Archive for the ‘Books/Ebooks’ Category

As book 4 will be released in the next month, I will be posting extracts of the first three books as a reminder of the journey so far beginning with the first novel which was released in 2007: The Dragon Realm Chronicles ‘Stefan Lowe’ The Devil, the Angel and the Carpenter’s Son. Please visit the Books and Art page to purchase the entire book.

CHAPTER 2 

Stefan returned to his apartment that Friday afternoon to find the light blinking on his fax machine.  Stefan occupied apartment six on the first floor of St John’s Tower. His family had been residents there for over seven generations.  He walked over to the fax machine and pressed the button whilst at the same time flitting through his post. The machine beeped and then played the only message recorded.“Mr Lowe, I am calling from Charlton & Co Solicitors concerning the offer to purchase St Towers Estate. Please could you call Carten Validine on 01 6578920 for an update, thank you”.  

“Blah blah blah,” said Stefan walking away from the machine and throwing the post onto a nearby chair. He rubbed his temples – he could feel the dull numbness return to his frontal lobe, glands and around the ears.  Stefan walked over to the fridge and opened the door. 

He peered in amongst the half eaten desserts and left over casserole that was next to an ever-greening cheese, and shrugged. He shut the door and began wandering around the apartment, which was very spacious holding a large living room, leading into an even larger dining area. From this there was a small kitchen off to one side (a wall with an arch separating the two), and two bedrooms one of which was his daughter’s Imogen. It catered for all of her toys, clothes everything a growing child could own (in Stefan’s interpretation several skips of junk), but he never had cause to complain when she was there. It was the only time he ever truly felt happy.  

With regards to material possessions, his apartment still held several articles of his mother’s. Up until her dying day she had been a traveller and must have circled the globe several times. 

Each wall in the apartment was covered in artefacts from her expeditions; hanging prints, tribal masks, weapons, wall ornaments, voodoo and dream dolls, and other antique mementos. 

An item that was by far Stefan’s favourite, was also one that had been in his family for generations. It was an antique medieval looking sword, mounted on the sideboard cabinet in his living room. The handle was made from pewter like material and displayed intricate carvings which were mimicked down the face of the blade, however these were covered by tarnish so they were virtually indistinguishable. There was an element of mystery to it, as the date of creation was unknown. 

Its rustic condition often led Stefan to assume it was either very old, or it had not been taken care of properly.  The blade was gloved by a soft velvet cover which looked newer than the sword itself. It was rather fragile and acted like a cloth skin as opposed to a protective casing. Stefan thought this odd but to his recollection there had never been an outer, more solid sheath.  

Hung on the wall above the sword was a giant print of a map of the earth with a pictorial timeline along the bottom, displaying all of the creatures of evolution. 

The map was another one of Stefan’s favourites, as it had been a gift from his mother from when they explored Africa over twenty years before. The map was more of a novelty piece and Stefan did not know if there was any fact behind it, he just found it intriguing.  Since his mother’s death the items Stefan did not want to keep were put up for auction. Half of the proceeds went to charity and the rest went on the co-purchase of St Luke’s Tower.   

The items which remained in the apartment segregated Stefan’s and his mother’s predilections. However, there were still many items with origins that could not be verified. In particular there was a key engraved with the letters DSS which hung in a frame next to Stefan’s wall map. Stefan’s mother had specified in her will to keep it close but she never mentioned what it unlocked. Stefan had his suspicions that there was a safety deposit box somewhere which contained hidden treasures – or rather that was more wishful thinking.  His mother had only left a solitary one-liner in her will about it, ‘…you will soon discover what the key is to. A companion will help you find your way…’ 

Even though this sounded cryptic, Stefan was confident in time the key would tell its tale.  In her will Stefan’s mother left the apartment to him but when she died he decided to purchase the whole of St John’s Tower (which was the same time he was looking at leaving law).  Stefan walked around the apartment feeling restless. He switched on the television using the remote, and started to flick through the channels. He wasn’t really paying any attention to the broadcasts it was just something he could apply his attention too. 

He continued to flick through the channels until a news bulletin caught his attention. He paused on the channel. The large print across the screen read ‘Britain’s largest snake abducted.’ Next to an overly large snake enclosure stood a reporter detailing the story.  

‘This morning Kensington Wildlife Park reported the loss of Gertrude, the largest recorded python in Britain. In the early hours of this morning, intruders broke into her enclosure and took her. Gertie, commonly referred to by her keepers, is a rare breed of python and quite valuable. It is thought this is what instigated her abduction.’ The camera showed damaged glass at the front of the enclosure with nothing inside but a few vines and branches over a small water feature in the centre. 

‘The wildlife park officials have yet to comment, but all wish for safe return. Police are treating this matter as very suspicious and are investigating within the park as well as outside.’  

‘Gertie was born in the park six years ago and has since been one of the park’s major attraction…’  

“That’s odd”, Stefan muttered. 

He switched off the television and strolled around the apartment again trying to find something to occupy himself. He looked through his large collection of books which were packed tightly on six large shelves dominating the width and height of one of his living room walls.  

The books varied different genres of fact and fiction but he could not decipher as to what mood he was in. Then something caught his eye.  He walked over to the large windows which curtained one of his living room walls, and peered out. The apartment in the tower opposite his had not been occupied for some time, but it looked as though a person, a woman to be more precise, had rented it. He stood there staring curiously until she came into view. She was young, very attractive with long golden blonde hair and soft porcelain features. She had an effervescence that captured Stefan instantly, he could not look away, and then she turned to see him. 

His heart skipped a beat, she too looked surprised as she was unaware that someone was watching her, but then she met his stare and smiled slightly. She then turned and walked into another room, out of Stefan’s sight. He shook his head and returned to reality, but the feeling did not subside. 

He felt the consumption of something he had not experienced in a long time, desire, attraction and the stirring of lust. It was a strange and dormant feeling. Stefan was young in years, and very attractive, but he had developed a ‘grumpy old man’ facade which repelled the opposite sex. 

Even though he had been divorced for nearly four years the concept of getting involved in another relationship was not the desired option he would choose at this point in time. On the contrary though, living at St Towers estate had suddenly become much more interesting. 

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As book 4 will be released in the next month, I will be posting extracts of the first three books as a reminder of the journey so far beginning with the first novel which was released in 2007: The Dragon Realm Chronicles ‘Stefan Lowe’ The Devil, the Angel and the Carpenter’s Son. Please visit the Books and Art page to purchase the entire book.

CHAPTER 1

“The park was so picturesque, and the night had turned into an incredibly beautiful clearness, it was like a new world, a new beginning, but all I could see was my murdered love … my murdered angel…”

“Murdered angel? That’s a rather sentimental portrayal,” said Joyce to Stefan. They were sitting opposite one another at a park bench playing chess directly outside of their apartment tower.

It was a very dry and humid summer’s day. Even though it was overcast, Stefan could feel a slight tingle to his skin that one would only receive when out in the sun. The two large oak trees they were sitting under provided little shade which was odd considering their size. Stefan only stayed outside because he knew Joyce liked the sunshine, or to ‘humour an old lady’ as she quite often put it.

Joyce moved her bishop diagonal to his King.

“Check,” she said with a triumph smile. He casually moved his King to the left out of the line of fire.

“I do love your stories Stefan. Please tell me that one again.” Stefan slightly smiled at her as for him it was not a story but a memory from the previous year. Now it felt more like an obscure fairytale or a distant nightmare rather than reality, and he knew it was something that would probably haunt him until his dying day.

Up until the previous year Stefan had never believed in superstitions such as angels, the devil or even God. This was ironic considering he was a lecturer in art history, and his classes were mostly based upon religious depictions of Christ, and surrounding theology. Stefan believed that a person made their own destiny and sometimes, if you weren’t careful, fate would play cruel tricks on you. His knowledge of this was first hand, because the previous year Stefan’s life had changed, but it was questionable whether it had changed for the better or for the worse.

It all began one Friday afternoon in early December 1985. Stefan had been walking his daily route back home when he passed the small chapel outside his apartment building. A falling hammer missed him by a ‘hairs-breath’ one onlooker said. There was no indication as to where it had come from either. Stefan just shrugged it off as bad luck, or maybe carelessness on his part for not paying enough attention to his surroundings – something his uncle used to frequently point out when he was growing up.

Stefan had often been described as a quiet man, a loner, and an outsider to the world. To most psychologists he hosted the symptoms of mild antisocial personality disorder, which could be attributed to growing up without a father. However, Stefan was not unfriendly per se, he would just not go out of his way to be sociable and he was content with his life. He was in his late twenties; he had a job he liked, a daughter he adored and the freedom to do whatever he wanted when he wanted. In his mind he had fulfilled more requirements and gained more achievements in his young life than someone who was double his age, therefore he felt his contentment was justified.

Stefan lived at a complex in Kensington called St Towers Estate. The Estate comprised of four towers, aptly named St Matthew’s, St Mark’s, St Luke’s and St John’s. Stefan resided and owned St John’s Tower and part of St Luke’s.

Each tower was identically square and divided into twenty floors that held ten apartments. The towers were also set out in the formation of a square with one at each corner of a small park. It was in this park where the two large oak trees stood and in the centre of the park was a chapel which had recently undergone some restoration work.

The refurbishments were almost complete – the only traces left were some scaffolding and brick dust but there shouldn’t have been any tools as the builders had vacated several days before. So it was a shock on that Friday afternoon for Stefan to find himself dodging a flying hammer.

“Damn incompetent builders,” he muttered. This he regretted shortly afterwards. He didn’t like making defamatory comments without knowing all of the details, in fact he normally didn’t comment at all.

Stefan had recently been suffering from severe headaches and erratic dreams which was disrupting his sleep. This contributing to an over active imagination made the pressure on his head almost unbearable at times. No one could deny that Stefan was a very attractive man, but he currently familiarised the obligatory features of what could only be described as the walking dead. He was pale with dark circles around his eyes; this was not a pleasant contrast considering how brown they were, and with the contribution of his olive skin, his dark features were even more blatant.

There was something indescribable about his dreams, but nothing that he could focus on. They were just powerful and overwhelming to a point where he would find himself sitting upright in bed, with cold sweat running down his face and breathing shallowly. They had begun a few months prior; around the time he started receiving letters from Charlton & Co Solicitors. They were a conveyancing firm who had a big client wishing to buy St Towers Estate at an obscene asking price. Their frequent correspondence was also the reason why Stefan had walked past the chapel that particular Friday afternoon.

Normally he would use this route as a shortcut to his favourite coffee shop, however on this particular day Stefan had gone to the bank to get some further information about buying out the other landlords of the estate. They had been warming up to the prospect of selling the towers at the above market value price on offer which was of no surprise as most would, but not Stefan. However, the bank had not been very accommodating.

It had always been his goal to own all of the towers but for now fate was not about to grant this, so he needed other options, and quickly, for he could not defer his contact with the solicitors much longer.

Stefan hated lawyers. In his mind they were arrogant, and inhuman. This again was ironic considering he used to be one. His short time in the city, working long hours, on commercial caseloads satisfied his loath for them and the corporate world.

He originally qualified when working for his uncle who was the owner of an established London law firm. By practice his uncle was a commercial conveyancing lawyer and as time went by, he expanded the practice to include other areas of law. Even though Stefan never revealed just how intelligent he was his uncle recognised it from an early age, and when ready he paid for his tuition at Oxford University. There Stefan received the highest commendation in his year, and despite the numerous job offers at many prestigious law firms (in the city and all over the world), Stefan completed his training contract at his uncle’s firm. He then qualified as a corporate commercial lawyer.

His uncle had high prospects for him, within a short time Stefan was working unsupervised on transactions, to then heading his own deals. His uncle even went as far to insinuate that one day Stefan would aspire to partner and then Managing Director of the whole company.

Stefan was appreciative to his uncle for all he had done, but thought the continuous attention was strange considering his uncle had two children. Though they were more interested in what could be earned from law (or more precisely what their father could earn from law), and they often spent it.

Shortly after qualifying Stefan married Katy who was now his ex-wife. She was also a lawyer at his uncle’s firm who had qualified a year before him.

Within two years of completing his contract, it seemed that Stefan had everything any prospective lawyer could dream of. He had a career most would envy, a wife who shared the same ambitions as he, and enough money to see him well to do for the foreseeable future. However he wasn’t happy, something was missing.

By the age of twenty-four he felt that he had lived the majority of his life, and he could see the rest of it flying past him in an array of late night transactions, mergers and signings. His social life was dissolving into nothing and the prospect of a family appeared even more obsolete. His home was his office and he wanted so much more from life.

He could not deny that working in London had served its purpose. It had given him a good foundation for basing his understanding of business on; it provided him with the money to retrain in something else as well as a substantial deposit on St John’s Tower.

Stefan left his uncle’s firm when a teaching position appeared at the local school for a lecturer in art and design. He was still a good artist, not as good as his O-Level years mind, but his continual efforts outside of work, was enough to secure him entry into the teaching profession.

Stefan sometimes thought that maybe if he had changed practice areas he would have stayed in law longer, probably the criminal sector, but he knew that his uncle would never have allowed that.

Stefan walked past the chapel in the direction of St John’s Tower. The formation of the towers was attractive and usually intrigued visitors and passers-by. It was often compared to some contemporary sculpture; however, the main topic of conversation was always the unusual plaque at the foot of the chapel steps.

The plaque, or seal as it was most commonly referred to, looked like a bronze circular disc secured in the ground. It was engraved with many unusual symbols, the most prominent of which was a six pointed star which covered the face. In the centre of the star was an angel with spread wings and placed across its centre was a key. Directly above the angel’s head were two more heads conjoined facing away from one another. In the south east corner was a bell, and in the south west corner was a double headed cross. Around the rim of the seal was etched scripture. Stefan recognised only a few words which he simulated to Hebrew but the others were intranscribable.

Most assumed the seal was also some sort of contemporary sculpture placed there by a local artist, but in actuality it had been there since before Stefan’s family had occupied St John’s Tower. As far as he was aware no one could find any feasible explanation as to why it was there at all. Neither could they explain the presence of a pewter statue which stood over five feet tall above it.

The statue was of a winged man dressed in armour with two large wings protruding from its back. It was stood upright with both hands clutching an empty sheath. The identity of the statue had never been established.

Over the years many archaeologists and historians from all over the world had visited to diagnose the seal. They all had their explanations but Stefan felt that these were to justify their journey rather than diagnosing the origin. Most of the time people left with very bewildered expressions and more baffled than when they first arrived.

Stefan never admitted it but he secretly found humour in their frustration. Even though he himself could be classed as an art historian, he knew there were no documents evidencing the seal and he certainly was not going to waste his time researching something which overall he was not particularly interested in. Maybe one day he would go on a quest but for now it could wait and be left in the capable hands of the post graduate theorists of this world.

Admittedly, that was a long title, but it should tell you what the content of this blog  refers to.

It has been a massively busy start to the year, in fact the word ‘busy’ is an understatement, but I am hoping that once all of the grunt work (so to speak), is out of the way, then it will all be worth it.

I’ll end this post with some frivolity, so you will need to wait to hear about Twerky and the Unicorn (sounds like an Icelandic pop band), unless you want to scroll down to the end but then you will miss everything in between.

No Food Limits

This is something I started last year and so far the direction is sound, it is the productivity that is lacking somewhat. The aim is to educate people to eat what they want without impacting on their health. It sounds like this has been done many times before – the over profiting organisations that in essence don’t work. If they did, they would be out of business by now. For me, I am not out to make lots of money, No Food Limits is all about the education. When you have seen people die, or have life impacting health problems, which could have been avoided if a change in eating plan had taken place, then getting rich is the last thing on your mind.

SwimFor

Since having Monster, I find that my training has reduced by quite a bit. I also made the comment on Twitter earlier on in the year that given my decades of swimming experience, why not start my own events that in the interim, only cater for me. I have organised many charity events with work in the past, I shouldn’t have too many issues trying to pull this off.

SwimFor allows me to raise money for my own charities and swim the distances I want to swim in the desired locations. No more jelly babies in the Solent for me (it takes away the salt taste for those that don’t know).

The second event is due to take place in April 2017 and is called Swimfor2k. It was originally #swimfor2 and then we realised that this sent a completely different message.

Swimfor2k is also a little misleading in the sense that the swim distance is not 2k, it is 4k overall (2k per charity), but the idea is that next year when is says #swimfor3k, it will be 3k per charity.  Any charity can be picked, there won’t be a set charity per event, and the number of charities will not be limited. Providing the venue can cater the distance, the only requirements are to raise money for charity, swim the required distance and have a witness present to adjudicate. If you can take pictures even better but I am aware that many pools have a no photography rule.

I am hoping to open the event up next year to more people.

I can see Monster also getting into these as they get older. At present, I have limited Monster to swimming every other week as I am convinced that they are overdoing it. They get excited once they see the water and there is no stopping them. To the point where I have had to buy a float suit just to take the pressure off of my shoulders and back, but that is a different post entirely.

Kelly at swim

Dragon Realm Chronicles

I have been writing DRC for many years now and realised that I don’t have a website for the books to advertise them. Given that a few other authors have chosen to publish their books with similar names (naughty naughty), I thought it would be silly not to have the original series advertised under its very own domain, so now there is www.dragonrealmchronicles.com

The fourth book in the series is due out very soon.

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Dragon Realm Chronicles – Book 3 in the series

Here’s Twerky

‎Without further ado, my husband and I have been having great fun with Monster’s Christmas presents. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you have kids?!!?

‎The BeatsBelle (aka Twerky) is one of the bestselling toys on the market. The idea is to play music and dance so it gets aspiring little walkers on their feet and moving. At first glance, it does look like a twerking anime k-pop character which displays different colours on its body that could no doubt, if sped up, induce neighbourhood wise seizures.

It also has a voice recording system which replays in a chipmunk voice‎ to a beat. This feature has given my husband endless fun and as a result, Twerky has been nominated as his organisation’s new mascot.

Monster looks at Twerky awkwardly, like it doesn’t understand, but then again it’s not like they get to spend much time with the toy.

The Unicorn however is surprisingly effective, given that it was one of those 90% off Groupon jobbies. It lights up the room with effects of flashing stars and ‘z’, or the lights can be still. It has a calming baby planetarium effect which actually works. You can opt to have sound, but wisely I brought the version that did not contain sound. It has helped Monster sleep every night so far. Result!

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I have added LULU to my list of book distributors. The third instalment of The Dragon Realm Chronicles is now available for purchase.

Filled with dragons, black holes, digs at the legal industry, an out of body experience, the afterlife and martial arts – a random combination that makes more sense when you read the book. Please find below the description of this piece, and if you wish to buy a copy please visit the Lulu page.

The year is 2001. It has been 14 years since Stefan’s disappearance and his daughter Imogen is nearly 22 years old.

Embittered by her decision to follow in her parent’s footsteps into the legal world, she leaves the industry and goes to work as a martial arts instructor. At the same times she moves into her father’s old apartment.

Liberated by her new found freedom, old memories begin to surface as well as haunt her. She has not seen St Towers Estate since she was nine years old but nothing has changed, it is like time has stood still.

The long hours and lack of money soon make their impact on Imogen’s health and one day she passes out and falls into a deep coma.

At the same time the government announces that a team of scientists are about to practically test black hole theories on Earth.

Fearing that she may never wake up again, Imogen projects into a sleep world where she is able to see everything around her undetected. She learns of the pending disaster the world faces, history of her family’s charge, gains more insight about her father’s disappearance as well as long kept secrets, deception and vindictiveness of the people around her and she is introduced to a dragon or two along the way.

When it is all over she is left not knowing whether she will wake up, or stay in the dream world waiting for someone in reality to make the decision regarding her fate.

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The Dragon Realm Chronicles – The Black Hole Wrath

The third instalment to The Dragon Realm Chronicles is soon to be released. You can either purchase or obtain free copies of the first two books in this series by donating to my JustGiving page (www.justgiving.com/KellyFoxhall-AspireRelay) for the Channel swim and Aspire. In the meantime, please have a read of an excerpt from book 3:

THE DRAGON REALM CHRONICLES – THE BLACKHOLE WRATH

“Imogen walked over to one of the sinks and turned on the tap. She placed her hands under the flowing warm water while she looked at herself in the large mirrors opposite trying so desperately not to cry. It was her last day, there were only a few more hours to go and then she could go home and pack.

She looked down as she made a bowl shape with her hands under the running water and splashed her face. She then grabbed a few paper towels with her eyes still closed and dabbed the excess water from her face. However, when opening her eyes she was greeted with an unexpected and somewhat horrific sight. In reaction she screamed.

Imogen saw that the reflection in the mirror was no longer hers. It was the face of an older woman who had the same colour hair and similar features, but it was definitely not Imogen. As she screamed the lights above flickered and then went off for a few seconds leaving her in less than brighter surroundings.

The lights slowly resumed their previous luminosity.

“Shit, what the hell…?” She said out loud. The strange being in the mirror opposite her had vanished and as before she saw a more familiar person in the reflection. She threw the paper towels to one side and quickly walked out of the room.”

The third instalment to The Dragon Realm Chronicles is soon to be released. You can either purchase or obtain free copies of the first two books in this series by donating to my JustGiving page (www.justgiving.com/KellyFoxhall-AspireRelay) for the Channel swim and Aspire. In the meantime, please have a read of an excerpt from book 3:

THE DRAGON REALM CHRONICLES – THE BLACKHOLE WRATH

The year was 2023 and the atmosphere on Earth had changed dramatically. The parched plant life was now taking its last breathes before slowly withering away, back into the earth from whence it originally came.

Gravity (or lack thereof) was the cause. One day in 2003, without any warning, gravity just stopped. It was like it decided to leave the Earth. However it was not like the planet hadn’t given enough warning to its inhabitants, with its spontaneous volcanic eruptions, landslides in the most obscure places, tsunamis and tornadoes in the likes of Antarctica. The planet had become warmer for longer, there had not been a proper winter in two years before the changes began, and at the same time more sections of the oceans began to die due to over-fishing and construction developments. There was no air left for it to breath.

There could only be one answer, the Earth fighting back.

It was fighting against the human race, the overuse of resources, the degradation of the environment and the continuous reliance upon weaponry and mass destruction. The planet had fought back by cleansing itself of the vermin that had poisoned it for so long – the humans had killed themselves.

The life forms that hadn’t flown upwards to the void of space had learnt to evolve like their ancestral species, and clung on for as long as possible. However this was a devastation that the Earth and its inhabitants had not seen before, there was no historical references of what to do in such a situation. As time moved on, they small number of humans that survived has learned to adapt, by seeking shelter in buildings that were underground such as top secret military bases, that were no longer secret. The majority of life that managed to stay on the planet died from starvation or medical issues. It was difficult, as growing food in conditions with no natural light was not ideal. Many crops did not make it, and eventually some that were starving became dangerous.

It did not make any difference whether gravity was present for the time guardians or not, as they existed outside of time. This meant that they could roam freely around the planet to investigate.

Zephyr walked along some of the wasteland, he looked almost inconsolable at the sight of the decayed hills and fallen mountains. Rubble could be seen for thousands of miles, but the oceans that surrounded the rubble were somehow being revitalised. There was still some signs of plant life and small organisms growing around the damp earth near to where the waters were. Zephyr could not help but think the Earth was preparing to do a full cycle of evolution again.

“I don’t understand, this is not the way it was supposed to be,” said Zephyr.

“The humans had been warned several times,” said Olympia.

“I am going to take a closer look in the oceans,” said Zephyr.

He opened his concealed wings to their full extension and began to ascend upwards to fly to the nearest ocean. While the time guardians had a human look to them, they possessed all of the biological aspects of the dragon. It was easier to transport through time or to fly somewhere quickly. Dragons were directional protectors to look after humanity, they also had the ability to blend into their surroundings so as to avoid detection. The time guardians also had this.

Once high enough Zephyr headed west towards the Irish Sea. Once there he did not see any signs of life, until he flew further north. While combing the water beneath, he saw a fountain of water shoot up from the surface. As he neared this eruption, thinking it was another volcano, he saw several more appear from the water. He tucked in his limbs and wings and dived into the water like a rocket. As soon as his head broke through the surface, his skin changed to a colour blue which mimicked the water around him.

In the distance as he shot himself through the water to where the breaches had appeared, he saw a pod of blue whales swimming, completely unaffected it seemed by what had happened around them. Zephyr launched himself upwards through the water and took to flight again back towards his brothers to report the news.

“What happened? Did the Earth just give up?”

The Dragon Realm Chronicles - The Black Hole Wrath

The Dragon Realm Chronicles – The Black Hole Wrath

I am aiming to get back into the weekly blog posts, though failing miserably and I can’t understand why. Work is in a reasonably good place, albeit a little quiet at the moment, training has been going well… except for my goggles that split this weekend and rendering me into using the emergency pair that indent my eyes and make me look like a plastered frog – but after a few set backs last year I think everything is well and truly back on track.

However, fate did decide to mock me again and throw a spanner in the works.

Keeping this story Feng shui and not over detailed before I lose you, I received a monetary amount recently which I thought covered the fundraising side of the swim. The fundraising I have always found to be the most difficult side of things, swimming is never normally the problem, but if you continue to take part in charity events per year you will inevitably tap the same people, and they will only donate so much. I personally cannot blame them for this. So when I received the money, I thought that was the stressful side over and done with I could get on with increasing my speeds and strength again.

Until I was taxed. Goodbye 40%, hello back to square one. It was like fate was waiving a pack of Ferrero Rocher in my face (my all time favourite) and then putting them in a bin and burning them in front of me.

Still never mind, back to the drawing board and on to the vulgarity.

Vulgarisms on Twitter

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I unfortunately was subjected to some rather uncouth, boorish, nastiness on Twitter recently. I was going to dedicate a separate post to this but thought I couldn’t be bothered as it would just give those who were doing the abusing some limelight.

The story goes a little something like this; a few weeks ago Jeremy Clarkson had a bit of a ‘to-do’ with a producer on the Top Gear show resulting in Clarkson getting a bit fist happy – that actually sounds a bit strange. To clarity, from what we know, Clarkson punched a producer…. After he outed himself to the BBC powers that be, Clarkson was then suspended from work with his contract renewal waiving in the wind like a half cut down tree. At the same time the BBC decided to not air any of the remaining episodes of Top Gear, so the fans rushed to their Tweet decks to air their frustrations.

I was not necessarily on Twitter to join in the debate, just have a look at the controversial opinions. Of course we always get the “there are more important things in the world, why should this get the attention?” type Tweets, my response to these are that people can discuss more than one topic at once, others were happy that Clarkson finally could be getting his comeuppance, and everyone else who comments were just annoyed that the show could well and truly be over.

I perused the comments, not really taking a side, yes I am a massive Top Gear fan, but at the same time I am confident Clarkson (and if so choosing the other presenters) will fall back on another deal somewhere, at the same time it cannot be one rule for one and another rule for others under employments contracts, and even further why can’t we watch the remaining episodes in the meantime?

So what provoked me to comment – well on a particular thread that was aired on the BBC news channel (luckily with not my responses and those replying), I replied to one who basically said that ‘paedophiles watch Top Gear’, with the word ‘fact’ at the end of the post.

Firstly what relevance did this have to the discussion at hand, secondly how could this be fact unless this person had interviewed everyone who watched Top Gear to find this out? More importantly why would you insert such a taboo topic into this post when it is not really spoken about unless the media has found another to name and shame, perhaps the latest suspect under Project Yewtree. So I responded by saying how irrelevant the comment was and that it lacked substance. I was then told that I was crazy to be offended by the comment. I then replied with stating that by their comparison we who watch the show would all be, or associated with paedophiles, to which they replied that I chose to get offended and it was my problem.

I love that old chestnut.

I replied that they should take responsibility for the tone of their comments and the impact they have on others, and did my usual thing of being matter of fact and not brining emotion into my debates. This continued by a barrage of silly comebacks by the other person. I got to the point where I just did not answer back in the end, as I had better things to do, and only responded when this person stated that to be certain of the types of people that watch the show each and everyone should be rounded up, and interviewed by the police.

Yes I did respond to this. It was along the lines of ‘so you want our limited resources to interview everyone that watches a television show?’ To which they replied with a ‘yes’ starting with me. I then stated that this person should stop insulting people, and get into the real world, to which case I then was told that this person had not insulted or targeted anyone. Erm, yes they did.

This person in addition delivered worse abuse to another member that challenged them, resulting in some really vulgar remarks (obviously they couldn’t think of anything intelligent to say), and then I took the higher ground and just blocked them rather than continue with my debate, which I should have done in the first place.

I have since blocked others who have joined the debate to offer their unsubstantial remarks and insults towards me too.

While I don’t care what people say about me, it’s all sticks and stones after all, I am still amazed that people can be so blinkered with their comments on a public forum and then turn to vulgarity (which I have not included in this post, to spare everyone) when they cannot think of anything valid to say. They begin to lose and so start flinging insults, do they think they are immune to civil claims?

The moral of the story is, just let silly people comment and the will make themselves look… well silly. Keep out of it, go and debate with those who can bring valid comments to the table.

Sean’s swimming Britain

Sean Conway (Swimming Britain) - Hell and High Water book

Sean Conway (Swimming Britain) – Hell and High Water book

Those that are in the know, know that Sean Conway (the dude that swam the length of Britain), is currently running the length of Britain. Hopefully this year he will complete it without any mishaps with his knee… or disaster selfies.

I will produce another post on this, but I have just finished Sean Conway’s book Hell and High Water, it is an amazing and an insightful read into the world of open water swimming, those trying to achieve a goal at all costs, and the excitement of adventure.

I recommend this highly as a read for anyone who has a challenging goal in the pipeline, even if they are not into swimming.

Duck Goose Discovery

duck

Finally, the last snippet into the warped world of The Fox, we have recently moved and are now situated near one of the biggest parks in London. Within this park there is an iconic lake which plays host to a range of birds from swans, geese, pheasant, ducks and do on. Not to mention the lovely dogs and their owners I meet every morning when walking to the train station. I have since become quite familiar to them, as more and more dogs come up to me to bring me their ball or a stick, I then thank them and have to apologise as I need to get to the train station.

Upon one of my morning walks, I have come across a rather unique looking goose. It is the same size as the other geese, but it is all black with hint of green that one would see on a male duck. So I naturally thought that perhaps a goose and duck had become friendly and duck goose (as I call him) is the result.

I of course have been told since that it is absurd, but how do other species form if not through this process. I did some research and came across the following page: http://www.gobirding.eu/Photos/HybridDucks.php

It seems that this may not be a duck goose and perhaps a duck hybrid cross with a mallard. If you look on Google you will find many variations of duck geese, whether they have clearly adopted an infant or they have created their own strain of species, therefore my notion is not quite ridiculous now. However, I doubt I will be able to log my name down in the books as discovering a new species any time soon.

In other news, I will be releasing two new books soon. The long awaited part 3 to The Dragon Realm Chronicles and another novella regarding the trials and tribulations of swimming.

Watch this space.

The Dragon Realm Chronicles - The Black Hole Wrath

The Dragon Realm Chronicles – The Black Hole Wrath