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.