Saturday, March 29, 2014

Streaking for Mother Amazon Five Star Reviews

Streaking For Mother Amazon UK

The dialogue between Ashley and Nadine is priceless, as good as any Hollywood script. There are moments when my cringes burst into laughter finding myself saying OMG a lot.

The house is reminiscent of a shared house by university students, but ten years older and a touch more manic.

What I liked:

Nadine's character is a sexy feminist, crazy and forgiving.
Yanna is the mother hen again sexy and probably the most level headed.
Spam Solo is a troubled and secretive black man, as geeky as he could be, and a genius with his hands.

Shaun's denial has kept him in the closet all his life. But when it comes to streaking he is king until Ashley comes along.

All have unresolved issues, that's why Ashley is there to help them get through the death of their Matriarch and they are there to straighten out Ashley from a life of a playboy.

They all have to team up and fight off a local councillor and art gallery owner Streaker style - I won't elaborate her it's priceless and again cringe.

The ending was full of twists and a shock.

They don’t streak for the sake of exhibitionism they do it to survive and maintain the lifestyle behind the doors of their Pawnbrokers.

Streaking For Mother Amazon UK

Different, entertaining, at times funny, and moving with a shocking ending.

Entrepreneur collects the abandoned from her Greenwich pawnbrokers, most prized, four twenty something guerrilla marketeers.

She's gone leaving them the responsibility of the business and recruitment of her estranged son, Ashley, England fly-half, playboy and underwear model. The press go out their way to wind him up and his antics keep them in front page material.

Her agenda eventually bonds them in a collection of cringing publicity stunts. The reality he doesn't know their patron was his mother and they don't know that she has died. A councillor, the father of Ashley's ex-girlfriend has his eyes on their property and is going to do whatever it takes to procure it from them, armed with Knowledge of Ashley's scandalous family past.

They band together and fight using their skills as Streakers and guerrilla marketers. And set up a risky stunt to expose the councillor in more ways than one.

It soon becomes apparent to Ashley the reason he is in the house is to finish were his mother left off and help these people come to terms with her death and also help them move on. He unselfishly gives up everything

Highly recommended.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Streaking For Mother
Now available on Kindle

A cynical, famous underwear model, and infamous international Rugby player, despondent and guilt ridden because of a terrible mistake, finds redemption from helping the Streakers who ruined his chances of a world record.

After moving in with this bunch of dysfunctional guerrilla marketeers he discovers all isn't what it seemed and finds out his life is being controlled by his estranged mother from beyond the grave.
His mother is also the patron of a large pawn brokers and the Streakers Matriarch who believe her absence is temporary. It soon becomes apparent to Ashley she has left him with no choice but to help them move on with their lives and come to terms with her untimely death.

Ashley has made enemies too. He is viciously attacked, sent threatening message, and attempts are made to destroy him in the media - both professionally and personally. With his new house mates by his side, they must discover and deal with his pursuer Streaker style.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Rooster/Cockerel Collection

Cock-a-doodle-doo Collectables

this lens' photo
The first cockerel I bought, was from a market stall in Torgau, a Saxony town on the banks of the Elbe, Germany. I was working on a hospital, building an extension in the early 90's. A jolly rotund fellow ran a small imbus in the main hospital, he used to serve us coffee complete and a Frikadelle at lunch times, so it was a shock to see him behind a market stall at the weekend. After the initial eye-flashing recognition; him half nodding to the products on display. I scanned his stall for a guilt buy, picked up a weird scruffy looking cockerel.

Every time I came a cross it memories come flooding back. I made a point of picking up a cockerel wherever I travel, not so much going out my way, just if I happen upon an unusual one. My collection consists of German Hähnchen, French jeune coq, Spanish gallo joven, American Roosters and cockerels from around the UK in the form of sculpted pieces in metal, ceramics and wood carved, to hand-painted plates and paintings.

I have included some from my collection that were gifts from people and will be adding more when I find them in those boxes not yet unpacked in the garage.

Image by ShearArt 

Spanish Gallo joven

  This one was actually in my Christmas stocking found on a market in the Jalon Valley Alicante

German Hähnchen

Image Shearart My first one from Torgau Germany.

Spanish Gallo Joven

Image Shearart  
This one was from an Artist In Tenerife The Canary Islands 

French jeune coq

Image Shearart  
This was a gift from French Girl in Châteaubriant Loire Valley France 

Spanish Gallo Joven

Image Shearart  
This one again from Spain and a gift from my parents years ago from Villajoyosa Costa Blanca, this is made out of iron.

American Rooster

Image Shearart  
This was from an Americana shop on Spain's Route 66 Ruta De La Plata "Silver Trail"

Painted Cockerel

  This one was also a gift from a friend in Nottingham Hand painted made out of wood.

Cockerel - Gallo - Rooster

Image Shearart  
An artist made this one out of tin and it doubles up as a money box from Fuentes AlgarCosta Blanca
 'Alektorophobia' the fear of roosters and chickens in general

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Micro-distilling Whiskey Rebellion

this lens' photo
Boutique booze is big business, the number of licenced micro distillers are exploding on to the market from craft distillers. Before, you needed to be backed up by millions, and could afford to wait four or five years before you started seeing a return from sales, nowadays aging techniques have cut down the waiting time to under a year and a half and the options on the size of a still set up are smaller, thus making it possible to have a start-up for well under a million, premises, licencing and labour costs, notwithstanding.

In England and Wales, they may soon be having their own whisky revolution, as some barriers are coming down and licences are being granted to small scale distillers as low as 350 litres, which is well below the archaic minimum, but there is the added problem of obtain an excise warehouse (bond).


The Origin and History Of Scotch Whisky 


The Origins and History of Scotch Whisky go back hundreds of years and was first distilled in Scotland, hence the name Scotch. The term whisky is from Gaelic: 'uisge beatha' meaning, lively water. The process of distillation has been around for centuries, from ancient Egyptians, producing perfumes, to 3rd century Greeks distilling chemicals, but not at this time for alcohol.

The spirit commonly made in monasteries, was widely known by medieval Latin distillers as aqua vitae 'lively water', and also known as 'water of life' because it was used for medicinal intendment: for longevity of life, relief of palsy, colic and smallpox. In 1505, Edinburgh Surgeon Barber's monopolies the distillation of aqua vitae, this fact again, enhancing its perceived medicinal properties. King James IV was fond of ethyl alcohol, and visited Dundee a year later paying a barber for a supply of aqua vitae.

Scotch as it is usually referred was originally made from malt barley it was not until the latter half of the eighteen century that distillers started to use wheat and rye. Scottish whisky is divided into five categories: single grain, blended grain, single malt, blended malt and blended Scotch whisky. Whisky is kept in oak barrels and aged for at least three years.

The first written recording of whisky was in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland in 1495. A friar from Lindores Abbey, Fife called John Cor was the distiller. The etched entry was for eight bolls of malt and said to be sufficient to produce over 500 bottles of aqua vitae.

The Union Act with England in 1707, raised taxes dramatically. The popularity of whisky attracted the attention of the Scottish parliament, introduced the malt tax at the end of the 17th century. Increasing rates of taxation drove the distillers underground forcing over half of the Scottish whisky output to become illegal.

Smuggling was standard practice for a 150 years with no moral imputation attached. Clever ways were thought of to store and transport the illicit spirit including storage space made available under pulpits and transported in coffins, this all to allude the watchful eyes of the Excise men or Gaugers.
By the time the 1820s came around over14,000 felonious stills were being commandeered annually, almost half the whisky consumed in Scotland was illegal.

The Duke of Gordon a forerunner in the illicit and high quality distillation of whisky propose in the House of Lords that whisky production should be legalized making it profitable for the government. In 1823, the British passed the Excise Act, legalizing distillation for a license fee of 10 pounds; this eventually put an end to smuggling and the making of the bootleg brew.

Geographically whisky is spelled differently with America and Ireland adding an e changing it to whiskey, apparently to distinguish their higher quality product from the poorer Scottish flavour at the time. Today, Scotch whisky has evolved into one of the greatest spirits the world over. Alexander Walker created a blended whiskey in 1820, in Kilmarnock adding to the Origins and History of Scotch Whiskey and becoming the best-selling brand of Scottish whisky today known as Johnnie Walker.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Running of the Nudes/Bulls

Bull Running Or Nude Running?

this lens' photo
Working for a Spanish Company refurbishing a large hotel in Benidorm, had its challenges, although the work and systems were the same as in other countries, my limited Spanish at the time was frustrating, especially as this company would take a two hour lunch break in a local bar/restaurant, so I would sit there listening.
One day we sat down for the menu of the day, and the conversation got heated amongst the older crew members and the younger ones, the bosses son started shouting (to me this was the normal way the Spanish conversed) but this time his father promptly stud up and pushed the table aside clenched fist and nose to nose, they eventually calmed down.

I later found out it was an on ongoing argument about Bull fighting, the father disliked his son's point of view that bull fighting was inhumane.

A view-point the younger generation are adopting more and more.

I asked my daughter and her friends who are Spanish teenagers and they seemed to be firm that they are against it, as if they have in fact disgust it and think that it will not be long before it stops.

San Fermin

What is it that the Spanish find fun about killing bulls?

The Spanish people I have spoken to on the subject of bull fighting and who support it, say it's simply a part of the culture and an ancient tradition, when people think bull fighting they think Spain and as for whether they think it is inhumane, the answers are often ambiguous with examples of other countries sports:

Cockfighting, spider and bug fighting are still popular in the Philippines amongst adults and children.
In Thailand Betta fish fighting is still legal.
Not to mention the illegal ones that still happen like badger baiting in the UK and canary and Dog fights in the USA .

Spain can trace its bullfighting origins back to 711A.D and even though people are saying that it is becoming less popular, thousands attend bullfights each week.

The Spanish aristocracy was stopped from attending bullfights by King Felipe V as it was said to be a bad example, so the lower classes continued it.

Now I'm not going to force my opinion here but I will say I have been to a bull fight and won't ever be going back.

Bull running is often thought of separately from bull fighting yet the reason they are driven through the street is to get to the ring ready to be killed by a Matador (Killer)

The two most popular bull running events are feast of San fermin Pamplona and Denia's Bous a la Mar Festival

Denia is the bull running event that is held at the water's edge and bulls end up jumping or falling into the sea from the harbour wall.

Pamplona is the biggest and considered to be the wildest party on earth.

The bull running tradition started in 1591 as practical operation of herding the bulls to the arena. Butchers eventually drove the bulls as they had an interest at the end.

Now days Pamplona bull run is a global attracting as well as a community event. People from all over the world attend the event and are either supporters or activists.

The activists demonstrate through the streets against the inhumane treatment to bulls that occurs during and after the running of the bulls, referred to as the annual 'Running of the Nudes', most wear little more than red scarfs, horns and signs.

The majority wear underwear, with slogans temporary tattooed across their buttocks and body paint mottoes on various parts. Local authorities forbid protesters parading totally naked and some ignore the authorities as usual.

Hoards of people cram into the square as a rocket is fired from the town hall balcony to start off the fiesta this is called the chupinazo the words Pamploneses - Viva San Femin are spoken and the party explodes and goes on for a week, finishing with the song "Poor Me" Pobre de mi".

The nudes have attracted more interest, crowds and publicity to this July event.

More facts about Fiesta de San Fermin Pamplona running of the bulls 

 Pamplona, San Fermin



Running of the Nudes


Mass Naked Protest