy’. I know they will have read the book and will be asking me awkward questions about the plot, the characterisation and why did the lead, DCI Paul Catchpole, not do something or other. I can manage this…

Why I won’t read the news

Here are some of news items I just can’t and won’t bring myself to write about. Today, among these are: Anything to do with President Trump. I don't know where to start but the examples today are that his message to his nation basically said the USA should take the opportunity of Thanksgiving to give…

Why do we need a Government?

Today, in the UK it is budget day and that means that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond will stand at the dispatch box in the House of Commons and tell the population how they will be taxed over the next year. That is quite remarkable. He stands up and tells the people how…

Phew, at last, Mugabe goes

I jumped the gun last week but finally there is confirmation of what we all hoped for and expected. Zimbabwe's President Mugabe Resigns, reports the BBC News Web Site (21st November 2017). They go on to say, "Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has resigned, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has said. A letter from Mr Mugabe said that…

Don’t Vote for Me

I like my morning shower very, very hot. I love to feel that flow of water embracing me, and I can stand there for as long as the water stays hot. Of course, I don’t because there is always something else to do and it is always reluctantly that I pull myself out to towel…

Oh! Bertie. I am sorry

My Grandson, Bertie Bodle, is almost ten months old and this summer the family was gathered for his Christening. It was a wonderful day and my only problem was trying to identify the perfect present. I went through the normal list of pewter tankards, silver cuff links, case of Port but, nothing grabbed my attention.…

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…

‘Maran Avdoniy’ Now Available

Gerry Cryer's latest novel 'Maran Avdoniy' is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats. The first in the DCI Catchpole series     It should have been a straightforward case. In the early hours of the morning a body is found in the passenger seat of a car. It is quickly identified, and all…

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…

Finalist – Amazon Breakthrough Novel of 2014

The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove, Gerry Cryer's first novel, has been shortlisted into the final 300 of the 'Amazon Breakthrough Novel of 2014' in the general fiction category. The competition runs through the year and lets see how far it gets!! If you are trying to get a perspective on the current events in…

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…