About Rob Johnson

Writer and reluctant olive farmer podcasting about life in Greece.

‘Lifting the Lid’ – My new novel out now on Amazon

'Lifting the Lid'

Cover design by Brian Ground from an original painting by Kostas Tsoukatos © 2013

Yes, my new comedy thriller is now available from an Amazon Kindle Store near you.

There are some things people see in toilets that they wish they hadn’t. What Trevor Hawkins sees might even cost him his life.

Read the first four chapters of Lifting the Lid, which is a comedy thriller about how a single, split-second decision can change someone’s life for ever.

Lifting the Lid will also be published as a paperback in the next few weeks.

‘Lifting the Lid’ – My new novel out soon!

Part of the front cover of my novel 'Lifting the Lid'

Part of the front cover of my novel ‘Lifting the Lid’ (Original painting by Kostas Tsoukatos © 2013)

There are some things people see in toilets that they wish they hadn’t. What Trevor Hawkins sees might even cost him his life.

At long last, my comedy thriller Lifting the Lid is about to be published – first as an e-book and then as a ‘proper’ paperback.

Here’s a sneak preview of part of the front cover – an original painting by my good friend Kostas Tsoukatos. He usually does portraits and was a bit surprised when I told him what I wanted!

Final publication details will be announced here soon, but in the meantime, click here if you’d like to read more information about the book and the opening four chapters.

Genetically Modified Self-Harvesting Olives!

GM Self-Harvesting Olives

GM Self-Harvesting Olives by Penny Philcox (© 2013) 

Many thanks to Penny Philcox for sending me this great cartoon, which was inspired by a remark I made when I was moaning on about how much I dread the olive harvest in Podcast 10 (“I’d Rather Eat My Own Face”). This is what I said…

Although I’m generally in favour of preserving traditional farming methods and I’m totally against the idea of genetically modifying crops (or anything else for that matter), when it comes to olive trees I would be prepared to make an exception. A friend and I discussed this recently and decided that it shouldn’t be beyond the whit of some scientist or other to design the GM Self-Harvesting Olive. This would be achieved by equipping each olive with it’s own tiny machete, which it would use to cut through its stalk and detach itself from the tree. It could also have a mini parachute so that the fruit would not be bruised when it hit the ground as well as little legs to enable it to walk to the nearest sack and climb into it.

Until that glorious day comes, however, I will have to endure several months of nightmares about the impending harvest and then the pure hell of the harvest itself.

Thanks again, Penny. Maybe there’s hope after all. 😉

Play It Again, Samaras – Episode Twelve of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

Who was ‘European Politician of the Year’ in 2012? Who got their sums seriously wrong? Who says Germans don’t have a sense of humour? What have you done with my leest? What’s a fiscal multiplier got to do with it?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

Ebenezer Merkel And The End Of The World – Episode Eleven of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

So this is Christmas, and what have they done? What happened to all the flying saucers? Is anyone listening in Greenland? Does Santa Claus really eat all those mince pies?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

I’d Rather Eat My Own Face – Episode Ten of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

Anyone for olive harvesting? Is there such a thing as a free lunch? Should olive harvesting be classified as a dangerous sport? Was Vasillis right about farmers?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

The Dog Ate My Microphone – Episode Nine of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

Angela Merkel’s jacket – bad taste or deliberate provocation? Greece – still listless after all these years? Are undocumented cheese pies the real cause of Greece’s financial woes? What did Merkel really say to Samaras?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

No Greeks Please, We’re British – Episode Eight of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

What’s Cameron got against Greek people? If ‘No’ is the answer, what was the question? Who shall not pass? What’s Holst got to do with it? How many quarks are there in a Higgs boson?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

Sinking Ships and Chicken Livers – Episode Seven of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

Who’s over the moon and who’s sick as a parrot? Why are chicken livers useful (and not just to chickens)? Can you slap someone on live TV and get away with it? Is football a game of two Alans?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

Houston, We Have a Problem – Episode Six of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

How hard can it be to type three digits into a computer? Can sitting down regularly in a comfortable chair really rest your legs? Whose gas is it anyway? WTF?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

You Don’t Wanna Do It Like That – Episode Five of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

How many Greeks does it take to tell you how to prune an olive tree? Why is grass a potentially dangerous word? What exactly is a Grexit? Have you got a light?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

Do You Wanna Be In My Gang? – Episode Four of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

Are elections a waste of paper? Who ate the Acropolis (with chips)? How do you choose when there’s only one candidate? What can you get for two euros in Greece?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

Smelly Thursday and Spy Wednesday – Episode Three of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

What happens at Easter in Greece? Why is the Thursday before Lent smelly? What did the priest say to the vegetarian? How do you make kokoretzi? Would you really want to?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece. Listen to podcast…

My Big Fat Greek Defence Budget – Episode One of ‘One Thing and Another’ Podcast Series

A bit of spoof investigative journalism into why Greece spends enormous amounts of money on buying weapons whilst simultaneously making massive cuts in jobs, wages, pensions and healthcare.

Eurozone leaders such as Merkel and Sarkozy have been heavily critical of how much Greece spends on healthcare and pensions but have said precious little about its arms expenditure. Could this possibly have anything to do with the fact that most of Greece’s shiny new submarines, fighter planes and tanks have been bought from Germany and France as well as the USA? Or is that just me being cynical?

Click the play button or download the MP3 (9 mins 14 secs – 5.5 Mb)

Snow Going Back – Episode Two of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

Why are there so many blind people on the Greek island of Zakynthos? What’s all this white stuff? Does your chewing gum lose its flavour on the bedpost overnight?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece… Well maybe not the chewing gum one. Listen to podcast…

The Greek Escape – Episode One of ‘A Kilo of String’ Podcast Series

What’s it really like in Greece? Hague the Vague to the rescue? How do you buy string in Greece? What happened to Greek logic?

Listen to the podcast to find the answers to these and many other important questions about life in Greece.     Listen to podcast…

Out Now! ‘Quest for the Holey Snail’

“Not just another book about serial-killing monks who travel through time and wear Union Jack flip-flops.” – Unusual Footwear Monthly

Quest for the Holey Snail is now available in e-book and paperback formats from Amazon.

'Quest for the Holey Snail' cover

Cover design by Penny Philcox © 2016

WANTED:  Gainful employment of an adventurous nature but without risk of personal physical harm. (Can supply own time travel machine if required.)

When Horace Tweed places an advertisement in a national magazine, the last thing he expects is to be commissioned to travel back through time in search of the long extinct Holey* Snail.

But this isn’t just any old snail. The helix pertusa is possessed of an extraordinary and highly desirable property, and Horace’s quest leads him and his co-adventurers to Ancient Greece and a variety of near-death encounters with beings both mythological and not so mythological.

Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Harper Collins has her hands full trying to track down a secret order of fundamentalist monks whom she suspects of committing a series of murders – the same monks who are determined to thwart Horace in his…

 Quest for the Holey Snail.

 (* This isn’t a spelling mistake. The Holey Snail is so called because there are hundreds of tiny holes all over its shell.)

Click here to read the opening chapters.

Click here to read one of the book’s featured digressions.

Click here to buy.