Somewhere Amazing

A site for celebrating the amazing!

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Black and White and Shades of Grey





Some things are black and white.

Some things are shades of grey.




Just beginnings, no middles or endings

I have a Kindle ebook reader. 

If you also have one you’ll know that you can download samples of a book you like the look of, so you can read it and then decide if you want to buy the whole book. Its quite a good idea, it can save you money on a book you might have bought and regretted it. Its not so good when it involves some of the classics and the sample turns out to be part of a lengthy introduction to the classic by some literary scholar, so the sample doesn’t even get as far as the actual book.

But mostly you get a decent chunk of the start of a book, enough to give you an idea of what its like.

There was a time in the past when I literally didn’t have the money to spare to buy books, every penny was set aside for something more important. So I downloaded alot of samples and had a strange experience.

I found myself reading the start of many books in many genres…and then the stories just…stopped.

A crime was committed and left dangling, I’d never find out whodunnit or whytheydunnit or even meet the detective involved. All I had was the mind of the killer, not great. I’d read the start of an autobiography  the preamble to someone’s life story and then it would just…stop, leaving me with but a glimpse into a life, frequently the author’s reasons for writing, and then…nothing. Sometimes I was glad I only had the sample because I had no interest in the story continuing, sometimes I was frustrated because the tale was gripping but then stopped abruptly, leaving me staring at a message asking I wanted to purchase the book. 

I read of many beginnings but no middles and no endings.

It was a strange experience. 

I wondered if it was a bit like speed dating, table hopping from person to person to get the briefest glimpse into someone’s life before moving to the next person. By the end of the night you have a catalogue in your head of snapshots but nothing more. Some you know you’ll never see again and are glad, others sparked your interest. 

Not sure why I’m writing this, other than to simply say that it was a strange experience reading those samples.

Just beginnings, no middles or endings.

Thanks for reading.

Somewhere Amazing

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Keep going, it gets better…


Anyone who has read Peter Hamilton’s first novel in the Night’s Dawn series will know that it gets pretty technical before it really gets going, you run the danger of getting bogged down before enjoyment starts. You have to wade through a fair bit of futurist evolutionary biological and technical information (the author no doubt had a great time writing it) before the story really starts moving.

I tried to read this book several times before finally getting through its 1200+ pages (and that’s just the first volume!). But twice, on attempting to read it, it proved too dense and hit me with so much sometimes microscopic information of the ‘doesn’t yet exist’ kind that I gave up. Maybe the third time I succeeded because I’d already read the heavy opening bits twice so could skim them somewhat and not have such a headache when I finally past the early bits and the story got going. When it did get going, I found myself drawn in and enjoying it even with its huge character cast and multi-strand plot lines. I was glad I’d persevered. 

Peter Hamilton is a science fiction writer who doesn’t hesitate to hit his readers with indepth technical futuristic ideas and thoughts. To be fair, if you are picking up one of his books you probably know that and for some that is part of the appeal of his books. Again, to be fair, reading his ideas, you do feel like a bit of a genius yourself. A bit like trying to read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, for a few seconds you think you ‘get it’ and feel like your IQ is approaching a million, then you lose whatever it was you thought you’d grasped and put the book down never to return to it again. You had your moment of huge IQ-ness 🙂

Quantum leap of a connection here, but it struck me as the same, at times, when you first meet a person. Some people can be hard to ‘get’, some people have personalities that you find hard work. But, just now and then, its worth persevering with them, trying to understand them a bit more (though that’s a two way street) and you may just finally break through and find a person and a friend, or maybe more, who enriches your life and provides friendship which, frankly, when you first met them, you wouldn’t have believed possible. 

Of course, there does have to be something in the person that attracts you in the first place, or there would be no ‘there’s something there’ to want to persevere to find the rest of.

You may break through to the inner them and discover that, actually, you’d rather not know them, and that’s okay too (there are other books I persevered with and they never got any better). But, every now and then, a person comes along who you don’t hit it off with immediately, and there are many bumps and bruises and character mismatches before things smooth out and there remains two souls who actually work together pretty well.

Not always, but sometimes.

Thanks for reading.

Somewhere Amazing



Ancient Hope

O love that wilt not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee;

I give thee back the life I owe,

That in thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be.


O light that foll’west all my way,

I yield me flick’ring torch to thee;

My heart restores its borrow ray,

That in thine sunshine’s blaze its day

May brighter, fairer be.


O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain,

That morn shall tearless be.


O Cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from thee;

I lay in dust life’s glory dead,

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.




I find in these words a profound sadness and yet a deep deep hope. 

Thanks for reading.

Somewhere Amazing


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Sorry for what I said, I unsult you…

I was writing an article and part of it was to do with freedom of speech and whether this includes the freedom to insult someone and the subsequent debate regarding whether freedom of speech or expression should have parameters or be totally free.

By committing a typo I mistakenly asked the question, “Is it okay to unsult someone?”

That made me think…if we insult someone, can we then unsult them?

Can we remove the insult by unsulting them? Can this be a new form of remorse? Can unsulting be the same as undoing?

Can a politician say to his opposite number, “I’m sorry I insulted you, I now unsult you?”

Can we introduce the word ‘unsult’ into the dictionary?


…clearly my brain is tiring…

Thanks for reading.

Somewhere Amazing