Erratic Schedule



This post is an apology for my failings in the weeks and months ahead.

You’ve been warned.

I’ve even got some sneaky excuses that might even be genuine.

First, I have to warn you that my posts will appear erratically. I will attempt some kind of weekly post, but no wild promises lile, “I will post something every Tuesday”. Attempt can mean that nothing will appear.

There will be a few guest posts, like this Friday’s post from Kristina Stanley, whose novel “Blaze” I reviewed recently. Her latest book, “Avalanche”, is released on Saturday.

And there will be the intermittent book reviews, like the one that I should write for my current read, the “Dying for a Living” Box set, by Kory M. Shrum. It feels like a slower read than normal as the set has three books, and I know that there are two more out there. Will I get that far?

Finally, I will try to write my monthly IWSG posts, although that may be a fail come October. That’s because of September 20th.

QM2For those that don’t know, that is the date when we embark on the QM2 and head for the USA, and the next stage in our life-adventure. Yes, we are selling our home in Harlech, North Wales, and by the end of September should be in our new home in Boise, Idaho. There we will have my wife’s family to support us. Bliss.

Although the IWSG post for October is on Wednesday 5th, our computers will still be in a container between Wales and Idaho. In fact, our possessions may not arrive until sometime in November. Okay, we have a small HP Stream notebook for travel, but I’m still adapting to it.

The HP Stream will get its second outing next week, when we head to London for my interview with US Immigration on Wednesday June 29th. Checking emails is probably the most that I will achieve, but don’t expect any comments on your blogs or here.

In fact, with all the preparations prior to the move, I’m already commenting less, visiting fewer blogs, even writing less. That is likely to become the norm as time sails on. Cruising on the QM2 will be a kind of luxury, but connecting with the cyber-world will be off the menu. Just seven days pampering ourselves perhaps. As for the dogs, they travel first class, with their own cabin/kennel, steward, bedtime biscuits, poop deck, designer jackets, and more.

queenmaryNot looking forward to the road trip though. Getting from New York to Boise will be a challenge for all of us. At least, Juanita’s son Jason will be driving across to collect us.

Anyway, by October – maybe November – there will be a large backlog to catch up. Or should that be a Backblog?

I’ve deliberately evaded any reference to aggravating health issues, but they seem to be growing. The niggling bladder, the stabbing spasms, rebellious limbs, the depression, the exhaustion, and the frustration never go away. Sometimes I can escape into another world, either one of my own creation, or a book I’m reading, or a game that takes me to a ‘a galaxy far, far away’. But never for long. Too soon I get interrupted by the MaelStrom or MonSter.

I’m praying that a change of climate, from the dampness of Wales to the dry warmth of Idaho, will be the healing touch; along with the loving support of family.

Hopefully, by December and the holiday season normal service will be resumed.



Passage to America

The USS Macon sails over lower Manhattan, on October 9, 1933. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

The USS Macon sails over lower Manhattan, on October 9, 1933. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

A short while ago we were attempting to get my US visa, buy a house, sell this one, and then fly ourselves and four pets to the US by Christmas.

That’s now a non-starter.

No prizes for guessing why we’ve had to postpone. Just accept that there was the lack of fraternal support over here, regardless of the excitement across the Atlantic.

So we have postponed my medical – the next stage in the visa process. We’ve also put a hold on the whole housing issue. Now we have to face months more of living in a difficult situation.

However, we have made a momentous decision, not least because flying the four fur babies was not only daunting, but also stressful for them – and expensive. It was going to cost us £4,000 to fly them, and then £16,000 to get us there, since it’s better to fly business with my disability problems.

Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor

Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor

So our passage to the United States will now be on September 20th 2016. And if you haven’t worked out the method, then you missed the visual clues.

Yes we are flying by airship.

Of course not. We are sailing for seven days on Cunard‘s Queen Mary 2, from Southampton, England to New York. Luxury yes, but cheaper than flying. Great accommodation, wonderful facilities and places to explore, delicious food,

Cunard, Queen Mary 2 - Stateroom

Cunard, Queen Mary 2 – Stateroom

The jaw dropping Grand Lobby on the Cunard Queen Mary 2

The jaw dropping Grand Lobby on the Cunard Queen Mary 2

Britannia restaurant by Carlo Mirante

Britannia restaurant by Carlo Mirante

AND most important of all: the liner has special kennels for dogs and cats.

They get to have their own area to move around and play in, with their own Kennel Master. It even has an outdoor ‘poop’ deck for the dogs. They may not want to leave the ship.

Queen Mary 2's Kennel program

Queen Mary 2’s Kennel program 

Gypsy by Catherine at Ancora Crafts

Scully by Catherine at Ancora Crafts

All very exciting, and it gives us something to aim for, even though it’s tinged with disappointment at not being with the family for Christmas. More time to learn Welsh, perhaps.

And leaving England behind this way means that one of my last views will be of the Isle of Wight, where I spent many happy summers as a child. Summers when we saw the great ocean liners arriving and leaving, like the Queen Mary.

The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary at Southampton in 1960s - copyright Chris Howel at

The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary at Southampton in 1960s – copyright Chris Howel at