Showing posts from July, 2016

Fun not in the sun

One of the bad things about holidays in the British Isles is that generally the weather tends to be crap. You head off to a nice seaside resort dreaming of gorgeous sunny days on beaches, but rarely does it turn out that way. To summarise: The dream The reality Once again, this is how it has turned out this week. Why oh why must the British weather always tempt me in this way? Chuck a 30+ degree heatwave at me a few days before we depart only to replace it with 17c, cloud and rain as soon as we arrive wherever we are going. Still, it's not all bad. It hasn't been as bad as the picture above to be honest, just not warm enough to spend days on the beach. We did manage an hour or two on Monday afternoon, when the kids enjoyed swimming in one of two natural swimming pools that forms on the south beach when the tide goes out. Tomorrow morning looks cloudy but dry, so we are determined to go down and build a few sandcastles. Timing is everything when it comes to sandcas

The Next Doctor

In a shock announcement today, the next actor to play Doctor Who was revealed at a hastily assembled press conference at a secret location in Wales. A spokesman claiming to be from the show said "Rather than go through all the speculation that normally follows a lead actor announcing that they are leaving the role, we thought we would get the new man on board before Peter Capaldi actually leaves. As let's face it, he's coming up for his third series and bound to quit soon, just like all the others do just as we are starting to get used to them." The new actor was truly a surprise, as he is better known as a novelist than an actor. Oxford born Jason Ayres, 46, rebuffed claims that he had no acting experience at the conference, listing a number of TV and film appearances over the years. We checked him out on IMDB and found that he had played the following illustrious roles: Man in Pub - Eastenders (2 episodes) - 2015 Man in Kebab Shop - Emmerdale Farm - 2013 F

Treasure Trails

It's the first week of the summer holidays and I'm writing to you from Tenby, here in the south-west corner of Wales. And what a lovely little spot it is too. This isn't my first visit here. I stayed here in 1975, a trip I have some vague early memories of. I also stayed here in 1992 with my then girlfriend, but oddly, I can't remember a single thing about that holiday or the town itself. That's very odd for me as I have a pretty photographic memory and can recall the finer details of many of my other trips. Yet Tenby in 1992 has somehow erased itself from my hard drive. Where I stayed, where I ate, even what I did remains a complete blank. I can only assume that being 22 I must have spent the whole week drinking and lost the memories because of it. It is a bit worrying that entire chunks of my past can simply disappear like this, though. If only I had had a blog then, I could have written it all down for posterity. Never mind, we'll just have to start again

Now it's The Bicester Grand Prix!

This weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone could be the last at the venue if those at the head of the sport get their way. It has long been no secret that F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone covets holding a race around the streets of London. However the logistics of staging such an event have proved insurmountable thus far. There were a few glorified electric go-karts trundling around Battersea Park last weekend in the Formula E race, but that just doesn't cut the mustard with die-hard petrol heads. Some Grand Prix cars having a race. Now we have it on good authority that Bicester is being considered as a possible alternative venue. Our roving correspondent, Gerald Mincen, explains more. "Silverstone is all well and good, but let's face it, it's not the most picturesque venue in the world. At other races you've got everything from medieval castles in the background to nice harbours with yachts and stuff. And what do we have here in Bicester, that a

Cover Story

"That fat bloke on the cover looks vaguely familiar" writes reader Dave from Shillingford. Indeed, he does. So how did I end up starring on my own book cover? Have I become so carried away with dreams of stardom that my massive ego has got the better of me? Actually, it was more a case of needs must. I shall explain, but first let me introduce you to Daniela. Daniela has been the cover artist for every one of my novels, from The Time Bubble onwards. She lives in Brazil and is one of a stable of artists who produce work for a site called It was on this site that I found the cover that I used for The Time Bubble. Since then I have got to know Daniela, working with her on the design of all my book covers since. I can't rate her highly enough. She seems to instinctively pick up what I'm trying to convey in my books. Here are a few examples of her work for me: The Time Bubble trilogy - cover art by Daniela. My favourite of these is Global