I’d appreciate your comments and feedback

Some weeks ago I asked whether anyone was interested in reading manuscripts online. The initial response was favorable, so I’ve gone ahead and set something up. I’ve created a second blog solely for the purpose of putting up my manuscripts. The first one is a fantasy novel, and I’ve posted the first five chapters plus the Glossary and List Of Characters. You’ll find a link to it at the top of the sidebar to this blog under the heading, “Readers Wanted”. I hope you’ll take the time to click over there and read it, and please comment as you see

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Ever heard of “Weiberfastnacht”?

I was astonished to read today that “German carrier Lufthansa is to warn international passengers, men in particular, about the dangers of landing at airports on the Rhine tomorrow, the day women cut men’s ties off and compensate them with an unexpected kiss.“ It seems that in Germany, the Thursday before Ash Wednesday is when women take over. They occupy the town halls and administrative offices, cut off men’s ties and generally create mayhem. At 11.11 a.m. the Carnival season is officially declared open, and apparently raucous (and alcoholic) celebrations are the norm – at least, if this video from

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Drinkers beware!

For those who enjoy beer or port, there’s news. First, beer. It seems that Carlsberg has just launched the world’s most expensive beer – at about U.S. $400 per bottle!!! They’re only producing 600 bottles, to be sold through some of Copenhagen’s most exclusive restaurants. The brew, known as ‘Vintage No. 1’, contains 10.5% alcohol by volume. An expert said that “the taste of the brew hinted at prunes, caramel, vanilla, oak and cherry port bitterness, and was best consumed with gourmet blue cheese or on its own with ‘a very special friend’.” At that price, mate, it’d have to

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A case of police overkill?

According to a report in Japan Today: Hirofumi Fukuda, 27, who had been wanted for assaulting police officers on Jan 21, was arrested after a chase through central Osaka. Around 11 a.m., police received an emergency call saying that a car was driving recklessly, ignoring traffic lights. When a patrol car approached the vehicle in question, it took off. So far, so good: but the report goes on to inform us that the chase “involved 2,240 officers, 460 police cars and one helicopter”. Let me repeat that. Two thousand, two hundred and forty officers; Four hundred and sixty police cars;

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Fantastic photography!

Tennyson spoke of “Nature, red in tooth and claw”. If you want to see that in reality, there’s an absolutely fascinating set of photographs of sharks taking seals in False Bay, South Africa. People, these pictures are incredible! I’ve crossed False Bay by boat and ship many times, and seen the sharks hunting the seals for myself: but the sheer clarity and stop-action detail of these shots amazes me. They’re a must-see. Head on over to the London Telegraph and see for yourself. Peter

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What kind of lover are you?

There’s an interesting online ‘aptitude test’, for want of a better description, concerning your qualifications (or lack thereof) as a lover. According to an article in the London Telegraph, it’s a “a unique experiment which deploys the latest advances in personality testing to gain a deeper understanding of how and why we love.” I’m hardly the world’s hottest lover, and my knowledge of the field can hardly be described as encyclopedic, but the test passes an interesting few minutes. Log in to the test here and see how you do. Let us know in a comment, if you feel so

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Doofus Of The Day #6

This is not a good way to get away. It seems Mr. Mthandani Nqetho stole various bits and pieces from the stalls of ‘informal traders’ in Cathedral Street, Durban, South Africa yesterday. When he’d finished he wanted to leave as quickly as possible, so he jumped over a palisade fence. Er . . . let me rephrase that. He tried to jump over a palisade fence. He didn’t succeed. Instead, he impaled both feet on the fence posts. Police found him hanging from the fence this morning. He’d managed to free one foot, but the other was still firmly attached

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Ever heard of ‘glamping’?

I hadn’t either until I read this article. The word means ‘glamorous camping’. Essentially one has all the comforts of a five-star-plus hotel – under canvas. Personally, I don’t see the point. I remember many years of camping, as a child, a teenager and an adult. I’ve been snowed into a mountain cave in the Cedarberg in South Africa; spent stifling nights under canvas in the African bush (where one’s principle concern was what might come sniffing around the tent at oh-dark-thirty, looking for a midnight snack); camped beside rushing rivers where one could reach an arm outside the tent

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When people forget to be human beings

There’s a terribly sad, hard-to-read post up on My Own Woman’s blog. She describes a mother whose only interest is in her present relationship, at the expense of her son. I’ve had to deal with so many cases of parental neglect like this . . . the children usually grow up with no sense of right or wrong, no understanding of morality or ethics, no idea of how to behave. Many of them end up in trouble with the law: it’s after that became irrevocable that I met many of them behind prison bars. Trouble is, by that time they’re

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Now that’s what I call dedication!

You’re a scientist. You want to collect samples of hippopotamus sweat for study in your laboratory. However, there’s one slight difficulty. The average hippopotamus will stomp you into a mudhole (and fill it in after you) if you try to get near him. Solution? You get into an artificial hippopotamus suit, built strong enough to withstand the impact of an angry (or amorous?) hippo. You smear the whole thing with hippo dung to hide your scent. (No word of how it smells to you inside the darn thing.) Then you creep up on your hippopotamus. So far, so good .

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