Saturday, 2 February 2013

Healthy Pleasures


GREETINGS from Great Marton on Lancashire's Fylde coast. Here the sun is shining and, as long as you're muffled up against a fresh breeze off the Irish Sea, it's invigorating to stroll through Blackpool's Stanley Park and observe spring preparing to appear.

 But first there's a few stretches to be done as, at Edmonds Towers, we reach for the sun and shake our tails. Such are the quaint names of our Tai Chi exercises, or Chi Gong to be precise - the latest of She Who Knows' fitness regimes.
Having spent some years in the Far East, I am respectful of their culture and heritage. In the interests of peace at home and a healthy life, I am also happy to spend a few minutes each day on such shared pursuits. After all, She Who only wants what's best for me (and tells me she knows best).
In dynamic Hong Kong it was reassuring to see people gently exercising together in parks, amid the skyscrapers, to improve body and spirit. This was something they valued as much as daily commerce, a treasure they reached to and rated higher even than the Hang Seng Index.
Foreign religions also intrigued me. We look for truth everywhere but, like nature, it remains the same as always and stares us in the face. It's only the perspective that alters.
In the end, a home-spun Church of England faith fits my life comfortably enough. A few daily exercises, a walk in the sun and some tennis keep me fit for purpose.
And that purpose is to entertain you and, hopefully, share that joy in life which is a free pleasure for all.
You will find more about the Far East in Way Over Yonder in our side pages. I shall be delving further into romance there.
The furthest I travelled was a tiny dot on the Australian coast in its remotest Outback. Arrival there is recalled in Excerpts.
My next novel, A Brush With Murder, is set closer to home, in a picturesque village here on the Fylde. Its hero is both painter & decorator and artist, an ordinary working man who also reaches for the heavens. He has a secret love and looks for beauty everywhere . . . but finds ugliness and evil too.
So, keep a weather eye on our growing Books page . . .
And stretch yourself!
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