The Lockerbie affair

I usually try to steer clear of contentious subjects on this blog, but with the ongoing furore over Mr  Al-Meghari, the so-called Lockerbie Bomber, showing no signs of subsiding, and the BBC devoting a major part of every newscast to the subject, I thought I’d chip in my opinion, which will clearly not agree with many, but here it is, anyway.

He is dying of cancer. Let’s not even go into whether or not there was a deal done between the UK and Libya, or whether Mr Al-Meghari was actually guilty or merely a sacrificial lamb. He’s been locked up for over eight years for something for which he might possibly have been innocent.

If he was guilty of the despicable Lockerbie bombing, then he certainly deserves the worst possible punishment. Is dying of cancer not punishment enough? How much difference does it make if he goes to his grave from a prison cell in Scotland, or a hospital bed in Libya? It won’t bring back the dead.

One of the many things I love so much about France

This morning while I was in a small store in a nearby village, a small boy about six or seven years old came in. He was a bright little chap with a wide, toothy smile, sticking out ears and sticking up hair. He kissed the lady on the counter, he kissed the lady prodding the fresh fish, and he walked up to me and kissed me twice.

“I’ve got a new baby brother,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve taken him out.”

Maman arrived with the new infant dangling from her front in a sling.

Voila!” said the boy, proudly, throwing his arms wide.

We all admired the baby, and when I had finished shopping and paid, my new young friend called out “Wait, Madame!” and ran to the door to hold it open.

There’s nothing unusual about this. Here in the rural areas it’s the norm for children to greet you, step out of your way, and generally show respect for adults.

Thoth

Until yesterday I knew nothing about him. Today, I can report to those who share my ignorance that  Thoth, aka Djehuty, is an Egyptian god said to have invented writing, the measuring of time, music, magic, art, medicine, mathematics and astronomy.  He started out as an ibis, but later became a baboon. And he was the lord of the moon. Here’s a picture of him from Wikipedia:

The talented Thoth’s entry into my life came about because I am writing a novel which has absolutely nothing at all to do with Egyptian gods.

It’s the fault of WriteItNow, the writers’ software that just keeps out-performing itself with each new version, after you thought it couldn’t possibly be better than it already was. Version 4 will knock your socks off!  Quick to download and install, extremely user-friendly, packed with features, and AMAZINGLY INEXPENSIVE!

There are other programs on the market for writers – some costing hundreds of pounds, some highly complicated to understand, some free but fairly limited – but I have found that WriteItNow stands tall amongst the rest. The user interface is clean, self-explanatory and fuss-free, with tabs for chapters, ideas, characters, notes, locations, events; relationship charts and timelines; readability statistics, thesaurus, and so many other useful features that it would take me half a day to list them all. Finished stories can be exported in rtf, pdf, txt and html formats.

WriteItNow includes a long and ever-growing list of free add-ons to download which provide information on personality types, locations, names, and if asked will generate from them characters and events. These are great if you want to give the imagination a little jolt. One of the add-ons is The Gods of Ancient Egypt, which in an idle moment I clicked on. And that is where Thoth came in, and led me into a happy couple of hours reading up on Egyptian mythology.

I would like to stress that I have no affiliation with WriteItNow other than as a delighted user who would like to share with other writers this true gem. A guided tour, user reviews, and a free demo download for Windows or Mac is available  here.