Newsletter no 204, October 2023

 Autumn beauties – and woes

As the years go by, so many things change; sometimes for the better. Sometimes not. One thing I’ve noticed is that we are continuing to wear summer clothes long after the children have returned to school. We used to switch to warmer wear in dark colours at the end of the first week in September, didn’t we? The weather has now changed, and I am now packing up all my light summer gear and replace it with long-sleeved shirts and blouses . . . and then decide which I can bear to wear again and which should go to the charity shop.

The next story – False Witness – is coming along a treat although, yes, I fear I am going to be editing the Ms right up to the last minute. I had great fun trying to encode a password which the hero needs to release stolen money from a foreign bank. Somewhere I’d read a particular method of doing it . . but where?

I tried writing out numbers 0 to 9 across the top of the page and under that I wrote out all the letters of the alphabet from l to 26, starting back to no l when I reach the letter K. Then I took the key word and translated it into numbers. I think – I hope – it works. I’m sure many of you will have a better way of doing it, but . . . well, it was a fun thing to do for a story.

So, the garden in autumn. I cut the last of the sweet peas and cleared the pots in which they’d grown, but I left the runner beans as they’d produced a final flowering. The tiny cyclamens, only a few inches high, have seeded themselves everywhere and I haven’t the heart to turf them out. The fuchsias are still flowering as are the cosmos and those yellow daisy-like flowers that I’ve never known the name of, which were given me by a friend when we first moved here, nearly sixty years ago.

Mother Owlet has been lecturing her brood about the beauties of nature. Naughty Awol isn’t taking any notice, of course. Hope continues to hope. See them here.

The next short story from the archives is: Excuse Me! Two of our old friends struggle with a man who doesn’t seem to know right from wrong. Or does he? See it here.

Joffe Books brought out the first two Ellie Quicke mysteries on Kindle as follows: Murder at the Altar — 16 September, Murder by Poison Pen – 23 September and Murder of Innocence — Sat, 30 September. (Please note the title of No 2 was originally Murder by Suicide, but the new title fits the series better)

Now the next lot are going to come out on Kindle as follows: October 7th, Murder by Accident, and l8th, Murder in the Garden.

A blessing on those who can manage to tell you their problems in less than five minutes.  

Veronica Heley