Newsletter no.183, 1st January 2022

I wish you a Happy New Year

and may it be less stressful than 2021.

When you are surrounded by miserable faces and all you hear are tales of woe, then you can either shut the door on the outside door and reach for a cuppa, or – as Shakespeare said – by taking arms against a sea of troubles, you can end them. Well, OK. We can’t end Covid by wishing but we can embrace the spirit of the Blitz and stiffen the upper lip and get on with life as best we can. I may be the only one around here who can remember the blitz, but even as a child I can well remember the feeling of anxiety that pervaded those days. And now? Is it the same? In some ways, yes. But I do know that a bit of fun here and a spot of laughter there make all the difference – as they did then.

Let us consider Parsley

Parsley has adopted a smaller lamb, as you can see here. Now I bought this little lamb in Prague many years ago. He sat on a ledge in the bedroom and seemed perfectly content there, but now he’s arrived at Parsley’s side and apparently intends to stay there. I’ve tried moving him back where he used to be but he resisted like mad. All right: it’s companionship for Parsley. The only thing is, the little lamb never had a name before and now he needs one. Would anyone care to think one up for me? (No, not Thyme.) All suggestions gratefully received and there will be a naming session in due course.

Work continues . . .

Things may go awry in the world but work – thankfully – continues. There’s nothing like a good book to renew one’s spirit and I hope that the one I’m writing now will both amuse my readers. Another Ellie, MURDER BY ESTATE AGENT is going well, and I should be able to deliver it in about a month’s time. One of the characters who appears in this book has given me a lot of pleasure. He’s not a pretty boy; in fact you might call him ‘plain,’ but he’s kind and a good listener. When we were going out on dates way back in the dark ages, my friends and I used to judge the men by things we thought important and at the top of the leader board was ‘Is he kind?’ I suppose nowadays the criteria are quite different, but it served us well in the old days and, come to think of it, none of our group ended up in the divorce courts.

The short story with this newsletter is ‘Christmas Mislaid,’ in which Bruce and Sally set aside their own plans to help a relative in distress; with surprising consequences. Access it here.

A blessing on those who are kind to those around them.

Veronica Heley