The Arnhem Window Caythorpe Parish Church - in memory of the 1st Airborne Division who fought at Arnhem 17-25th September 1944


Maybe it's the same for you but my memory leapfrogs from one stimulus to another.

A few days ago I heard on Facebook or U-Tube or something the group Il Divo singing [beautifully] Unchained Melody [Oh my love, my darling I hunger for your touch..]

This immediately transported me back to 1956 when I fought the Egyptians with an Imperial 66!

Almost instanteously I was swept back to 1944 [yes I was around then - although quite small] when the Paratroopers were stationed in my Lincolnshire village.

Not to be satisfied I found myself projected forwards to recent years spending probably the happiest time of my writing career writing Every Man an Emperor a fact-based novel about those paratroopers who on 17th September 1944 were dropped fifty miles behind enemy lines over Arnhem, Holland, in an unsuccessful attempt to secure a bridge over the Rhine. Ten thousand  parachuted in, about three thousand returned.

The link between Il Divo's Unchained Melody and my conflict with the Egyptians is that the never to be forgotten song's birth coincided with my National Service in the Royal Air Force. In the following year the Egyptians "stole" their Canal from the Brits.

My fighting them with an Imperial 66 is not strictly accurate but I used a typewriter in those days for recording Courts of Enquiry and Courts Martial - incidentally we were training Iraqi Pilots in Vampire Jets - I was quite busy!

The only action I saw was assisting to throw a very drunk Jamaican corporal on to a train taking him to an embarkation camp [for Egypt].

Does your memory work in a simlar way? I'd be interested to hear from you.

Every Man an Emperor is still available see later on this website - so is The Charity and The Convention


My home town Christchurch hosts Seven Percent of New Zealand's non-casino pokey machines. A total of 1,332 machines - $220,00 per day goes through those greedy little mouths.

Don't you think the name "Gaming Machine" in this context is a misnomer?  My interpretation of a game is a fair competition between opposing sides. Does this fit the Pokey machine image. I think not.

I'm not about to go on a crusade against these machines. After all everyone has the right to spend their money as they wish.

BUT these non Casino installations are open to corruption, and the proceeds funnelled into the back pockets of fraudsters and scammers rather than the charitable/community destinations for which the money was intended.

My crime story THE CHARITY features a pokey machine scam. Fraudsters infiltratre a highly respectable organisation and diverte money away from the legitimate desination.

Read my book and see how it was done.


Fantasy or Reality? What do you think?

Does your reading and viewing match up?

It's a little strange because the indigestion of cooking programmes on tv seem to be surpassed only by the irritation of reality shows. So if  viewing habits match  reading habits, it would follow that these genres should lead the way.

Not so.

Judging by the prolification of Fantasy fiction it seems reading differs from viewing.

Personally I like reality in my fiction, and the characters in my stories are an amalgam of people I have met plus a little mental "what if".

My version of reality  must not be confused with so called reality shows on television which are aimed at the lowest common denominator - or the most acceptable requirement of the advertiser. One such programme is specifically designed to publicise the sponsor's products. Is it reality or rank commercialisation?

Do you watch culinary and reality but not read about it?

If so, is there a line drawn somewhere in the brain that separates what we watch from what we read.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong, and the cooking/reality viewers don't read books, and vice versa.

Then again perhaps you read fantasy to get away from reality. Maybe you are wise!

Tell me what you think.

PS I wonder what my smiley frog is actually thinking?






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Jan | Reply 10.10.2013 13.03

Hey everybody should read this site.
Keep up the good work, it certainly started my memory working.

Raymond. | Reply 10.10.2013 12.35

I find the occasional veiwing of a cooking show a vast improvement on the fanstasy shows that are either cartoon characters or violence heavily laced with sex.

joyful j | Reply 26.08.2013 20.02

with you all the way on this one - except I like fantasy in books and on screen.

jan | Reply 11.08.2013 12.09

Plenty to think about Gerry. I love a well written fantasy book, and yes, it takes me away from the necessary but repetative duties of every day life.

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Latest comments

26.09 | 20:42

I know how that must have felt Gerry! We recently had no power for 2 weeks; lots of buckets full of water from outside, luckily we have a tap at bottom of tank.

26.09 | 15:23

Good stuff Gerry.
Your No 1 Fan, Pam

12.10 | 19:10

Jerry- I am so glad to see that you are firing on all four cylinders, your impish sense of humour comes through again in this piece. Regards, Brian.

09.09 | 14:44

A fascinating history I don't know of any community libraries let alone one with this continuing story

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