Newsletter no.197, March 2023

So, Covid came. And went. And yes, I’m still getting tired. I look at the neglected winter garden and think how much it would be improved if I could only get out there and do a bit of tidying up. The other day I decided to stop thinking about it, and actually do a little chopping back and pulling out of dead plants. I set myself a twenty minutes deadline and of course I went over that because neighbours kept passing by and saying they wished I had my energy, and had I heard about so-and-so, or called on the new neighbours yet. There were consultations about a bush which had caught the frost and had I seen the camellia which was covered with blossom in the nest road, and altogether a good time was had by one and all. It was a splendid break from work and I wasn’t too tired at the end of it.

So many plants that usually live through the winter here, have died. It’s received wisdom that any bedding plants put into the garden before Easter will need replacing at Whitsun but perhaps, if I put them new plants in the greenhouse to harden off a bit, they might survive? Shall I chance growing sweet peas this year?

The e-books coming out on Amazon are apparently selling well. FALSE IMPRESSION came out on February 25, and in March we have FALSE WALL on the 25th. Because of the low price, it seems that new readers are beginning to look out for these stories, and that can only be good news. And yes, the black cat continues to feature on the covers.

Meanwhile, first the copy editing and then the proofs of the next Bea Abbot story – FALSE NAME – have arrived on my doorstep. There had been this delay and that, and my editor wanted them back in record time. Unfortunately this particular copy editor was new to my way of expressing myself and held strong views about the necessity of writing good grammar even for people who ‘speak it like it is’ with double negatives and lashings of ‘likes’. So we had a few disagreements, but finally the text has been agreed and will shortly be passed for production. The hardback is scheduled for publication in July this year.

So far, so good. Now I have to write another tale for the Methodist Recorder, and another story about Maximilian the Magnificent, the tiny black cat who is lucky to get out of his adventures with a whole skin.  

PARSLEY and POSY are fed up with this cold weather and are threatening to emigrate. Perhaps I shall get them to stay if I promise they can pose indoors with flowers cut from my garden. I’d welcome your advice on this. You can see them here, posting with the forsythia which has flowered early this year. (And yes, I cheated by buying the daffodils)

Delving into the archives I came across an early story about a time of change for my three old friends who featured in so many short stories for the Recorder over the years. It’s called SPRING CLEANING, and you can access it here.

A blessing on those who ask others how they’re doing and then actually listen to their tales of woe.

Veronica Heley