Friday 15 September 2023


This post is by way of explanation why you will never see any more of my blogposts on Facebook aka Meta (and I will touch on other matters too, including my life as a runner which is the excuse for these two pictures and captions below).

Finishing a Broome (Suffolk) 10K in 2012 as a Bungay Black Dog - 61 minutes and 19 seconds - the year before we moved to Cornwall


Finishing a local circuit x 2 run (7 miles) in 2022 as part of a virtual Vitality London 10K - my time for the 10K distance (6.2 miles) was 79 minutes and 25 seconds.

A few months ago Facebook informed me that a complaint had been received about my page. There were no specific details. I should explain that I am signed up for Facebook and within it have two specific pages, one of which has been frozen by me for years for legal reasons and the other is a political page called 'Dying to Know and the Road to Justice'. It used to carry the title: 'The Road to Corbyn' and then in 2020 I renamed the page for obvious reasons. 

I did try to respond to the Facebook notice but in the end gave up because life is too short. Then on 13 September my Facebook account was suspended and I was told I had 180 days in which to appeal, after which my account and its contents would be deleted. Hence my blogpost title: BYE-BYE META/FACEBOOK. I am happy to let Meta go. 

In so far as I can make sense of this, my violation of Meta's codes may have been due to my identification of the page as 'not for business'. As far as I was concerned that was true - it was for political purposes. I had stopped using Facebook advertising to advance sales for 'Dying to Know', my latest book, some time ago. I have accepted that sales have dried up. I am not a business man. I am not a Meta kind of customer. 

Enough on that. 

At the Penzance Literary Festival in 2022, giving a talk about 'Dying to Know

I want to explain now that in future my blogposts will appear as they always do on - and I will also send out the blogpost as an email link to those of you who have signed up to follow my blogposts on Google and those I think may be interested.  Steve McIntosh, my webmail wizard, ensures that all my blogposts reappear within my website at, either as a political post or as a personal interest post (accepting that there really is no difference).  

Of course, I will be delighted if more copies of 'Dying to Know' are sold. The easiest way now is to buy direct from me at a discount of around 20% - the book retails at £9.99 so let's say £8 per copy with free postage - just email me your order at The book is many things - and it reads like a train, as they say in The Netherlands - but very importantly it offers an assessment of how and why the Covid pandemic hit the UK so hard. With the official Covid inquiry now proceeding, this focus could hardly be more relevant. 

Extra large image!

When I last looked on Amazon (which I only do as an author not a buyer), there were three reviews for 'DTK'. One is from my niece who wrote, rather wonderfully, that the book was 'Poetic, beautiful and shimmering with rage'...DTK offers a message of hope for those striving to keep the faith in these unjust times.' One is a straightforward account of the book; the other is more emotive: 'Rob Donovan is a self-proclaimed prophet. He is a man of many words, daring to say aloud the sort of things most of us hardly dare to think. He doesn't hide his contempt for Messrs. Johnson and Cummings and their handling of the first year of the pandemic. His detailed research exposes the failings that led to the U.K.'s appalling surplus death rate. The book is fascinating - at times terrifying - and never less than thought-provoking.' This from Crimefictionfan. 

That's the joy of being a writer: having your work read - and praised - by a total stranger. 

Another joy of being a writer is that the books keep on coming unless you are suffering a block. My next one is due to be published in February 2024 and is at the moment being type-set and copy-edited at Matador/Troubador, my publishers. My four readers - Ingrid in The Netherlands and Jessy, Doug, and Howard in the U.S.A. - have commented on my work as I researched and wrote the sections. Now I have my first review from someone in the U.K. who has read the final draft for the first time last week. He is Alan Carter, former Dean at the University of Bath Spa - and once a teacher who inspired me to take Art O-level and A-level a long time ago at Dartford Grammar School. Here are some of his responses:

'Two things struck me throughout.....your ability to handle rigorous academic, resource-based research with a strong personal almost passionate take without compromising the integrity/objectivity of the documentary sources.....and then, impressively, the way in which the relationship between global and national events hit the everyday working lives of the Cornish miners and their families...This becomes a strong polemic against the artificial construct of unfettered capitalism where greed seems to win so consistently against actual needs and the dignity of work...Often painful... always illuminating. 

Thank you, Alan, for these words and affirmation. I can't resist displaying some of the fruits of your teaching in these two images - oil paintings of mine from 1968 and 1971.

Untitled - (Oxford,1968)

Untitled - (York, 1971)

And then some images from that A-Level course of four terms: 


I will keep readers of my blogposts up-to-date on the progress to publication for 'Mine to Die' (MTD) as February 2024 draws nearer. 

Finally, back to the story of my running. Between September 16 and September 24, I will be completing a double circuit of my local running track, up and down the hill to Little Trevalgan, and so qualifying for my finisher's T-Shirt and medal from the virtual Vitality London 10K team. More on that in due course!   


  1. I appreciate being notified by email of new blog posts. They didn't always pop up on my Facebook feed (good riddance to that, by the way)... Now I don't have to worry about missing anything! Very striking use of impasto in the 1968 piece (that must have taken forever to dry). The second piece from the bottom gives me the heebie jeebies (I suspect that was the intent). Happy running!

    1. Many thanks for leaving a comment, Jessy - artwork remarks much appreciated - I'm very glad I kept these paintings.