…oh, United Kingdom… how will I recognise yeez when I arrive next month? a rose between yer teeth?


…mem’ries are great illusionists… the older yeez get, the more edited become yer recollections of places and people from ‘way back… no more so when an expatriate’s lot has taken over the major part of yer life… this ol’ Jurassic left the UK in 1980 to go ply my Financial Master of the Universe skills abroad, firstly in pre-Chinese-owned Hong Kong, then variously in Singapore, Hong Kong (again), Sydney, Hong Kong (one more time ) and the Philippines, over a twenty-five year stretch… no time off for bad behaviour, of which, I can assure yeez, there was plenty… thereafter followed a move to the Middle East, which has been my locus for the past twelve years… periodic trips back to Britain, usually to check that rain still exists on the planet and to give the plastic currency a chance to shine in new exotic spending locations became less and less frequent… the lure to return waned over the years, as the creeping decades were accompanied with other changes, societal in nature, in the island of my birth,… and changes, I must say, that appalled me then and continue to cause me to shake my head… the explosive-growth onset of a hard drug industry on the streets and in the school yards… the parallel rise in ‘serious’ crime, and the proliferation of weapons, both guns and knives in an ‘anything goes’ thug attitude… of course, not all is lost… good people still abound… and these are the magnets which will continue to see me drag my butt onto westbound aeroplanes… fr’instance I have a planned schedule early in November during which I intend to have at least coffee and blether with kindred spirits, writing or otherwise, in London and in Glasgow



…some pals from the web have already indicated their lunacy by agreeing to come along… if any of yeez good Lads and Lassies of Blog Land feel inclined to join me and these other fine souls, please clear yer calendars for LONDON- Tuesday November 3rd, late morning through the balance of the day (venue to be decided), and GLASGOW -Wednesday November 4th, afternoon around 2pm to 6pm at the Millennium Hotel near Queen Street Station… if yeez are interested to join in, please email me on seumasgallacher@yahoo.com with yer intentions, and let me have a mobile phone contact number for yeez as well… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…I was absent the day they handed out THAT particular talent…

…no complaints overall, I s’pose in whatever skill sets have been my lot to receive… I have a propensity for mental arithmetic, an under-appreciated quality until yeez need sumb’dy in yer darts team that can subtract accurately as fast as they can throw the darts at the board… in an earlier youthful spate of thinking I had ambitions to become a racecourse bookmaker, ‘coz calculating the moving odds comes easily… eventually at one stage in my career as a trainee Master of the Financial Universe, I was a foreign-exchange trader for a large bank in London and then across the planet in various banks’ trading rooms… similar ease of familiarity with WURDS, spelling, vocabulary and the like has never been a problem, and now is gratefully applied in my latter day slot as an Author… but throughout all of these cerebral applications, it became apparent that certain other talents are markedly missing… operating with tools… ‘fixing stuff’ mechanically… it would be excusable to think I’m possessed of two hands containing five thumbs each… proof?, oh yes, Mabel, plenty of it, but none more startling than the day I almost disappeared (literally) in a cloud of smoke… thirty years and more ago, it was, which only seems like three decades or so, first wifey urged this handiwork-challenged wastrel to drill a hole in the kitchen wall, to hang I know not what…


…now, a Black and Decker electric drill weighs several kilos, but undaunted, I persevered in getting lined up with a wee pencil cross-mark where the hole should go and stepped up to perform… being unused to the manner of drilling, when the tool seemed to meet some obstruction, I merely pushed harder and harder at the wall with it… a weird screeching noise, which I later understood to be a kinda metal covering, was immediately followed by an explosion…


…of course, I was knocked back… the 1/4-inch thick drill bit was bent and scorched… Master Gallacher had managed to locate prob’ly the only live electric source wire embedded in the kitchen wall… ever since I have been excused handyman duties… and I’ve never trusted a kitchen wall since… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Scribbling & Stuff, Uncategorized

…never lose a sense of where ye’re coming from…



glw 1

…this ol’ Jurassic can savour the finer things in life with great enthusiasm… decades of tramping across the globe and the privilege of exposure to great places, personalities and events… some uncannily wonderful people stepping into my life at pivotal moments… some outrageous behaviour too libellous to report here, for both myself and others… surviving my own share of dark, dark times… all in all, I consider myself unreservedly fortunate to have lived until now the life that I have… to many it may appear ordinary… I know in my own heart the notoriously fickle turn of the cards of fate has dealt well with me on balance… and betimes, I ponder on the genesis of it all… like millions of others in post-war Britain’s large cities, our family struggled to make ends meet in Docklands Govan in Glasgow… and glimpses come flooding back into my head… of simple things my mother would do to sustain a family of four kids…

glw 3

…forget the modern idea of Nike sneakers and fancy jackets… every piece of clothing had a value, even when outworn… the wool from jerseys and cardigans was unwound into re-usable balls, and I well remember with outstretched arms, winding left and right hands as my Ma ‘unspun’ the garments, ready to start re-knitting the next metamorphosis of the yarn… clothing which was considered finally to have served to the end of its usefulness was stripped of buttons, zippers, and occasionally external pockets, particularly from heavy overcoats… NUTHIN was wasted… a seemingly bottomless cooking pot the size of half the gas stove begun the week containing all sorts of ingredients, and disgorged meals and bubbled away until the end of the week with continuous additions of assorted vegetables, water, stock, Oxo beef cubes, and strips of meats… I recall potatoes and barley as two staples in all of that… celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, eat yer heart out…

glw 2

…people often refer to these times as ‘the bad old days’… to most of we children, they were only ‘days’… and in a perverse way, I’m glad I grew up like that… an appreciation of access to some of the trappings of ‘having a few bob’ from time to time is nice, but I never want to lose a sense of where I’m coming from… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Author friend, m’Lady, Jessica Norrie… a fresh new voice for yeez to enjoy…

…there’s seldom anything more invigorating than the enthusiasm of a ‘newbie author’… especially when she has recently experienced the buzz of ‘breaking through’ to climb the Great God Amazon’s rankings… meet my pal , m’Lady, Jessica Norrie, whose debut offering, THE INFINITY POOL, has caused a splash or three in its own right:

Jessica 2

                                                                                                                                                                                         JESSICA NORRIE


I wrote THE INFINITY POOL between 2008- 2012, inspired by the setting of a holiday I took, but the characters are entirely fictional. There’s an element of whodunit and howdunit to keep the reader interested, but it’s more of an exploration of psychology, of the decisions people make and what happens as a result, of older men and younger women, and of the clash of a traditional culture with an apparently much freer one. Are the second group of people really any freer than the first, though?

The setting is really important, because I felt as though I was there when I was writing it – and that meant I had a really long, sunny, basking holiday, even though I was actually in my study all the time.

I hadn’t intended a sequel, but several readers have asked for one, with varying ideas about which character (s) to propel forwards. I’m not sure yet, but I do know it will take place in the UK, in a nice place because otherwise I wouldn’t want to spend time there, but even so a place with tensions and conflicts just as in the Infinity Pool, because it’s those tensions and conflicts that I’m most interested to explore.

I’ve been amazed and humbled by the generosity of people I’ve never met, and those I know only slightly, as well as friends and family, in welcoming this book and making it such a success – even number 1 in Australian Literary Fiction for several days! It was sitting between Rachel Joyce and Steig Larsson in UK Literary fiction, last time I looked; and it overtook Harper Lee and even shunted the Girl on the Train off the Australian tracks, albeit briefly until normal service resumed.

So thank you to everyone for your interest,  I’ve loved the discussion so far.



– ebook http://www.amazon.co.uk/Infinity-Pool-Jessica-Norrie-ebook/dp/B011RA8QZW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1437043099&sr=8-

– paperback http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1514868571/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item_image

also available in US at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Infinity-Pool-Jessica-Norrie-ebook/dp/B011RA8QZW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

and in Australia at http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B011RA8QZW?ref_=pd_ybh_1


A wee bit about Jessica

Jessica’s a French Literature graduate of Sussex University, postgrad in Dijon and Sheffield,who lives in London, and has two adult “children”; she has been a teacher/translator most of her working life… she wrote a novel on and off over years 2008-13 and to her surprise, momentum took over and she finished it. An agent  was acquired pretty soon afterward, but the standard reaction most authors experience resulted in mainstream publishers rejecting  it as ‘well written’ but variously either ‘too lowbrow’ or ‘too highbrow’ for their target markets, but it’s doing well on Amazon. Her next novel may be something to do with construction as she’s had the builders in her house for a year, so having not beaten them, she’ll join them. It may also feature a familiar character or two from the Pool…

Twitter: @jessica_norrie

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jessica-Norrie-1617940365158063/timeline/?ref=hl

…so, there yeez have it, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… go dip yer toes in the water yerselves… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…





Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

..To Weep Is Not A Shame…

…s’funny how little flashbacks come at yeez when yeez least expect it… that simple wee message that regularly does the rounds, triggered sum’thing for me again today … the one that says, ‘Everybody you meet, and I mean EVERYBODY, is fighting some sort of battle you know nothing about… be kind… it caused me this morning to go dig back into my files … the obscure ones where I ‘hide’ some of my private, personal, poetry efforts from over the years… the correlation is this … back in 2002, I was at lunch in a seafood restaurant in Manila in the Philippines, a country assailed with living hardships… the waitress who served me was prob’ly around her mid-30s… a very pretty lady, but whose brave face showed she was obviously carrying some almost unbearable inner burden… I went back to my office and wrote the following lines:




The smile upon your face

I thought extremely brave,

For the shadows in your eyes

Are trying tears to save.


Whatever sadness lurks therein

From whatever source it came,

Set it free and cry my dear

To weep is not a shame.


The world is full of trials

That each of us must face.

I’ve seldom seen it carried

Like you—with so much grace.


The darkness round your heart

I trust will move away.

Although you do not know me

For you—today I pray.


For you are just the same as I

And everyone around.

Your face deserves to smile

And not be creased or frowned.


I hope these thoughts of mine

Can clear your darkened frame.

Set it free and cry my dear,

To weep is not a shame.



November 15, 2002


…so be a little extra kind to sumb’dy today… yeez may save a life.. and it may be yer own… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…where did yeez get yer LUV of books from?.. regular visitor, Author Tony McManus tells his source…

…my regular blog post visitor and pal, Author Tony McManus paints a picture for us :




As a schoolboy, I was fortunate to have a teacher who enjoyed reading stories to his pupils. Every Friday afternoon around 3.30 Mr. Cassidy would sit on a desk and gather us boys in a close circle around him and for the final thirty minutes of the school day he would read to us.

Mr. Cassidy was from Ireland and had the God-given gift of a beautiful voice. The first story he read to us was R L. Stevenson’s novel, “Treasure Island.” And he didn’t simply read; he dramatized. He took us out of the cold Manchester grime and on down to the Cornwall coast and the Admiral Benbow Inn. And here we met Jim Hawkins, Dr. Livesey, Squire Trelawney, Long John Silver and the good ship “Hispaniola” and the heroes and villains who sailed in her. Spellbound, I would close my eyes and listen as he read. I’ve since read that book several times and always enjoyed it, but never quite as much as listening to Mr. Cassidy’s captivating narration.

Next up was “The Master of Ballantrae” followed by “Kidnapped” by the same author, Stevenson; adventure stories written for boys, enjoyed by men. And just before the Christmas break, we got Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” What could be a better way to end the school year?

From this experience, I developed a love of radio plays such as BBC’s Afternoon Theatre, A Book at Bedtime and Appointment with Fear. For me, a radio play beats a television drama hands down, simply because you can use your imagination. I also came to enjoy reading stories to others and have often done so.

It’s to Mr. Cassidy that I owe my love of books. And over the years I’ve often recalled him, sitting on his desk in his rumpled tweed jacket, hunched over his open book reading to us, acting out the character’s parts and transporting us boys as on a magic carpet to distant lands and fabulous places. Good memories.


Tony McManus was born in Manchester, England. He worked in many jobs to serve his passion for travel such as English teacher, bar tender, taxi driver, and in southern Africa, construction work in the Transvaal goldmines and the copper mines of Zambia. Tony pursues and advocates good health, via diet and exercise. An outdoorsman, sailor, kayaker and canoeist, he also loves hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

He is the author of an espionage novel: The Iran Deception based on his time in Israel. He recently published: Down And Out In The Big Mango, a collection of short stories set in Thailand. He resides alternately in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ste. Adele, Quebec, Canada.

He can be found at: http://downeastern.wix.com/tonymcmanuswriter

Or via his email: downeastern@hotmail.com

Tony is the author of a novel: The Iran Deception. http://amzn.to/1Ppb45P

And a short story compilation: Down and Out in the Big Mango.

On Amazon. http://amzn.to/1FetYVl

Books Mango. http://bit.ly/1ROSkhq


He has published several short stories:

Ray: http://amzn.to/1Ge6jq9

A Bangkok Solution: http://amzn.to/1HpWSzi

A Partner in Crime: http://amzn.to/1ENZpn2

The Bangkok SAS: http://amzn.to/1d5cVMb

He is presently working on two crime novels: Bangkok Retribution, the first book in a series featuring sleuth Mike Villiers.

And The Sum of Things in a series featuring ex SAS hero, James Fallon.

With luck and hard work, he expects both novels to see publication before the year’s end.

..thanks again for sharing, Tony… see yeez later …LUV YEEZ!…




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…one Ayres, tons of Grace, at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai… the incomparable Pam Ayres… #TBSU…

…a wee re-run of a memorable meeting with one of Britain’s prize icons… m’Lady, Pam Ayres

Source: …one Ayres, tons of Grace, at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai… the incomparable Pam Ayres… #TBSU…


Filed under Uncategorized