This summer continues to be eventful. We had fun with the Guardian’s ‘Not the Booker Prize’ when both Out of Such Darkness and Dorek were longlisted. Between them they mustered around 33 votes which wasn’t enough to make the shortlist but the reviews by various readers (known and unknown) were very much appreciated.


Here in Italy the temperature has been constantly high and we have entertained quite a few visitors, including Emma, Patrician Press author. I had hoped to catch up with my own writing while she was here but disaster struck my laptop the morning she arrived. We have had a couple of very violent thunderstorms and the second one caused the roof to leak directly onto my laptop which I keep in my office on top floor. Mysteriously there were no other leaks elsewhere. The laptop burnt out but luckily the hard disk was saved and I have now purchased a new laptop. It is a very frustrating and laborious task getting it up and running as before, but I am slowly getting there (fingers crossed).


It was my birthday in August and we had already arranged to go to the South of France which helped me to relax after stressful laptop experience. We stayed near Antibes in a friend’s flat and then drove to Arles where we stayed two nights and enjoyed a very good birthday meal there. We also had a trip to the salt pans of the Camargue which was truly spectacular and I finally saw some wild horses, albeit grazing in fields rather than how my primary school friend used to draw them galloping across the shore, manes and tails flying.


During this time, and while waiting for new laptop to arrive, I managed to get two new books: Duff by Suzy Norman and Godfrey’s Flying Adventure (a Pudding Press title) by Mike Fryer off to the printers, courtesy of my iPad, and they are now both passed for press.


We are also getting ready for Charlie Johnson’s art show ‘Vital Signs’ in Milan with private view and Patrician Press event on Saturday 19th September. Authors Emma and Mark are flying over and together with them Sara and I will be reading poems and texts in English and Italian. Charlie has prepared several new paintings and mixed media works for his show which can be seen at:



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