Monday, December 31, 2012

And The Two Winners Are ...

Goodreads kindly gave me the word this morning about the results of the draw for two signed copies of "Living In The Real Cyprus"

There were 780 entries. Hundreds of these also added the book to their "Books to read" lists.

One of the winners lives in Mauritius. The other in the state of Mississippi. The books are already signed and, together with covering letters, parceled up and ready to go next time our village post office recovers from the winter bacchanalia and deigns to open.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

More Reviews Of Vic's Big Walk

Just spotted a couple of reviews I didn't know about, of "Vic's Big Walk".

There is this one on

"4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story December 3, 2012
By Meredith Pike-Baky
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase

I would have loved photos and maps throughout the journal entries. I appreciate so much Vic's dedication and admire his physical strength!! I am inspired to do something similar." 

And this one on

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly inspiring tale, 2 Nov 2012
By Chris Lown - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vic's Big Walk (Paperback)

Vic's Big Walk is an awe-inspiring tale of bravery, determination and stamina, written by a truly remarkable man. Anyone capable of walking almost 1900 kilometres from SW France to NW England is a hero in my book (although I know Vic finds this term rather embarrassing), but to take on such a task at the age of seventy to raise money for such a worthwhile cause is just extraordinary. I loved 'Vic's Big Walk' - it was inspirational, thought-provoking and beautifully written. 

I don't know either of these kind people but I wish there was some way of telling Meredith that in the book is listed a website where photographs can be seen. The pictures were not included in the book because it would have pushed the price up considerably

I don't know if Chris Lown is the man of that name who wrote the excellent book "Tents and Tent Stability". Whether he was or not, he was moved to make a donation, via my JustGiving page, to pancreatic cancer research. Thanks again, Chris, that is what my efforts are all about.

The website I mention, for pictures associated with the walk, can be found by clicking this link:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Writers' News - Interesting Interview This Month

Reminder - you have until the end of December to apply on Goodreads (eyes right!) for a free, signed copy of "Living In The Real Cyprus".

Friday, December 7, 2012

Isn't Flying Fun?

Only 5 weeks after it took us 2 days to get from Boston to Florida (in the aftermath of the Frankenstorm) we had another nightmare journey, this time from our home in the Pyrenees to my daughter Karen's new home in Switzerland.

Setting off at 0630, we drove to Toulouse. There we encountered the worst Toulouse traffic we have ever seen. It was so bad that it could have been any day on the M6 in England. The journey to the airport took over two and a half hours.

Checked in. Sat there well past our take off time. No announcements. Upon
enquiry, told that the airport was shut down because of a problem with air traffic control. How long to fix it? Don't know, could be all day. We found out later that the radar had conked out

Eventually invited to board. Everybody on, ready to go. No movement. Is there a doctor on board? We have a medical emergency. No reply. Four paramedics came on board. Turns out there was a diabetic problem in the rear. Fixed that, but now that part of the plane had to be cleaned because of vomiting. Hooray, we take off.

Coming in to land at Munich at after the time of our onward flight to Zurich. Lots of announcements about rescheduled connections but in our case, the flight to Zurich has been cancelled.

On the ground, we arranged another flight to Zurich with a wait of 3 hours. They did give us a voucher for meals. After the 3 hours we were told that our flight was delayed because the incoming plane had not yet arrived. When we eventually got on board the plane had to go to another part of the airport for de-icing before takeoff.

Eventually arrived in Zurich where Karen met us. Because it was so late we now had an onward journey involving four trains instead of two. Then a bus ride.

We arrived in Beckenried, on the shores of Lake Lucerne, at half past midnight.
And now we are getting snowed in.

What fun, eh?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Guest Blog

The very interesting blog "The French Village Diaries" is run by Jacqui Brown, who abides in the Deux Sevres area of France.

Jacqui kindly invited me to do a bit of guest bloggery, which can be seen by clicking this link

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Free Books

Until the end of December 2012, you have the chance to enter a draw on There are two prizes, each of which is a copy, autographed by the author and dedicated to the winner, of "Living In The Real Cyprus". Enter where it says "Goodreads Book Giveaway" at the top right of this page. Click on "Enter To Win".

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Next President Of The United States

When we were in the USA recently, the very next day after the election, the TV pundits were already beginning to speculate who the Democrats would select as their candidate to succeed Barack Obama next time round.

One name was Hillary Clinton, who seems by coincidence to be limbering up to retire almost immediately as Secretary of State. Some think she is too divisive, too old, or too Clintonian. Then there is the Vice-President, Joe Biden, who is even older and thought by some to be too gaffe-prone.

But neither of these has declared an interest. They may be too late - look who is already up and running.

Fired up? Ready to go? Vote Willie in 2016!