28 Days later Day 21… FREE!!

Featured28 Days later Day 21… FREE!!

When thinking of what I could do during this difficult time, I decided to make my books free to download to help relieve the boredom for those trapped at home.

For those of you yet to discover the pleasure of online reading, trust me, the FREE Kindle reading app makes this a very enjoyable experience with lots of useful features. It is the perfect time to try. You will have a world of books at your fingertips in minutes. Why not begin with one of mine? Enjoy and stay safe.

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days Later… Day 28 The beginning of something…

28 Days Later… Day 28            The beginning of something…

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin… Wilfred owen

I can never expect anyone to fully understand this. We each have our inner us, our private sense of ourselves that we keep pretty much to ourselves. Today we begin what is essentially a 2 week lockdown in Ireland. We have been partially locked down for the best part of March anyway, this is just the final push to save ourselves from being overwhelmed by the virus with a name that will form part of our history. My ghosts are quiet and I will try to keep them that way.

Sometimes I feel like the ghosts in my head. I am outside of myself looking in, or inside of myself looking out, not quite in touch with the man I am and either way, I lose that connection and the ghosts make sense to me.

Outside my door, my beautiful little country has ben invaded and the walls have been breached. It turns out we are all soldiers now, only not everyone is made to fight. This land of my birth, the place I call home was born of struggle and blood, and we do not forget such trauma.

That the police or army should have to prevent people from going about our daily business is anathema to us. This state has always depended on policing that is part of the community. They are of us and for us. Our soldiers are peacekeepers, not war dogs. They are people we are proud of and we will find it hard to accept their new, potentially authoritarian role.

Our Taoiseach, that’s prime minister to those who are unfamiliar with the title, has reminded us of this fact. He has asked each and every one of us to stand tall and do battle for each other. I am so proud of how our government have handled this.

Like teenagers being given responsibility at last, we can mess up. We have already and we will yet. But like good parents our government have given us the chance to prove that we are adults rather than force us to go to our rooms like children who have misbehaved. None of us want to lose someone we love, so we must be part of this coming battle. Too many people have already had to say goodbye.

Yesterday, we were still holding the line, tomorrow we may have to fall back. We know what’s coming and we are unprepared for the heat of battle. No one knows how they will respond under fire. You have to go through it and so we wait to find out if we are truly adults, or if we are still children, needing our parents to do the dirty work. Allowing our parents to decide who should live and who should die. This is our time. Our destiny is not yet written. What we do next changes everything.

Today is the beginning of something. I can feel it and my dark shadow man finally came to call, as if to remind me that he hasn’t gone away. Many of you will know him if you are a frequent visitor to my blog. Mr. Squiggles has been biding his time and he has stirred the ghosts in my mind.

But I have been battle-hardened. I have seen the face of death and it holds no fear for me. Even so, today is really the beginning of something and this feels different. We must hold our nerve, stand fast and we must not step back in this battle. In the days to come, there will be much to worry about, but the way to deal with this is to look at what you can do. I know what I must do. It sounds so simple but it is seemingly very hard for many people. Stay inside. Be a soldier, defeat the enemy by starving it of victims. We must cut the enemy’s supply line, starve it out. There is only through it with no way around. Together we will quieten our ghosts and together we will win…

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days later Day 26…… Don’t take your love to town…

28 Days later Day 26…… Don’t take your love to town…

Too soon to let your hair down?

Now I’ve worn a rather neat smig of a beard for the last 30 years and strange as it might seem, I’m not that attached to it. I’m a rather neat and tidy sort of person so it’s essentially a well-groomed goatee, that I don’t let get out of control. The problem with it, is that my beloved Jo couldn’t countenance me without it. She has never known me without a beard except in pictures, and I am probably safe in saying that she is rather fond of it, more so in that without it, I just wouldn’t be me to her, if you get me.

I first attempted to grow one when I was seventeen and I have destroyed those photos. It was one of those teenage, look at me I have facial hair therefore I’m a man, sort of things. Only, when you can actually see the distance between each hair on your face, you can’t strictly call that a beard. I let it be for a few years and then finally grew one while on holidays in Spain. It’s been there ever since with one brief attempt to lose it, which devastated my then young daughter, so I grew it back.

Because of the Covid-19 crises, I have been working from home for a week now and I have decided to give my face a break. Usually I shave my face each day apart from the goatee, as I need to look neat and tidy for my job. I trim and shape my little beard throughout each week and now that I have a moment where no one can see me, I’ve decided that my face needs a rest.

But there’s a problem. There are 2 problems actually. The first is not directly related to beards, but has relevance. I was due a haircut when the government decided to start shutting places down. My barber sensibly enough closed up for the duration and as a result, I’m getting a little quiff going on at the top of my head. It’s in-between at the minute – a little bit Sven Goran Erikson. Back when I was twenty it would have looked cool, and indeed it did, more Leif Garret back then, but at my age and with my current hair colour, soon it won’t be a good look, if it isn’t already too late.

The second problem is the fact that while I enjoy the break from the razor, I looked in the mirror this morning and between the hair and the beard, I am starting to get a whole Kenny Rogers vibe going on.  Now there’s nothing wrong with Kenny, rest his soul, but when I caught myself singing Ruby as I sat at my desk this morning, I began to worry.

The coronavirus will have a lot of impact on our lives in all seriousness, but on a lighter note, it is having lesser, unintended consequences as it were. Of course I could always shave, but I rarely get the chance to leave my auld face alone. The follow-on problem for me will be when to stop. I mean I don’t want to go from Kenny Rogers to full blown ZZ Top and if you see me with a grey pony tail, please slap me…slap me hard… though maybe I could carry off a mun…STOP… you see what’s happening!

Let’s all hope for the sake of my reputation as a dapper dazzler, that this pandemic is over before such horror is unleashed into the world.  I have visions of myself with mad, long hair on my face and head like the Count of Monte Cristo or Robinson Crusoe.

It might actually be better if I just go with the skinny jeans, no socks, hair in a mun with a braid in my beard look. At least then people will think I’m just a wa***r and not untidy.

Take care of yourselves my friends, don’t forget to wash, trim that beard, cut those toenails and if you are a man of a certain age like me, just remember, a crises of pandemic proportions is still no excuse for the Willie nelson look, unless your from Texas in which case knock yourself out. No offence to Willie, he could always swing the look, most people can’t.  It’s a bit like the football jersey on older men with a certain shape that isn’t fooling anyone…you don’t now, nor did you ever, play for Real Madrid.

Me? I still trying to get past the Kenny Rogers issue. Now I’ve got Islands in the Stream bouncing around in my head and I have a facetime request from someone called D. Parton? Gotta go, there’s some Lady at he door telling me that we got tonight. I think she believes in me. She says her name’s Lucille and you know me I’m a bit of a gambler… and whether you are, or are not a Kenny Rogers fan, I suspect I owe you all an apology for that last paragraph… stay safe, stay inside…

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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28 Days Later- Day 20 Coronapirates!

28 Days Later- Day 20 Coronapirates!

I met a fella in Cavan once, well I say met but I stopped to ask directions and half an hour later, I was on my way, none the wiser after chatting with a man with an indecipherable accent, say something about a brother in Gortnahoe, and he may have actually given me directions as well. We parted with smiles on our mutual faces, one side of mine red with sunburn from being caught in the one spot for so long on that rarest of Irish things, a very hot summer’s day.

Now I tell you this for illustrative purposes only. If you are not Irish or have never been to Ireland, you have yet to experience the countless opportunities that come your way, to talk utter scutter to some stranger you’ll meet at a bus stop, walking down the street or in a pub. I can’t even go for a stand up wee without some fecker engaging me in conversation.

It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We have an expression here, ‘that fella could talk for Ireland.’ I reckon we’d win the world cup of talking if there was such a thing. Who hasn’t heard of the term Blarney. Imagine we actually have a filthy auld rock, that you have to lean out of the top of a castle backwards to kiss, in order to be granted the gift of the gab. It’s only for tourists though. You wouldn’t want to let an Irish person kiss that thing, Jaybus we’re bad enough.

All of which brings me to the current crises with the cov-whatchamacallit. It’s tough on everyone around the globe, but we Irish seem to be having a particular problem understanding social distancing. It’s anathema to us. All we do is socialise in pubs and clubs and restaurants. We love an auld party and we are obsessed with knowing everyone else’s business, so we’re in and out of each other’s ears constantly.

Well now it has to stop. I’m sick saying it and so is the government and every health spokesperson they’ve wheeled out in the last 2 weeks. It seems that we can’t get it into our heads, that if we meet 5 people this week, we have effectively met 4,000 through the 5 people that each of them have met, and the 5 people that each of them have met and … you get the idea.

Worse still, people seem to think that if you’re related you are somehow safe? It is the opposite, as the closer you are to someone, the less precautions you take. Think about it. If your auldwan and auldfella come to see the grandkids, they will touch everything from cups to doors, door handles, spoons, toilet seats, taps and even if they are careful enough to wash their hands thoroughly, they then dry their hands on the towel you will have used. The virus can go either way and every person they have met and you have met, times every person those people have met times every person they have met.. Oh I won’t go on.

But Fear not, I have a cunning plan to get everyone on board. Apart from talking the hind legs off a donkey, there is one other thing that Irish people are… and that’s stupidly competitive. So lads, here’s the plan. We make it a competition. It’s easy. We look at the Brits, the Germans and the French for example and see how fast their numbers are rising. Then we do everything in our power, to be better than they are. Sure that’ll get everyone social distancing, washing their hands and self-isolating like there’s no tomorrow (pardon the pun). We never want England to beat us at anything, we’ve still not forgiven Thierry henry for that infamous handball, and the Euros and the rugby are suspended, so we need something to be competitive about. Sure there isn’t even any GAA on the telly! While everyone is battling the beast with traditional methods, we’ll do it like pirates, swashbuckling our way to victory through hand hygiene and engaging in effective social distancing with a swagger and an ahoy there matey.

No doubt once the Germans realise what we’re up to, they’ll want to be the best, sure don’t they want to win everything. Then the competition will begin in earnest. It won’t take long until they set up a proper league, that’s the Germans for you, organised to bejaybus, but with any luck, we’ll have had a head start and that’ll be that, we will beat the virus first.

Or…. We could just continue to act the eejit and wait until it’s too late to stop the deluge. In all seriousness, this is before that deluge and we simply don’t have enough umbrellas. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Make our voices heard and stay apart. Tell everyone. Don’t be embarrassed to say ‘feck off’ to the ones you love, it’s for their, and your own good. Stay safe my friends where ever you are and if you fancy a flutter, I have Ireland as 5 to 4 odds on favourites. You can get 3 to 1 on anything Donald Trump touches and due to the last minute about turn by Boris, the British odds have improved to even money. Let’s get through and out the other side of this with as little damage as possible folks. Spread the word. Let the competition to beat this thing begin.

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Blood

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People with beards are simply people without beards, with beards…

People with beards are simply people without beards, with beards…

28 Days later day 18…

It begins with a joke. It’s still far away. Then as it gets closer, the joke becomes concern and then it lands in your lap and it is no longer even remotely funny. At first you listen to the news. You look at social media and begin to realise just how much sh*te there is in that world. Then, the numbers start to creep up and you pay attention.

Last night our Taoiseach, that’s prime minister for anyone not Irish, gave an address to the nation.  Now he’s not like the President in America who loves listening to his own auld guff. Over in this part of the world he’d get dog’s abuse for that sort of nonsense. An address to the nation in Ireland is a rare thing. The consensus, even among those who recently, effectively voted him out of office, (we have a caretaker government while we wait for negotiations on a coalition to be completed) is that those running the show are doing a decent job so far and our Leo gave a fine speech, on the day that is so dear to Irish Hearts, St Patrick’s Day.

We were told the hard facts, the likelihood that by the end of this month around 15,000 of us will be diagnosed as having Covid-19. I think it started to sink in. The solution cannot be found by us doing what we so often do and that is in absolving ourselves of responsibility. We Irish love to blame the government when things go wrong, no matter which bunch are in power. We always expect them to fix pretty much everything and when whoever is in charge cannot do the impossible, that is to please all the people all the time, we feck them out and elect another bunch of misguided souls. We always hope they will fix everything for everybody, despite our very divergent opinions making it impossible to do so. The one thing we Irish are good at is having opinions.

This time things are different. There is only one way through this and that involves us all taking individual and collective responsibility.  The closer this gets to each one of us individually, the more likely it will be that we have acted too late. Social distancing it turns out, is harder than it sounds. I watched one young man light his cigarette from another, only yesterday. I stood six feet away from a man in a queue and he might as well have asked the person in front for a jockey back, he was that close.  Normally when someone gets that close there is a pregnancy test involved down the line. In the same short trip, I saw two teenage girls, linking and laughing and all I could think was, what the flippin’ fup!

The water is rising and some of us will end up on the roof before it settles back. Sadly, some will be swept away, but for most of us and we have to remember this, the water will retreat and we will find ourselves perhaps left with the cost of repairing the damage. It might not be what we want to hear, but it is far better to be left with a flood damaged house than to be washed away in the storm.

Now here is the other difficult bit. The mind is a fragile thing. Many will be faced with financial strain or even ruin, relationship difficulties and health repercussions, as the waves wash over us. It may be overwhelming for some. In the worst case, we will see people lose loved ones, perhaps without a real opportunity to say goodbye. These are difficult truths that are important to face, if everyone is to get behind the effort to make an impact on this contagion.

Be it financial, emotional or grief driven, stress is the one thing we all struggle to cope with. It is something easily lost in the noise of the current storm.  The mental health of our nation and indeed it is replicated globally, is at stake. Reaching out to those who need help, a kind word, a telephone call or a kind gesture, might make all the difference to someone.

Reducing the impact of Covid-19 has been boiled down to washing your hands and social distancing, but the hidden impact on the state of our individual and collective mental health, must not be forgotten. We can all help each other. The fear is great at the moment, it is pervasive and oppressive for some. Others whistle through and can distance their psyche from the fear. On an individual and personal level, we can help ourselves by remembering not to panic. As communities we must remain conscious of those around us, who are perhaps not coping with this overwhelming surge of new, frightening news on a daily basis.

Lenin, Vladimir not John, once said “There are decades when nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen.” Don’t get knocked over in the rush. Take a moment to consider your family and friends who may be reluctant to share their fragility, and those around you in your community in general.

Brave is only found in being afraid. Brave is how we face fear, no more no less. Heroes are cowards if in other circumstances they act differently. It is what it is or to put it another way, people with beards are simply people without beards, with beards. Why make it any more complicated than that. Be the person you can be, not the person you want to be. Be or be not, as Yoda might say, the choice is yours in these difficult times. But whatever you decide to be…be safe my friends…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Bloo

all-5

28 Days Later…Sailing through the storm… Day 16

28 Days Later…Sailing through the storm… Day 16

As a cross genre author who dabbles in horror, the Coronavirus that has swept across the globe is reminiscent of so many horror tales that I have read. It feels like a work of fiction but it is very real. I drove to and from work today on half empty roads, knowing full well that in the days to come, things can only get worse. I was reminded of the opening scenes of 28 days Later and 16 days in from an Irish perspective, I dread to imagine what the next 12 days will hold.

In the cold light of what might very well be a new dawn for Irish society, we have been asked to look inside and already we have been found wanting. But don’t panic, we can redeem ourselves in the coming days.

Already in partial shutdown, the painful truth is that closing pubs and other establishments has quickly seen 140,000 people out of a job overnight. It is an horrific prospect with much more to come. To put this in perspective we have made 6% of our workforce unemployed overnight. Every industry will be hit with Ryanair and Aer Lingus, another 2 huge employers here about to pretty much shut up shop in the next week.

Small businesses are all tumbling one after the other and the reality of this is that people will directly and indirectly suffer as a consequence of the coronavirus. But that’s just the economic impact in the short term. We have yet to see the devastation in terms of our healthcare system and I can hear it creaking before the chaos even arrives. We already have 223 cases in 2 weeks with another 54 north of the border. The human tragedy has yet to unfold on this beautiful island of mine.

If this was 1970, we’d have to wait for the Evening Herald to give us an update, which would already be hours behind so we’d watch the evening news on RTE to hear the latest. After that, the next info would come on RTE radio in the morning. In a world of 24-hour news and a visceral desire for increasingly dramatic developments, we turn to social media instead, to be fed a long line of BS that is sometimes self-perpetuating.

In the days before the so called lockdown in Ireland, we watched video clips go viral showing people in other countries lamping seven different colours of sh*te out of each other over a packet of toilet rolls. What did we expect when our government announced things were about to get real? We are not immune to stupidity.

Now me, I am a man of simple tastes. I found no difficulty sourcing Champaign, caviar and oysters. I couldn’t see what the panic was all about. Latter as I sipped on my Dom Perignon, I noted a growing trepidation amongst my work colleagues. I believe it’s best described as twitterpation and twitterdation. Phone watching, constantly dragging the screen up to see if we missed a new tidbit of horrible news that might have been added to our feeds. People are such terrible voyeurs if the truth is not to be denied.

I’ve seen it with my own two eyes, as we watched the awful impact of the virus add statistic after statistic. Sadly behind each number is a death, a mourning, a dreadful painful loss for families and lives destroyed forever. How do we see past that to look for drama is beyond me. Loss is a drama we should not invite.

paul-drumdorf-zika
In recent days, we have had our first two fatalities in Ireland, the first two of who knows how many as the numbers begin to spiral. I’ve read and listened to people who should know better. As it happens we this crises hit following an election where parties are negotiating to go into power. To hear politicians like the Green party use it as an excuse not to go into a government doomed to failure, finally showing their true yellow underbelly when it comes to actually taking responsibility and governing, is sickening. I have no axe to grind but some things need saying.

I’ve seen the twitteridioti abuse those temporarily in charge with vile language and while I may not be a fan of any of the individuals politically, I doubt there is a single one, not trying their best in an unprecedented crisis. It is a situation where no matter who is in charge, they cannot do right for doing wrong.

It is a time that requires calm. We have it in spades here, all we have to do is remember who we are. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and if you are so inclined, say a prayer. I know many people in my life may potentially be touched by what is about to come and many will find the touch of this sweeping darkness more than just inconsequential. I dare not – cannot imagine it will visit those that I love, for in such imaginings is an entirely different plague called fear. It is a time for courage, a time for action. In my heart I trust that in this little country, the place I call home, we will see the best in us when it matters most.

aaanoin
I once almost drowned trying to pull someone from the sea as a sandbank was washed out from beneath my feet. It is so terrifying to struggle beneath the briny, until your lungs ache and you can no longer hold back the desire to open your mouth. I recall the moment I finally breached the surface, only to be hit with a wave as I gulped for air, and I swallowed water as I was once again pushed back below the waves.

It is the fear that gets you. If you let it in, you panic and all is lost. I stayed calm. Three – four times I was submerged with such force that I really did question if I had the strength to carry on. But I had a purpose and that was my determination to save another. In such distraction we often discover that which helps us overcome fear.

I have no doubt heroes may rise as the tragedy unfolds before us. Instead of worrying if we are about to become the next China or Italy, we need to ask simply, what can I do? How can I help? I read somewhere that leaving China aside, the doubling rate, that is the rate at which infection spreads once it takes hold is 4 days. At the moment the infection rate is doubling here every 48 to 72 hours. Don’t do the math, it will frighten you. But often that’s the point of such data. Look for the blue sky not the clouds.

I grew up in this lovely little country, populated by kind sharing people. The cream will rise and we will survive. the same will apply no matter where you fight this challenge. Five years from now, we will look back on a piece of history, but in the meantime, be careful what you read, be careful what you share, be generous of spirit be brave and above all, calm the fup down and take each day as it comes. Don’t worry it holds no value. Be patient and remember that sometimes the only way to get past it,  is to go through it.  See you on the other side…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet? I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower
https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com
fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks
twitter @maxpowerbooks1
Universal book links
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood
http://getbook.at/Darkly-Wood-II
http://getbook.at/Little-Big-Boy
http://getbook.at/Larry-Flynn
http://getbook.at/Bad-Bloo

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