Books I loved reading.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

It's a rotten job but someone has to do it.

I've been given a task. It's a filthy job but I'm tough and can bear it.
    I've got to take a Bentley and drive it all the way to the south of France. It's just been rebuilt so I can't hammer it the way I used to. So it will just be a leisurely drive.
    I know, I hear you say, what an absolute bore. But the summer is here and the grass is riz so I'll just take it gently and enjoy the view and see if I can get down there without some French coppers pulling me over twenty times just because of the English plates.
    Between Calais and Paris the French spent squillions building a wonderful motorway, but as the car ownership per capita is so low in France it's mainly just the English using it, hence the name give to it by the locals as L'autoroute des Englais. But I'm ahead of them this time. A couple of years ago they brought in a new law which they didn't actually bother tell anybody about. Now I'm not saying they did it on purpose to collect more fines from the brits - well actually I am. Everyone using the motorway/autoroute must carry a high-viz jacket in the car, but no further away from the driver than his arm length. Got that one sorted.
    With luck the 850 miles shouldn't take more than twelve hours; a short nap then back on the plane to blighty. I don't want to spend too much time down there. I lived in the area for over a decade and if I go anywhere I used to frequent (pubs in the main) I may never come back at all.
    If I can I'll take a few snaps on the way, especially of the dordogne; the most beautiful place in creation.

    The long drive will give me plenty of time to plan my new book. It's going to be completely different from anything I've ever written before and I'm seriously considering using a pen name. Don't know why; it's just seems like a good idea, but like most of my brilliant ideas, will probably turn out to be completely the opposite.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

I did it - for the last time ever.

I couldn't find an image revolting enough on Google or Bing so I'll settle with this one I drew myself.
    The horses are moved - again. I absolutely swear that I will not do it again. I'll happily pay for them to go to the knackers yard but never again will I spend 10 hours shovelling .... well you can guess what before scouring and heaving several dozen enormous rubber mats each weighing approximately sixty pounds onto a truck and returning to scrub the thick film of sludge on the floor beneath from an auto water dispenser. Auto in that it directed it automatically in the opposite direction of the water hopper. Only to do the same thing at the other end while daughter gaily directs operations in between playing that stupid Pokemon game as if it's the most important thing in the universe.. 
    I'm no longer twenty one and never did I feel it so much as yesterday. If that meteorite that's supposed to hit us in 2031- ish comes early I'll run over and stand directly under the impact site rather than go near those horses ever again.
    Today I'm going to see if I can return my trainers to the approximate colour they were before about twenty gallons of horse juice spilt all over me and chuck away the jeans I was wearing yesterday, and the t-shirt, and the hat, and the...
   Never again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    On a secondary note, I've dropped the price of all my novels by one dollar after heeding the advice of another writer and increasing them by one dollar a few months ago. The result - a total lack of sales.
    I'll actually begin the process of promoting them any day now; just as soon as I've got my trainers clean. On second thoughts, make that a week or two; it doesn't really need a lot of horse waste to completely trash a pair of white trainers.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

So, anyway, dad.

This new conversation began as so many have with my daughter (allegedly). A handful of adverbs bolted together with a shamefaced grin of regret, or glee at what was to come.
    I tried not to sigh audibly since that always encourages her to even more excesses of verbal diahorrea before finally getting to the point.
    "What have you broken or destroyed this time?" The crestfallen expression on her face was almost (but not quite) enough to bear what came next.
    'You know we've been at this stable for a while now?' She's referring to the latest, and possibly sixteenth stable in the past five years where her horses are currently parked. I knew it couldn't last. A whole six months without having to haul her ever increasing collection of mangy nags to another...
    'Well we've got to go. And I thought that you'd be able to help us on Friday, since you're not working.' There, her simple smile told me; it would all be so simple.
    'Who in this world, or at least my world doesn't work on a Friday? And how are we going to move - how many horses is it this week, about twenty, across presumably miles of grungy little cart tracks too small for a underweight gerbil let alone horse transporter; and if you think I'm carrying them you can think again. Even that mutant Shetland weighs about three tons on its own and I'm still paying for the last move.'
    That's as far as it went because I stumbled from the house before I had either a seizure or spontaneously combusted. 
    It's not over - unless I put my new razor's blurb to the test and give myself the ultimate shave.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Short conversations and heat.

"Yeah, no. Well, yeah no, or rather yeah, no. Because at the end of the day..."
    I look forward with anticipation to the denouement of my daughter's brief but confusing exchange with me a couple of days ago. Who knows, it might even be something interesting.

    Yesterday it was 33 centigrade (96f), which in technical terms is bloody hot. I know that will make some of you experienced desert dwellers snigger with disdain, but for me it was unbearable. Stuck, nay stranded in the middle of a polo field while my boss and his friends galloped their ponies from one end to the other waving about giant mallets wasn't exactly my idea of fun, especially as there wasn't a tree for miles under which to shelter. I lost two kilos during the day which just as quickly returned after drinking four pints of juice and then staggering round like the Michelin man for the rest of the night.

    I believe it might be time to do what I promised myself I would for this entire year off writing. Since I haven't sold a single copy for over a month I think I'll let my fingers do the walking.
  So, less of this:
  And a little more of this:

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

It's a plot.

I've just got my scooter tarted up and running nicely after someone hit it whilst trying to park, when this morning someone ran into the back of me again!!
    The driver, who for a change stopped, seemed more interested in how the bone of my kneecap contrasted nicely with my (new) blood-soaked jeans, than the smashed remains of my hog, while I was deciding which part of him to remove and shove down his blundering clumsy neck - or perhaps some other orifice.
    On the plus side. Oh, there isn't a plus side so I'm going to miserable for the rest of the day and there's nothing anyone can do to stop me - so there!
    Needless to say, it doesn't look like this any longer and will be weeks more before it does.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Windows 10 problem fixed - ish

I have a whole day off work and hardly know what to do with myself. Thus I decided to fix something that really, really, really bugs me about Windows 10. A great many things bug me with Windows 10 but this is probably one of the worst.
    The damn thing won't switch off!

    I scanned the net and found a dozen fixes, all of which involve messing about with the registry - a place I've never wanted to visit, and most of the people who've tried it and emerged with an intact PC claim that it doesn't work, anyway.

    Finally I've found an antidote to the "Taskhost says no," or  "I'm not switching off no matter what you do - so there!" problem

    I'm so old I still use a lot of the pre-mouse commands, mainly because I'm old, but usually because they're so much better than the mouse commands. Windows had to leave them in for Luddites like me. Google a list if you want to see them; they're so much easier.

    Straying from the point.

    Whether you use the usual means of turning off the machine, or like me use ALT F4  followed by Enter, just hold down the Shift key as you turn it off. It works every time and there's no way you can do any harm to the notoriously flimsy operating system by holding down aforementioned key.

    So if I've done nothing else constructive today I may have helped someone turn off Gates' latest monstrosity without just holding down the power key (a major pain) or switching it off at the wall (not the wisest thing to do.

PS. I finally found the plot for my end-of-the-world novel. It absolutely has not been used anywhere else. That might be because the concept if c*** but if I work it right I should be able to come up with lots of blood and guts - yummy.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Beaten at the start.

Last week I made the prideful boast that I'd come up with a completely new idea for my end-of-the-world novel. Well I haven't, and didn't because it's been done. So technically it wasn't stolen since someone else wrote it before I'd even begun.
    Well Hah! I say. Hah! Last night I was perusing my rather large stock of novels and short stories that never got further than the initial brainwave stage and came across an idea that trickled into what passes for my mind over a year ago and completely forgot about. Deep within the murky papers - and one floppy disc there it was. So I'm going with that.
    I'd better begin, and end it tonight just in case the same thing happens again.
    It's nice to get some time off work for a change. It took me a few seconds to remember how to turn the computer on.

    My daughter's pony, Ellie, picked up a passenger a few days ago. Despite what she does for a living my spawn is oddly squeamish about ticks so it's always me who has to deal with it. Usually I knock them out with some ether before removing the little sods completely, but this little girl has such strong fur that it's claws couldn't get through and she peered down scornfully after I plucked it off before stamping it into oblivion. I love this little pony. 
    For a sense of scale, picture a Mars Bar next to her and it would be half way upto her shoulders.