Tag Archives: books

Even more on the joys of writing

You find yourself at a point where you have written something that is published and being read. It may only be a blog or possibly a self published book, but it has attracted an audience, even if just of one. Continue reading

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the joys of writing part four

A month on from the publication of “Trousers” I finally yielded to temptation and looked at how many people had obtained a copy. I was hopeful that I might have been up towards the top end of  my wildest expectations because of the contact that I have had from people who have read it, but the figures from Amazon show that it is close to six times those wild dreams. Continue reading


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the joys of writing part two

Over the last month I have put together my first eBook, published yesterday. I’ve also written my regular column, a few other blogs, an article for a sports industry magazine and about another 10,000 words towards another project. An enforced inability to do what I normally fill my days with has allowed extra time for all this writing, but it has also heightened my respect for those who earn their living from the written word for, whilst I do earn an element of income from some of my writing, most of what I put on paper is not where I earn my crust. Continue reading

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why do I love music and books?

Music and books played a part in my life from an early age. I was something of a sickly child and would be laid up for one to three weeks at a time. As both of my parents worked, albeit not that far away and could pop in to check on me, when I was ill in bed it was just me and the radio to start with. Thankfully talk radio hadn’t been thought of then (not many of us had ‘phones to call in with anyway) and most of the programming was music.

This was in the 1950s and so a lot of the music was from the big shows; Carousel, South Pacific, Calamity Jane, Oklahoma! and so on. These especially sparked the imagination for farway places and times and could take that small boy with them.

One of my early treasures was an atlas, and I would try to find anywhere mentioned in a song on the map. Of course there were some fictional places, but, through song, I found a love of geography, travel and maps (even now I can spend a happy hour with an ordnance survey map).

Song also helped my vocabulary, pestering my parents when they came in about new words, and when Doris Day sang Que Sera Sera or Dino crooned Volare more horizons burst into my developing mind.

Picture books and annuals with cartoon strips came into my life as well then and I began to understand a few written words too as I struggled with the captions. We didn’t have much money, but jumble sales were a good source of cheap books that helped me read well before I went to school even if I did make a complete nonsense of pronouncing some of them (ocean came out as okeen, and Pharaoh as something like farrower I recall).

Books still play a big part in my life, but music require less effort and I can listen with my eyes shut (that does tend to impair one’s reading ability). I have an ancient i-Pod that I love dearly and be transported to places and memories or just listen to the different components of the sound.

I have very catholic tastes and there are all sorts of genre on the i-Pod; punk, chamber music, folk, big bands, blues, light opera, soul, classical , protest songs and pop plus a few that I’ve no doubt missed.

Along the way I’ve I’ll write some more about music and books that I enjoy in coming blogs

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Empire of the Clouds – Book Review

I’ve really enjoyed this book. I’m about 10 years younger than the author, but remember most of the aircraft he describes very well and many of the test pilots were my heros too.

One or two review have criticised the author’s style, but I found that his conversation way of writing contributed a lot to the pleasure I’ve had over the last couple of days as I’ve avidly read it. Altogether a wonderful tale of an era when aircraft were going through radical change. Yes, there were mistakes and incompetence and our industry did suffer from political weathercocking, but it was a time that produced some spectacular and beautiful aircraft, some of which were truly world beaters.

Empire of the Clouds: When Britain’s Aircraft Ruled the World

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what am I doing?

It has been a busy few days, and I’ve not blogged much. My main targets are to ensure that I have a 600 work Monday Musing done and posted around 0600 on that alloted day, and to complete the weekend round up on Motorpsort Mania. Those are the disciplined elements, and the other posts tend to take a back seat.

With a new contract having started up I have been putting that at the top of my list, and I also have a backlog of DIY to get on with, so those two have been my priorities lately.

Having said that, I’ve done a couple more posts on For Food Fans and want to get that ticking along more regularly. I also want to write more retro pieces for Motorsport Mania as my blog on the Sid Collins eulogy for Eddie Sachs has been attracting visits and feedback. I have a fund of stories, but actually telling them well is an art I need to practice. The next Monday Musing comes at this from a different angle for me and I want to try and do some more of these different posts. Maybe the upcoming trip to the USA will give me some time to try out some ideas; the transatlantic flight and various other periods in transit might be eased by writing, even if a lot of it ends up on my personal spike.

On the reading front I’ve got a couple of old books lined up to read when I can get round to them. Currently I’m reading Leo McKinstry’s Lancaster. Covers a lot of ground I already know well, but it’s keeping me quiet first and last thing. For the trip I have a few options, but not sure what I’ll take yet. I always buy books over there; Barnes & Noble is irresistable as is Borders.

Anyway, that is it from me for this post. Thanks for reading, and see you next time.

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book launch in March

I was honoured to be invited to contribute 2 chapters to the latest edition of The Principles of Warehouse Design and am pleased to confirm that the launch has been announced for 10 March 2010. More news will be on the web site of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) and I’ll update this blog and my own web sites as the timing and venue are confirmed.

Congratulations to Peter and his team for their efforts in pulling the project together.

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