Saturday, 27 August 2016

Yvonne's Post

Yvonne deserves her own post, showing the stuff she has been doing over the last few months, so here we go.

First up, she has been making cards and envelopes from the excellent Rebecca Jones book,

And here's a few of them.

Not content with that, she has made a dairy free cheesecake for our daughter Naomi, who is coming down next weekend.

The base is made from Cashew nuts, desiccated Coconut and Coconut Oil. The middle from Cashews, Berries, more Coconut Oil, Vanilla and various other things. It's all topped with Berry jam, using Berries from the garden. 

I hope she likes it, I cleaned the bowl and it was delish!!

There will be another picture when it's cut.

Finally, Yvonne has started cross-stitching for a charity called Lovequilts. Find them here in UK
It's a wonderful thing to do, needless to say, I'm very proud of her, here is the first project she has done, a Camper Van card.

The first of many I'm sure, I'll keep you updated on her progress.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Out today

The eBook has been released this morning,

"The Rocks of Aserol is undoubtedly an old-fashioned adventure in the tradition of HG Wells and Jules Verne!" - So said Barb Taub in her review at

Normal blogging will resume shortly.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Video trailer and a Rhinoceros.

I know I said that I would keep the book news to my website but I must share this with you. Circle of Spears the production company responsible for the audiobook version of "The Rocks of Aserol," have released a short video trailer for the book.

The ebook will be released i a week, August 25th to be exact, with the paperback and audiobook available on September 1st.
All formats can be pre-ordered, the ebook and paperback at and the audio version at 

The Rhino was spotted in Torquay, while I was waiting to go to the dentist.

there are several, placed around Torbay variously.

We managed a Cream tea at Millie and Me yesterday as well,

and I made some Sourdough Digestives.

Not only that, I've finished the Conservatory, covering the freezer and folding table with tape. The whole room looks like it should do, and we can sit in it now instead of using it as a dump!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Tales from Norlandia, Part 9

With ten days to go before the publication of "The Rocks of Aserol," here is the last of the vignettes created to support the book.

Ministry of Invention

“There’s nothing left to invent.”
The group of men sat around the long table drinking char fell silent at that comment. They all turned to look at the speaker, Professor Griffith.
“Really?” replied Regis Lewin, another one of the senior scientists. “And tell me then, Professor, why are we here if all our work has been done?”
Griffith gulped a draught of char, it scalded the back of his throat and he tried not to splutter as he marshalled his thoughts. Around him he could see the eager anticipation on the faces, he had dared to say what some people in the realms of power thought and now would have to justify it. There were many incredulous looks. After all, their continued employment depended in no small part in his being wrong.
“I merely mean that to my mind the major advances have been made. We control the land and the seas with steam and clockwork, we use the resources of the planet to our advancement and our race is supreme.”
Lewin nodded, this view was not uncommon, especially when the government was short of money. With the cost of the recent wars, money was short and the talk was of savings. Griffith was known to be well connected; maybe he was toeing the official line.
“So you see our work as tinkering around the edges then, of minor improvements to things already known.”
“Yes, sir. I do. We perfect the discoveries of our fathers.”
Lewin tried another tack. “There are new sciences are there not, which may reveal themselves in whole new directions.”
“They will all fall into the great scheme of things in time.”
“And what of the things that we cannot do now, such as fly?”
Griffith snorted. “Flight is one of those things that we will never master, in my opinion.”
There was an intake of breath from the others in the group. These were all men who were somehow involved in resolving the problems of powered flight. Balloons were a halfway point in the process; primitive engines had been tested in them. Griffith was pushing his luck suggesting that all this work was in vain. Or perhaps he had heard of bad news coming.
“And even if it were,” said Mollis, joining the conversation, “who knows what else we may discover, you have no doubt heard of serendipity.”
Mollis was a renowned man, he could be said to be the father of pressure dynamics. If anyone could solve the problems of powered flight it would be him. Griffith said nothing; his look of disdain showed his views on that.
“And what of statics?” There was a gasp around the table. Trevor had spoken up. Statics was a new branch of science which was little understood. It concerned the behaviour of magnets and wires and some strange forces that they produced under certain conditions.
“A diversion,” said Griffith confidently, “a sideshow with no potential. It’s true that there are some interesting effects but they cannot be reproduced reliably.”
“And do you not think that warrants further study?”
“It will fall into place but I doubt it to be of much use. The forces involved are so small that they could never do the work of a steam engine.”
There was much nodding at that, and even Lewin had to concede the point. Just then the hooter sounded.
Their break over, the scientists returned to their individual tasks, Lewin was working on a problem in fluid mechanics but found it hard to concentrate. He was irritated by the lack of ambition shown by the professor. In his day Griffith had been a leading light, many everyday objects were the result of his ideas but lately, his inventing muscles had atrophied.
He watched as the water passed over the rotating propeller, small particles suspended in it showed the flow of water over the blades. He knew that the motion of the propeller pushed the water backwards and the ship forwards but he wanted to understand why increasing the power did not increase the speed. He modified the angle of the blades to the drive shaft and tried again. He had been doing this for several days; perhaps Griffith was right, the limits of understanding were being reached. Finding this test gave no better results than the last he stopped the shaft and removed the propeller. Removing one blade he lifted it up to the light and cursed as water ran up his arm. He looked at the blades’ flat surfaces.
“What you got there, sir?” The voice came from the char seller, astride her clockwork cart. He had been so engrossed in the blade that he hadn’t heard her arrival.
“It’s nothing,” he replied. “I’m just stuck on a problem. A cup if you please”
The lady dismounted and fiddled with her urn. “You need to clear your mind, sir. My old man says you should go and do something different and put it out of your mind. The answer will come to you if you distract yourself.”
She was kind and Lewin was not rude, but he wanted her gone so he could think. Manners made him carry on the conversation.
“And how pray does he put it out of his mind?” he asked.
“Well,” she replied, “he goes for a dip in the sea, the cold and the exertion forces other thoughts from his head.” She paused. “He has to clear his mind to all but trying not to drown himself,” she finished with a laugh.
“I see,” said Lewin, not noticing the humour in her voice. “And is he at danger of drowning then?”
“Oh no, sir. He is a good swimmer, the fastest in our hamlet.” She passed him the char in its Ministry cup.
“Thank you,” said Lewin.
As the seller climbed back on her seat she threw him a parting comment. “He reckons his bald head goes through the water faster than his mates with their fancy hair.” The cart whirred into life and disappeared down the corridor.
Lewin had a sudden thought, bald heads were curved, perhaps if one side of the propeller blades were curved it would be more efficient.
I hope you've enjoyed these short stories, you can read the whole series from the start on my website or pre-order the novel at

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The road less travelled

There are so many back lanes in Devon, and some of them probably haven't been used for ages, hence the grass growing in the middle. I like to let my mind wander sometimes and try to imagine what could be just out of sight, maybe I'll make a story or two out of it someday.

Yvonne and I took a little trip yesterday, I'm suffering from a throat infection and the antibiotics are making me feel about as bad as the infection had. Still, we both wanted to get out for a few hours. We ended up by the side of the river Dart having a picnic, having first gone the long way around.