Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 2: Brisbane Forest Park, Queensland: Jolly’s Lookout

This is the second in a series of short reflections on different places in Australia and New Zealand, which I visited in November 2019. Today’s post is about a high place in Brisbane Forest Park, Queensland, which is very dear to my heart. During the time I lived in Australia, from 1986 to 1990, IContinue reading “Australia and New Zealand Mini Series Part 2: Brisbane Forest Park, Queensland: Jolly’s Lookout”

Book Review: ‘Half a World Away’ by Mike Gayle

This is a profoundly moving novel set in our contemporary society, which works on so many levels, intimate, insightful and also demonstrating panoramic vision. In ‘Half a World Away’ Mike Gayle takes as his subject those children who are born into deeply dysfunctional situations in the UK, and thus come to the attention of theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Half a World Away’ by Mike Gayle”

Come and Have Fun in the Birmingham NEC 31st May to 2nd June 2019 and Find the Authors on the Author Stand at the UK Games Expo 2019

Once again the Birmingham NEC will be taken over by the UK Games Expo this year at the end of May. And between Friday 31st May and Sunday 2nd June 2019 there will be a fabulous atmosphere and loads of fun for all those who love games, fantasy, roleplay, cosplay and… books about adventure, fantasy,Continue reading “Come and Have Fun in the Birmingham NEC 31st May to 2nd June 2019 and Find the Authors on the Author Stand at the UK Games Expo 2019”

Film Review: ‘Tolkien’ 2019 Film Starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins: A True Picture of Tolkien’s Inspirations?

I’ve recently been to see the film Tolkien about the early life of the great author who created The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As one who has loved the creations of Tolkien, both his writings and his art, since I was at university, I looked forward greatly to seeing this film. IContinue reading “Film Review: ‘Tolkien’ 2019 Film Starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins: A True Picture of Tolkien’s Inspirations?”

Film Reviews: ‘Tolkien’ 2019 Starring Nicholas Hoult

I’ve recently been to see the film Tolkien about the early life of the great author who created The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. As one who has loved the creations of Tolkien, both his writings and his art, since I was at university, I looked forward greatly to seeing this film. IContinue reading “Film Reviews: ‘Tolkien’ 2019 Starring Nicholas Hoult”

Book Review: “London: A Spiritual History” by Edoardo Albert

I loved this book – attracted to it originally in the shop of the Royal Naval College Visitor Centre, Greenwich, by its delightful, playful cover design. London: A Spiritual History by Edoardo Albert begins by telling the history of London from well before the Roman invasion, and then bringing us through to the present day,Continue reading “Book Review: “London: A Spiritual History” by Edoardo Albert”

The Throckmortons of Coughton Court, Warwickshire: A Family Forever Linked to those Who Conspired to Murder their King

Approaching Coughton Court, the ancestral seat of the Throckmortons, near Alcester in Warwickshire, we may admire the mellow sandstone sixteenth century house with its dramatic battlemented gatehouse tower and lovely timbered north and south wings. In front is the most exquisitely laid-out garden packed with abundant lavenders. Everything about this house and its surrounding groundsContinue reading “The Throckmortons of Coughton Court, Warwickshire: A Family Forever Linked to those Who Conspired to Murder their King”

Felix Dennis, Eccentric Millionaire Poet – a Man with a Vision for the Future, and Founder of a Great Forest in the Heart of England

In an age of information where we are bombarded with news and facts and false facts and opinions, both genuine and prejudiced,  I find we tend to select our own blind spots, to filter out the onslaught. Which is why, sometimes, although something and somebody can be publicised hugely in innumerable ways, it’s still possibleContinue reading “Felix Dennis, Eccentric Millionaire Poet – a Man with a Vision for the Future, and Founder of a Great Forest in the Heart of England”

Reflections on Life and the Writer’s Journey from a Mamma Mia Perspective

Yes I do indeed find some lessons from Mamma Mia on the dynamics of life – and the writing journey. Having recently seen the film Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, twice, and loved it even more the second time I saw it,  I felt compelled to draw out some dynamic equivalents for all of us. Mamma Mia,Continue reading “Reflections on Life and the Writer’s Journey from a Mamma Mia Perspective”

Inspiration from JRR Tolkien in Oxford

My recent visit to Oxford to see the exhibition of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth was a revelation to me and full of inspiration. You may find the exhibition in the  ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library, next to Blackwell’s Bookshop on Broad Street. It’s packed with fascinating objects and letters, and drawings: Tolkien’s own exquisite illustrations forContinue reading “Inspiration from JRR Tolkien in Oxford”