My Amazon Author Page

Find my Amazon author page via this link

"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

"I enjoy Kate's stories..."
"A fun and spooky read..."

"The characters are so involving and
loveable that you do want them to really exist. It does read like you've
stumbled across someone's long lost diary from and alternate timeline/universe.
I quickly got into the story and loved every second of reading it...
total gem of a read by an author who deserves a lot more recognition."


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Monday, 20 April 2015

Do Animals Have Souls? (part 2)

'So Uncle Tuppy.  Five years ago you set off in the coracle to free a boatload of lactating ewes held captive on a prison ship (please see my five e-book tales on Amazon, if you want to know more). Now, you're wolfing down your third bacon sandwich of the day, and wiping grease off your chin. Isn't there some kind of APPALLING CONTRADICTION there?  In short, aren't you a hypocrite?'
'Well, I - '
'Let me complete my train of thought before you start with the weasel-worded reply. You're not only a hypocrite - you're a PSYCHOPATH,' Tuppence continued, folding his arms. 'You're devoid of compassion and moral integrity.  You've a black hole instead of a conscience.'
'That's a nice thing to say to someone who bought you Thomas the Tank Engine pyjamas for your birthday.  And a Smartie pencil case.'
'You're not even attempting to defend yourself.  You're resorting to feeble sarcasm and personal attacks.'
'Isn't that always the best way?'
'It's lazy.  Where are your facts?  Your counter-arguments?'
'I have none.  I admit everything.  I saved the ewes because I could.  I eat bacon because I can.  They sell it shrink-wrapped for one ninety-nine a packet off the back of the grocer's van.  It would be rude to say no.  I'm human, therefore I'm fallible - what can I say?'
'You've said plenty.  And you aren't human - as well you know.  You're a sheep.  You're supposed to be a herbivore, yet you eat dead pigs. What's wrong with you?'
'I don't know.  I'm weak. I know that what I'm doing is wrong. I don't think of bacon and sausages as being real.  They're like biscuits or crisps...'
'Oh shut up. I wanted a proper argument with dialectics and everything. But all you can do is waffle about crisps.  No wonder I'm delinquent.'

Sunday, 19 April 2015

This Morning's Conversation - Do Animals Have Souls?

'Not till I've had my second cup of tea.  How many TIMES?'
'Ooh testy.'

Tuppence is out of the sweat lodge (please see previous posts for details*) and is recuperating** on the sofa by the fire in our 'house'.
Well, I call it a house but that's a very loose term really.  It doesn't conjure up its ramshackle walls, the hole in the wall that we use as a door, or indeed the 'tarp' roof.
But regular readers will know that.
'Bear Grylls and that other outdoorsy fat chap off the telly would love it here,'  enthused one of Val's yurt guests recently, as they peered through the hole in the wall while wandering past on one of her 'guided wildlife excursions'. 'It's perfect. Not a single mod con in sight.  Mind you I couldn't cope without underfloor heating and a rainforest shower.  I couldn't actually LIVE here.'
'You're so right!' cooed Val obsequiously, 'It's a pastoral idyll, perfect for de-stressing and taking a break from the pressures of city life.  At least that's what I've said on my website.  Mind your step on the sheep muck Demelza. You don't want to get that on your Crocs.'
'Ray Mears?' sneered Tuppence, throwing a used hankie at them, 'He's not outdoorsy.  He uses stock cubes for Christ's sake!'
'Oh my god - is that a talking sheep?' gasped the yurt guest. 'I thought it was a rug.'
'Yes.  And here's another one for you - bigger and ten times uglier,' I snarled, 'Now sod off and let us have our breakfast in peace.'
'Any minute now...' said Tuppence, struggling to his feet and dusting the biscuit crumbs off his britches.
I knew just what he was about to do.   He was about to...
'Fetch the shotgun Tuppy!' cried Geoffrey, flying in. 'Fetch it now, and blast them to smithereens!'
'Where's smithereens?' said the yurt guest. 'Val - where's....'
But Val had fled.  She knew us of old.
'Oh no.  My Crocs...'
Tuppence leapt through the hole in the wall and seized the yurt guest by the 'bingo wing'***.
'You're our guest now...' he smiled as he deftly roped her into the wooden rocking chair by the fireplace. 'Now,where were we Uncle Tuppy?  Something about animals having souls, wasn't it?'
'Oh yes.  But that can wait.  Let's have a bacon sandwich.  I've not reached full cogitation strength yet.'

*there aren't any
**eating biscuits
***the bit that really hurts when you grab it

I've five e-books all featuring the same characters doing various things - find 'em on Amazon here.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Today's Walk - down the road a bit.

A field near my house.  I expect it will be built over before long.

Ivy - reminds me of an enormous shaggy dog.

Dandelions very pretty just now.

Two among many abandoned bags of dog muck.

Great tits, blue tits, and goldfinches flitting from tree to tree.

A stroll down the road before tea.  Beautiful sunny evening.  Won't be long till the hawthorn comes into flower.  Meanwhile everything is in bud and the birds abound.  The trees by the burn were alive with robins, blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, and goldfinches, and rooks and crows flapped and cawed away in the field.  I haven't seen any green-finches yet.  Usually there are quite a few.  No song thrushes in evidence, either.  I'll keep looking.
If I'd walked a bit further I'm sure I'd have seen yellowhammers and buzzards in the large field at the bottom of the road.
As I stood and watched a blue tit perching at the top of a hawthorn tree and the blueness of the sky beyond I felt the beauty and privilege of Life.  And then you remember the dark side and the pain and the wars and the awful suffering, and you wonder what on Earth's it all about.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Today's Walk...a wander around the Pass of Birnam

Dunkeld from Pass of Birnam

Looking east, towards the Sidlaws

Looking south, towards Fife and the Lomond Hills

Everything's looking greener and birds very active.  We had a wonderful view of a red kite coming up above the near horizon and then soaring above the trees around the back of Birnam hill - and a possible two others, although we couldn't be sure as they were moving fast into the wind.  We had a clear view of its pale head, beautiful under-wing markings and distinctively forked tail.
Bright sunshine for much of the afternoon, interrupted by a brief snowstorm, and some rain.  It was very windy so the weather blew across quickly.
We parked on the Dunkeld to Bankfoot road in a muddy layby about fifty yards or so above the signposted walks to Byres of Murthly (on one side) and Birnam hill (on the other).  Plenty of room for three or four cars.
First we walked to Byres of Murthly and Pass of Birnam - a pretty woodland walk by a burn with nice views towards Dunkeld when you get to the top.  The path seems to peter out there and it's a bit overgrown generally, so we retraced our steps and then walked up towards Birnam hill.  We didn't proceed beyond the fence by the woods, and just stopped to enjoy the view towards Fife (see bottom photo).
We'll return another day to tackle the hill itself.  I've been up it a few times but it's quite steep and I really have to be in the right mood.  The views from the top are marvellous, but not sufficiently marvellous to motivate me today.
On the return drive home I was excited to see a pair of lapwings displaying over a field where I know they regularly nest.  Just the one pair though, and it's been the same for the past several years.   There should be lots more. Lovely to see them but how sad that they're in decline.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Today's Walk...near home (again)

Another prayer flag...

The wheel turns and I'm still here.  A spell of warm fine weather over Easter has continued through the week.  As usual, I haven't been anywhere that could be described as interesting, unusual or exciting (heaven forbid).  
Nights are still pretty cold but the world is definitely coming alive again.  Bees and butterflies abound.  Plants are starting to sprout.  All the customary signs of Spring.  I've pottered round the garden and the local fields absorbing it all.
I hope to go looking for ospreys and frogspawn at the weekend.