Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Ignorance and learning...

I realise that's an odd title. It comes from my increasing realisation that there are far too many people in the world who DON'T know what they're talking about, but refuse to accept that someone who is an expert in the topic might know more than them...

BBC radio 4 recently (and deservedly) got flack from scientists (and others) who were understandably outraged that Lord Lamont was brought in 'to add balance to the climate change discussion'. Lord Lamont may know a lot of things but he patently knows nothing about climate change science. And patently told a heap of lies that went unchallenged by the presenters.

Donald Trump doesn't appear to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction (and won't accept being told that). If he doesn't like something or doesn't understand it, it's 'fake news'.

Most of the UK government are not scientists and yet make wide-sweeping (and incorrect) statements or policies about a whole heap of things - neonics and the effect on insects, whether badger culling reduces the incidence of TB in cattle to name but two.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018


As you may know, I lost my darling Sly (Sylvester) almost a year ago. At the time, I swore I wouldn't have any more cats while we lived here. We lost Sly's brother, Kiwi, many years ago, hit by a car on the road. What was more heartbreaking than his loss, was that we didn't find him for several days and he was still alive (though very, very injured).

Roll forward to last November, and we adopted two little boys from our local cat shelter. They were deeply traumatised when we got them but slowly developed into a couple of adorable hooligans.

Every day, I was terrified they wouldn't come home, that they would get hit by a car. Every single day. I was less worried about Max - he seemed to stay pretty close to home - but Nero... Nero had that same Wanderlust that Kiwi had.

Just over a week ago, Nero didn't come home. We hoped he had just got himself shut in a shed or a garage, but deep down, we knew he hadn't. We found his body the next day. The small mercy is that he would have been killed instantly.

I've been trying to console myself with the thoughts that we gave him everything he wanted - food, warmth, shelter, love and the opportunity to explore and roam to his heart's content. I just wish he'd had the sense to roam in the acres and acres of fields at the back of us and not on the main road.

He was a beautiful, beautiful boy and my heart is broken.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

More Murder and Mayhem!

They're back! This time at Blackwells in Edinburgh, on 17th March. Are you brave enough to join them? Not everyone will come out of it alive!*

See if you can spot which of the crime writers is the murderer, and win a freebie if you manage to catch them out. There's also plenty of time for chatting about the writing life, getting published and writing crime.

Each time we've done this, it's been a hoot, so if you're in the area, pop in and see for yourself. Entry is completely free. See here for more details.

The writers are: Tana Collins, Wendy H. Jones, Lesley Kelly, Chris Longmuir and Jackie McLean.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Unwelcome sign of age!


Actually, I've worn glasses for short-sightedness for about 40 years now and am so short-sighted that without glasses/contact lenses, I would struggle to see beyond about 5 inches from the end of my nose. I certainly can't read without them as the book would be stiflingly close. I actually can't put my contact lenses in using a mirror, as there isn't enough space between my face and the mirror to have my hand. I've always put my lenses in by touch.

No. The new glasses hell is that I'm now old enough to need reading glasses too. If I'd had perfect vision before, this might have been a smidgen easier, but as it is, I now have: my contact lenses, a pair of reading glasses for when I'm wearing my contact lenses, a pair of glasses for when I'm not wearing my contact lenses and not reading/writing either, and a pair of glasses for when I'm not wearing my contact lenses but am reading or writing.

Why not just get a pair of varifocals? They would cover all instances of not wearing my contact lenses.