Peas in a pod head for divorce

In another life, a respectable husband killed his wife because she had put the salt and pepper pot in the incorrect position on the table for breakfast.

The details are hazy as this was nearly 30 years ago, but I seem to remember he was your average commuting civil servant. As I worked in a press office in London full of average commuting civil servants, this was discussed with great interest.

In our case, I was unlikely to be killed for misplacing the salt and pepper pot (they don’t work in our climate) but the case of the pea seeds was heading for the divorce court.
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Bequia? Where on earth is Bequia?

In which roughseasinthemed travels to the Caribbean.

Apparently Bequia is a tropical paradise in the Caribbean, and specifically, one of the Grenadines, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, which are also part of the Windward Islands, and the greater chain of islands known as the Lesser Antilles. Author Susan Toy has lived there for some years, as well as living in her native Canada.
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Confessions… from an American in London

Not an American in Paris. Although she has been there.

T B Markinson is the author of three self-published books, and her latest novel, Confessions From A Coffee Shop, was published this week. I wanted to know about her self-publishing experience, so for all you authors and would-be ones out there, read on… But first, a little personal info.

As a nosy British ex-pat, I’m always interested in other ex-pat stories. Why did you move to London?
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The three most common errors writers make…

… based on a totally unscientific survey of reading and editing lots of books, are, in no particular order:

1) Missing full point/full stop/period

The cupboard door was open

It should be:

The cupboard door was open.

2) Faulty punctuation using dialogue

“Hello, she said.

“Hello.” She said.

“Hello,” She said.

Basically we’ve got a mish-mash of incorrect commas, full points, capital letters, and missing quotation marks.
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Gib misinformation…

‘Mustafa’s dead,’ said Chair. No idea how his name is spelt, but it sounds like chair, so chair it is.

Partner had bumped into him down Main Street, as you do.

He came back from Morocco, was rushed into hospital in Spain, and died there after not very long at all.

Later Partner bumped into someone else from the previous firm. ‘Mustafa’s dead. He died in hospital in Gib.’

‘No he didn’t, it was in Spain,’ contradicted Partner confidently. Chair rents a flat underneath the deceased Mustafa so Partner was pretty sure about the authenticity of his information.

Mustafa was a painter (sort of) on the firm, pretty scruffy, smoked dope, had a finca a hundred kilometres or so outside Rabat (Morocco) and had a few girlfriends in Gib, as well as a wife and family in Morocco.

He’s worked all his life in Gib, and at 62, was planning to retire in three years and spend his retirement at home in Morocco.

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Bullying and internet-bashing is a rather nasty phenomenon. Very playground and equally if not more damaging.

I’ve read a few blog posts with authors complaining about bad reviews. Six and two threes sweethearts. Not everyone will like your books. A reasoned critical review is valid, and maybe it might help. When you put yourself in print you need to acquire thick skin. Rule number one.

What is really annoying me though, are the comments and posts from British authors who are getting criticised for their faulty spelling by Americans because they have not written in Americanese. They are seriously telling British authors that their books are full of spelling errors because they are correctly, note correctly, written in English.


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Houdinis in Gibraltar

In which our heroine wastes half a day to be told the blatantly obvious.

Three health appointments in a week is no fun. It disrupts me from my idle sofa routine, it disrupts my dogs – Snowy doesn’t like to see me being taken away by the ambulance crew – and it most definitely disrupts my partner.

Physio 1

The first appt was physio. Despite his somewhat straight face and quietly insistent manner, I think he is OK. Patient Transport came to collect me. They were annoyed. I had been seen walking around Morrisons. We thought they were joking. Partner and I both came out with the same comment. ‘I/She hate/s going to Morrisons even when she can walk.’

It was laughable but they were deadly serious. ‘People take the piss out of us,’ said one still muttering about it as they carried me up the street. I wondered how my doppelgänger managed to wield two wobbly crutches and a basket or a trolley and get on the bus? Of course not, my partner would have driven me there. Given that – like me on the rare occasion I go – he walks and buses there, the last thing he would do would be to waste fuel to drive me to the shops for a non-pleasure trip.

Perhaps it is their standard catch-someone-out line. Oh, she’s a woman, she’s British, bet she’s been to Morrisons shopping, let’s see if she blushes and looks embarrassed. In fact it plunged me into a fit of depression and I had such a sad face one of them asked me if I was all right. Sure, I’m good. You’ve just accused me of waltzing around Morrisons. I did ask if I should contact their manager. ‘It’s his word against yours.’ Of course. Guilty until proved innocent. It’s not as though Morrisons don’t have CCTV. They could find pictures of my alleged shopping escapade.

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