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Showing posts from February, 2015

Ready Steady Go!

K icking off what turns into a whistle-stop of a fortnight, Ma’s blood pressure goes through the roof due to a misunderstanding over her medication. Tom’s dad – suffering from a troublesome infection – is required to take a sample to hospital, but as he and Tom’s mum cross the road to get there my mother-in-law misses the kerb, falls flat on her face and ends up in A&E. Then Rose rings to tell me she’s tried a spot of self-trepanation by slipping against the corner of her car door and boring a hole in her forehead. As fate would have it, we have a funeral to attend in the south east which means we can do an extended relly-check while we're there. From west Wales we drive to Surrey to see Ma, who’s back in rude health (very rude, eh Ma, with that naughty quip!) and looking very perky. We then drive to West Sussex to find DiL on the mend, but poor MiL looking very bashed about. The following morning we drive to Canterbury for the funeral, Herne Bay for the wake and then

The Value of Nothing

A small group of women is gathered by the entrance of our branch of Tesco armed with copies of a widely read west Wales newspaper. ‘Half price Carmarthen Journal?’ they offer, ‘only 37p today?’ When we decline, one of the women introduces herself as the editor and asks why we’re not buying to which we explain that we can read most newspapers, including theirs, free online.  As we walk away to do our shopping, it occurs to me that it’s a sign of the times when a newspaper editor is standing in the freezing doorway of a supermarket trying to drum up interest so I pop back for a quick chat. I explain that I can’t get this particular store - my local Tesco - to stock my books (central ordering), that - like her on this wintry day - I’m also constantly trying to find new and innovative ways to reach readers and finally that the main effect of giving digital content away is that consumers have come to expect it. In the early days of Kindle, a special offer on one of my books was pre