Friday 15 September 2017


The Earth turns, every day, and brings fresh happenings to my life, some of them good, some of the bad. The other day I woke to find myself a great-grandfather with a great-grandson: Arden Douglas Lillie. (Douglas is my own middle name: a great honour). This was a good event: new life into the world. However, one of my best friends died recently, a wonderful man we call 'Trinny' who was born on St Vincent in the Caribbean. One in, another out.

I met Trinny Sutherland when we were both serving in the R.A.F. and were stationed with our families in Cyprus in the early 1970s. Trinny married a British lass, Lorraine, who he met in High Wycombe not long after arriving in England from the West Indies. We never lost touch with one another, our kids got on well together - and oh heck, I miss him a lot and so do many others. He was one of the stalwart people in my life, who I admired and loved as the best of men. His good humour was infectious, his principles were of the highest value and his sense of honour unimpeachable. His family, his Church and his friends were the most important things in his life, probably in that order. 

On the travel front, Annette and I were meant to go to Kenya/Tanzania in June, when health issues intervened and we had to postpone the trip. We did, however, still go on our annual sailing holiday with boaties Colin and Sue, whose trim little craft the Hilda May never fails to provide enjoyment on Turkish waters. The African trip is now planned for December. In the meantime we also did a tour of Holland on bicycles, along with Tamzin and Dean, two  friends with legs of iron. Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Gouda were sought and passed through over seven days. I never cease to be amazed at the number of cycles and cyclists in Holland: one parking lot had 9,000 bicycles stacked in three tiers. Lovely flat countryside with cycle paths going everywhere along canals and networking the towns. Holland is definitely a two-wheeler country. It's an eerie feeling being watched closely by dozens of sharp-eyed herons, who I imagine are suspicious of humans with circular legs whizzing by their watery landscape.

On the writing front, my third collection of poems, Alchemy in Reverse was published by Stanza Press, an imprint of PS Publishing, and one or two readers seemed to like it. Poetry is probably the least favourite literature of the human race, so I take what compliments are going and say thank you very much. I also recently completed a collection of short stories, each tale based on a metal element - Gold, Silver, Iron, Nickel, etc. The title, supplied by my clever wife, is to be Elemetal Tales. PS Publishing has bought the collection and will probably publish it sometime next year or the year after. I am still waiting for some astute publisher to pick up my novel set in Anglo-Saxon England: Lord of the Wild Hunt. When, if ever it gets published, Wild Hunt will be my 74th novel. Quantity, hopefully with a goodly splash of quality.