Hot off the press is the latest issue of Interzone which has had an incredible image overhaul and looks fantastic and not only because of the great Jim (fantasy art God) Burns cover. You will of course by hunting down copy of this anyway to see the illustrations I produced for the story 'Bird Songs At Eventide'. You can find out more about the magazine at their website http://www.ttapress.com/ (click on the title above) or you can hunt it down at places like Ottakar's and other book stores. (I also believe that it may soon be available at WH Smiths and other newsagents).
Monday, July 25, 2005
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Okay try again, second attempt to try and write about the whole life changing event. I'd written quite a bit about the whole birth when I realized I was maybe going into it just a wee bit too much. So the cut down version of the 12th of July goes a little like this.
Contractions started late the night before and we spent a sleepless night going through breathing exercises and counting down to the inevitable. At about 5.30 am I phoned the hospital and we headed off to Kirkcaldy Forth Park hospital by 6 am, nice quiet roads at that time! After a few tests and examinations there was some discussion (again) about the which way around the little guy was (its been a question asked more than once over the course of the pregnancy) and we went of for a scan. You could see instantly that he was in fact 'breech' with his head being at the top and not facing down the way. Apparently delivering a breech baby is a slowly dying art amongst doctors so they naturally suggested a C Section (Ceaserean birth, so called after Julius Ceaser's birth but apparently historians have said that he was born naturally so go figure). So that obviously comes with its own dangers and side effects which we already knew about and had discussed but it was talked over with us before we agreed to go ahead. Gas and Air and several injections later and we ended up in theatre and everything moving at a hundred miles an hour. Much pulling and tugging later and I stood and watched my Son being born, something I would not have missed for the world. He's been growing inside Catriona for nine months and had already changed our lives so dramatically that it was just fantastic to see him finally arrive into the world. So from arriving at 6 am and giving birth at 9.50 am the time just flew by and we had our son so much quicker than we had expected. We spent the rest of that day in the Observation Ward as they naturally needed to keep a very close eye on baby and mother, it was major abdominal surgery after all. Late at night they where transfered to a normal ward, and I headed home feeling excited and tired. Best sleep I've had in months!
Wednesday, Thursday and most of Friday was spent setting up a normal routine for Daniel but was a bizarre routine for us, the hospital was great with us but its difficult to relax and feel at home in a ward full of screaming babies and slowly nit picking parents. By Friday 4 pm we where allowed to head home and the relief could be seen on both our faces. And from there its been all about looking after Daniel and as all parents will no doubt know thats a real fast education and pretty damn hard work. Its not like we didn't know that though! And its all worth it, even changing his nappy three times in fifteen minutes at two in the morning, trying to dodge his pee while your cleaning him up and he's screaming his head off. Its all worth it, he's my son.
Thanks to all the e-mails, calls, congratulations, cards and presents from so many people, its all appreciated.
Normal service will probably not resume shortly…
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Now you know I like to try and tempt all you non-comic buying people out there to have a look at one or two comics every now and then. And I'm also pretty aware that most of the time you'll just not get the chance to buy the comic but if you can then get this one. If you can't then remember the name and then in six months when your wandering around Ottakars, Waterstones or some other large bookshop drop by the SF section or Graphic Novel section and look for the collected version of this series. Anybody that read comics in Britain in the 60s and 70s will more than likely get a kick out of this series, but that won't spoil the entertainment if you didn't.
Here's the blurb from the Wildstorm (the folks who are publishing it) page:
Plotted by Alan Moore; Written by Leah Moore and John Reppion; Art by Shane Oakley and George Freeman; Cover by Dave Gibbons
Rediscover the classic heroes of Britain's yesteryear in a new series that teams legendary Alan Moore as plotter with writers Leah Moore and John Reppion (WILD GIRL), artists Shane Oakley and George Freeman and cover artist Dave Gibbons (WATCHMEN)!
Britain never had any super-heroes. It had something much stranger: a collection of paragons, monsters, and clowns that vanished a quarter century ago, never to be seen again. Who were Robot Archie and the Steel Claw? Who was Captain Hurricane, or the Spider? And where have they been for 25 years? Find out in the spectacular and historic first issue of Albion!
Leah and John stopped by the table I was sharing with Dave (Hitchcock) at the Bristol show, chatted a while and left a preview copy of the series with us. So many people came up afterwards and asked where we had got the preview copy that it was great punter incentive to come to our table!
I'm having trouble with my internet which is starting to really annoy me. I have a wireless network in my house using Apple's Airport, its quite a simple set-up and didn't cost much to do. The main reason for getting it was that I have my work room with my computer upstairs but I have no telephone points upstairs. So before I had to run a very long cable from the telephone point in the dinning room downstairs out into the hall, then up the stairs to my room so I could connect to the internet. So really that was just getting in the way and with baby on the horizon it made sense to go wireless.
The first couple of months everything has been cool, but very slowly problems have started to arise. There are certain websites that I would like to visit on a daily (or at least regular) basis, places like Ebay, Outpost Gallifrey (for all my Dr Who news), dafc.net (for all my home football news) and BBC Radio (for music while I work). But slowly, over a matter of months, I've lost the ability to connect to these sites. I work at a few different offices in Edinburgh so its not been a great problem as when I have my lunch I can visit these sites then, but in the last few weeks its started to get worse. First up I couldn't see my own website, bit of a problem if I want to update it. Then just yesterday I've started not to be able to see Apple's website, not so great for finding out news and updates etc. Strange thing is that other websites load up with no problem or hesitation, and the 'signal' indicator to my Airport says its as strong as ever.
I've spoken to a few friends about this and one mentioned that it could be a problem with 'Spyware' or 'Spy Software'. Thats where during internet browsing little programs are secretly placed onto your machine and send information back to whoever about what you are looking at etc. The reason he mentioned this is that there have been occasions when a PC has suddenly stopped being able to visit certain websites that they could easily visit before. Running a bit of software detected the Spyware and deleted it and then hey presto they could access all the websites again. Now a few things say to me that that is not the problem, one is that I'm on a Mac, and yup I'm sure there are Spyware programs out there that are aimed at Macs but not as many as there is for PCs. Second is that I've got a Firewall and various other bits and bobs set up to warn me of anything external trying to affect my computer. That doesn't mean that it hasn't happened of course.
So I think I'm left with a couple of options. I could fork out some money and buy a bit of software to check for Spyware and hopefully that might fix it, although I'm not sure that its the reason. I could put up with my slowly disappearing internet ability until I finally get some wiring done in the house (thats not going to happen for a few months anyway), then move the airport upstairs out of the way and see if its some kind of signal failure that has been causing the disruption. But I just can't understand it, why can I easily connect to some sites and not others? Why could I connect to these sites before and not now? Anybody any ideas please let me know. I have tried using different internet browsers as well, and cleared my histories and cache's. We do have another computer in the house downstairs and it is also experiencing the same problems, so does that make Spyware more likely? Does it make a signal problem more likely? No problems with my e-mail by the way and that's supplied through the same source. What is going on!
While I've been writing this news reports have been coming in of the explosions in London. So far they have reported six explosions mostly on the tube and trains in London but also on a double decker bus. With everything that has been happening recently in Scotland with the G8 and all the protests it seems an almost obvious time for the terrorists to attack. News is still uncertain at the moment as to what has happened but I hope that casualties are light, but its seems unlikely…
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Over 200,000 marched in protest in Edinburgh today. Over 200,000 are in Hyde Park in London tonight watching and taking part in Live8, plus thousands more all over the world. In Edinburgh on Wednesday night there is a big concert in Murrayfield Stadium on the eve of the G8 summit. This is not about raising money, this is about raising your voice. You can be part of it. Go and sign the 'LIVE 8 List' an online petition or add your face to the G8 Gallery and say enough is enough.
50,000 people are dying of poverty every day, make it stop.
So once again I've been missing for a large amount of time from my Blog, no real great reason other than being busy. Once I finally recovered from my bout of flu I've been working my socks off so that I can manage to take some time off when my kid arrives. Being self employed there is no governmental help (money) while I enjoy the birth of my son, so I've had to make sure we can pay bills and what not by taking on extra work at night for a bit. Next week is also the start of the G8 talks and with all the demonstrations and events taking place in Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland I've decided to play it safe and stay at home, that way if things start to happen and Junior decides he wants to arrive then I'll be around for the event. So I guess my break from work has actually started :)