Newsletter no.133 January 2019

A happy New Year to you all. I hope you’ve had a good Christmas. I certainly did, but now I’m looking forward to the bulbs I’ve planted coming into flower, to the lengthening of the days, and to getting back to work.

I had some fascinating replies to my diatribe about people calling older women by pet names. Some people like it, some don’t. There are regional differences, too. I do understand that some people mean to be friendly when they use pet names and that we shouldn’t take it amiss, but others have agreed with me in feeling slightly miffed at the lack of respect when we are addressed inappropriately. All I can say is, Ah well! It takes all sorts.

Work on the next Ellie continues, now that I’ve despatched all my Christmas stories. The one in the Methodist Recorder came out in their combined Christmas and New Year edition. It’s called, ‘Not Everyone’s Happy at Christmas’. If you’d like a copy and haven’t got one already, email me and I’ll send it to you, free. I wrote two others; one to read at the Christmas Concert of our ladies’ choir, and one for the joyful Christmas Day service. They had to be short. We always keep the Christmas Day service short. But they seem to have gone down all right.

On 28th December, the next Bea Abbot story was published. This was FALSE ACCOUNT, in which Bea gets involved in the tangled web of the wealthy but dysfunctional Tredgold family, whose matriarch wants the death of her cats to be investigated! Yes, there is a black cat on the cover and no, it’s not one of Mrs Tredgold’s , but a cameo appearance by Bea’s own charming but wilful cat, Winston. The cover also includes a picture of a model train set, which does make an appearance in the story. I hope you like both the cover and the story.

On a serious note, an old friend sent me a poem about the choices we can make on facing the new year, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In the poem the writer has no idea of what lies before him, but is given a choice of futures . . . ‘One was bright, sunlit and happy, with no harm or pain. The other was dark, with hate and spite, sickness and death, where hope seemed all in vain.’ He chose the second but asked that he might retain the joy and light he saw in the first, because it would be his task to change the dark to light in the New Year. (Adapted from a poem by Paul H Scott.)

I hope I shall be as brave as he, as we go into 2019.

A happy, prosperous and pain-free New Year to everyone!

Veronica Heley