It’s raining, it’s pouring…

It’s one of those grey, dark, wet mornings where you can inadvertently sleep in because the bedroom remains dark for an extra two hours.  That could be a problem if you have a day job, but I’m one of the more fortunate, I am supposed to be retired.

Pity then the rest of the family haven’t quite got it yet.

But, today is Sunday, and there’s no pressing requirement to get up.  It’s one of those times when you are comfortable and warmly ensconced under the doona, somewhere between asleep, and in a sleepy haze.

Time to mull over the latest storyline, marshal my thoughts, write the prose in my head.

Too many storylines, and nothing to do with any of the current projects.

The rain is getting heavier, and is splashing outside; the steady waterfall of overflow from the gutters is taking away my concentration.

 

Rain, rain, go away …

 

I have two different visions.

A cold, grey day in London (is there any other sort of day in my second favourite city) waiting for a train, and seeing the woman of your dreams go past, standing in the doorway, and in that fraction of a second when your eyes meet, a connection is made.

I suspect it has fuelled many a song such as ‘The Look of Love’.

The second is on a desolate section of coastline as for north as you can go in Scotland (yes, I am a glutton for punishment), and she is standing on the cliff top gazing out to sea, hair blowing in the wind.  Silent, strong, resolute.

Hang on, I think that happened further south, Cornwall in fact, and her name is Demelza.  With red hair!

 

The rain has gone.  That degree of comfortability is now gone after a gentle nudge that reminds you, you cannot stay in bed all day.

And the cat is forcefully reminding you that he needs to be fed.  A cat that’s begging to get sent to Siberia on a very slow boat.

Notes hastily scribbled in a notebook for later reference.

Time to think about tending the garden…

Where did July go?

The trouble with living in Queensland, in Australia, in winter is that invariably there is no winter, well, not winter like most people know it.

If we want winter, we have to go south to Victoria or Tasmania, or over to New Zealand, and the south island.

We were in New Zeland last year for the winter, but that was so that our grandchildren could experience snow for the first time, as it does not snow where we live, and, in fact, at this stage of winter, the end of July, the temperatures have been hovering around 23 degrees centigrade.

That’s not cold.

But, the nights are reasonably cooler and we’ve been getting temperatures from 6 degrees to 12 degrees centigrade.  About the same as the daytime temperatures down south.

Would I prefer to go back?  No.

If I want to experience Winter, I will go to Canada, where we have also been recently, and where it was minus 21 degrees, the coldest I have ever been.

So…

Where has July gone?  I’ve been doing more than just observing the weather and fighting with Chester, the irascible cat.

From the last WIP report, I am still working on four stories, updating the progress in an episodic form on this blog, namely

A war story based around a castle in Italy

A story that started with a helicopter crash, and only got worse for the protagonist

A story about a surveillance gig that has gone wrong

A story about a treasure hunt, but with a few sidebars.

Then there is my private detective novel which is nearing completion, the editing had got as far as episode 101 out of 110.  The end is in sight.

And Chester continually provides me with laughs and at times anguish, some of which ends up in this blog.  I’m not sure how I’m going to cope without him if anything happens.  He is getting on, and at last count, I believe he is about 17 years old and much more in cat years.

But like any other writer, there is always more going on, and I have several other novels and an anthology of stories based on photographs about to be completed, and, hopefully, by September, published.

That is the plan, and as you all know only too well the best-laid plans of mice and men can always go astray.

Let’s hope, for once, they don’t.

 

I’ve always wanted to be in a disaster movie

But not one where the plane crashes, though the figurative kinds of disasters always seem to feature, aeroplanes, airports, and passengers.

Certainly, every time I go near an aeroplane there’s a plethora of detail available for the next plotline, or even a short story.

It seems almost inevitable when travelling anywhere on a plane that something can and will go wrong.  Not necessarily with the plane, but that happens too, but rarely, if ever, have I been on an overseas flight that has not left or arrived late for any one of a multitude of reasons.

The last was just one in a long line of many…

It is not always a problem with the aircraft that causes delays.  Whilst often it is a case of technical difficulties, but this time it wasn’t.

We are missing a passenger.

Yep, on a plane that carries 301 passengers, we were missing the one.  And because they have not made the boarding cutoff, their baggage has to be offloaded.  Since there are 300 plus other bags to sort through, it will take time.

Scheduled departure time 8:45, an announcement about the offloading was at 8:35, it’s now 8:50.  Ok, now we’re closing the front door.  Let’s see what happens now.

8:52, the captain says we’re sorted, but…

Oh, the dreaded we’ve missed our slot and now have wait for the next.  Last time that happened, in France, we waited an hour.  In New York, Newark actually we just pulled over to the side of the taxi area and switched off the engines.

This is Brisbane, not so large an airport so it may not be a long wait.

9:01, we’re pushing back.  Finally a slot.

But…

There are five other planes in front of us, so it’s all adding up to a delayed arrival.  9:15 and still taxiing.

9:30, 45 minutes late we finally take off.  Let’s see how this affects our arrival time.  The flight time is advised to be 2 hours and 25 minutes.  This means if the flying time is correct, we should be landing in Auckland at 13:55 pm, local time.  New Zealand is, by the way, two hours ahead of Brisbane.

11:45, (or 13:45 local time) we commence our descent.  Landed at 14:10 local time.

It could have been worse.

What am I saying, we have now to negotiate immigration and then find our baggage?

It’s winter, it should be raining

Here’s the thing.

People just don’t like rain.  All I ever hear is complaints because they want to go away camping, they want to go shopping, or they have to go to children’s sports.

Not, of course, because they can’t mow the lawn!

And that pesky rain, well, it just makes everything more difficult.  Mud and dirt get trampled inside, the washing can’t be hung out to dry, it causes floods, it stops games being played, well, sometimes.  The pitch would have to be six foot under water before that happens.

But…

Let’s think about the rain for a moment.

What if we didn’t get any rain?

There would be a drought.  There might not be any water.  Everything outside that needed water to survive, the sort of water rain provides, would die.  Then we’d have no flowers, no trees, no grass, oh, quite possibly no food, or oxygen.

A bit radical don’t you think, no food, no water and no oxygen?

Hey, wouldn’t that be an interesting premise for an apocalyptic novel?

Usually, in a post-apocalyptic world there’s still rain, and water, and oxygen, you’d p[robably have to fight for food, but no one seems to go down that unthinkable path of losing everything.

Seems that happened around the time of the dinosaurs, when that comet hit the earth, blotted out the sun, and everything died, well, nearly everything.  It’s what I think is called an Earth Life Extinction Event.

Some say the same might happen if we have a nuclear holocaust, say America and Russia deciding to launch nuclear weapons on each other for some insane reason, knowing full well they would be condemning the whole world to a terrible end.

Nearly happened, I’m guessing.  That would make a good story.  Hang on, it’s been done before, a dozen or more times, and usually saved by a single man or woman whose actions never reach the ears of what would be a grateful public.

We’re a long way from simply wishing the rain to go away and come again some other day, aren’t we?

Let’s let someone else worry about the big picture.

And let’s not start thinking about post-apocalyptic novels that could get scarily real one day.

Sigh!   Only two more months of winter to endure, and it’ll be spring again.

Oh, and it’s raining again outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s dark, it’s late, it’s raining…

Yes, it’s dark and late at night on this side of the world, and I’m guessing where you are, it’s probably summer, the sun’s out, the day is warm, even slightly hot, and you’ve got better things to do.

Here, in the so-called land down under, which surprisingly a lot of people from the other side of the world do not know about…

Now, hang on, that can’t be true, because we all know the world is round and there had to be something or somewhere opposite.  I know that north we have China, and Europe, and further away, the United States.

Been to China, and Europe and the United States, so I know you’re all there, somewhere.

And, as you can see, the rain and the cold has amped up the boredom factor and pushing me to do anything other than writing.  I have three jobs I’m supposed to be doing,

  1. Editing the next five chapters of Walthenson, a Private Detective novel
  2. Writing two episodes of a serial story about surveillance going wrong, and
  3. Finishing off the travelogue about our China trip

None of them is appealing to me at the moment.

Instead, I find myself looking at what is showing on Summer TV in the US, one of which is called Reef Break with Poppy Montgomery.  Interesting show, it is filmed in Australia at the Gold Coast, about 30 minutes south of where I live, and it’s a treat to see all those places we are so familiar with, on your TV.  I wondered why it was shot in Australia, then I discovered Poppy Montgomery is Australian.

Fascinating,

Then there’s one of my favourites, Elementary.  I’m a Sherlock Holmes nut, but what’s getting me is the fact Lucy Liu has blondish hair.  Sorry, it’s distracting.

There’s the InBetween, you know, that spooky place between life and death, much the same as saying I see dead people, hang on, didn’t Bruce Willis say that once upon a time?  It seems interesting, but time will tell.

But, my favourite at the moment, Blood and Treasure.  Indiana Jones without Indiana Jones, but I like the travelogue, an adversary that I last saw in Covert Affairs, and a good and bad guy, now a thoroughly bad guy.  I still think he works for Israeli Intelligence in some sort of cross-over.  Nazis though, why is it the Nazis keep raising their heads?

Maybe Grand Hotel will give me some light-hearted relief.  No, sorry, a suspicious death, a wicked stepmother trying to get rid of the hotel, a porter who’s investigating said susp[icious death, and the usual smattering of spoilt rich kids who don’t seem to learn anything, and mostly manners and humility, at those expensive finishing schools.

There’s more, but I better get back to work.

 

 

It’s raining, it’s pouring…

It’s one of those grey, dark, wet mornings where you can inadvertently sleep in because the bedroom remains dark for an extra two hours.

That could be a problem if you have a day job, like most of us.

But, today is Sunday, and it’s just what I need.

Time to mull over the latest storyline, marshal my thoughts, write the prose in my head.

OK, that not working for me.

The rain is getting heavier, and is splashing outside; the steady waterfall of overflow from the gutters is taking away my concentration.

 

Rain, rain, go away …

 

I have two different visions.

A cold, grey day in London (is there any other sort of day?) waiting for a train, and seeing the woman of your dreams go past, standing in the doorway, and in that fraction of a second your eyes meet, a connection is made.

I suspect it has fuelled many a song such as ‘The Look of Love’.

The second is on a desolate section of coastline as for north as you can go in Scotland (yes, I am a glutton for punishment), and she is standing on the cliff top gazing out to sea, hair blowing in the wind.  Silent, strong, resolute.

 

The rain has gone.

Notes hastily scribbled in a notebook for later reference.

It’s time to get up and contemplate a late breakfast or maybe an early lunch.

New York, where getting there is a story in itself

It is an amazing coincidence that both times we have flown into New York, it is the day after the worst snow storms.

The first time, we were delayed out of Los Angeles and waited for hours before the plane left.  We had a free lunch and our first introduction to American hamburgers and chips.  Wow!

I had thought we had left enough time with connections to make it in time for New Year’s Eve, like four to five hours before.  As it turned out, we arrived in New York at 10:30, and thanks to continual updating with our limousine service, he was there to take us to the hotel.

The landing was rough, the plane swaying all over the place and many of the passengers were sick.  Blankets were in short supply!

We made it to the hotel, despite the snow, traffic, and the inevitable problems associated with NYE in New York, with enough time to throw our baggage in the room, put on our warm clothes, and get out onto the streets.  We could not go to Times Square but finished up at Central Park with thousands of others, in time to see the ball drop on a big screen, exchange new year’s greetings, and see the fireworks.

Then, as luck would have it, we were able to get an authentic New York hotdog, just before the police moved the vendor on, and our night was complete.

 

The second time we were the last plane out of Los Angeles to New York.  After waiting and waiting, we boarded, and then started circling the airport waiting for takeoff permission.  We stopped once to refuel, and then the pilot decided we were leaving.

This time we took our eldest granddaughter, who was 9 at the time, and she thought it was an adventure.  It was.

When we landed, we were directed to an older part of the airport, a disused terminal.  We were not the only plane to land, at about one in the morning, but one of about four.  The terminal building filled very quickly, and we were all waiting for baggage.  The baggage belts broke so there were a lot of porters bring the baggage in by hand.

One part of the terminal was just a sea of bags.  To find ours our granddaughter, who, while waiting, sat on top of the cabin baggage playing her DSI until the announcement our bags were available, walked across the top of the bags till she found them.  Thankfully no one was really looking in her direction.

Once again we kept our limousine service updated, and, once we knew what terminal we were at, he came to pick us up.  This time we arrived some days before NYE, so there was not so much of a rush.  We got to the hotel about 3:30 in the morning, checked in, and then went over the road to an all-night diner where we ordered hamburgers and chips.

And a Dr Pepper.

 

Next:  New York after a snow storm.