Stones in my clog is another collection of short stories from the chiropractic coalface.
Several short stories from Stones in my Clog are now available at the end of this page. On leaving South Africa for a sojourn in the Netherlands, he finds an intriguing and quite different people in the southernmost province of Limburg.
This page was last updated on November 16, 2018. Even though it's now eight years since I retired, I left many firm friends behind.
Two of the short stories are translated into Dutch.
A great book; in a similar vein to those of the veterinarian James Herriot; as a chiropractor for close to thirty years I resonated with many of the stories and had several ah ha moments that rang true for my practice as well.
Paul Finn DC
These are people of a very old culture, their land frequented by the Romans as they tramped their way to England and Gaul, leaving their culture and genes, and a thousand artifacts splattered along the way.
STOP PRESS: At last, Stones-in-my-Clog is available as an ebook for only $2.99. Take your Kindle or laptop to the bath!
These are amongst the most cultured and decent people I have ever met. When you walk through the Roman baths built more than 2000 years ago in the small city of Heerlen, then called Coriovallum,
or tramp the quaint streets of Maastricht, after catching a live André Rieu concert in the charming Freedom Square (Vrijthof Plein), you become very aware of the passage of time ... these are very old cities. Amongst these people lie the seeds of Stones in my Clog ...
Oh, yes - I'm going to read Clogs again!! It, and Frog and Bats, make excellent reference chiropractic tomes. For Frog and Bats - with paper markers; with Clogs ............... dunno in an eBook!"
One of the reasons that Stones in my Clog has appeared in the kindle format is that being able to mark favourite pages and passages easily is one of the many benefits of ebooks.
Or if you like a good Limburg beer in a little pub, or to sit outdoors on their 'terrase' enjoying a coffee and vlaai, a unique Limburg tart, or even sit in the beautiful twelfth century stone church in Klimmen, again it's the passage of time that touches. Like a bottle of vintage red wine, these folk have matured and stood the tests of time. And not been found wanting.
The armies of Caesar, of Charlemagne, of Napoleon, of Spain and of Hitler have rolled over Limburg, each leaving their mark. These people are survivors, a wondrous, warm hearted nation. I'm privileged to count many dear friends amongst them.
How could I not write about them?
A Limburg's vlaai (pronounced 'fly') is filled with cherries, strawberries or whatever fruit is in season. Laced with cream, and bits of chocolate, a flaai should definitely only be eaten on high and holy days! Unless you ride a bicycle every day to work, as I did for seven years, in which case ...
Netherlands American Cemetry
There are few more sobering places in Limburg than the American War cemetry; where over 8000 of America's WWII dead lie, and a memorial to the umpteen of whom no trace was ever found. That cemetry, in Margraten, a tribute to those Americans who gave their lives to liberate Limburg from the Nazi occupation, is the inspiration behind chapter V, Friendly Fire. A small boy loses his leg when he steps on an Allied landmine on the way home from school.
Equally sobering is how many countries, including the United States, that have still not signed the Ban the Landmine treaty. It remains the ultimate weapon of terror...
"Delight the audience you already have, amaze the customers you can already reach, dazzle the small investors who already trust you enough to listen to you. Take the permission you have and work your way up. Leaps look good in the movies, but in fact, success is mostly about finding a path and walking it one step at a time."
The title? STONES IN MY CLOG
I was once privileged to enjoy the ministry of an ancient Presbyterian preacher who loved to pop stones in your shoe. I say 'enjoy'. His sermons were indeed enjoyable, but they were certainly not of the sort that you had forgotten by the time you reached your car. Calvin's sermons stayed with me for weeks and months, irritating, goading and stirring. Some I still remember as clearly as the day he passionately preached of the Christ he so loves.
Limburgers too have have disturbed my sense of balance with their
strange beliefs and customs. Is it possible to grasp that there exists a
people who would no sooner marry a stranger to their bed than purchase a
car they had never driven? The Limburgers 'shack up' for several years
before marrying, and only then usually when they are ready to have
children. Yet, their marriages seem just as true, perhaps truer, and to
my mind just as faithful and enduring. Or is that an illusion? Is a
common-law marriage just as valid and binding in the eyes of God?
For better or for worse, the times they are a-changing.
Mike Smallbones writes:
"I just read your first chapter of your short stories in Stones in my Clog. I look forward to reading the rest of the book. It's interesting and easy reading - the kind I like at the moment!"
Here I, Bernard Preston DC, leave you with a few short stories from Stones in my Clog :
To PURCHASE your copy of Stones in my Clog by Bernard Preston DC ... just $2.99.
These stories were all inspired by a day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Sadly, Stones in my Clog is probably the third and last of my chiropractic books. My energy and thoughts have moved elsewhere, for the present at any rate.
In response to a strange dream, A Family Affair, a trilogy of books about a lesbian couple is my next offering. Not my choice of topic, I could not escape the pursuasive and disturbing dream, starting what was for myself a journey of exploration into the vexing question (for heterosexuals) of homosexuality. The first two of the books of this trilogy are now complete. Read some sample chapters at A FAMILY AFFAIR ...
CARING FOR THE TEMPLE
I find it disturbing that Christians fervently believe that their bodies are the temple of Almighty God, yet many treat that same body with such disrespect.
Working too hard, with all their Christian duties little time for exercise, taking too few holidays, acceptance that a crap diet for the holy temple of God is quite in order, obesity; the Spirit of God is stirring me to make a start soon. It will be my seventh and probably last book.
Meantime, you can make a start with these back exercises. They'll save you a lot of pain and money and make your body a holier place for the living God to indwell.
INTERESTING LINKS @ STONES IN MY CLOG
It takes a serious commitment to every writer's six Ds to finish books like these. If you're contemplating a novel, take a good long look at them first.