Review: Neurotribes – Steve Silberman

This was a substantial read, and at times a meandering journey, but for someone interested in neurodiversity (a fairly modern phrase) it is an important history of autism and a reminder that neurodiverse people are about as different to each other as neurotypical people, if not more so. There is no 'typical' autistic person. Rainman [...]

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Cheesy? Slightly, but feel good, too! Review of Andre Rieu’s New Year Concert, Sydney

Popped along to my local cinema today to see Andre Rieu's concert from Sydney. I've seen his Maastricht concerts advertised before, and they looked a tad cheesy, but fancying some Sydney nostalgia, I bought my ticket some weeks ago and attended a packed Rebel Cinema in Bude for the event. I never mind admitting if [...]

Review: Did I Mention I Won the Lottery?

This Kindle ebook by Julie Butterfield is an easy read, apart from occasional glaring proofreading mistakes which irritated me a little, and some Good Read reviewers a good deal. The storyline is quite simple, with two key characters, downtrodden wife, Rebecca and her husband, Daniel, who is, shall we say, overly assertive, rather abusive and [...]

A little Hartland history …

This info comes from a slender pamphlet called "Farthest From Railways: An Unknown Corner of Devon" by R. Pearse Chope, originally written in 1934. It seems Hartland Parish, despite being one of the largest in Devon, amounting to 17,000 acres in size, is too hilly for a cricket ground, is bounded by the Atlantic (already knew that [...]

Paddy Ashdown.

It is always sad to hear of the death of someone people respect, and more so someone you have met. Paddy had bladder cancer diagnosed in October, I believe, so his illness was short but devastating in its impact. I'm not a Liberal Democrat by nature but I did meet Paddy Ashdown a couple of [...]

Random writing advice 1

Trying something a little new, which is to choose at random a writing meme and say something about it. So, here goes. Wish I could just talk through it, really ...  Ok, well this baby is obviously about editing, which just goes to show that you can spend hours on something making it perfect one [...]

Sir Walter Scott, 1771-1832

  Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. 1808. My journey to Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott, was originally more a meeting with old friends than anything especially literary. However, there was the bonus of a small Turner exhibition at his house for Turner, at the behest of [...]

Getting published

I used to co-own a publishing business, where we created local history/interest titles, but also had some massive print runs of larger, full-colour books, which we primarily sold by the direct selling method back in the 1990s-2000s. We also sold to bookshops. My role was as writer/commissioning editor. Loved editing this one! The profanities from [...]

Review: T. E. Lawrence Tormented Hero

The only things I knew (prior to reading this book) about Lawrence of Arabia were that he was a soldier in the Arab Campaign during World War I and that there is a Peter O'Toole film about him. There is also a copy of his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom on the family bookshelves.  Yes, [...]

The War Poets

Poetry expresses a huge depth of meaning in very concise language. It has always intrigued me that the horror of World War I, where around ten million people lost their lives, delivered to us such very fine poets whose impact has been immense and possibly eternal. In a hellhole punctuated by the incessant racket of [...]