What do I write?

Well, stories for young folk, kinda like a cross between Spy Kids, Scooby Doo and Secret Seven with some slip-streaming in to keep the reader’s mind ticking.

They don’t involve the same young people, each story is one whole complete one with its own set of characters.

They’re not big chunky things -they’re designed to pop in to a bag or even pocket, to snatch a quick read here and there. Bit risky, I know -but it worked for me when I was younger!

Where do they take part? Ah, the current one is based in Edinburgh, the next in the Highlands….and then we move to far-distant wildernesses.

Why  write adventure? I love adventure books, from old Tarzan stories I curled up with from my sister’s shelves, to Enid Blyton’s bought at the local post-office, sci-fi novellas devoured at the local library, Swallows and Amazons, Treasure Island and many more.

When will the first book be ready? By the end of this year!

Music, Motorbikes, Conversation and Adventure

It’s been raining since yesterday, early evening -a torrent of water, almost non-stop.

As I dropped the lads off for their fishing/camping excursion I said, “Call me if the rain gets bad”. It had just started to rain, after what had been a couple of days of warm sun. Surely, we thought, it would all be alright.

But it wasn’t. Thankfully they abandoned their campsite at 11pm and went to a home in the village, leaving the tent behind, having caught no fish.

A call at 9am came, and a lift was required. They had gone back to the site, now flooded, their tents sitting in a lake of water. Apologies came down the phone: “I’m really sorry we had to leave the tent”. Bugger the tent!

They were soaked, when I picked them up. Couldn’t help but smile, just grateful they were safe.

“Fry-up, shower, change of clothes?”

“Yeah that would be great”.

So they ate, laughing about their adventure, and how funny it was when someone fell face-down in the water. It was all ‘beast’. I smiled.

Off they go to play music.

“I’ve written three songs this summer”. he said

“That’s great.”

“Come and listen”

I listened. Life, he said, wasn’t about the end of the world. You’re not just born, life’s a bitch, then you die. It’s all about the journey, he said, the adventure, the people you meet. You have to be positive and grateful, he said.

They talked about motorbikes, journeys, fishing in far off places, music gigs a long way down the road. They were planning. They were happy with their exam results and were very busy. Round the table sat a mechanic, a pilot, a writer. a musician and a brewer. On their phones were in-coming messages from girlfriends. “Where the *f*ck are you?”

“Who was Che?” he asked.

I explained.

“He had asthma too, didn’t he? Didn’t stop him from doing things. I want to go to South America one day.”

And today I realised -they were becoming men. Nursery seemed not that long ago. And as Baba used to say, “Prn baja prn”. Fly, ladybird, fly.

Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

Here’s a recipe I tried twice now and it worked for me. although didn’t think it would. As you know biscotti means bake twice and once you’ve done so then this amazing Italian biscuit will survive two weeks and can be frozen.


2 large eggs – and I do mean large

2/3 cup of sugar ( I use my pot of vanilla-infused sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract – the good stuff

1/4 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups of good plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Sliced almonds and bashed-up dark chocolate – a good one not a cooking one

Crack the eggs in to a bowl and whisk, add the sugar and then whisk some more, a lot more. Whisk like crazy til the mixture is rich and stringy.

Add the vanilla and stir

Add the salt and baking powder to the flour in another bowl and stir, then transfer to the egg mixture.

Mix it all up with a wooden spoon.

Then add almond slices and chocolate to your taste.

You can replace half the flour with cocoa powder for a very chocolatey taste.

Anyway, what you will have is a sticky mass, which doesn’t look like it will work.

Transfer the mixture onto a grease-proof sheet on a tray in a log-like fashion.

Whack it into the oven at 180 deg for 35 mins. Take it out and have a look. It should look like a slightly domed bread. Test it. If it’s baked in the middle then slice it up and lay the sliced pieces out on their backs and pop back in for 10 mins or so. Flip them and put back in again.