Newsletter no 201, July 2023 – 90th birthday issue

Yes, it’s true! I was 90 years old this week. I didn’t want presents but I did want a party with friends from all the different circles in my life. And that happened. Oh, it surely did! Now you know that I love hearing from you all now and then, but on this occasion please don’t be upset if I don’t reply. I’m gong to need a while to get over this event.

This last couple of weeks I’ve been getting up early to do the watering. I have sweet peas, pansies, Busy Lizzies, nasturtiums, lilies, sunflowers, runner beans, tomatoes, etc., in pots and they all need watering. On the plus side, the roses have been wonderful this year.

I have three writing projects on the go at the moment. The first is the next Bea Abbot book, which is coming on a treat. Bea is out of her comfort zone here, visiting friends in the countryside. She’s only made aware of how much she doesn’t understand about life outside London, when someone observes that Bea doesn’t know anything about horses.

Then there’s a short story about what gardens can mean to older people. That’s for the Methodist Recorder and will be out at the end of July. And the last thing I’m working on is a very short story about Maximilian the Magnificent who is an undersized black cat finding life hard in a word populated by larger cats, even larger rats, vets-who’s-aim-in-life-is-to-torture-felines-with-needles.

Next: Joffe Books finished bringing out most of the e-books of the Abbot Agency series with A FALSE FACE on 27th May. They have acquired the rights for the first eight of the Ellie Quicke mysteries and I’m told will be starting to bring them out in the autumn. I’ll let you know as soon as I have dates.

Now, what about the Owlets. Well, Awol is in disgrace, of course. But manages to wheedle his way back into the next picture with some flowers picked from my garden this morning. See him here.

The short story I’ve attached from the archives is called ‘Remember Me!’ It’s all about regrets for past mistakes and, hopefully, looking to the future. You can access it here.

My daughter Frances successfully completed her long walk from Leeds to London in aid of Ehlers-Danloss Syndrome, despite wading through a field of nettles, her husband falling off his bike and fracturing his elbow, the tills at the supermarket all going down just as they’d had finally managed to locate something to eat, and . . . well, there was a long list of mishaps which will make good stories later but which at the time almost made her give up. Which she didn’t. Now she’s back at work and looking for opportunities to do more for EDS in the future. Pathway to Parliament in aid of EDS UK | Leeds | Facebook

A blessing on those who can make the time to be with people who need someone beside them at difficult times in their lives.

Veronica Heley