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With all the advances in technology, it does seem at times, that it is quite hard to keep up.  On the other hand, using technology has enabled me to stay in closer touch with you through these chapters.  Sadly, all the technology can make us lose site of some of the real treasures we have right in front of us.  Whilst some of these treasures are tangible, hold-in-our-hands things, most of them are deep within us I think.  The things I treasure the most are creativity, and friends and family to share it with.

First, I have managed to take some time off of work to resume painting.  My latest expedition into the world of acrylic on canvas was interesting.  When we all got together in Sitges recently, I had taken some photos, and one of them intrigued me no end.  I was so taken by it, I thought it might be a good opportunity to do an acrylic portrait.  After spending several long nights playing with texture and colour, I thought I finally had it sorted.  And whilst it does look like the photo of the subject, neither the photo or the painting look like her so I think I will keep this one for myself.

Second, if you remember a month or so ago, I had written about the novel I had written.  This was my first fiction book (although some of the business writing I do you might think is from the world of fiction).  This week, I received author copies of the book, and the publisher let me know that the book is now available through Amazon and major booksellers in the UK.  So at the risk of sounding like someone who wants people to read this literary work, I thought it wouldn’t be that cheeky if I told you how easy it is to buy it.  All you have to do is click on this link and place your order(s). 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Village-James-B-Rieley/dp/1907172262/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=

books&qid=1247511687&sr=8-1

Third, I have written often about what I am lucky enough to see from my terrace.  Well, today the vista in front of me was a bit over the top, even for me.  Each day, I get to see boats of all shapes, sizes, and types anchor out in front of Sol y Mar.  As an ex-sailor, some of them cause me to wish desperately to once again be able to have a boat, or at very minimum, be able to sail again.  But equally, some of the boats I see are flat-out yachts that boggle the mind.  Today I saw one of these.  The boat’s name is Ilona, and she is 73 meters long (3/4’s the length of a football pitch) and as I was wondering how anyone can afford such as piece of kit, I heard a helicopter’s whirly sound.  This sound isn’t all that unusual as police helicopters often go zipping past the house.  But the sound I heard today was very close…because it landed on the stern of the boat.  So what did I do?  I took a photo of it so all of you sailing friends can join me in pondering where we went wrong.

Fourth, next week I may attend a reunion.  No, not my high-school reunion, but a reunion for some of the graduate and post-graduate students I met when I sailed from Lisbon to Panama a couple of years ago (Chapter 65 of Letters from the Village).  I have stayed in touch with quite a few of them and received a note recently about a planned reunion that will be held in Barcelona.  As it is only a 30 minute flight, and it would be great to see some of them again, I just may hop on a jet. 

Fifth, and most certainly not the least important. I like to read.  I do tend to stay away from reading business books, and I wouldn’t want their content to pollute my business-writing tendencies.  I do, however, like to read the outputs of authors like David Baldacci and Nelson DeMille and tend to get my hands on their latest efforts as soon as they come on the market.  But there are several other authors whose books I have in my collection, and there must be some deep-seated theme thing going on that drives me to have them. 

One is Beryl Markham; another is James Barrie.  And right now, I am trying to get my hands on an early copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.  Markham was a contemporary of Karen Blixen, who wrote Out of Africa.  Markham’s books are marvellous stories about how one can overcome what are perceived to be insurmountable odds.  Barrie, of course, is the author of Little White Bird and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, both wonderful books about hopes and dreams. 

 

And then there is Stevenson.  His Treasure Island is a wonderful story of adventure and discovering the unknown, and the very name does sort of reflect what I think of where I am.  I suppose one of the reasons I really want to find a good copy of Treasure Island is because the 1911 edition was illustrated by N. C. Wyeth, and the illustrations alone are marvellous.  So, every once in a while, I troll through Google searches trying to find a good copy of the 1911 edition at a reasonable price.  I am not holding my breath.

 

the latest from the studio   (click here to enlarge)

 

buy now to avoid the rush (I wish)

 

I really do need a camera with a proper telephoto lens I guess

 

maybe someday

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, James B. Rieley

jbrieley@rieley.com