What the hell time is it anyway?

And why is a coyote baying?

Oh, that’s right, were in Canada, and the ice hockey channel is running in the background while I’m trying to work.

Alright, we’ve arrived in Lake Louise from Kamloops, and there’s been a time change.  Being from Australi, we lost or gained so many hours I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.

Yes, I left on the 26th, traveled around half the planet, and it’s still the 26th, after a stopover in Shanghai where it was the 27th.

Can someone tell me what the hell is going on?

Today it is the 30th.  Yesterday was my wife’s birthday in Australia and we got a number of calls on the 29th, which was amusing, to say the least.

Now, we’ve gone from Kamloops to Lake Louise, and apparently now that we are in Alberta, it’s an hour later.

The rental car we’re driving didn’t get it, and we’re still an hour behind.

My phone didn’t get it, but it is understandable because I did not connect it to the Canadian network to give us internet connection because it will cost money.

It did on my wife’s phone which is connected to the network and it’s the only device we have that tells the correct time.

And why do we really need to know what time it is?

So we make the plane the day after tomorrow, from Calgary to Toronto.

I never realized that time was so important, and I wonder how people who travel the world remain sane with all the changes to the time zones.

I’m on the other side of the world

Currently, I’m in Canada, Kamloops to be precise, on the other side of the world.  It’s dark outside, we’ve just been driving through rain hail and snow from Vancouver on the Coquihalla Highway, a road that we’ve seen on TV.

We drove into a town called Hope, where from the first restaurant that was full, each succeeding one was just slightly less so, till we got to McDonald’s.  It was crowded, but not as bad as the others.

I guess there’s no getting away from mainstream fast food places.

It was raining, very very dull and gloomy, and it didn’t fill me with hope.  I was wondering whether the people who had got there, striking their way east, were just happy to get somewhere for a rest.  It certainly got bleaker and bleaker as we headed towards Kamloops.

Back home in Brisbane, it’s sometime after 3 in the afternoon, oddly enough, tomorrow afternoon.  How world time zones can throw you into a tizzy.

My wife’s birthday is tomorrow, no, hang on, if we were back home it would be today, so according to her it started today and will finish tomorrow.  Of course, it means two presents, two cakes, two parties, and two dinners.  How the quirks of time can work in your favor.

Tomorrow we strike on for Lake Louise, apparently about minus 16 degrees, and the same distance as it was today.  There is a far greater likelihood of driving in the snow and making slow progress.

I can hardly wait.

But, there’s always a silver lining, so many ice hockey games to watch, live!

“The Devil You Don’t”, be careful what you wish for

John Pennington’s life is in the doldrums.  Looking for new opportunities, prevaricating about getting married, the only joy on the horizon was an upcoming visit to his grandmother in Sorrento, Italy.

Suddenly he is left at the check-in counter with a message on his phone telling him the marriage is off, and the relationship is over.

If only he hadn’t promised a friend he would do a favor for him in Rome.

At the first stop, Geneva, he has a chance encounter with Zoe, an intriguing woman who captures his imagination from the moment she boards the Savoire, and his life ventures into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

That ‘favor’ for his friend suddenly becomes a life-changing event, and when Zoe, the woman who he knows is too good to be true, reappears, danger and death follows.

Shot at, lied to, seduced, and drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems, John is dragged into an adrenaline-charged undertaking, where he may have been wiser to stay with the ‘devil you know’ rather than opt for the ‘devil you don’t’.





“One Last Look”, a thriller

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favorite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead, Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.



“What Sets Us Apart”, a mystery with a twist

David is a man troubled by a past he is trying to forget.
Susan is rebelling against a life of privilege and an exasperated mother who holds a secret that will determine her daughter’s destiny.
They are two people brought together by chance. Or was it?
When Susan discovers her mother’s secret, she goes in search of the truth that has been hidden from her since the day she was born.
When David realizes her absence is more than the usual cooling off after another heated argument, he finds himself being slowly drawn back into his former world of deceit and lies.
Then, back with his former employers, David quickly discovers nothing is what it seems as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find Susan before he loses her forever.



Is it time to get on the plane yet?

What I wanted to say is the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but the truth is, it’s probably just me.

It’s the time of the year, and it’s the only time we can go away, and as we live in the southern hemisphere, it seems logical to go north.

OK, that’s probably not as rational as it sounded in my head a few seconds ago, because where we’re going it’s about minus 16 degrees.

Where on earth could it be that cold, other than the north pole?  Lake Louise.  Canada.  Somewhere up in the mountains.

Why are we going there?

Because it’s there.  Because we haven’t been there.  And, no doubt after we’ve been there in the dead of winter, we won’t want to go back?  Who knows.


Oh, yes, there’s a but…

I need some good background for a story I’m writing, and if you’re going to do the winter thing, or the white Christmas thing, when your Christmases are usually 40 degrees Celcius in the shade, then Canada is the place to do it.

Aside from the fact, we might run into Murdoch in Toronto, and, definitely, the Maple Leafs, yes, I can see myself saying ‘go leafs go’, whilst sipping on a large glass of Molten beer.

Then, there’s New York for a week.  Perhaps everything will be shut down, but maybe not.  Hopefully, there will be snow in Central Park, or, if not, the squirrels, and if not them, perhaps a movie star or two walking their dog.

One can always hope.

While it still is called Christmas

I’ve been reading other blogs again.

Every morning I have a skim through the half million or so blog pieces that appear in my reader.  It has a number of recommended blogs which I sometimes follow because the piece added to the blog mini profile looks interesting.

To be honest, I have no idea how many blogs I follow, but there is always a lot of diversity in reading material.

At this time of year, the main subject is Christmas.

Thankfully we can still celebrate Christmas, and not offend the multitude of other religions that don’t, but I’m guessing that sometime in the future when some government decides to go overboard with political correctness, the word Christmas will be banned, and it will simply be ‘holidays’.

I guess my rights as a Christian will be trampled on, and there’ll be nothing I can do about it.  Perhaps in being not so devout about my religious convictions, I’ll let is pass as most people do when there’s nothing they can do about it.

It’s a bit like death and taxes really.

Maybe then the turkeys will only have to dread one day of the year!

I found a few travel pieces, one of which was walking around London in a day.  Not possible because I’ve tried it.  High Holborn to Hyde Park to Knightsbridge, and everything in between.  Trafalgar Square, Picaddilly Circus, Oxford Street, the Serpentine, just to name a few.  High tea in Selfridges was the highlight.

Memories of another lifetime.

Then there was the rant.  I love a good rant, especially when I agree with it.

People who have succeeded in their own individual way should keep it to themselves, and not try to ‘market’ these ideas as workable for the masses.  They just don’t work for everyone else.  What happens at a particular time in the universe for you is great, but to replicate it?

I don’t think these people get it.

Your own brand of success is yours.  You do a lot of work, spill a lot of blood and tears along the way.  Trying to find an easier way by emulating someone else’s success?  You and a million others are trying to get on a single bandwagon.

Oops, looks like I’m having a rant too.

Have a Merry Christmas while it still is Christmas, who knows what might happen in the future.


On the ground, not daring to move

For the moment the treasure hunt is off.

In another universe, our hero, or a fool, depending on what you think of him jumping out of a moving helicopter, is languishing in the sand.


Lying there, afraid to move, I honestly believed that was just the stupidest thing I’d ever done.

Aside from the fact I could see we were about to be blown to kingdom come by a rocket, I had that split second to decide if I wanted to be incinerated, or in possession of 206 broken bones.

I guess I was assuming I’d survive the landing. 

After all the helicopter was only about twenty to thirty feet above the ground and not moving very fast, in fact, it was slowing, and turning away, when the pilot saw the rocket launcher.

I could hear the crackling of fire not far from me, a result of the helicopter hitting the ground.  It wasn’t a large explosion, and certainly not accompanied by a hail of red-hot metal parts.

Not yet.

I moved and it hurt.  Understandable.  But there didn’t seem to be any broken bones, which was nothing short of a miracle.  I did try to affect a roll when landing as we were trained in parachute jumping, and maybe that had helped.

Enough time to recover, I rolled over and got to my knees.  Ok, that hurt, twinges in my lower back, a slight sprain in my right ankle.  No running then.

Then I heard the gears crunching, so sort an old Toyota pickup would make, followed by an over-revving engine.  A novice driver.  Or a man in a hurry.


The pickup was coming back to check the wreckage.

And if there were any survivors.

No gun, lost that in the jump.  But, as luck would have it, an AK47 was lying on the ground between me and the burning wreckage.

Only one problem.  The pickup would be on me before I could get to it.


Is this the very definition of being between a rock and a hard place?

Back on the treasure hunt

Here’s the thing.

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.


I never realized Boggs had this thing for treasure.  Seems a long time ago one of his relatives was a diver, found a wreck, and with it gold bullion.  He became rich, and the wealth in the family lasted till Boggs’ grandfather, who frittered away the last of the fortune on dodgy land schemes and supposed match tree forests in Ecuador.

It was up to him, Boggs told me, to restore the family fortune.

I couldn’t see how this was going to happen sitting in a bar that openly advertised treasure maps and an owner who was only too happy to tell the story of the Spaniard to anyone who’d listen.

The problem was, no two versions of the story were the same.

Whilst Boggs was taking in the fourth or fifth rendition of the story, I looked around at the clientele.  They were certainly more interesting than the treasure.

Mostly here for the sun and surf, there were two notable exceptions, and if I was to guess, they looked Spanish.

Or was it my imagination working overtime.

They seemed very interested in Boggs, from time to time looking over at him, and then muttering to each other.  Conveniently, they were along the path to the restroom, so I took a stroll, and lingering a moment near their table, I listened to the conversation.

In Spanish.

My Spanish was a little rusty but what I thought I heard, “Boy, map, find out what he knows, gold, and it’s in the hills somewhere.

The phrase, there’s gold in them thar hills came to mind.

But for the moment I think we had a problem.

When I came out of the restroom, the first thing I noticed was the two Spaniards had left.  When I looked over towards the bar, where I left Boggs, I noticed he too, was missing.

All of a sudden I had a very bad feeling.

I ran outside, just in time to see the two men bundling Boggs into the back of a car, and drive off.


That’s where I fell asleep

When I should be sleeping…

My mind will not rest.

Down here, it is summer, and the last few days have been rather hot, well, it is summer after all, but tonight it is particularly hot.

So, as I can’t sleep, I’m lying on the couch staring at the ceiling, otherwise known as the cinema of my dreams.

Where am I?

Well, it has to be someplace cool, of course.


I have no idea where or when I got sucked into this game of searching for treasure.  Boggs had been reading some newspaper article relating to a Spaniard who had survived a shipwreck off the coast and had supposedly come ashore dragging his treasure chest, all that he could save from the sinking ship.

I think my priorities may have been slightly different.

Standing on the beach where Boggs believed the man came ashore, we looked inland at the coastal plain now overbuilt with holiday houses and apartments, behind that, some parkland, under threat from the developers, and behind that, the mountains.

I could guess what Boggs was going to say next.

“It has to be somewhere in the mountains, a cave perhaps.”

My map told me there was a mountain face for about 25 miles in either direction and rising to two to three thousand feet up.  I didn’t calculate the area, I just considered it big.

“If he came ashore here, dragging a heavy chest, and barring all of this building, he would take the most direct route inland.”

He pointed in the direction he thought the Spaniard took.

My eyes followed his arm and stopped at a beacon halfway up the hillside. 

That was a long way, pulling a heavy chest.

“Not up the hill, maybe, but somewhere along the base.”

“And don’t you think every man and his dog would have made the same assumption, and covered the ground already.”  The treasure hunt was beginning to bore me.

His expression changed, the sort that told me he might not have considered that possibility.  Boggs was like that, always thinking he had the original idea.

“Perhaps, then, a drink and more thought on the matter.”

We trudged through the soft sand to the bar just off the sand, a small place called The Spaniard.  A sign on the window said ‘Treasure Maps for sale’.


Well, the bar was air-conditioned, and the beer was cold.  I have one myself and see where this cinematic experience goes