• Living Between the Lines,  Tidbits - the written word

    The Real Ghost Girl

    Having drawn on my own childhood for part of the Ghost Girl at Angel Cottage, I thought it only fair to relate one of the events that led me to write this story in the first place. It was a warm summer’s day back in the early sixties. I was probably about 6 years old or perhaps younger, playing on the stone steps set in my Grandparents’ back garden, in the village of Writtle. Cottages lay either side of us. My grandparents’ house was set back from the road, behind wrought iron railings. (A sad tale (tail) occurred here, during the war when the railings were removed for the war…

  • Living Between the Lines,  Puptales

    It’s a Mystery

    Embarrassing? Or have I cemented my reputation as being the dippiest person in the family? Hmm. Let me begin at the beginning, It is still February 2021 as I write… Flossie was a brave dog. She underwent surgery to remove a nasty tumour from her mouth. In true Flossie style, she is uncomplaining, but the operation means that when she is let out to perform her ablutions, she must be on a lead. There is to be no running into bushes or trying to chew logs (a favourite pastime of hers). So, early this morning, a Saturday, I came downstairs, still clad in night attire and wearing a dressing gown,…

  • Living Between the Lines,  Tidbits - the written word

    Memories pre- lockdown

    Despite the snow we had today and the long wait for Spring, vaccines and freedom, it is always a treat to find a memory that has lain forgotten amongst my files. Today, I found such a memory, written during one of our past visits to Portugal…reading it it makes me thirsty for more! ******************************************************************************************* Ragged palm leaves feathered against the cobalt sky, a crisp, white sun refusing to budge from its perch on the spine of next door’s roof. Heat bringing rivulets of sweat and hot rasping breath with it as it travels through the villa. There is no wind nor a kind and understanding summer breeze to relieve us.…

  • Living Between the Lines

    The Angel

    A quick story that may make your spine tingle… When clearing out my late mother’s house a few weeks ago, I found the Christmas Angel which had adorned our childhood Christmas trees for as long as I could remember. This, the angel who inspired the very angel mentioned in my novel, The Ghost Girl at Angel Cottage. Naturally, I was moved to keep the angel. This morning, having put up our Christmas tree, a little early for me this year (like many, I wanted to shrug off the current restrictions and threats with some early Christmas cheer) I stood back to admire it and realised that there was one thing…

  • Living Between the Lines

    Tell it how it is…

    You may conclude from that title, that I refer to the current pandemic, well, in part I do but there is a wider aspect to this statement – more of a question really. Do you always tell it how it is? Or, are you one of the people who tries to dress up the truth a little to make someone feel better when needed? Some are good at it, others not so good … but I expect we all, occasionally, do not tell it quite how it is. It wasn’t the current health crisis that brought this question to mind, although no one can deny that governments rarely tell it…

  • Living Between the Lines,  Mum is the word,  Puptales

    Dog in a towel

    On the day of my mother’s funeral: As we tried to swallow breakfast – hard to eat when your emotions are roller coasting – we were all a little careless it appears. The dogs were ambling around, not bothering anyone. Flossie appeared to be sleeping. Dave had taken her for a long walk…she was a little muddy so had been dried and wrapped in her dog dressing gown, just as she appears in this photograph. Youngest son went out to his car… front door was left open… Out of the door went Floss before anyone noticed. Heedless of the brown towelling wrapped around her middle, she headed off into the…

  • My Mum and me
    Living Between the Lines,  Mum is the word

    Thank you to a Guardian Angel

    Saying goodbye to my mum was the saddest of any tasks I’ve had to face during this Covid crisis. Yes, she of the dancing shoes, high heels and sparkling dresses, has left us. She was funny, nowhere near as prim and proper as she appeared and the master of the disparaging look. Am I like her? It is not for me to say. Aren’t we all a little like our mothers? I did not take after her for dancing, nor for singing but my creative talents do come from her and my grandmother. Both talented ladies, painted and sewed a fine seam and my grandmother wrote many short stories that…

  • Living Between the Lines

    12 weeks later…

    Well, here we are, 12 weeks into lockdown and I don’t think anyone has gone crazy yet, not me, at least.What have the past twelve weeks been like for you? I hope you have stayed safe.I have summarised my experience(s) in a short, light hearted, photographic diary. I have deliberately kept it light, these are the good memories…we hear enough bad news as it is! A photographic diary, “Lockdown in a nutshell – the good side” So, lockdown is easing, cautiously, (still no hugs with those gorgeous grandchildren) but beginning to see signs of life and a new normality out there…Today, I began work on another novel, whilst leaving the…

  • Living Between the Lines

    The Sun is Shining

    Thank goodness the sun is shining and has continued to shine for the past few weeks. Spring has truly sprung. So, what are the highpoints of this time spent shutting ourselves away like lepers? I have thought of a few: 1. Hand clapping the amazing NHS every Thursday evening and feeling over emotional and humble throughout and hearing that my 6 year old grandson is so proud to be clapping for his Daddy who is a policeman and his uncle who is a paramedic. 2. Seeing the grandchildren hanging on the gate while I wave from a safe distance and listen to their news. 3. Video calling children and grandchildren…

  • Living Between the Lines,  Mum is the word

    Guardian Angels

    We are at the very beginning of this 12 week (??) stay-at-home—be-extra-careful gig. Already, conspiracy theories abound on the reasons we are all going through this turmoil right now. Any could be true. I won’t add to speculation by dwelling on the cause, be it Alien intervention, God, Greta Thunberg, nature, one of the super powers… because we are in it and despite the sudden panic that sent people rushing to the shops to bag the last rolls of toilet paper and pasta (??) we are managing quite well under the circumstances. For my part, I have a plentiful supply of lollipops, pasta, waffles and fish fingers because my grandchildren…