Pic’n’Post n° 28 Where was the picture taken?


Where was the picture taken?

The last Pic’n’Post was quite a while ago – sorry to keep you waiting, but it’s a tricky post to do when travelling. But now I can express my thanks to Atthys, TJ, DookesThumbup, and Clara for their guesses. Quite an easy one apparently, as a consensus formed around a bug-zapper, but the first one in was from Clara, who I guess has had to contend with a lot of bugs in her time. As far as I know, she hasn’t yet written about them on her blog, so maybe that’s a treat to come. This particular zapper is in Provence, where the mozzies have become more numerous and diverse in recent years, driving Mrs. B. to distraction. Fortunately they have no effect on me, unlike the ones in the Indian Ocean, the itchiest I’ve ever come across. Which reminds me – if you get a chance to spread the word about my Channillo series, don’t hesitate! All proceeds go the Against Malaria Foundation.

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Congratulations, Clara!

clara winner

This week it’s back to Where? at the top of this page. Happy guessing!

Gazette n° 2 out tomorrow!


The second issue of The Gazette has two stories in it. The first, A Typographical Error (1837 words) was simply inspired by an inversion of letters in a word, which gave rise to a completely different perspective on it and led me imagine a story around the two. Though it dates from a few years back I never sent it anywhere because I felt it was bit flippant for the seriousness of the topic it deals with. When I came back to it, though, it struck me that a lot more could be made of it, and that resulted in the second text Four Sisters: Susan (9182 words). This is in fact the start of a novel about, you guessed it, four sisters whose lives span much of the last century. A project I’ll come back to later, but writing up this first part enabled me to start giving it some substance. To subscribe to these free stories, click on the link on the right.


Meanwhile, the first instalment of the weekly series What a Life! What a Day! is now available on Channillo, with the Muse Calliope telling us what makes her tick. If you want to know what she thinks of Tracy Emin’s bed, check it out! Or else, just spread the word – all proceeds go to the Against Malaria Foundation. Many thanks!

Now for the cousins!


Have you ever interviewed someone so annoying, you killed them before the interview was over? No, I don’t mean Cristiano Ronaldo, but Ozzie the Mozzie, whom I zapped with insecticide a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, he was immediately replaced by his cousin, Mitch the Itch. This incident came back to me later when I read a thought-provoking post by Roni at Losing Screws about donating to charity. And this in turn reminded me of Channillo.

My weekly series What a Life! What a Day!, similar in tone to the Thursday Interview here on this blog, but with different protagonists, starts there next Monday. Here’s the blurb: How does Mona Lisa spend her day? What does Mr. Plod have for breakfast? What does the Man in the Moon think of us here on earth? Find out in What a Life! What a Day! A spoof of the UK’s Sunday Times series, A Life in the Day, WaLWaD asks famous mythical, literary or biblical figures, or even objects or concepts, to describe a typical day. Humorous, irreverent, instructive, or just plain wacky, WaLWaD will have you thinking outside the box even as you chuckle.

What, you ask, does this have to do with mosquitoes? Simply that Channillo authors, if they wish, can donate all proceeds to the charity of their choice, and coming so soon after Ozzie, Mitch the Itch annoyed me so much that I’ve chosen the Against Malaria Foundation. This is one of GiveWell’s  top-rated charities, i.e. each dollar donated has a significant effect in combating the problem. It’s actually very difficult to eradicate the millions of Mitch’s cousins, so for the moment, the cheapest, and most effective way of fighting malaria is to provide LLINs – long-lasting insecticide-treated nets for people to sleep under. This is the action the Foundation pursues. Each net costs about $3, lasts for 3-4 years, and protects, on average, two people.

The Channillo subscription rates are here. Subscribing to WaLWaD on its own would buy about 10 nets in a year, which may not sound a lot, but as the Foundation says, every net counts. So the object of this post is not to ask you to subscribe (though if you do, that’s wonderful!) but to share the information wherever you can. Spread the word, spread the love – stop malaria from spreading!

Channillo on my Plate

It’s funny, but I seem to have managed to get rather a lot on my plate. ‘Here in Mayotte? Doesn’t he get bored?’ people ask my wife when she says I’m retired. To which she replies an emphatic ‘No, not at all!’ Apart from the novel, already on the go, the blog eats up a variable portion of the day, and then a few weeks ago I decided to launch the Gazette (see subscribe link on sidebar – first issue going out tomorrow!). As if that wasn’t enough, I received a tweet from Kara Monterey, founder of Channillo, asking me to submit an idea for a column, which I duly did. So for a year, starting 1st June, What a Life! What a Day! will be a weekly column for her recently founded serialised writing website. Many thanks for the opportunity, Kara!

I guess that’s called workaholic. On the other hand, if you’re doing what you enjoy, I find it hard to think of it as work. I was a bit the same when I really did work, taking on responsibilities that left me with very little time simply because I enjoyed it. As my wife still has to go out and deal with traffic jams, meetings and reports, I really ought to do all the housework. Strangely enough, though, I somehow never seem to get round to it.

PS Currently travelling, so please excuse me if I’m less reactive to comments, or less able to visit other sites myself. It’s not that internet access is difficult, just that this activity called ‘sightseeing’, which appears to be part of the deal, takes up a fair part of the day.