Monday, 25 March 2019


Some may ask where I get the time to write? Normally as I have an idea I just grab the iPad and let it flow out. Seems easy enough, but today proved the exception. Really needed a coffee, so made my way to Caffe Nero, as one does. My iPad seriously needed to be charged so I am embarking on this coffee and writing experience with my Android tablet.

I have just fired up my android tablet, 11 minutes later I am still trying to get a Wifi connection and it wants to do another update. It is at times like this that we marvel at the simplicity of the iPad and Apple in general. I have completely forgotten what I was going to write, I feel for all those out there that have to deal with these dark age machines on a daily basis.

Sorry but I need to go as it has now taken me 47 minutes, it decided to update by itself and that took a while. Will pick this up on my iPad when I get home.

Now I am back in safe hands of my MacBook, let writing be my focus.

We are thinking of moving, actually buying a small house to be more accurate. Age is one of the difficulties in securing a mortgage. Most lenders will give a house loan until the age of 75, seven years away for me. This does make the process a challenge but not insurmountable. The Middle Smiths will be moving again, the flat they are renting has been put on the market to sell. Hopefully they will find a place where they can settle down for a while. By now their children must think they are on the witness protection program.

Talking of moving, Michael is about to move into his first home. Exciting times but in all fairness he has been living with people for the last 2 and a half years on his travels. I would imagine it will be a relief to have a place almost to himself. Jess, his cousin is sharing with him.

Robert is renting a house with one of his friends in Colchester as well. From the photos we have seen, both houses are new and modern, with plenty of space.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Rain and other friends

Today I asked someone to tell me how they started their business. Good question, as his business is very successful. I do wonder what I would say if someone asked me why I love writing so much. Well, I can say only this. Writing always feels like a safe place. You can invent stories that have nothing to do with your real life, but it is taken from real life and usually the good guy does not win but the stories I write, ends with the good guy winning. 

For example, someone I know well, thinks of everyone, all the time. What she can do to make their lives happier. The small things and the important things all count. Do they consider her, absolutely. She has a close group of friends who look out for each other, no one counts the favours. She looks outwards and those people are rare. Her friends and colleagues are remembered on their birthdays, when they bake her a cake and for all the times, she bakes or buys a cake for them My point being, she cares about her friends and colleagues and that takes commitment. 
People who are that considerate are quite self focused, self centred and are the most challenging of people to please. They are so focused on pleasing those friends and colleagues, they forget themselves. 
My advice, love them for who they are, you will be loved in return.

Rain, it swirls around the glow of the street lights, creating its own world. It is a pity I cannot hear the symphony of rain drops on the roof when I sleep. Although, rain on our conservatory roof does make talking a challenge, as it is perspex. Still you do feel the strength of the storm. This last two weeks the weather has been all over the place, from a day of a mild breeze to the next day of 50mph winds and driving rain, even hail on two occasions. Today is no exception. We had breakfast at the beach and could enjoy watching the wind and rain from the comfort of the cafe. I did not envy those people walking their dogs, I pity the dogs as well, they are closer to the ground and the sand blows into their eyes.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019


Susan and I have had the best times, a lot of it just walking and talking, it has been extraordinary journey, I hope will never end. 
 Susan's laughter at me watching reruns of Movies 24. Should really be called Love Films 24, as they are all love stories. My favourite is ‘Lovelocks’.  A story of two people meeting up again after 20 years. They were in love then. She has returned, bringing her daughter to study at the same university she went to. Lovely story but the dialogue is amazingly beautiful, the best character is the Old painter. He says to a lady, who lost her husband a while ago, that he is going to paint her.
“You have a sadness in your eyes and a joy, I tried to catch both.”

He paints her and they grow attached, two older people finding another time for happiness. Love locks are actually locks fastened to bridges in Paris. A couple will lock the padlock to the bridge and throw the key in the river below. A symbol of the couples love. I suppose as long as the lock is locked to the bridge, so their love is strong. Love locking has been classified an act of vandalism. The french authorities have started taking them down as there are now millions of locks attached to loads of bridges and the weight of the locks are damaging the historical bridges. As in all Movies 24, the couple do get together again and the end is always a happy one. He owns a hotel and she use to paint, the story sees her get back to painting and her daughter falls for Jean-Paul, another student at the university. The daughter says to her mother.

“How can you not fall in love with Paris when Paris is the city of love.”

Talking of girls, I remember a very obnoxious little 10 year old, who when I bent down to give her, her birthday present, shouted, ‘Oh yack he has hair in his nose, look at his nose.’ Everyone in the room laughed, not lest her parents. Small things are easily laughed away, I never made the mistake again of ever allowing myself to go near that girl again. It made me think of how life has changed and also stayed the same. I saw that little girl again, now a grown up version, still the same. I also trim the hair in my nose. Lessons are learnt.

Changing the subject somewhat, peas, they are a noble vegetable. I cook them with chilli and garlic. Bring the water to the boiling water, add the peas, crushed clove of garlic, a whole chilli and then you cook the peas as you would normally. Once cooked, drain, add a teaspoon of butter, season and serve. The subtle flavour of the chilli and the hint of the garlic, lift the peas. Peas remind me of my mother and my grandmother.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Topics of Interest

I have seen the comments with regards to not having blogged for a while. I can blame the pressures of work but alas that will not pass muster. To be honest I it was a combination of work, the weather and some writers block. Thank you to my brother, The Right Honourable Russell Smith, entrepreneur and a thoroughly nice chap, who sent me a gentle reminder. I must talk to his dear friend, Tamacgor S Bald, maybe he knows when Russell is coming to the UK again, would be lovely to see him, now that he is all grown up. Must be 3 to 4 years since I last saw him.

Come to think of it, Russell is launching another Game lodge, this time in Kenya. Great Expectations Hotel and Resorts, I think it is, cannot find it in the search engines, maybe someone will steer me in the right direction. Did find a Russell Smith in South Africa but he is a photographer and lives on Cape Town. 

Maybe this is one of the best kept secrets in Africa. If you think you are not getting your name or message out there, get hold of Cirrus Design Studio, I do hear they are the best. They are giving their website a freshen up so bare with them while they work their magic.

Talking of Africa, I hear the government is slowly bleeding the country dry with corruption and zero experience in running a country. My advice is to hand the day to day running of the country to Nestle Foods. Put the present civil servants to work fixing the roads and lockup all the members of parliament. That would be my advice, but then I cannot really talk, we have a government who is incapable of getting a simple Brexit deal.

Saturday, 16 March 2019


Quite a few people might not know this but I started my working life as a typewriter technician. Yep I repaired typewriters. Well, to start just clean and serviced them. Later on, once I had done the courses, I did fix a few. I mention this because I have just heard a news talk on the popularity of old typewriters.

Tom Hanks  has a collection of over 100 and liken typing on these old machine to works of art. 
As you can see I am typing on one at the moment, just makes it seem more personal. 

Talking about news items, this one really interested me.
Ngisti wakes to what is one of the most challenging days she will have to face in her lifetime. She gave birth to her son 40 days ago and now her belief dictates she must baptise him. The problem is that the church is on the top of the mountain and to get there it is a climb of 400m up a sheer cliff. Difficult at the best of times but with your baby strapped to your back, it is a very dangerous climb. 

In Ethiopia, belief in a higher power leads villagers in the Tigray region to climb a huge mountainside to reach their church. They believe it's vital and beneficial for their children to be baptised here, despite the obvious dangers. Just 40 days after giving birth, Ngisti must climb 400 metres to have her new son, Dawit baptised.
It is a BBC documentary and really worth a watch. they also showed how they positioned their cameras to film the climb by the mother and her extended family.

On another note, it seems as if the traditional burger night has seen the last burger served. A tradition that started when Angela was about as old as Lilly is now. Must be over 25 years now. Change is inevitably, new minds, new tastes, new traditions will be born. Will let you known what we do this Friday. Michael suggested Pizza, Susan seemed to like the idea of a pub dinner and Gary was interested in trying a pub in Wimborne. This is one of those times I will go with what is decided by the majority, for now, let democracy have its way but I do fear it might all end in tears. Sometimes changes are for the good and other times they akin to a chocolate teapot.