Monday, 30 January 2012

Book Sales

The book sales are stuck on 10. I have managed to move ten copies of "Down but not out", which is frankly surprising, but non of the more commercially targetted book, "Bin Laden Lives". I would have expected it to be the other way round.
I am on page 25 of the new book, "My Mum's Ginger Cat" and to be honest, it is great, I am having fun with it. I have written articles for magazines, and for shows and exhibitions, but I have never sat down and seriously tried to right a proper book before. I am enjoying myself.
I have decided to set up a web site to advertise the books, and also so I can flog a few paintings. I have not sold a single painting in nearly 10 years, but that may be because I have only painted 7 in that same period! I have bought some canvases, bought a pile of paints, some new brushes and have dug out two of my easels, as from the spring, I will be paiting again.
Actually, I said this last year, and painted about half a canvas. This year, I am going to do something about it. I am now looking for somewhere I can paint... That will be the main task!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Not been well

Sorry no blogs for a while. I was not well. I have had a stomache virus that saw me chucking up really badly on Thursday and being very run down up until yesterday afternoon.
I am now feeling a lot better and I am trying to get back on my boat. Unfortunately it has sailed.
I was due to board the ship on Thursday night at Mid Night (originally it had been 0900 Friday morning, but it was brought forward to Thursday), but it sailed without me.
I have been told that I may need a letter from my Doctor confirming I am OK before I can board. We will wait and see.
The third book is progressing, obviously I had a few days off, but I did some more work on it yesterday and it is now about 23 kindle pages long. It needs a lot more work....

Monday, 23 January 2012

Son's 17th Birthday

I went over to my ex wifes house last night to attend my son's birthday party. It was OK, I took a card and a small present, a pull up bar that fits in a doorway, which is what he asked for.
We watched the mask, did some kareoke, ate some food, had a few laughs and basically it was a good night.
He is brilliant, he has really grown up into a nice kid.
When I finally do get a house, it will be a pleasure having him over to stay.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Baby sitting and books

Last night I baby sat for my eldest's two kiddies, it was OK.
Today I went over to my brothers and picked up the art work for the second book, and tonight, I uploaded book 2 to the internet. I now have 2 books published.

The front cover of the book is brilliant!

Friday, 20 January 2012

New Book on Bin Laden

Disaster, Disaster, Disaster.
Just as I was about to upload the new book, I realised that the cover illustration was not ready. I am having a painting done by my Brother Michael of a scene from the book which will form the front cover of the book.
If nothing else, it will allow him to put in his CV that his art has been used as a book cover.
The new book is a bit short, but I am happy with the overall story, I don't really want to mess with it as it works right now.
The painting should be ready tomorrow, I will photograph it and then upload the book.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Second Book

The second book has been finished. I have just printed it out and am now taking it round for proof reading. Hopefully it will be OK and then I hope to have it uploaded shortly after the weekend.
I am very pleased with it, it is still short, but I thought I would leave it as it stands rather than try and pad it out.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Book sales

Checked this morning and no more sold, total still at 8. Which is 8 more than I expected to sell!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Book sales and new book

Well, it is Tuesday, so I must have sold another book! Yes, that is right, I have now sold a total of 8 copies of my first book on Amazon.

I must admit I am really very proud of this, 8 people have found the free sample on amazon interesting enough to part with some cash. That is brilliant.
I had a friend re proof read the original and he found a few mistakes that had been missed. A few, OK, quite a few. So I am re writting it as a second edition. This will of course take a back seat to the finishing of the second book, which I am on the final straight to complete. I am suffering from "magic editiing sword syndrome" at the moment. I have cut pages out that I suddenly did not like. It will now be a short story, so I am looking at charging about £2.50 a copy for this one.
I will, of course, put a free sample on the amazon web site again, and I think that anyone who reads the sample will buy the book. While it is not long, it does offer an alternative outcome to a well known story.
I am off to write a new page. I have promised my mother I will add a page a day in the closing days of the final edit of the book.

A follower

I have just had a look at my blog from your point of view and have discovered I have a follower! That was a surprise. Thank you kind sir for taking the time to read my waffly prose.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Sales of Book

Total number of books sold, 7.
That is really good, I did not really expect the book to sell as it was just a test. But I am pleased it has.
I just need another 208 to buy the book and I will get my first royalty cheque!

Car - Seats are dry

I have been spending the last couple of days trying to get the seats dry from the steam cleaning they had on thursday. Most mornings the car has been frozen on the inside and the windows covered in ice. This morning was slightly better. I have been leaving the windows open while I drive, but I have also been leaving sheets of newspaper on the seats to try and draw the water out of the seats, and it is working.
Today the seats are almost dry.
I have also started to clean the vinyl in the car, it is very dirty, but it is getting cleaner!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

HSE Forum and car

I was not blogging over the last couple of days as I was in Aberdeen on a HSE Forum, which I found quite interesting.
However, this is about my life and not my job, so the car!
I arrived back at the train station from my flight (Aberdeen to Luton) and the temp according to the sensor in the car was -3.5 degrees C.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the car back seat, front passenger seat, and to a lesser extent, the drivers seat had all just been steam cleaned. Meaning, they were all still wet. This had caused major condensation on all the windows, which in turn meant that the windows were frozen outside and in.
It took ages for the screens to all clear.
I got the car home and this morning I went over all the oxidised paintwork with T cut and then gave it a polish and the car looks really good.
There are still lots of scratches, but I am going to get some compound and polish them early next week, if my eldest can find a replacement rear window wiper arm and a cover for the drivers door mirror, the car will be back in really good condition in the very near future.

You can find my book on Amazon, search "down but not out" by stuart raisey-skeats. It is in the Kindle section....

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Car - Steam Cleaned

Well, today I had the inside of the car steam cleaned, it is now gleaming. I will sort out the rest when I get back from Aberdeen.
It was really nice of my daughter Abbey to have given me this car.
Really nice!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Car! The Book!

Today I had arranged for my elder daughter to come over from Milton Keynes to Bozeat to pick me up and take me to Nothampton so we can register the car in my name and tax it. The paper work on the car was in a bit of a mess.
So we set off, with the insurance document I have for the car and arrive at Northampton DVLA.
While I am filling out the D62 (I think that is the right one) my eldest noticed that I had the wrong registration number for the car.
So, we had to high tail it up to her university so I could go on line to the car insurance people and change the details. Amazingly enough, the web site was so easy to use that I was able to change the details and get a cover note printed out in under about 30 minutes!
We then went down and paid for a new V5C form and paid the tax, which I was shocked to find was £104 for 6 months. It is not only the cows that are being milked.
So, we set off for Milton Keynes to collect the car.
The car had not been driven for a while, and I can only assume that it must have got a bit damp, as when I opened the car it smelt of damp and mold. In fact the passenger seat and rear passenger seat where both covered in mold!
Also, not surprisingly, the battery was a flat, as the car has not been used.
We jump started the car and I drove it home. I will have to replace the rear windscreen wiper, and the brakes were a bit strange, and a bit harsh!
But I got home in one piece.
Now, the great news. My book is selling. 5 copies so far, but that is 5 copies I had not sold before!
I have added about 500 words to the next one today, I am still looking at uploading it next week.
Today is not a bad day!

Monday, 9 January 2012


Took the car back to the hire company this morning, and then walked across town to my appointment at the hypnotherapist.
Was put under in a session lasting close to an hour, felt very stiff when it was all over and have been left feeling tired so will have an early night.
I have found a decent insurance quote to cover a car my daughter is giving me, is it £254, which is not to bad. I will buy it tomorrow and then get the car taxed.
At least I will then have wheels again.
I checked on my book again today, still no sales, c'est la vive I am afraid.
The new book is growing nicely, I am hoping to have it finished later this week.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Dentist Visit

Sorry, forgot to update you on the dentist. I went in, registered, showed my teeth, saw the jaw drop and had my first appointment booked!
There is a lot of work to be done!

First Book Published

OK. Been to see the kids, and all is fairly right with the world.
I have published by first book for the KIndle. It is on Amazon, and it is basically about me.
The Book is called "Down but not out" and is the story of my failure in, and my climb back out of that failure.
It is priced at the exhorbitant price of £1, or $1.50 if you are in the states.
It is very short, as I did not want to embarass to many people by putting their names in it and I have avoided some of the more embarassing issues I could have put in it.
I am now working on another book, which is a lot better than the first one. I have had it read by someone and have started on correcting the many errors in it, I will now finish it and get it uploaded, hopefully by the end of next week.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


I am shocked! I have found an NHS dentist that is taking patients. I have an appointment with an NHS dentist, the last time I used on of these was nearly 17 years ago.
I am stunned. Totally stunned.

The G-Band!

OK, I went to the hypotherapist yesterday, and we had about an hour long session where she asked me a lot of questions.
She offered me a course of treatment to find my underlying problem, it would take about 8 to 10 sessions. I declined it,as I believe I actually know where my problems stem from.
We have settled on an initial treatment on Monday next week where I will have a session to reduce my food intake, and then a session on my seasickness.
When I come back onshore after my next 28 period on the ship (11 Jan to 9th Feb) we will have the first proper gastrict band session, then I will have two more before I go offshore again, and then I final one when I come back in March.
She says I will need 4 proper sessions.
I have booked a hire car to go and see the kids. I am also going to see if I can tidy up the eldest front room so she can get her cupboards up & her wardrobes assembled.
My brother will come with me to drill some holes that need to be done quite accurately.
I am about a week away from completing the book. It is a bit waffly, but I am still happy about it.
I am looking forward to uploading it. I just wonder if anyone will buy it!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Gastrict Band

Well, today is the day.
I am off into town for my appointment to have my hypnotic gastrict band fitted. I am also having hyprotherapy for seasickness at the same time.
I had intended to have my diabetic blood test this morning as well, but like an idiot I had a cup of coffee when I first woke up, which will distort the results. So, tomorrow I will have to go and get it done if I want the results before I sail on the 11th.

Oh, and a bit fo good news. On Friday I won Euromillions.

£2.90, but hey, its a start!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Art work

Today I found some of my old oil paintings. I have not painted for such a long time, I really should start again. I really enjoy it when I am doing it and have had a little success selling them.
I promised I was not going to have a new years resolution, but I am making one right here. I am going to restart painting this year.

School Reunion

I went out with some old school buddies the other night and we got to thinking that it was about time we had a school reunion again. I stuck it on facebook and we now have three people interested. Wow, so many.

We will carry on working on it!


This whole book thing started about three or four months ago, I wanted to do an ebook on a piece of art for my brother. But now that I have spent a while writing my "test book", I am actually finding  I am enjoying it.
I will have finished the book in about a week, and then I am going to up load it for the kindle. I was going to release it for several others, but decided to just release it for Kindle and if someone wants to download it & covert it to another format that is fine.
Whilst I know I am biased, I am a lot happier about releasing the book than I thought I would be, mainly because I am very pleased at how it reads. Yes, I know, I wrote it, so of course I will like it.
I am going to stick it on Amazon for £0.75p, if any one buys it, that is a plus!

Sunday, 1 January 2012


As I have mentioned I had a company, that company failed and I am now stuck with the debt as I was he director.
All but one of my creditors have come to an arrangement where I can pay them off with a monthly sum. Even my ex wife has come to an arrangement, and really, if she ever reads this, I thank her!

There is one creditor that has been a pain. I owe money to a bank (I will not name the bank), this bank has passed my debt onto a debt management company (I will not name this company at this time).

The last time the bank asked for a payment it was £171 a month. At the time I was not working, so all I could offer was £10 from my job seekers allowance. This was accepted. Well, I am now working.
As I am now working, I want to pay the debt off. While I was offshore the debt management company called me and were very agressive on the phone. I naturally told them to sod off, as I do not "do" agressive callers. They get hung up on.

They then wrote to me, again demanding full payment of the debt. Now, I have an agreement with the bank in question that last 6 months. This six months is not up. So, as far as I am concerned, the bank has therefore broken my arrangement. At least morally. And we know banks have no morals.

I offered to pay them £175 there and then as a monthly payment. I was told I had to pay the full amount.
Well, I don't have the full amount. So again I offer £175 a month. I am told I can only set up an arrangement if I give them a lot of financial information on my debt and identify my creditors to them. This I am not willing to do, as I do not know if I legally can identify my creditors to a third party without violating the Data Protection Act.

So, to prevent them from taking me to court, I start making payments to the bank of £175 a month. I am told I should not do this, and the financial details, including identifying my creditors is again demanded. I continue to pay the £175 a month.

Now. I still do not have the money to pay off the full amount, and even if I was taken to court, the court is only going to order me to pay what I can afford to pay (which according to the CCCS is only £132 a month). I want the debt cleared, and if I had been allowed to pay the £175 off when I first offered, the bank would have been getting the money back a good two to three months earlier than they are now.

Now, the question I want to pose is, are financial people really just dumb office workers, or have I miss understood the situation?

There is no way I can pay the full amount off. I have done a budget with the CCCS and I have estimated that I will continue to recieve the payments I am currently receiving, so according to their paperwork (CCCS) I can afford to pay £132 a month. I have calculated that I can afford a bit more and have offered £175 a month, to try and pay it off as early as I can. I have spoken to my solicitor, and to my old accountant, and they are both of the opinion that if it went to court I would be ordered to pay the £132 a week, as I clearly can not pay the full amount. So, why is this so hard for the debt recovery company to understand?

My solicitor also said that there is an outside chance that, as in effect, the debt recovery company was refusing to allow me to make payments initially, the court could order the debt written off. I think that is pretty unlikely, but not impossible.

So, I am going to put the budget page of my CCCS paperwork in an envelope and sent it to the debt recovery people and write to the bank and ask if I can revert to paying them. After all, they lent me the money to start with.

New Years Day

New year went off OK.
I did get a little anoyed yesteday. I used to work for a guy in Dubai who paid me very poorly. Now, there was some justification to this, a company I owned owed him money and I agreed to work for him to pay it off.
However, I worked for 10 months for a weaselly amount, and was told that none of the money had been deducted from what I owed.
So, I had worked for £1000 a month, in the UAE and no money was taken from my debt. So I left the company and came back to the UK, with a total of £157 in my pocket, had to pay £57.50 train ticket to get back to from Heathrow, then pay £10 for a taxi to get home.
And I still owed him all the money I ever did.
I then offered to return assets of a similar value to the money I owed, which was accepted. But when I handed them over, his accountant would not sign to say the debt was cleared. After a full and frank discussion, he agreed to the terms.
Then this guy tries to pal up to my girlfriend (who left her job to go and work for him, only to have the job offer withdrawn, leaving her unemployed) to contact me.
Now, in final violation, he has visited my home in the UK and left a note for me to contact him!
I am only glad that I was not here at home when he called. I would hate to have had to spend christmas in a police cell.
Unbelievable! Totally unbelievable.