Cracking Economics and national bookshop day

Saturday was National Bookshop Day. They seem to have a national day for everything these days. But, in the case of bookshops, I think it is well deserved.


I’m really glad to see bookshops hanging on – holding back the winds of technological change and remorseless move to all things digital. There is something uplifting about a bookshop, for want of a better description it has soul. A feeling that will never be replicated by the convenience of Kindle and online reviews.

At various times in my life, I’ve been fascinated by nearly all sections in bookshops – especially religion and spirituality section – just about everything apart from particle physics and fiction. I don’t like fiction unless it is Lord of the Rings.

Today, I went into my local Blackwells Oxford to find ‘Cracking Economics’ by Tejvan Pettinger. They had eight copies, which is great because when I checked online two days ago, they said they had ten.

Which means they possibly sold two in two days!

I should have bought a copy to honour my local bookshop, but my publisher has already kindly sent me 20 copies in the post, so I don’t really need a 21st copy.

Still, there it was on the shelf next to the Oxford Dictionary of Economics.

The Economics Bible


The other funny thing is that in America, the same book is called “The Economics Bible.” On that cover, they have put my name next to a picture of Karl Marx. So perhaps some readers in America will think that Tejvan Pettinger is a rather grim looking bearded figure from the Nineteenth Century.


Poppies outside a village church


There is a poignant beauty to this display of red poppies – especially against the grey Yorkshire sky and dark stone. It is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

In 1917 our village Menston was quite small, but a high percentage of its young men died fighting in the First World War – especially this particular battle.

A hundred years ago is another lifetime. But when I turned 40, it went through my mind that conscription was often for men under 40 years of age.

We are fortunate to live in the absence of war, but I also remember Sri Chinmoy’s aphorism.

“Peace does not mean the absence of war.

Peace means the presence of harmony, love, satisfaction and oneness.”



Peace Run in Oxford

Today the Peace Run visited Oxford. We visited the Oxford Union and two local schools. It was a rewarding day.

Magdalen Tower.

“Lasting peace must begin within the depths of the individual, and from there spread in ever-widening circles as a dynamic force for world change.”

– Sri Chinmoy

A local dog walker gets to meet the run. Continue Reading →




First flowers of the year. Spring crocus popping up from my newly laid Cotswold gravel.

Time is flying by at the moment. Not much time for photography or even writing. But, the exciting news is that traffic at has doubled from 20 people a day to 40 page views per day on account of ranking for “Shakespeare Jokes.Continue Reading →


The joy of grammar

When I went to Oxford University, I remember a professor handing back an essay with a mark B+. He added the comment – “Very good, but it would have been an A – if you had given even the briefest attention to correct grammar and spelling”. I remember being very happy to get a B+ from Oxford. That was good enough for me!

Since, almost by accident, I have become a ‘professional blogger’ / ‘professional writer’, I am endeavouring to improve this aspect of writing, and over the years have learnt to enjoy this aspect of writing more. (1)

I did intend to write an article here, but it made more sense to share at my Cycling Blog, for my long-suffering cycling readers.

This is the article from Cycling Uphill.

Proof-reading blogs

Continue Reading →


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