I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A word about giving

"And the greatest of these is charity."

Yet regular donations to charity can be distinctly unsatisfying, reminding us only of the myriad other charities we not supporting.
VR donates to several serious and obvious charities but also to one that seems less serious. Book Aid sends second-hand books to bookless areas in Africa. Very commendable. But here's the bit that caught VR's eye and heart: these books are non-instructional and non-improving, they must be entertaining, fictional obviously, light-hearted.

Yes, yes, a child dead from malnutrition cannot be reached by an adult reading aloud from Where The Wild Things Are. But switching from Book Aid to UNICEF leaves others dead from malaria. One would need the judgment of Solomon and the pockets of Croesus to get it entirely right. Books are a form  of light and that too is in short supply.

Me? I donate, otherwise I pursue my own selfish aims. Viz:
Hardline Hope, a novel (8100 words)
... the (wealthy) farmer, besotted by her remote aristocracy, soldiered on, using Remy Martin to ease him through the bad bits. It was only when cuckoldry became continuous and he started driving his giant John Deere with a hip-flask close to hand that resolution loomed. One grim day, typical of the Fens, the tractor lurched over a dyke, shed its driver and then - vindictively it seemed – ran over him as it plunged into Wabberthwaite Drain... Surrounded by acre after acre of the vegetable fields he owned, Greta’s husband, himself reduced to the status of one of his sprout plants, lay in the county hospital sustained by tubing and pumps while his extended family used the courts to (a) have the pumps turned off, and (b) disinherit his widow on the grounds that she rather than the tractor had precipitated his downfall.


  1. I donate a small amount monthly to five charities, the total amounting to a sum of significance within my limited means. I constantly receive phone calls from most of them imploring me to increase my donation, and also more stuff through the post which I suspect costs them more than the amount I am donating. All that literature is so depressing that I rarely read any of it feeling that I have done my bit with the donation, but I still feel guilty at ignoring it and not trying to do more.


    The snippet: I reckon the humour will be more pronounced when read in the context of the whole, but I am picking up on it here with relish. We seem to have come a long way from the car showroom scenes - Interesting. I can't make sense of the sentence containing, "...Greta's husband" etc.

    Wabberthwaite is, I think you know, a village in the Lake ditrict famous for its Cumberlan sausage.

  2. While an amusing notion, I suspect a fortune on par with the Farmer's would be needed to disinherit the widow.

  3. Sir Hugh: I've added a comma; see if that helps. As to coming "a long way way from the car showroom scenes" you are not accounting for the fact that characters in novels can reflect on their past and even imagine their future; also that they may need background from the author in order to be anything other than two-dimensional. A huge change in the car showroom is on the cards (always note the listed wordage as a clue to how much has been written since the publication of the last extract) and blood may be spattered soon on the polished floor - I speak metaphorically for the moment. Greta, by the way, is Lindsay's mother.

    MikeM: The novel's extracts are torn (often still gushing blood) from the main text, mainly as a teaser and in the hope that someone will eventually buy the finished novel. Since I must also meet my 300-word limit for the combined post, the extract's context may disappear. What you see is the end of a pretty long para which starts with plenty of evidence that my learned friends for the plaintiff (Are you aware of this honorific?) will have enough to chew on in any future civil action.

    Ellena: There'll be a lot of it about in this novel.

    NOTE. In an exchange with Marly Youmans, new to this parish and very welcome, I incautiously suggested I was willing to write a Shakespearean-format sonnet on the subject of logistics. Instead of laughing me out of court, Marly - who is eminently civilised - has encouraged me to do just that. An idea has occurred and I have foresworn alcohol over Christmas* to ensure it is mobilised.

    * A joke.

  4. Something is still wrong? Should it be: ".... one (of) his sprout plants"?

    This re-comment after three pints of Wainwright's at the Albion with Pete.

  5. Sir Hugh: Well spotted. Now corrected. I should say that the MS is, of course, very much in draft form.