Two cats and a Viking shield

Following last night’s power failure our Bengal and Burmese cats naturally gravitated toward the heater.

By staggering coincidence, the photo also includes my (first) in-progress Viking shield, depicting an aquatic creature — possibly Jörmungandr, the World Serpent.

Next I’ll add a boss in the centre, and leather trimming along the edges.

Wah-Wah the Burmese, Ada the Bengal -- and a first attempt at a Viking shield...

Wah-Wah the Burmese, Ada the Bengal — and a first attempt at a Viking shield…

‘Dead Guy in Erongo’ — a novel

My novel Dead Guy in Erongo is now available on Amazon as a Kindle download. DGIE is my second and perhaps most accessible novel thus far. Blurb and (temporary) cover below.

I also reduced the price of Neutrino Dreams, my collection of six SF novellas. That said, I’m still giving these away for free to anybody who wants them.

What’s next? Well, my first novel needs a rewrite, my third novel needs a good edit, and the fourth novel is in progress (after several months of daydreaming / dithering).

Edit: 16/01/2015 — Updated the blurb. I think it’s better now.

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DEAD GUY IN ERONGO

Geologist and Border War veteran Lothar Sengt leaves behind his dull consulting job in Frankfurt to visit his eccentric cousin Felix, living in a Dorset seaside village.

He arrives too late. Felix’s broken body is discovered on a foreshore, in the shadow of England’s forbidding Jurassic cliffs.

While the police treat the death as a tragic accident, Sengt suspects foul play. With the help of an aging police constable and the local paleontology expert, Sengt attempts to piece together the events that led to his cousin’s gruesome death.

How well did he really know his cousin? What did he miss during their travels together? And whom can he trust? Is Sengt chasing a delusion, a phantom — or is he close to uncovering one of the most important scientific discoveries in history? TTEOG-version-final_2_small

My quest for the perfect cat toy

I’ve always loved playing with cats. We’re getting two kittens this weekend, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time putting together cheap, durable cat toys with random items salvaged from around the house.

Fangs

Constructed from a toilet roll core stuffed with leather, along with a single long leather strip that protrudes from both ends. Tightly wrapped in thick packing string. Hoping this will make for a good wrestling toy.

Size: approximately 10cm across.

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The Mayfly

The ‘lure’ is made up of supple leather strips and ribbons attached to a doweling rod with strong twine. The strips emit a pleasant flapping sound.

Size: 12cm in length

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The Catfish

Rough packing string and ribbons attached to a rod as above. Light and agile, but I don’t expect this one to last very long.

Size: about 10cm in length.

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The Cnidarian

Toilet roll core filled with long leather strips and an old sponge. Wrapped in soft leather and reinforced with sturdy packing string. It’s too large to attach to a rod, but may come into its own when hidden under a carpet. My favourite.

Size: around 30cm in length.

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Now all we need is a couple of kittens to begin testing…

Rosetta / Philae is here. Witness and remember.

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[Update: Philae has landed — well done ESA! Liked the DG’s comment: ‘The problem with success is that it looks easy.’]

New house. Full-time job. Life. And yet — I will watch the Rosetta landing, or at least as much as humanly possible.

Watching this, I feel there are too few momentous events in our lives, particularly where the exploration of the solar system is concerned.

Something like this doesn’t happen every day. Let’s enjoy it.

At the risk of seeming petty, the attractive lady presenter is dressed rather like Carl Sagan from Cosmos: beige jacket, dark polo neck, gawky manner and so forth. Sexy, enthusiastic and scientific. Bless her.

She is interviewing lots of nerds. Bless ’em too.

The broadcast is from ESA in Darmstadt, Germany. I worked for EUMETSAT for a couple of years, who are ESA’s sister organisation. Memories…

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