Saturday, 12 November 2011

Life is Happening!

On the soundtrack today 

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? Who wouldn't want to be asked this question?
I'm a sentimental so and so, SO, I love romantic songs with beautiful lyrics. The lyrics of this song get me everytime, and sung by the very amazing Barbra Streisand, it is totally sublime.

Quote for today
 Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight in cleverness                                   ~ THOMAS HUXLEY

Featured Article, Website or Blog
Karen Catalan is a feisty, ex New Yorker, now living in Amish country. Her Blog is very funny and takes a look at life around her, especially its quirkiness. She is a Twitter friend, and the type of person that I would like to have as a friend in real life because I like people with a sense of humour, and Karen has it in spades. And oh yes, she writes!
Recipe for today
Fish and chips
Fish fried properly, is a true British art form. So at the bottom of this Blog I'm going to give you my favourite recipe for fish in a crispy coating of batter, which is the way it should be. With chips of course!
My 2nd book! How conceited is that?
I ask that, because the 1st one, SMALL FREEDOMS, isn't even out there as yet! Currently doing a very thorough 5th edit of it.
Anyway, the 2nd novel is called ALWAYS, NOT FOREVER. I have written more than 56,000 words of it, so I'm getting there. A lot less work than you'd think, because I'm what is referred to as 'A Task Driven Author'. I didn't know that that was what I was doing when I started. It just made organized sense to write like that.
First (over a period of several days) I outline the entire story. This is referred to as a 'treatment' in the script writing game. Then I break everything up into chapters. Enlarge the chapter summaries, add, subtract, etc. etc. Then I start writing. NOT necessarily in any coherent order! If I'm out shopping, or on a tube and something comes to me, I'll jot it down and as soon as I get home, add it to the relevant chapter. I always carry bits of paper or a small note book with me for these jottings. If not, I'll just write on anything!
I'm a great note-taker. As I write this, there is a pile of at least 50 A4 sheets of paper beside my laptop, covered with my notes. On BOTH sides!
I have several large plastic containers filled with my notes! Can't throw them out because I keep telling myself that someday I might need to refer to them. Freudians would definitely say that I'm arrested at the anal stage!
Here then is a very brief outline. Of my 2nd novel, not Freud's anal stage!
ALWAYS, NOT FOREVER is a love story. Set in the world of showbusiness and high finance.
Regan Laine, grew up in an orphanage, and by the time she reaches her late 20's, is one of the richest women on the planet. Homes all over the world, private planes, and an island in the Caribbean. Everything she had ever wished for. But no love interest. A chance veiwing of a DVD of Josh Jackson, the world's most famous singer, makes her set her sights on him. She organizes her busy schedule, so that when she does meet him, there is nothing to stand in the way, should things work the way she wants them to. They do, and after a whirlwind romance, they marry on Bariba, her island in the sun.
But...things do not go smoothly. Josh's old habits from life on tour, die hard.
I have to tell you all, that I'm just loving writing this book. So totally different to Small Freedoms.
Guess I'm going to be a multi-genre author.
Is that a good thing or not?
Since my last post, I have bought myself a Kindle! So far, have only downloaded 1 book. PERIL by @Ruby_Barnes. Boy, can Ruby write! I haven't finished it as yet, and hate having to put down this really fast paced thriller every time I have to get back to my own writing. Will write a review just as soon as I've finished. Ruby, like Karen, is a Twitter friend.

OK, so let's get the cookery show on the road!
'Chips' are what we call French Fries. But I'm sure everybody knows that.
Receipe for Fish and Chips
4 pieces of your favourite fish
400 grams plain flour.
3 level teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
550 mls ice cold beer
200 grams potatoes per person  (more or less, up to you)
Oil for frying 
Heat oil in fryer or deep pan to 185° C.
Mix the baking powder and the flour with the salt. Whisk in the cold beer until you have a thick batter. Do this just before you cook the fish.
Dip the fish into the batter with your fingers, then slowly lower into the hot oil. Hold the end of the fish for a moment, until the batter 'sets' all round. If you just drop it in, it will go to the bottom of the fryer/pan and stick!
If you are using a fryer with a basket, this is the pits! It sticks to the basket, comes away from the fish and you end up with something that is inedible. The voice of experience speaks!
Once it's frying nicely, shake the basket (if used) a couple of times. This is further non-stick prevention! And don't overcrowd the pan/fryer what ever you do.
Depending on the size of the fish, cook for about 4-6 minuts, until it looks wonderfully golden.
Lift out, drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately with chips.
Real British chips are thickly cut, crisp and golden on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. To ensure this, you need the right potatoes. Floury old potatoes are best. In England, we use Maris Piper or King Edwards for the best chips. I don't know what is the best potato for the job in the USA, but I believe that there are many varieties that can be used.
There are many schools of thought about the best way to get the great chips.
I 'blanche' them (until they are cooked through but not browned) at about 120° C, lift the baket up, bring up the oil temperature to 160°C, then lower the basket. Chips will go golden very quickly. Drain on kichen paper and serve with the fish.
Do be careful you don't burn the fish or the chips. Easily done!
I have, on a few occasions, eaten chips fried in dripping. Frankly, I think it is the best. Taste-wise, that is, NOT health-wise.
I could talk about cooking forever, but won't! Have said enough for today. But, as Fran Lebowitz once said: 'Food is an important part of a balanced diet,' So I'll keep cooking, and eating!
Bye until next time.




Saturday, 22 October 2011

Tag Along

On the soundtrack today 

At This Moment, by Michael Buble. This is not a 'happy' song, but the melody and tune are so beautiful, and Mr Buble does a pretty wonderful job on this track.

Quote for today

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.                                                        ~ BARBARA KINGSOLVER

Featured Article, Website or Blog

The article in question has had me hot and bothered for a few days. It's all about what is expected from an author, before an agent takes you on. This is of course, after you have written your blockbuster, and after you have been checked out for suitability.  i.e. you look good and are suitable for promotion.
Don't forget, agents sell you first! I kid you not. And, if indeed you have written a good book, that is a bonus!
My thoughts, my opinions. Based on what I have learnt.
Not at all surprised that so many authors are now self publishing.
What I want to know, is what do Agents do to really earn their money?

Recipe for today

Spaghetti/linguine with smoked salmon.

This is a very quick, very easy take on this popular dish. With of course, my little additions! Recipe at the bottom of this blog.

The 4th book I'm going to write! (Oh yes I am!)

This is quite funny. Last week I gave the overview of the 3rd book I plan to write, based on a script I have already written. Today, I'm going to tell you about the 4th book. But... I seem to have overlooked the 2nd book, now sitting  quite comfortably at 56,321 words!
I can count, and I haven't forgotten, I promise you. It's just that I haven't written a short synopsis as yet!
All of you who have done this, will know how hard it is. It has to be done, so I will endeavour to have it finished by next week and incude it in next week's blog.

Anyway, here's an overview of book #3. Political Science. I happen to love this script. Once again, this is based on an original idea by yours truely!

BTW, All my work, treatments, synopses, film scripts and novels are registered with the WGA. It is quick and easy to do online, and  very reasonably priced. Everyone should protect their work in a similar way. I'm sure you all do!

POLITICAL SCIENCE is the story of Afro American biochemist SAM BOWLOCK, ex member of the covert American organization The Agency. SAM inadvertently opens a Pandora's Box when reseraching into Progeria, he stumbles on a formula that can destroy people of any age, provided they have African blood in them. The formula is so robust, it only has to be added to a water supply to take its terrible effect.

GEORGE ST-JOHN SMYTHE, SAM'S girlfriend's father, is more than a little interested in SAM'S discovery. He is one of the founder members of an extremely secretive right wing group of international multi millionaires, The Ministry. Their sole aim is to annihilate people who they consider non white, whom they blame for all the problems besetting the world. 

GEORGE has the formula stolen, has it put into targeted water supplies world wide, and sits back with the originator of The Ministry, Russian oligarch DENIL BORKOWSKI to watch their dreams of an untainted world come true. The world they don't want, is dying. But soon the world The Ministry had hoped would come out on top, is dying too. The virus, now called Internal Ageing Syndrome (IAS), because there are few external signs of ageing. Sufferers only show quick degenration of internal organs seen at Post Mortem. Everyone is dying because IAS has no genetic boundaries.

The Agency want SAM back, and The Ministry want SAM dead. The cat and mouse game begins, with the world at stake.

GEORGE'S dreams turn into the worst type of nightmares when his daughter and mother die from IAS. It is Armageddon time.

With the help of The Agency, in a secret underground laboratory, SAM works against the clock to find a counter active serum. Outside, the population of the world is decreasing at an alarming rate.

SAM develops an anti serum, and makes his precarious home run for Downing Street.

This is the WHY of intended World domination, not just a little story about somebody's greed. This is a story with a moral. Take heed, because it could happen!

Winston Churchill famously said 'In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.' I don't think that I could survive on a diet of my own words, but I certainly could (and do) on my own cooking! So, let's cook!

Spaghetti/linguini with smoked salmon (for 2)

8 ozs (225gs) spaghetti/linguini
4 ozs smoked salmon
1 medium onion (grated)
1 cloved garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup double cream/créme fraîche
1 desertspoon tomatoe paste/puree
1 oz butter
Hand full of fresh dill, chopped
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the instructions, and according to how al dente you'd like it to be.
Gently fry the grated onion in the butter until it is translucent. Don't let it brown! This will totally change the flavour.
Add the garlic, then the tomatoe paste or puree. Cook this gently for a minute or so, Then add the cream or créme fraîche, stir to incorporate onions and puree, add the chopped dill and a squeeze of lemon.
At the very last minute, add the smoked salmon. Season to taste, but remember the smoked salmon is quite salty.
I always tuck a few extra pieces of smoked salmon in amongst the pasta before pouring over the sauce.
Serve at once. 
This is because the smoked salmon will cook in the hot sauce and hot pasta. It will still taste nice, but the smoked salmon will 'swell' and look/taste more like regular salmon!

I like the addition of the tomatoe paste to this dish. Gives it a sharp taste that I find missing in the dish that is made the conventional way. I also prefer liguini in this dish to spaghetti, but that's just a personal thing! You can also add more or less of anything you fancy to this receipe. You are cooking for you, so get the food to suit your taste buds!

This is a very quick and easy recipe, and very cheap if you buy packets of smoked salmon trimmings. They are readily available here in London in all the supermarkets. Don't know about in the USA. I'm sure they must sell them there as well!

Thank you for reading all this. See you next time.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Looking Forward - The Way to Go!

On the soundtrack today

Something old and something new, but boy does it work!
The incredible Mr. Tony Bennet and the cooky, amazing Lady Gaga sing The Lady is a Tramp.

Quote for today

 A word is not the same with one writer as it is with another. One tears it from his guts, the other pulls it out from his overcoat pocket ~ CHARLES PEGUY

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I love what the lady does and why she does it. Claire is a lady with a big heart.

Recipe for today (at the bottom of this blog)

Easy Salmon Fish Cakes with lemon mash and quick dill cucumber pickle.

The 3rd book I'm going to write!
This is NOT wishful thinking! I can do this!

I have already written the full length screen play for this, so will be able to convert the script to book form, relatively easily. Have already done such a 'conversion' already, so more or less know what it involves.
Here is a brief synopsis. This is based on an original idea of mine.

The Counting House
The Counting House is an 'I know who dunit' because there is no doubt in audience's mind as to who the murderer is. It's the people in the story who haven't a clue, or at least that's how it appears.We have a psychopathic billionaire, with a passion for the Incan civilization, who has to kill, everytime one of his companies makes an acquisition.

Money, power, everything he could possibly want are his, but without these almost ritualistic killings, his cup does not run over. The killings are his gift to himself. In ancient Incan days, ritual sacrifices were made of perfect people. Our killer seeks 'perfect people' from newspapers.He is pursued by a policeman who only has a gut instinct that he has the killer in his sights. But nobody believes him and so he is the butt of everyone's jokes. What follows is a game of cat and mouse. But who's the cat, and who's the mouse?

The story is set in the world of high finance, plush cars and private jets. This is the world of big business and big take-overs, giving our serial killer all he wants, and then some. All of this is seen through the prism of Incan and Moche sacrificial rites, and ends with a paranormal twist!

That was food for thought, now here's food for your tummy!
Was stuck the other day. Had 2 salmon fillets and 3 people for an unplanned meal!
So, here's what I used and did for the Salmon Fish Cakes
Amounts, as usual when I'm cooking, are approximate!

2 salmon fillets (poached in milk with a bay leaf)
1 large potatoe, boiled and mashed
Half each red and yellow bell peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons each, chopped dill and parsley (fresh)
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon toasted ground rice (or use a beaten egg)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
Oil and butter.

Fry the diced onion and bell peppers in a little butter or oil until cooked. Cool. Gently mix cooled mashed potatoes and flaked salmon with pepper/onion mix, add dill, parsely, lemon zest and juice, and season to taste.
I now add the toasted ground rice to bind everything together, as an egg sometimes makes things too sloppy.

BTW, toasted ground rice is the 'secret ingrediant' in many of the things I cook. It binds burgers and kebabs beautifully, and thickens stews, curries and gravies wonderfully well. Since it's already cooked, it works in no time, and doesn't add any flavour of its own.

Shape mixture into the number of fishcakes you want (depends on size, I guess), dip into seasoned, beaten egg, coat with breadcrumbs, and shallow fry, turning once or twice, until they are beautiful and golden. Remember, everything is already cooked, so the frying only takes a few minutes.

Lemon Mash

Stir in some mayonaise (how much will depend on how much you like mayo) some lemon juice and the zest of a lemon into seasoned mashed potatoes.

Quick Cucumber Dill Pickle

Finely slice some cucumber (I use a mandoline) pour over some white wine vinegar, add sugar and salt to taste (should be on the sweet side), add some chopped dill, and there you have it!

Not at all complicated and tastes quite yummy! I had this earlier in the week.
I cooked up a pot of fabulous Beef Rendang yesterday. Got to say that it was totally scrumptious. Thank goodness I have enough for today as well! Served with Singapore noddles. Oh gosh, to die for!
Was intending to put the recipe here, but it's long drawn out, and at the moment I'm trying to concentrate on quickish recipes.
Am going to start photographing what I cook soon, and put the photos on here.
Thanks for reading all this. See you next Saturday!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Adding and Subtracting

On the soundtrack today

Michael Buble 'Hold On'

Quote for today

'If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough' ~ Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
                                                                                           Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2011
via @PadmaTenzin RT by @thezenblog on Twitter

 Featured Article, Website or Blog today
I loved his review of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi's book  Half of a Yellow Sun so much, I ordered the book straightaway!

Recipe for today 

Fig and Goat's cheese salad (at the bottom of this blog)


A lot got subtracted, but there was also a fair amount of adding, in order to make things clearer, to read better!
I removed a poem I had placed at the end of an overly long 1st chapter, where the main character, Georgie is murdered. (I also deleted the bulk of that chapter)
The poem is full of alliteration, which I LOVE, and if you read the first letter of each line, it will read GEORGIE IS DEAD.
I though it was quite clever when I wrote it, but I think it falls into the category of 'indulgence'.
My son's terminolgy after he read the first chapter before the edits! Lets hope he approves of the diligent pruning!
Anyway, here's the deleted poem!

Going, going, gone to that place of voiceless voices, and
Endless nights of soundless sounds, now that life’s
Overdraft is overdrawn and there are no
Raging reasons, no rebelling rebuttals, just a
Gargantuan gambit, garnering all those
Impious instincts in a once timeless time
Ending in endless eternity.
Is there to be
Somewhere for all her eternities on that
Downward spiralling spiral where
Everyone is welcome
As long as they are

I can't put that in my hat and eat it, but I can and did eat the Fig and Goat's Cheese salad TWICE this week!
Love it, love it, love it!

2 fresh, ripe figs per person.
Goat's cheese (or a good Feta will also do)
Salad leaves ( I like rocket. Arugala in the US)
Roasted red/yellow peppers (from a jar is fine)
Salad dressing of your choice.
Cut each fig into 4. Lay them onto a small mound of salad leaves, tuck a few pieces of the roasted peppers around the plate, put as much goat's cheese (or Feta) on there as well and sprinkle the amount of salad dressing that tickles your taste buds.
I prefer a more lemony tasting dressing.

Enjoy this easy to assemble dish. Great for a starter. Great at ANYTIME for me!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Long synopsis of SMALL FREEDOMS

Spread over more than 9 decades, Small Freedoms is the family saga of a Dutch Burgher family from Ceylon, and takes the reader from Ceylon to Madras in India, to England and Australia. The story moves through the gracious living of colonial times in the tropics, to the soul destroying life in colder places, in a world of dashed dreams and faceless people, where reflections of yesterday are hard to see in the tarnished mirrors of the family’s lives.
Georgie, the principle character is the 3rd daughter to be born into the well to do Whittensledger family.  In the first chapter, set in London in 2005, she is murdered. The perpetrator is somebody she knows, but the reader doesn’t find out who it is until the pen-ultimate chapter.  To find out who Georgie was and who would kill a 90 year old woman, the book goes  back to 1914, the year before Georgie was born, and then travels forward, weaving together the fabric of this dysfunctional family’s characters.
At the age of 13, Georgie falls in love with her eldest sister’s fiancé, Voan.  He rapes her, just a few day days before his marriage to her sister Eddy, and drags himself out of his world with Eddy and into Georgie’s, forever.  Much to Georgie’s surprise, she finds out that she is pregnant. Her father does not want to know the name of the person who has made her pregnant, for fear of killing him, and makes a decision that is to change the course of everybody’s lives, forever. He sends her off to Madras to have the baby, accompanied by Eddy and Voan.  The baby boy, named Dennis, is registered as the son of Voan and Eddy, and goes through most of his life unaware that Georgie is his biological mother.
George forces his daughter Georgie into a loveless marriage, which remains unconsummated until its dissolution many years later. Her husband, Lloyd is a womaniser, and makes his friend’s young daughter pregnant. He convinces Georgie to adopt the child, without telling her that he is the child’s father. They call her Penelope.
Georgie’s other sister, Charlie, marries the man she wants, but starts to develop signs of Munchausen’s Syndrome soon after the birth of her first child. She makes life very difficult for her daughter, Rochelle, who leaves home at fifteen, and is not heard from again.
George has a stroke brought on by Georgie telling him that Voan is Dennis’ father. He dies, leaving Emma to validate her own life without him. The wealth built up by George has been eroded by Voan. Eddy and Georgie’s homes are sold, and everyone moves in together into the family home. Georgie and Voan start a real love affair, condoned by Emma. The charmed life, now over, and Ceylon’s independence means the Burghers are no longer the favoured few. Charlie and her family had left to settle in Australia in 1951. Plans are now made for the rest of the family to move in their own directions, where, not being adroit at standing alone, they will stumble into the slipstream of life, and lose themselves, just trying to live in those worlds.
Georgie goes through her life, a lost soul in search of a requiem, Voan, the face imprinted on her heart, the silent voice in her head. That is until, at the age of 48, in London she meets Lewis, 13 years her junior, and falls passionately in love with him. When he finds somebody a lot younger than himself to be passionate with, Georgie rebuilds the bridges she had burned, and turns back to Voan.
Eddy dies. Georgie travels to Australia and marries Voan, but the memory of Lewis is forever in the way. Love and life with Voan is unlike the dream she had forgotten to forget. After Voan’s death, Georgie goes back to London, and lives in a state of suspended animation. Her senile dementia develops, and in her mind, she has the love affair of her life with her young priest.

Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

I have decided to omit the last 2 chapters in this synopsis!
That would give the whole game away!
Will castigate myself if necessary!


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Life Goes On.

On the soundtrack today
Peel Me a Grape by the wonderful Nancy Wilson with the great Ramsey Lewis on piano

Cooking today.
Thai (ish) fish curry with steamed rice.
(Recipe at bottom of the blog)

Life goes on, and I'm so happy that it does. I'm really happy with my lot!
Apart from starting on the 3rd edit of SMALL FREEDOMS, I have totally focused my mind on where I want to be 1 year from today. Where do I want to be?
I want to be at a place where I have 4, maybe 5 books out there!
Sounds like a lot to ask of myself, but it's not!
SMALL FREEDOMS is almost set to go. ALWAYS, NOT FOREVER, my 2nd novel, at 52,709 is halfway there. AND, I plan to turn 2 or 3 Filmscripts I have co-written with my son, into books. The ones where the original ideas were mine of course!
They are, THE COUNTING HOUSE, a psychological thriller; POLITICAL SCIENCE, the extreme politics of racism and ALMOST CRIMINAL, a comedy caper about some 1960's gangsters in London, but with a very dark side to it.
I'll be posting short synopses of of the 3 film scripts and ALWAYS, NOT FOREVER in my next blog.
Nearly forgot to mention that a few months ago I wrote 2 short poems. Not for any real reason, just felt like it. A few days ago I entered them both into a poetry competition! I don't think I stand an icecube's chance in hell of winning any of the prizes, because it is an International competition, and anyone can enter, which means published poets!  But, I've done it! Pleased with myself about it, too.
Unfortunately, I can't put them up here, because it is for unpublised poems, and even putting them on a blog is considered as 'published'.
For anybody interested in entering, you can find information about the competition on the Poetry Society website.
I'm going to post the full synopsis of SMALL FREEDOMS as a seperate blog, later today. It is quite lengthy, and would make this particular blog prohibitively long. Plus, I need to make a few amendments/changes. For example, should I give the game away and blog it as it actually is? Or leave everybody in suspense, as to 'who dunnit'?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Recipe for my Thai (ish) fish curry follows. This is a firm family favourite, and my son's girlfriend's favourite food of all time! (Up 'til now, anyway!)
I have tried to put in quantities of ingriedients. I say 'tried' because I cook EVERYTHING by taste or judgement. A bit of this, and a bit more of that. And it works! I know what taste I am aiming at, and adjust accordingly.
It is actually a mixture of a Thai Green Curry and a Thai Yellow Curry.


4 fillets of any white fish.
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 pieces each.
1 medium onion chopped.
2 cloves garlic chopped.
2 tbs Indian curry powder.
Up to ½ pint coconut milk (made from powdered coconut milk)
1 tspn cornstarch, slaked in a little water.
Handful chopped corriander (cilantro) roots.
Handful chopped corriander leaves.

2 Kaffir lime leaves or 2 teaspoons grated lime zest.
1 stalk lemon grass (tied into a knot and removed when food is cooked)
2 tbs chopped/grated ginger.
4 tbs Nampla (fish sauce). This is what adds the saltiness. Add more if you need to.
1 tbs palm sugar (any sugar if you don't have it!)
1 tbs oil.


Fry the onion in the oil until translucent, fry the curry powder for a few minutes, stirring all the time. Add the garlic. Add the coconut milk and everything else, except the fish and potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes.
The cornstarch will stabelize the coconut milk and stop it from 'splitting'.
Add the potatoes. When they are almost done, add the fish. Simmer for a few minutes, until fish is cooked.
Serve with rice. I prefer Basmati, but it's up to you what you use.
Please adjust this to your taste. You want more palm sugar/ corriander/curry powder? Add them at the appropriate time. You want it with a bit of a kick? Use Madras curry powder, or add a few chopped green chillies! You can add a few prawns or any other seafood as well. Add more cocnut milk if you feel like having lots of lovely soupy gravy for the rice to soak up.
This is a very flexible, forgiving recipe!
I have made this with pieces of mixed fish on more than one occasion. Salmon goes quite well in this curry.
Hope I haven't left anything out.
If any of you try this recipe, please get back to me and let me know how it went!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


SMALL FREEDOMS, my first novel was a book waiting to be written. Needing to be written if you catch my drift.
I come from a dysfunctional family. Come to think of it, a highly dysfunctional family! I was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) By the way, I prefer the name Ceylon! As in the book, I am a Dutch Burgher, which basically means I am a mongrel! Bits and pieces of German, Dutch, Portugese and probably a lot more nationalities, but who cares? I am what I am!
From about the age of 7, I had given a lot of thought to what had been going on around me. At about the same age, I developed a love of reading and writing. I became a voracious horder of information about the family. Every useless bit was tucked away into my memory files, until a few years ago, when I knew the time was ripe to open up those files and do something with the information.
I have woven a story around what I knew. It is a roman á clef novel,  which of course means that it is fiction based on fact.

SMALL FREEDOMS is spread over more than 9 decades. It is a family saga of a Dutch Burgher family, and takes the reader from Ceylon to Madras in India, to England and Australia.
The story moves through the gracious living of colonial times in the tropics, to the soul destroying life in colder places, to a world of dashed dreams and faceless people, where reflections of yesterday are hard to see in the tarnished mirrors of the family's lives.
How much is fact and how much of the book is fiction?
Even I am now finding hard to draw any lines!
There are parts, that people who know me and my family will realise are figments of my writer's pen. There are people in the family whom I don't care for, and therefore, I have not given them any life in my world of SMALL FREEDOMS!
Others that I don't care for, have been given a bad press within the pages of the novel. They were an integral part of the family life, so couldn't be omitted!
Writing and researching this book has taken me more than 5 years!
BUT, I have written several film scripts during that period.
Have just finished my 2nd edit. Going for at least one more! But at 145,931 words, it takes time!
I'm going to put a long synopsis of the book on here within the next few days
Wish me luck people!