Schadenfreude is a German term meaning gaining pleasure from the suffering of others.
My mind was taken back two years by an article in last month's issue of Premier Christianity magazine.
Our family was never liked in our street because we kept to ourselves, and that angered the criminal element in the street as we didn't mix with them.
It came as no surprise to me when we had a fire that the people in the street stood by laughing as we watched our house of over 25 years burn to a cinder.
Some people even used camera phones to video our tragedy.
An Amazon bestseller.
In the last decade as a writer, I have been forced to reappraise my goals constantly. My original goal was to sell ten copies of an e-book in a day, even with over 400 sales of my book (Forgestriker), it has only sold five at a time.
The book that has come closest to my goal is my Amazon bestseller - Holding Richmond - which twice sold seven in a day.
Now, I find victory in any sales.
Three months ago, I subscribed to Premier Christianity magazine. Last month's issue was a vast improvement, in my opinion, on my first issue as it was more about "real" people, not celebrities.
If the trend for celebrity gossip continues, I can see me not extending the subscription.
This month's issue has fallen back to being about celebrities with articles on a new TV show that I've never heard about; I said before the best way to complain about TV is not to watch the show.
In this month's issue is an article on boxers who think they fight with the Lord on their side. Fighters are no more than paid thugs, in my opinion, there is nothing Christian about hitting someone so hard and often around the head and face that they risk a severe brain injury.
The best a boxer can hope for is to die in the ring, the other option is dementia. If you don't think I am correct, think of how Mohammed Ali was at the end of his career, where he once was articulate, he ended his life not being able to put a sentence together.
I am waiting for an article on how Dec - of Ant & Dec fame - came to the Lord after being charged with drunk driving. He puts his drinking binges down to not being able to cope with his celebrity status, sorry that comes with the territory when you become a TV star, A&D has made more comebacks than Elvis did.
If you can't take the adoration, why not stop the show, others have before you and more will in later years I am sure?
Before I go further, let me state that I am not a prude as I have written two erotic romance short stories.
Several years ago, I got offered the opportunity for a contract to write erotica; the problem was that the remit of the firm was open and I found myself questioning the boundaries of what I could write, and for how long?
I did try to write a story but writing a story based on sex I found upsetting to the point I was physically ill. Other than that, I would find it hard to write a story where sex is the central theme.
Some of my stories have sex in them, but the sexual aspect is part of the story, not the central theme of the writing.
I don't take a lot of notice of my Amazon kindle rating, but today for the first time in years there has been a constant rise for my e-books in the UK.
At the end of my decade as a writer, I failed to make any significant sales for my e-books, the majority of my sales where in the USA.
An article in an edition of Premier Christianity magazine reminded me that if things don't change; they will stay the same.
The article is about the church run by the group Hillsong; there is a lot of discussion going on about how the services are being broadcast and the fact the group of young people involved sing as though they are doing a rock concert, not a church service.
To the older readers - my age is 62 - we've been there before, in the 70's with the musical Godspell that brought a new vitality to the church.
I can't say I approve of the style, but if they can get the word of the Lord to the masses, all power to them.
To me, a church service should have some dignity, like the services of the Jimmy Swaggart ministries where the crowd are appropriately dressed, but then I am old-fashioned, and it is the word of the Lord that matters not what you wear.
Another case of wealth negating common sense.
The news from the tour of Australia is some of the group needed to be rescued from a riptide on a beach.
I cannot understand why people feel the urge to jump into the waves, they know the power of the water in a waterfall, and that sand has no strength, so it figures, to me, that where the waves crash there is going to a deep trench with a deadly undertow - do these people have a death wish - the lifeguards are forced to risk their lives to rescue stupid people, what happens if they can't get to you in time?
Other than your death, what about the trauma this causes for people who see you drown?
I almost drowned in a riptide many years ago, i was on Swanage beach, and I didn't realize it had a shelf about half a mile out.
I stepped off and went under, my parents were within arm's reach but unable to help me, if I hadn't been an excellent swimmer I would have drowned.
Kindness does not cost a lot but it can make a difference.
Reading the new issue of Premier Christianity magazine that arrived today, reminded me of not only last Christmas, but of a time when I was in Germany, and of the kindness of some people I could not thank.
There were articles on helping the poor at Christmas and how some people fought their way off the streets.
When I was in Germany with the RAF, I spent two nights on the streets of Dortmund because the people I thought of as friends deserted me at RAF Rheindahlen. It's a long story for another time.
Years ago, when I worked at the Bristol museum, I had a lousy month for pay and couldn't afford our Christman food. Some kind people at our school banded together to provide a basic hamper of necessities so we could have a Christmas dinner.
Christmas 2017 was a time for giving for our family, through the year I'd made friends with a young girl who lived on the streets with her dogs, so on Boxing Day we decided that instead of throwing the extra food out; we'd provide a hot meal for some of the people living on the streets.
Their smiles were payment enough for us, it can make a big difference to somebody to know that people do worry about you. I never saw the young lady and her dogs after Christmas, I hope so is as well as can be expected.
I won't go onto what I think about televangelists if you wish to know what I think of them there are many posts on my blogs.
I can't say what I think of the Jimmy Swaggart ministry as I have not listened to his sermons, this post is more about the music. I concluded that the Gaither Homecoming series is not a religious collection as I thought; it has been aimed to promote individual artists such as David Phelps, the Gaither Vocal Band (which Mr. Phelps is in), Lynda Randle and Wes Hampton (also in GVB) at the expense of others who are equally as good.
When I began listening there were songs from Sue Dodge, Joy Gardner, and Sandi Patty to mention a few of the singers. It has turned more into a variety show supporting colored singers, not that I've anything against colored singers as I enjoy listening to Mary Mary, Babbie Mason, Jamie Grace, Alicia Williamson, and Dorinda Clark Cole to mention a few.
I am not the only person who has been turned off from the series because of their promotional attitudes.
I realize that the shows on JMS feature Martha Borg, Grace Larson, and Johnathon Larson, but you get the feeling it is the word of the Lord that matters in the service.
I am not the owl I used to be.
For as long as I recall, I've been a night person this did help when I used to chat with friends in the USA and Canada.
Being a night person could be the reason I didn't suffer from jet lag on my trips to Canada too, or it could be put down to my insomnia.
In the last month or two, my life has taken a weird change. The most significant effect is that as I don't chat online, I am no longer a night person; these days I go to bed on the same calendar day as I wake up, not the 24 hour day as before.
A Sailor's Love.
The lady on the cover of my romance short story - A Sailor's Love - is the singer, Janey Kirk.
This story has an open ending because if it had sold, I intended to write a sequel.