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Posts Tagged ‘my books’

What a week:

So I have finally submitted my latest book Clearing in the Forest to Kindle Scout and been accepted, so now it s up to Kindle and people’s votes as to whether I am successful or not.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/C3m14FIR3JW0 this takes you to the page where you can read the piece they have selected and vote.  Me I am busy working else I would have no finger nails left.

Hospital and Hand

Years ago I developed small cysts on the tendons of my little fingers, these were dealt with but over the years have grown back.  One finger is totally bent so that will be a hammer jobbie to put it right as the joint has become set,  but the other one is operable, so on Wednesday I go for ECG and blood-tests and on the 13th I see the anesthetist and probably have op same day, but at least it will be done and dusted.

 

Petanca

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Next weekend sees us back at Mequinenza, in another competition, I like Mequinenza although it’s a long way to travel which means an early start. Still its a nice club and good way to spend a Saturday morning. Full of history both ancient and modern – Katherine of Aragon came from here  and it was involved the Spanish Civil War – the castle is well worth a visit.

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Reina is in the middle with Roca on the right and Domas on the left.    This is the Restaurant where we last saw him. We were sad to hear news a few weeks ago that our friend Reina (pronounced Rayner) has passed.  To say it was a shock was an understatement, we knew he was ill but saw him around town when we went shopping or at the family restaurant.  Everyone assumed we must have known as somebody would have told us but no, we found out the sad news from our friend Roca.  He will be sadly missed especially by my wife at whom he never shouted when playing Petanca in a team.

The Boys

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Well they are just being themselves, still squabbling and shouting at the other birds plus they have a new game and friend. Boris Blackbird sits in the olive tree and sings to them they shout back and it gets louder and louder. At 6.30 in the morning that’s not funny, but Boris thinks its great fun he hides in the olive tree thinking he can’t be seen then dives down into the strawberry patch to nick one or two.  Oh well can’t really moan and my wife doesn’t seem to mind, but they have a new trick under their wings. When we go shopping or into town or anywhere and leave they on our return they holler and shout until either a honey stick or strip f millet is placed in their cage. Yes I know we spoil them but we spoil all the birds up here, they just get a little more.

 

My Camera and I

I have finally worked out how to take some good shots with my new camera use a tripod.  So whilst my wife was at her language hour on Thursday I took myself down to the river and sat under the trees watching the different birds feeding on the weeds.  Here are just a few of the photographs I took, hope you enjoy.

 

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Not really sure what happened here new editing suit.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Flowers

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These are the wild daffodils that grow in the forest.  When the track was being re-done I rescued some of the bulbs that were in danger of being destroyed then my wife planted them in different parts of the garden. These have taken in the side garden by the house and are looking good.  When we go walking around the finca we find quite a few so there is always a small vase of them indoors and their perfume is strong for such dainty little things.

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If you add to these the violets that are putting on such a show this winter (only pic I have at moment) then each room in the house has a different perfume.  When the lilies eventually get to flower their perfume can be overpowering, but even I have to admit the kitchen smells wonderful, as you can tell my wife likes her cut flowers.

Look Who’s Back

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Walking out towards the little house yesterday I came upon Puddytat sleeping on a pile of weeds that my wife had left out. It was nice to see he didn’t dash away when I passed but slowly got up stretched then wandered off as if to say ‘can’t a cat sleep in peace?’.  Not seen him around the ffz whilst the boys are in there but expect he will peer in through the netting at some time. Then the other morning there he was, looking well strolling around like he owned the place – well cats do don’t they –  he is one chunky healthy wild cat, so the wife grabbed her camera and wandered round the garden and got these shots of him:-  Finding the sunny spot,  having a clean up, off to find a spot in the sun and finally take a nap:-

 

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An Update On Big Momma X

 

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Talking of whom Big Momma X is still sitting on her eggs. Apparently it takes 20 days before anything hatches and as these are a young breeding pair they might not come to anything but as the Cooler King is helping with the hatching I think we have a good chance of a squawk or to two. They are very good at the nesting and if you peek inside the box from the front  you will see both of them sitting side by side, there is no touching the box or they will destroy the eggs/chicks so it’s a peek through the ’round window’.  However when she comes out to stretch her wings, feed or drink if he thinks she is taking too long boy does he shout. They have begun to practice feeding so we have hopes yet.  Going to cost me though, will need to go buy a bigger cage ah well they are worth it, will keep you up dated.

Us Oldies

Ok that’s it for now wife’s back in bed that nasty cough returned and she has been ill for a few days. Problem is she wont rest. Take Wednesday she woke up feeling in her words “miles better”, so we went to the market to collect some feeders from the bird man.  The ride in the car a short walk to the stall and back and she went from feeling ‘miles better to feeling knackered’! Wednesday night she was really really ill no sleep and where she had been coughing everything hurt. So yesterday morning what do I find she’s outside weeding, grrrrrr  that did it she went to see the dr yesterday afternoon and he gave her some dissoluble tablets to bring up the muck one at night and she has another appointment in a weeks time to see how she doing. Me? well I went to see the nurse and I have another round of tests to be done and I see the doctor in May so between the two of us we going great lol.

 

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I hope you will excuse me if I repeat myself here but I am rather proud of our roses. This one was given to my wife by her friend, also a keen gardener, who found it difficult to grow roses where they live. Every time we visit my wife comes away with cuttings or small plants, some of which take whilst others die, so it really does depend on our little ECO system here as to what we can grow.

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So this morning we were weeding the edge of the terrace where I have planted Flags and Lilly bulbs in the hope that they will hold the terrace top together, building a small retaining wall was not an option here as the original terrace wall has crumbled in places – ant works.   This was their first year and to my surprise and joy they put on a good show, especially the white Flags that the our friends in the local Petanc club gave us.  I was a little worried about whether or not these would survive as down by the Petanc courts they got plenty of water up here they get some, but basically like the wild Flags they are on their own.  We were well pleased not only when they flowered but as we weeded we noticed they had begun to spread, always nice when that happens. The other nice thing about the garden are the Cacti they are in flower now and looking well.

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I often mention the fact that although there is rain all around we never seem to get much if any.  Living in a valley in the mountains you would expect to have a fair bit of the wet stuff, but no! the clouds gather grumble then ‘bog off’ somewhere else to drop their water.  Realising that it might be difficult for some of you to grasp I took these photos on such a day in question, and no – no rain!  Think I might get one of those rockets the French wine producers use to make the clouds drop their water now where’s Google…………………………….

Right now for a little titter.   Those of you who have followed our stories when we go out and about, know that nothing is simple where we are concerned.  If there is a way to get lost going from A to B in a straight line we find it or if we try to get something done again it turns into a saga or adventure depending on how you look at it.  So being in town and doing something simple like sitting in the café working on the laptops should be plain sailing shouldn’t it? well grab a coffee and try not to laugh too much.

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Let Us Out!!

Monday morning found us heading into town around 10am as my wife had a dentist appointment. So with laptops in the carry bag off we went.  She was supposed to have a small filling plus a small adjustment to her new dentures which would not take long so she had already decided to be a ‘big girl’ and go on her own. Therefore when we found ourselves outside the dentists an hour early (see where this is going?) I headed for the car park which is near the top of town not far from the dentists then we descended on the café opposite. We often use this little café its friendly, clean and upstairs there are plenty of plugs for people to use laptops/tablets.

The ladies in there are used to us so while I headed upstairs to our normal table my wife ordered the coffees then joined me.  Everything sorted out she began to type up my Social Freedom blog so I could carry on translating another of my books into Spanish.  I noticed the time was getting near her appointment so off she bravely trotted – must be horrid to have a fear of dentists.  Anyway she was soon back and a happy bunny, ordered more coffee then settled down to finish typing.  We were so engrossed in what we were doing that it was a while before I realised that it was quiet – too quiet!  No music, voices, door opening or closing. I looked at her and said ‘they wouldn’t have forgotten we’re up here and locked us in – would they?’  she thought for a moment then stated the obvious ‘yes!’  So I decided the alarm needed to be set off, the fact that we could be clearly seen by passers-by was no good as most people had gone to lunch.  Whilst my wife packed everything away I wandered down stairs towards the door off went the alarm we waited no one turned up.  Ummm so with my wife sitting at a table in front of the door I took a few steps  into the café then off went the alarm again, bloody noisy.   This time it worked there they were two slightly concerned ladies but chuckling away as they let two OAP’s out who acted like two puppies let out to play.  The result was we were so traumatized we had to go to the coast for lunch – well that’s our excuse and we are sticking to it.

So today is hopefully peaceful but we are going into town I have school this afternoon……………

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

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Well it has been a long long time since I last wrote quite bit to catch up on so here goes with the first instalment. First though  HAPPY NEW YEAR PEEPS.

2014 had been a scrappy year what with one thing and another and my major visit to the doctor in the UK looked like finishing it off in the same style.  However I have a good doctor and when he told me I had diabetes 2 he suggested that all the travelling stressed me out and affected everything and that it might be better to find a doctor over here.  So after Xmas I visited the pharmacy over here (they are trained doctors) had a diabetic test and everything was ok  NO DIABETES 2!!!!    So that was the first thing to please me.

Next came the new car.  We have had our old one for years and the rattles were getting louder and louder so that you heard us coming before you saw us.  The trip to the UK was the last she made we treated ourselves to a new one – which was on the cards for our 50th anniversary in December this year – an year early anniversary/xmas pressie.  Its warm, quiet and more importantly comfy for us oldies (as well as being mas baratt) lol.

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I don’t suppose you remember the time we won the Christmas Raffle, but ever since we have been here Ramon has made us welcome and we look on him and Eleanor as our friends who we share our petanca triumphs and where we go to enjoy typical Catalan food.   Normally we do not do anything for new years eve but this year we decided to join Ramon and others for just that.  The food was excellent, company was great and we were having so much fun making noise and laughing that the clock had chimed three times before we realised the new year was upon us.   Then being the only English there we sang old Lang sign then listened as it was sung in Catalan a wonderful end to an excellent evening.

 

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Then yesterday I had a nice surprise my books are selling in Germany, if the year keeps this up it should be a good one.

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One of the things that has been over looked is the olive harvest.  They do not start pressing the olives until the second week of November and that is usually when we are travelling so I have started on the pruning of the trees to bring them back on line for this autumn in the hope that we can pick the olives and have our own oil again.  Some of the trees are over 700 years old and one or two – so we are told – are 1000 years old.

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Talking of which the annual Olive Oil fira in Mora l’Nova is on soon so that’s one breakfast we will be going to. The olive oil on sale is something else, really nice for the table.

Ok that’s the first one done. Lots more to tell you but that will come later with – I hope – the picture of the flat bott badger……..

©  Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today finds us sitting the FF Zone (fly free zone) enjoying the sun which is around 20° today. My wife has been suffering with her tooth and yesterday the last bit of root came out so her gum is quite sore.  So I decided it would be a jim-jam day and apart from sitting here in the sun she gets cool coffee and toofy pecks to make things better.

I’m enjoying sitting outside working, we both have our machines on the table and there are plenty of distractions. Boris and the others have been singing and diving around along with another newcomer to the fold.  We don’t know what this one is but its small about Robin size with a beak which I would say is for winkling out grubs, however when it opens its wings its back is yellow.  But it fits in nicely here as it spends most of its time shouting the odds or bathing in the water bar.  The Wall Walker is back and busy with his new nest either that or the eggs have hatched and its feeding time.  We missed so much at the beginning of this year, but are steadily catching up.

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It’s like the poppies.  We always imagined them being English, but they bloom everywhere here, the hillsides and our part of the forest are full of them.  My wife has counted around 5 different types in both red and white, taken the heads to sow more seeds in autumn, only to find the mice have been munching, I opium they enjoyed them.

© Michael Douglas Bosc

 

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The last time I spoke to Claude he was sitting on his fence and very worried about Farmer John who, it seems, had gone missing. At first Claude had not paid much attention to this as he was busy being a daddy. But as the days passed, Mrs Farmer John was getting very worried indeed and Claude liked her, she kept Farmer John in check.  So one morning when she seemed particularly upset he came to a decision, he would find Farmer John and bring him home.

Now this was easier said than done especially as Claude had no idea where he had gone to. So he decided to contact his friend Bruce Gull in case he had any ideas or perhaps knew where the missing farmer was.  However, he discovered that Bruce had also gone missing and this was  a very big blow to Claude.  But he was determined to find Farmer John so he flew off to the air strip to see if he could find any clues. On his arrival there he was in for a small shock. The hangar was now occupied by the Royal Canadian Goose Squadron (R.C.G.S. for short).  The Air Commode there was called Stuffing or Chestnut for short. Anyway he listened to Claude while he told the story of Farmer John, made a couple of phone calls then said he would do all he could to help.  He had around three squadrons at his disposal, with one of them on a training exercise over at Langston Harbour, if Claude would give him a couple of minuets he would call up the S.B.S. and get them to ferry him in on one of their ribs.  Then they hit a snag, there was no spare flight available so Claude would have to fly himself to Selsea Bill where he would be picked up and taken to the exercise ground.

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Well this was not the first time Claude had had to fly himself around, so donning goggles and helmet he took off for the short journey to Selsea Bill.  When he got there he found a strange-looking man waiting for him, he was wearing a hood type woolen hat and covered in dark clothing plus he had a large boat they called a rib full of other men dressed like that. There being no seat just hand holds Claude took a deep breath and climbed aboard. Then the engines were started and with a roar they were off.  As the boat bumped and bounced along poor Claude was thrown all over the place but eventually they arrived in Langston harbour and started to look for the R.C.G.S.  Whilst doing this Claude asked what ‘S.B.S.’ stood for ‘Special Boat Squadron’ came the reply more like ‘Silly Born Sailors’ Claude thought but as he could not swim he never said so out loud.

They eventually found the squadron and left Claude there whilst they went off trying to look mean.  ‘Right young man have to get you to the C.O.’ the Flight Sergent said,  ‘he’s called Goose Grease’  ‘Oh why’s that?’ Claude asked then regretted it ‘because he can slip in and out of trouble, especially if the army’s Territorial Fox tanks are around’.  Claude was introduced to a young goose in a fine shiny black and grey uniform, who greeted him cheerfully.  “Well now what have we here? an ’00’ agent eh?’  he beamed ‘yes that’s correct’ Claude said looking at this goose with a slight mistrust on his face.  “I’m trying to find Farmer John and I need air assistance to do so’.   ‘Well I can do better than that, I can tell you where he is.’ Goose Grease said.  “Every year I take my squadron to Salisbury Plain where we practice maneuvers and landings.  This year we were chased off by a Hawker Hunter outfit, seems we had gotten to near some secret maneuvers, very secret not even told their families. According to Bunny and Badger thats what Farmer John is doing with the Territorial Army and Commando 42. Territorial Fox tank division and the Hawker Hunters mob are all out there as well so it’s a big thing, and you want to go in?. He shook his head as he said this, “Claude you must be mad, but I’ll get you in then you are on your own”.   Claude thanked him then went to get some lunch.

Around 4.30 that afternoon a strange-looking creature arrived at the camp.  He was rather skinny, lots of hair with a lethal looking tail. As he walked through the camp to the officers tent the air crews moved out of his way, silently watching him.  He reached the tent walked in dropped his kit on the floor and asked for a beer.  Everyone stood there looking on, and it was then that Claude entered.  “God what a pong” he said holding his nose “Don’t you ever wash round here?”  The man put down his beer and turned slowly to face Claude “I’ll…” he stopped short “By all that’s good double o’ one at last, someone sensible is here” this last statement was made with a big smile on his face. “Easil Weasil is that you?” Claude gasped as he looked at the very dirty very tired looking S.A.S. man. “What are you doing here?”  “Same as you my friend, looking for Farmer John and Bruce Gull”  Claude was suddenly serious “They are in danger aren’t they!”  Easil nodded and hung his head.   Without saying more Claude turned and headed for the CO’s tent. “I want the fastest Goose who can fly low and get me to Salisbury Plain asap  I will be ready in 1 hour” “Better make it a two-seater”  Claude turned to see Easil standing in the entrance “I’ll be ready to go just got to wash and change my clothes” so saying he turned and headed for the sea.

An hour later saw them high above the downs heading for Salisbury. Their pilot climbed higher to be out of the Hawker Hunter’s range this gave them a good view of the country.  Easil had told Claude that Farmer John and Bruce were in danger from Puffin Billy because they had stopped him from stealing the bombs.  When at last they saw the exercise ground Claude realised it would be harder to get to his friends than he first thought, Commando 42 were not a pretty bunch.  They had landed on the edge of the exercise ground and were watching their plane flying away when they heard a rustle in the hedge turning round they came face to face with the biggest rabbit and badger Claude had ever seen. Easil was relieved, “Billy, Growler, so good to see you what news my friends?”  It seemed that the T.A. along with Farmer John and Bruce had been sent to the other side of the wood to act as the attacking group, thus taking them away from the main body of the army so exposing them to Puffin Billie’s attack.  Puffin had  laid traps in the area where the T.A. would be crossing the next afternoon there were even booby trapps.  So it was decided that Billy, Growler and Easil would go to their aid whilst Claude would tackle Commando 42 and the dreaded Sergent Major Chris.

They said their goodbyes and he watched them melt away into the woods, then taking a deep breath he headed towards the camp. As he approached he was challenged then taken to the guard tent where he faced a rather mean looking Sergent Major, who grabbed him by the neck saying “well well well look here lads, dinner sh…” that was as far as he got, the next thing he knew he was on his back with a wing at his throat and a mean looking pheasant on his chest.  “My name is Pheasant, Double-O-One Claude Pheasant! and you are?”  The Sergent Major looked stunned, he had been stuffed by a pheasant and a talking one at that, not to mention he was a secret agent.  “Sergent Major Chris sir” he stammered. ” Well Sergent Major if you don’t mind I have a little problem and I need your help, so do we talk or fight?”  Before Sergent Chris could reply the tent flap opened and in walked a troop of scruffy, dirty looking men, “Well Chris I see you’ve met our Claude then, we’ll just clean up, rearm then discuss our next move, ok Claude”  “you say so Bertie” “Ok then let Chris up he gets a bit narked if he stays like that for too long” the man chuckled. Claude let Chris get up. Chris looked at him rather bemused.” I have heard of you but never believed it till now you want to join the brigade? anyone who can put me on the ground is more than welcome.” Chris held out his hand and shook Claude’s wing.

Well what do we do now Claude wondered. ‘Big’ Chris cleared a space on the table so that Claude could see the map, after a short study Claude realised that things did not look too good for Farmer John and Bruce.  What they needed was 1) a plan to catch these baddies and 2) some desperately need information, in other words Easil and his squad, where were they? Claude wondered.

Actually Easil along with his squad were busy creeping carefully along damp hedge rows covered in stinging nettles and ditches filled with cold water, disabling the booby traps they found.  This was not an easy task as the traps were well hidden, but they had a secret weapon of their own, Digger Mole.  It was Digger’s job to check the  tunnels then when he found a stick or something sharp in the ground he would carefully pop his head up and mark the spot with a flag so that Easil would know what to check out. In this way Easil’s squad were able to clear a path through some very nasty traps, disabling trip wires designed to trip the humans or fire missiles into the air thus endangering Bruce and his boys. By the time they reached Farmer Johns camp they were tired, wet and covered in dirt. Easil and his squad crept up to the biggest tent where there was a light on. After skirting it to make sure there were no enemy around he pulled back the flap and entered.

Bruce, Farmer John and three mean looking T.A. officers were in the middle of forming their plans.  “What’s all this?” said a surprised T.A. officer.   “Easil what you doing here mate?” Bruce was now concerned.  If Easil and his boys were out at this time of night then something was up, Easil liked his home comforts.  “There’s big trouble out there Bruce. I’ve just got through a load of traps that Puffin Billy had set for you lot. No questions just now what we need is a hot cuppa and a bath THEN, I’ll fill you all in on whats going on. Oh and they have recruited Steevburn Seagull”   Dumping their gear Easil and his squad headed for the wash tent leaving some puzzled humans behind, Steevburn Seagull, what did he want here?

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When at last Easil returned he explained the traps he had found and how they were dismantled but more worrying was the fact that Steevburn Seagull had taken some chicks hostage just in case things went wrong. “This is a job for Claude” Farmer John said “Can we get him over here?” A message was sent to HQ and a little later Claude flew in. Easil told him about the hostages “Where are they being held Easil?” “There is an old barn just at the edge of the wood and he has them in there.”  Claude thought for a moment turned to Easil saying “I’ll take care of Seagull you just get the chicks away.”  “right I wont argue with that” Easil said.  They finished their drinks and knowing that Farmer John and Bruce were now safe headed towards the barn.  They arrived to find it empty except for a ferret guarding a hole in the wall. After knocking him out they squeezed into the barn and found the chicks huddled in a corner.  Easil had begun to usher them out through the hole when he heard a deep evil chuckle Seagull had arrived.

Claude told Easil to get the chicks away whilst he dealt with Steevburn.   Claude walked into the middle of the barn facing Steevburn Seagull the biggest seagull he had ever seen.  “Well who have we here?” sneered Seagull”  Pheasant 001 Claude Pheasant”  Claude answered.  “Ohh am I supposed to be scared?” Seagull said  “Considering I am bigger than you it will not take me long to dispatch you then I think a nice dinner of chicks will make my day.”   Claude said nothing, he kept his eye on Steevburn waiting for his move.  When it came it was sudden and hard. Claude flew across the barn hit the wall and slid to the ground.  For a second or two he sat there then slowly got to his feet. “Ok Seagull if that’s the way you want it its fine by me.”  As he said this Claude jumped into the air aimed his feet at Seagull and flew across the barn.  Seagull saw this coming and dodged hitting out with a wing as Claude passed him. But Claude was quick, he landed and turned crouching low waiting for Seagulls next move.  They circled each other waving their wings looking for an opening. Seagull made a few darting movements looking for an opening, but Claude gave him none, so he got a little closer and dipping on one leg kicked out with the other. Seeing what he was doing Claude grabbed the leg and the fight was on. Backwards and forwards they flew each getting a strike in feathers flying all over the place, suddenly Claude hit Seagull and for a moment he was stunned.  Claude seized his chance, he jumped on Steevburn and started plucking at his feathers. When Easil arrived with some of the SBS he found a rather unhappy beat up Steevburn Seagull trying hard to cover himself with his wings.  “You ok Claude?”  “Yes thanks Easil a little bruised but ok.” Claude said.

Well the story went round the wood and hedgerows making Claude a real hero.  Then to top it all Sergent Chris arrived and made Claude a honnery member of Commando 42 with his own beret.  It was a very happy pheasant that went home that day. And Farmer John? Well he gave Claude a hero’s welcome home even Mrs Farmer John was pleased to see him.  Well done Claude!

© Michael Douglas Bosc

p.s.  You will not find a photo of Easil as for security reasons his face cannot be seen.

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Although I wrote about Stanley, but he was not my inspiration for writing Jason was.

I have always been interested in history especially Naval history, (and once again my sister has come up trumps, christmas pressie of three more naval books)  anything to do with ships and the sea I’m there.

Jason has a huge sexual appetite, but is an adventurer, sound businessman and good Captain.  He lets us into the social acceptances of the late 1700’s in Jamaica, then shows his compassion for the slaves on his plantation.   However, it is when he returns to England that things really hot up.

Sorting out his life, taking a mistress, then setting out on a most dangerous adventure. This he does not mind as he is back on the seas in the world he is most at home in.  He has his sexual adventures which become a little mixed up but he also shows how ruthless he can be when someone he cares for is harmed.

During the writing of this story I have written and re-written things.  Such as the attitudes to the Prince Of Wales and his spending something that was suffered by people too afraid to do anything about it.  There is an insight into the Prime minister’s life and attitude to his borrowing and spending, nothing really changes.  The city as it was then, was a strange creature but just as likely to fold as it is today.  So perhaps we should not be too surprised when things go pear-shaped.

But it is the way merchants got China to let go of their silver that is the main topic. Opium!  China would not trade in silver unless it was for this commodity. They would swap goods for goods but silver only for opium.  So of course, the merchants and governments plotted and schemed to get at it. The East India Company did very well in that department especially with Jason’s help and connections.

But the cost to Jason was a strange one, torture, near death and a princess for a wife. The how and when of this well, read the book and find out oh and look for the little bit of magic…..

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