Something About Me

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In every day life, John Jackson, a former Ship's Captain now retired. He still retains an avid interest in the Hash House Harriers, Rugby, Food, Romantic Fiction, Philately, etc etc etc.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yes, where did the last two weeks go?

We have the house!! Just for once everything went absolutely brilliantly; we arrived in York and met Pat & John, our oldest friends (42 years and counting), plus their kids, Angela and Clare, plus a whole host of youngsters AND India Lily 

On the way in, we had a call from the estate agents to say the keys could be released. After catching up (12 of us) over lunch, we shot through to Haxby and took over the house. AND – its great. Its bigger than we thought, although there's lots of work to do. We don't expect to move in until Easter(ish) BUT we have our house! Note to self: its 600 m from the pub!

Oh, and it was just 5 weeks (Yes - FIVE WEEKS) from making the offer to exchanging contracts. Anyone who needs a good solicitor - call me.

Reviewing romantic fiction! In a moment of madness I volunteered earlier in the year to review some romantic fiction for the RNA for their awards Much to my surprise, the offer was accepted, and out of the blue, just over a month ago I got a phone call from the lady who coordinates all their reviews. Actually, by this time, I had given up any prospects of being selected. I was even more surprised when she asked me to read and review five books before the end of the month. I mean, it wasn't as if I had anything else on my plate, like buying a new house, or whatever!

The books (all paperbacks) arrived VERY promptly, and with them came some excellent advice to reviewers. Its not just reading the book and saying you liked it or not. There are a whole range various facets for the different genres that the RNA want your opinion on. It may well be that, as a male reader, they wanted me to be “in the fold”.

One of the odder things about the process is that, if I was going to do it properly, I felt I couldn't look up the authors on Amazon, or look up any existing reviews, or check out the authors on Google, Facebook or Twitter. Even now, I can't post any reviews myself (not until the results are announced next year). Luckily, I didn't know any of the authors by name or reputation already.

For the record, of the five books, 3 were very good, 1 was a good read but not really eligible in its class, and one was dire.

Oh, and, at the end of the day – its only MY opinion. The one I didn't enjoy, I just wont review – because, after all, its only my opinion.

Would I do it again?? Bring it on! (although a bit more notice next year would be good)

Strictly continues to entertain - apart from Bruce and Tess (don't get me started!). Now its getting good. My forecast for the final? Susannah, Sophie and Natalie. On a side-track, Vinthent Simone has gone off to the jungle, where some of the insects in the bushtucker trials are actually bigger than he is!! I don't think he'll do too well (sadly)

So next week we have DD2 to stay – its her Christmas week. We expect to spoil her. We have to show her and DD1 the new house, too. After that its the Christmas party season. I'll be joining friends in London for theirs, then over to Brussels for theirs.(and the Brussels Xmas market, chocolate, etc.)

Have we finished our Christmas shopping yet? I'm feeling quite smug.

All comments welcome, of course.


  1. Congratulations on getting your house - hope you can move in sooner than you think and that you'll be very happy there!

  2. Interesting blog, John. I hope you're both very happy in your new home and it has room for a big bookcase.

  3. That you've even started your Christmas shopping, John, makes me envious!!

    An interesting blog. I had no idea until I saw your comment on twitter earlier this week that you were a RoNA reader. Happy Reading!