Monday, 18 December 2017

Season's Greetings

Well Christmas is almost upon us once again and I am pleased to say that the cards I posted from England to Oz have arrived – well most of them anyway! Cards to friends 'across the ocean' are the only ones I really worry about.

The other good news is that I have signed off the proof copy of 'Sunburnt Pom's Tales of Oz' which I am happy to say is on target for release on 26th January – Australia Day.

The recent vote on Gay Marriage in the Oz Parliament made me chuckle as it reminded me of an anecdote in the second story in the book which I called Boutique Beer. You'll have to read it for yourself.

For the moment you can get it only from YPDBooks

Have a great festive season and see you again in the New Year.

Mark AKA The Sunburnt Pom
16th December 2017

Friday, 1 December 2017

Countdown to Christmas

Well, as usual we Poms got stuffed by the Aussies in Brissie. How predictable is that? I wish I was there – or maybe not!
Cricket or no cricket the State Capital of Queensland is a truly beautiful city and I have made two separate trips there.
Sufficient anecdotes stuck in mind from places and people to make me write several 'Queensland stories' for my forthcoming book 'Sunburnt Pom's Tales of Oz.' 
The day on Fraser Island which I called 'Jurassic Park Oz Style' will stay in my memory forever. I am sorry this book has only been on Amazon Kindle thus far but it will be launched as a slimline paperback in time for Australia Day next month. It will be lightweight to make it 'airmail friendly' and I am hoping to emulate the success of possibly my favourite  Oz book of all time – Let Stalk Strine!
Initially it will only be available from – checkout the website to pre-order.
Back to cricket, moving house recently I unearthed a photograph of the Aussie Touring Team to England in 1961 which my grandfather had bought for me and posted to Malta where we lived at the time. Some of the names are now icons....Bill Lawry...Richie Benaud...I could go on.
Can any other sporting contest, anywhere in the world, ever equal the Ashes? I very much doubt it!

Have a great festive season and see you again in the New Year.

Mark AKA The Sunburnt Pom 
1st December 2017

Friday, 14 July 2017

My Hong Kong book and The Queen

The last numbered book in this Limited Edition,  No. 1997, was reserved for the last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten. Some readers asked what happened to No.1
I can now reveal that No. 1 was presented to the Queen. Hong Kong was after all the last of her real Colonies and one could argue that the night of June 30th 1997 marked the end of Empire.
I have received a delightful letter of thanks from Buckingham Palace informing me how touched Her Majesty was to receive it.

Readers ordering this limited edition hardback will thus receive a number between 2 and 1996. I am sorry it is not possible to order a specific No. When the limited edition has sold out readers will be offered a paperback version at a lower price.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Hong Kong hardback now available

Here is the link to the newly released hardback.

Readers might like to know that the last book No.1997 was reserved for the last Governor, Lord Christopher Patten and it was dispatched to the House of Lords this week. I hope he enjoys it!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Election - not long now

The general election will soon be over one way or the other, thank goodness. Aren't you, like me, just so tired of our TV screens being filled with the same people – politicians and journalists alike?

At least in this country we just 'carry on as usual' the shops and pubs are still open, and there aren't queues at banks and ATMs. Many years ago I was on a Canadian Pacific train from Vancouver to Winnipeg on election day and all bars and liquor stores were closed by law. Having just got off a ship and being loaded down with gin, rum and whisky, unsurprisingly we were the most popular passengers on the train – particularly with the crew in the guard's van at the rear.  Can you imagine all our pubs being closed on Polling Day? I certainly can't! Riots or what?!

Should we adopt the Aussie-style compulsory voting with a fine for failing to do so? I have mixed feelings. What do you think?

4th June 2017

Sunday, 7 May 2017

General Election - 08 June 2017

The general election is looming and with it thoughts of career politicians of all colours revamping their promises, pledges and lies for the next opportunity to sup and quaff at the tax-payers' expense for five years.

A recent letter to the Daily Telegraph suggested that the House of Lords should be abolished in its present form and its members be pensioned off and replaced by ordinary citizens selected at random. I had to laugh when I read that! My first novel 'Your Country Needs You' suggested that should happen to the House of Commons, not the Upper House. Readers' reviews said that the book was ten years ahead of its time – like Martin Peters, the footballer perhaps?

In any event I think it is an avenue really worth considering and on reflection maybe the House of Lords IS the place to do it. We could then have an elected House of Commons and a selected House of Lords. Your Country Needs You is pure satire at its best. MPs selected included a Big Issue vendor, a greengrocer, an Asian illegal immigrant, a senior banker and an eighteen year old shop assistant from WH Smiths in Chelmsford – the Essex Girl of British politics who stole everybody's hearts.

In reality, could it work with the House of Lords? Could we really rid our country of these for the most part outdated, costly part-timers who would be more at home in a human museum.

Let me know what you think as the race to feed at the Commons trough hots up over the next few weeks.


8th May 2017

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Hello and welcome to my first post on the blogspot - the first of many to come I promise you!
Those of you interested in travel, politics and satire will, I hope come to enjoy my post irrespective of whether you agree with me or not.

Looking forward to your views on the world too!


Monday, 13 February 2017

New M V Harland Blog

Deciding to turn away from novels my two most recent books are:-
'Malta: My Island' and 'One Thousand days in Hong Kong.'

 Both books are essentially memoirs of the time I spent in both countries, firstly as a young schoolboy in Malta in the early Sixties and then in Hong Kong in the late Sixties. Read the reviews for yourself. You do not have to have visited either country to enjoy the read. If you like history and  geography with just a little bit of politics thrown in then I am sure you will enjoy reading them just as much as I enjoyed writing them.

However, my first book was pure political satire and 'Your Country Needs You' was first published in 2008. The plot involved the Queen, tired of corrupt politicians, throwing out all elected MPs and replacing them with ordinary citizens selected at random by a computer. Needless to say the book was not a favourite on the Palace of Westminster bookshelves.The Establishment was appalled to the extent that that the book was banned from being advertised in Freemasonry Today. I was delighted! Two sequels soon followed, one with an American flavour, 'A Very Special Relationship' and one set entirely in Australia, 'Her Place in the Sun.' The latter gave rise to my nickname Down Under – The Sunburnt Pom!