I’m reviewing…

If all bloggers are writers, and many writers are bloggers, how many of us are reviewers? I started reviewing 30 years ago and got paid for it. Just to add a little context.

Reviews are a thorny topic in the blogging authoring world.

I’ve been prowling around reading different views about reviews. And it’s not just authors. Book tour organisers have differing policies too.

It’s easy to see what an author wants. A great review, and if it’s star-rated, all five of them.

Good reviews, in theory, should sell books.

Let’s return to this later.

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Summer hours

I was dreading physio.

I felt as though another GA and op would be preferable.

The appointment was made. I counted off the days and decided each day would be an opportunity to practise a stagger/limp/hobble.

Except I didn’t. I decided every day was tomorrow and put off applying the splint, putting on a shoe, and attempting to take a step without falling over.

I wanted to enlist Partner’s help. He wanted to help in the morning. I wanted to practise in the evening when I’d had all day to psyche up to it.

But on the evening before the op/torture physio he obliged, so with one arm around his very strong shoulders supporting my operated leg, I took a few tentative steps.

The next day, around noon, we tried again. I stood up. OWWWW! and sat down immediately as the pain shot through my heel and up my leg.

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Saturday snippets from the sofa

Our government tells us that we have a huge surplus, said one of Partner’s construction workmates who he met in the street.

I looked up the budget speech (held 30 June). That’s actually a GDP surplus, not a cash surplus of govt funds, which are of course, in debt. A few hundred million as I vaguely remember. Not that much for a small country, but rather a lot for a city of 30,000 people. The most ingenious paradox of being Gibraltar.

The budget speech was full of self-congratulatory comments by our chief minister and much criticism of the previous government. Gibraltar party politics are very aggressive. I cringe when I read government press releases that are basically party political rather than information about government proposals or projects. The UK stopped that years ago.


I digress. The reason I was looking, was to find out about funding for future construction projects. Nada. The firm Partner works for is expecting to get another big refurb job on government housing. For the past two months, not just him, but a lot of other employees, have been laid off without pay. Not sacked, still on contract, but no wages or social contributions paid.

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Weekend post from the sofa

All bloggers are writers. Some good, some mediocre, some bad, and some truly abysmal.

This weekend’s post from the sofa is inspired by a couple of authors whose blogs I’ve commented on this week.

Counting up the number of bloggers who regularly read on here I was surprised how many published authors there are. Whether it is fiction, technical writing, corporate publications, travel books, there are a lot of you out there. I’m including me in that list too, not as a journalist, but under corporate.

And then there are all those of you who do have a tale to tell but haven’t got round to it. I include my idle self in that category too.

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Freedom come, freedom go

… Freedom moving along …

The sun shines on the righteous.

With which, Partner got a rare parking space outside our block, helped by our wonderful neighbour opposite who moved his car to let us into the tight space and I was all set to shuffle down the stairs on my backside.

As a kid, my mother had impressed upon me that shuffling across the floor led to tight cheeks. No idea where she got that from. Or why I needed to know it. Bit hard on our kitchen floor I must say.

Years later at university, I carried out the same manoeuvre in aerobics classes.

Much later still, in my fifties, I’m shuffling down the steps to hopefully escape to Spain for a few days.

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F***** on Friday

Feeble actually. Feeble every day, although my fit un-feeble appearance is proving to be a disadvantage.

Tuesday it was back to the hospital. No wonder they have long waiting lists the amount of time they are spending on me.

Patient transport due at 10am. They usually arrive early. I was dutifully waiting from 9.45. Partner had opened the front doors to the block and was standing on the landing with the wriggling rat in his arms.

After five minutes of perching on the sofa arm, zimmer frame at the ready like the start of the OAP Olympics, I told him to come back in, and I flopped down on the sofa. He returned to the sensible tactic of looking out of the window. Just as well, they didn’t arrive until gone ten.

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Lady of Leisure

What is a woman to do when all she can do is lie around on the sofa all day?

Read books. Read books on the internet. Read blogs. Make comments. Watch the odd few live progs on BBC iPlayer, and catch the rest later. I’m really surprised we can even get this, seeing as ITV won’t let us watch their progs. Oh and look at the frontier queue.

So, first, a couple of books.

Goodbye Mickey Mouse by Len Deighton

I like Len Deighton. I especially like his spy tales, but the war ones are good too.

imageThis book was clever. The prologue had me puzzled, I’m not a fan of prologues (see more below) and only at the end did it make sense. But, once I’d reached the end, it made for a well-crafted novel.

The plot is typical war story plot. Love, death, fighting, sadness, survival. In this case the heroes are American Air Force stationed in Norfolk. As well as the artificiality of the prologue/epilogue, each chapter had the name of a character in the book, often more than once. I’m not sure whether this worked. Inevitably, each chapter wasn’t about just one character, nor did they even have the most impact in ‘their’ chapter. As with Prologues and Epilogues, chapter titles need to be well thought out to work. I thought it was a good idea, but I’d probably need to read it again to decide if it really worked or not.

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