Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone and a big bouquet of thanks to everyone who has read my blog, with a special flower of appreciation to those who have commented. Hope 2016 brings you all what you wish for.

Keep blogging and I look forward to getting to know more of you.

It’s getting near

The decorations are up, cards sent, presents bought and wrapped. Now only a few days more to go before the man in red drops down your chimney.

That old story always gives me a mixed feeling of giggle and shiver down the spine, for when I was at the tender age of believing the Santa thing, I felt deeply uneasy, okay afraid, that some stranger would come into my home while I slept.

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No fog horns, just a jingle

Videos are on my mind. Not the neatly packaged and enticingly or garishly labelled bought from a shelf in supermarket or shop, or downloaded or streamed to computer. But a short promotional video, shot, assembled and brought into the world by me to publicise my novel Any news from India?

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A little slice of immortality

Good news always makes a day go with a swing, puts a smile on your face, a bounce in your step. Makes your fingers dance on the keyboard. My good news this morning is that one of my short stories, Bowler and bunnet, felt and fascinator, has been shortlisted for the H G Wells Short Story Competition, the theme of which was class (to be interpreted as you wanted). http://hgwellscompetition.com/2015/09/21/junior-and-senior-category-competition-shortlists/comment-page-1/#comment-430

So happy to have achieved this as my story will now be published in their anthology. Whee!

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Books, talks, and Totty Rocks

One of the many festivals in Edinburgh at this time of year is the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Its programme of events is so large that when listed make a book to add to the thousands for sale at the event.

Nowhere else can you rub shoulders and chat with so many authors and celebrities from around the world, all keen to woo the public in order to give us their views on the world, to sell their books. Exciting stuff!

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Something important happened here

Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland, maybe a small city (the population is just under half a million)) but is one brimming with history. From medieval Old Town to elegant Georgian New Town complete with gardens and neoclassical buildings, it rolls out into Victorian and modern suburbs. Its parks and open spaces such as the Links, the Meadows, and Princes Street Gardens contrast with Arthur’s Seat, the extinct volcano in Holyrood Park, and the Castle which broods on it hilltop, watching over its city, protecting Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny.

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Volcanic rock and stone of destiny

Summer is festival time in Edinburgh, and last Sunday, with this year’s poor summer weather weather dry but overcast, we went off to sample the atmosphere. A stroke of luck saw us cruising a city centre street for an unlikely parking space, when a car edged out in front of us, leaving us a space to nip into smartly before someone else swung their way in.

Parking space sorted, we made for the Royal Mile. Last year we walked down it towards Holyrood House, so on Sunday we headed upwards, towards the castle.

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A hint of Poirot

Forty six years ago the rail line that ran from Edinburgh, through the villages of Heriot, Fountainhall and Stow, then the Border towns of Galashiels, Melrose, Selkirk and Hawick and onwards to Carlisle – the Waverley line – was closed. The government of the day, looking as always for budget cuts, waved around a report into the railway network, little changed since Victorian times, and decided on implementation of the suggested cuts.

Read more on my blog at A hint of Poirot

My love is like a red, red…

Robert Burns, regarded as Scotland’s national bard, wrote his poem likening his love (one of many, as Rabbie was something of a lover of the ladies) to a red, red rose. But in these modern days of technology, when we indulge in a bit of nostalgia by collecting memorabilia and junk from the past, and when we perhaps equate love with something different than what many might see as a hackneyed and mushy red rose, I wondered what other items our love might be compared with. So here goes.

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Christmas toast

Wishing everyone all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

I’ve been away on holiday and am just back to frantic last minute food shopping, so more on where I’ve been later.

Meanwhile, here’s a toast to you with a glass of dry Madeira tinged with a touch of Christmas merriment. Enjoy.

As usual, my blog can be read at http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com