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A Good Neighbour with a Gun

Transatlantic Notes

Twice this year I’ve been awoken by the sound of gunshots. The most recent was when a man living in a nearby house shot at his girlfriend during an argument. There was a stand-off with police, and then SWAT arrived and fired tear gas through a window to get the suspect out. Nobody was hurt – a fact I’m incredibly grateful for as I watched the whole incident unfold.

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The Writer’s Cut

Writing Wings


You are invited to the launch of my equestrian mystery Spiral of Hooves: The Writer’s Cut aka The Second Edition on August 7th, 2017, which is incidentally my 64th birthday.

Join me on Facebook or Goodreads as I discuss how the novel came about, my horse world, being an MS warrior, and my future from motorbikes and longboats to spacecraft and airships. I will answer any question posed…within my ability to do so. Of course, there will be prizes from signed copies to other goodies.

The party begins at 10 am. MDT (1700 BST; 1200 EDT; 0900 PST) on Facebook – see HERE for details and invite. (Facebook says in Boise but the party is online so come as you are.) I will also drop in and out of Goodreads to chat and answer questions – HERE – whenever I can slip off Facebook.

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Fahrenheit 451 – a review

Source: Fahrenheit 451 – a review


First of all let us take a moment to reflect on what took place on this day, September 11, 2001, and pay our respects to all of those who lost their lives and to give our thanks to the people who never gave up to find all the lost ones. It was truly a very sad day in America, something that I hope I will never see again in my lifetime.


Today is also a day that puts my forever love, Roland Clarke, and myself one day closer to our long journey, which has been in the works for over a year, across the Atlantic Ocean on the Queen Mary 2. She is a mighty Ocean Liner not a Cruise Ship, that was built to take the storms that occur on her journeys of which she has had many. Her construction started on July 4, 2002 and she was launched March 21, 2003, completed December 23, 2003, christened January 8, 2004, and made her maiden voyage January 12, 2004.


PICTURES BY JAMES MORGAN (M: 0403 892304) Sunday 4th March 2012 – Off the coast near Portland, Victoria, Australia  Cunard’s magnificent flagship Queen Mary 2 was today saluted by another historic vessel also circumnavigating Australia the Endeavour as the two vessels crossed paths off the coast of Victoria.


On September 15th the movers will come and pack up the belongings we are taking with us and the next day September 16th they will be here to move everything into a 20 foot container which will then be taken to Liverpool where it will begin its 8 week journey to either San Francisco, California or Seattle, Washington. We are not sure which port it will go into yet.


We will be leaving our home in Harlech on September 19th bound for Southampton where we will spend the night at a Hotel then the next day September 20th we will go to the Ocean Terminal to embark on the Liner. We have to be there no later than 1:30 pm and the Liner leaves the Terminal at approximately 4:30 pm. She will sail past the Isle of Wight where Roland spent most of his childhood standing on the shore and watching the ships come in. It will be a bitter-sweet moment for him and I am sure it will be an emotional one. We will be at sea for 6 days and on the 7th day, September 27th we will reach the Brooklyn Terminal in New York where we will disembark the ship, go through customs and immigration. Two of my sons, Jason and Ryan will meet us there after having driven from Boise, Idaho to meet us and then we will begin our cross country trip to our new home. We will be stopping in Roy, Utah to see my family there and then onwards to Boise. It will be an exciting adventure for Quetzal and Treeky as they are going with us.





I feel both excitement and sadness before this journey. Excitement to see my family again after 5 long years and sadness to leave a beautiful home that we thought would be our forever place. It seems that some higher power had a different idea about where we would be spending our Golden years. I have been living here in the UK for 6 years and it is time to go home……part of the reason is health. Both Roland and I are feeling the aches and pains of old age and Roland’s is compounded by his having MS. The damp cold weather here is not good for his illness and hoping that the dry heat of Boise will have a different effect on him and help him to feel better. But the best thing of all is the love that is felt by my kids and their families. After all love heals all!!!


We re-homed the 2 cats with a very nice American lady who live next to us and they have integrated into her home with no problems, other than hiding from her and making her frantic thinking they got outside and ran away. Poor Mary-Louise……I hope they bring her as much joy as they have given us in the time we had them. They are very good cats and seem to adapt well to new surroundings.



I will miss this country, it is very pretty and there are many places that I didn’t get to see, but maybe in another lifetime. The one thing I won’t miss is snooty people who think they are better than anyone else and people who can’t even call to see if you are okay…..I always thought that is what neighbours were all about but I guess in this day and age that is a forgotten art like so many other things that have been forgotten.


I really can’t think of anything else to write at this time, except that we will not have computers after the 15th other than a very small one to keep up on emails and such. So think of us while we sail across the Atlantic in the lap of luxury aboard the QM2, we will definitely be thinking of all of you who matter to us and will be looking forward to our journeys end and seeing those we love the most. So till next time from the Duskweald……


Golden sunrise clouds and rising sun above sea , Atlantic Ocean

Golden sunrise clouds and rising sun in blue sky above sea and waves,  Atlantic Ocean.

Immurement – a review

Another good review by my one and only…….

Writing Wings

I must apologise for the lack of any reviews since the beginning of August, in fact a distinct lack of any posts. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been reading. I have and reviews of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Stephen Puleston’s Devil’s Kitchen are in the pipeline. But first I’m going to review the sci-fi dystopian first book in Norma Hinkens’s’ The Undergrounders Series.


Immurement (The Undergrounders #1)

by Norma Hinkens

The Sweepers are coming. They hunt the young. Earth’s end is her beginning.

Sixteen-year-old Derry and her brother live in perpetual fear of capture. They survive underground on a scorched earth overrun by gangs, clones, and mysterious hoverships. When her brother goes missing, Derry’s only hope of finding him is to strike a deal with a group of cutthroat subversives. Desperate to save her brother, she leads a daring raid to uncover the secrets…

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Hunger – a review

I don’t normally read books for teens, but the blurb for “Hunger” and a review made me buy this excellent as part of Pub Hub’s Buy Diverse Books offer in June. The mix of apocalypse and eating diso…

Source: Hunger – a review

Adventure to London

We left home (Harlech) on Tuesday the 3rd of May at approximately 9:30 am and headed to Porthmadog to drop the fur babies off at the kennels.  After dropping them off we headed for London via the A5 which took us through places like Bala, Shrewsbury, Nuneaton, Towcester, Milton Keynes and into Kings Langley.  We arrived at the hotel at about 4:30 pm and after getting checked in called Jo and Steve to let them know we had arrived. The room was okay but there were several things that did not make it handicap accessible like we were told.  The bed was so low to the floor that when you sat on the side your knees were in your chest.  The bathroom did have several hand rails on the walls but Roland could not reach the sink, which was low but the taps were to far away for him to turn on.  It had a shower over a bathtub which he can’t use so he had to take a sponge bath with hand towels as the hotel does not have washclothes or flannels as they call them over here.  It had two emergency pull ropes, one in the bath and one next to the bed but no telephone so if you needed anything you had to walk to the reception desk.  There was also a big heavy sliding door on the bathroom and no room to turn the wheelchair around.  We then took a nap and waited for Jo and Steve to arrive.  After they arrived we went next door to the Toby’s Carvery and had a nice meal with them.  They then went home in London and we agreed upon a time for them to pick us up the next day, Wednesday the 4th, to take us to London for Roland’s medical for his immigrant visa.




Wednesday Jo and Steve came at noon to get us as due to traffic we had to start early.  His appointment was for 2:30 pm.  We were going to use their car but the wheelchair would not fit in the boot so we had to have Steve drive us in our car.  The traffic was really bad in London, but Steve did take us down Baker Street… that song!!!  We had reserved a parking spot in a car park but due to circumstances we didn’t get there.  Steve dropped us off and they left to find a place to wait for us.  I left Roland on the sidewalk and rang the bell to get into the building.  Once inside I told reception he was in a wheelchair and they bolted to action.  They got the ramps and headed out to help him inside the building.  There were 5 of them, including the guy who did the xrays who got Roland and the wheelchair up the stairs and into the office.  Once inside we were told to wait in the waiting room as we were a bit early.  When it was 5 minutes before his appointment I went to reception and got the paper to fill out and once that was done went back to the waiting area with Roland.  The waiting room was packed!!!!  They finally called him back for the chest xray aobut 30 minutes after we got there, then we waited for the doctor to call us back.  We waited another 30 minutes then went back to her office where she did a physical, took blood etc.  She asked loads of questions about the MS and was a bit concerned about his feet looking purple, but they always look like that and has never caused concern with the GP or any other doctors.  That part of the appointment took almost an hour.  When we were done with the doctor we were sent back to the waiting area and told that if he needed any jabs (shots) the nurse would talk to him…..but about 10 minutes later they called us to reception to pay and we were finally done…..he passed the medical!!!!




The staff jumped into action again and got the ramps and took him down to the sidewalk…..I called Jo and Steve and told them we were ready to go.  I think by this time it was close to 5:00 pm and rush hour traffic was in full force…..they came and picked us up, took us back to the hotel then left to go back to Norfolk as her mum had passed the day before and they needed to be with the family.  Even though they were going through a trying time they still took the time to help Roland and I … that is what I call true friends!!!!

We left Kings Langley this morning, Thursday the 5th to head back home to Harlech at 7:30am…..this time we took a different route and came through Welshpool…much better roads than when we went down for sure……Had a few wobblies along the way, like the arse who tried to run into me on the roundabout coming out of Kings Langley, then I had to get petrol for the car and was still upset over that guy and grabbed the wrong pumphose and pumped unleaded regular into a diesel only car…….only got 8 liters in before I realized what I did and stopped pumping, went into the pay station and paid for the wrong petrol then went out and pumped over 18 liters of diesel…….there was still 1/4 tank left in the tank anyway……it didn’t seem to do anything to the car, it still had power and ran well the rest of the way home, but I will have the garage take a look at it when I call them to fix the passenger side mirror again.  When we went to get the dogs the bushes at the side of their drive brushed the mirror and pushed it hard into the window, again and it fell out of the frame…..happened before so not to worried about it….if not I think duct tape will work well!!!! After we got home we were knackered so we went to bed and took a nap and it was so nice to have my fur babies with me…..I sure did miss the little critters, maybe I bit to much.

So we jumped this hurdle and did well, so one more to go and then it will be smooth sailing!!!! That is the end of our adventure so till next time take care!!!  From the Duskweald


I sometimes think to myself that I should be doing more but why? Nothing seems to go as planned and there are some people who would rather see you jump through all the hoops for them like a little trained animal than help you. Oh I know what you are thinking…..if you want something done then it is up to you to do it…….correct? Well my answer to that is you can only do so much before you finally throw in the towel and give up……….


Roland and I have been dreaming of moving to the states since early last year, building all of this dreaming on false hopes……hopes that the one in control would see what we needed and wanted and try to help us bring those dreams to pass…..but I think he has another agenda in mind……just tired of the lies, and the putting off and moving goal posts……we had hoped to be in America in November of 2015, we even went so far as to put an offer in on a home only to have all of that dashed due to the one in charge moving goal posts yet again.


We have had to watch as several homes that were just the right thing for a wheelchair have gone on the market and then been sold before the one in charge sees to it that we have the money to buy. Then the date of March 2016 came out in the agenda but again beings it is the middle of January those dates will again be set aside.



I just want to go “home”, not be in a place where neither of us are happy anymore due to many factors. The weather has been terrible, It didn’t seem like we had a summer, at least not to us. So much rain, wind, and cold. Who wants to go out in that kind of crap? At least in America we will have family around and grand kids who can come and have grandma sleep overs with junk food, movies, staying up way past the bedtime, and most of all fun and love that only grandparents can give… know the saying “What happens at grandma’s, stays at grandma’s”………….


Then there are neighbours, the ones who say one thing but mean another and who dictate who you can and can’t be friends with……you know the kind……don’t you? And if you don’t bend to their demands then they snub you like you have the plague………I hate living like this and it certainly is not doing Roland any good either, especially when he feels like he can’t even leave his own house without getting an evil eye from someone. Might as well be in a prison some place…..maybe get better treatment than we get here.


I will miss North Wales when we do finally get to leave……I love the Sea and the fresh air and I will always regret that I didn’t get to see the many places I really wanted to see while I lived here….it is sad in a way….but maybe in another lifetime? There are so many preparations to get done before the day of the big move comes…..lets just hope that the goal posts are not moved yet again. The disappointment is to much to bear anymore……….we have to think about getting our stuff shipped, sell our present car, and get this house on the market and hopefully sold before we go…….we are looking towards September 2016 but only time will tell…………..Will try to keep you posted but as I say I have no motivation right now to do anything…..


I think I am about to that point where I want to throw in the towel and give up…..but what is the point of that? “Don’t throw in the towel, just use it to wipe off the sweat and carry on”. I guess that is all for now so till next time from the Duskweald!!!!

north wales

Writing Wings

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00067] Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00067] For a change, I decided to produce a blog post around two reviews on two books from the same author Donna Galanti. In fact, they are the first two books in The Element Trilogy and, although I’m a slow reader, I’m looking forward to the release of the final book.

I won the second book in the trilogy in a competition that Donna Galanti ran on her website at, so I bought the first and read them in order. That proved to be the right decision, even if it meant delaying the first review.

A Human Element (The Element Trilogy #1)

The blurb starts off, “Evil comes in many forms…” and that is very true of both books. I was quickly drawn into the tragic life of Laura Armstrong, whose “friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing…

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Where are my quills?

Source: Where are my quills?