Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Into the dying throes of 2008, and it's been a strange and in many regards quite a life changing year. People often remark that they are glad that the year is over because all they recall are the bad things that have happened. This is almost certainly down to bad things having a lasting and usually more serious impact than good things. Take the most extreme of both, birth and death, most people remember the death of a close relative more so than the birth of a baby. True? Well you decide.

My year has had its share of ups and down, being diagnosed with a form of Autism, IE. Aspergers. Being suspended from work for 5 months, worrying about possibly losing my job, livelihood and the consequences that this entails. The down times with the depression, the perpetual moments of self doubt/loathing and insecurity. The pain and anxiety I have put others through. The Sleep Apnea and constantly feeling tired.

I look at the other side of the coin and find new people have entered and enriched my life, Shelley who we met in Ireland and have kept in touch with over the Internet, a lovely lady and someone who we hope to meet again sooner rather than later. Carol, the lady from LEAT, which is the charity that supports me both at work and home, she has proven instrumental at keeping my job. Everyone at the Mind group who don't judge their peers, just accept you warts and all for exactly who you are. Bob, the gentleman who I visit every Thursday for an hour as part of the befriender programme I am on. Michelle, a member of the Mind group who I seem to have struck a chord with, a troubled lady with a kind, gentle disposition. Lastly and by no means least Kay from Australia, this lady has meant so much to me, words cannot express my gratitude, admiration and fondness I hold for her. She is a fantastic lady with great taste in books, she has been both a comfort and friend.

So what out weighs what? Possibly this is a question for each and everyone of us, that only ourselves can answer. I would like to wish everybody a happy and healthy New Year, especially those named above, those poor people in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq. But most of all to my wife Jayne. Covers to end the year on.

Gladys Mitchell "My Bones Will Keep" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1962, p254, jacket by Kennith Farnhill.

Gladys Mitchell "The Dancing Druids" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1948, p239.

Saturday, 27 December 2008


Marion Babson, The Twelve Deaths of Christmas, delivered everything expected of it. A good old fashioned who-dunnit involving a Psychopath who goes around bumping victims off for causing almost every conceivable inconvenience known to man. Oh how liberating to be able to do what the murderer in this book does. Where Babson does fail is in the characterisation and in depth description found in other books of similar ilk, particularly Margery Allingham's books. Having said this , Babson more than makes up for it with the page turner ability rarely found in a lot of authors, and I sadly have to say that Gladys Mitchell often fails in this aspect. All in all a high 7 out of 10.

Christmas has now come and gone and Santa bought me a wonderful present this year, that was a new Margery Allingham first edition whose cover will adorn this Blog shortly. In the meantime and as a special treat for Kay.

Charlotte Armstrong, "The Case of the Weird Sisters" First U.K. edition published by John Gifford Ltd, 1943, p191.

FORWARD:_When wealthy James Whitlock decides to marry his secretary, he did not take into consideration the reaction of his three sisters, all of whom are suffering from some sort of affliction. His amazing escapades and the ultimate entrance of MacDougal Duff, one time school teacher, but now solver of murder cases, will hold the readers attention absolutely to the end.

Gladys Mitchell "Noonday and Night" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1977, p191.

FORWARD:_Called upon to probe the mysterious disappearance of two touring motor coach drivers, Dame Beatrice, Lestrange Bradley uncovers a racket which involves stolen antiques, smuggling and murder.

Later a third driver is missing, but reappears to tell a tale which Dame Beatrice suspects is only partly true. The story moves from a stately home in Derbyshire to a Cathedral town in West Wales and finishes in a loch-side hamlet not far from Fort William. One slender clue leads to another until the drama is played out and the murderer named.

Coach-party addicts may be able to recognise the various locations and those who contemplate their first coach tour may be reassured by the fact that, according to the story, only the driver-couriers get murdered, never do the passengers.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


I feel compelled to post an entry concerning the recent trial and committal of Robert Napper. He is regarded as a serial rapist and murderer. Most infamously guilty of the Rachel Nickell murder on Wimbledon Common on July 15 1992, witnessed by her 35 month old son. He is to be detained in Broadmoor high security mental hospital indefinitely. Which in his case means life.

So why do I feel so compelled as to make this entry? Well at his trial 2 eminent psychiatrists both pronounced Napper to be a Paranoid Schizophrenic and also suffering from Asperger's. This is not the sort of publicity that this already misunderstood and hidden disability requires or needs. Napper is an exceptional case and no association with his practices and those of us who also have Aspergers should be made... on any grounds.

Having got that off my chest I have become acutely aware that the Gladys covers I have posted has almost left me with hardly any left, well still a few perhaps.

Gladys Mitchell, "Lovers Make Moan" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1981, p192, jacket Graham Rogers.

Gladys Mitchell, "Death of a Burrowing Mole" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1982, p204, jacket Graham Rogers.

Anthony Gilbert, "Riddle of a lady" first U.K. edition published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1956, p192.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


It's been a busy week for me socially anyway, last Wednesday I went to the LEAT Christmas party, this for fellow Asperger sufferers. It can be quite an ordeal being in a room full of people with Aspergers. Especially awkward for those who have never encountered Aspergers. Having said all of that, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I felt relaxed and at ease.

Saturday, Clarence invited us to a surprise 70th Birthday Party for his Mother, this was an event that gave me a certain amount of trepidation, could I go and sit in a room full of strangers? How would I cope with a strange enviroment? This was a West Indian function, would a different culture effect me? Well......I needn't have worried, it was a wonderful night and instead of only staying an hour or two, we ended up staying well past midnight. No big deal you might think, but for me this was something of a watershed.

Monday night saw me at the MIND groups Christmas Party. This is probably the place where I feel the most at home. This wasn't quite the case as there was a number of people there who don't usually attend on a Monday night, so this made me quite guarded. It was a pleasant night and I took a desert for the pleasure and enjoyment of my fellow groupees.


3 oz Digestive Biscuits--crushed
2oz of butter
3 1/2 oz Icing sugar
1 egg
1/2 pt of double cream (not frozen)
432g tin of Pineapple chunks
Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs.
Fold in thoroughly drained pineapple
Beat cream until it is stiff and fold in to the mixture
Put in to a flan dish and sprinkle with the biscuit crumbs, lightly press them in to the mixture
Decorate with glaze cherries or halved grapes
Chill for 24 hours
This will comfortably serve 8.


Gladys Mitchell "Death of a Delft Blue" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1964, p240, jacket by Broom Lynne.

Gladys Mitchell, "Here Lies Gloria Mundy" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1982, p182, jacket by Mark Wilkinson.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

mmmmmmmmmm......IT'S BEEN A WHILE.

I don't know why I haven't put anything on my blog for a few days, I kept telling myself "Finish off Bones of the Buried, then do your biog" Well I have finished the book and here I am.

There were times when I thoroughly enjoyed and enthused about this book, I revelled in the historical content and class struggle that runs through the book. However, there are to me detrimental aspects to this book as well as the positives I've mentioned. The two biggest gripes I have are that the two main characters seem to have slipped into almost hedonistic behaviour, therefor tarnishing their appeal and also their own relationship to each other. But to me a far greater crime was committed, where it is fine to have murderers working in unison, it is not "cricket" to have multiple murders committed by multiple killers. It just becomes to cloudy and almost impossible to solve. All in all a 6 out of 10.

A quick apology to Kay for not congratulating you on your wonderful exam result, you are a star. Well done.

I decided to start a Marion Babson book today, as it has a theme that's festive. Babson is an author whom I used to read in my younger days, and generally liked (along with HRF Keating and his Inspector Ghote books).

Marion Babson "The Twelve Deaths of Christmas" First U.K. edition published by Collins 1979. p180, cover photograph by Margaret Murray.

Gladys Mitchell "Cold, Lone and Still" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1983, p190. Jacket by Graham Rogers.

Gladys Mitchell "The Crozier Pharaohs" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1984, p189. Jacket by Graham Rogers. This is notable for being the last book Gladys wrote and the third and last to be published posthumously.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


This promises to be an interesting week in one form or another. Monday I will be paying a visit to a Psychiatrist for the first time. I have been told by Carol, the lady from the Aspergers group who support me that all that will happen is that they will either change or increase my medication. This visit is not about my Aspergers but more about my eternal depression. Following that in the evening Carol, Jayne and I will be going to something called the Monday club which was set up about 10 years ago as a support group for people with ASD. We are going along with a view to setting up a "Satelite" group which (will function along similar lines in) Market Harborough.
Thursday, the lady from social services will call round to discuss with both Carol and myself the need for ongoing support, re- the finance. Now, for me, all this constitutes a very stressful and packed week, let's hope things run smoothly, otherwise......well let's not go there.
Some covers, I was not sure who to do this week, so I plumped for:-

Ngaio Marsh "Opening Night" First U.K. published by Collins for the Crime Club 1951, p256.

Ngaio Marsh " Off with his head" First U.K. published by Collins for the Crime Club, 1957, p287.

Monday, 3 November 2008

MONDAY, MONDAY blah blah, blah blah blah blah

No medals for recognising the Mammas and Pappas, but blah blah etc seems just right for this Monday. I stayed up way too late last night whilst watching the American Football and as a consequence feel jaded and melancholy this morning.

Josephine Bell "Death in Clairvoyance" first U.K. edition published by Longmans Green and Co 1949, p244.

Finished this book this morning and to be honest it was a bit of an anti climax to say the least. Recently I have lost my ability in identifying guilty parties, but in this case either everything fell in to place or it was ridiculously easy. All I was originally missing was a motive, but even that became glaringly obvious when first introduced. No quality characterisation, muddlesom rambling ons about psychic powers. The only times I found myself enjoying any parts of the book were when the heroes children got involved. Alright enough, maybe I've been spoilt recently with good choices and was due a downer, but someone else has also been disappointed with a Bell book, so maybe it's not just me. A disappointing 5 out of 10.

So, what's next? Well David Roberts has just released his 9th and penultimate book containing his protagonists Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown. Although the previous eight sit upstairs proudly on a makeshift book shelve, I have so far only read the first book.

David Roberts "Sweet Poison" first U.K. edition pub' by Constable 2001, p277, jacket by Ken Leeder.
David Roberts "Bones of the Buried" first U.K. edition pub' by Constable 2001, p342, jacket by Ken Leeder.
The forward to "Bones of the Buried"
Lord Edward Corinth returns to London after six months in New York to find his old sleuthing partner and friend, journalist Verity Browne, insisting he investigate a murder in Madrid. It is 1936 and Spain is about to erupt into civil war. Verity is now correspondent for a national newspaper and passionately committed to defending the Spanish Republic against the Fascist threat. Her lover, David Griffiths-Jones, a senior figure in the Communist Party, has been convicted of murder and Verity appeals to Edward to help save him from the the firing squad, even though she knows he sees him as his rival in love.
Against the odds, he succeeds, but is suddenly called back to England before he can tidy up all the loose ends, in London, Edward becomes embroiled in the investigation of a second murder, that of a banker who had been his contemporary at Eton. Edward uncovers a connection between his dead friend and the victim of the unsolved murder in Spain. Both had been to school with him and there is a third man - another Eton contemporary - whose earlier death in a shooting accident on safari in Kenya now arouses his suspicions.
Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Browne, attracted to each other but at odds politically, join in an awkward alliance to discover the truth. Political and personal danger surrounds them and there is no guarantee that justice will be done and murder avenged.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


What a strange few days. Firstly, I must apologise to Jayne for being in such a withdrawn and insular mood, to be perfectly frank i don't know what or why I get into this moods. Anyway, last Monday I went to my MIND group drop in to find a new lady there called "Shell", towards the end of the evening Shell suggested that she knew me from my school days, sorry Shell but I couldn't place you at all. Anyway Shell was at the group again yesterday and we sat nattering to each other for a good hour. It was lovely to talk with somebody about old things, places and lost friends. What's more I am looking forward to seeing Shell next week as well, we seem to have struck up an almost instant friendship.

Ghost number 2 showed up a day or two later. This was Mark, a very good friend whom again I had gone school with. He made contact with me through "Friends reunited" and has now e-mailed me and told me a little of what he has done with his life. Although from the outside looking in, everything seems to be rosy in his garden, he has hinted at one or two hurdles that he and his family have had to go through. Whilst i am delighted to have heard from Mark, I know that it won't be as easy for me to communicate with him as it is with either Shell or Kay. Another unfortunate trait I suffer from all in the glorious name of Aspergers. So why more trouble with Mark, well it's got to have something to do with a sense of common ground not shared. We will see where we go with that one.

Ghost number 3, a much more recent acquaintance made, this being the both intelligent and informed Shelly from Minnesota. Jayne and I met Shelly in Ireland and we exchanged e-mail addresses, but for one reason or another I made a mess of writing Shelly's down. I then consigned Shelly to the "Met on holiday, we'll keep in touch, but never do" pile. Oh Shelly I cannot say sorry enough, "Oh yea of little faith" I should have realised that you were sincere when you said you wished to stay in touch.

Cliffs of Moher, beautifully spectacular.

The beach on Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran islands.
Scary monster, just before "All Hallows Eve".
Gladys Mitchell, "The Twenty-Third Man", U.K. first edition published by Michael Joseph, 1957. p 247. Jacket by Kennith Farnhill. A little sub note to this book and that is , it is the only one of Glady's books that I own that carries her signature. It also has an inscription in Latin.
Answers on a post card.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


One of the beauties of going on holiday is the amount of time available to just sit down and do a bit of quality reading. No TV, no Internet, no work and in my case no mobile phone to distract. So whilst on holiday in Doolin an ideal opportunity to complete my present read.

Anthony Gilbert "The Finger print" U.K. first edition, printed by Collins, 1964, pages256.

My second Gilbert book and it just confirms what I already knew, that these books are well worth both my time and money. Gilbert is a pseudonym for the British author, Lucy Beatrice Malleson 1899-1973. Her first book was published in 1925 under another pseudonym, that of J. Kilmeny Keith. Her first book carrying the name of Anthony Gilbert was published in 1927 "The Tragedy at Freyne ". In total Malleson had 70 books published.

Patricia Wentworth "The Finger print" U.K. first edition, printed by Hodder and Stoughton, 1959, pages 254.

This was my first attempt at Patricia Wentworth, and the "blurb" gave me every reason to be optimistic about it.

"The fingerprint was the pride and joy of Jonathan Field's collection, and he enjoyed telling the story of how he acquired it from a self-admitted murderer who was probably still at large. When he himself was murdered, the print was torn from his album."

However, I felt slightly let down at the conclusion of the book. Well worth a read, however given a choice between the two finger prints, I know which one I'd choose.

"And now for something completely different" as somebody said before. I finally got an appointment through to see a psychiatrist, not before time, as it has been 8 months in coming. It will be interesting to see whether there will be any benefit to gain from any consultations.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


Last Thursday Jayne and I went to Ireland for a 4 night stay. Flying from East Midlands to Shannon only took about an hour. At the airport we picked up our hire car (Always pay with a credit card) and then made about an hour journey to Doolin. We stayed here http://www.dubhlinnhouse.com/ for 3 nights. It was a beautiful, tranquil and very friendly experience. We loved every minute. Met Shelly from St Pauls, Pauline and Gary from Brisbane. These suspicious characters were met in O' Connors pub on the Friday night. The undoubted highlight of the break was our trip out to Inishere, one of the Aran Islands. Some photos, others will follow on other entries.

The center of Limerick, which way ?
O'Connors on a friday night, blurry picture thanks Jayne.

Fisherman Jayne.

Me slurping away at more coffee, in Doolin's Magnetic Music Cafe. A super little stop off.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Saturday night out and about, socialising and not with just Jayne, what is going on? Last night we went along with Carl and Lynne, from across the road to a quiz night. Generally very enjoyable and also quite surprising to actually find out how much trivial knowledge is floating around inside ones head. Out of about 16 teams, we finished a very respectable 4th. But no night out for me can run smoothly, as the lady behind me had to mark one answer incorrect because I had neglected to put the "The" in front of "Look of love" by ABC. To then compound my misery she then has to touch me, completely unaware that I can't abide unwanted physical contact. This then sets me on a road of cynicism, scathing comments and mutterings aimed at all sundry. Now this would be fine if nobody can hear or take any notice of you, but unfortunately I start to effect my fellow 3 team mates. The fact that trivial nonsense like this has stayed with me deep in to today only goes to show why going out and "Enjoying" yourself is not such a good idea for me.

Anthony Gilbert has managed to rise to the top of my to read list, however it isn't "Riddle of a lady" as was listed 31/08. No, the one that has fell in to my hands is "The fingerprint". More will follow when read. Meanwhile some Gladys.

Gladys Mitchell, No winding-sheet, first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1984, p208, jacket Graham Rogers.

Gladys Mitchell, Uncoffin'd Clay, first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1980, p189, jacket Graham Rogers.

Baseball final positions; Fleckney Flyers, 201 overall, in the 8 BJ div'
Nice 'n' Sleazy, 161 overall, in the 6 BJ div'

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Just to say that this has not suddenly turned into an Eddie Cochran tribute site, it's just that I thought I would give murder/mystery a break for a couple of books and read some fantasy novels instead. The author I picked is Terry Brooks and his 2 novels, Armageddon's children & The Elves of Cintra. I find Brooks work very easy on the eye, alright I admit his tales are so heavily influenced by Tolkien, it is almost like re-reading. However, what I will say is that his books are far easier to read, more up to date and equally thrilling.
Fantasy novels were once upon a time, long long ago a very firm favourite of mine, often finding themselves in mortal combat with that other favourite genre of the Horror book. If you should require recommendations in either of these fields, then I am happy to suggest the following author. ROBERT R McCAMMON. He has posted 3 exceptional works, including what happens to be my second favourite book of all time. These books are;

They Thirst, first U.S. 1981, first U.K. 1988.

Swan Song, first U.S. 1986, first U.K. 1988. (My second favourite book)

Stinger, first U.S. 1987, first U.K. 1989.

All of his other efforts are well worth a read, but to me these are exceptional.

The last few days have been the usual diet of routine, until yesterday, then WHACK, the car decides to break down. Got it to the garage, checked out and been told to expect the worse, a bill in the region of £600, or quite possibly even more. It's frustrating that for all my planning and calculations regarding my finances, due to my need for detail and precision (Aspergers again), that all the last 4 months and the forthcoming 2 months plans have gone out the window. I have also just spent £70 on a Gladys Mitchell, I could probably do with that money now.
As far as work is concerned I had a word with my Line Manager about the lack of rotation that I had had recently, and magically today was the day that I would receive a rotation. How ironic then that due to my car capitulating, I had to phone up and ask for a holiday. Life seems to have a tendency to kick you when you're down, but hey-ho, worse things happen at sea.
Dance to your Daddy, has now been completed and I have to say this is unquestionably the best and most rounded Gladys that I have up to now read. Although some may say the ending was hurried, and unsatisfactory. To these comments I say rubbish. This book is a firm 10 out of 10.

Gladys Mitchell, "The Man who grew Tomatoes" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1959, p248. Wrapper by Kenneth Farnhill.

Gladys Mitchell "Twelve Horses and the Hangmans Noose" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1956, p236. Wrapper by Peter Curl.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


I don't know where it goes, the intangible, indefinable enigma of time. I go to work, do my job, come home knackered, check my e-mails, baseball, e-bay etc. Then watch a bit of telly, and eventually about 10pm go to bed to do it all again the next day. This does not happen every day, as on Monday nights I go to my MIND group in Market Harborough. This operates as a drop in from 6 till 8. It also provides me with probably my biggest social weekly activity. The only other regular out of house activity is my Thursday late afternoon befriending session with Bob. This has a dual benefit for me, these being it gives me a social outlet and also a sense of pride in respect of doing something positive for somebody who needs it.

Now I know someone who also found themselves in a rut and has taken huge strides to "reinvent" themselves. Unfortunately I don't think this is within my grasp. The only way I can see myself going forward is to take short little steps. We talked about an issue that's typical for me and occured today. We were at a shop and I stood at the counter quite happy in myself, but Jayne who stood to one side observed that my demeanor gave off what she describes as a menacing and aggressive look. Now certain people react to this demeanor in negative manners and this can then effect me and escalation can follow. I then find myself having an experience that will stay with me for sometimes hours, days or weeks. One of the curses of Aspergers.

Anyway, enough moaning, some covers. Gladys Mitchell's two 1974 publications.

" A Javelin for Jonah ", U.K. first edition, published by Michael Joseph, 1974, p200.

"Winking at the Brim", U.K. first edition, published by Michael Joseph,1974, p192

Saturday, 6 September 2008


It all started on 5th Feb' this year, and on Friday I had my appeal hearing. The result of this was there was going to be no change to my current status, that of being on a final written warning. When the G M explained his position, it really did leave him very little room for manoeuvre.

I went and saw Bob on Thursday as part of my "Befriending". He can talk plenty and has some fascinating tales about his life and some of the characters he has met. This week he touched upon a man who is infamous in his own right, and was the Richardson's main enforcer, he being Frankie Fraser. Being someone primarily interested in crime fiction, it is amazing to listen to these stories on real life criminals and their exploits.

Started reading "Dance to your Daddy" by Gladys Mitchell, first U.K. edition published 1969, P207. Jacket by Salim Patell.


Dame Beatrice Lestrange Bradley is invited to visit a man named Romilly Lestrange who claims kinship with her through her first husband. He wants her to examine his young wife, who, he states, has contracted a strange habit of throwing inanimate and also animate objects into the sea off a place called Dancing Ledge.

Dame Beatrice soon decides that there is little substance in the tale. Moreover, the girl denies that she is married to Lestrange and declares that he has kidnapped her in order to cheat her out of her inheritance.

Dame Beatrice is convinced that neither of these accounts covers the facts, and the sudden and unaccountable death of a younger member of the Lestrange family causes her to begin a serious search for the truth and for the murderer. This results in a story directly descended from victorian melodrama, with an urban villain and a modest hero in the best melodramatic tradition, with Dame Beatrice, as usual, the dea ex machina.

On page 50 already, and can safely say that i am thoroughly enjoying every word and nuance. This is one of Glady's most highly rated. I will reserve judgement for now.

Baseball latest, Fleckney Flyers, 108 overall, 4 in the BJ div.

Nice 'n' Sleazy, 205 overall, 9 in the BJ div.

Sunday, 31 August 2008


Apparently being able to empathise is an ability that people with Aspergers is bereft of. This has been confirmed by my long suffering wife and partner. When she needs a person to lean on, have an arm placed around her, and general comforting, I am afraid that I can be found wanting. This I hasten to add, is not because I don't care, feel the pain, anguish or upset, it's because I can't express or I struggle to show my feelings and yes to empathise.

Two people spoke to me this weekend and both expressed, what was for me, surprising problems they were experiencing. I feel really flattered that these two wonderful people have told me of their issues, I just hope that I can find the right way, words, thoughts and emotions to help these people. I go through these periods of self doubt, but am determined to do whatever I can for both of my friends. Like I have already said it is not that I care, because I do passionately, It's just that my body language, in the shape of its awkwardness, and also what appears to be an uninterested and dispassionate persona gives off bad vibes. What I am also very conscious of is my selfishness in going on about my problems and neglecting others. This is probably down to self indulgence and if I go on about myself I won't have my shortcomings in the empathy stakes show. So particularly to the two people I have already referred to I am sorry. I and swear that I will do what I can for you.

Anyway, enough of that. Now that I seem to have built up a rather long list of to reads, here are a few of them;

Gladys Mitchell-Dance to your Daddy

Gladys Mitchell-Death of a burrowing Mole

Marion Babson-The twelve deaths of Christmas

Anthony Gilbert-Riddle of a Lady

Margery Allingham-Hide my Eyes

David Roberts-Bones of the buried

Ngaio Marsh-Off with his head

M.C. Beaton-The Walkers of Dembley

Here are my 2 beautiful rescue cats, Shady and Sadie.

Sadie is the short haired.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


This week was a bit of a landmark one for me. Not only did I eat out once, but actually made it a two eat out week. Thursday Jayne and I went to Little India, and had a wonderful meal. This meal was definitely the hardest one to attend because I was out in public and felt uncomfortable with strangers around me. Jayne was so supportive and understanding on how I felt in an alien environment, with unfamiliar routines. I do so enjoy quality Indian food.

Meal 2, saw us visit Colin and Shannon for a lovely dinner cooked by Colin. I found that knowing the people and being in a relaxed and informal environment all contributed to ( What for me ) was a fantastic night. I am going to be sending Colin an e-mail later thanking both him and Shannon for last night.

The Olympics are finishing now, and what a games this has been for G.B. In 4 years it will be in London, I only hope we don't have a repeat of the Wembly fiasco.

A lot of people when they list authors, always go for the usual suspects, so for those of you here are a couple of Margery Allingham covers, but just take time out and look to broaden your horizons, there are so many other, more unheralded authors in the crime fiction genre, and become "different" , don't follow the masses. Me myself am always willing to broaden my library and possibly for me find a new Mitchell, Gilbert or Hare.

Anyway Margery Allingham.

Tiger in the Smoke, U.K. first edition, 1952, published Chatto & Windus, p272. Jacket by Youngman Carter.

The Beckoning Lady, U.K. first edition, 1955, published by Chatto & Windus, p244.

Hide My Eyes, U.K. first edition, 1958, published by Chatto & Windus, p219. Jacket by Youngman Carter.

Friday, 22 August 2008


Chelsey Belle Hubbard, she can be an absolute pain in the arse sometimes. What can I expect from a 16 year old who has to live, put up with and also understand an obnoxious, long faced, moody, miserable, misunderstood father. However there are times she makes me laugh and proud. We found slugs in the garden one day, and both Jayne and I were discussing the best way to get rid of them. It was a hot sunny day, so one suggestion was to put them on the pavement and let the sun do its duty. Chelsey was asked if she thought this was a good way to eliminate the problem. " Oh yes " came the answer, " Putting them in the sun will cause them to die from sun-stroke " Bless her.
Her exam results came out yesterday, and it has to be said that 18 months ago, we were dreading this day. But since she started going out with Will her whole attitude towards education has changed for the better. Anyway back to the results:
Food technology........Grade A
English........................Grade B
English lit....................Grade B
History........................Grade B
Child development..Grade B
Applied science..........Grade B
Maths..........................Grade C
Applied science..........Grade C
French.........................Grade C
ICT..............................Grade D
R E...............................Grade E
How pride am I for my little Chelsey, not only has she excelled herself in her education, but she also seems to be developing into a beautiful, caring and thoughtful young lady.
Chelsey and Will @ Granny and Grandads, celebrating their 16th birthdays. Date taken Sunday 20th July.

Baseball latest, Fleckney Flyers, 85 overall, 4 in the BJ div.

Nice 'n' sleazy, 185 overall, 7 in the BJ div.

U.K. first edition, Published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1963, P256. Jacket by Brian Russell.

U.K. first edition. Published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1964, P256.

U.K. first edition. Published for the Crime Club by Collins. 1958. P256.

U.K. first edition. Published for the Crime Club by Collins. 1955. P192.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Here we go again, another entry in to depression. I don't quite know why, but whilst I write this I just feel very unsure, tense, vulnerable and anxious. All of these things tend to lead me in to a stressful state and also on a downer. Life, so I am told is for living. Me personally seem to live my life at an almost existence level. There is no apparent or obvious pleasure in this existence, alright I have my books, baseball and at the moment the Olympics. I go to my Monday MIND meetings, where I am slowly being more accepted by the regulars. This gives me a sense of belonging and satisfaction. My social worker has now suggested I see a psychiatrist. Well in for a penny in for a pound.

Baseball latest.

Fleckney Flyers, 95 overall, 4 in the BJ div'.

Nice 'n' sleazy, 220 overall, 7 in the BJ div'.

A nice couple of Ngaio Marsh covers.

Colour Scheme, U.K. first edition, 1943, pub for the crime club by Collins. P256

Died in the wool, U.K. first edition, 1945, pub for the crime club by Collins. P256

Thursday, 7 August 2008


Getting back to work has been going better than I hoped. The problem never has been the actual job, but always the people. This is especially true concerning the management and peoples team. Frustration is one of the monsters that I mustn't get the better of me. People as we all know tend to have little time or understanding of Aspergers, not necessarily their fault, however once aware some effort should be made to allow for this disability. I have apparently got my grievance hearing next week, although I have not received any formal notification. Again this is what I am trying to illustrate above.

The book I have just finished was Gladys Mitchell, Spotted Hemlock, first published 1958, by Michael Joseph, p239. Wrapper design by Kenneth Farnhill.

The forward reads;

The unusual background for Gladys Mitchell's new novel is two Agricultural Colleges, one for men and the other for women. A woman student is missing and a corpse wearing her clothes is discovered, but the corpse springs a surprise. The scene changes to a holiday camp and then to a hotel in Italy, and after the victim's real identity has been established the murderer has to be tracked down.

Dame Beatrice Lestrange Bradley is called in because her pig-farming nephew holds a temporary post at the College. As always she is well to the fore and her penetrating investigations make Spotted Hemlock an uncommonly entertaining detective novel.

I did enjoy this gladys, although the fate of the murderer was rushed and almost seemed like an inconvenience that had to dealt with. It reminded me very much of another of her later entries; The Death-Cap Dancers, first published 1981, by Michael Joseph, p192, jacket by Graham Rogers.

I have managed to get Jayne hooked onto M.C. Beaton and her Agatha Raisin series of books. Jayne even woke Chelsey up one morning as she howled with laughter, she is now reading the third book in the series whilst I am just starting the second one, The Vicious Vet. Having only read the first in the series, along with Jaynes addiction, I can positively recommend them.

Baseball latest; Fleckney Flyers, 69 overall, 4 in the BJ div

Nice 'n' Sleazy, 259 overall, 10 in the BJ div.

Saturday, 2 August 2008


Anthony Gilbert "Out for the kill"
For my first Anthony Gilbert book, this turned out to be a bit of a treat. I am seriously now going to be after more of the same. It started for me as a bit of a disappointment. I have never read any of the Mickey Spillane type of thriller before, but if I would have to imagine what the characters in those books would be like, then the first chapter of this book would not be out of place. Fortunately the Americanism's either dissipated or I became acclimatised to them. The humour was excellent, the menace was palpable, excitement and adventure was plentiful, and it also contained a surprise or two. Highly recommended. 8 out of 10.
The forward reads as such.
As Arthur Crook came home to Brandon Street he complained to himself that crime and murder were not what they used to be. He was wrong. At that very moment he was heading straight for a case which would call for every weapon in his armoury: deduction, quick thinking, guile and fast action. The rumbustious, red haired solicitor had his curiosity aroused by the odd circumstances of the death of the milliner's budgerigar. It was but a short step from there to wondering where the bird's owner had gone and, with Arthur Crook, to wonder means to run and find out. The more he found out about the quiet, retiring Miss Chisholm the more suspicious he became about what had happened to her, and why. There was no evidence for the police, at that stage. But there was quite enough for Arthur Crook to get into top gear and so give his army of admirers another fast moving story, told with a light touch and allied to a clever plot, which make Out For The Kill a vintage Anthony Gilbert.

Baseball update.
Fleckney flyers, 95 overall, 4 in the BJ div.
Nice 'n' sleazy, 304 overall, 11 in the BJ div.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


Started back to work yesterday, for the first time in 6 months. Very apprehensive and nervous about not only facing the management, but also to a greater extent the colleagues. As expected, things didn't go smoothly from the off. No gentle reintroduction, refreshers, or even anybody on hand to ease my transition back into the workplace. This was later acknowledged and apologised for, but it still nearly made me leave after 15 mins of being there. But I stuck it and hopefully things may become a little easier as things progress. Glass half empty as usual. Went to my Monday night MIND drop in meeting, and have started to find that slowly some of the other members are beginning to accept me and let down some of the barriers that they erected.

Last Thursday I eventually started my befriending scheme. This involves going around to a elderly person and spending something like an hour with them. This then gives them an outlet to talk with someone, this opportunity may be quite scarce for them, so I act as a sort of social outlet. The gentleman I see is called Bob, he is an ex prison officer, 69, but also disabled. Not only does Bob hopefully benefit from these meetings but I also am looking to gain from them. My second visit will be on this Thursday. Along with my Monday night drop ins at MIND, I am starting to build up my social life.

Baseball updates.

Fleckney flyers, 174 overall, 7 in the BJ div

Nice 'n' sleazy, 214 overall, 10 in the BJ div.

Finished this weekend was Anthony Gilbert, "Out for the kill" First edition, published for the crime club by Collins. 1960, p254. Jacket by William Randell.

A review will follow next time.