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  • Douglas Watkinson

Call that a summer??


I never thought I’d be someone who groaned about the weather. It is, after all, inevitable and, yes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes. Even so, here I am on the last day of August and it’s grey, cold and has been so for a month or more. The swimming pool has been used exactly three times this year and there’s an idler just outside my office that neither I nor The Muse have sat in all summer. On top of that we’re closing doors and windows and talking about ordering more logs for winter.

In spite of that, two events are on the horizon and I’m looking forward to both. The first is the annual apple picking. We’ve got about six apple trees and one pear tree and every year my son and daughter come with various partners, friends and dogs and we pick the lot. It usually gets turned into roughly 250 bottles of juice and seems to last forever. We’re still drinking the final few bottles from last year.



The second thing I’m looking forward to is the publication of White Crane, the sixth in the Nathan Hawk Murder Mysteries. I’ve really enjoyed writing it and there’s a thoroughly nasty murder in it to satisfy the bloodthirsty fans of the series. The story takes Hawk to the birthplace of my daughter-in-law - Lanzhou in China. It’s a city I’d never heard of until two years ago but it hosts a population of ten million. Minus one since Chelsea (not her real name) married my son and took up residence in the UK.

I’ve only one television series to recommend this week and one to warn you against. Taking the latter first, watch ‘Hit and Run’ for ten minutes and no more. The story is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s set in Israel and New York and seems to be loved by most viewers, except me. The story’s pure cheese, with fighting, and the dialogue’s made of wood. A close run second to steer clear of is ‘Godless’, a Western series starring Jeff Daniels who struggles in it, possibly because it takes place mainly in the dark. It tries to be Quentin Tarentino and fails and if you can follow what’s happening and who’s who in the first episode, good luck.

The series worth giving time to is Netflix’s ‘The Chair’ which is a poignant comedy drama which takes a dig at American university education. It doesn’t sound promising, does it? But it is and should get a second series.



Talking of education, here’s a geography lesson with a difference which a friend sent me a week ago.


Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa. Half discovered, half wild, fertile and naturally beautiful!

Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe. Well developed and open to trade, especially for someone of real value.

Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain. Very hot, relaxed and convinced of her own beauty.

Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece. Gently ageing but still a warm and desirable place to visit.

Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain. With a glorious and all conquering past.

Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel. Has been through war, doesn't make the same mistakes twice, and takes care of business .

Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada. Self-preserving, but open to meeting new people.

After 70, she becomes Tibet. Wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages. An adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

On the other hand, between the ages of 1 and 100, a man is like North Korea and Russia.

Ruled by a pair of nuts!

Until next time, stay safe.

D



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