Menu

Stuart Lennon

Writing about stuff

Battleback

“More Golf?”

Now, now, dear reader. Relax.

You sound like the wife.

This post is only tangentially about golf.

Yesterday I took part in a golf day at my home club Tidworth Garrison Golf Club.

It was a match between BattleBack Golf and Rugby’s Golf Club. I slipped in with a few other club members to even out the numbers.

Please do check out the links above, a great golf club and two superb sports initiatives. All the links will open in separate pages.

Back with me? Good.

I was playing with the two people in the picture. They were playing for the BattleBack team.  – That makes them injured service people.

On the left we have Fiona, who was injured while training and has had and continues to have multiple operations on her shoulder and knee. On the right is Jimmy who managed to get himself shot five times in the leg on Operations.

Both people that might have some justification in feeling a bit hard done by as well as not a little bit sore.

Not a bit of it. They were both bundles of energy, out to have fun. Out to get recovered.

It’s all a matter of perspective apparently.

Jimmy has not yet got a handicap, and was predictably a bit erratic. When he got it going the right way, you can take my word for it, that ball stayed hit. As his leg recovery continues, and he continues to play (he has just started) he will comfortably pass me in golfing prowess.

Fiona is an accomplished golfer. To demonstrate the point, she knocked in a hole in one on the thirteenth. (That is the green that you can see on the left of this page.) A beautiful shot and her first hole in one.

FionaGrayHIO

The purists will of course need to know that Yes, poor Fiona was hit for a very large round of drinks!

Quite apart from sharing in the delight of that rare thing, the hole in one, the whole day was brilliant.

Dinner was hosted at Tedworth House.

Here food was eaten, some jokes were told, some wine was drunk and there was even a little auction action.

A gentleman called Mark was asked to say a few words about Help 4 Heroes and what it had meant and continues to mean for him.

I cannot recreate what he said or how he said it. I am not sure that I can adequately express how much sincerity weighed down each and every one of his words.

I can write that BattleBack and Help 4 Heroes are important. Like life and death important.

Days like this are about perspective, and understanding what things really matter in life.

My perspective? How lucky am I to have the chance to write what I want, do what I want – because brave Men and Women go out and serve.

 

Chamberlain-Peace-in-our-Time-1938

The picture above is of Neville Chamberlain, a very nice chap, who is perhaps unfairly remembered almost entirely for his utterance “Peace in our time”.

He had met up with a little chap called Hitler and they had agreed that young Adolf was not going to do anything that might upset the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

So that’s all right then.

Chamberlain was far from alone in recommending that we avoid war at all costs. The vast majority of the USA was of the same mind, for example. Frankly, the young Nazi chap was clearing Europe up a bit. A little close to the line perhaps, particularly if you were Czech for example – but ultimately, better to let him get on with it, than risk war.

Appeasement they called it.

As a policy, it didn’t go terribly well.

Recently, a key issue in the parliamentary election in the UK has been Immigration.

Even more recently, we have been gripped in the new soap opera called ‘Grexit’.

There has been an enormous amount of focus on the harrowing and difficult conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, there have been some other bits and pieces of news. It is these bits and pieces that I wish to bring to your attention.

The UK military has been known to refer to the island of Cyprus as ‘our permanent aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean’.

More recently, the European Union made an example of Cyprus – forcing it to impose a levy on all bank accounts or drop out of the euro. In plain talk, savers in some Cyprus banks made an involuntary donation to the public purse. That showed them.

Completely coincidentally, Russian investment in Cyprus increased. While the rest of the world was running for cover, Russia was investing in Cyprus. In March of 2014, they even sent an aircraft carrier to pop in.

The Cypriot government has granted Russia access to a deepwater port and airfield you see. How very neighbourly.

Then there was a little fracas in the Crimea. All a bit difficult to follow for us Western folk – but it’s okay, that nice chap in Moscow sorted it out.

Something about a deep water port down there too. Still you have to admire the consistency.

I know that it is difficult to believe, but this Vladimir chap has also found the time to help out in Ukraine. Apparently there are a whole load of people in the Ukraine who really want to be best friends with Russia.

In fact, rather than move to Russia, these people have decided that they must take up arms to defend themselves from their own government. Thankfully Vlad has it all under control.

Meanwhile – The European Union is taking no prisoners in Greece. Time to make an example of them. Quietly, Vlad has offered to help out his comrades in Athens if they can’t make up with their European buddies. How nice of him.

What is amazing, is that this caring, community chap used to be a cold war warrior. He spent his life in learning subversion techniques – Hearts and Minds, I think that we call it.

After Mr Chamberlain waved his bit of paper and declared “Peace in Our Time”, well..

There wasn’t.

Resized Macbook

Patient things, characters.

Three months I had been away, charging about doing this and that.

Doing anything but writing.

I return to my manuscript and there he is, just where I left him.

I refer to the hero of my novel, Sean.

Given that I had left him in a bar chatting up a very attractive girl, its not really surprising that he was in no rush to move on.

I have posted elsewhere that I simply was busy and that this is why I was neglecting young Sean and not writing. It is true, there has been a lot on.

However, as Sean moved us forward on Monday, I came to realise that I might be a bit shy.

No, seriously.

You see, things in the bar were going well. Sean was ‘in’. All things being equal, Sean was going to get some bedroom action with Natalia.

DSC03447

The Hard Rock Cafe Budapest – Photo Courtesy of Edith Medcalf.

I wrote a post on writing sex before.

I did, in fact, leave Sean and Natalia to it. He seemed pretty confident that he knew what he was doing. They went off to his room, I went off to mine and we all got together in the morning and moved on.

How very grown up of us.

Once again, life is throwing things at me, but this time, I am reluctant to leave Sean. I am anxious to learn where we are off to next, what we are going to get up to, what new people we are going to meet.

I am enjoying this writing lark.

imac27_imac21_photos_print-100595823-gallery

(Image taken from MacWorld)

I love IT. I love technology. I love gadgets.

The problem is, that generally I only have a vague idea of how to use any of them.

To my wife’s constant annoyance, the house is littered with IT kit that is rarely or poorly used.

We have thousands of TV channels in multiple languages, On Demand, and a very swish Blueray player. All completely unnecessary to watch the BBC News.

I am writing this post on my IPad mini. Later, I might revisit it on my MacBook Air, or possibly on my IMac. Should any of you call me, I will answer on my IPhone 6.

Really.

I need to find a support group.

It turns out that there is one. There are more of us. IT ‘early adopters’ with the technical know-how of a turnip.

We are the main readership of several prominent blogs like LifeHacker, T3 and Imore to name a few of my favourites.

We voraciously consume post after post on how to be more efficient, or on what fantastic new app is going to revolutionise our workflow (whatever a workflow might be).

We read in awe as proper ‘techies’ exchange views on the relative merits of IFTTT versus Pushbullet.

In the tech world, there are three IT Giants that control pretty much everything. Apple, Google and Microsoft.

In a gross over-simplification, Apple make amazing hardware, Google is king of the Internet and Microsoft keeps big business running.

About five years ago, I became an Apple ‘Fanboi’. The IPhone was my gateway hardware, and apart from a brief dalliance with a Dell – I have been an Apple junkie ever since.

Then I discovered that for email – the real deal comes from the mighty Google. I can get all of the amazing functionality of G-mail but in my own imaginatively named domain (stuartlennon.com).

gmail

The drawback of Gmail is that really smart people at Google cannot, for the life of them, work out why I would want to keep my email anywhere, other than on their servers.

So, Gmail doesn’t play nice with email clients that look to organise email on your own machine. Clients like Outlook for example.

Microsoft have done OK with software.

There’s a thing called Windows that has kind of done OK and their office suite (including Outlook) is almost universal.

MS Outlook Logo

So, right now – my dream team would be G-mail integrated with Outlook on Apple Hardware.

Microsoft have now released a Microsoft Outlook that plays nice with Apple.

Hurrah!

But Microsoft and Google?

No. We are not playing nice with them on computers. On tablets, Yes. On phones, Yes.

But on computers?

No.

Outlook won’t play nice with Gmail on a Mac and I want something that works across all my devices.

I still can’t have it.

The IT company that comes out on top is not going to be the smartest or the most aggressive.

It is going to be the one that listens to consumers.

 

 

 

 

An Author’s Life

The link above will take you to the blog of Ben Adams, a very dear friend of mine.

Well actually, not a very dear friend. We have never actually met.

Ben Adams

Dashingly handsome though isn’t he?

I stole the picture from his website – so he is doubtless lining up a cohort of solicitors to take me for every penny I’ve got.

We might have swapped the odd blog comment, or even twatted each other – sorry, I think that should read “tweeted each other” – but Ben is fast becoming a mentor to me.

He has done it, you see. He has written a book and published it. I know he has actually sold some, because I bought one. Counting his Mum and the ones he bought himself, he must be in double figures now at least.

Don’t tell anyone – but it is actually pretty good. Buy the Kindle version here

A couple of months ago, Ben took the huge step of resigning a perfectly good job to focus on being a writer.

Nutter.

He is soon to publish another novel! That will put him ahead of Harper Lee in terms of output at least.

How envious am I?

He’s living the dream. He is writing. He has all the time in the world to sit there and write – to immerse himself in his characters, writing darlings, WRITING!

Whereas I, I, …. I, …oh wait a minute….I’m not working much either am I?

What he is doing, is knuckling down, eliminating excuses and making time to do what he wants to do – Writing.

He has established a routine and got on with it.

Hmmm…

Must dash – I have a novel to write!

Stuart Lennon. Abbots Ann, Hampshire. April 21st 2015. Copyright Warren James Palmer. www.wjpphoto.co.uk 044 1264 848 056

Stuart Lennon. Abbots Ann, Hampshire. April 21st 2015. Copyright Warren James Palmer. www.wjpphoto.co.uk 044 1264 848 056

Me again! Hello there. How have you all been? Or perhaps that should read how have you both been? I’m back.

I have been a busy busy boy. My Mum is now living around the corner, which is great; and I have access to a lovely place in Cyprus.

I have played a fair amount of golf – burned some meat in the name of the British summer and even kept the garden quite tidy.

Life is good.

On the corporate front, I’m looking after a couple of clients AML and CTF needs, which is keeping my hand in and provides a welcome trickle of revenue.

I even have appointments set up to review acquisition opportunities with my business partner. Look out World of Commerce – we’re on our way back.

What I have not been doing, is very much writing or communicating on social media.

Procrastination? One of those things?

A bit of both, I suspect.

But now…I’m back.