Monthly Archives: June 2017

…pssssst!… wanna join me in my latest foray into the Wunnerful WURLD of the Web?…

…hear ye! hear ye! here ye!

…I make no secret of it… I LUV what I do… my day job as a corporate adviser/company troubleshooter/executive coach/management trainer gives me tons of satisfaction… oh, and by the way, it also contributes to paying the bills, always a handy facet… but it will come as no surprise to emb’dy who knows me on here, it comes a distant second to the pleasure of being not just an author, but a writer who gleefully embraces all the SOSYAL NETWURKS that comes with it these days… over the decade or so that my scribbling of the Jack Calder crime thrillers series took over my wee grey cells, I’ve enjoyed the interaction with the thousands of friends that have been amassed through the Twitter, Facebook, Google+ channels, and especially this ‘ere Blog… on occasions when I travel out of the Middle East where I currently reside and WURK, I’ve begun meeting pals, other authors, readers, and bloggers in get-togethers in London (twice), Manchester and Glasgow (twice) on a face -to face basis… and all of that has been glorious fun… now I’ve been thinking (dangerous, I know, Mabel, but some thinking nonetheless), that I’d like to broaden the ‘personal’ feel even more online… recently I posted on Facebook that I’d like to try to create sum’thing along the lines of a regular ‘Newsletter‘ but kinda different to that… the objective is to generate an active TWO-WAY exchange of thoughts, ideas, and so on… to that end I’m inviting folks to join a list of pals with me by giving me their names on email, through or by DM on Facebook… I’d be happy to have all of yeez come aboard on this latest foray into the Wunnerful WURLD of the Web… hope yeez’ll sign up … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…I’m not Jack Calder… but I know a guy who might know him…

…as Authors we’re often asked, ‘is any of yer stuff autobiographical?’… well, unless it’s yer own life story, p’raps only wee bits of yerself and past experiences will creep into yer literary masterpieces… my Jack Calder crime thrillers are no exception to that… the main characters are former SAS officers… in a previous life, Master Gallacher spent some time as a corporate troubleshooter in the Philippines, one engagement there being to effect the turnaround of an ailing shipping company… ‘so where does the SAS in yer books fit into that benign scenario?’ I hear yeez ask… here’s how: in the first month around the company’s piers and cargo yards in the slum area of Tondo in Manila (a notorious squatter area housing over 125,000 people, a large number of whom were criminals and drug dealers), I fired 600 dockside trade union members… next to go were local mayors and policemen up and down the country in ports where the company’s vessels called daily… these men were supposed to be looking after our interests, when in fact much of the time they were simply lining their own pockets at the company’s expense… it had to stop… the abruptness of the actions taken had swift repercussions… in short order we were informed via the friendly Mayor’s office in Manila that a couple of ‘contract hits’ had been sanctioned against this stupid, interfering, disruptive Scots fellow … I relayed this to my principals who told me to ‘get security’… I said ‘I’m a banker, not bluudy Rambo!’… net result was an armoured car and a rotation team of 6 armed bodyguards for three years… the detail who looked after me were from a firm owned by a former SAS officer… there’s yer connection…

…pictured above is a lad called Adonis, the team leader and as cool and efficient an operator yeez will ever meet… alongside him was another champion guy, Raffy, shown with his firearm on the left below…

…and I literally had to trust them with my life… in one thankfully false alarm occasion, the details of which I will not bore yeez with, I was screamed at by Raffy, ‘You! get down!’… none of yer ‘please, sirs’… in seconds, I had two guards on top of me covering my body in classic line-of-fire style… here’s a picture of a very much younger me with more hair and much less girth than at present, with Raffy at my right hand side and Adonis taking up the rear cover alongside another agent… the loose shirts hid their firearms… note also the blurb about our security people protecting access to the company’s precincts…

…these guys were excellently trained, and I maintain the greatest respect for their skills… I even had to learn how to shoot from a rolling stance on the ground, and what to do in x, y and z situations… latterly, I was not allowed out of Manila without wearing a bulletproof armoured vest… so, yes, a wee bit of past experience has sneaked into my novels… I could tell yeez more, but then I’d have to shoot yeez… that’s how that WURKS…  right??!!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the bestest group hug in the whole WURLD!…

…I will fail miserably trying to describe the great joy this ol’ Jurassic scribbler experienced this morning… at the invitation of a friend of mine, Ma’am Fatima Al Alawi, (standing next to me in the photo below), I was scheduled to ‘tell a story’ to a class of 5 year-old children at Ibn Khaldoon National School in Bahrain

…nerveless I may be in presenting to hundreds of assembled adults, and even college and university classes over the years, but NEVER, NEVER has this poor excuse for a literary Braveheart encountered such a daunting audience… the children are all from Arabic families, but with a command of English in most cases better than mine (which wouldn’t be difficult, I know, Mabel)… I had chosen to tell them the story of one of my admittedly lesser-known masterpieces, THE GREEDY TEDDY BEAR… any nerves I brought into the classroom were instantly dispelled with the enthusiasm of these children… kudos galore to their teacher, Ms Heyam, and her class assistant, Ms Faye, who managed the impossible by keeping 18 children well-behaved throughout the entire event… if I ever need sumb’dy to assist in herding cats, these two ladies will be first choice… after the storytelling, Ma’am Fatima engaged the class with decorating cupcakes with all sorts of confectionery goodies… cake icing, M & Ms, sprinkles of hundreds and thousands, chocolate buttons, and… the piece de resistance… tiny edible teddy bears to put alongside the frostings

…what a giggle!.. we had coin tricks… we had singing… Jingle Bells, would yeez believe!… and as yeez can see from the photograph at the top of this blog post, the bestest group hug in the whole WURLD!… I’ve said it so many times before… if yeez want a better planet to live in, hand it over to kids… they know how to share… they know how to care… and I defy emb’dy to get a group hug from them and feel negative about anything!… see  yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a proper lesson in how to conduct a real Glasgow ‘bender’…

…in keeping with a couple of recent posts about my time as a Trainee Master of The Financial Universe in Docklands Govan,  I thought yeez might like a rerun of this post I did two and half years ago… enjoy!
…Wee Jockie… and a prime lesson on how to WURK yer way through a windfall…


…this ol’ Jurassic’s banking career kicked off just over 50 years ago in Docklands Govan in Glasgow… in the mighty Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank Limited’s outpost, situated on the corner of Govan Cross, adjacent to the vast Harland & Wolff shipyards, the then kings of the shipbuilding industry on Clydeside… the area didn’t boast much in the way of wealthy merchants, nor stockbrokers… not even a lawyer nor accountant or two… in the WURDS of the politicians… Govan was definitely WURKIN class… ‘NUTHIN wrong with that’, I hear yeez say… and right yeez are… what it did breed was more than its fair share of characters… one such was Wee Jockie… his family name is conveniently lost, lest I get hammered for disclosure of confidential banking records… Wee Jockie was one of thousands of men who helped build the great ocean-going vessels for which the mighty Govan shipyards were justifiably famous in these days… he entered the bank one day, completely unknown to anyone… dressed in his cloth cap, trench coat over his dungarees, and stood at the main teller window… I recall he didn’t reach more than about five feet, cap and all… he wanted to open an account… the deposit was a crumpled cheque dated about a week earlier… Wee Jockie had never had a bank account before and had obviously been trying to figure out how to go about getting one… a simple signing of a form or two (none of yer money-laundering regulatory rubbish back then—certainly not in Govan) and his account was live… the cheque came from a local bookmaker, in the splendid sum of Sixty-Three Pounds, Five Shillings Sterling in pre-decimal money… now, yeez have to understand that the average weekly wage for a chap like Wee Jockie was prob’ly in the region of Seven Pounds Sterling... on that first day he withdrew Six Pounds Sterling… the very next day he was back… looking slightly the worse for wear… self-inflicted ailments of the Electric Soup vintage had left the signs of a full-blown hangover… this second day saw a withdrawal of Three Pounds Sterling… succeeding days came and we witnessed repeats of the standard Three Pounds Sterling takeaways… in those days the bank opened half-days on Saturdays, and just before closing at midday, Wee Jockie rushed in… bleary-eyed, and apparently not long out of his bed… and the weekend spend was looked after with a withdrawal of Eight Pounds Sterling

…suffice to say, we could almost set the clock by Wee Jockie’s expected arrival times for the next couple of weeks… finally the balance had dwindled all the way down to a mere Five Pounds Sterling… he arrived with his usual puffy features, a certain air of alcoholic haze drifting around him… as he cleaned out that final Five Pounds Sterling, we heard his voice raised properly for the first time, he waved to us all and said, ’Thanks for a’ yer help…this has been the best bender I’ve ever been on— the Missus is still trying to figure out where I got the money from… Cheerio!’… it was evidently the last time he ever won big with the local bookmaker, ‘coz we never saw him again… I wonder if his wife ever got wind of how he managed to be blotto for a whole three weeks straight!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…what level an Author’s living wage?

…nit-pickers warning!… I’m gonna play semantics a wee bit here (differences in WURDS, Mabel… differences in WURDS)… I wanna dwell on the gaps in understanding inter alia, ‘PRICE’, ‘COST’, and ‘VALUE’… ‘cording to my faithful dictioWURD thingy,:

PRICE : the amount of money expected, required, or given in payment for something.

COST : cost is usually a monetary valuation of (1) effort, (2) material, (3) resources, (4) time and utilities consumed,

VALUE : the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

…throw in the oft-debated context of how much readers are willing to pay for a book or novel on Auntie Amazon Kindle, or indeed, a print copy from a bookshop… and the arguments and disagreements appear… yer PRICE is simply the amount of currency yeez hand over in exchange for the product… yer COST is the combination/consideration of all the merits that have gone into the making/processing/producing yer product… and last, but never by any means least, yer VALUE is what its WURTH is to the buyer… the issue that continues to amaze, confound and disappoint this ol’ Jurassic writer, and millions of my fellow scribblers, is the discrepancy between the amount of a writer’s time, effort, sweat, blood  and toil that a novel takes to bring to the market, and the pittance that some readers expect to fork out to grab their copy… of course, thankfully, the vast majority of we virtual candle-lit-attic tome-peddlers have more than the commercial lustre in mind when we write… and as for the mind-boggling number of people who barefacedly ask or expect to have a copy free of charge, I often WUNDER what would happen if I asked them to provide whatever product or service they have for the same fee… for me, my WURK is PRICELESS, its COST is my own investment in whatever little bit of literary legacy I may leave, and it’s VALUE is immeasurable, because it’s truly part of my own soul… (hows that for philosophical thought in the middle of the week, Mabel!)… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!








Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…into the minds of babes… why art of any kind is so wonderful…

…I readily admit, I’m biased… how can I not be?… I’m an author… that’s art of its own kind… or art of its own JONGGR, if yeez want to use the phrase so much employed by the cognoscenti… and every so often, wee glimpses of ‘practiced art’ float across yer ken… look carefully at this photograph captured this morning on my trusty mobile device… for this ol’ Jurassic being able successfully to capture this on his phone is an event in itself…

…as one does on a cold, wet, windy morning in June (well, it is London in summer, Mabel), the National Gallery attracted my custom… adjacent to the Rembrandt and Rubens treasured halls, this remarkable lady was entrancing these young children with the story of the painting on the wall behind her… I was also instantly enchanted listening and watching her story unfold… no theatre headliner actress could have performed better than she… the children were transfixed… even the wee red-headed boy sitting at the back, with the delightfully explosive hairstyle, a piece of art in its own right… when her story reached the end, the racontress invited questions, and discussion flowed noisily… infant hands pitched in the air wanting ‘airtime’… the enthusiasm was tangible… eyes wide with statements as only young children’s eyes can be… the wider the eyes the louder the questions… and m’Lady, Storyteller gave time to every child’s query with equal animation on her part… yeez will note that apart from my own vicarious indulgence at the periphery of the group, several other ‘growed-ups’ also listened and watched intently, some of them sitting on the floor with the wee ones… all too soon the session ended… I didn’t have the chance to speak with the presenter… I wanted to thank her on several levels… for my own entertainment during the time there, but also for the insight as to how valuable it is for children to be encouraged in such visits with as terrific a presenter as she… into the minds of babes… why art of any kind is so wonderful… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…hubble, bubble, and blether… when shall we meet again?…

…the proposed get together with kindred bookly spirits mooted for Sunday morning, June 4th in London at the Sloane Street Millennium Hotel understandably got decimated by the appalling events nearby at London Bridge and Borough Market on the prior Saturday evening… and thoughts, prayers and love go out to all who were affected by that… notwithstanding that backdrop, we did end up with not one, but two mini-meetings, both of which were fabulous…

…early in the day, superb crime fiction story teller, Eric J. Gates, and I played hosts to m’Lady, Trisha Griffiths… she’s the epitome of the person authors LUV most… a determined and steadfast reader…  Trisha demonstrated her bibliophilism…

…and we shared our common bookWURMS stories of writers we like, novels we have devoured, and generally had a lotta laffs… Trisha also bore gifts for Master Gallacher in the form of a couple of dozen various-sized t-shirts with my kilted figure imprinted…

…I’ll have to devise some means of getting a few of these into the hands of folk who wouldn’t be embarrassed by having my ugly features smiling from their chests (heaven forfend, Mabel, being fronted by an ol’ Scots Author!)… part two of proceedings kicked off in the early afternoon with the arrival of m’Lady, Lorna Watson, another wunnerful supporter of scribblers…

…Lorna is also one of the terrific admin people at the splendid Bookshop Cafe Group on Facebook, a great web destination for emb’dy who likes/loves/adores reading… it transpires that on top of all of that, she has also written over the past several years a tome that’s screaming to be published… all 230,000 WURDS of it… we chatted about how that might metamorphose into two or p’raps three books… the net result of the day, which passed by all too quickly, was 8 hours of focused blether in the company of real pals, whose faces I can now match to their names… man, I LUV this authoring gig!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

%d bloggers like this: