Feb update

So a month has passed, and now I think I can tell you a bit about what I mentioned in the last blog post.

Those of you who know me will be aware that I enjoy a good quiz and am somewhat competitive. It will come as no surprise that I might put myself forward for a well-known TV quiz. I did, was accepted and on Fri Jan 27th filmed an episode. I do not yet know when it will be screened and will post the date when I know.

I went to watch Southampton play at St Marys. They are going down. That is all.


Jackpot and other stuff

Went to the pub quiz again last week and got it right. My team team won by 11 points and I picked out the right envelope; result £280 between the four of us! Very satisfying. I invested some of that money on backing Australia to beat England in the 2nd test, the only good thing to come out of that sorry mess.

Went to see Southampton play Man City on Saturday. City scored early and threatened to bury us, but missed good chances to extend the score and Southampton played their way back into it. Scored one spectacular goal, had the chances to score more but wasted them. End result 1-1, pretty fair outcome.

Haven’t written much this week. I have two pieces for the upcoming T-Party workshop. I’ve read them both, but haven’t yet written my critiques – well that’s my excuse anyway. 

First home game

Saturday was Southampton’s first home match of the season, the opposition Sunderland. Last week’s win at West Brom and the signing of Dani Osvaldo for £15 million had raised expectations, including mine.  I really thought we would win this one handsomely; should have known better. Sunderland scored after about 3 minutes; the shortest guy on the field got a free header at a corner. After that Southampton spent the entire match battering at the Sunderland defence and only scored with 2 minutes to go. A hugely frustrating experience, but at least they scored; last season they lost 0-1. I came away from the ground feeling like they’d lost. If they are going to achieve the league position they hope for then they have to beat teams like Sunderland.  

Some more words got added to the sequel. No further news from my agent but then according to his Tweets he’s on holiday.

The quiz team won again on Tuesday and again chose the correct envelope and lifted the jackpot.  We’re going to give it a rest for a week or two to allow the prize funds to regrow. Did another quiz on Sunday night with my brother-in-law and niece, did pretty well (and won a bottle of wine for having the best team name). Good to have the next generation along with us even if she only managed a couple of answers.  

Pretty good week

I’ve had a pretty good week.

First off England beat Australia in a classic test match on Monday.

Then on Weds England beat Scotland with a sublime moment by Rickie Lambert, scoring with his first touch as an England player. I can’t tell you how much this mattered to me, suffice to say I work for a Scotswoman.

My quiz team won the pub quiz on Thursday and picked the correct envelope for once; almost £60 per person in the jackpot.

Then on Saturday Southampton won their opening match of the season away at West Brom. I don’t remember the last time they won away on the first day. I hope this presages a great season.

The novel sequel advanced by about 1k words (no further news from agent).  


This blog is late because I was ambushed by the great green catarrh monster at the end of last week and today is the first day I’ve felt half-decent since. Coincided with my mother-in-law visiting, there is no connection.

Didn’t do much writing of my own stuff as I’ve been reading a longtime collaborator’s new novel and trying to figure out how to make it better. Difficult as it is a very nicely told story, but there is still a certain amount to say about it. Whether they’ll use the advice, well that’s their call.

In other news – WE WON THE JACKPOT AT THE PUB QUIZ. yes, finally picked the correct envelope and came away with over £60 each. I love getting paid to go to the pub!


There will be no blog post next week as we’ll be on holiday. Tell you about it when I get back.


May arrives

The beginning of a new month always mean the same thing to me – quiz night on the first Sunday of the month. This month is a little different as the May Bank Holiday gives a long weekend with the opportunity for people stay up a little later knowing they haven’t got work on Monday. This gave me the chance to bring my family quiz team along to compete in my quiz as I’ve been threatening my quiz regulars to do for months. And they delivered, winning by four points (and no, the quizmaster did not help them any more than he helps the other teams). Well done folks, especially my 13 y.o nephew who has now had two outings with the family quiz team and has won both times. 

I also had the opportunity to have an editor from a major London publisher have a look over my the list of UK agents for SF/F that lives on my website (www.martinowton.com) and is mirrored on the T-Party site. As a result I’ve put up a new version with a few more names added. I’ve tried to make it comprehensive and I hope people find it useful.

The novel sequel grew a bit more to 9k this week, and no, I’ve had no news about the novel.   

Enough of the cold weather

Woke up to snow this morning, just like yesterday. This is fairly unusual for Surrey at this time of year. We haven’t had the heavy snowfall and drifting that people further north had but I’m sick of the cold. A couple of weeks ago the temperature ventured as high as 15C for a day or two and it felt like spring. Feels like we’re back in January right now and January was bad enough first time around.

Did two quizzes this week, both school fund-raisers. Went along to my niece’s school and won their quiz on Friday night. My niece and nephew came along which was great. They’ve not done a quiz before, they both answered important questions and it was really nice that they got to win first time out.

Last night I did a quiz with an old bandmate at his kids’ school. We were 2nd, one point short of the winners. Good night and an interesting quiz. I stayed over with them was up way too late drinking red wine.

Some more words got added to the sequel novel which is now over 7k words – long way to go.

St Patrick’s Day celebrated

My wife is from Galway so St Patrick’s Day is always celebrated with her extensive family. This year it was our turn to host so bacon & cabbage was cooked for 15. This was actually a little down on early estimates which put the likely guests at 17. A large undertaking then, necessitating the deployment of every respectable chair in the house and most of the crockery. The main course of bacon had to be cooked yesterday then reheated as we simply didn’t have hob space to cook it, the potatoes and veg.

It all came out well, including two servings of homemade icecream prepared by my 11y.o niece. Everyone turned up on time (approx), was fed and there isn’t much left. haven’t seen some of these folks since Christmas so it was good to catch up.

A fine St Patrick’s Day.


In other stuff – Southampton played really well and unexpectedly beat Liverpool, costing me money as I’d backed them to lose. My quiz team blew a winning score in the wipeout round on Thursday night – very frustrating. And some more words were added to the novel sequel, probably not enough, but it is still moving.