Publication day and the blood pressure challenge

Border Line 2Border Line will be released tomorrow… except that two days ago Amazon took the print book off the UK site. A friend who had pre-ordered the book had the order cancelled and received an email saying… ‘Our supplier has informed us that it’s been discontinued and is no longer available.’

I, the publisher, supplier and author, have sent no such information.

This came on top of increasingly frantic efforts to get a cover image for the print book onto the Amazon UK site. In the course of these efforts I discovered that Nielsen have been feeding out the image to Amazon since August, but Amazon are having problems with images and are still working on a fix.

At this moment, Border Line (print version), can be found by clicking on the kindle edition icon, then choosing ‘paperback’ from the list. This then shows it as unavailable, but you can put it on a wish list. If I had been trying to dream up a way to raise the blood pressure of a small publisher/author to danger levels, I don’t think I could have done better job than Amazon have achieved.Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 18.54.12

In the grand scheme of things these are trivial problems. So on the plus side, I have twice met the hedgehog outside the back door, either with his face in the trough, or waiting patiently by an empty one. We have had a visitation by a small flock of goldcrests, picking spiders off our window ledges. They were too swift to photograph, but they did reduce the blood pressure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow I shall have a peaceful day, signing copies of Border Line (or twiddling my thumbs) at the wonderful Gog Magog Hills farm shop.



Thank you, Andrew, for photos of the real bird. Here is another Lanius cristatus. Identified by Anthony Furness from our painting.

Lanius cristatus

Lanius cristatus

He/she is from this beautiful Japanese watercolour that I have known all my life and now have the good fortune to own.Jap paint2

All downhill from here

Yes, 2 of them in our garden today. Brown Shrikes both, Lanius cristatus. They speak for themselves. Enjoy.Preening Brown ShrikeBrown ShrikeBrown Shrike2Shrike SwallowShrike close

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Completely mad blackbird

Couldn’t understand why the ball of purple string with bamboo sticks that I had been using to mark out the brick paths was in a bush, though the wind had been strong this morning. Then a (female) black bird appeared, string in beak, trying to fly off with it and getting pulled up short. She didn’t plan to give up soon. I was laughing too much and shouting at her to think of grabbing a camera, so this is only the aftermath.DSCN3664

Either all our blackbirds are happier in human company, or this is the same one that built a a nest round the corner in the holly bush (I can see this nest and cannot see her on it) by the front window. She and partner are now hard at work in the small upright yew right outside my workroom window.

They were still tugging at the ribbons of string an hour later.

We have removed the string today as it was clearly a persistent source of frustration to them. I will try and find a quiet moment to see what they have actually made their nest out of. The one in the holly bush has a piece of plastic sticking out of it. I had no idea blackbirds were attracted to bright non-natural objects.

Return of the martins

The martins have returned. They can normally be expected on the 16th May (EG’s birthday), but I saw their characteristic upward jinking flight a few days ago and EG saw one fly into a nest on the front of the house. In past years we have occasionally had brief visits a few weeks early, but we must be some kind of staging post as these martins fly on. Not sure why they have come so early, it can hardly be the warm weather.

Happily the last few days have been much warmer and I have been seeing off my garden-induced sore back and elbows by more of the same. It has worked.