Another of those things you do…

if any of you remember this post  you might be wondering why I am mentioning it right now.  The thing is I’ve gone and done it again.  This time I have signed up for a six week course from the University of Strathclyde.


More information is available here.

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing – P. D. Viner


Twenty years ago Dani Lancing was brutally raped and murdered.

Her death left more tragedy in its wake by tearing her family apart. Her Father has withdrawn from the world and lives with only a ghost for company. Her best friend, is now a Detective, a last hope for lost young girls, and her Mother, obsessed with the truth is about to find out what happened, all it takes, is for her to become a murderer.

This book took me completely by surprise. It was nothing at all like my expectations, it was much better, and another of my one sitting reads.

The narrative switches in turn between the three main characters, as they embark on the journey that will lead them to the truth of what happened to Dani, and captures well the devastation to a family caused by such a tragedy, the healing power of knowledge and understanding, and the dangers of hidden lives and secrets kept for the best of intentions.

Whether you like murder mysteries, love stories, ghost stories or all of the above, there’s something in this book for you

The Last Winter of Dani Lancing is available from September 12th 2013

And still they try…..

Following on from recent my post about spam comments, here’s the interesting example of one trying to get through to me today…

So there’s this girl in my class that I always catch looking at me. We make eye contact for like 2 seconds and then she or I look away. She’s been looking at me ever since we started university, which was in October until now. In the first lesson we had on October, I saw her look at me like 5 times. On Monday of this week, she was also looking at me while I was doing the experiment and when I looked back at her, she looked away after a second. After the experiment, we had to go to a lecture and when I was turned around to sit down, I saw her next to me but she moved cos her friend wanted to sit at the front. So I told my friend about it and my friend was watching her and my other friend came to sit next to me. My friend put her bag on the table which was covering me and this other friend who was watching her said to me that she looked over my friend’s bag to look at me. And I kinda saw that she did too. So what does this mean? I liked her from the beginning too. When I first saw her, I thought that she’s very pretty. I really want to get to know her before it’s too late. What makes it worse is that I’m a girl too… please don’t judge me. I really want to talk to her but I’m shy.

I’d like to think that the people behind these comments are coming up with such prose themselves, but it’s more likely they’ve just pinched it from someone else’s website.

Things you enjoy when you’re drunk

I’ve been stuck in bed all day swinging between hot and cold sweats as my body is currently being used as a battleground between some dreaded lurgi and my immune system.

While I’ve been trying to keep myself amused I have been perusing the files of some recently re-discovered SD cards.

I’d forgotten I’d got this. I took this video in Piccadilly Circus last February. I was very drunk, after spending several hours frequenting the hostelries of Leicester Square, celebrating achieving a lifelong ambition to meet Stan Lee, at the inaugural London Super ComicCon .

I must admit to being quite surprised at how steady this video footage is given my level of inebriation at the time. I do know when I watched it at the time I thought it was brilliant. Watching it back it’s not as good as I remembered, but it’s still good entertainment, so enjoy watching, if only to appreciate the things I enjoy when I’m drunk.

A shining example….

Of some of the spam comments that get left here….

The two feral couches we own. The yellow one has the rip down the middle – just to the right of the purple cushion. The blue one is okay, but I hate it because the seat pads/cushions keep coming off and always need to be re-shoved back on. And it’s little. And it’s cheap. And it’s uncomfortable. As a plus, one can rest one’s dinner plate on the squared off arm. As a minus, that is one very uncomfortable squared off arm to lean one’s head against when trying to lie down on it.

Now I couldn’t be bothered to note, before I hit delete, who it was exactly who left me this comment, but I will say this. Kudos for leaving, in the hope that it may appear genuine, a reply so slightly to the left of near to an actual comment, providing you have assumed the crash position, consumed copious amounts of alcohol, and are in spitting distance of a broken piece of Lego Star Wars (as I am) instead of just leaving me hundred or so links to links to various and unscrupulous, gambling, loan or porn sites.

For that I salute you.

Report for Murder


Not my first Val McDermid, but it was Val McDermid’s first.

Reading this book so soon after one of her more recent offerings was certainly an eye opener. Whilst the first book was well plotted and enjoyable, it was plain to see just how much her writing has grown, and what a truly brilliant author she has become.

Deconstructing personality

in order to Construct Conversations, because that’s what I’ve been doing for the last two days, attending a course on constructive conversations.

Yes, I actually went on a course. Me, the last sort of person you want to be on a course with youm because I don’t see the point of courses. This time though, I decided to leave my sceptical, what’s the point? can’t be bothered with this shit part of me at home for a couple of days.

The result?

I had an enjoyable couple of days, and actually learnt quite a lot. Instead of spending two days role playing difficult conversations as I expected, we spent two days pulling apart our personalities, understanding what made each of us tick, how it can reflect in the things we say and do, and how people who are different may react either well or badly to our own personal styles.

I certainly have plenty of new skills to practice now, and I’m hoping I can keep up the positive attitude I came away from the course with long enough to ingrain these skills in my psyche.