God bless all who sail in her (them).

Last night, a long-awaited dream came true. I attended my own book launch. Or, I should say, books launch. I’d waited so long, I figured I might as well kick off with two. It wasn’t a good date to hold it: lots of people couldn’t come because of end of school proceedings, or early Christmas celebrations, or travel plans, or illness. I expected about 30 would come along and I’d have been happy with that. Instead, about 80 people attended the launch! I was overwhelmed. So many people, seemingly quite delighted on my behalf, clutching copies for me to sign. Amazing. Some even brought a present! A present! I’ve got to lift my game. I’ve never given a present to any of my author friends! The two guest speakers were wonderful. Dr...

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At long last …

Back in February, during my first meeting with the publisher, the Old Boy suggested that we ask Tim Costello, the CEO of World Vision in Australia, to speak at the book launch. We laughed.  (It was always my dream to have something from World Vision at the back of the book, as their rehabilitation work with child soldiers was the inspiration for my story.) The publisher said  I should contact Mr Costello and ask him to write a foreword, or an endorsement for the books. We laughed again. I thought he was joking. At the end of August, when I handed in my proofs, the publisher said, “Have you heard from Mr Costello, yet?” I felt as though I’d been slapped across the face with a wet fish. He hadn’t been joking! I had no idea how to contact Mr...

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#MeToo

I’ve been watching the #MeToo thing pick up momentum. I’ve been both saddened by the number of women who have typed #MeToo, and yet I’m also encouraged by the fact that we are finally speaking up and being heard. I thank God I was never sexually abused or raped. I had a firm but loving father, who encouraged me to reach my potential. I went out with young men who didn’t make unwanted demands on my person or, if they did, graciously accepted my negative response. And, I married a champ. (Kudos to the Old Boy.) So, I was one of the lucky ones. However, let me share a few of my not-so-happy experiences. I remember riding my bike home from school, followed by a car full of young men calling out rude and suggestive things to me. I was...

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Just an update

I’ve just had the latest dose of Denosumab. (Immediately my mind says: Ah Denosumab, Grand Vizier to the court of pharaoh and close friend of Imhotep.) Chatting with fellow patients while I waited, I was once more reminded of what a blessing this drug is to me. Next month, it will be six years since diagnosis. Six years! Anyhoo … I’m feeling a bit crap as a result of this wonder drug, so I’m not going to comment on Trump’s display of statesmanship with the hurricanes – especially poor little Puerto Rico – and the Las Vegas massacre. I’m sure you all have your own opinions on that. Neither will I comment on his latest executive order that restricts women’s access to birth control. (I grit my teeth with the...

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My bomb is bigger than yours

Here’s my suggestion for sorting out the North Korea v America situation: ignore Mr Kim. You see, he’s the third generation in a line of megalomaniacs, known for their draconian authoritarianism but not much else. He’s not the brightest cookie in the jar although, in the world of politics, that’s not always a roadblock on the path to success. (Come on, we can all name a few.) Nth Koreans don’t have the internet, or a mobile phone, or watch western movies, or any television shows other than Nth Korean ones. They have no access to the outside world, so they have no idea what is going on outside their borders. They only know what their “dear leader” tells them. As far as the bulk of the Nth Koreans are concerned, Kim Jong Un...

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