Friday, July 25, 2014

Rapture Recapatured by Thea Phillips my Review

This is the first time in a long while that I've a read a book in one complete sitting!

I was drawn in from the first page...and taken on a journey of discovery and high excitement.

"Widowed Anna meets Rick on an Internet dating site..."

Internet dating can be scary when you're young but what about when you're approaching your sixties and ready for your bus pass and bedroom slippers?

If you think erotic sex is for the young then you are wrong it's also for the young at heart. This is one hot, steamy read that I highly recommend this summer.

It's not just about the sexual scenes though, there is a real romance going on here. Anna is conflicted about her children's feelings about her being so loved up with a stranger. After all, she does have 'babysitting duties' to attend to. Why should she have a life of her own?

But whilst she has a sense of honour toward her family she also has a huge sense of lust and longing toward Rick. But things are never plain sailing and a forced separation threatens to tear the pair apart.

But is their love strong enough to survive the turbulence of a long distance relationship or would they both be better off forgetting one another and bailing out mid journey?

This is a tale that peaks and troughs just like those hot sex scenes Ms. Phillips pens so well.

Reading this novel makes you realise as a reader that not all grannies are made to knit bootees and bake apple pies. Some of them actually enjoy hard core knee tremblers while the oven is still hot....

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Rolf Harris: Past and Present

When I was a child a lot of TV presenters were like your favourite aunt or uncle.  The sort of people who could occasionally forget they were an adult and join in with the games.  They were people who taught us about life in a fun kind of way.  One person I’d put in this bracket is John Noakes who was a popular Blue Peter presenter during the 1970s, another was Jenny Hanley from Magpie, and yet another was, Antipodean, Rolf Harris.

As far back as I can remember, even when we had a black and white television which often went on the blink, Rolf was gracing our screens.  I seem to remember one programme on a Saturday night, which was some kind of guest show, where people sang and danced and then there’d be Rolf, painting something on a huge canvas from large cans of paint and what looked like a paste brush. The audience would watch in awe as he slapped on paint hither and thither.  He’d turn around and ask them, “Can you tell what it is yet?”  Even if they couldn’t, they would by the time the camera zoomed out and it would be something like two lions against the backdrop of the Serengeti or a lush, jungle scene with monkeys hanging from trees.

You’d scratch your head and think, ‘How amazing!’

Rolf was a national treasure not just in his native Australia but here in Great Britain too, as it was called in those days.  He was multi-talented.  Not only could he paint, but he could sing too.

I remember us learning the words to ‘Two Little Boys’ at school and singing along with the record that our teacher had placed on the turntable. That particular song shot to the top of the British charts in 1969.  He also did well with the songs,'Jake the Peg' and ‘Sunarise’ too. And he often brought out his Wobble Board and Didgeridoo. 

He promoted products too, like the Stylophone.  That little device where you could zip out a tune with a metal rod that ran against the keys making an electronic sound.  It was small enough to sit nicely in your top pocket.

Rolf didn’t stop there, he also took part in various safety information films about swimming and even one to do with abuse, ironically!

He had a connection to my home town of Merthyr Tydfil as his grandfather owned a photographic studio here and he also painted. So the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree there then as far as Rolf was concerned.  

My grandmother had an intriguing painting in her home of a young child in a pinafore dress that was painted by Rolf’s grandfather. The little girl was six years old and tragically, burnt to death in a fire.  I can only assume that my great grandmother asked Rolf’s grandfather to enlarge the original picture and crop some of it out, so she had one of her beloved child.  [The original photograph was of 3 young girls.] This was then painted over, colouring it up, as was the fashion of the time.

A genealogist in my family also appeared on a programme with Rolf Harris a few years ago and he also painted a portrait that was on display in Cyfarthfa Castle Museum.  This can be seen in the background of my book launch a few years ago.

So as you can probably tell....I thought highly of Mr Harris.

So did my children.  They used to love ‘Animal Hospital’ where Rolf could often be seen cuddling a ball of fluff or crying his eyes out when a dog or cat had to be destroyed.

The man had heart...didn't he?

We all thought, what a lovely family man he was too.  

What a great talent.

All that came crashing down of course after he was exposed as a predatory abuser following the Jimmy Savile enquiry.

I read on one blog called,  ‘The Needle Blog’, which had the courage to print things which at the time, the UK press would not, that Harris was being questioned by the police.  This was following a tweet from criminologist, Mark William-Thomas.  He decided it was in the public’s interest to out Rolf Harris at the time.  He got slated for it of course as most people found it hard to believe of Rolf.  

Even now there are people who will not believe it.

The blog also mentioned that Harris had made a suicide attempt and was rushed to the Priory and put on suicide watch.

But what is becoming evident over the course of time is that Harris is exhibiting some psychopathic traits.

[See Hare’s Checklist.]

He’s glib and exhibits a superficial charm to the public, yet he shows no guilt or remorse for what he’s put his victims through, or even his wife and daughter for that matter.

He turned his trial into a media circus at one point when he broke into ‘Sunarise’ from the dock and spoke of inventing the Wobble Board, thereby acting out his, ‘Rolf Harris Talented Entertainer’ persona.  He arrived at court every morning accompanied by his wife Alwen [who he sometimes pushed in a wheelchair] and Bindi his daughter, who was picked up in the same taxi around the corner at a local cafe.

It was a united front.

There was nothing this man wouldn’t do to create the illusion of having a close family unit.  Yet this was the man who jetted off to America just after his daughter’s birth and left his wife alone.  The same wife who wrote in her diary how lonely and suicidal she felt at the time.  

This was the man who abused his daughter’s best friend from the age of 13.

He wasn’t just a performer he was an actor of the highest calibre. 

He fooled you and he fooled me.

The biggest punishment now as he awaits sentencing on Friday after being found guilty on all 12 counts of indecent assault on 4 victims, is if he loses his persona of ‘Rolf Harris Talented Entertainer’.  If he goes into prison and becomes a nobody, not even a has been. But somehow I doubt that will happen.  I think he’ll create some kind of performance inside the prison, without even a little thought for his victims, because a psychopath is incapable of real remorse.  And someone needs to tell his wife and daughter, a psychopath isn’t capable of real love either...