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."


Friday, 29 May 2015

Near Home

Went for a walk.  Icy wind.  Snow on the hills.  Feels like March.

Trying to organise an assault on the editing of the Sea Penguin e-books with a view to doing a print version in one volume.  Finding it very tiresome and boring, but I will persevere.
Thanks to whoever recently bought all five of them - much appreciated.  Someone from the UK, but beyond that I've no idea who.
Trying to organise writing time - difficult at the moment.  Ah well.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Couple of Short Walks.

Looking over to Forneth House

The island, Loch Clunie

Reeds, Loch Clunie

A lone swan by reed beds, Loch Clunie

Horse Chestnut Candle

Approaching Loch Clunie

A wander by a familiar haunt,  Loch Clunie.  Hoped to see an osprey - didn't. It was sunny-ish, but very very cold for May, and I was tired, so I didn't linger.
I did see a Great Crested Grebe, and a swan...
Next day we walked by Loch of the Lowes; in the fields were several pairs of lapwings (more than I've see in years), and numerous brown hares,  with swifts, martins and swallows flying across.  All wonderful to see.  I also observed a little grebe in another loch, and quite a few tufted ducks.
Still no ospreys.
But it's only a matter of time.
By Loch of the Lowes

Loch of the Lowes

Ferns unfurling

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Tuppence reads - Wise Words from Unkle Funkle...

...he of the Wintry Isles circumnavigation fame.  Or notoriety.  Or infamy.  Or nothing at all.  Whatever.

'What are you reading,  Tuppence?'  Imagine him, reading, I thought.  Him!   Of all people!
'Don't you mean 'HE' of all people,  Tuppy?'
Geoffrey was at the mind-reading again.  Tiresome at times*.  'He of all people? Does that sound right to you Geoffrey?'
'Well, it sounds about as right as 'him' of all people.'
'Are you talking about me, you fools?' said Tuppence, glaring at us over his golden pince nez. Not that he needed 'eyewear' of any type.  His vision was perfect, even at night. Convenient for his exploits with the rats (see e-books for details).  The pince nez, therefore, were a mere affectation.  A phase.  Next thing will be tattoos I imagine - ghastly depictions of his fave prog rock stars, such as Rick Wakeman and Mont Campbell of Egg. 'If so, 'he' has got a name.  And I'm  reading Unkle Funkle's Diaries.  I found them wrapped in oilskin in a rusty tartan tin under the stairs, along with a packet of Lipton's tea, three tins of rice pudding and a Kendall Mint Cake wrapper with a use by date of June 3rd, 1920. The tin was labelled 'KLEENING MATERIELS' - that's why you wouldn't have ever opened it.  I only did cos I was bored and looking for - well, anything really.  But preferably cash.  The Diaries are ever so interesting Uncle Tuppy.  I think he went completely insane from time to time, what with the sea water drinking and the unfortunate incident with the albatross and all, but in between bouts of madness he made some useful observations.'
'Oh yes?' said Geoffrey, settling down and fluffing his feathers on his favourite end of the  mantlepiece.
'Such as?'  I said.
'Such as never work for a living, if you can possibly avoid it.  And if you must work, never ever work for someone else as an 'employee'.  Especially not in catering. He wrote that bit while employed as cook on the clipper 'Violet Carson', tacking round the Cape of Good Hope.'
'Well before he found the Wintry Isles then.'
'Yes.  He didn't like working as a cook.  He jumped ship in South Georgia and made a raft from balsa wood and a sail from his erstwhile cook's apron, and steered north, by the stars.  Only he went south, due to the prevailing winds and his getting mixed up with the northern and southern hemispheres and stuff.  And he ended up at the Wintry Isles, with a case of rice pudding, a pound of Lipton's tea and five bars of Kendall Mint Cake to see him through six months of Antarctic darkness.'
'Did he ever regret chucking his job in?'

*useful at others

Monday, 11 May 2015

Today's Walk, and other things - a field full of dandelions

Won't be long till the hawthorn - or 'May' - is out

Tortoiseshell butterfly

Dandelions galore

A day of heavy, blustery showers, and occasional sun.  This seems to be a very good year for dandelions.
I've had an idea - a 'writing idea'....more about this later, I hope.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my new book - Calcium Made Interesting, by Graham Chapman, mentioned previously.  It's the kind of book you can dip into.  An entertaining read.  Tales from the 70s of Keith Moon,  Harry Nilsson and so forth, and all pretty much as one would expect, if you have any knowledge of the era. Drinking exploits, often at the expense of hotel managers, which must have seemed hilarious at the time, but which now seem really self-indulgent, not to mention highly destructive and dangerous.  Doors blown off their hinges because gin didn't arrive on time, for example.  But that's me speaking from the dizzy heights of well-into-middle-age.

In other news, two more 1p. books have arrived:  The Haunted Hotel, by Wilkie Collins, and a biography of Rebecca West by Lorna Gibb.  Both look good.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Today's the Ardle

Weather's pretty grim again and we didn't go far afield.  A stroll by the river Ardle at Bridge of Cally.  Lots of moss.  Lots of very old yew trees.  Plenty of swallows,  building nests in a stable.  A dipper flew across just below the bridge, and then on our return, we saw a grey wagtail flying downstream, flicking its tail as it went from rock to rock.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Book of the Week, or 'This Week's Book' - Calcium Made Interesting, by Graham Chapman

One of my recent Amazon 1p. purchases just arrived.  I've had a quick look and I'm not disappointed.  Well, at 1p. (plus £2.68 P & P) how could I be?
Graham Chapman is one of those few who stride courageously into the outer reaches of the ridiculous, and then stay there, poking around, wobbling on that thin wire that separates comedy from disintegration and nothingness, beyond the point when it would have been sensible to leave.  I think you have to do this if you want to understand Life.  Or perhaps (probably?) you don't.  Who knows?  At any rate, it's one approach, and that is his appeal, for me.
I'm expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did 'A Liar's Autobiography'.
I like all nonsense writers and one that I'm currently investigating is Edward Lear.  I'm planning an Amazon 1p. browse later today.  If I find anything that grabs me I'll let you know.   Meanwhile, here's a link to an interesting short biography.
Runcible spoons all round.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 65, Rebecca West

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 65, Rebecca West

Very interesting.  I like Rebecca West a lot, or used to - I haven't read her for many a year. I have several of her books (The Fountain Overflows,  Cousin Rosamund, among others) and I've now ordered a biography from Amazon.  I badly need some fresh reading material.

I've also ordered another Graham Chapman book, Calcium Made Interesting, because I enjoyed A Liar's Autobiography so much (see blog posts about this from, oh, goodness knows when...).  And The Haunted Hotel, by Wilkie Collins, which also sounds pretty good.

Meanwhile I'm re-reading Titus Groan.

I might give my verdict on these at some point....although, why I should bother I don't know.  Who's going to be interested?  They aren't new books, and so many others have written about them already.