Monday, 5 February 2018

February already!

Crikey, it's February already. Where the heck did January go? 
Down Under I suppose that Australia Day marks the end of the long summer holidays for most which started just before Christmas.
I have spent one Australia Day actually in Oz – in Brisbane along the famous River of the same name. The RAAF F111 bomber screamed low, so low that Jap tourists on the Ferris wheel probably looked down on it! Brissie is a fine city and I will go back one day for sure
You can tell it's winter here and summer Down Under by the plethora of airline ads on the TV with Qantas, Emirates and Qatar all trying to shift hordes of frozen Poms to warmer climes. I wouldn't mind myself but I'm going to have to wait until later in the year. 
My first flight to Oz was memorable and is covered in the first of my short stories which I called 'What kind of biscuits?' What an odd title you might think and you'd be right!
If you read my Tales of Oz then please give me your thoughts – good, bad or indifferent. I've got a thick skin and all feedback is welcome. Let me know which of the twenty stories you liked best and which you think best sums up the Australian character.

Until next time....

Mark AKA The Sunburnt Pom
2nd February 2018

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Happy New Year!

A happy new year to everyone – except England's cricketers. The Poms were fried and not just by the Aussie sun. Well done Australia. Our mob just seem to treat an Ashes Tour Down Under as winter practice in the sun. Perhaps we could ask Canberra if we could resurrect an old Penal Colony for failed Pommy cricketers. Now there's an idea! Richmond Prison in Tassie would be ideal and just think how many extra thousands of visitors it would get if they could see sunburnt English cricketers breaking stones in the mid-day sun – without those silly sponsors caps on of course.

Well, the release of my 'Tales of Oz'  paperback is only a couple of weeks away now. I can't wait to see it 'in the flesh' as it were. Containing just twenty short tales it is a slim enough volume to make it 'airmail friendly' from the Old Country.

I am already looking ahead to a sequel but it will have to be after my next trip, maybe later this year. The new Qantas non-stop flight from London to Perth looks a winner to me so I am saving up my pennies.

Until next time....

Mark AKA The Sunburnt Pom
10 January 2018

Monday, 18 December 2017

Season's Greetings

Well Christmas is almost upon us once again and I am pleased to say that the cards I posted from England to Oz have arrived – well most of them anyway! Cards to friends 'across the ocean' are the only ones I really worry about.

The other good news is that I have signed off the proof copy of 'Sunburnt Pom's Tales of Oz' which I am happy to say is on target for release on 26th January – Australia Day.

The recent vote on Gay Marriage in the Oz Parliament made me chuckle as it reminded me of an anecdote in the second story in the book which I called Boutique Beer. You'll have to read it for yourself.

For the moment you can get it only from YPDBooks

Have a great festive season and see you again in the New Year.

Mark AKA The Sunburnt Pom
16th December 2017

Friday, 1 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas

Well, as usual we Poms got stuffed by the Aussies in Brissie. How predictable is that? I wish I was there – or maybe not!
Cricket or no cricket the State Capital of Queensland is a truly beautiful city and I have made two separate trips there.
Sufficient anecdotes stuck in mind from places and people to make me write several 'Queensland stories' for my forthcoming book 'Sunburnt Pom's Tales of Oz.' 
The day on Fraser Island which I called 'Jurassic Park Oz Style' will stay in my memory forever. I am sorry this book has only been on Amazon Kindle thus far but it will be launched as a slimline paperback in time for Australia Day next month. It will be lightweight to make it 'airmail friendly' and I am hoping to emulate the success of possibly my favourite  Oz book of all time – Let Stalk Strine!
Initially it will only be available from – checkout the website to pre-order.
Back to cricket, moving house recently I unearthed a photograph of the Aussie Touring Team to England in 1961 which my grandfather had bought for me and posted to Malta where we lived at the time. Some of the names are now icons....Bill Lawry...Richie Benaud...I could go on.
Can any other sporting contest, anywhere in the world, ever equal the Ashes? I very much doubt it!

Have a great festive season and see you again in the New Year.

Mark AKA The Sunburnt Pom 
1st December 2017

Friday, 14 July 2017

My Hong Kong book and The Queen

The last numbered book in this Limited Edition,  No. 1997, was reserved for the last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten. Some readers asked what happened to No.1
I can now reveal that No. 1 was presented to the Queen. Hong Kong was after all the last of her real Colonies and one could argue that the night of June 30th 1997 marked the end of Empire.
I have received a delightful letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace informing me how touched Her Majesty was to receive it.

Readers ordering this limited edition hardback will thus receive a number between 2 and 1996. I am sorry it is not possible to order a specific No. When the limited edition has sold out readers will be offered a paperback version at a lower price.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Hong Kong hardback now available

Here is the link to the newly released hardback.

Readers might like to know that the last book No.1997 was reserved for the last Governor, Lord Christopher Patten and it was dispatched to the House of Lords this week. I hope he enjoys it!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Election - not long now

The general election will soon be over one way or the other, thank goodness. Aren't you, like me, just so tired of our TV screens being filled with the same people – politicians and journalists alike?

At least in this country we just 'carry on as usual' the shops and pubs are still open, and there aren't queues at banks and ATMs. Many years ago I was on a Canadian Pacific train from Vancouver to Winnipeg on election day and all bars and liquor stores were closed by law. Having just got off a ship and being loaded down with gin, rum and whisky, unsurprisingly we were the most popular passengers on the train – particularly with the crew in the guard's van at the rear.  Can you imagine all our pubs being closed on Polling Day? I certainly can't! Riots or what?!

Should we adopt the Aussie-style compulsory voting with a fine for failing to do so? I have mixed feelings. What do you think?

4th June 2017