Newsletter no.126 June 2018

I think we’ve cracked the problem of the stolen milk! A friend who lives across the road from me has never had her milk stolen. Neither have any other of my neighbours. My friends point out that because I live on a corner site opposite gates into our local park, my milk can be seen by a lot of people. I have tried suggesting that it’s hidden in the foliage nearby, but there’s not enough greenery to hide it successfully. So, one of my neighbours said, ‘Why don’t you hide it in your waste food container?

This is a box with a lid which is given to every householder, which is emptied by the council once a week. Now I don’t have much food waste, as almost everything I don’t eat is either given to the birds, or composted. I do put out chicken bones now and then, but that’s about it. So my food box is not in regular use. So far, so good. I’ve put the box out three times this week and so far . . . touch wood . . . the next morning I have found a fresh bottle of milk ready for me to use at breakfast time.

Yesterday I found no milk had been left! Again! I phoned the dairy and remonstrated in what I believe to be a restrained manner. Today I found a fresh bottle on the doorstep with a note saying, ‘Sorry, Stephen’s on holiday!’ Yes. Well. And today, there’s a bottle of milk put down beside the box, but the empties have not been taken. My rescue plan is flawed!

So, how am I getting on with the next book, which is a Bea Abbot story? I did finally struggle through to the end of the first draft and am now working through it, second time round. I rather like this story, which is about the sense of entitlement which a great deal of money – not necessarily inherited – can give people. Some even think that having money makes them invulnerable. This means they can treat other people as inferior beings, which doesn’t go down well with Bea Abbot or her ex-husband Piers, who is being very helpful to her at the moment. Well, his washing machine has broken down so he’s popping in and out rather a lot. That’s his excuse, anyway. Oh, and Bea’s difficult teenage ward wants to help, too. This is probably not a good idea, but she’s a headstrong lass . . .

The audiobook contract is through for the last two published stories, but it will be some months before they’re out and about. Meanwhile both the audiobook and the ebook of FALSE PRIDE are now out, as is the large print version of MURDER WITH MERCY.

The Methodist Recorder liked the story I wrote for Easter about forgiveness. I found it very difficult to write. How can you tackle such a subject in just one short story. But now The Recorder is suggesting I do a follow-up for publication sometime in the autumn. So I’m doing some research into the programmes for reconciliation between victims and the people who’ve hurt them. It’s quite a project.

Finally, may the sight of the roses of summer bring a moment of delight into your lives, whenever and wherever you see them.

Veronica Heley