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, 26 June 2015

Animals vs Humans

'I want to go and stay on the Wintry Isles.'
'You don't know what you want.  You're too little.'
'I'm not too little!  You weren't saying that when I smuggled in extra baccy and drink for you five years ago (as detailed in Sea Penguins One to Five).'
'No.  Well, that was different.  I'm a better person now.  And besides, you're going to have a Named Person-style Guardian soon and I want to keep on the right side of them.  No more smuggling for you.  And no more piloting planes, firing pistols, or staying up late playing prog rock on the Moog synthesiser (again, I refer you to Sea Penguins one to five for details of all these appalling exploits). It's warm milk and early nights from now on, young man.'
'But I'm forty six...'
'That isn't humanly possible.  You were only born twelve years ago.'
'I'm not human.  And neither are you Uncle Tuppy.  We're animals.  And as I read in the Daily Record problem page last week, anything is possible.'
'Humans are animals too Tuppence.  The same as us.  They're just too egocentric to realise it.'
'It was something I read somewhere.'
'In the Daily Record problem page?'
'On the back of a cornflake packet then.'
'No.  They don't have such things on the backs of cornflake packets any more.  It's all E numbers, fat content and warnings about sugar diabetes.  Anyway, wherever it was, I'm pretty sure that someone somewhere once said that we have souls, and free will, and self-consciousnesses. We're as human as they are.  Unless I imagined it.'
'I thought you said we were animals.'
'Yes.  We're animals, just like humans are.'
'You're making it worse now.  Anyway,  I know what you mean.   At least I think I do.  Or at any rate I don't care any more.  Can I go and stay on the Wintry Isles now?  I might find Unkle Funkle.'
'Oh all right.  It'll probably be best for all of us.'

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Today's Walk - in the Spooky Woods

Foxgloves and ferns in the shade of a beech tree

An old aluminium tea pot - looks like someone's used it for target practice

A fairy door at the base of an oak tree

Family of fungi
Ferns (obviously...)
An ornamental horse chestnut, pink candles falling

Yellowhammer - in the fields on the way home - one of my absolute top favourite birds

The thing about woods is they can be a bit spooky, and I definitely had the feeling when picking my way through ferns and nettles that it would be a perfect place to hide a body - if one was so inclined.
Lots of pretty things around - tall foxgloves, ferns, a fairy door in a ornamental horse chestnut, broken in half by a storm, but still in flower...all of them emanating just about the right amount of the 'uncanny' to make you feel that perhaps you might not like to stay around after dark.
Besides, there was plenty of evidence that 'others' used the woods.  Broken bottles, spent cartridges, a teapot with holes in...I thought I hadn't lingered long but when I got home I realised I'd been away for nearly three hours.

In other news...I'm working (very slowly) on a story that I plan to submit..somewhere. It's about half-finished.  I'll also do a Tuppy and Geoffrey blog post very soon, perhaps this evening.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Grammatical Anomaly - 'oaves'

Vis a vis my previous post - is 'oaves' the plural of 'oaf'*?  And if not, why not?  'Loaves' is the plural of 'loaf', after all.
It's an anomlay anomaly and I think someone should be Doing Something About It.  Not me, obviously.

*of course it isn't. I know that.  I'm not stupid**.

**actually, I am quite stupid in some ways.  And even stupider in others.  

Monday, 8 June 2015

Bedwetters and Brainless Oafs

'Dark skies over yonder, Unkle Funkle.  Hoist the main-brace and crank up the -'
'Thar she blows!  The Great Whale of the West!'
'That's not the Great Whale of the West, you blind fool. That's Mrs T-G, sunbathing on the Fulmars' decking.'
It was half past ten on a Tuesday morning, and already Tuppence was raving.  His Unkle Funkle obsession was well out of hand.
He'd stormed in at eight, demanding rum, and wearing a patch over his left eye and a fake 'peg leg'.  Receiving the reply that we hadn't got rum, we'd only Madeira, and precious little of that due to 'austerity cuts', he'd stormed out again till ten, spitting over his shoulder as he went, and cursing horribly.
'Best ignored,' I said to Geoffrey, 'Like most things in life these days.'
 We then had our usual 'triple bacon' sandwich, accompanied by five cups of tea and an argument about pigs, and why it was OK to eat them and cows, but not OK to eat sheep or horses.
'It's because we don't know any pigs personally,' explained Geoffrey, wiping some red sauce from his snowy white breast feathers.  'I'd never eat a sheep, because I know one, i.e. YOU, personally.  Just as you'd never eat a gull, because you know one, i.e. ME, personally.'
'True.  We don't know any cows - oh!  Except Mr Spockfingers.  But he was a Highland cow and perhaps - '
'PerHAPS you should enlarge your circle of acquaintances,' snapped Tuppence, who by then had reappeared.
'And perhaps YOU should keep a civil tongue in your head and lay off the rum.'
'Why on earth should I listen to a pair of old bores like you?  You're not experts in anything.  You've no moral fibre.  You're fat and lazy. You're failures in every possible respect.'
Geoffrey began to sob.  I knew Tuppence had hit a nerve; Geoffrey lacks my capacity for denial.
'It's true Tuppy!  We ARE fail - '
I interrupted, shaking my head and gesturing for him to be silent.  'Easy to criticise from the dizzy heights of youth Tuppence. What are you an expert in, then, other than catapults, bed-wetting, and raspberry chews?'
'I was not criticising, merely suggesting.  You brainless pair of oafs.'
'Well!  Unkle Funkle must be turning in his grave.  He'd be shocked to his marrow if he heard your cheek.'
'Two problems with that last statement Uncle Tuppy.'
'Oh really?  Do pray continue.  I'm all agog.'  I yawned in a faux-theatrical manner.
'I fully intend to continue.  If you'd stop interrupting and yawning in that pathetic faux-theatrical manner.   Firstly, Unkle Funkle was unshockable.  Secondly, he was stone deaf, so even if he had been shockable, which as I've already said he was not, he could not have heard you. Or indeed me.  Thirdly - '
'TWO problems you said.  Now it's three all of a sudden...'
'Is it?  Oh.  I can only count to two.  Being young and all that.  Anyway - as I was saying - '
'Oh DO hurry up.  I've sausages to fry.'
'All right.  Thirdly - he's not dead.  Ergo, he is incapable of turning in his grave.'

more later.

Here's a link to my Amazon page and more Tall Tales

Friday, 5 June 2015

Today's Walk....

Oak trees.  Willows.  Alder.  Elm.  Birch.  Sycamore.  Comfrey.  Hawthorn. Wild campion.  Butterbur. Cow parsley.  Wild garlic and buttercups galore.  So many plants and trees growing wild,  all around this area at the moment.  And still the weather feels brutal - fire on at night, hot water bottles, winter duvets.  There aren't many bees or butterflies to be seen.  Plenty of swallows and martins however - a delight as they fly low and fast as one walks, unbelievably skillful, missing one's face by inches.  A few swifts.
I still have not had a really good osprey sighting this season.  I saw one fly from the nest at Loch of the Lowes, but I don't count that, as I was watching from the hide.  A properly satisfying sighting has to be unexpected and completely in the wild, not on a reserve.  For me, that is.
The weather is fine further south, but here, it remains 'unsettled'.

Monday, 1 June 2015

My Current Reading Material.

I just finished Calcium Made Interesting, by Graham Chapman (previously mentioned).  It's good late-night reading, because it doesn't tax the brain, and you can also flick through it and read random bits that catch your fancy.  I expected it to be like A Liar's Autobiography, which I loved, but it isn't really.  It's much more lucid.  Essays, fragments, jottings, ideas.
Anyway, I liked it, and I expect I'll read it again.
I'm now well into West's World, by Lorna Gibb - a biography of Rebecca West, and quite enjoying it, despite the slating it received in the Guardian .
So many biographies these days seem to be badly written and edited (if edited at all).  It's so difficult to get published in the mainstream press, and yet they churn out that kind of shoddiness.  They seem to think that a famous name on the cover will draw people in (it often did me, till I became more wary) and that quality is not important.  It doesn't make sense to me.  Ripping off readers, that's what I reckon.
I wouldn't say the West book is on that level at all.  It seems OK to me so far - but having read the Guardian review, I'll reserve final judgment till the last page.