Tuesday 28 November 2023

Book Review: Chess Story (alt title is The Royal Game) by Stefan Zweig

Chess Story

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a writer that was known to me and I've forgotten how it got onto my TBR list.
The narrator is aboard a passenger ship heading to Buenos Aires when he realises a Chess Champion and child prodigy, Mirko Czentovic, is as well. He organises amateur games with the aim of drawing the champion out of his detachment, and with the aid of a fee paid by a chess loving traveling businessman, he succeeds in doing so. As the passenger lose game after game , another man, Dr B, lends them some advice. This changes their game. This man's back story explains his incarceration by the Gestapo in WW2 and why he now no longer plays himself and why now he is persuaded to take on the champion.
You do not have to understand chess in great detail to enjoy this novel as it is the nature of the game and the psychological aspects of gameplay that are critical as Dr B's madness boils up until he has to withdraw from the game.

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Thursday 23 November 2023

Devastating beauty by Sheila Ash


Hidden seeds flowered by desert rains
Memories of you watered by grief
Both flower with devastating beauty.

© Sheila Ash 2023
RIP N (25-10-2023)

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Audio Book Review: The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk

The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a first novel and as such was quite impressive. Historical setting, tinges of steampunk - clockmakers, spies, incarceration in a Sultans palace, a son's search for his father, Dickens like characters - Mrs Morley was excellent and very well characterized and read on the audio by actress Clare Corbett (https://voicecall-online.co.uk/female...) , Tom Spurrell, clockmakers assistant extraordinaire, with the male characters by Bert Seymour (https://www.voicebanklondon.co.uk/art...) . I thought the story well crafted. An enjoyable read. Will be keeping an eye open for his next novel.

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Monday 6 November 2023

Ghost Waves by Sheila Ash

Ghost waves

Sea waves seen distant on approach
A choice to be made – run away or dive in?
The waves of grief are but ghosts
Stealth predators, creeping, silent stalkers
Snaring unawares.
They unbalance, deliver tsunamis of memories,
Splinter hearts into a thousand tears,
Then just as suddenly pass.

Always loved, RIP N 25th Oct 2023

© Sheila Ash 4th November 2023


Thursday 2 November 2023

The Beautiful Dawn by Sheila Ash - the rewrite - in memoria for N

I first wrote this in 2018 for the most important person in my life in my life.
Following his death last week, I've revisited it and  tweaked it.
For all our dreams unrealised and for those "beautiful moments" shared.
RIP N ❤️ Always loved, S

The Beautiful Dawn the rewrite  - in memoria for N





Once I dreamt of her, The Beautiful Dawn,
while softly humming James Blunt
and watching you sleep.
white voiles breezing in the open windows
caressing the morning’s silent entrance
the sun stirring as you should be.
coral sands and blue waters calling
the sail is up, the wind astern
outward to the ocean
that endless horizon of dreams
we set sail.

© Sheila Ash, 2 Nov 2023

Note:It is of course a reference to James Blunt song
and the dream of a boat to be called The Beautiful Dawn

"Beautiful dawn,
lights up the shore for me
There is nothing else in this world
I'd rather wake up and see
with you"