Nervous yet excited all at the same time?

Ok SO have you ever experienced being nervous and excited all at the same time? Well that was exactly how I was feeling last night. I received an email from Sian who is an independent (unpaid) book reviewer, to say she would be putting up her review in the next few hours. Now when you ask for your book to be reviewed it can go either way, you always hope for a positive review, but…

So I was on tender hooks as I waited. I have had reviews on Amazon, but these have been friends of friends who bought the book, so I sort of feel they are a bit biased because they know who I am. So when it is a completely unknown person, well that starts to get scary.

I must have checked 10 times. Then suddenly the review was up. my hand hovered over the open button and I suddenly found myself becoming very emotional. this was a real person who was going to tell me what they thought of 4 years of my life – yes that is how long it took for this dream to come to fruition.

With my best friend at my side encouraging me I hit the open button. There in Goodreads for all the world to see was my review. I started to read, the first bit was just a repeat of my description of Polly’s Piralympics, then:

my-first-reviewmy-first-reviewblurb

Well, emotions got the better of me. Here in black a white was confirmation that not only had the reviewer liked it, but the kids too. And they are by far the best and harshest critics of any children’s book on the market.

As I finished reading, the lump in my throat was now the size of an orange and tears were tripping down my cheeks. I glanced over at my friend, whose eyes were also red and full of tears. THEY HAD LIKED IT – RELIEF.

To Sian from The Blithering Bibliomaniacs, you made one author very, very happy yesterday. And I would like to say again THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME NOT ONLY TO READ MY BOOK, BUT TO REVIEW IT TOO.

 

Eden Radio Interview

So today I had my interview with Eden Radio to discuss my new book Polly’s Piralympics. Ieden-radiot was great fun and Alison made me feel so at home. Thank you for the invite when Polly’s Eskimo Piralympics is completed, should be about the New Year. I hope you enjoy reading the book with Daniel.

 

Super Excited Today.

me-picToday I have my 1st radio interview, so I am super excited. My book will be launched in the New Year at Skoobs book store (Monte Casino.) But today I will be chatting on air – chatting on air, I’m floating on air at the moment. Tune in at 12.30 today to Radio Eden 1368 (They also have an app and are now streaming online if you can’t get to a radio) And for those of you not sure I am in South Africa so we are +2hrs on GMT

It has taken 4 years to get to this point, at lot of doubt and even more encouragement from those around me, who never lost faith in my book and the messages held within its pages. To the point that one book has grown into a series and today the cat is our of the bag and Polly will fly across the airwaves.

What are my books Polly’s Piralympics, How Polly Became a Pirate and Polly Ya Nay Can Fly about. Simple the are about Polly the parrot and her adventures. How she is found by Captain Hake and become the ship’s pirate parrot, how she helps her friends, how she comes up with ideas – the Pirates Paralympics.

During the stories, Polly the parrot gets bullied. It show what happens when a friend stands up for a bullied victim, and how it isn’t cool to cheat or bully others. We all have challenges, some obvious – one eye, one arm, no legs; some less obvious – being deaf, blind of having a stutter; and some harder to detect – can’t sing, can’t dance, can’t spell, can’t count, can’t ride a bicycle, can’t cook, can’t play a musical instrument, can’t run 100m in under 10 seconds. We shouldn’t pick on/tease or bully others, or someone else may also bully us too.

How when we have challenges in our lives it is about what WE CAN do rather than what WE CAN’T do. The Piralympics Games show that even with physical challenges/disabilities the pirates CAN compete and can do.

A Masterchef competition is thrown in just for fun, and to remind us of good manners.

So remember tune into Radio Eden 1368 (South Africa) or get the app. Or download the podcast.

 

Why Should We Bother Remembering?

Many would echo those sentiments, especially the young today, who may feel it’s ‘old stuff’ But its part of the old stuff that actually matters. To look down the barrel of a gun, some lads only 16 years old (they lied to die for their country.) and to take another man’s life… It wasn’t a computer game, it was real. So should we remember them, I say hell yes. My grandfather was in the First World War. apparently he never spoke about it:

“Some things you just don’t talk about.” he would say.

So to all the youth out there in the world, just remember you are here today because of them.

Lest we forget

Poppy petals waft in the breeze,

Like soldiers lined up, but standing at ease,

Their crimson petal’s all aglow,

Reminding us of, graves in a row.

 

Thousands fell in those fields,

Where flowers blew gently in the breezes,

And now in those fields, their ghosts roam,

Far away and unable to go home.

 

And as poppies sway in the fields,

They remind us how good may never yield,

Those crimson red flowers represent today,

The terrible price those men had to pay.

 

Such simple flowers, of pretty red,

On this day, representing the dead

Of all the wars man’s stupidly started,

Today our reminder of soldiers departed.

 

So at the 11th hour on the 11th day,

Take a moment to remember to say,

Thank you on this November morn,

To all those fallen so we may be born.

lest-we-forget

Christmas truce WW1

“We had a sort of truce on Christmas Day, and we were out in between the two trenches talking to one another. A German officer gave me two cigars, which were very good, and the men exchanged good wishes and smokes, etc. They told us that they didn’t want to fight us, as they had no grudge against us. They were mostly young fellows, and the officer was only about 21 years of age, and said he had only seen one year’s service. Nearly all the Germans spoke English, and there was one there about 12 years old and also one or two old men with bald heads, and one or two in civilian dress, so you can see they are rather a mixed crowd. It hardly seems credible, does it, but I saw it with my own eyes.” ~ unknown officer from the 8th division

It seems almost unthinkable now, as we look back at modern warfare, where war stops for no man. But that was a different age. there were actually three men killed that day. A young British (Pvt Percy Huggins.) a sentry was killed by a German sniper (Name unknown). His place was taken by a British sniper (Sargent Tom Gregory) who in turn spotted the German sniper and killed him. Just as he spotted the second German sniper he was killed by the same snipers bullet as he had spotted him first. there were a further 149 Commonwealth servicemen who passed away that Christmas Day from previous injuries. (And surely many Germans too.) However it goes down in history as the Christmas Truce.

 

Too lightly on life’s scales, compassion weighs. 

It was quiet on that day…

Once all the smoke and dust had settled,

I could even hear the birds singing.

 

Unlike today, today there is no silence, only continuous noise!!

 

Then it all stopped, just for a while…

There ahead of us we could see them, not more than a few hundred yards separated us.

They gazed back, no doubt with similar thoughts.

 

Today we just keep on loading and firing … loading and firing!!

Then from somewhere a ball appeared,

And we both started to climb out of our trenches,

Mud caking stiff limbs up to our knees, feet long since numb from the cold.

 

They are your enemy…. kill….. kill….. kill!!

 

We walked right up to each other, stopping only inches apart and stared into each other’s eyes,

I took his hand in mine as if he were a long lost friend,

And we smiled.

 

If you don’t kill him, he will kill you!!

 

I broke a small bar of chocolate and shared it with him,

He in turn, took out a picture and showed it to me, a woman holding a baby,

His wife and son. 
sharing-a-cigarette

What are you waiting for, destroy, maim, kill!!

 

Then we advanced into the no-man’s land that separated us,

and for which we had been fighting for for weeks now,

We played soccer,

Before finally coming together to sing carols.

Death….. death …….. death all around me!!

 

That day so long ago now was Christmas Day 1914,

The birth day of Christ And a time to give thanks.

Today it is Good Friday 1915 The death of Christ But today there is no peace,

no truce, no rejoicing no time.

Today I killed the soldier whose hand I had shaken and child I had seen,

Today I cried for him and what I have done, and for all humanity,

For today there is no time to morn Christ on this day of his death.

 

In 1914 we remembered his birth,

By 1915 there is no time to remember his death, or our redemption,

Today, too lightly on Life’s Scales, Compassion Weighs.

 

 

 

Thoughts maybe from the trenches.

How did they while away their hours of boredom in the flee hoping, rat infested trenches. We watch films that glorify war, make it clean and tidy, but the reality was very different. Death, stench, decay.

Hours drifting into days, boredom and complacency the greatest enemy.

Staring at Infinity

On a dew laden morning,

As the sun tries to creep through;

Along the edge of an autumn leaf

A perfectly formed droplet reflects the blue sky.

 

As one gazes into its eternal depth

It becomes clear that I am staring at infinity,

As it stars back at me.

 

A cacophony of memories past, present and still in the future, flash before me,

Tumbling at the edge of my awareness

Gnawing at my consciousness

 

Reflections sparkle with morning freshness,

Like a crystal shard,

Thousands of repeated images bouncing back at me.

 

Windows into worlds unknown,

Universe of my imagination waiting to be freed.

Is my future here, in a dew drop?

 

Mine a myriads of others

Who have shared this same view,

All staring at time with no end.

Until suddenly,

The movement of a nearby blackbird

Disturbs the tranquillity

And the moment is lost forever,

As the droplet plummets to the permanence of earth.

 

My view into this other world,

Remaining only in the glimpse of my last memory,

And leaving me only to question

 

Beat the Bully

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