Hurdling: Take it in your stride!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Tokyo Olympics on TV and as I watched the athletics it brought back memories of the days when I could run, jump and throw things well enough to get me national recognition, but not quite to the standards expected of an Olympian. On a number of occasions I represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Decathlon. However one match against Holland in Vlardingen, 1963, is carved into my memory, as that was the day when I demolished a hurdle in the 110 metre race and as a result met a legend of track and … Continue reading Hurdling: Take it in your stride!

The closest I got to the Olympics

In all my 20 odd years of competitive athletics, my performances were just never quite up to Olympic standards. However not to be beaten, my wife Ann and I travelled over to Greece a few years back where we visited the original Ancient Olympic Arena at Olympia. I must have been crazy to try a 100 metre sprint in the 30 degree heat, especially since I had not worn a pair of spikes in over 30 years, but the old urge took over! It was a interesting day out and one that we both thoroughly enjoyed. I find the history … Continue reading The closest I got to the Olympics

An American Cup boat in Tayvallich

On the puffer’s bustling approach into the sheltered waters of Tayvallich, Zander gathered an eager audience on deck as he pointed out the Americas Cup boat, tied up not far away. To whet the guest’s appetite for their forthcoming adventure, he provided them with a running commentary on her perceived ‘finer points’, enthusing over her slim racing lines, her tall masts that could hold up acres of sail and even gave an impromptu lecture about her alleged peerless past performances and achievements. He ended the diatribe with his text of the day, “She is a superb relic of the history … Continue reading An American Cup boat in Tayvallich

Who is Zander?

Chapter 5 – The Man As Zander grew up it was only natural that he should take a keen interest in the sea and ships. To him they were symbols of happy times, adventure, fun and freedom. Whether on the deep blue sea, canal or river, given half a chance, he would clamber on board any vessel and feel immediately at home. However, even in maturity, his ability to attract trouble was always there or thereabouts. Perhaps, Zander had been near the end of the queue when common sense was handed out. His friends and acquaintances used adjectives such as … Continue reading Who is Zander?

The Viral Spark

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

A Drop in The Ocean

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

Murdo’s Measure  – Foyers (Loch Ness)

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)

More Ports More Storms

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