Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Evocative Music Brings Back Memories

The village of Orient
One morning while listening to Classic FM a wonderful memory was awoken.  The music was the beautiful Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia by Khachaturian.  Probably better known as the music of "The Onedin Line".

In the 1970s I was working in Mallorca so didn't see British television.  I didn't even have a telly as I seemed always to be working.

One of my jobs was acting as guide on some of the coach trips, my favourite being a morning drive into the mountains.  Following our coffee and cake stop at the hamlet of Orient we returned to the main road.  Having talked myself out on the way to Orient, the return journey was quiet as we admired the scenery.

This Adagio* has long been a favourite of mine so I was thrilled when the coach company purchased a new vehicle with a cassette player.  The first time I was on this coach for the Orient trip on the return journey I put in my tape commenting that it fit right in with the mountains.

Back came several cries, "That's the Onedin Line music!"  Of course they then had to tell me all about this programme.

Oh, so different from mountains.

* I once saw this beautiful Adagio performed by a couple of 'soloists' of the Kirov Ballet.  It was magical.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rock'n'Roll Murders on Amazon

I always enjoy writing my books and this one was fabulous to write.  It is set in 1959 which, as well as evoking memories, also needed plenty of research.  Everything from the 'pop' scene to fashions.  For example, Elvis was doing his military service, Cliff Richard's backing group was called the Drifters, David Whitfield and Ronnie Hilton were the British crooners of choice.  And, of course, there were the fashions.  As young people didn't earn much, fashion was a bit limited.  Men mostly wore trousers (in the summer flannels) and shirts but the young women were luckier.  Full skirts, pleated skirts and dresses, pinafore dresses, strapless tops and shorts.  The popular men's haircut was the DA with the bubble cut being favoured by women.

In those days the police still patrolled on foot, the police car of choice was the Wolseley and, of course, the blue police boxes were still around - shades of Tardis!

As well as being able to purchase downloads of the book, there are also a few available in library section which can be borrowed.

Sales of Homicide in Hampshire and all of the Cleo Marjoribanks Mysteries are still going strong, the latest being Murder in Mitcham Parva.  Many thanks for the lovely comments about them.

As they say - watch this space for more information!

And did you know that you can download the Kindle APP? 

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Cheap Flights Experience

Having just experienced my first flights on a 'cheap flight' airline, I am not impressed.

I'm sure that for a short business trip that only needs an overnight case they are fine.  Unfortunately, as there is a charge per suitcase in the hold, people are taking their cases on as hand baggage.  Many years ago I bought a small wheelie to use as hand baggage and was told that it was too large and had to be checked in.

Once upon a time you were only allowed to take a small piece of hand baggage.  Now cases and bags over that maximum size are being allowed on board.  It just doesn't make sense.  I met a business gentleman who only had an overnight bag.  By the time he got on board there wasn't room for his small bag so that had to go into the hold - and he had to pay for it.

I did have a quiet chuckle when we arrived back at Gatwick.  The 'plane did not connect up to the stand so we had to take staircase down from the 'plane, walk across the tarmac and climb up a staircase.  Picture it - all those people too mean to pay for their 13/14kg weighted cases struggling with those staircases.

One answer is for airlines to add the £10 to their fares and not charge for luggage to go into the hold.  The airlines will gain financially and passengers will have an easier time.

Alternatively limit the size and weight of cases being used as hand baggage.