Tom Rob Smith: Refuse Matters: Musing

"The safest way to write a diary was to imagine Stalin reading every word.
 Even exercising this degree of caution there was the risk of a slipped phrase, accidental ambiguity- a misunderstood sentence. "

So starts "Agent 6 " by  Tom Rob Smith. This being the third book in his Russian trilogy which began with "Child 44 "  followed by " The Secret Speech. "

These books have been literary delights, ensuring rapid page turning. The subject matter is grim and stark; namely life under the rule of Stalin and later his successor Khrushchev in communist Russia.

Our 'hero'  Leo Demidov who has periods working for the MGB and KGB has targets to meet. They are the number of state 'traitors ' he has found and denounced. Nobody, including families are safe from being convicted for crimes, which usually meant execution or labour intensive imprisonment in the harsh realities of the Gulags

 Once this fear of exposure was realised, it became endemic throughout society. Who was friend? Who was Foe?  An uncertain life indeed.

Reading these books made you thankful for our democracy and a rule of law which thankfully contains checks and balances.

Tom Rob Smith is an excellent writer. You may have seen his work in the recent BBC2 mini- television series " London Spy " ( 2015 ). A film was also made of  "Child 44 ".
Clicking the web-link below will give more info and let you to see a trailer of the film.

 Rarely have I enjoyed a series as much as the above books, The plots twist and turn and shocks happen, against a background of snowy, cold and at the very least, dismal conditions. But as usual, however dire events may appear to be, the human spirit shines through.

An inspiring and engrossing read.



D. and I visited the recycling centre " Wingmoor Farm" at Stock Orchard, near Bishops Cleve.
We took plant material, wood and bags of polystyrene  in our car there.

It always gives me great satisfaction to rid ourselves of this unwanted stuff and know that much of what we have carried there over the years has been usefully recycled to start the circle again.

One must mention how well this site is maintained. It is clean and clearly marked skips show where your refuse should go. The operatives are friendly and helpful and because of its situation away from suburbia, even the journey there is pleasant .

Always thought some of my photos were rubbish; well here's your proof!



When can we have a rule whereby if England/Britain reach a World Final. it should be shown on terrestrial television?
We learn today that England's cricket team will play West Indies in the T20 World Final. I accept that those who have subscribed to Sky should have preference, but  non-subscribers could still view the match,  time- delayed . This scenario is not going to happen very often is it?

My two supported football teams have major games ahead. Cheltenham Town ( The Robins ) play Grimsby tonight ( 01 / 04 / '16 ) They badly need to win this match to consolidate their position at the top of the table, where they lead their neighbouring rivals Forest Green
Rovers by two points.
 Sorry to labour the point, but in this league only the top team gets automatic promotion, the others must battle in those nervous play-offs  at the end of the season for the second spot.

We, Robins don't want this.

My Premier team Newcastle United has a ' six-pointer ' relegation battle  away against Norwich at three o'clock tomorrow (2/4).
 Having had a woeful season, further bad news came this week with the injury of our goalkeeper Rob Elliot, sustained in a friendly International match.Step forward 25 year old Karl Darlow, who has some champion league experience.
 With only eight games to go, we badly need to make a positive statement against relegation rivals Norwich. Now is the time for new manager Rafa Benitez to make his mark!


I think it was Paul Simon  who sang ' April come she may; ' well she has and goodness me what a tonic to see those lighter nights. With only moderate rainfall predicted in the week ahead, will we see good going for the Grand National on Saturday?
Time will tell.
Cheerio for now,


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