‘Who’ are you?

Is there a Doctor in the house?

I know that he was the bookies favourite but frankly one look at Peter Capaldi and you just knew that he was the next Doctor. I suppose these last couple of years I’ve missed out by not being able to watch Doctor Who. I well remember seeing the first episode! I did have a DVD on board which had the first couple of stories with William Hartnell as the Doctor. Sadly they were ‘lost at sea’ but perhaps one day I’ll replace them. It seems incredible that we’re approaching the 50th anniversary of the first episode. Cue moans of ‘where did all the time go?’

Predictable I suppose

So the Japanese have sent a talking robot to the International Space Station (ISS) to keep the occupants company. They could have sent six months supply of sushi, sake or even manga comics but no, they sent a talking robot. I wonder if they’ve got the accent right and will it tell the astronauts bedtime stories? Godzilla meets ET and eats it perhaps? I’m sure we can all think of more useful things to send and I can’t help thinking that as an idea this ranks alongside whaling for scientific research. No doubt the crew are grateful if slightly bemused.

The moving finger writes

For those who don’t look at my sailing blog I’m currently chilling out in an anchorage in Indonesia. I’m anchored 100 metres off the beach in Kupang and very pleasant it is too, if a little rolly from time to time. Life seems a bit more relaxed now so I’ve been motivated to finish the next Karno book. The one I started after Christmas and was going to publish by April! Oh well, it was difficult to write something light and amusing when life was a bit tough. Anyway, no promises for when it’ll be finished but I’ll have plenty of opportunities for a couple of hours writing a day during the coming months. I’ve edited what has been written so far and am now in the process of adding new chapters. I thought perhaps you might be interested in the opening few lines? You are? Splendid!

When a man grows old and he feels the cold

And he walks with a stick or two

When his back is bent and his vigour spent

He can tell you a tale or two

 

Prologue

 

The tropical evening closed inexorably in over the muddy brown river and the picturesque but scruffy town which sprang out of the swamp that passed for the river bank. River taxis of various sizes and in various states of mechanical repair buzzed or chugged past the town en route to various locations, most of them down river towards the capital, Georgetown. At a stone quay two large coasters were tied up waiting to be unloaded but there was no activity of any note. It was a somewhat languid, fetid scene.

The veranda of the hotel perched precariously above the muddy brown river and was supported by visibly rotting wooden legs and force of habit. Seated at a wooden table on the veranda was a man of indeterminate age and a still attractive but slightly faded red-haired woman. The man snapped his fingers and a waiter deigned to appear after a brief pause. Long enough to make his point but brief enough not to earn a rebuke or endanger any tip that might be in the offing.

“Two more gin and tonics. More ice and this time remember the bloody lemon.”

The waiter silently disappeared. The woman also said nothing but then she wasn’t being paid for her conversational abilities.

“Twice in my life and only twice I’ve been thwarted. Both times by the same man.”

“So?” Asked the woman as a comment was obviously expected.

“So I think it’s time I got my own back.”

“Got your revenge you mean?”

“Precisely.”

“Why not just let it go?”

“Pride.”

“Before another fall perhaps?”

The waiter brought the drinks.

“Better.” Grunted the man.

“There’s a new restaurant. A Brazilian family own it and if you want a decent steak it’s the best place in town. They ship the beef in.”

“If they serve a decent steak it’ll be the only place in town. Everything worthwhile in this damn country is shipped in.”

The woman having built a pleasant house on the far bank of the river a number of years previously disagreed but kept her thoughts on the subject to herself.

“He has a name, your nemesis?”

“Karno.” The word was almost spat out.

“And he is?”

“A bloody provincial British detective chief inspector.”

“Provincial or not my darling he has thwarted you twice.”

The man abruptly tossed down his drink and stood.

“Let’s eat. And I’m not your darling.”

“As you wish.”

They left.

Seated at a table well back in the shadows and unnoticed by the couple a man thoughtfully tapped his fingers on the table. A British detective chief inspector called Karno. He picked up his Smartphone and glared at it. Patting his shirt pockets he found and extracted a pair of reading glasses. After careful examination of the screen he made a call on his other, less smart phone. Following his grand-daughter’s giggling instructions he established an Internet connection on his smart but exasperating phone.

 

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