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Post In Coronavirus Times, Staying Busy in Mallorca
Created by John Eipper on 07/23/20 4:12 AM

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In Coronavirus Times, Staying Busy in Mallorca (Timothy Ashby, -Spain, 07/23/20 4:12 am)

We have now been in Mallorca since 15 March and even when it's "safe" to return to the UK, we will make our permanent home on this beautiful island, where the climate is salubrious, the people warm and welcoming, and the cost of living dramatically lower than in the UK.

Also, aside from mandatory wearing of masks in public places, life has returned to "near-normal"--restaurants and hotels reopened, business activity generally recovering, and zero Covid-19 deaths for well over a month. The few recent cases were found in a tourist family from the mainland and a hotel worker from France. So we're all cautiously hopeful that there won't be a "second wave."

I had to dissolve my medical travel tech startup, GloblMed, because the business model was based on inexpensive international travel and access to competitive medical facilities worldwide. Those two crucial components have disappeared for the foreseeable future, and may never return.

I am happily focused on writing my biography Elizabethan Secret Agent: The Life and Times of William Ashby, Her Majesty´s Ambassador to Scotland. I am now on the "downward slope" and expect to finish the first draft by the end of September. I give daily thanks that we are living in the digital age, as most of my research sources (e.g. English State Papers and the "Simancas" Spanish archives) are fully available online. Otherwise, reference books that have not been digitised can usually be ordered from Abe Books or Amazon, and delivered to my door in Mallorca. For those of us who wrote PhD dissertations in the pre-digital age (all of my research was "paper"-based, and I typed around 20 drafts on an IBM Selectric) we can be especially appreciative.

After the William Ashby biography is published, I plan to write the first in a series of action-adventure novels featuring a "black Sharpe" set on the island of Grenada in the 1790s. I lived on Grenada for a number of years, did extensive archaeological work followed by research in the archives in London, and published several scholarly articles on the military history of Grenada, including "Fedon's Rebellion," Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, vol. 62 no. 251, 1984. The novel would be set during the 1795-96 Fedon's Rebellion, and the hero/protagonist will be a mixed-race NCO in the Loyal Black Rangers, an actual unit of freed slaves who fought on the British side against the French-supported insurgents.

John asked for our ideas on WAIS postings. When time permits, I will send my analysis of the BLM/ANTIFA and the "Cancel Culture" movements in the USA and elsewhere. I have been surprised that there has been so little commentary on WAIS about this important subject. Over the past few months I have had unbiased reports from contacts in various intelligence agencies and police forces which have always been reliable. These have contributed to forming my personal analysis.

As a political and ideological agnostic, I believe in discerning as much of "the Truth" as possible, and will share this with fellow WAISers, although I suspect that many will disagree with my conclusions.

Envia cordial salutació des de Mallorca!

JE comments:  Everyone knows what a fan I am of Tim Ashby's historical fiction.  I'm sure your new hero will be as richly drawn and compelling as FBI agent Seth Armitage has been (Devil's Den, In Shadowland).  Tim, any chance Seth will return for a third episode?

In the meantime, best of luck putting the final touches on the William Ashby book.  A unrelated curiosity for this language guy:  How is your spoken Mallorcan coming along?  Or do your rely primarily on Castilian?

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