Category Archives: Blogging

Working the Space

At the moment I am attempting to be a lot more proactive with my writing as you may have noticed, although today is one of those days when I want to post but writing feels like a bit of a challenge today so here’s a look at the workspace I fashioned for myself.

From left to right:

  • A Test of Time is the latest book I am reading, which is a look at the Egyptian chronology, a rethink and an attempt to sync it up with Biblical archaeology.  I’m also reading The Singularity Wheel, kindly sent over by Mike (see last blog post) as well, to keep my days varied.
  • To the right is my Green Apple notebook which contains my notes for a novel, unlike past efforts this time it is not only going well but in an order hitherto unseen in past attempts.
  • In front of these is my Tagalog notebook, in which I am writing words lists and attempting to get down the grammatical rules so ease me into this foreign language which doesn’t (thank goodness) have masculine and feminine words to remember.
  • The laptop which, other than helping realise these blog posts also keeps me up-to-date with all the big news, like the football scores, which is a welcome tonic to the morning’s TV catch up BBC Worldwide and CNN Philippines.
  • Lastly, behind my coffee cup which is the best jump-start for the day is my trusty notebook which has been to three continent with me and is rapidly filling up with all my notes for reviews and various other blog posts.
  • You may have noticed 10 month old Rambo (guess who named him) who when not happily biting various items of footwear is keeping alert for any move made for food.

It’s amazing what a simple zone for working can achieve, especially when one is in the mood for work, which it seems, I now am.


Posted by on 15/03/2018 in Blogging, Life


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Starting Again

I have returned after a long journey and internet connection problems and it is great to finally make it onto the blog in another continent.  Hunting out photos for this post from Crissy’s Facebook, it came to mind that there is still a post or two that needs chronicling from my last trip out here, namely a beautiful place called Batanes so here is a teaser photo for what is to come in the future.

Image may contain: sky, mountain, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Getting back to this time though and within a week and a half the first cold of the year had already found its way to me, not bad for a country with weather that resembles a pleasant Summer’s day most of the time. After plenty of wedding planning – the busy nature of which meant that I didn’t get any jet lag whatsoever (which is a pleasant surprise) – I’ve also been catching up with the fam bam over some wonderful meals as well.

Image may contain: 11 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

In the dark time of no internet service, I have been reading plenty of books (twice in the offices of Philippine Airlines) and also have two more on the laptop from authors regular readers will be familiar with, namely Indrajit Garai and Nicholas Conley.  Lots is happening and this is going to be an exciting year so a belated happy new year to you all, may you all have an exceedingly good year.


Posted by on 17/01/2018 in Blogging, The Philippines, Travel


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A Serious Conversation

Apologies for the length of this blog post but I have been having an interesting conversation over at which is still going on.  I have copy and pasted the chat so far and would be interested to hear your thoughts on it and gratefully welcome any corrections to things wrongly stated if you see any.  Advanced apologies if I put some of my phrases indelicately at the time of writing although I did my best to be sensitive when approaching my points.  The reasoning of each point and direction of the conversation is of particular interest.

The original post that I read was this:

My friend told me that she was watching TV and someone said they aren’t going to hire women any longer because then they won’t have any sexual harassment issues.

So once again women will be punished for the behavior of men and as always, men will not be expected to change their own behavior. I’m so bloody sick of this garbage.

It was the comment below that intrigued me enough to comment and set me off on reading a lot of websites and informing myself.

… I’m surprised they haven’t banned women from colleges so that the GIGANTIC raping of co-ed will end. They the boys can just rape not college females. Really, I am so angry.

  • It’s been on the cover of Newsweek and other magazines. They are somewhere on my blog. Pictures of women carrying mattress through the campus to get the school’s attention. It’s an EPIDEMIC. Gang rapes, as well. Investigations are taking place but I have seen absolutely NOTHING about any findings or punishments. Also, some schools were not informing women of their rights after rape took place. Most still don’t report them. Google articles on it. You should find a lot of them.

    I found the 1 in 5 women get raped in college, statistic but the authors have distanced themselves from the survey and that conclusion which the press attributed to the findings. The survey itself is certainly floored in its questions. The Bureau of Justice Statistics puts it at 1 in 52.6 women which is still a frightening number but when coupled with data that women are safer in college than those of the same age who didn’t go.

    And that U.S. rapes are also apparently going down. I can’t speak to if those stats are up-to-date as I only found date up until 2016 and of course it depends on how many were not reported as well. I think the word epidemic is a bit of a strong and perhaps misleading word to use here.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending any person who commits such crimes, I abhor any man or woman who commits any assault, sexual or otherwise and we shouldn’t sweep any of that under the rug. My position is that we need accuracy and evidence to prove the point.

    Statistics – used correctly – should be brought forward and there should be investigations and more research done into this. The statistics have to be accurate and fact checked, otherwise it becomes just another SJW crusade that uses feelings, usually in place (or just instead of) of facts to elicit a response and this then marginalises their position somewhat and that for me is the great tragedy.

    The Factual Feminist has done some interesting videos on this subject actually debunking the whole idea of ‘rape culture in colleges’ in favour of a ‘gender propaganda culture’ and the importance of due process in all such assault cases including the ones where women have admitted after the fact that they lied about being assaulted, which is another important and marginalised conversation that we need to have as a society.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 22/12/2017 in Blogging, Life


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Continental Shift

After a fairly long time of teasing not to mention a severe lack of blogging, I can finally reveal that I am off to live in The Philippines with Crissy in January and from there, getting married at the end of the said month. It’s all very exciting and to mirror our relationship – crazy and exhilarating, which pleases me no end!

Books and Crissy, a delightful combination!


I have all my documents ready and am clearing out the last of my things this week(ish) because Christmas is too quiet without doing something seismic to keep it interesting.  It’s naturally an exciting and stressful time as I look towards the move to a new culture, adventures and a severe tan but will be keeping you all involved and am writing as much as I can in the meantime.

With the good comes the emotional wrench of having to say farewell to a good many people and of course the books I accumulated over the years but I shall be carrying over as many as I can.  As to where that leaves the book review side of the blog, I am hoping to find a library as well as rereading the books that I haven’t yet reviewed from my own small collection.  Approaching them again with a more critical eye will make for an interesting blog post in itself no doubt.

I don’t think I could go through the trauma of collecting books again, to then possibly lose them in another move should we wish to move countries in the future but I will keep my book posts flowing as much as possible amidst all the other things I claim to have planned but will probably just wing it as usual and see what takes my fancy words wise.  The above café we found will probably be a popular haunt for us I suspect because it turns out that books on a ceiling are ridiculously fascinating.


Posted by on 18/12/2017 in Blogging, Life, The Philippines, Travel


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Life Choices

A metaphor with paths and autumn and trees and roots and such.


It’s been a while since I have posted; or visited but I have finally returned.  For those of you curious to know where I have been, I am – in truly enigmatic fashion – not yet ready to reveal that to the wider world but it is fair to say it is a seismic change in my life that is occurring and will sadly, mean I have to dismantle most of the book collection.

It will be sad to part with books that have been with me for almost two decades and been a big part in my life but I see no other option and I will salvage what I can, move on and hopefully bounce back in new and interesting ways.

What this means for the long-term of the blog with regards to book reviews, I don’t really know.  Naturally I am hoping to continue and keep that going, along with all the other things the blog has to offer.  In the short-term, I will be posting intermittently and hopefully visiting you all, as promised long ago before events truly ramped up.

As ever, thank you for your continued support, more shall be revealed soon about this new journey when things cease to be less busy but in the meantime, stay awesome and keep writing so I have even more to catch up on.




Posted by on 07/11/2017 in Blogging


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Kawanis International, and What’s Important

Lots to share with you this week including a surprising hidden find local to my house but first off is a long-delayed trip back to my Philippine experiences and a most unexpected offer.

Totally out of the blue, I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to – twice – join the local Dasmariñas chapter of the Kiwanis international charity and help distribute food to children in need.  I was excited to spread the word about what I saw there, especially as I wasn’t expecting such a wonderful offer but was nevertheless eager to take them up on it and see a side of the Philippines so far unfamiliar, up close.

Kiwanis International has been around since 1915 and now has over 600,000 members in over 80 countries and aims to help children in many ways; according to the website Members stage nearly 150,000 service projects and raise nearly US$100 million every year for communities, families and projects.  Impressive stats, showing how dedicated people are and how generous, with their time and money.

All projects are member funded and help feed some of the kids who live below the poverty line,  as always with charities, they can only do so much with what they have but from what I saw, the little they have can go a long way and with more support a lot more good could be done.  There is so much more to this wonderful charity than I could write about here, so please head on over to the website and take a look at what they do and of course any donations would be wonderful.

My next post will be an amalgamation of my personal experiences of going to a couple of these events, it certainly opened my eyes and made me eager to go back and be in a position to do more.  That will be the post I have been perhaps most excited in sharing with you, which is why today, I have been deliberately vague. Plus I haven’t yet written it out past the first draft so that’s always a factor.





Posted by on 05/07/2017 in Blogging, The Philippines


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Free Books, Good Home


It is always a pleasure to welcome a new book into the fold and I have two to show that have recently been added to the collective.  The first, The Lyons Orphanage, arrived today generously and promptly sent by author Charlie King only yesterday and a few weeks ago Liz was kind enough to send me The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson.

Both of which look like being fascinating reads, the first a mystery novel set in an orphanage and the other about companionship over a long winter in a small hamlet.  Both promise lost souls in different ways, as ever you shall have reviews on them both.

For those of you wondering about my lack of posts of late and also the shortness of these two latest, fear not normal service of travel posts and reviews will resume shortly as will my ability to visit all your blogs.  Until then, here are the respective blurbs. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 27/06/2017 in Blogging, Lists/Ephemera


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