Friday, January 27, 2012


I watched US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Wednesday and enjoyed it very much. And I was struck by several things the President had to say, particuarly these phrases, which I jotted down (yes, I know I took notes and that is probably very strange)...

  • "We admire financial success" 
  • "asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes..."
  • "Shared responsibility"
  • "Clinging to rigid ideologies instead of building consensus around common sense ideas" (one of the negative ways the American people view Congress/Washington)
  • "I'm a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more."
  • "anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn't know what they're talking about."
  • "our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it."
  • "our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own."

and these... 

  • " America built to last."
I find this a particularly interesting catchphrase and viewed it in two ways:
     1. When you are the world's number 1(in whatever activity you happened to be number one) it is an all out effort to stay at that position, particularly when you feel your grip on the top spot slipping.
     2.  When your raison d'etre is based upon an idea, (the passion for which has been passed down from one successful generation after the next, you have risked everything for that idea to make it work and have seen that it can spectacularly), but things are looking a bit grim, you realise that you are never really that far from needing reassurance that it is and always was a fair, noble and just idea, that it will keep on working and you won't ever give up on it.
  • "Tyranny is no match for liberty."
Quintessentially American. You can probably find it in the bloodwork of every American. It's like genetic memory, perhaps - "a nation conceived in liberty" no less [Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address]. Liberty is that 'idea'. No matter what anyone else may think of it, it is the foundation of the Republic of the United States of America.
     A lot of people might say that in many places in the world tyranny has done and continues to do a damn fine job of being a match for liberty. I think deep in our hearts we do believe that it can be overcome - the Arab Spring has given us great hope in that regard. And we owe this belief in part to America's belief, in which tyranny in any form (and then some) will not be tolerated, and where it exists it can be overcome. She knows because she did it to the British back in 1776. A benchmark that formed and underpins the absolute belief.
    She overcame slavery. She defeated fascism. She arm-wrestled communism. She cornered terrorism. Should I mention that she is coming to grips, slowly, with the devastating effects of unfettered capitalism? All at great cost. It is an uphill-run-with-full-kit struggle to do this overcoming tyranny thing in the name of liberty, especially when it spills out and effects so many other nations; and the ideology in its purist form is threatened - battling terrorism saw her democracy suffer serious colateral damage; but she believes that liberty is the most precious possession in the world and it is a force for good.
    Cicero once wrote, 'peace is liberty in tranquility'.
    President Obama spoke with pride about his successful foreign policies and the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Bin Laden is no more; the money used for war can now be used at home.  
    But he also said that he would not tolerate Iran making nuclear weapons. And even though he did say a peaceful solution was preferable, upon hearing his resolve regarding Iran, that 'oh no not another war' feeling, even now, collapses my stomach, presses upon the heart...
    Some of that liberty in tranquility would be nice, Mr President. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Light on the sand, rays on the waves... 2012 has dawned. Time to get moving on those plans!

Planning the year ahead can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. So much to do and so little time, is the catchcry, and don't we all feel it... but better this than the reverse perhaps. Although, after a while you get so busy you don't know what having nothing to do feels like, and I think we see it as boredom, or feel guilty because we have decided to stop for a while and chill out. We all need our downtime, and I really appreciated the relaxing break Tank & I had over Christmas and the New Year. 

     Now, back to the exciting; time to turn ideas into plans, plans into projects and projects into action...

    Tank & Ferry Entertainment will be very busy this year, working on a number of projects. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be revealing some of our plans and ideas for 2012. There'll even be a teaser for Volume Three of The Liberty & Property Legends! 
     One such project involves this blog. For me, the purpose of my blog is as place of ideas, as well as circulating news and reviews on my books, and Tank & Ferry business. I've expressed my opinions and feelings; shared ideas, books, and even holiday snaps! For better or worse, it's a rich life and with the constant acquisition of more ideas of all shapes and sizes it is enriched even further.
     This collection of ideas reflects something applicable to all of us who live in the free world. We have the freedom to express our ideas, and activate them if we wish. As you can imagine, for someone who writes about liberty and freedom in her novels, this is very dear to my heart. And so that I don't take it for granted, I like to remind myself often that I live in a country where freedom of expression is not only permissible but integral to society; freedom is our mindset, perhaps the best expression of who we are.

And when I see and read about people in other lands whose freedoms are stifled or non-existent it really emphasises how vital it is to protect and celebrate the liberties we possess. Yes, it can be subjective, or political, and sometimes an ideological sore point, but on the whole we all understand the imperative of freedom in our lives. We are prepared to fight for it, no question. And we raise the alarm and we object when we feel that our liberty has been or is about to be compromised in some way.

Let me not wander too far from my initial segue!

     A place of ideas... this year, in 2012, I'm lining up some wonderful guest bloggers who are doing some remarkable things in this freedom-loving, liberty-rich society of ours. They are following their hearts, expressing their creativity, diving into the unknown, living their dreams, enriching the world we live in.
     My first guest will be here in the next couple of weeks. She has a fabulous adventure to share, so I hope you'll join me. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Some of my favourites... 

I love it when they're all home for Christmas, I'm up for anything.

Why do they need to decorate the tree when they have me?

That feline really doesn't get what the tree is all about...

A souvenir from adventures on Cape Cod!
We have lots of little birds on our tree, a firm favourite.

Christmas flowers...
Christmas jewels... 
         ...actually chocolate fruit & nut gingerbread 
cookies, baked by GEM.The combination of 
chilly and chocolate made them a winner.

This big boy carried his weight and more...
...the Spicy fruit and nut Christmas 
Cake (aka pioneer Prune Cake. 
See Blackbird Pie for details!)

Cooking on Christmas Eve...

Mummy couldn't put the finishing touches 
to our Christmas Eve feast without me! 
If you would like to know what was on the 
menu, email her at

Keeping a close eye on the seagulls... a visit to the 
beach on Christmas Day. The big dogs sipped sangria... 
I sipped water of course!
Christmas Day brought us a perfect beach day!

Tank by the beach on Christmas Day

I hope your holidays were peaceful and fun-filled. And may 2012 bring you everything you need and all you could want.

Photography by GEM.