Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Support my latest Book: Crowdfunding "Islands of Cats"

Islands of Cats Newsletter #3: How you can support our upcoming book and the unsung Stray Cat Carers of the Maltese Islands

Visitors to the Maltese Islands will soon notice the well fed and healthy feral cats in the parks and streets... Wait a minute, stray cats and good looking? ...Well, in our small nation in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, a total of approximately 1'000 individuals take care of -a conservative estimation of- 100'000 feral and abandoned cats. That's how.

Our photo-story book «Islands of Cats» highlights twenty of these men and women from all walks of life, whose vital work keeps the cats in top condition by feeding them in steady colony locations, taking them to the vet, and, most importantly, by having them neutered and spayed to control the furry population. Notably covering all costs out of their own pockets.

Therefore, some of the proceeds of every book sold will be donated to the stray cat carers. But first we have to  fund the costs for translations to Maltese and German, and for printing the first 1'000 hardcovers to have «Islands of Cats» ready for release in May 2016.

Help us to help the stray cat carers. Please take a few minutes to review our project presentation on Kickstarter, where our crowdfunding campaign will end on March 9, 2016. Pledge an amount today while your credit card will only be charged on March 10, and if the funding goal has been reached. Alternatively, your direct contribution via Bank Transfer or PayPal is also welcome.

Spread our call for funding by forwarding this email to your friends and colleagues, and like and follow us in the social media. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and stay tuned for more.

Read more about how you can contribute in the full newsletter.
Click here for all recent newsletters.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Koolwritings paused

Hi there!
For the present time, this blog is not being curated. However, visitors are more than welcome to leave comments in relation to existing posts.
I hope to be back some time in the future. Until then, remember...it's all Rock and Roll!

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Touch of Humour Part 2

Here's a few more banters to help put at least a smile on your face!

After being married for 50 years, I took a careful look at my wife one day and said, "Fifty years ago we had a cheap house, a junk car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV, but I got to sleep with a hot 23-year-old girl every night.

Now, I have a $500,000 home, a $45,000 car, a nice big bed and a large screen TV, but I'm sleeping with a 69-year-old woman. It seems to me that you're not holding up your side of things."

My wife is a very reasonable woman. She told me to go out and find a hot 23-year-old girl and she would make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap house, driving a junk car, sleeping on a sofa bed and watching a 10-inch black and white TV.

Aren't older women great? They really know how to solve an old guy's problems.


During a visit to my doctor, I asked him, "How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?"
"Well," he said, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," I said. "A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup."


An older gentleman had an appointment to see the urologist who shared offices with several other doctors. The waiting room was filled with patients.. As he approached the receptionist's desk, he noticed that the receptionist was a loud mouth, mean unfriendly woman. He gave her his name.

In a very loud voice, the receptionist shouted out for everyone to hear, "Yes, I have your name here; you want to see the doctor about impotence, right?

The rest of the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to look at the very embarrassed man. He recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice replied: "No, I've come to inquire about a sex change operation, but I don't want the same doctor that did yours."




Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Touch Of Humour

I've just got back from a visit to my new doctor, who happens to be Chinese; I must say what he told me does make sense; below is a transcript of our conversation, judge for yourselves!

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two body, your ratio two to one.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

Q : Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Oh no! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!

Well... I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"


For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans...

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.


Thought you would enjoy this educational moment in American history. Can you name this strange old tool? Do you know what it is?

Tobacco Smoke Enemas (1750s – 1810s)
The tobacco enema was used to infuse tobacco smoke into a patient’s rectum for various medical purposes, primarily the resuscitation of drowning victims.

A rectal tube inserted into the anus was connected to a fumigator and bellows that forced the smoke towards the rectum.

The warmth of the smoke was thought to promote respiration.
Doubts about the credibility of tobacco enemas led to the popular phrase “ blowing smoke up your ass.”

Amazingly, it is still in constant use in Washington D.C., by the best senators and representatives money can buy.

The other night while out for a pint at the local, I pointed to two old drunks across the bar from us and told my mate, "That'll  be us in ten years".

 He said, "That's a mirror, you dickhead. "

And finally, my special request for those of us who are going or are already crazy!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Memories Of A Tape Deck

I recently sold my car, and my friendly car mechanic kindly lent me an old 1994 metallic green Toyota Corolla 1.6, to tide me over till I get my new one.

Driving the 1994 Toyota has been as if I’m stepping into a time capsule. Nineteen ninety-four is the year that Brazil beats Italy to win the World Cup; The Chunnel opens; South Africa dismantles apartheid; the IRA agree to a cease-fire; OJ Simpson is on the run while Nixon dies, and Kurt Cobain commits suicide.  Yes, the car brings a back many memories; especially ghosts of past driving habits. 

In the past cars must have been designed for thinner and smaller drivers, because one has to be a contortionist to get into the vehicle, twisting yourself into the drivers seat while making sure you don't bang your head in the process! Years of smoking by its past owners has left the pungent smell of cold  tobacco imbedded in its upholstery; I imagine that's how most cars smelled  twenty or so years ago, however, as at the time most of  the world was still on a nicotine trip, we didn’t notice.The car has no air conditioning because in the 90s that extra was an option and not standard, so I’ve gone back to driving with the windows rolled down; which also helps with the smokey smell! All the little odds and ends which we now take for granted, such as cup or glass holders, are missing. However there is one item which has made driving this banger a pleasure, it has a cassette deck! There is a whole generation out there who will never feel the power of pushing the ff or rew buttons, nor watching a tape being swallowed into the open, hungry, mouth of the deck. Neither will they know, that sinking feeling when the tape reel gets caught and twisted in the works and your cassette is completely ruined.

Luckily, I found a few tapes which have managed to survive numerous moves and clean outs, and playing them while I drive has been taking me back to when music ‘grooved’ slightly more than today. I must have bought John Lennon’s ‘Rock and Roll’ sometime in the 70’s; listening to it now I have to say I would have expected more quality from John and producer Phil Spector; even though the album took over a year to record, it leaves an impression of a rush job. John, though, corrects an 1969 infringement by including Chuck Berry’s ‘You Can’t Catch Me’, from which he borrowed heavily to write ‘Come Together’. The inclusion of three of Berry's songs on the album stopped a pending lawsuit.

Tears for Fears, at the time I found them to be a pleasant middle of the road group, producing good music-not earth moving-just good, full stop. However, I must have liked their 1989 album ‘The Seeds of Love’, as I still have the tape.  Ian Stanley left the band during production due to, wait for it...creative differences...ahhh! Before departing, Ian did leave his creative touch on ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’, and ‘My Life In The Suicide Ranks’..that's an interesting title. It’s been great to rediscover Sandinista by The Clash, I taped this from the LP, and in the process made a lousy job of it, but you can’t damage great music! Sandinista is as politically rebellious now as it was then. In true keeping with ‘Clash’ philosophy the band cut out their royalties to make the album affordable for their fans! Joe Strummer and Mick Jones’s masterpiece, (ok.. they had more than one), stands at position 404 on the list of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time’. Come on! It deserves to be higher than that! But there again..., Joe Strummer was not a believer in charts, and the like.

The gem in this little treasure trove of cassettes is the one that has live recordings of the immortal James Brown, the cassette is titled ‘The Wonderful World Of James Brown 1962-1966’ and I must have bought it some time in 92. It is not without reason that he was called ‘The Godfather of Soul’! From classics such as ‘Night Train‘ and ‘It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ to lesser known diamonds like, ‘The Things That I Used To Do’ and ‘I Lost Someone’, each track is a magnum opus of soul-music!

I have only got another couple of weeks to enjoy my, low to the road, drive back to the last millennium. The only trouble is once I step out of the car I’m back facing the realities of the twenty-first-century.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Soho’s Swan Song

Soho! What was once a hunting cry, over the centuries became synonymous with the search for the entertaining, rougher, side of life, where one could let free their bohemian spirit- even if it was only for a weekend! A visit to London’s Soho used to be an adventure. Behind the bright neon lights of Piccadilly Circus was one square mile of hidden jungle, alienated from the law abiding, bland and boring world of respectable society. It’s small streets and dark alleyways filled with temptations of illicit sex and illegal gambling; where, if you were not careful, you could be fleeced of your weekly wage in the time it takes to give birth to a sucker!

Besides the punters who were on the hunt for erotic pleasures, Soho was also the Shangri-La of youngsters in search of a different kind of thrills such as music, dance and fashion. Starting in 1948 with the Club Eleven, Soho became the breeding ground for many music styles over the years. The 2i’s Coffee Bar, which opened in 1958, was probably the first rock club in Europe. The 60’s came and Mod culture made legends out of clubs such as The Flamingo and The Scene. Who has not heard of Carnaby Street, the centre of Mod fashion in the sixties? Soho’s Wardour Street was the home of the legendary Marquee Club, where many famous bands were baptised with their first performance, including the Rolling Stones in 1962. It was in Denmark Street, where groups such as the Rolling Stones, Kinks and Sex Pistoles cut their first records.

The streets of Soho are rich in the history and memories of those who created it. Karl Marx lived at 54 and 28 Dean Street; Mozart lived in Frith Street as a child, which is also where John Braid first demonstrated television! Casanova lived there during his stay in London. It’s main thoroughfare Shaftesbury Avenue is famous, world wide, for its theatres; as is Leicester Square for its film premiers. The Soho name has been imitated by other entertainment districts such as Soho, Hong Kong and Soho, New York. A little known fact is that the famous brand of cigarettes smoked by rugged cowboys is named after Great Marlborough Street, which was once the location of Philip Morris’ original London factory.

Most of the Mods that tramped through Soho’s warren of streets and alleys in the 60’s were either unaware, or didn’t care that local gangsters, who carried colourful names such as Charley Soho and Mick the Greek, controlled the illicit trade that went on in the one square mile. The Mod's world ran parallel to the racketeers, in fact the two never clashed. In the years that I frequented the West I had very little to do with the red lights; although I did drop some blues! The 60’s, I would dare to say, were Soho’s golden years, the clubs steamed with raw new music sounds, there seemed to be permanent movement on the streets, and fashion was showing its face to the mainstream, the United Kingdom was coming out of the shadow of World War II and opening itself to new ideas, and Soho was one of the guiding lights. In-between the strip clubs and the clip joints, gamblers and punters, Britain's youth culture was making its voice heard; a cry, which would go out and rock the world!

Sadly the past is soon forgotten, and  today the streets of Soho dance to another tune, to that of the builders and bulldozers. The flimsy, erotically clad woman on the street corner has been replaced by a skip. The legendary clubs are long gone. Slowly Soho’s bohemian heart is being ripped apart and being replaced by nerdy unexciting high-street brand names; the entertainment pulse of London is being Starbucked! Buildings that could have told us stories of a more adventurous past are being made in to expensive offices and apartments. The independent businesses, some who have been there for many decades, are being forced out by the high rents. It is an open fact that the Westminster council are out to turn Soho into a pedestrianised bright and shiny modern shopping area, with restaurants owned by top five star chefs. Soho is losing its spirit and colour; tragically it is being domesticated and tamed so its wild sharp edges won’t cut the tourists that visit it. Should someone wish to look for Lola, they’ll find she has packed her bags and is gone.