….human timepieces and arithmetical animals in the Scottish Hebrides…

…part of the beauty of exposure to different languages, cultures and communities is the depth and richness of expressions… this ol’ Jurassic’s been privileged to enjoy time living and WURKing in several parts of the earth… from infant and early teens in Docklands Govan in Glasgow, to the unmatched God’s Country that is the Scottish Hebrides in my later teens… thence to the Mull of Kintyre for a year en route to the vast maze that is London for a further ten years… passage to the Far East followed, with Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines my home addresses at various times in a 25-year stay on that continent… dotted amongst these were frequent trips to the USA, many parts of Europe and Australia/New Zealand… and ultimately, for the past decade, the Middle East has been home… each and every one of which had sum’thing fresh, interesting and entertaining to offer if yeez kept yer eyes and ears open… along the way, my wee grey cells seemed to attract the quaint and the fascinating turn of tongue… phrases which stick, alongside the circumstances in which they first appeared… among the earliest of theses were two from the Island of Mull… characters abounded in the persons of the populace, each of whom were real individuals, and as is the way with island-bound societies, everybody was known to everybody else, right down to their family histories, including the colour of socks they wore… nicknames were necessary to differentiate, for example, amongst the dozens or so ‘Willie Macleans’, ‘Mary Macphersons’ or ‘John Macdonalds’… the finest nickname reflected the dry, droll sense of humour on the island when one lad, who, by accident of birth had one arm about four inches longer than the other…. he accepted his physical anomaly with equanimity along with his locally-given Gaelic tag of ‘an gleoc’…in English, ‘the clock’

better clock

…another time I observed sheepdogs operating in the fields, and one dog had a forward leg strapped up to his front… I asked why?… the answer was it was getting too aggressive in rounding the sheep, and had to be ‘quietened down a wee bit’… they called that a ‘multiplication dog’... ‘three down and carry one’...

dog

…I kid yeez not… now my ‘an gleoc’ is showing eating time… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…Georgie Boy… he really WAS the Best… have another look…

…I was prodded into having another look on You Tube at some past clips on the great George Best after another pal shared some old black and white film on the man… yeez can click it above and see just what a bluudy genius he  was on a football field… yeez can keep yer Messi, yer Ronaldo, yer Maradonna… Georgie Best was better than any of them, and I put him on a par with Pele for sheer footballing skills… some of yeez have seen before an article I did a wee while back on Georgie, and I render no apologies for copying it in here again… LUVVED the man… he was a real footballer… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

A trip down memory lane and a look at one of the greatest footballers of all-time, George Best.

SIMPLY THE BEST

George Best

 

…it’s not just because I’m a Manchester United nut…(I was born six years later in the same street in Govan, Glasgow as Sir Alex Ferguson)…fifty years ago, as lads in the school play-grounds, and on the dirt pitches around Glasgow, we played a different sort of football from the modern stuff currently served up on the television screens every weekend…no fancy coaching…up to twenty-a-side street teams versus neighbouring street teams…a tennis ball or rubber ball no bigger than a cricket ball (whatever that was) served the purpose, until the cheaper Mouldmaster real-football sized versions became accessible…I often wonder if the pedigree athletes swanning around on the deck every TV match I watch are capable of using the ball for more than a one-touch pass…dribbling we called it back then…and tackling wasn’t a dirty word…no less so ‘shoulder-charging’, including the goalies, most of whom, by the way, could look after themselves very well physically, thank you very much…little wonder, when I worked in London (as a Scot, I told them I was there as a missionary) that I look back on the few occasions I had the chance to watch LIVE, the great Georgie Best, and realize just how good the man was…at one match at Crystal Palace (yes, they did populate the top flight at one time…), the pitch was doing a passable imitation of a mud bath obstacle course …remember the balls back then were heavier beasties than the featherweight ping-pong balls they seem to smack 1,000 yards nowadays… it didn’t matter that there were ten other United players on the field that day… George swiveled and turned the whole ninety minutes …the old cliché is that with one body swerve he could send the entire crowd the wrong way… be that as it may, what I saw him do all day that day will live in my mind forever …he may have played in grander matches and scored umpteen goals, captured in reels elsewhere… amid the mud and desperate lunging tackles, he danced away every time, as if the ball was part of his toes… and we, we of a certain age, ballet-danced through the mire with him… back on the play-grounds, scoring through the piled jackets of goal posts in countless open-scrub yards in cities up and down the country… I’m a grown man, supposedly a hard product of the docklands in Govan, but the day Georgie Best died, I sobbed my guts out… the world had lost an icon… one of the finest, if not the finest, exponents of the beautiful game… his back story and struggles are well recorded and I’ll let others dwell on that… but for me, the most magical player I’ve ever seen play live… simply the Best…

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…Written Acts of Kindness Award… m’Lady, Sue Vincent…

kindness

…the web is awash with terrific people… in our neck of the internet woods, authors, scribblers, writers and poets lurk… the mutual support base is phenomenal… for bloggers and other pitch writers, the endorsements of yer WURK through a simple ‘like’ or ‘share’ from yer fellow quill-scrapers can never be overestimated… if the public readership at large is the end play for yer wee literary masterpieces, then the kindredship of the universal authors’ family is the sustenance that keeps yeez going while yeez wait for the ‘fame’ gig to kick in… no-one more exemplifies that camaraderie than today’s recipient of the Written Acts of Kindness Award, m’lady, Sue Vincent

sue

…Authoress Supreme, and the heart and soul that lights up her blog, The Daily Echo,  http://scvincent.com , (which yeez really should be following if not doing so already)… Sue’s moniker pops up all over the place on other folks’ blogs, always with a cheerful comment… take a bow, m’Lady, Sue… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

Sue, the rules for passing this Award on are very simple:

  1. You are welcome to give it out as many times as you like, but it is only to be given to a maximum of one person per blog post. If you wish to give multiple rewards, please space the blog posts so the sincerity is maintained.
  2. Introduce the person; say how they encourage, help or inspire you; then link to their work and/or social media profiles. There may be a specific post you wish to link to which helped you. It’s up to you.
  3. Please publicise your award post to Twitter or Google Plus using the hashtag #writtenkindness so that others can find and follow the award winners.

This award is open to anyone to use. You don’t have to receive it, in order to be able to give it. Once you have received it, it isn’t obligatory that you must pass it on.

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…the importance about being earnest regarding yer book covers…

KILLER CITY cover

…I’ve never been renowned as a dapper dresser, although Master Sean Connery has called a few times for tips on how to sport an edgy kilt… that apart, I am to couture sense as Miley Cyrus is to modesty… growing up as kids, our Sunday School attendance and end-of-school-term-prize-giving events demanded our best bib and tucker outfits be on full display… even an extra swipe with the soap behind the ears and neck… then along came the early employment days as an apprentice let’s-ruin-the-financial-WURLD banker, where a suit and tie was the uniform de riguer… (now for many, replaced by grey flannel garb with prison arrows)… suffice to note, this ol’ Jurassic has experienced a nudging, if grudging, acquaintance with ‘dress code’… this has lent a welcome approach to the suiting out of my wee literary masterpieces as they come flowing (read: ‘struggling’) off the laptop… some aver yeez can’t tell a book by its cover… they must be reading the wrong bluudy books then, in my not so ‘umble opinion… in bygone days, in my twice-yearly trips from the Middle East into London, the mandatory safari into Waterstones in Piccadilly resulted in book purchases by the mega-kilo… and almost to a decimal point, 100% were bought on cover-love-attraction… on the other side of that syndrome, many books would be rejected ‘coz the front art failed to hit the nano-second purchasing decision sweet spot… if yeez are fortunate enuff to produce more than one of yer own tomes, ‘branding’ also becomes important… in simple terms, ‘branding’ is recognition… ‘branding’ is identification… ‘branding’ is part of yer LUV affair with yer readership… in August, Crooked Cat Publishing will hold my baby’s hand as it toddles onto the Great God Amazon’s patch… yeez can see above how we’ve clothed it… hope yeez like it … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

…here’s the family photograph…

wallpaper 2

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2015 – Best books read so far

Seumas Gallacher:

…mucho flattered to have two of my books included in m’Lady, Susan Toy’s ‘Best Books read so far in 2015 ‘… yeee haaww! :)

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

I know we’re only (only!) half-way through the year, but I’ve already read a stack of great books and I’d like to share those titles with you now. Just in case you’re looking for something good to read over the summer months.

These titles are listed in the order I read them since Jan. 1 and, with three exceptions (that I have marked) I rate them all at 4 out of 5 stars … because, you know, you have to have written a VERY good book, or be Richard Ford, to receive all 5 stars from me. I am a discerning reader.

The Comedians by Graham Greene (reread, actually, and it has stood up through all these years as one of my favourite titles by this author)

The Violin Man’s Legacy and Vengeance Wears Black by Seumas Gallacher (The 1st and 2nd novels in this great Jack Calder series. Seumas…

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… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels…

babycar

…it’s a wonderful feeling for a writer to have a loyal readership that ‘takes’ to his/her style of writing… no more particularly so if the scribbler is the source of a series, as is this ol’ Jurassic with my Jack Calder crime thrillers… however, there are a couple of potential literary banana skins waiting for the unsuspecting author who ploughs on thinking it’s okay to ‘just produce the same stuff’ book after book… I’ve just completed the fourth, KILLER CITY,  in  what crept up on me and became a series… in wasn’t intended that way, but as most quill-scrapers will tell yeez, the characters take over and write their own narratives eventually… I’m delighted that I realised early in the process that I didn’t want to ‘churn out’ the same old, same old, formula-driven stories… I’ve strived to develop what is known to the reading cognoscenti as my ‘Author’s Voice’… which is not easy to describe but readily recognisable when yeez get it right… for me, it’s the ‘style’ of yer telling of yer masterpieces… nob’dy could claim (well they could but in my not so ‘umble opinion, they’d be wrong to claim) that Chuck Dickens or Robert Louis Stevenson or Billy Shakespeare were ‘formula‘ writers… the beauty lies in the ‘business‘ of recounting yer plots… the unwinding of the threads that twist and weave… the wee surprises that yeez inject… the kinda stuff that delights me when I find it in the WURKS of others… and I daresay most of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land feel the same way… it’s unnecessary to have main characters who never make mistakes, who never get hurt, who don’t exhibit what the rest of we common-or-garden-human-beings exhibit… but to leave yer readers with a feeling, ‘wow, I’m glad I read that’, is what it’s all about… not ‘Formula’… ‘Formula’ should be used to feed babies and identify high-powered racing cars… not for writing novels… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

…available now on Aunty Amazon:

meVWB coverfront view SP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….coming in August, to join the others on Aunty Amazon:Banner

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…lost in numeric translation…

golfer

…this ol’ Jurassic has wandered all over the place around this amazing planet… and umpteen incidences of misinterpretation have been par for the course… it’s bad enuff trying to be understood in London as a Scotsman, but try to decipher the mysteries of oral communication where even the Queen’s English gets totally bent out of shape, and things can rapidly become sum’what more obscure… following my phrase above, ‘par for the course’ one notable mangling of the spoken WURD occurred after a round of golf in the Philippines…

score77

…at the time, my thrashing about the place, flailing different golf bats at wee white balls, usually resulted in a score in excess of 100 shots per round… Rory McIlroy’s career prominence was never at risk versus my capability on the 18-hole swards… however, in that deliciously mischievous way the Gods can toy with us, on one remarkable occasion, it took no more than 77 smacks of the ball to complete a (full!) round … to put that in perspective, the best ever score prior to that day had been in the high 80s (closer to 90 than 87)… it was a miracle of luck combined with even more luck… any golfers amongst yeez will understand precisely what I mean… delirium was at its fullest… best ever round, and thus it has remained these past 20 or so years since it happened… but on that occasion one of my golfing foursome was the executive chef of the salubrious Peninsula Hotel in Manila… to celebrate, he offered a free dinner at his swanky fine dining establishment…back then, the famed ‘Old Manila’ restaurant …I don’t know if it’s even there any more… he joined my party at the dinner table, and told me to expect a wee surprise at the end of the meal… sure enuff, the starters, entrees and sweets were duly dispatched and out came a bunch of the waiting staff with a huge cake with candles… on the cake, it bore the legend ’congratulations on your 77’, which was the message the chef had given his kitchen staff to prepare… unknown to him, however, they had added another phrase, ‘Happy Birthday’ !…

 

77th

…and they all sang ‘Happy Birthday’, with the rest of the restaurant diners joining in… I must have been the youngest-looking septuagenarian ever to have dined in their premises… a record I’m happy to maintain… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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