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Randall’s Ramblings, December 26, 2021

We had a good Christmas market, with plenty of books and poetry sheets sold, as well as some knitwear. Our next small business market will be on 7-9 January. In the meantime, we’re taking a rest and catching up on things with our son.

On Christmas Eve we went to a nearby hotel for dinner. As with the first two times we did this (2018 and 2019) it was another excellent meal. We spent a quiet Christmas Day at home–no snow in our area but the weather maps showed snow to the north and south of us. Today, we heading out on the Firth of Forth for a cream tea cruise under the three bridges, stopping at Blackness Castle, the backdrop for the Outlander series and the Outlaw King.

Here’s this week’s quote (Compliments of http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com/): “Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how hard things were, tomorrow’s a fresh opportunity to make it better.”

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on December 26th, the fourth and last Sunday of the month. (Compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Peter Schenck, German/Neth engraver/publisher; Thomas Gray, English poet (Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard); Jean François de Saint-Lambert, French poet; Friedrich Melchior, baron von Grimm, German writer; Heinrich J von Collin, Austria dramatist/poet (Regulus); E. D. E. N. Southworth, American novelist; Dion Boucicault [Dionysus Lardner Boursiquot], Irish actor and playwright (Rip van Winkle, London Assurance); Martinus Nijhoff, Dutch publisher (Van Dale) and founder (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers); René Bazin, French novelist; Alexander Amfiteatrov, Russian-Italian journalist, newspaper editor, novelist, and historian; Harry Redman, American composer, writer, and artist; Isaiah Bowman, American geography/co-founder (Geographical Review); Henry Miller, American author (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Sexus); Jean Toomer, American writer; Willie Corsari [Wilhelmina A Schmidt], Dutch writer; Alenjo Carpentier, Cuban/French writer (Guerra del Tiempo); H. A. Gomperts, Dutch writer (Duck on Attic); Steve Allen, American comedian, composer, writer and TV host (Tonight Show, Steve Allen Show); Elizabeth Kostova, American author (The Historian); and Robert Muchamore, English children’s author.

Any names familiar to you? The only name I know is Steve Allen. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one!

My Work in Progress

Slide1I didn’t get a chance to do any writing this week, but a short break doesn’t hurt. Ultimate Escalation received another seven chapter reviews, bringing the total to 449. Plenty of suggestions to enhance my writing.

Here’s another snippet:

After eating a dinner of chicken chili dry and masala fried rice, Vladimir and Mishka waited for their final guest of the day. They sat on the rear balcony, sipping on child vodka as they enjoyed a slight breeze, cooling the warm air.

“May I join you?”

Vladimir and Mishka pulled pistols from the pockets as they turned, relaxing when they recognize their visitor.

“Major Bangash—please join us. Would you care for some vodka? Vladimir lifted a bottle from an ice bucket.

“Just tea for me.”

“Of course.” Vladimir gestured toward a chair. “Please have a seat. Yusuuf brought a pot of tea for you.” He stood, picked up a teapot, and filled a cup before handing it to Bangash.

“Thank you.” He sipped the warm drink. “I have two pieces of information to share with you.”

“Please go ahead.”

“My contact in Dubai said three Westerners asked bout you.”

“Anything we should be concerned about?”

Bangash shook his head. “No. These men will soon be in Karachi. They will be followed, and when the time is right, they will meet with an untimely accident.”

“Do you know their names?’

“No. But my contact said they are native English speakers, if that helps.”

Vladimir tilted his head. “It does.” Which Western intelligence agency do they represent? “Don’t do anything to them until I give the word. They might be useful.”

“As you wish.” Bangash took another sip of his tea. “The other information will be of more interest to you. ISI captured two Russian agents over the weekend. They wanted to know your whereabouts. There’s a price of two hundred fifty thousand euros on your head—dead or alive, but dead is the preferred option.”

“Is that all?” Vladimir chuckled. “Must be Putin who set the price. He’s always been a miser. Where are these agents? I assume they work for the GRU?”

“I believe so.” Bangash nodded.

“Where are they?”

“Yesterday, I arranged for their departure.” Bangash grinned. “I told them if they didn’t leave Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within twenty-four hours, they’d be taken to Afghanistan and turned over to the Taliban.” He finished his tea. “Last I heard, they’re on tonight’s flight to Dubai.”

“Excellent.” Vladimir handed an envelope to Bangash. “Here’s your monthly retainer.”

“Thank you, Colonel. Your generosity allows me to keep my wife in the style she has become accustomed to.”

A smile creased Vladimir’s face before his eyes hardened like lumps of coal. “As long as you don’t double-cross me, you’ll be able to continue doing so. Otherwise, you’ll learn firsthand about Spetsnaz retribution.”

More next time.

This brings us to an end for another week as I need to get ready for the river cruise. I hope you found something of interest. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading and hope you drop in again. See you again in 2022!

© Copyright 2021 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

1 thought on “Randall’s Ramblings, December 26, 2021”

  1. Hi Randall. Always a pleasure to read your posts on what is happening on your side of the planet, and your about your writing. I wish you a very happy new year and continued inspiration for your great stories. Kind regards.
    Michael Kent

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