A Hill of Beans

To misquote the world-weary Rick Blaine, in one of my favourite films, Casablanca, my small concerns about renovating the house or waiting for the verdict on Book 2, don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. In the main, this blog does what it says on the tin; it’s about living and writing in west Wales. Over the last few weeks, however, it’s almost impossible not to comment on the craziness in the wider world. Not to wonder about the wisdom of hounding experienced police officers from their posts over phone-hacking, or the constant criticism of police tactics as too forceful one minute, too weak the next.

And before we point the finger at every young person and talk about the bad, we should also remember the good. My daughter, Rose, started volunteering at school and still donates an evening a week, working with a charity which provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Stepson Two’s Gorgeous Girlfriend is jointly running a campaign to get more people to sign the organ donor register. Sign Up, Speak Up, Save Lives is one of the projects featured on Battlefront, an award-winning Channel 4 online, on TV project that follows young campaigners trying to change the world. Just two of the good news stories that are easily missed.

And finally, and on an entirely frothy note. It fell to me to nominate the Wednesday Hottie on Choc Lit Author’s Corner today, a task that was made much easier by the lovely Kim the Book Worm and her very kind review of Turning the Tide.

Epainting is 'Study View' by Tom Tomos, and features the view from my desk


gaelikaa said…
Hi Chris,

I've been out of the blogging loop for a while and trying to catch up. I'm looking forward to your next book, wonder when it's coming out?

I'm still holding on to my copy of 'Turning the Tide' and look forward to the day I can have you autograph it for me!
Pauline Barclay said…
Hello Chris, you are right, the media coverage of the terrible things happening in UK focuses only on the bad, when much good is being carried all the time. You must be very proud of your family. A lovely Blog. x
Flowerpot said…
Well done Rose - and how lovely to hear of some of the good in life. Good luck on your forthcoming news, Chris x
Jane Lovering said…
It is nice to hear some good of the young for a change. ~And it's lovely to be able to catch up with your blog - renovations.. I'm with you there! Bought a new carpet this afternoon and I have to tell you it's not nearly as exciting as buying shoes (although the carpet will probably last longer!)
Fennie said…
Well done Rose and well done Gorgeous Girlfriend! But the good can be undone so easily by the thuggish actions of a few. Elder daughter and husband were very sad seeing the damage done in Ealing (where they had lived) and in Croydon where Web Wizard grew up. I think a machine gun firing plastic bullets might go someway to dispersing the mob and giving them their come-uppance.
Frances said…
Chris, this post is so full of good writing and wise thinking.

I have been listening to BBC's Question Time this evening via my computer's ability to connect to London Radio. So much is being discussed, and mostly in an atmosphere in which both talking and listening took place.

Wish that I could sit and talk with you and Tom about here and there, but we will have to put that on hold until we are next around a table.

One of my New York friends thinks that there is so much craziness going on on many planes in many parts of the world.

I think that this is a time for us to show off our very best behavior, keeping the golden rule in mind, etc.

How I have rambled.... xo
Pondside said…
No surprise that your children and Tom's are productive, thoughtful and positive people - you raised them that way. I am so sad when I read about what's happening in England (and what happened in Vancouver the night of the Stanley Cup) but I can't help but wonder who raised the rioters.
Debs Carr said…
This week's news has been dreadful. Well done to the youngsters in your family, it's a shame some of those rioters don't put all that excess energy to better use.

I can't wait to read your next book.
Kitty said…
It's been a while... much to catch up on. The new place looks like it's going to be v good, sea, veggies, dead mice...

I'm off to add 'Turning the Tide' to my virtual bookshelf on the blog. Like gaelikaa I'm keeing my copy for you to sign one day! xx
Chris Stovell said…
Hi gaelikaa, lovely to see you again. Me too, is the answer to that one! Seriously,the publishers are currently working out their schedule. And thank you so much for your kind words.

Pauline, hope I didn't sound as if I was holding them us as paragons, just wanted to make the point that good news often goes unnoticed. Thank you.

FP, thanks - you know how it feels!

Jane, we can compare notes on house renovations when we meet up next... or we could just drink wine, eat chocolate and talk shoes. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Fennie, we had some friends on holiday here from Ealing who dropped by and were rather anxious about what they were going home to. I'm certainly not underestimating how terrible those images were.

Frances, you never ramble and are always kind and thoughtful. Tom and I had a wistful, wishful look at packages to NY, but we'll need to save up for that one. We'd love to return and catch up with you again.

Pondside, thank you for you kind words and I remember those dreadful images of Vancouver from your blog. I guess we'd be doing pretty well if we knew the answers to that. In other lives, I've worked with disaffected and disengaged young people and noticed how the warning signs are there from a very young age. Spotting the signs is the easy bit, it's having the resources, as you know, to put them right that's the difficult part.

Debs, since you wrote this we've had the sad news about what happened to one family on your lovely island. There have been some very depressing stories on the news this year. Thanks so much for your kind words about my next book.

Hello Kitty (I love writing that!). Yes, we're very pleased with our new home even though it needs a complete facelift. Bit like me really. We are particularly pleased with our home-grown veg... just as well since we're going to depend on them with the cost of the building works!

And thank you - I'm truly honoured to be on your bookshelf and look forwards to meeting up one day... although I know I'm going to have serious shoe envy. Sigh.

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