We live in interesting times

I wouldn’t mind if Boris Johnson just told us the truth. He’s proroguing parliament for the longest session for decades because he wants to restrict parliament’s ability to discuss Brexit, and particularly a no-deal Brexit. Fine. And with parliament unable to come to any quorum on the subject in the last three years I have the smallest amount sympathy with that. But only a very small amount.

But, no. Apparently it’s about preparing parliament for what his government (which has the vast majority of one) is going to do over the coming year. But it can’t be that. Because he knows that we know there must be a general election. And he knows that we know that he cannot hope to continue to govern and pass legislation (and spend billions of money on things that austerity ripped from the country’s administration just recently – brazen vote catching if ever there was) with a majority of one. There has to be a GE. And the only way he can win a GE is if the Brexit Party do not compete … because if they do they will split the right wing vote and the Tories will lose badly. And, and this is key, the only way the Brexit Party will stand down is if there is a no-deal … on 31 October. His Farageness has made that perfectly clear.

So Boris Johnson is proroguing parliament to prevent it from legislating against a no-deal. And he intends to go ahead with a no-deal on 31 October. 

And, on that basis, sad as it sounds from me, that’s what’s going to happen – unless the rest of them prevent the extended proroguing … if, indeed, that is even English.

Ho-hum.

I don’t want to rehearse the arguments against a no-deal, but I do want to remind everyone of one important fact. A no-deal does not put an end to Brexit. Far from it. The EU is our largest trading partner and if we crash out without a deal (and leaving aside job losses, maybe even deaths from medicine shortages, and the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement) we will have to very quickly come back to the EU and sort out a trade deal. The first thing they will rightly insist on is that we pay the divorce bill. And then, whatever we want to take on trade we will have to give on other concessions. Like freedom of movement. As we are the junior partners in this – and as we have soured our pitch with our largest trading partner by originally walking away from a deal – we will not have all the cards; if, indeed we have any. It will take forever, will not be anywhere near as generous as it is now and we will be the worse for it. 

And for those relishing the impact a no-deal with have on the EU, they need to understand that if that market fails … then so do we. 

Ho-hum squared.

Across the Pond, among a million things I could rant about, His Orangeness is pushing for one of his resorts to hold the next G7 summit. One of his resorts. There’s gold in there them hills. And he told Merkel that he was part German, for which she sniggered. And he was the only G7 leader that didn’t stay for the emergency meeting on the Amazon fires. For which they only raised £20 million – Brexit so far has cost £60 billion (x 3,000). Which Bolsonaro (Brazil’s popularist Trump) has petulantly turned down.

So. What’s my point?

Greta Thunberg has just arrived in New York, travelling across the Atlantic by wind and solar power. It has taken her six days and, as far as I know, she’s in good spirits. She’s going to the UN to talk about the Climate Emergency. On her own. A teenager on the autistic spectrum.

A lamb. Leading the elephants. 

How did we get here?

Some photos to cheer you up:

Back on Earth, we have made it as far as Aberdeen. C’s pal Katie came to lunch on Monday, we’ve had some fun wild camping on the east coast and tomorrow we’re taking Cassie to the vets because I have been unable to successfully remove a tic from her side. In my defence I have had two ticks myself over my time, and in both cases needles and tweezers (and a lot of blood) have done the trick. She was v good about the open tick surgery.

So we will be visiting the vets tomorrow …   

  

Bloody cricket

I’m exhausted. The cricket. 

As we’ve been travelling north we’ve been serenaded by Test Match Special (TMS), buzzing away in the background. After England’s dismal 67 in their first innings, any chance of them knocking out over 350 in their second seemed less likely than

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lucky with the weather at the mo

me becoming a world famous novelist. During the journey, we were on another: via Mum’s (she’s well) and Phil and Denise (thanks so much for supper), and then to old family friends of C’s in Edinburgh for lunch today.

The cricket. It looked incredibly unlikely, but so possible, until the last ball. Watching the highlights on C5 was icing on the cake for both of us. What a match. What an innings by Ben Stokes. Absolutely fabulous. And so v exciting, so much so we missed the fact that the old Forth road bridge was not open to anything other than buses. As we made our way across it we were waved down by some nice people walking across the bridge. Oops. We stopped, backed up … a bit. Got shouted at by a bus driver and then were met by a bridge workman who told us that the cameras weren’t on and, unless the police stop us, we would be fine. Phew. 

Bloody cricket.

It’s great to be back in Doris. The weather really helps. We ran at Mum’s, ran again this

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Mrs Jones is there somewhere

morning at Jedburgh where we stayed in the main car park (permitted) with 15 other vans, and have now ended up to the left of Dundee in a lovely Caravan Club CL where we have planned to meet up with one of C’s friends who’s coming to lunch tomorrow. Jedburgh was lovely. And, notably, wherever we went everyone said ‘hello’. How v congenial. 

And then we’re off on our own (with Cassie), up the east coast to Inverness and then across the Highlands to Skye. We need to be there in a couple of weeks to hand over Cassie to Jen and James, and then we’re off up the west coast for another two weeks. Fab.

The weather can only go downhill … and, of course, there is the small issue of the midges. But we intend to slow things right down. Get up late and do v little, or at least, for me, get Unsuspecting Hero rewritten. And then, after proofing, a big marketing drive. Book sales have remained steady and I still firmly believe that if I spend as much energy on marketing as I do on writing, I might make some real progress. We’ll see.

Anyhow, nervous exhaustion has got the better of me. This short post will have to do.

 

Breathe easy

I’m determined not to make this all about my health. So, quick update. I’ve had another ECG and seen the arrhythmia nurse, who’s taken advice from the consultant. Apparently I’m not going to die. My heart is on the first rung of the long ladder of heart disease – me at the bottom, heart attack at the top. And nobody is, in any way, worried about it, unless it develops to atrial fibrillation, the next step of the ladder. I have been put on the lowest dose of beta-blocker, which, my doctor told me just now, is for the wheezy kids on the touchlines of life. She intimated that it’s as much for anxiety as it is for actually getting a grip of my heart. What was she telling me?

That’s all good news then.

What else? Well we could talk about the less than gentle unravelling of His Donaldness. The latest spat with Denmark about whether or not Greenland is for sale, and then cancelling his planned trip to Copenhagen because Mette Frederikson (the female, Danish pm and not one to suffer fools gladly, apparently) told him the proposition was ‘absurd’, just about tells us where we are. You don’t need me to elaborate on how ridiculous that is. Deep in #Twitter I discover that, other than Trump doesn’t like strong women, it seems that President Obama is in Copenhagen at the same time as Trumpkins. And we know how much he really can’t cope with Obama.

Whatever. It’s hardly good politics and does make you wonder where he keeps the nuclear codes. Then there’s Operation Yellowhammer which I will summarise for you. Post no-deal Brexit we all need to start growing our own vegetables and in our sheds, getting out our chemistry sets and distilling insulin. Hold onto my foot whilst I fetch my

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we’ve been triking it – hurrah!

shotgun. Come on people. We’ve gone from Cool Britannia to a disUnited Kingdom. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all. At least Farage has got his new passport … which, and this is a surprise, is not blue. What was all the fuss about?

So, I won’t go on about politics. Or my health. I’ll just let you know over the past couple of days that’s, pretty much, all we’ve been fussed about. I took C into the BRI today (on the trike – yippee) as her retina has decided to curl a bit. Much to her dismay, the doctor bloke decided that he would laser it on the stop. Come in, Mrs Bond, we’ve been expecting you …  Anyhow, that seems to have done the trick.

And we’ve spent a good while packing the van. We will be away in her for almost five weeks, which is a good slab of time. We are so looking forward to it. Last time we were away in her was over Easter, which was cut short because of poor old dad being admitted to hospital. And my heart was fluttering away for the first time, and I wasn’t in any way convinced that it wasn’t going to give up the ghost and take the rest of me with it. I did wonder whether it would be me or dad that went first.

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Cassie, warming up her bed in the van

Hopefully, this time we will have an uninterrupted session. We’ve got Cassie with us until we drop her with Jen and James in Skye, and we are going up via Mum’s tomorrow – and Phil and Denise on Friday. And then it’s all points of the compass, north. Can’t wait.

Irregularly irregular

A busy couple of days. I spent a morning in Farnham at a school, popped over to Mary’s to help her out on a small party and then, together, we’ve come back home for a weekend of not a great deal.

Can we talk about me for a bit? 

Throughout my heart’s been a bit of a flutter. It started on Tuesday when we popped up to Jen’s. By the time we got back to Bristol at teatime it was still palpitating away so, in order to get the old heart rate on paper (I’m unconvinced the 72-hour ECG picked up anything), I phoned the surgery and asked if they had an ECG … and would they put me on one?

Sure enough (and bravo throughout to the NHS, who continue to be brilliant) they had one. I saw a doctor, and a nurse whose daughter was hoping to join the Paras – the very best of luck to her – but, alas, by the time they rigged me up the ol’ ticker was behaving itself.

Not so Wednesday. Or Thursday. And Friday – although Friday was the worse. I had this continuous feeling that my heart was struggling to keep up with its job. Missing a beat and then kicking up a fuss. It wasn’t AF (atrial fibrillation) like I had almost 15 years ago when I was hospitalised overnight until the old chap rebooted. AF is when the upper chambers of the heart go into spasm and your heart beats and races and slows – all in a matter of seconds, and then does the same thing but differently. And again. No, it wasn’t like that. But it was disconcerting.

By 11 pm I had to make a choice. Live with it and miss the chance to get the elusive palpitations on a trace via an ECG, or self-admit (C was all for calling an ambulance) and wait in an overcrowded Friday night A&E in Southmead on the off chance my heart wouldn’t right itself before they put me on a machine that goes ping.

Well, Southmead were excellent. I was seen by a nurse within 10 minutes, who stuck me on an ECG and then ushered into the ward and stuck on another machine that goes ping. There, with a different nurse (ex-RAF and with more operational experience than me), I

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hope you’re not eating your tea

was offered tea and sandwiches and assured that the doctor would see me within four hours.

I was then seen by a lovely Colombian/Spanish nurse who took loads of measurements (she’s heading home if we leave the EU in November, grrrrrr), and then an Indian subcontinent lady doctor spent half an hour with me, looking over the evidence. She, and the more senior doctor, were confused. It wasn’t AF … and she described why. It was irregularly irregular, which, apparently, is a technical term. But, as neither were cardio experts, and as I was feeling no ill effects, I was allowed home with the riding instructions that should I get any of the other warning signals I was to come in … or if I couldn’t sleep. 

I got home at 3 am with a copy of the latest ECG in my hands, but with my heart still rushing about. I was asleep 15 minutes later.

Saturday was a better day (we took Mary to Cribbs) and by the afternoon the heart was back in normal rhythm. Whilst distracted in Cribbs I thought I should probably get the ECG trace to my consultant (who works in the BRI, a different hospital and without easy access to my records from Southmead – how does that work?). And, recognising that my first ECG – a copy of which I had not taken away with me – was probably just as helpful as the second, I should get a copy.

So, once home I got on the trike and drove down to Southmead … which was packed with people who couldn’t/didn’t want to wait to see a GP later in the week. And a couple of runners who had picked up an injury on a mud run. But I was seen by a receptionist within five minutes and ten minutes later I walked out with a copy of both traces. I’ve copied them below. The good news is, so the doctor told me, the actual beats are normal … it’s just that the gaps between the beats are irregular – the bottom line of each trace is the one to look at.. Clearly something is not quite right, and I have checked on Doctor Internet and there is some advice as to what it might be, none of which seem deadly. But I’ll leave the detail to my consultant when I see him, hopefully soon.

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To complete the weekend, Sunday wasn’t so good. Nothing that made me feel rubbish, just a heart beat that doesn’t want to be normal. I did pop out for the slowest run in history just now, and that was fine … but now the pulse rate has come down, it’s still bobbling about. Oh well.

That’s that. I hope you don’t mind that I dwell on this. I think it’s important because, certainly for my male readers, we should all be aware that atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of heart disease and that it affects 10% of the male population over 60. One in ten. Look around you … someone you know will have AF.

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we made Tyntersfield on Sunday. Fab.

The good news is that along with some admin, the first half of this week will be prep for four weeks in Scotland. We’re both v much looking forward to that.

Let there be light

You’ll be delighted to know that today I’m not going to go on and on about politics. Not that there are many of you left reading this for me to apologise to. Certainly any Brexiteers have long gone … and, indeed, any Trumpsters have left with them. Sorry about that. But, hey, you can’t win them all.

The ‘just as bad news’ is that today I’m going to be a bit techy. Doris-style techy, if you like. So, if that doesn’t interest you then the three of you should look at the photographs and come back on Sunday.

We’re off to Scotland next week for four weeks (hurrah!). And whilst Doris has had all her filters and oil changed, we have a problem with her rear lights. They’re intermittent, with, every so often, the indicators flashing unnecessarily quickly and the rear right light not working at all. For those of you with some experience of cars, you’ll be thinking that there might be an earthing problem … with a wiring loom about the size of a tennis court.

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Anyhow, I dismantled the rear light clusters, cleaned the points and replaced the rear light bulb, which didn’t look like it was broken. Ehh … nothing. So I looked for obvious earthing points, and those I did find looked absolutely fine.

Ahh, what about the tow bar which was so expertly fitted by #LNBTowbars a couple of months ago? That seems likely. So I phone them up (they’re just across the road in Aztec West) and they tell me to bring her round. Which I do. They unplug the electrics – which is a much more complicated system than just splicing the towbar onto the rear light cluster as they used to in the old days – but still no joy. Oh well.

Now, you know what the next move is? Take it to either Hymer and/or Fiat and spend a mortgage’s worth of cash on getting them to find a needle in a haystack … because that’s what intermittent electrical problems are. They flummox everyone, even garages with machines that go ping.

But first. Let me check on the internet. Surely someone has had the same problem. Well, of course, they have in a similar way. And, wait, hang on. Why is the front side light not working now? Oh, bother. Maybe the front right light is blown and that’s affecting the rear?

Can I get the front right out? Nope. These sharp-fronted Hymers with tight engine bays. I could reach the bulb’s casing, but, for the life of me, I couldn’t get traction. Bother (or similar) again. Ahh, but maybe there’s a fuse for just the right hand set of side lights, and it’s blown? (Unlikely I know, but I’m clutching at any straws I can get my hands on.)

Where is the fuse for the side lights? According to the Fiat owners book, there’s meant to be a third, ‘special box’ in a Fiat Ducato … but it doesn’t exist in a Hymer. Double-bother. More internet research. I find the other two, but not the third.

And then. Hey presto. A motorhome thread somewhere deep in the ether.

There is no fuse (and no fuse box) for the side lights. The Ducato’s side lights run on a CANBUS and the ECU controls them – which might not be good news, if the ECU is broken it’s a big bill. And, importantly, the CANBUS is very sensitive and if you put a non-standard bulb in the system, it throws a track and won’t work (interestingly the rear light was flashing briefly, before it goes out). So, I take out the Halfords rubbish bulb, replace it with the old – but seemingly unbroken – bulb and, tee-dah, we have lights. I clean up (again) all the lights, put it back together and we have a full suite. Phew.

I’m wondering if any garage would have had the patience to sort this out before they phoned up Fiat and ordered an ECU? We’ll never know.

Now you’re bored witless, just an update on what else we’ve been doing. Well, nothing much really. We popped up and saw Jen. And today, in the rain, I started working on rewriting Unsuspecting Hero and preparing a short management course for a school in Farnham.

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and so it begins

And … as a couple who don’t work, or who work when we want to, can we pass on our sympathies to anyone who chose this week as one of their summer holiday weeks to go and head off somewhere in the UK. After some lovely weather, it’s rubbish now. So, sorry.

I might have changed my mind …

We had supper with our pals Peter and Karen on Friday night (thank you!). Inevitably we got round to politics and I made the bold declaration that popularism was a flash in the pan and would soon be dead. How’s that, Roland?

Other than humiliate the US as the former world’s policeman and liberal lead, His Orangeness has actually achieved very little. You might argue that the US’s economy is doing well under his watch, but I’ve read that (and see graphs that show that) this is a bounce that was started by Obama as the global economy picked up pace after the 2008 crash. But, for sake of fairness, let’s give him that; the US economy is doing OK.

Except … unless I only read anti-Trump articles (which is possible), the view is that his tariff war with almost anyone and everyone is now beginning to hack away at the US economy. And with no trade deal in sight with China, soon any good news will turn bad.

Ok, so maybe, maybe not the economy.

Korea? Are you kidding me? Another ‘nice’ letter received from Kim Jong-un yesterday … just as the murderous dictator launched more short-range missiles into the sea. Answering a reporter, Trump pulled down joint South Korean/US exercises, siding with a dictator against his own military. I don’t see this going anywhere – at best. At worse His Twitterness is being played. Really well.

Iran? Climate change? Syria – where, apparently, IS has started to re-emerge? Far right-supremacy? Abortion? Gun control?

Please. Name one major policy, domestic or overseas, where the current US administration has actually taken the world forward a step. Just one. Come on. Help me out.

He has so polarised the US that any future elections will be completely based on ideology rather than policy. It’s fair to say that his base will always support him … as Trump said, ‘I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters’. How true, especially now, almost three years into his tenure.

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some flowers to cheer you up …

And, to the same extent, ideology is now very much driving Brexit. It doesn’t matter that the economy is heading for recession. That the benefits of Brexit have turned from sunlit uplands to dystopian wastelands. That people have and will lose jobs. Medicines will run out and people are very likely to die. Businesses have and will close. Our future prosperity is in danger at a time when we were emerging as one of the strongest economies in the world. That we have fallen so far since the opening ceremony of the Olympics in 2012 – from a joyous, inclusive and state-of-the-art country to one of xenophobia, anger and a little bit of fear. None of that matters, because there are a group of people who see this as a battle of wills. It’s no longer about benefits and disbenefits; there are no arguments to win. It’s about entrenched my side and your side. It’s about ideology. And, unless there’s a huge shock, ideological people rarely change their spots.

But … my reading is that suburban US, particularly after the last round of mass-shootings, is beginning to get tired of it all. Tired of the hateful rhetoric. Tired of the misdirected and misplaced tweets. Tired of the lies. Wary of where this leaves the US in the eyes of the world. And with the economy faltering …

… and, over here, I read of so many more people changing from ‘leave’ to ‘remain’. Indeed, other than an exasperated ‘for goodness sake get on with it’, I have yet to see a single commentary where remainers have switched sides to leave, now seeing Brexit as a good thing. Have you?

So, my ‘bold declaration’ at supper the other night was that the tide was turning. Boris Johnson has had no honeymoon period. He’s lost a by-election, the economy has dipped and there have been no huge crowds welcoming him as he toured the country last week. Indeed, has anyone actually seen him recently? Has he made a TV appearance, other than the odd Facebook ad? Not sure.

And doesn’t he look unwell? He’s a man who, by his own admission, likes to be liked. He’s the 4th Form joker … getting by by making people laugh, whilst not necessarily encouraging their respect. Without a group of onlookers I reckon he’s finding it tough. And, I say again, he looks blotchy and pallid. Maybe he always looked like that? Dunno.

His Tweetiness is not well, for sure. He clearly has a long list of ‘isms’ that have made him the man he is, but his forgetfulness, his impetuousness and his temper would make me worry about his health in someone his age.

So … on the face of it popularism seemed like a good idea. Draining the swamp, losing the quangos and lobbyists and all that. But knowing that a week is a long time in politics, these coming months are going to show the middle ground that it’s better to vote in reasonably ordinary people than place your future in the hands of (mostly) men who crave attention and can hold a crowd. I reckon. The tide is turning.

That was my line on Friday night.

But.

(Takes a deep breath.)

Conspiracy of conspiracies, Epstein is dead. Whilst in the securest of secure detention facilities in the US.

Over here, it’s been reported that Dominic Cummings’s (the unelected Brexit enforcer) farm has received £235,000 of EU subsidies – it’s actually Euros, but I couldn’t find the Euro key on my keypad, but as Sterling is now on parity with the Euro it makes no difference.

Facebook ads. Data hacking. Self interest.

Wheels within wheels. Money and power. Greed and disregard for the outcome. A man dead in the cells of the highest security prison.  I couldn’t write it.

So, all of a sudden I’m not so sure. Maybe we can’t put this right? Maybe it’s bigger than all of us in the middle ground? I know it’s an Orwellian statement, but surely it’s difficult to make a stand when the world is being run by a bunch of gangsters.

Let’s hope I’m wrong. We’ll see.

Plans afoot

I so want to write about politics. About how it’s driving me just a little bit demented. How Brexit has gone from ‘sunlit uplands’ to, ‘don’t worry we’re not going to starve’. And I could write a couple of pages on His Orangeness’s visit to El Paso yesterday. You may not have seen the clip (it’s on Twitter), but his team have made a campaign video about him walking around the hospital where they are holding those injured in one of the gun attacks. And there are selfies with hospital staff and one, with some poor injured girl. It’s horrible.

This is where we are. Oh well.

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we popped along to Gloucester to see Jen and James

Instead I’m going to pitch my own plan: I am going to become a successful writer. That is, and for those of you who have followed me through thick and thin you’ll be familiar, for me that means consistently selling 10 books a day. And I am going to do that by this time next year. Promise.

How?

Good question. First let’s start with what we have. I have a proper series – five books. We have a beginning and, whilst I’ve no intention of making it so, an end (don’t worry, it’s more of a pause … Sam is alive, although …). The reviews are very encouraging and often eloquently so. I know I do get a good number from friends and family, and they will always over-egg their enthusiasm, but I also have over 100 reviews from the US from people I could never have met. And they are consistently above 4.0 stars and, whilst there are a small number who could leave the series alone, many are v positive about those they read. 

And, do you know what? I like them. Really like them. I enjoy rereading them and I do think the writing gets better each time.

But, I am in no doubt that Unsuspecting Hero is a slightly naive book, written in a bit of a rush and not in my true voice. There are a number of reasons for that which I haven’t got the energy to go into, but it is so. Importantly, as the first book in the series, it really needs to be a springboard – a hook – to capture the reader and propel them into my fantasy world. I’m not completely convinced that that is the case.

And I think I have some stats to show that – now that I’ve paid attention to them. I get an hourly update on books sold, via the internet … including which country. Last month I had a 1 to 3 success rate between Unsuspecting Hero and the second in the series, Fuelling the Fire. I don’t think that’s bad, but it needs to be better. I need to up that to at least 1 to 2, if not better. To make that happen I have to rewrite UH and republish it. That is Job Two. Timeline: by Christmas …

Job One is to reread Fuelling the Fire so that I don’t base Sam and her pals’ characters on where I finished in book 5 which is fresh in my mind. Instead I rewrite her based on where she sets off at the start of book 2. Characters grow over a series, and I have to get that transition just so.

Then it’s marketing time (Job 3). And I have no idea what that means. It will certainly include some Amazon/Facebook ads, and there are plenty of on-line tutorials on how to get those right. It could well mean approaching an independent book store(s) in Bristol and seeing if they could take the series. That would likely mean I would need to print some of my own copies, which I could do cheaply (certainly for less than £5 a copy … currently Amazon charge over £10 for a print on demand copy). I fancy a trip to a bookfair with my own stand? And there’s our local library and book clubs. And, and …

The ambition is 300 books a month from September 2020, onward. And, key, I must not be spending (on marketing) more than I am earning. 

This means continuing to grow my on-line presence. Currently I am just shy of 500 followers on Instagram. I get between 100-150 discrete hits on this blog every week. And my Twitter following is 370. None of those are big numbers, and they do need to increase. Of course the way to get the numbers bigger is to write and post decent stuff. ‘Well, do that!’, I hear you shout. Ok, then.

Finally, on the marketing vein linked to book sales, I have made some progress. And that’s on Twitter. Sales of the original four books have stagnated at about 20 a month over the past year. However, I have seen a small upturn in the past 6 weeks and it’s been with Unsuspecting Hero. Normally I sell 5/7 copies a month of UH. Since I have become more active on Twitter that increased to 16 copies last month – outselling the other books 3-fold. This month, unsurprisingly, I have sold a splurge of On The Back Foot To Hell to my ‘known’ readers, but that will (and should) calm down. However … and this is key … in the first 7 days of this month I have sold 7 copies of Unsuspecting Hero. And the only thing I have done differently is to be active on Twitter. I am sure there is a correlation.

Anyhow … that’s where we are. And where I’m going.

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For the record, Bex came down to stay – it was so lovely to have her with us – and we took her to the airport yesterday where she met up with Steven (who’d been saying cheerio to his family). We are unlikely to see her again before Easter next year, which is sad, but they have a fab life and we wouldn’t want to put a brake on that in any way. 

And Doris has just had her oil changed, which means in the last two months I’ve changed her oil, her fuel filter, her brake discs and her air filter. Fab. Next stop (with her), Scotland for four weeks in a couple of weeks time. Hurrah!

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my first review for On The Back Foot To Hell – someone in the US, I know not whom

Must go. I have a plan to get on with.