Had something of a disturbed night last night (women's troubles, so move on quickly if you're a man!) and was up for an hour or so at 3am before I felt able to go back to bed again. I read my copy of the Writers' News competition supplement and was much surprised to see (whilst groaning and clutching a hot-water bottle to my stomach) that I'd been shortlisted in the Betjeman poetry competition. I hadn't even been aware I'd entered it actually. Maybe they just recognise talent when they see it and these days I don't even have to enter in order to get an award?? I ruddy wish, eh!! Anyway, I've queried it with them, so let's see what they say. In the meantime, roll on the menopause ...
Lord H and I have spent most of the day at Arundel Wetlands Centre and a lovely time we had too. We managed to see two kestrels, two nuthatches, a zillion and one greylag geese and a peculiar thing that was halfway between a grouse and a ptarmigan. So Lord alone knows what that was. I was also very brave and took the boat safari, which Lord H was very keen to do. How I hate boats! Mind you, the initial terror was worth it as we saw a kingfisher perched on a branch and - for once - it stayed there for ages so we had an A++ view. Fabulous. Plus there were Little Grebes, so that was definitely worth it too. The woman steering the boat did terrify me at the end though when she admitted that she'd run out of power (and therefore the ability to steer) and would have to rely on the landing stage to stop the darn thing. Okay, it wasn't going very fast, but I at least noticed the jolt ... And squeaked. Dammit.
On the way home, we popped into Pulborough Brooks, and we think we saw a wheatear, but again it was just too far away to be sure. Even with binoculars. I also managed to nearly swear in a bird hide (not the done thing, you know, Carruthers ...) when I accidentally slammed the door. As one of the people already there admitted (with a twinkle in his eye), at least there wasn't anything worth watching that could have been scared away ... So much for the professional birdwatcher!
Getting home, I found a lovely review of A Dangerous Man from L Adlem on the Rainbow Reviews website. It can be read in full below:
“Michael Jones, a young gay artist and part-time prostitute will do anything to stage his first exhibition. When he falls in love with rich financier, Jack Hutchinson, he seems set to achieve his goal. But as Mikey becomes caught between the unforgiving territory of smoky-bar Hackney and the green-garden luxury of upper class London, we witness the intense mindscape of a man obsessed with his dreams as he attempts to free himself of his past. This is a dark and powerful tale. I was drawn into Michael’s life and the all-consuming passion to express his vision in black and white drawings. Ms Brooke has a fluent style and her depiction of both lower and upper class London life is totally convincing. The tension builds and builds until it is impossible to put down the book. Not an easy story, but I heartily recommend this book for a meaty read, thought provoking, disturbing, very well written. Four stars!”
Many thanks, L Adlem - I'm glad you liked it!
This evening, I'm way too exhausted to do anything remotely interesting and am hoping for an early - and pain-free - night. Now that would be nice.
Today's nice things:
1. The review of A Dangerous Man
3. An early night (I hope!)