Newsletter no.150, May 15th 2020

Well, here we are. I’ve managed to produce a newsletter exactly one fortnight from the last, and you will remember I promised to attach a short story in future. Now, delving back into my records, I find that the very first stories I wrote for the Methodist Recorder were Ellie Quickes, published in 2009. However, the readership decided against murders so I have been writing about the joys and sorrows of retirement ever since. Fine, thought I! Retirement stories it is. And then I found I had to do a little editing to make them suitable for re-use.. Why did I get myself into this mess? (Don’t answer that!) Anyway, I finally selected ‘Three Men, One Gift,’ which introduced the series, and which continues to this day:

Hopefully. If you’re interested, I self-published a set of these early short stories in a paperback titled ‘Unsung Heroes.’

Meanwhile, I’ve had such fun emails from you all about how to make a bed. Titanic struggles with the duvet! Difficult duvets abandoned for sheets and blankets! And yes, the most practical way seems to be to do the duvet first. But the prize – metaphorically – goes to the reader who said she always got her husband to change the bed for her. Now that’s what I call clever!

Mind you, it would never have worked with my dear husband. He could operate the most intricate of instruments but when asked to undertake a domestic task, he turned fumble-fingered and helpless. Before we married I asked him if he might consider polishing my shoes for me. He was horror-stricken at the thought. ‘Understood,’ said I, ‘but don’t expect me to darn your socks.’ Sigh. We had a happy marriage for almost fifty years, he never read a word I’d written – except by accident – and I still miss him.

We are very fortunate here in that neighbours help one another out with shopping, and we keep checking on one another by telephone. We all come out on Thursday evenings to clap for the NHS, and have chats over the hedges and at a safe distance on the pavements. The good weather has helped keep us cheerful. It’s amazing how many people have suddenly decided to pay some attention to their neglected gardens.

I’m told that some copies of FALSE CONCLUSION are reaching customers by other means apart from libraries. Bravo! Meanwhile I plough on with the next book, which has got itself into a terrible tangle between chapters seven and eight. I think there’s too much information packed into it. So that’s the next job to tackle.

A blessing on all who are able to exercise the art of patience in the face of adversity.

Veronica Heley