Newsletter July 2020


Firstly, apologies for the cloud coverage in the North West of England. My wife bought a telescope and apparently that simple action is liable to bring about bad weather in any region one is purchased.

I hope you’re doing okay.

I’ve just been outside to bring the washing in and it’s flying ant carnage on our patio. It looks like I brought the washing in at just the right time as I’ve just watched them take flight. A curious thing because it should be quite a pretty thing to watch but all it’s done is make me watch to scratch myself.

Sky News report on flying ants

I’m still working on The Faceless Invasion, the first book of which, Arrival, was due out a bit earlier this year.

But, I’ve never been a great estimator and the book is taking a bit longer than I’d originally planned. That’s because the scope of the series has changed from what I had in mind, but the changes to the scope are going to be worth it. I’m very excited about releasing the first book as soon as it’s ready.

Thanks for your patience.

Star Wars: Rebels ends

I started watching this again with my son when we got Disney+ a couple of months ago and fell in love with it again.

For a show ostensibly aimed at kids, it was a terrific piece of storytelling, offering something for my 9 year old and myself to enjoy.

Star Wars Rebels fitted between the prequel movies and the original trilogy. It followed a small group of rebels fighting the empire, and over 4 years it delivered.

But sooner than I’d have liked, it reached the end of its story, bringing us close to the start of Episode 4, but with the promise of more adventures to tell.

Unfortunately, those of us wanting the next Star Wars animated series to be a continuation are left a little deflated. The next series is going to be Star Wars: The Bad Batch, picking up the story line of a group of clone troopers from the Clone Wars TV series. Luckily, I’ve not yet watched all of the Clone Wars so I’ve still got something to watch in the meantime.

3 things

  • Teaching during a pandemic is not fun, at least not for me. Both my wife and I work full time. We have a 9 year old, and a 13 year old, neither of which have been in school since March. Trying to keep them focused on doing any kind of school work has been stressful. If you’ve been in this boat, I hope your school has been more supportive than ours.
  • I’ve been reading a decent variety of stuff. Still making my way through the entire The Walking Dead comic series from a recent Humble Bundle promotion. Also almost finished Adventures from Amity: Tales from the Jaws Ride by Dustin McNeil. Niche choice, sure, but my wife and I loved that ride so much at universal and I’d heard plenty about the original being different to the one that most people went on. It’s a good read. I’ve started reading My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. I saw the paperback in W H Smith last year and was solely tempted to buy it based on the brilliant cover. In the end I bought the cheaper kindle version but am enjoying it so much, I might treat myself to the paperback version as well.
  • I’m listening to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood on Audible. I watched the first episode of the TV show a couple of year’s ago but wasn’t taken enough to watch the rest. And I haven’t yet got round to reading the book so when an Audible offer came around, I snapped this up and have been listening to it whilst running. It’s a good book read by Elizabeth Moss. She’s an awesome narrator.
  • Which leads me nicely to films I’ve watched recently. I finally saw The Invisible Man, also starring Elizabeth Moss. That is totally my horror vibe. Low budget (for a hollywood movie) it has great actors and enough creep factor to unsettle. I like my scares to be subtle and this delivers perfectly. (I was going to link to the trailer for the movie, but watched it and it totally tells the whole story, ruining all the surprises. What’s the point of that?)
  • This week sees the first week back to running with the club. Over the last few months, the club has been great at trying to motivate people through monthly challenges, but I’ve found it a struggle to be honest. I had 6 races lined up this year and all bar 1 were cancelled, including my first marathon. And I was ready for the marathon, able to run 20 miles about 3 months before the race. Now, it’s a struggle to get to 10. The running club is good for that as it gets me to push myself to go that little bit faster, and that should improve my fitness levels. Plus, it’s nice to see a few more faces.
  • I’ve decided after years of deliberating that it’s time for me to build a TARDIS in the back garden. I’ve yet to buy any wood so my ambition might be all talk, but I have plans, and a willing wife to help me. I’ll obviously let you know how well (or badly) it’s going, although if I don’t get started soon, the weather and dark evenings will scupper my plans.