I was searching the internet recently in the hope of adding one or two details to my family tree when I made a rather surprising discovery, apparently there's a crater on Mars named Briault (the name was approved in 1973 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature) after the French astronomer P Briault although further research on this gentlemen proved of small benefit as there is little to be found.

Throughout my life, various dentists have regaled me with talk of the Briault dental probe and whilst I can find numerous references to the implement include pictures and lists of places where same may be purchased I've been unable to determine how or when it got its name.

If anyone can add anything on either subject I would be delighted to hear from them. My interest lies simply in knowing more about the probe or the astronomer rather than connecting them to my own family line.

Self assessment?

I have often said that modesty is NOT one of my failings of which I am certain there are many.

Reasons to be cheerful (Ian Dury & The Blockheads 1979)

I write not in the hope of achieving fame or fortune, I know the potential for either is infinitesimal, but for the simple pleasure it gives me, the satisfaction I get as each chapter is finished and the joy of reading the finished work. Selfish perhaps, yet by sharing the results of my efforts, there is always the possibility that others might find that I’m not entirely egotistical.

Literature & Learning

It's my belief that all literature is a source for learning, it falls to each of us to determine its worth. No matter how brief, I value the periods of pure escapism I get from reading a work of fiction as they help me to survive the realities of modern life.

On writing.

A.A.Milne 1882-1956. Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) ch.6 My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) ch.10 Eeyore was saying to himself. "This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it."

You couldn’t make it up…

...and yet we both did. In my constant search for new authors (those whose work I haven't read) to add to my reading list, I came across Emily Gee and her 'Cursed Kingdoms' trilogy, for lovers of the genre these are a must read trio. Imagine my surprise when I began to read the first volume, 'The Sentinel Mage' to discover that Emily and I had both made up the same name, Harkeld. In an adult fantasy entitled 'Falgorin' that I wrote some 25 years ago, more of that on my Bio page, I had used the name for that of a fictitious country, she used it for the name of a central character in her trilogy. I emailed Emily to mention the strange coincidence and was delighted by her reply particularly when she told me that Harkeld was in fact the third name considered for the character but as she put it, it ended up being the one that stuck.

Lunch with Peter James

I was privileged to meet the international best-selling crime writer Peter James yesterday. I’m a great fan of his books particularly so because many of the plots are based in and around our shared home town of Brighton. Exchanging memories of the town made the pleasure of meeting a favourite and much respected author truly memorable for which I thank him.