Monthly Archives: August 2016

…why the hell did I ever leave the place?… Tobermory, Isle of Mull…

…some of yeez who follow my wee Blog will know that over fifty years ago I WURKED in the Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank in Tobermory, situated amongst God’s gift to scenery in the fabulous Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides… I departed the island in 1970, transferred for a while to Campbeltown, before being  plunged into Darkest Deepest London Office for 10 years in Lombard Street, the  springboard to a life and career in foreign shores ever since… 25 years in Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, (with a side jaunt for a coupla years in OzzieLand)… for the past 12 years, home has been here in the Middle East… but NONE compares with the time spent all those years back in Tobermory.. well, I’m heading back there next week for a seven-day amble around my memories… watch this space for updates… just to put yeez in the mood, I wanna repeat a piece I did on here just over two years ago, about Angus Macintyre, one of the most remarkable human beings ever to grace this planet… he crafted much of what my life and philosophy has become…



…exactly five decades ago, in 1964, I first stepped ashore on the Island of Mull in the Scottish Hebrides… as a raw lad of fifteen (and a half, Jimmy!… don’t forget the half!)… I was set to begin six unforgettable years working in the illustrious Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank, Tobermory Branch


…pitched out of the Govan Docklands in Glasgow to this totally foreign environment as a mid-teenager was a formidable undertaking… they even spoke a foreign language… Scots Gaelic… intense trepidation hardly covers how I felt… however, into my life appeared the man who will forever be my Most Unforgettable Character… Angus Macintyre, The Bard of Mull, Bank Manager, father of four sons who each excelled in their own chosen field… from the eldest down, Angus Jr, an extraordinarily gifted mathematics scholar, who used to teach his own professors at Stanford, to which he won a scholarship… Lorn, a noted poet… Kenny, a celebrated athlete, and later broadcaster… and Eric, a highly-talented junior golfer… Angus himself had even broader gifts… I’ve described him elsewhere as a cross between Einstein and Groucho Marx, with a sharp, droll wit, and an ear for doggerel poetry unmatched anywhere in Scotland (or elsewhere for that matter)… his greatest touch was his inbuilt humanity and humour… the talent to make others feel at ease and worthy I have never seen equalled… one of his many official and unofficial titles as the centre of the business of banking and survival on an island of 2,000 people was Chairman of something called the Mull and Iona Council of Social Services… this was basically a charitable organisation to help the needy from time to time… and we’re talking only a few pounds here and there occasionally… but back then, that was often sufficient to make the difference for the recipients… on one monumental occasion, the  organisation decided to run a ceilidh in the local village hall… a sort of musical, poetry, story-telling night for the community to which entrance money was a mere couple of (old money) shillings… people would come and play the fiddle, or bagpipes, or, like myself, sing a song or two… as a wee ‘thank you’ gesture to these performers, Angus often wrote out a cheque for, say, a pound or two (quickly exchanged at the local pub), which cheques were drawn against the Council’s bank account with the Clydesdale Bank… unfortunately, on this occasion, the amount that Angus wrote exceeded the revenue, and the account went overdrawn… a huge No-No in banking regulations… and into the Bank the very next day came the Bank’s surprise annual audit team… the Chief Auditor pounced on the offending overdraft and asked for an explanation… ‘Och, well, y’see, we held a wee ceilidh to try to raise funds,’ said Angus… ‘most irregular, Mister Macintrye, most irregular’ wheedled the Chief Weasel, ‘and what do you intend to do about it?’, to which my man responded, with a twinkle in his eye, ‘well we could always hold another ceilidh!’… suppressing laughter for the attendant staff was the most difficult thing we all had to achieve that year! … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…GoReadMe!… m’Lady, Susan M. Toy’s fabulous idea for Authors and Readers…

…from daft ideas often come the next ‘great thing… the following Guest Post from my dear friend and fellow scribbler, Susan Toy, may interest other Writers and Readers… feedback on it is encouraged… please let us know if this is sum’thing yeez could support:

GoReadMe! – an idea on Crowd Reading


Susan M. Toy.

The marvelous Seumas Gallacher posted a status update to Facebook, a joke really, that had me laughing out loud here in my little trailer …

“…thinking of doing a GoFundMe thingy for a movie about my ‘To Be Read’ pile on my ebook Reader… calling it ‘Kindler’s List’… all contributions welcome… J”

Then an idea struck me – “What if,” I thought (those great little words that lead to the beginning of many great ideas, stories and novels). And I wrote a message to the kind sir himself, running past him first the kernel of this tiny idea that was forming, just to see if he thought it to be a good one himself. He did, and then I offered to write a guest blog post for him, after I’d given the whole thing – as to full concept and execution – more thought.

So here it is … the GoReadMe Campaign!

First, let’s go back a little way in time to a blog post I published in March of this year on the perennial subject that’s of interest to all authors – Looking for Readers in All the Right Places. (I had actually blogged about this dilemma a couple of times previous and those links are included in this post. If you are an author looking for readers then I suggest you read about all my previous ideas.)

We’re all familiar with the GoFundMe campaigns Mr. Gallacher mentioned in his joke. They come in many different guises and are meant to help creators and business people raise the necessary funds required to launch and cover the expenses of producing a project by involving their friends directly in that financing.

So, when Seumas combined the idea of crowdfunding with the concept of a film about enormous to-be-read piles of books (which, to be honest, every single reader worth their salt has in their homes as well as on their eReaders, etc.), I laughed out loud, as I mentioned above, but then I began to think. So I sent him a private message:

“Seumas, your GoFundMe campaign to finance a film, Kindler’s List, had me laughing! But then, I thought … What about setting up a campaign called GoReadMe, and instead of raising money we raise awareness for reading and reading our books in particular? What do you think? I would love to take a crack at developing this idea into a thing and writing a guest blog post about the “campaign” for your blog that we can all then promote on our own blogs. Do you have any thoughts as to how we could present this campaign? Would we have a goal to find, say, 50 readers who will commit to buy and read a certain book or books by a certain author? Would love to hear your thoughts on this. It could be fun!”

And Seumas’s reply was simply, “terrific idea , m’Lady ”

Okay, so I used the words “What about” and not “What if” – same thing, essentially.

The point is that I’ve given more thought to this idea since first presenting it to SG and here are my new thoughts as to how it might work …

We choose an author who is interested in finding new readers for their books. Let’s begin with Seumas, since this is his blog, after all, and he was the one who started my brain rolling in this particular direction.

We make the announcement that we are beginning a GoReadMe! Campaign (and I’ve just added the exclamation point there to the name, because I think it looks better …) for this author and we’re looking for 50 new readers who will “pledge” to read either one of the author’s books or a specific title. Not only will they pledge to read the book themselves, but they’ll also agree to recommend that book to another reader who will join in on the GoReadMe! Campaign. That way, we only need to find 25 unique readers, because those new readers will find the other 25 for us. The campaign lasts a month, let’s say, during which time the author, and the author’s friends, promote the campaign, and the author keeps a public tally on their blog of the number of people who have pledged, and their names (or those who wish to remain “anonymous”), who have committed to reading a book and finding other new readers for it. Simple!

And, if friends have already read the author’s book(s) but still wish to become involved in the GoReadMe! Campaign, they can help by promoting this idea to their friends, encouraging others to become involved in reading this author’s great books!

In the end, what the “Readers” receive by pledging in this way is a warm/fuzzy feeling of not only discovering and reading a new book by a great author, but also the knowledge that they are helping to promote reading in general by becoming involved in this campaign in particular and encouraging more people to read.

By the way, I believe that the personal recommendation of a book by a friend is a much more effective way (word-of-mouth) of promoting a book than any review on Amazon or Goodreads, so that’s why I’m not suggesting that “write a review” be a requisite for readers pledging to take part in this campaign. No pressure, folks! Just pledge to read the book and find at least one other new reader. What can be simpler than that?

So, let’s begin the experiment, shall we?

Announcing … the GoReadMe! Campaign for Seumas Gallacher!

We need 50 people to pledge to read at least one of Seumas’s Jack Calder novels (listed below) and to recommend to one other reader that they do the same. You have 30 Days during which to pledge. This Campaign ends on Sept. 22. Please sign up in the comments section of this blog post. Thanks for taking part in this initial GoReadMe! Campaign!

Links to Seumas’s books:





wallpaper 2…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff Author’s Golden Moment.. are you THAT Mister Gallacher?…

…fame, infamy, notoriety, call it as yeez will, comes in many forms… those of yeez who honour me by following this Blog regularly will know I’m no stranger to the promotional requirements of being a scribbler… indeed, I ceaselessly harp on about the efficacy of being public… of being present… the use of the SOSYAL NETWURKS, the availability for magazine features, Guest Speaker engagements at various Societies, Book Clubs, colleges, schools and universities, formal signings at retail bookshops, and generally, just being out there in Readership Land… all these are grist to the mill for the modern writer… but every now and then, along comes an incident that just blows my mind… two nights ago, I had reserved a dinner booking with some close friends… the restaurant, Teatro, is housed in Downtown Rotana, one of Bahrain’s newest and excellent hotels… a couple of hours before getting ready to leave for the place, the efficiency of the establishment is such that I received a phone call to confirm my name and the reservation… a pleasant young receptionist lady took the details once more and that was that, or so I thought… a few minutes later, another call… the same lady… she apologized for coming back to me, but said that as she was looking at my name on the reservation slip, she thought she recognized it ‘from sum’where else’… she asked, ‘are you THAT Mister Gallacher, the Author?…’ any of yeez out there in Blog Land who are novelists, authors, writers of any medium will understand the immediate glow and impact these few WURDS had on this ol’ Jurassic… ‘THAT Mister Gallacher’…I recovered a modicum of sang froid to reply that I was indeed THAT Mister Gallacher’… she said she was thrilled to know that I was dining that evening in their restaurant… she had read some of my books and LUVVED them!…


…needless to say, I took a couple of books to dedicate and sign for the charming lady, who, as you can see from the picture, is not only (obviously) a connoisseur of fine writing, but a beautiful advertisement for their restaurant… thank you, m’Lady, Rajen… you made a happy man very old!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…my dear friend, Authoress Anne Allen’s new literary baby, ECHOES OF TIME, is born…

…a close ‘literary family’ friend, Authoress Anne Allen, delights me by allowing a Birth Notice on this ‘ere blog regarding her latest beautiful baby, ECHOES OF TIME

Iphoto for email

Thanks so much, M’Lud Seumas for allowing this humble scribbler to take up ink – or should that be type? – room on your world-famous blog. I believe we both sent out our first-born books into the world around the same time more than four years ago. Doesn’t time fly when you’re having so much fun? I’m now releasing my fifth bairn, I mean book, into the cruel world, so I guess this means I’ve had quintuplets, only separated by time and space. Whatever.

I write The Guernsey Novels series, named for the beautiful island where all (or most of) the action takes place. I spent nearly fourteen happy years there when my children were still children and not the grown-ups they’ve since become. After reluctantly returning to England in 2002 and continuing to practise as a psychotherapist, I finally took the plunge in 2006 and began writing my first novel, Dangerous Waters.  It was my homage to the place I loved. At the time I had no idea or desire to write a series. I just wanted to prove I could write a novel. One that would be snapped up pronto by and agent and publisher, making me the fortune I was already spending in my head. Alas, dear reader, it was not to be. Salvation came in the form of self-publishing, allowing me to launch my book in 2012 to muted acclaim, but a chest-full of pride. Having enjoyed the writing process so much, I promptly started on the next book, also set in Guernsey, and it wasn’t until after I’d finished it that I realised I was writing a series. Book three heralded ‘The Guernsey Novels’, a series of standalone books linked to each other by characters and place.  And by book four the quartet had bright new covers and began to look like the siblings they are.

3D Cover x 4 PNG (1)


…Anne has reduced the price of the second and third ebooks to 99p/99c from 12th – 19th August (the first is perma 99p/c) 


So now to book five, the star of this show. ‘Echoes of Time’ proved to be a slight variation on a theme for me, being the first dual-time novel I’ve written and I loved writing it so much, it won’t be the last.

Echoes of Time  3D Cover

Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite – I hope☺

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…

Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.

All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake.

Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-

but there’s a price to pay. . .

Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…

Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.

Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?

And here’s an excerpt –

chapter one

Guernsey – 1987

Olive was cooking her usual meagre supper of scrambled eggs on toast when the sound of heavy footsteps outside made her jump. No-one ever visited and this was how she liked it. Always had. Her heart pounded as she moved the pan off the blackened range and turned to face the back door. Unlocked as was the custom in safe little Guernsey. Or was it safe? Grabbing a knife she watched, immobile, as the knob turned and the door began to open. The man stood silhouetted against the early evening sky and she stared hard at his shape, puzzled. There was something familiar about the slope of the shoulders and the angle of his head. Her mouth went dry in the moment before the door closed and he moved into the light.

It couldn’t be! Not after all this time…She felt her legs tremble and leant back against the range.

‘Hello, Olive. Bet you didn’t expect to see me again, did you?’ He chuckled, humourlessly.

She hid the knife up her sleeve and pulled the darned cardigan around her thin body. Old memories surfaced as she fought to stay calm.

‘We…we heard you were dead. You didn’t come back–’

‘No, well, I found someone and something better, didn’t I? But it doesn’t look as if you have.’ His gaze was contemptuous as he looked her up and down, and Olive was conscious of how unkempt she looked. Poverty does that to a person. Whereas he was immaculately dressed in what looked like a designer suit. A successful man. She watched, helpless, as his gaze wandered over the kitchen, and she registered, for the first time in years, how dirty and shabby it looked. The kitchen which had once been kept spotless. Feelings of shame, mixed with overriding fear, flooded her mind. What did he want?

His eyes alighted on the only personal item in the room. And the last thing she wanted him to see. She moved forward, attempting to block his view, but he pushed her aside and picked up the photo in its cheap wooden frame.

‘Who’s this?’ he demanded, his face flushed with anger.

A look she knew all too well.

Her stomach clenched. Could she lie? Pretend it was someone else? As her head whirled with possibilities he seized her arm, twisting it. She cried out in pain and the knife clattered onto the granite floor. Swiftly he grabbed it while still holding onto her arm. Olive’s knees buckled.

He thrust the knife towards her chest and she screamed.


‘Don’t even think of lying,’ he hissed.

‘It’s…it’s my…our daughter–’

The world went black.

Amazon Author Page:

…great novels, all, thanks m’Lady, Anne… go fill yer Kindles and stuff, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…do not go gentle into that good United Kingdom… Master Gallacher Girds for GB-Land…


…the legendary WURDS of the unmatchable Dylan Thomas reverberate among what’s left of my wee grey cells as I prepare for a trip back to Blighty and parts of North Britain… ‘…do not go gentle into that good United Kingdom…’ …Master Gallacher Girds for GB-Land


…luggage check:

  1. Toothbrush… check
  2. Change of woolly knickers… check
  3. Laptop, the writing of literary masterpieces for… check
  4. Change of carbon paper for copies of #3 on Mac… check
  5. Loads of copies of my Jack Calder crime thrillers to ‘accidentally’ leave lying around in railway stations, bus termini, airport lounges… check
  6. Three felt tip ‘signing pens’ to assuage the baying public’s lusting for author-signed books… check
  7. Several pieces of paper carrying the name of my Agent, lest I forget it (as if!)… check
  8. Several other pieces of paper carrying my own name, lest I forget it  (highly possible)… check
  9. Two alarm clocks to ensure I’m awake in plenty of time to meet author/reader/web pals in Manchester… check
  10. The same two alarm clocks, to ring in Gaelic, to ensure I’m awake in plenty of time to meet author/reader/web pals in Glasgow… check


…the invitations for each of the get-togethers in Manchester and Glasgow remain, with only three weeks to go… here they are again:


…Master Gallacher intends to visit Manchester in early September this year, and would be enthralled to meet any pals on ‘ere for a coffee, in that excellent city… likely time frame: post-breakfast, morning of Friday, September 2nd, say, general vicinity of Holiday Inn Hotel, City Centre… please DM me on here or email on …would be great to hook up… cheers… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


…Master Gallacher intends to Glasgow in early September this year, and would be enthralled to meet any pals on ‘ere for a coffee, in that excellent city… likely time frame: post-breakfast, morning of Saturday, September 3rd, say, general vicinity of Millennium Hotel, (next to Queen St. Station)… please DM me on here or email on …would be great to hook up… cheers… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…he would have made Welsh poet W. H. Davies proud…

…my author pal, Brendan Gerad O’Brien, asked me if the following piece was ‘suitable’ for a Guest Post… well, I think it’s ‘more than suitable’… amusing, thought-provoking and surprising all in one shot… see what yeez think yerselves…


Mistaken Assumptions 2
One of the hazards of working in a major supermarket is dealing with shoplifters. In a place the size of ours this was a daily occurrence, sometimes two, and three, even four times during a busy period.
There were the usual suspects, of course – career thieves who believed we owed them a living and that there was nothing wrong with robbing a supermarket. The only crime they recognised was getting caught.
One particular guy – he called himself Rambo – was a nasty piece of work. Built like a brick shed with tattoos on his tattoos, he didn’t have a neck, just a bullet head sticking out of his enormous shoulders. No one challenged Rambo unless they had a posse of security guards to back them up.


Anyway, one bright summer morning, I had to go in early for some reason and as I rolled into the deserted car park the sun was shining and the birds were chirping away in the surrounding trees. As I got out of the car there was a shout like a fire-cracker going off.
I spun around, and my heart nearly stopped. There was Rambo lurching towards me, little puffs of dust spurting up from where his knuckles pounded the ground. In one nanosecond a million questions flashed through my mind. Is this how it ends, torn to pieces in a supermarket car park? Will Jennifer ever know what really happened? Is this how the kids will remember me, stuck back together with superglue? Is my life insurance still good? Who’ll get my Andy McNab collection of hardback books?
Then he was beside me, blocking out the daylight.
‘Listen,’ he snorted.
‘What?’ I know I said the word. I just couldn’t understand how it came out of a mouth that was drier that a Bedouin’s sock in the Gobi desert.
‘The birds. Can’t you hear them?’
I tried, but all I could hear was my heart thumping in my ears.
‘Aren’t they beautiful?’ Rambo continued, pointing around at the trees. He took a deep breath through his nose, sucking in so much air that a wayward shopping trolley came rolling towards him.
‘I love this time of day,’ he said. ‘So beautiful and calm. I love the peace and quiet.’
Suddenly his eyes glistened.
‘What is this life, if full of care,’ he sighed, ‘we have no time to stand and stare.’
I swear there was a sob in his voice. Then he was gone, lumbering off across the car park with the shopping trolley following in his wake.
I never looked at him the same way again. Though I still wouldn’t challenge him unless he’d been tazered five times and wrapped in duct tape…

LUVVED THIS, Brendan!, thanks for sharing it… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff