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The Quick Guide To Creepy-Crawlies

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The Quick Guide to Creepy-Crawlies allows anyone to place any creepy-crawly into one of the approximately 40 orders to which it belongs. For some, just knowing that it's a beetle and not a true bug or a snakefly (which, like many other things called flies is not a true fly at all) that will be sufficient. But if you are trying to identify a specimen to family, genus or species level then identifying the order to which it belongs is an essential first step.
This is not always easy, especially from a photograph, as many insects tend to mimic other insects in a different order. Take these bees for example:




Common Drone FlyEristalis tenax Western Honey Bee Apis mellifera
The first is a fly mimicing a bee (Order Diptera), the second is a bee (Order Hymenoptera). The books and the internet will tell you that the way to differentiate between the two is that flies have one pair of wings whilst all other insects have two pairs of wings. Very true but can you see the bee's hindwi…

Steve's New Books for 2019

I haven't updated this for a while so I'd better let you know what is happening:

Firstly, Not Just For Twisted Women is going strong and thanks to all of you who have bought/downloaded it and for your comments and testimonials on how much you have enjoyed it.

I an currently working on three books at the moment:

Steve's Quick Guide to Creepy-Crawlies - part book, part app so that you can identify what is crawling around your house and garden and know if it is friend or foe without having to plough through reams of biological data. ie it's red and black, it looks like this; good guy or bad guy?, sorted.

It is also a most useful publication for those of you who see something on your walks and want to know basically; 'what the heck is it?'. Steve's guide will tell you simply, with pictures, to which of the twenty five or more creepy-crawly groups your guy belongs. World wide. If you want to investigate further then links are provided. Enjoy, learn and record. Ho…

Not Just For...Twisted Women - paperback version.

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Not Just For...Twisted Women is now available in paperback (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1720119481) with three extra stories not in the Kindle edition. 
Ideal stocking filler for Christmas
Here's what people are saying about it:

Her Master's Voice

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Back in time for this story to the Upstairs, Downstairs world of England between the wars. My grandmother was a 'downstairs' who wanted to be 'upstairs' and this is one of her true stories from when she was in service. I've done little more than add the twist at the end.

"Ivy is feeling restless. Not bored exactly but mischievous and frustrated at not being able to decide what form this mischief should take. She turns down the counterpane on the master's four poster bed and then spies the new gramophone sitting on the dressing table. The master is in London, the housekeeper is out for the afternoon and with those two cats away the mice will play."

But when the master returns unexpectedly early to find Ivy wearing his clothes and being chauffeured across the lawn in a wheelbarrow by the under gardener...
Her Master's Voice is the fourth story from the anthology Not Just For Twisted Women by Steve Daniels Kindle Edition now available price £1.99 (or equ…

Never Judge a Book...

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This is the first of the stories inspired by my grandmother. In this particular instance the story comes from the latter part of her life when I was a young lad and living with her, my grandfather and my great grandfather.
She came back from town one day, a heavily laden string bag in each hand, and told us of an encounter she'd had on her way home. Struggling a bit with the shopping (for she was as round as she was tall and wouldn't use a shopping trolley 'because it makes me look like an old lady') she paused to take a deep breath before attempting a large flight of steps. Lounging around the base of the steps were a group of youths in full punk regalia – all tartan, safety pins and mohican haircuts).
Totally unintimidated she approached the youths.
“You boys couldn't give me a hand up these stairs with my shopping, could you?” she asked, sweetly.
And they did. Two of them took a bag apiece whilst another two assisted her up the stairs. They then carried the shopp…

The Italian Touch

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When Mercedes has to leave her beloved Napoli to stay with her English cousin she is less than happy about it. First of all there is the weather...

“I am not looking forward to staying in England, it is always raining. At home in Napoli the sun is still shining and I wish I was there. But Papa, dear Papa, has decided I must come to this miserable little island and stay with my English cousin for six weeks”
and then there are the English...
“I wonder what my cousin Lydia will be like, I expect she will be boring, English girls are not allowed to have fun. They probably don"t even know how.”
Enter Lydia's fiance, Henry, and his friend James:
“Henry is tall, dark and handsome in an English sort of way and, surprisingly, he has a spark of life about him but I notice that he is not alone: there is another young man slightly behind him. He is as blonde as Henry is dark. He seems nervous.” Mix all four together at a summer ball in a country house, throw in a summer house and what could…

Communication

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Communication between the generations has always had its problems:
Darren shows me the screen of his mobile phone and after squinting at it for some time, both with my glasses on and then off, I make out the following:
C U LTR @ JX
Cultrajux?” I venture.
No Nan, it says `see you later at Jack`s`”
It does?” I say, in genuine astonishment.
He then goes on to explain all about text messaging and how leaving out the vowels makes it quicker. I don`t have the heart to tell him that speedwriting has been around for decades.”
And as for mobile phones when you get to a certain age when your eyes aren't so sharp and your fingers less nimble than they used to be:
I finally get the phone to a position where I can `dial` the number but the buttons are so small that it takes me an eternity to press each one. I daren`t make a mistake, each time you press a number it comes up on the screen and I`ve no idea how you rub them out if you go wrong. At this rate Marion will be home before I get thro…