Newsletter no 207, January 2024

There’s nothing new about this New Year –

or is there? Well, I suppose that the way we conduct our lives is changing, little by little as technology takes over. Innovations which are helpful to youngsters are impenetrably difficult for us oldies. Threats to remove our telephone landlines make me want to retreat into a hobbit burrow, shut and lock the front door and check the amount of food I’ve got in store . . . only to remember that if electricity fails, then I wouldn’t be able to access it anyway. Perhaps I should dig up the garden and replant with cabbages. Except, I’m not that fond of cabbage. Oh yes, and my Christmas rose didn’t flower. Again. I think I’ll chuck it out and get something that will enjoy living in my garden.

Enough of doom and gloom. Look! the spring bulbs are pushing through the earth, the winter jasmine is in full flower, and today I noticed a perfect pink rose in bloom, which reminds me that the days are going to get longer and the cold winds abate.

So, looking forward instead of back, the choir re-starts this week, and so does our wonderful Tea Club for the over 65s. Both concerns have members in their nineties and you should hear us all when we get going . . . especially with a good tea in view. And reminisce! Don’t we just! It’s really interesting to hear why this one’s family went to Australia when she was only three, and that one from her teens onwards used to entertain with Music Hall classics.

Work has continued, around the social stuff. I am trying to work out how the plot goes for the next Bea Abbot story, which is called FALSE GOLD. I know how it starts, and I know what happens to various people who crash in and out of the picture. I know how the work at Marston Hall continues inside and out, and what sex Julian and Polly’s next child is to be. Now I have to put all the material together to present it in readable form to Severn House, and that’s not easy to do.

Joffe are getting on nicely with the Ellie Quicke books. Contracts are whizzing backwards and forwards and probably getting stuck in letter boxes as most people seem to have closed down for a whole month! But in spite of that, the stories continue to be brought out at regular intervals. And they’re not even half way through yet!

My Christmas story duly went out in the Methodist Recorder and will no doubt crop up here some time, but meanwhile I’m giving you the latest tale (tail) from Maximilian the Magnificent, the undersized but lucky cat’s latest. ‘Bringing up Baby’ can be found here.

The Owlets are very quiet at the moment. Awol has been visiting his Mum, and Hope believes he’s turned over a new leaf. Perhaps he has. Perhaps . . . See them here.

A blessing on those who find time to listen to people in distress. It happens, even at holiday time.              

Veronica Heley