Monthly Archives: January 2014

… incident at the fast checkout lane… a timely re-run of a post done more than 6 months ago… #TBSU…

‘…lightning never strikes twice in the same place’, ‘they’ say… ‘they’ are wrong… my local supermarket fast-checkout lane this morning was mugged by a multi-item purchaser with NO cash in hand… second time it’s happened when I’ve been there, and again, my best weapon had to be press-ganged into service… the broad Dockside Govan, Glasgow accent, loaded for fast-queue hijacking nutters… alas, as before, my attempt at sarcasm and education fell on unsurprisingly deaf ears… the culprit smiled and shrugged shoulders… the checkout girl acquiesced to the nutter’s need to proceed… but, I vow not to give up on this… my new grail… clearing the fast-checkout lane of imbecility… here’s a rerun of a post I did here when this last occurred with me present (goodness knows how many times a day it actually goes on…) …

… so which is it, punk?… ye can’t read?… or ye can’t count?… #TBSU…

… I’ve seen Al Pacino in the Godfather trilogy, arguably the Mother of All Mafia-style movies, ever… admired De Niro in his various hard-man roles… been dazzled with a five-decade string of Jimmy Bond, Dubble-Oh-Slur films… and it occurs to me, that I’ve never seen any of them in scenes that most of we mere mortals have to endure… case in point, triggered by a Facebook item I read earlier (I’m still in the ostracizing jail of these nice people by the way) …it instantly brought back a deluge of mem’ries… the blood-pressue-upward inducing episodes that play out daily at yer nearest supermarket checkout lines… ye’re in a hurry and pop yer three, maybe four items at most into the wee plastic hand-basket, the one with the awkward carrying handles… and make a beeline for the till checkout lady at the end exit row… ye can’t miss it… above it, hangs a billboard-size notice in WURDS that even Blind Pugh could read, ‘TEN ITEMS OR LESS—AND CASH ONLY’… the bloke in front starts to empty his lot onto the sliding conveyor thingy… the checkout lady starts to ring up the items,…Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching!... when the Ka-Ching! Kount reaches about FIFTEEN bluudy items, the hand-basket resembles a conjurer’s box… the items keep appearing… my Govan Docklands sense of right and wrong can’t be contained … I ask the fellow in disgust… ‘so, which is it?… ye can’t read?.. or ye can’t count?’… he stiffens up, opens his hands and says (get this!), ‘well, ye know, I’m in a hurry’ …  THIS is when the fight usually starts… to the unrestrained delight of the rest of the 10-or-less brigade in the queue behind me, I launch into one of my,  ‘Oh, ye’re in hurry? well that’s okay, coz I’ve got my whole feckin life to wait here at the bluudy FAST checkout queue, waiting to teach numpties like you how to read and count’ tirades… fluster, fluster, fluster from Mister Can’t-Read-Or-Count… he makes to pay… WITH A BLUUDY CREDIT CARD!...  he hasn’t got a red cent on him! … and of course, the card limit has long been exhausted  and gets rejected… the ensuing passage requires an editorial swift drawing across with a curtain… so, next time ye see Al Pacino, or Bob De Niro ambling toward the Quick Checkout at yer local Supermarket, have a look… this ol’ Jurassic’ll be right there alongside them… you talkin’ to me???…


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My Writing Process

…Author friend, Janna Gray, has tagged me in the ‘My Writing Process’ feature… here’s her post on it this week… fascinating to read how others approach their literary ‘work’… I’m on next week … cheers 🙂 enjoy …

Off On A Tangent

I’ve been asked to participate in My Writing Process blog tour day, when writers answer questions about their writing process. Last week, fellow Indie Romance author, the lovely and very talented Pauline Barclay posted hers. You can check it out at http://  Thank you Pauline for inviting me to join.

What am I working on?

I’ve just finished my third novel ‘The Scarlet Thread’ which awaits the editor’s red pencil, and despite promising myself to chill for the next couple of months and attempt to learn Spanish, an idea popped in to my head and I found myself tapping out the first chapter of ‘Frangipani’ which takes place between 1937 and the late 1990s and follows the life of Iona Beaumont the daughter of one of the scions of a successful trading company in Singapore. As I was born after WW2 I will have to do a considerable amount of research…

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February is Blog Taming Month on CommuniCATE Resources for Writers

…great stuff for ALL bloggers to look forward to , from the excellent blog feed of Cate Russell-Cole 🙂 If you’re not following her, do so now! 🙂

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Guest Post: Seumas Gallacher

…many thanks for the lovely Eileen Slovak, for allowing me to intrude on her web page 🙂

Over Forty Witticisms'

…if yeez can HEAR yer writing, yer on the right (sound) track…

…a true story I heard a few years ago concerned a six-year-old girl appearing as a key witness for the defence in a court case in the USA… the prosecuting lawyer sought to demonstrate to the jury that the child was incapable of recognizing fact from fantasy… he asked if the girl had a pet dog, to which she answered ‘yes’… he asked the dog’s name… she said ‘Pongo’… he continued, ‘do you speak to Pongo?’… she replied, ‘yes’… then he said , ‘…and does Pongo talk to you?’… she responded, ‘yes, of course Pongo talks to me’… the lawyer smirked, pleased to have shown the young lady as living in fantasy land… he asked the follow-up question, ‘…and just what does Pongo talk to you about?…’ she floored him and brought…

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Forget the 6pm News: the World IS Full of Good People… Especially Authors

…authors …yeez all ROCK , big time !

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…the ultimate Dead Poet Society… beware of Multiple Burns… #TBSU…


…the British Parliament’s House of Commons has one… most hi-fidelity sound systems have at least one, p’raps more… a certain corner in Hyde Park has one… and now Abu Dhabi has one… a Speaker, that is… fanned by the usual delusions of adequacy, my author bio now carries an extra line, claiming, falsely or otherwise, that this ol’ Jurassic can be labelled among other dubious callings, ‘Speaker’… couple that with the advent of the Birthday Anniversary of Scotland’s finest bard, Robert Burns, and the avalanche of the ultimate Dead Poet Society gatherings known as Burns Suppers… the call for ‘Speakers’ goes out… the St. Andrew’s Society in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city (no, Mabel, not Dubai…Abu Dhabi…) has scrounged around for sumb’dy to deliver the Address known as the Immortal Memory this Friday evening… most of the other likely candidates have taken early vacation to enjoy the floods in Europe or the blizzards in North America… in short, the usual suspects are not available… the Last-Semi-Coherent-Speaker-Standing is yours truly… the call from the Society’s Chieftain was brief and unequivocal …do it, or we go to Interpol, and tell them what really happened during that misunderstanding with the sausages in Tesco’s…  a hard bargain, indeed… but there’s more… once having accepted the mission (read ‘caved in to coercion’), I was immediately hammered with a second ‘request’ to do it all over again on the following Friday evening… this time at a gathering of imported ‘nobility’ with the promise of at least a Knighthood if I ‘don’t ruck it up’… at least I think that’s what they said… so, if yeez overhear me gibbering away in strange tongues this coming week more than my usual self-mutterings, please don’t call Matron with that bluudy syringe… it’s just me with an attack of Multiple Burns… see yeez later…



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Cat poems

…m’Lady, Jane Dougherty has produced these lines……great for cat -lovers , and poetry enthusiasts 🙂

Jane Dougherty Writes

When the wind blows cold
and there is no shelter
from the lashing rain
cat curls among the market crates
and cheats his empty belly
with thesmell of butcher’s meat.

* * * *

In the dark places

where the streetlights die

cat prowls



searching for an open door.

* * * *

Clouds gather


rain spats


cat slips


into the cellar


* * * *

Sky colour of mud

rain dull pewter

a cold curtain.

In a dark corner

the stray cat waits

his eyes on the closed door

and the empty bowl.

* * * *


in the night

is a cat’s furtive footfall

and the hot hiss

of the stars


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