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Happy Trafalgar Day  Horatio

THANK YOU ALL FOR MY BIRTHDAY WISHES

First of all may I say thank you for my(and Carols) birthday wishes and I would like to explain why its taken me a few days to do this. So grab a coffee and enjoy.

We have had many presents from each other over the years and it is getting harder to think of new ones. So when I asked her what she wanted for her present expecting to be told something for the garden or jewelry. But surprise surprise Carol asked to visit the Hartlepool Royal Navy Museum. So I looked it up on line found it to be interesting booked flights and here’s what happened.

21st October 2019 – Trafalgar Day – and our birthdays.

Morning everyone right a ramble through our adventures and believe me a small cultural shock was involved. So – oh explanation of why so late with thanks – we dont tell anyone where we are until we’re back a result of the robbery. Anyway Monday morning at 4am we were up and ready for the off to Barcelona airport. Thought we would give ourselves plenty of time as with the riots you never knew. But as always when we do the ‘just in case,’ things went ok so we arrived at the parking in plenty of time. Once on board the shuttle bus we were on our way to the airport via Terminal 1 very posh there then to Terminal two. Here we had quite a walk as the parking busses have a space next to Easyjet which is at the other end of the airport from terminals A & B. So off we trecked up through check in on to passport control and finally the walk through the duty free to reach a cafe and that much needed cuppa.

Now we were flying with Jet2 never done this before and believe me it was a very nice experience they have excellent hot chocolate. But I digress now when Michael looked on line you could get from Leeds/Bradford airport via the ‘flyer bus’.. well we could have walked quicker (a point for Bristol) Finally we arrived in Leeds headed for the train station (contrary to Googles info the only bus to Hartlepool was at 9pm arriving at 11pm). It was now 4pm and here came the cultural shock THE RUSH HOUR… after so many years away the platforms were scary, so many people add to this delayed/cancelled trains and you get the picture. One thing that did strike us was how helpful and cheerful the staff were, people talked to us on the journey Michael and others putting the world to rights. Then came the eyeopener one stop before Middlesbrough the train terminated and we ended up taking a taxi to Hartlepool. Now as is our want we hadn’t booked anywhere to stay as on line as we had had a bad experience with Booking.com (same again here) they had said the Premier Inn at the marina was FULL…lying gits our taxi driver phoned Premier and asked yes they said we have rooms…now you know why we dont trust Booking.com. We booked in had a good sized room with a comfy bed went next door for a meal and so to bed. So that was how we spent our birthday welcome years 76 and 73.

View of Navy Museum from Hotel

Next day: From the breakfast room we looked across the dock at the museum the ship looked spectacular tall masts against the skyline. So we did a ‘look round the area’ walk – yes walked – never done so much in my life lol my poor little leggies were wearing away until – that is – we got to the mall. Well come on shopping who could resist it – Michael for one he headed back to the hotel and a rest – me I put a big smile on took a deep breath and headed in. Boots, M&S, Primark and others were all there. I spent so much time getting the few bits we needed that hours had passed by the time I had finished – it was nearly 5pm – I had walked miles but because I was looking at things and shopping I didn’t notice – so I finally got a taxi – really good service and cheap – arriving back exhausted but happy. After a rest we decided to head to the museum only to find we were too late it was closed but it opened at 10am guess who was there waiting to go in……

Last day: The Museum.

After Breakfast we walked round the dock to the museum. Now this has a lot going for it firstly as O.A.P’s we had a concession fee of 8pounds – 10 pounds for adults – which I might add gives you access for a year – really good value. Then they are actively interested in teaching children about our history and what it was like in the days of sail.  The picture above shows a young visitor from Australia firing one of the guns.  The gentleman explained how everything would have worked then handed him a replica ‘slow match’ which he applied to the area where powder would have been if it were real, and there was a bang which made all of us jump as you can see he enjoyed the experience.

About to fire the gun sound effects made us jump 

Then we wandered along to where Michael would have been at home  the Captains cabin.   Here you could see his cot, washstand,  wine cabinet, and table  whilst in the corner covered in papers was his clerks desk (where most of the work was done)  Over 3 hours spent there and Michael enjoyed every minuet of it, he had found someone to talk sailing ships with and lots of info and ideas for another book. He was in his element Sailing ship, sea and History a happy chappie birthday pressie. So I will let the pictures tell the story.

Captains cot and washstand

His wine spirits cabinet

 

 

Captains Table

My desk… lol

Reading the charts

Galley

waiting to see if lunch was ready lol

capstan

The Trincomalee  built in India

pork

where the animals were kept

and of course the obligatory  Ships Rat

Life on board was something else side cabins were arranged along the stern, with dining areas for various messes.  Everything was copper plated on lower decks/bilge as the amo was stored there.

 

inside the chandlers

look what I’ve found

as it was

There is lots to see and children are especially catered for events, and interactive things plus play area all to get them interested in history and this era.  There are also buildings depicting life as it would have been and the one place Michael loved  was the chandlers as it would have been when James Blackstock was alive. We were walking along looking in the buildings when I heard  ‘Carol come here look what I’ve found’  and there he was in the middle of the store everything you could need for a sailing ship, he was in his element.

So that’s how we spent this year just wondering what to do for next birthday???

 

Michael and Carol Bosc

 


“The man turned, his jacket opened, plainly visible a .32 in a shoulder holster the message screamed out ‘I can walk around London tooled up without any worries. It was time to go home….’

Peddling along to the first pickup, Stanley stopped and looked at the list. Here he comes looking around he looked twitchy no smiles today. In he goes, a few minutes, head down off he goes, go to the third one, wait he will be a while yet, here he is eyes everywhere looking around, very nervous, this is different it is on today. Miss a couple pick him up again, yes most definitely let’s get back to his flat. Now round the back there’s a small alleyway doesn’t go anywhere put the bike here chain on to many thieves about. Gloves, gun out of the saddlebag into jacket pocket, silencer in the other. Walk round to the front hand through the letterbox, people do what they have grown up doing, step inside pull the key through close the door. Stand still listen all quiet, up the stairs check the kitchen, toilet, bedroom, living room, suitcase feels heavy, whats the time? not much preparation fit silencer and wait. Time is a funny thing, if you have two minutes before you die it goes in a flash, when you have an hour and a half to pass it seems to last forever. A scrabble downstairs, make sure the safety catch is off, sit still, footsteps running up the stairs the door opened a man burst in put the briefcase on the coffee table and reached for the suit case, Stanley pulled the hammer back and the man turned.

NO!!!

Phht…phht

Blood splattered the back wall as the body was thrown across the room wait, silence, pick up the briefcase walk out slowly downstairs, wait listen. Open door step outside pull door shut. Walk round the back there is the bike at least it hasn’t been stolen.

Stanley sat in a park shelter the briefcase beside him. Tuesday morning very quiet, he looked at his watch five minutes, not many people around.  He looked through the missing plank at the back of his shelter, there’s the man walking along the path towards the opposite shelter. He reached it looked at his watch and sat down inside.  Stanley opened the briefcase, assembled the rifle, scope, silencer he looked around all clear. He put the rifle through the opening the stock firmly against his shoulder.  Look through the scope line it up, cross hairs  he’s looking at his watch again, nice and gently, control the breathing steady keep still, the rifle jerked against his shoulder and the man slipped down on the seat.  Stanley started taking the gun apart, scope, silencer, barrel, breach, stock all put away, close the case push the clips in stand up, pick up the case and slowly walk out. Down the path out of the gate along the road, no taxis about better get a bus….”

Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

A short while ago my granddaughter came to visit, and I took her across the river to the Train Museum in Mora La’ Nova.  I had never been but always because my father who was ex RN, worked in the GWR at Swindon after the war. We arrived to find that the museum was closed but after talking to a really nice man Jordi who turned out to be in charge and explaining that Maggie was over from the UK and returning the next day he offered to show us round.

It was like walking back in time for me, memories of catching the milk train into Swindon for work, the smoke, noise and smell of steam trains came racing back.  For Maggie it was a look into her Great Grandfathers past, a history of something long gone but something that still held romance – adventure even – in others including myself.

Now Jordi has a small problem getting volunteers.  Not many people here understand volunteering (working with out pay for the love of it) and the museum needs

 

 

 

A Story With a Difference:


Writing is something strange, you either feel it or you don’t.  Personally for me it’s something that’s there and often the urge to write even if I’m not sure what is strong.  Thats how Drifting came into being.  I have a book of jottings where I write down ideas and this was one of them.

In the past I have written about people and their lives Stanley for example.  His story was one of crime, sex and how he and his mother survived during and after WW2.  Then there was Jason. Now his story woven into the British Navy of the 1700/1800’s was different. This was historically challenging, not the naval side but the social side of life then, which makes these books Adult books.

Then came young persons books Clearing in the Forest, Peaceful Land and I am currently working on the third book. These were from ideas written down in my little book.

But Drifting was something different, something with no social comment, or historical reference just a plain straight forward story, of happenings and the supernatural.  I entered a strange world of possibilities and did it or didn’t it happen, was it real or just imagination and the ending well….

So I have decided to write some short stories along these lines, where it will lead I don’t know, but there is one thing I am sure of I will not be delving into this realm.  The stories will come from all over woven around an idea, yes some will have a historical nature but they will be based on factual events, only the story will be fictional because you cannot ask the characters exactly how they came to be where they were.  My research into history and stories from the west country have given me a few ideas along this line.

So there is an awful lot to do and keep me busy for a long time. Such is writing.

 

(c) Jason D’ebre – author

 

 

 

 

Kath Spreadbury I’m hooked now I will have to get it.

Linda Coombes Love this book such a great read 💖💖💖💖💖

CLEARING  IN  THE  FOREST  by JASON D’EBRE  –   Authors remarks:-

I wrote these books with the younger generation in mind, in the vain hope they would like reading about events in history whilst wrapped up in magic, witches, villains and good v evil.  Now a days everything seems to either whoosh bang wallop or killing, bloodshed, total destruction with NO proper story behind it.  Comic book films seem to be all directors can do these days.  Now I like certain films, the penguins, scooby doo, (the original films) and so forth. They are fun, relaxing and THEY HAVE A STORY RUNNING THROUGH THEM even tom and jerry have but they entertain and have more words than hey lookout etc.,

Writing is hard and those who pay others for ideas, or to ghost write for them are NOT real authors.  Stories come from within a person’s head, they feel part of the story as if the characters were telling them what came next, at least that’s how I fell about all my stories.  Sometimes I cannot sleep because there is a character in my head nagging me about something that either needs to be written or I have got it wrong and need to get it right before I forget. So then it’s up and laptop on writing, and usually the character is right.   I am not the only person who writes and experiences this so I am sure there are many of you who do.

Over the past few months when I have been busy repairing and installing security stuff in and house, I have not been writing.  So when at last everything was done and I finally sat down to write again, imagine how I felt the other night when I had this voice saying you should get this down now this is what happened, not whats written get it put right now before the others have a chance to interfere….. So there I was at diddly squat hours pounding away on the laptop and do you know that character was right.  Once I had typed everything then read it corrected, refined, checked research then read again it all made sense.  I have tried having a pen and paper by the bed but I find if I wake I am sitting there for hours writing so it’s just as easy to sit at my laptop.  I have a plug for charging and a lap cushion for the laptop, but it is easier to sit at my desk….

(c) Jason D’ebre – author

Part of our garden, rocks, shrubs, herbs and olive trees not to mention the pines – some of which grow mistletoe or have squirrels drays in them.  It is in this environment that my wife insisted she had a garden of sorts. Lack of water decreed that it should be mostly bulbs and drought loving plants so here’s how we go along.

Lots of weeds, an angle of the forest  and a couple of sculptures..

As most of you who follow me know we live on a small olive in the middle of a forest with wild boar, wild goats and other animals. This is not a great problem for me but for my wife and her small flower beds it’s a bit like painting the Fourth Bridge you get to one end and have to start again at the other.

The garden is only one part of life up here the olive trees and the odd almond tree not only keep me busy but tending the olive trees is a full-time job.  I have plenty scattered through my bit of forest but around 30 on fairly flat terraced land which I can easily reach and look after.  Being in my 70’s plus not having agricultural water I have no intention of farming on a grand scale – it does not pay – but I look after enough trees to produce our own olive oil for the table for about 6/8 months of the coming year.  So I thought I’d talk about them properly from our perspective no quoting statistics or things like that, just observations on my own trees plus a bit of history. Thus forgetting about the commercial growing of olives this is how we grow and make our own Olive Oil.

On my little tractor to collect wood

The trees on the finca are very old, some are around 1,000 years old with bases that have, over the years and with encouraging new growth, been in the ground for centuries. It is well documented that the romans grew olives in this part of the country the fact that terraces were built along the side of the now long departed river that once used to sprout from the side of the masa and run down to the river Ebro. It also shows the ingenuity of their engineers and that they had slave labour as the terrace walls are not only still standing centuries later  but are deep and well-built.  Every now and then the boar will disturb one trying to reach grubs and the result is a collapse that offers an insight into history.

It was the same with the trees. Olive trees are an interesting subject, before we owned the farm I did not realise that they flowered. Every year the trees turn from a deep green to a creamy green as the flowers open.  There is no perfume but the bees are very busy, as the flowers die off you begin to see the olives forming.

Before trimming and Sam’s garden built round it this tree in all its glory

Today they have machines which can grasp the trunk of the tree and shake it collecting the olives in a large bag which then passes them into a truck a bit like you see the combine harvester doing.  Our trees however are to wide and solid for this plus the terraces are only big enough for a man and donkey.  The other point is years ago to get more olives from each tree and make picking easier they would do several things. First they would split the trunk into three so eventually they ended up with three trees instead of one.  Secondly they kept the middle of the tree open so light could get in there.  Thirdly the trees were kept to a certain height for ease of picking.  As time went on people let the trees grow a bit taller and made A-shaped ladders to reach the olives on the upright branches.

 

You can see here how large and tall they can grow if not farmed.  When we arrived here this tree was like a huge Oak tall with growth around the base so much so that we didn’t realise there were actually three trunks.  So I set to and lopped them halfway up then let the branches sprout leaving a few branches to produce olives.  I have to say that it still needs to be pruned again climbing a ladder to cut the branches so we can get at the olives is a risky business at our ages.

But olive trees are a hardy bunch, they have to be up here.  They put down long roots to find water  80 mts down is an underground river and I know that some trees put roots down a lot further than that.  So they have over the centuries found the water,  but they also have to fight the bugs that live in the ground some of which attack a tree from the middle eating it away they then turn into large black beetles which lays eggs in the ground near a tree and so it goes.  The result is that the olive tree will repair itself even when the centre is hollow and this can be a little daunting when hit by lightning, however  the roots may be burnt but the tree still goes on.

And this is just the start, so here

the introduction.

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc  –  Author

Remember me? I’m still here – just!!!

Its been a long time since I wrote and this picture just about sums things up.  For a start I shall be pleased when this year is over we do not need another one like it.  Around three months ago we were broken into and robbed, that was bad enough but the wanton damage they did was evil.  So we have spent the past months securing the house and making as sure as we can that its safe.  The Cameras that we used for wildlife are now employed in other parts and a security system linked to somewhere safe is installed (cost a lot but peace of mind at our ages is important).  So the scumbags who did this actually did us a favour.  14 years we have been hidden away up here and nothing like this has ever happened, if we were going away we told certain people and the hunters kept an eye on here.  So here I am with the security people who fitted doors to the house and little house (here when the civil war went past) plus windows and other stuff.  At our ages it humans we are afraid of not the animals whom we share this forest with.

We have also taken the opportunity to repair and re-new the ffz, which is nearly finished.  Having this to do has made us more determined to stay put, but I had to draw the line at my wifes suggestion of putting ABIM’s (anti bastard individual mines) down… but the machine gun nests are ok.

 

My writing

In between all this I have been busy catching up on my writing.

                      

These are three of the books under my pen name Jason D’ebre written for young people and those who love adventure, history sand ghost stories.  They are on Kindle in both e-book and paperback, and can also be found on Kobo and iTunes plus other sites.  The adult books are also on iTunes and Amazon.    If you want a book then Create a Space is there.

And others

The wild boar are still here this is their watering hole and as you can see they make good use of it.  These are the last pictures we took with that camera it was stolen because they thought it had them on it.

The Boys are fine we have them in the little casa whilst we are busy safely tucked away from nasties and they can see out and shout at the other birds. Once the ffz is finished they can come back over and fly around.

Well without getting angry and ranting that’s about all I can say.   Age changes you a little and sometimes brings the hooligan in you to the fore which is no bad thing me thinks.  Now I’m back I shall be here more often so see you all soon.

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc/Jason D’ebre   author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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