Monthly Archives: September 2014


me and my bikeWent shopping at the weekend on bicycles. What a fabulous way to shop; we had to take a road out to the end of Cossington but after that, it was all leafy lanes, canal tow paths, the sides of lakes, edge of Syston playing fields and then along the brook to the village centre. There are cycle racks at the side of the brook and the world’s best butchers just over the road.

To all of those ‘serious’ cyclists who race past me doing forty miles per hour and sneer a little, at the way I give cyclists a bad name by not wearing a cycle helmet, can I just say that I’m doing about twelve miles per hour on a canal tow path and so I’m unlikely to sustain much more than a scrape when I fall off. Secondly, I’m not frightening the bejasus out of pedestrians and anyone trying to step off their own boat! Pedestrians tip their hats to me and thank me for having a bell to announce my presence. People seeing you tend to dive into hedgerows. People not seeing just lurch sideways and clutch at their chests. If you do forty mph round Watermead Park and had any desire for the good name of cyclists, you’d have to provide crash helmets for all pedestrians. Its not yourselves who are in danger of head injuries here.

The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter, by Rod Duncan.

cover -bullet catchers daughter

I have loved this story since I first heard Rod read the very first line from the very first page. It was an except from The Bullet Catcher’s Handbook and so full of beautiful language and subtlety, I knew it would satisfy my love of nostalgia as well as good story-telling.

I have just learned that my review of Rod’s book has been chosen as one of those in a ‘best of’ list and that makes me very proud.

Rod Duncan’s fabulous writing takes you to places you never knew you wanted to go. I never knew I was a fan of Steampunk! He has created a world in the Gas-lit Empire that is so completely believable, it affects you long after you’ve put the book down. Elizabeth Barnabus is a heroine for our time; Lizzie Bennet meets Lara Croft. She finds adventure between the grinding difficulties of life in a misogynist world and with constant threats from overbearing authorities. (Well which of us hasn’t been there.) To these problems she finds solutions that are intelligent and elegant, but is not above tucking a pistol into her stocking top should the need arise.