Extracted from THE BIT IN THE MIDDLE to be published Spring 2016

"...As a local gardener of the district - and a writer of dubious distinction - I am occasionally invited to speak at small gatherings by folk who feel I may have something of interest to say on gardening matters.  I always decline, explaining politely that the prospect of public speaking fills me with dread (sometimes I say I am on holiday). Some people like nothing better than to speak in front of an audience, while others do not.  I fall into the latter category and have no desire to change this state of affairs, although I did once appear on Question Time (1977, BBC1, presented by Robin Day) as a member of the studio audience, but unfortunately it was only my left shoulder that made an appearance - the rest of my body remained off camera for the duration. I also took part in a television documentary about student radicalism in the days when I wore ripped jeans, multi-coloured t-shirts and sported an exceedingly hairy phizog, but was edited out before it reached the screen. Perhaps I was too radical for the times, or simply too preoccupied with the free food on offer to concentrate on the weighty matters in hand? I shall never know..."


Extracted from The Bit in the Middle to be published as an ebook in Spring 2016. Non fiction, autobiographical, the life and times of a self-employed gardener in the Scottish Highlands.
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Extracted from 'The Bit In The Middle' to be published Spring 2016

“…The therapeutic benefits of gardening are well documented. There’s nothing like strimming the strawberries, chain sawing the hedge and generally letting loose with power tools in the shrubbery to exercise the mind and invigorate the body. Plants survive most things, you know, as long as you don’t fiddle faddle about. Leave them be, that’s what I say, apart from the occasional hearty prune with a hedge trimmer, or one of those remarkable battery charged, swivel-bladed, Sunday Roast Carving Knives if there’s nothing else to hand…”

Extracted from The Bit in the Middle to be published as an ebook in Spring 2016. Non fiction, autobiographical, the life and times of a self-employed gardener in the Scottish Highlands.
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Taken from the new book: The Bit In The Middle. To be published Spring 2016

  "...The day had started badly. It could only get better. It did. A pleasant pruning, chopping and blethering sort of day ensued. I was half way up an apple tree when I took an urgent phone call requesting Jaffa cakes and ‘something tasty for supper’. A request for ‘something tasty for supper’ is not unusual and often results in whatever I can lay my hands on in a hurry. A cheese and onion quiche perhaps? Though Jaffa cakes are easier, more specific and to the point. Jaffa cakes, incidentally, have replaced traditional half-time oranges at football matches. Disappointing.
Shopping complete, I returned home as dusk was falling. The bristling cat sat on the doorstep with the cackling ducks waiting to be let in.
  So there you are, a day in the life of a gardener in the Scottish Highlands. It is late evening as I sit at the kitchen table writing this, the house is relaxed and peaceful, the only sounds to be heard are the cackle of contented ducks, the snore of a satisfied and big eared dog and the light tapping of a grammatically challenged rural rambling man on the laptop computer..."

Extracted from The Bit in the Middle to be published as an ebook in Spring 2016. Non fiction, autobiographical, the life and times of a self-employed gardener in the Scottish Highlands.

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The Bit in the Middle - new book to be published Spring 2016

“…I de-iced the car and set off for work accompanied by a flask of coffee, smarting cheeks from oscillating dog ears and a mobile phone in case someone should call requiring urgent assistance with an unforeseen shrubbery incident. I had not gone far when I stopped to allow three stern geese to cross the road, at which point they answered my consideration by attacking the car, vicious blighters, in stark contrast to the escaped cow further down the road who gave me nothing more than a cursory glance as I overtook her at a snail’s pace.
  Geese often guarded whisky distilleries in the past, you know, and provided an effective alarm system with integral deterrent (pecking) should anyone attempt to make off with a barrel or two, although in more recent times they have fallen out of favour due to their complete disregard for the notion of intent. Intent to steal whisky - deserving of a good peck. Non intent to steal whisky – still deserving of a good peck. Not pleasant. On a par with oscillating dog ears across the face. Give me a casual cow any day…”

Extracted from The Bit in the Middle to be published as an ebook in Spring 2016. Non fiction, autobiographical, the life and times of a self-employed gardener in the Scottish Highlands.
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The Bit in the Middle - to be published Spring 2016

"...It’s 6.30 am in the morning, a ‘woolly hat’ sort of day - brittle ice, crispy coldness. I put the cackling ducks outside (they spent the night in the security of the kitchen on account of the sly fox that killed the unsuspecting hens and would almost certainly kill the cackling ducks given half a chance), fed the bleating goats, discussed the weather with the bristling cat as I guided her into the garden with a broom (useful for ‘cat-guiding’  situations), checked the fat goldfish was still alive (old fish, still alive), then tied my boot laces at the exact moment the big-eared dog vigorously shook his head resulting in a sequence of rapid slaps across my face with his ears. Very painful..."

Extracted from The Bit in The Mddle to be published as an ebook in Spring 2016. Non fiction, autobiographical, the life and times of a self-employed gardener in the Scottish Highlands.

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Updated blog information

For the moment all updates can now be found at my website: www.patrickvickery.com which also contains a link to Twitter (@ramblingbloke)
Thanks for checking in.
Patrick

"the bit in the middle"

Book is just about complete - give or take another week or so. Then it goes out to others to edit and de-construct!
Title: the bit in the middle.
Length: 56000 words.
Publication date: January 2015 with a bit of luck - as an ebook initially, and then.........we shall see.

Introduction/Quotes/Lack of a title/Ebook

The intro of the new book can now be found on the home page at www.patrickvickery.com
The book has yet to be given a title. It was possibly "The Hampshire Highlander" but this idea has now been discarded for a variety of reasons.
Daily quotes from the book can now be found on Twitter
Publication to be initially as an Ebook. Should be completed and ready to go by the autumn of 2014.