Photos relate to Chapter 13, Tied up for the Night in A Storm in Any Port Continue reading Gigha
Major Gilbert Bernard Humble is oblivious to the fact that his initials form the acronym for Grievous Bodily Harm. He was a fearless (more likely insensitive) soldier who, during his career, had no opportunity to do any sailing. His postings had all been to inland bases where, as he was wont to say, he was a ‘loyal defender of the Empire’ a role similarly claimed by Zander. If either of them had been what they purported to be, there are those who might be tempted to think God help us all. Grunt maintains, disparagingly, that they were more likely referring … Continue reading Gilbert Show’s His Metal!
The Viral Spark The trigger for a second wave of a viral infection can be likened to the aftermath of an enormous inferno that has gobbled up everything in its devastating path and the flames of which appear to be exhausted, completely damped down and no longer active. Unseen and deep within the blackened mass, lie embers that need only the slightest puff of wind for them to spring back to life and initiate a recurrence of the dreadful scenario. It is in that fatal instant, when the firefighters take their eyes off the blackened carnage, that a little flame … Continue reading The Viral Spark
Photos relating to Chapter 12 – A Drop in The Ocean, Puffer Tales from A Storm in Any Port: The Paps of Jura (Scottish Gaelic: Sgurr na Cìche) are three mountains on the western side of the island of Jura, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Their highest point is 2,575 feet (785 m). They are steep-sided quartzite hills with distinctive conical shapes resembling breasts. The word pap is an ancient word of Old Norse origin for the breast. The Paps are conspicuous hills that dominate the island landscape as well as the landscape of the surrounding area. They can … Continue reading A Drop in The Ocean
Sunday just passed, and a visit from my son and granddaughter to our home – well not exactly into our home due to social distancing, so we agreed to meet on the top of our building. It is supposed to be summer here in Edinburgh, yet it turned out to be a wee bit cold and windy, however we had a great time catching up with family news. It was a welcome relief from sitting hunched over the laptop for the last 4 weeks, reading and re-reading my second book More Ports More Storms Now it’s away to the printers, … Continue reading Time to relax, at last!
Hi everyone Just thought I could share some positive news around, as all we have been subjected to recently in the media, has been quite depressing. It has been difficult to switch off from the TV news, as we hoped a vaccine would be found and this virus would have been eliminated by now. Being stuck indoors has had it’s positive though, as I have been working hard editing, and preparing my second book, More Ports More Storms, for release. Continue reading The positives of Lockdown!
On a fine, if lightly clouded, blue-skied day, the puffer was tied up to the stone jetty outside the western basin of the Crinan Canal, ready to fulfil a charter. To the west of her, the sea spread away over the Sound of Jura towards the shimmering outline of the blue-grey mountains that marked the islands of Jura and Scarba. On board, the crew was awaiting the arrival of the client, top man of a well-known international corporation. He and the last of his guests were driving over by car from Edinburgh. As soon as they arrived, the puffer would … Continue reading The Worm Turns – Crinan
Murdo’s Measure – Foyers (Loch Ness) Scratched into the surface of the bar counter in the Foyers Hotel, is a strange scale. At just over two feet long, it has marks across it, dividing it into a number of units of irregular width. Under it are scratched two lengthwise arrows, one with a capital ‘H’ pointing left, the other a capital ‘T’ pointing right. Written in uneven letters in chalk underneath this puzzling piece of primitive art is the title, ‘Murdo’s Measure’. Any visitor intrigued by this almost indecipherable marking and curious to know what it was for, would be … Continue reading Murdo’s Measure – Foyers (Loch Ness)
Anyone born at this famous hospital? Zander Duff was born on a stormy night, in this Edinburgh hospital, 1934. As he grew up, he asked his mother the classic question which children the world over ask ‘Where did I come from?’. His mother had spent a large part of her life in and around the theatre, so recounting the following description, was second nature to her!. “It was on the Titanic in 1912, that your grandmother, heavily pregnant, was helped into one of the lifeboats by none other than Captain Edward J. Smith himself, which allowed your mum here to … Continue reading Elsie Inglis Hospital – Edinburgh
Photo © John Jones Rhum – The Pelton Wheel Generator for Kinloch Castle; circa 1990 (since replaced) Kinloch Castle was one of the first private residences in Scotland to have electricity, with a dam constructed on the Coire Dubh burn for hydro generation. Photo © Richard Law (cc-by-sa/2.0) Kinloch Castle Continue reading Kinloch Castle
Watch this space…… Continue reading Exciting News!
Keith Shellenberg’s Rolls Royce Station Wagon, which was burnt to a shell not long after this photograph was taken. He was known for his legal disputes related to his ownership of the Scottish island of Eigg. Shellenberg also stood in the 1964 UK general election in Richmond (Yorks) and the October 1974 UK general election in Moray and Nairn as a Liberal candidate. Schellenberg competed in the two-man and the four-man Bobsleigh events at the 1956 Winter Olympics. He also competed in the men’s singles in the luge at the 1964 Winter Olympics. He also played on the Yorkshire rugby … Continue reading Schellenberg’s Rolls Royce in Eigg
I recently heard from a friend who practices the New Age philosophy called the Law of Attraction. You visualize a wish in your mind and ‘attract’ it to come to you. He was adamant that can work for anyone, and in hearing that the sale of my first book in the Zander Trilogy was not selling by the dozen, as I hoped, he suggested that I try out this new philosophy and see where it takes me. So, please bear with me here as I put this into practice. How do I get thousands of sales of my book? Well, … Continue reading Visual help
This is a view of another fly-past from the RAF to celebrate 75 years since VE Day. Continue reading VE day from somewhere in Scotland
A friend sent me this video showing the Red Arrows fly-past in celebration of 75 years since VE Day. Continue reading VE Day from East Anglia
On page 238, the chapter named The Battle, takes place on Coll, which is a small island situated around 2.5 hours off the West Coast of Scotland. Recently a news story appeared on the BBC Website, relating to a former Scottish rugby international, Rob Wainwright, who has lived on Coll for the last 21 years. Once the world gets back to the way it was before the COVID 19 outbreak, it would not be unreasonable to think that Coll will become a major tourist destination in Scotland, as people wanting to sample the beautiful scenery and hospitality of its residents, … Continue reading The island of Coll
With possibly of another couple of months staying home during the COVID lockdown, I was thinking that another book , could be an interesting project to get my teeth into. Not sure my wife, Ann would agree, as she has dozens of DIY projects round the house for me to attend to. Writing books has been a welcome distraction for me, as you can imagine! Continue reading A 4th Book?
One has to wonder if Zander and his crew on board the Emerald were in the vicinity, what mischief they would get up to, no doubt trebling the price of local produce which only they could supply! Outcomes on a less grander scale are described in my first book A Storm in Any Port, which is on sale here and at selected outlets – click Continue reading The Firth of Forth, Scotland – Fred Olsen cruise liners in limbo
The Second Book in the Zander Trilogy will be available to purchase by September 2020. Here the mischief takes place in and around the towns, harbours and marinas of the East and West Coasts of Scotland and Zander even gets to Algeria. Traveling on a number of yachts, inflatables, rowing boats and a cruise liner, Zander and his gang of miscreants rub shoulders with; Kamikaze seagulls, Head hunters, Paratroopers, a dead Fisherman, the Loch Ness Monster, Ships’ pipers, Terrorists, Oil Sheiks, a Clan chief, a Spanish Armada Galleon, Japanese tourists and a North African President. They also meet up with … Continue reading More Ports More Storms
East Lothian’s premier independent bookshop Kesley’s have a limited supply of A Storm in Any Port. Located at 63 Market Street, Haddington, EH41 3JG with on-street parking, this bookshop is well established in the county, and is highly regarded in the profession. Continue reading Now available to buy in Haddington, East Lothian
A recent visit to the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh with family, to watch the musical production of Oor Wullie, was enjoyed thoroughly by all. It’s fun to reminisce about the past, especially when Wullie’s high jinks would involve the ‘Art’ of Scrumping. The difference being that Oor Wullie and his pals are children, while Zander and his crew are grown men! Almost Run In Ashore – Campbeltown (chapter 62) describes Murdo’s expertise in the Art of Scrumping! Continue reading Scrumping Apples and Oor Wullie
We are very happy to announce that A Storm in Any Port is now available in print, after a successful release through Amazon Kindle. Set principally in Scotland’s beautiful Western Isles with side trips to Hong Kong, the Lake District and the Balearic Islands, the narrative is an expose of an ambitious, accident prone Scot with a sailing bug who leads his scallywag crew and breathes life, fun and nostalgia into these comic misadventures of derring-do, or don’t! A Puffer, a Sampan, and Americas Cup and other yachts provide an exotic and convincing storyline link, packed with outrageous, unexpected and … Continue reading A Storm in Any Port now published
PROLOGUE Four Men in a Dinghy West Coast of Scotland – Fairly recently The skipper, mate and two deck hands who made up the crew of the chartered yacht, were feeling the effects of their combined ages of more than 300 years, as they motored into Puilladrobhain on Seil, an island just off the west coast of Scotland. Although none of them would admit it, the day’s motor sail from Crinan had taken its toll on both bodies and minds. The slightly corpulent, white haired skipper firmly believed he was a good sailor and had an inshore certificate to prove … Continue reading Prologue
This Website is now under re-construction, in preparation for release of the paper version. I am well into producing a complete rewrite of the original e-book. Principally to significantly tightening up the text and thereby improve the flow of the action Ann, my wife, is finished the thankless task proof reading, and having a well earned rest. Our project is now at the stage of; engaging the services of professionals, to do the things I can’t do myself. Things like cover design and the actual printing of the book. Looking to ‘hit the shelves’ this summer. JJ – 20th May … Continue reading Preparing to Publish
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report. Continue reading 2015 in review
Spotted alongside the 1st fairway on Murrayfield Golf Course, Edinburgh recently…… Continue reading Where’s Bernard Langer when you need him ??!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report. Continue reading 2014 in review