Friday 12 July 2019


Having grown up during the 1960s this book had a certain appeal - after all it came with it's own soundtrack. And a subject that I could relate to but not in the way that you might think.

In 1961 I was 16 years of age when something reared it's head - something that you would think that, in this day and age, was new. Well, there's nothing new under the sun. Back then a newspaper 'outed' the model and actress April Ashley as transgender. She had been born a man who had served in the Merchant Navy but had undergone traumatic sex reassignment surgery. Despite this the law stated that she was still a man.

Transgender facts were hard to come by in those days yet the fact that a man (or a woman for that matter) could feel that they were born in the wrong body was not that hard to figure out.

This book was mentioned in the Felixstowe Scribblers' newsletter. Though it wasn't my usual type of reading I was soon out of my comfort zone.

Colette centres around a 19 year old boat builder called Colin who is offered a 'dream' job on Guernsey and soon becomes involved with Leanne (one of the owners) who draws out the real person that he is - Colette. Emotions run deep as there is conflict with others as well as within herself - acceptance comes from within not just the reactions of others.

The book is well written and flows easily carrying the reader through Colette's eventual emergence and belief in herself.

However, it is carries the label of an 'emotional transgender' story which it is but (my opinion) is a touch off putting. Reality is boy meets girl, girl meets boy and another boy, etc etc. In other words a romantic novel with underlying tones.

What's not to like?

Thanks to my youth I discovered that this book read like a good old fashioned novel. And roll on the sequel which is due about Christmastime

Sunday 20 January 2019


The Grum Reapur is about saving lives.

These sculptures come from the imagination of anti- suicide artist Brad Humble himself a suicide survivor and mental health activist.

After years of being considered a 'freak' he was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). The long journey of self-discovery unleashed the inner artist within and the Grum Reapur was born.

This talented artist has a gallery of his paintings on show; he is,also, a writer and poet. Currently, he is working on a Grum Reapur comic.

I am flattered that he asked me advice about writing but after reading some of his work I do believe that he has taught me a thing or two.

Brad Humble has a website that contains a blog and a gallery of his art and a shop for his pieces. There is a Facebook page 'Grum Reapur Club' that is also a support group.

I leave you with these words from Brad Humble: ' I don't have definitive answers and I may get it wrong from time to time, but I will always trying my hardest to help individuals and the collectives,
that is why I donate a percentage of my annual income from the Grum Reapur to mental health charities and organisations throughout the U.K.