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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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

.....And a Short Cool Summer *sigh*

Time for another blog update!

A busy couple of months too. I have been insanely busy editing and correcting “the book”. I submitted it back in June under the New Writers Scheme. For my non-writing friends, this is a scheme organised by the Romantic Novelists Assoc., whereby – if you are accepted– they will arrange for your manuscript to be given the “once over” by an experienced author who knows what they are doing.

The lady who read and critted my MS did a brilliant job. I’ll never know who it was – that is part of the deal. It is completely anonymous, but the level of detail she covered was brilliant. A shed-load of work, but all very do-able and all sensible. So if she happens to read this – many thanks.

I’ve now reached the stage where I need to send it out into the cruel wide world to try and find an agent who will take it on. I’ve still got about 3 weeks more work first. It still needs a final polish.

I’ve been busy on the Social side, too. I went down to Oxford for the biannual UK Nash Hash – exceptionally well hosted by Oxford H3. Before the festivities started I had time for a very convivial lunch with a favourite author and friend – Liz Harris.

While my running days are over, I go purely for the joy of meeting old friends. Besides, who could resist a weekend imbibing the excellent Hook Norton?

Loads of friends there, but more special than most was seeing Whad-Ya-Say (known in the civilian world as Iain McRobbie) up and around after a shocking accident when he was knocked off his bike. Long may his recovery continue. Even the weather smiled for most of the weekend.

This is the famous Whad-Ya-Say, Good to see!

Oh, and for the avoidance of doubt, I can confirm that Oxford is FULL of outstanding pubs!

London H3 still throw a mean cocktail Party - and dress accordingly!

Hashers en-mass are always a colourful bunch!

Two friends from my local RNA Chapter, Lynda and Jane, arranged the RNAs first event in the North of the UK, “The York Tea”. We had the use of the Guildhall in York, handily close to Bettys, and a gorgeous venue on its own.

About 85 RNA members and guests turned up, some from considerable distance away – and a seriously convivial afternoon tea was had by all. Kudos to Lynda and Jane (and their other halves) for putting it all together. What we’d REALLY like now is for one of the other RNA Chapters to take it on for the next one.  

 This is Katie Fford who has the biggest smile on the face of the earth and came for the day all the way from Cheltenham!! THAT's dedication.

A great venue!

 The afternoon started with a glass of prosecco, which certainly had the desired effect of loosening everyone's tongues, and finished with the hysterically funny Milly Johnson presenting a paper comparing Northern Birds with their Southern Counterparts. I laughed so much the tears ran down my legs. 😂

I resumed my visits to Silverstone this year, going back for the Silverstone Classic. 2 days of classic sports and racing cars, back from my formative years and even before!

This was when racing cars LOOKED like racing cars – besides, what can you say about a race with 7 Bentleys and 3 Bugattis – all from the 20s and 30s.

It does rather help if the rain stays away.

Coming up, I’ve got a weekend writing course in a couple of weeks – just up the road from our old home in Evesham. Hopefully I’ll be in time to get a few punnets of plums. It's jam, jelly and chutney time again. Haxby, our village, has a couple of crab apple trees right outside the Post Office and Sainsbury's. There are also a lot of Rowan trees, so we now have a stock of Crab-apple Jelly, and Crab and Rowan Jelly nestling next to the beer in our garage-cum-beer cupboard.

Next time, I’ll tell you of the frustrations of trying to find an agent and/or publisher!



  1. Fabulous pictures, John, and you neglected to mention your own part in the RNA Afternoon Tea, where your input (and your way with a camera) was very much appreciated! And, ah, Vienna has finished Uni there I need to find another excuse to visit the lovely city.

  2. Thanks, Jane. It WAS a very good day. :)

  3. You've been very busy, John.

    Have to say the old classic racing cars are the best. :-)

  4. I love all the photos! What a very full life you lead, John, and with such a variety of activities. It was great fun meeting up in Oxford before your UK Nash Hash, and I was just sorry that there couldn't be action replay in York as I was on holiday at the time.

  5. Thanks, Liz - it was a VERY enjoyable lunch!

  6. Oxford does indeed have some lovely pubs. Was that the interior of the Three Goats Heads? I spent many an evening losing at the pub quiz in there (my college was just around the corner).

    1. Errr...... It might have been.

      Actually it was LOL. x

  7. Hi John. Loved reading this. You have such a fun personality which comes through so great here. Love the pics & seeing the other ones of the homes of your characters in Ireland. Fascinating stuff.

  8. What a busy and interesting summer you've had. I haven't even managed to get to a RNA conference yet, although I really want to at some time, but it's been an expensive time as one of my two horses has arthritis and the vets bills are horrendous. (People think because I have two horses I have plenty of money, in reality, because I have two horses, all my money goes on them and I don't have anything left, but I love them and have to make them my priority.) I usually manage to attend the Festival Of Romance though, but that's been cancelled this year. Never mind, tomorrow is another year, or something like that! :) Good luck with finding a publisher for your book!

    1. Thanks Hywela. Animals of any kind are expensive! If you want to make a small fortune with horses, start with a large one!
      Hope to see you again at an event soon