The Book and Wine Drinking Club drink wine and read a spot of my ‘Cheerio, and thanks for the apocalypse’ #narrowboat #author #England

Left to right, thank you to Heather, Margaret, SinDe, Chance, Kate, Robyn, and Carolyn! The Book and Wine Drinking Club members and temporary members a.k.a. friends and passers by. Cheers chaps!

Real people reading my books! In this instance SinDe was kind, reckless, dashing, daring …brave enough to read from “And They Think That I’m Insane”, one of the stories in Cheerio &etc.  I think that they enjoyed it. I hope that they enjoyed it. I have no information on the wine involved. Hitherto with my fan club and groupies it’s not been wine so much as it has been Carlsberg Special Brew and/or Methylated Spirits with an Irn Bru mixer, shaken not stirred and no olive.

Details of the Book and Wine Drinking Club (ought that not to be the Wine Drinking and Book Club, really, acknowledging the club’s priorities?) may be found by clicking back there, earlier in this sentence, where the link is.

SinDe has also been kind enough to interview me and devote some many pages to a bit about me, and to her review of Cheerio, and thanks for the apocalypse.

Interview here.

Review on Amazon here.

Big grin here – 🙂

Books make great Christmas presents he said, with the subtlety of an elephant heading for the lavatory the morning after Curry & Real Ale Night, and all of my books are available in paperback as well as the “the Kindle” and all other electric formats.

Details on my “My Books” page on this blog, including an option to read for FREE the first 20%, just by following the link and clicking on the covers. This is my “MY BOOKS” page.

So, aside from getting over the shock of real people reading my ramblings and being brave enough to show themselves in photographs, what else have I done today?

Well, the wind died down to just blustery, the sun came out briefly – it was a little bit weak; imagine the sun in a dressing gown, slippers and holding onto an IV drip stand and waving at you from a hospital window – and the birds of the hedgerows and trees reappeared from wherever birds disappear to when there are storms.

It seems that I had moored the Cardinal in Bird-Poop Alley.

Plop, plop, plop plop plop… splatt… plop plop plop.

So, rather than take up my blunderbuss and shoot eighteen thousand pigeons, I mooched us on through a couple of bridges and one lock and have tied us to the side in a sort of mixed service area, lock area, winding hole area and private moorings area. See “Ship’s Log” link at the top of the page for details, if you like such details.

From Bird-Poop Alley we are now in Diesel-Heating 24/7 City.

Ah well, you winsome, you lithesome, but mostly you lose some even when you win some. I wish that whoever it is would just get a nice, quiet, wood/coal burning stove like the rest of us, but I can console myself that using diesel must be costing them a ruddy fortune! It’s like being in a marina all over again and tis reminding me why I prefer the open canal instead… 😉 I can tune it out, and very little indeed can succeed in stopping me sleeping.

Tis of no great import anyway, since the M6 Motorway is but a couple of hundred yards away. You can hear the M6 Motorway everywhere in Penkridge. You can hear the M6 Motorway most places on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal! The rumble of their diesel-burner central heating is overlaid nicely by the distant roar of road traffic. I am yearning like a yearning thing for my rural rural rural moorings of yesteryear, and I am (slowly) working my way back to you, Babe (other song lyrics are available, mention does not imply endorsement or constitute an ear-worm).

I splurged a tenner. Five quid on a new coir doormat to go below the front steps. The front and rear steps down into the Cardinal are covered in coir matting, to act as unavoidable, un-ooh-I-forgottable boot cleaners. Pretty darned essential at this time of year. The second fiver went on a rubber doormat, this to be used on the towpath to protect both grass (mud!) and Cardinal from each other, being placed where I generally step off. Something else to remember to not forget whenever I untie and move on! It ought to stop the towpath getting quite so abused by my size elevens, and it ought to help with reducing the amount of mud/grass/wotnot that I track into the boat.

I also splurged while the splurging was good (as in “buy now while shops are within walking distance of the canal”) on another big bottle of sooper-dooper orange juice, the sort that is squeezed from the living flesh of the species Orange. I do love my orangee-gee-gee juice. No idea why, it’s just one of those fantastic comestibles available on planet earth, like fresh bread, anything vanilla-flavoured (“proper” vanilla, “real” vanilla), and broccoli and soy sauce and carrots and curry and decent coffee and Hendrick’s Gin and and and and… &etc. You get the idea. I know how to live!

Damn, I spoil myself.

Anyway, that has been my day – a mooch on, and the news that real people have been kind enough to read my books and to not immediately then put out a professional hit contract on me by way of response.

As far as I know, anyway.

If I am suddenly cut off mid-sen


  1. My brother a national treasure, eh? Your amazing ability was obvious from the very first time you wrote a story, and that was just after you learned to read and write. You have honed and toned your skills, but you always had it. Love, E.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. How wonderful to have people reading and discussing your work! I believe the wine enhances the existing giggle factor and I’m feeling all kinds of jealous of the idea of a wine and book party.

    If I was social… Or at least an extrover and not a confirmed recluse…. It sounds like a thing I would like to organize. How do people do that – organize a get together? Sounds like a form of magic must be part of the equation. Well. This comment has gone off the rails, hasn’t it?

    I hope you escape the highway noise soon. Until then there is the feeling of accomplishment or matrydom (whichever is most soothing to your soul) to keep you going around the bend and back your quiet countryside canals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no idea how humans organise these social get togethers and connections, I have spent my life permanently off to one side, watching! My own social skills are limited to being able to follow the basic conventions; getting dressed reasonably appropriately, not saying aloud what I am really thinking when in a crowd, using my knife and fork only for the purposes of eating (my own) food from my own plate, that sort of thing. The hows, wheres and whyfores of the easy and full social lives of the (seething, milling, madding) masses have eluded me since birth! I shall go to my grave still puzzled by the mechanics of becoming involved in social human interaction, which is a long way of mis-quoting Jona Lewie; I can’t find my way even into the kitchen at parties! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I consider it a win if I accept the invitation and it’s like being a Decathalon Winner if I actually attend the party. Any kind of normal behavior at the party is out of the equation. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ah, Sir! You would fit right in with our Book and Wine Drinking Club. We, too, have lived lives as outcasts, more or less. I grew up the nerd, interested in physics and the maths, not a part of any clique or group outside a bunch of boys who carried pocket protectors. Other members are outsiders, too. One has her art, and finds little time for developing friendships. I stumbled onto her when I worked on her website SEO and we shared our first glass. Another is a neighbor I met while walking one day. We passed one another for over two years with only a bit of a “hello” and “goodbye.” It was only one day when we were heading in the same direction on foot that we actually chatted and discovered that we both had always been on the sidelines socially. Another was a librarian I met in the library. Again, she was a bit of a loner as I discovered while checking out a book. And, Diana, dear Diana, who the hell knows what she’s about? But, if she has time for a bunch of ladies, all old enough to be her mother, we could not cast her aside.

        About our dress and manners. Forget it. We come as we are (just look at us!) And, manners? We order our fare and eat like bad children picking from one another’s plates. Actually, I think our authenticity is what attracts others to wander by our table and occasionally take a seat. We are who we are, and that’s all we are. Luckily, none of us have a care about what others may think or say… a bunch of old misfits who love to laugh and chat while enjoying a glass and sharing a book.

        In case, you ever lose your course and wander to the States, you will always be welcomed to pull up a seat at our table.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, sir, The Book and Wine Drinking Club was given legitimacy when we drafted Margaret, a retired librarian. We are all readers so it fits, although on certain nights our priorities do flip flop. I thank you for providing so many laughs when I read the book in private that I had no choice but to share it with my partners in wine. Thank you for the interview and the laughs. I still say you are a national treasure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have always wondered about the nature of the party when a librarian retires – I picture it as a room full of temporary inebriates, all shushing one another!

      I am mightily glad to have spread a giggle or two. 🙂

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