Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Riptide website overhaul

Just in case anyone is desperately trying to access the Riptide website over the next few days, here's advance warning: the site will be down for a few days while they overhaul their entire site and catalogue.

The end result will be pared down in terms of style, but vastly improved in terms of speed and searchability, with all sorts of new tags, databases and what-have-you to help the reader find what they want.

This apparently entails much poking about in virtual entrails so the website will be 'down' for three to four days at the beginning of August.  I'm told there will be no access from 1st August through to 4th August, and the new site will launch, fully fledged and raring to go, on 5th August.

So if anyone is trying to find out more about my books, or anything else for that matter, please bear with them for a few days.  It sounds as though it'll be worth the wait.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The recent spell of hot weather has gone out with the proverbial bang; violent thunderstorms this morning which fried several sets of railway signal equipment and brought down part of a church tower near Manchester.  We didn't have anything quite that dramatic here, but it was quite noisy for a while and the rain came down in buckets for about an hour.  The tall white daisies in the back garden are now mostly horizontal and one or two other things are looking rather sorry for themselves, but after 3 weeks with no rain and hour after hour of blazing sunshine, I can't really complain.

And there's more on the way this evening, apparently.  It's certainly looking rather threatening in the south, and feels like a tropical greenhouse.

It's been baking in my little study all day, but rather to my amazement I settled down with some writing this afternoon, and added part of a new scene to a novella I'm currently working on.  It was only a few hundred words, but still more than I was expecting so a useful bonus.  Here's hoping it's a bit cooler (and a bit less crash-y and bang-y) tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Missed her!

In spite of the heat I was all set to trot down into Bowness just after lunch to join the throng waiting to see and greet the Queen.  All the bumf about the visit I'd seen said she was due in the 'early afternoon', which I took to mean some time between 1pm and 2pm, perhaps later if she'd been held up anywhere.

Just as I was finishing the last few bites of my sandwich I noticed a steady procession of people past the front window: mostly children, some clutching Union Jack flags.  And they were heading away from the lake, not towards it.  Which means the royal party must have arrived not much later than 12 noon, and I missed the whole thing.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Royal visit

Exciting times this week as the Queen is due to visit Kendal and Bowness on Wednesday.  I've only ever seen Her Majesty once (as I came out of a job interview in Birmingham city centre many years ago) so I'll probably creep down the hill to see what's going on.  Creep being the operative word, as we're in the middle of a heatwave and it's due to be another scorching day.  On Saturday the temperature briefly rose to the dizzy heights of 31c in our back garden (we took a thermometer out into the shade) and we just about fell over.  After four or five dismal summers on the trot (not to mention last year's effort when it started raining in April and didn't stop again until Christmas) we're just not used to the soaring temperatures.

I just hope the Queen brings a parasol and the sun-screen, because it sounds as though she's going to need them!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Book treat

I've been a fan of Louise Welsh's wonderfully dark fiction for years.  Her writing isn't perfect, but it does break the mould when it comes to thrillers, with main characters that are anything but stereotypical.  I adored The Cutting Room, and although I didn't think The Bullet Trick was quite as amazing, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  I hadn't realised that she had a new(ish) book out, but a chance encounter with the single book stand in our local supermarket introduced me to The Girl on the Stairs and I bought it on the spot.  A quick skim of the blurb tells me it involves a young woman in Berlin, with suitably intriguing suggestions of dark deeds and ghostly goings-on, literal or figurative.

I can't wait to start reading it...

Monday, July 08, 2013

Things you don't expect to see...

...in a supermarket car park.

Number one - an oyster catcher.  One flew overhead, squawking, as we were loading the car with goodies at the Morrisons in Kendal yesterday.  Quite an unexpected sight, given that we must have been a good ten miles from the nearest coast - and it was heading inland.  Since I had no idea these sea-birds fed or bred away from the shoreline, I feel a bad joke coming on.  Why did the oyster catcher cross the car park?  Answers on a postcard, please.