A novel by Tabitha Stirling: Blood on the Banana Leaf

A novel that will bring you to the dark heart of Singapore’s maid culture by Tabatha Stirling


A novel by a friend of mine about modern Singapore.  I knew Singapore well – lived there as a child 50 years ago and have taught many Singaporean lawyers during my teaching years.

Do have a look – Here is a synopsis from the website

The Synopsis

Here are the stories of Lucilla, Ma’am Leslie, Shammi and Madame Eunice as they strive in their own ways, to exist in a country that harbours darkness below its pristine exterior. As the narrative weaves, it’s candid and often brutal way through the lives of each woman, it examines the effects of loss, madness, violence and hope during a woman’s life and in society as a whole.

Lucilla, a maid from the Phillippines, Leslie, a Ma’am from Bristol, Shammi, a maid from a village in Myanmar and Madame Eunice, a Chinese-Singaporean Ma’am, all live in Sabre Green, a leafy enclave on the West Coast of Singapore.

Lucilla has a kind employer who respects her but Lucilla’s smiles mask an episode of a brutal rape and she frets about her parents in Leyte who rely on the money she sends home. Eventually, after confronting her rapist, she leaves Singapore with her employers for a new life.

Leslie has married ‘up’ to a wealthy diplomat who is abusive and having an affair with their maid, Jocelyn. When Jocelyn becomes pregnant, Leslie takes on the role of ‘maid’, while Jocelyn and Ralph live as a married couple. After Ralph disappears in a cloud of blackmail and sexual scandal, Jocelyn agrees to give the baby to Leslie after the birth.

Shammi lives a harsh and lonely existence with a physically abusive employer who controls every aspect of her life. Exhausted from lack of food and guilt-ridden over a sexual assault by her employer’s husband, Shammi attempts suicide but is saved by her kind neighbour.

Madame Eunice is a pillar of Singaporean society but has made many enemies and when Eunice is betrayed by a friend, she suffers a psychotic episode that ends in the murder of Little Ping, her majhong partner. She is sectioned and eventually throws herself off the asylum roof pursued by demons, both real and imaginary.

A Japanese Samurai Katana for sale – also The Roman Forum

I sell some unusual items.  The Japanese replica katana is one of my favourites.  Many years ago when I lived in Chiswick with my then wife, I asked a friend attending one of our dinner parties to throw a pineapple into the air.  I drew the Katana and cut the pineapple in half.  Amused me….there was a fair bit of pineapple juice about, though.

If you would like to buy the katana – I am selling it for £50 + Postage




And a watercolour of the Roman Forum done when I went to Rome for a weekend 30 years ago. £25 + Postage  (This was 30 years before my F*ckArt period!)

Rewind Scone and other pics of Perth

It was a fine queue with some amusing people in it.


Just over the hill was a queue…it was a very long queue

An excellent Gentleman’s barber… they do the business and even cut hair…rather well. Amusing owner.

Sir Chris Hoy is popular in Scotland.  I have to say that I have not, however, seen many (any) people actually getting on a bike to cycle…recently…or at all.

The Maid of Perth – a beautiful bronze….in the High Street.

An excellent Pub – probably the best pub in Perth.  Amusing hosts!

And…Blackadders Solicitors.  Great name….

Another amusingly named firm of Solicitors…McCash & Hunter.  I will get a photo of their office soon.


Inksters bring classical music concert to the Isle of Skye

Inksters bring classical music concert to the Isle of Skye

Scottish Ensemble, the UK’s leading string orchestra, will perform a concert on Skye this Friday 22 July with generous support from Inksters Solicitors.

Thanks to a partnership starting in 2013, Inksters sponsorship allowed Scottish Ensemble to present a range of concerts, community events and education opportunities on Shetland, and both organisations were delighted when the partnership won a prestigious Arts & Business Scotland award in 2014 in the category of Placemaking – a particularly significant recognition given the meaningful new relationships which were forged on the result of the group’s time on the island.

As well as continuing this support until as recently as June 2016, Inksters are now supporting Scottish Ensemble’s first concert on Skye for five years.

Brian Inkster, founder of Inksters Solicitors, said: “After the success of the series of concerts in Shetland over the past three years I am now delighted to bring Scottish Ensemble to another island community that Inksters has an office in.”

Performing across Scotland, as well as honouring a growing number of prestigious UK-wide and international dates each season, the group are particularly committed to bringing music to places with less provision, and this concert on Skye represents another opportunity for them to share their sound even further across the Highlands and Islands.

Jonathan Morton, Artistic Director of Scottish Ensemble, said: “Playing standing up, and offering creative programmes which place unexpected pieces and styles next to each other, Scottish Ensemble is known for its dynamic and energetic style. We can’t wait to bring this back to Skye, thanks to our happy partnership with Inksters Solicitors – and the continuing generosity of Brian Inkster.”

Taking place at Aros, the concert celebrates the string sextet – a more rarely-performed type of piece than the more usual quartet. Six musicians from the group will play a varied selection of well-known pieces by Strauss, Brahms and Schoenberg, including the elegant opening to Strauss opera Capriccio and Schoenberg’s famously atmospheric work, Verklärte Nacht (which translates as Transfigured Night).

Scottish Ensemble perform at Aros, Portree, on Friday 22 July. Tickets are available on the door at £12 or call the venue in advance on 01478 613 750. For the full concert programme see aros.co.uk.

About Inksters

Inksters are an award winning law firm providing niche services to clients throughout Scotland from head offices in Glasgow city centre and serving the County of Angus from Forfar and the Scottish

Highlands and Islands from Inverness, Wick, Lerwick and Portree.



About Scottish Ensemble

Re-defining the string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble (SE) inspires audiences in the UK and beyond with vibrant performances which are powerful, challenging and rewarding experiences. The UK’s leading string orchestra is based in Glasgow and is built around a core of outstanding string players who perform together under Artistic Director Jonathan Morton.

SE has commissioned new works from composers such as John Tavener, James MacMillan, Sally Beamish and Martin Suckling amongst others in recent years, as well as working with guest artists such as trumpeter Alison Balsom, tenor Toby Spence and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja.

Alongside performances across Scotland, SE presents an annual series of concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall and has appeared at BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International, Aldeburgh and St Magnus Festivals. Recent invitations to tour abroad have resulted in engagements in Taiwan, China, Brazil, the USA and across Europe.


Human Rights: A difficult subject made a little easier

Human Rights: A difficult subject made a little easier
By Diane Miller

Human Rights are hugely important to everyone, so if you believe your human rights have been violated, or you in a position where you believe they could be, then it is best to get someone to represent you. The Human Rights act protects everyone against discrimination, and allows enforcement of Human Rights against all public bodies. Alternatively, a personal injury or clinical negligence claim could be made, depending on the circumstances of you case. However, making your case successful could depend entirely on who you choose to represent you, making your choice of Human Rights solicitor exceptionally important.

Choosing a Human Rights Solicitor

You want to choose a solicitor who is willing to push boundaries with your case, exploring every angle to make it a success, but is also personable and easy to talk to. A Human Rights case often unearths some difficult issues, so you may be in need of support in the process. You also want to ensure that your chosen solicitor will work hard to fight your case, and make sure you get justice in the end. There are a large number of Human Rights solicitors out there, so it may be daunting to find the best option for you.  While all solicitors are trained in all aspects of law, you want someone who specialises in human rights to guarantee your case the best possible chance. Human rights are often featured in the media, so many human rights solicitors have featured in the media to talk about cases, or human rights in general, giving you some options of solicitors to contact. However, a better option for finding a solicitor in your area is by looking online. Solicitors Guru is a website that shows all solicitors that deal with human rights cases in your area, which can make your search a lot simpler. The website provides contact details or a website for every solicitor, or legal company, allowing you to quickly contact a solicitor when needed.

Building your case

Once you’ve found yourself a human rights solicitor, you will need to build your case, so that it can be successful and you can have justice. Your solicitor will, no doubt, be an expert in human rights law, and will advise you on the best way to pursue your case, and will know whether to pursue your case under the Human Rights Act, or whether another claim can be made under a different aspect of the law. Most importantly an experienced human rights solicitor will be easy to talk to about issues that may be difficult to discuss, and will be willing to push the boundaries of human rights law to achieve success for your case.

Although finding a human rights solicitor may seem complex, websites such as Solicitors Guru are out there to simplify the process for you, and reduce the stress of what may be an already taxing situation for you. By finding a good human rights solicitor you can ensure that your case is handled with the upmost care from the outset, and can make its success more likely.

The Jabberwocky…

I do enjoy twitter… I learn much.  Tonight…I was reminded of The Jabberwocky…by a friend on Twitter

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.