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Showing posts from June, 2021

A Weighty Issue #2 - The Meaty Question

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This blog will feature many things that interest me or that I'm involved in. I've also chosen to use it to share my personal lockdown weight loss journey. My  first post on the subject seems to have gone down quite well. So here's Part 2. I'm going to be talking about my approach to the emotive subject of meat. Veggie and vegan chums may want to look away now. I'll start by saying that I am a meat eater. But I'm a picky meat eater. And an informed and ethical meat eater. Much of my attitude towards meat stems from my childhood. It's fair to say that a great deal of  the protein I was served up as a child came fresh and direct from the land or the sea. Growing up in Cornwall, and coming from a family of shooters and fishermen, my diet regularly featured game. I ate rabbit, pigeon, woodcock and pheasant, and I enjoyed freshly caught fish like mackerel, pollock, and gurnard, along with prawns and crab. Some of my earliest memories involve hunting for delicious

We'd Like a Word

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A few years ago, BBC producer and author Paul Waters was hosting a chat show on a local radio station based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire - the nearest large town to where I currently live. Meanwhile, I was co-hosting a local history show at the same station with retired BBC radio producer and local historian Andy Aliffe. But not all was well. Paul was becoming increasingly busier in his day job and had a novel to edit and present to his publishers. I also had a book on the go and was about to start a freelance contract for the Home Office. Research, recording and editing for a two hour long weekly show was starting to feel more like a chore than a joy. So, when our 'season' reached an end - local radio tends t rotate themed shows to allow new presenters to have a go - we both decided not to renew. However, the bug to broadcast was still with us. And we both love books. Plus, we both like meeting and interviewing interesting people.So we wondered whether we could put togethe

A Weighty Issue #1

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I've struggled with my weight for years. And I have no excuses for being overweight and unhealthy. I'm not 'big boned' (whatever that is). I don't have a 'glandular problem'. Yes, there is undoubtedly a genetic element to my obesity. But, let's be honest, it's 99% because I eat too many calories and don't burn enough of them through activity/exercise. It really isn't rocket science. 20 years ago I achieved a personal worst when I topped 21st (I'm just under 5' 10"). I should be between 12 and 13 st (67-83kg).  I tried every fad diet to knock off the weight ... the F Plan, Paleo, Atkins, Lighter Life ... you name it. They all worked and I lost weight. But then I put a lot of it back on again because I returned to my default eating habits. I've spent 20 years as a human yo-yo made of lard. I LOVE food. I love cooking and inventing new recipes. I love baking. I delight in trying out new techniques. And I really love cooking for

Golowan - Penzance’s midsummer festival

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This is the week in which Golowan – Penzance’s midsummer festival - would normally be celebrated. Sadly, however, festivities have had to be cancelled for a second year due to the Covid pandemic. Let's hope that it - like all British traditional festivals - will will be back with a bang in 2022.  So what is Golowan and what does the word mean?  'Golowan' comes from a combination of two words in the Cornish language: gool (a feast, fair or festival) and Jowan – the Cornish for the name John. The name has gone through several mutations over the centuries - in the 1750s it was recorded as 'Golruan' - but loosely translates as 'The Feast of St John', which is celebrated on June 24th (around the time of the Summer Solstice). The Golowan festival takes place over a week leading up to Mazey Day on the 27th June. On the festival's official  website , Tom Goskar explains that the current festival was resurrected in 1991 by a group of enthusiasts from Alvert

Coming soon - Cockerings!

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(Click on the image above to see a larger version) For my first proper blogpost I'm going to indulge in some outrageous plugging. And why not? In a crowded market stuffed full of celebs and influencers, the little guys like me have to shout the loudest. My new novel COCKERINGS is published on August 19th. The back cover blurb pretty much tells you all you need to know. It's a comic novel of greed and devious dirty deeds and an unlikely love story set among the rural landscape of my fictitious county of South Herewardshire. It's savage at times and I'm delighted to report that clowns do get maimed. It's my third South Herewardshire novel - the first two being A MURDER TO DIE FOR and THE DIABOLICAL CLUB . Both are still in print. All three novels form a loose trilogy although they can all be quite happily read in isolation. I should briefly explain that the title of the new book is pronounced as 'Corrings'.  There's a curious tradition here in the UK, an