Green Lady

Walworth Castle“Show your friend around the castle while I clear away the dishes.” Christine’s mum has said, “I’m sure you’d like to see it wouldn’t you sweetie.”

“Oh yes I would, is it really haunted?”

Christine and her mum looked at each other, “Och no, it’s a story to scare folks and attract visitors, no ghosts there.”

Christine led me out of the huge dining room and through several doors to the front entrance of the wee castle. It wasn’t huge like most castles, but a miniature version, maybe a quarter the size, but it was perfectly formed and beautiful. I gazed at the ornate ceilings that looked like upside down wedding beautifully iced.

It was cold in the castle, even in August.

“Why is it so cold?” I asked, but got no answer.

My friend Christine had disappeared.

“Christine!” I yelled, alarmed.

The door in front of me slammed shut. I turned and ran to the door at the opposite side of the room. I was scared, although I didn’t know why. It slammed shut too,  just before I got there. Grabbing the handle I tugged on it, willing it to open.

“Christine it’s not funny, let me out”

The temperature dropped quickly and I began to shiver. The sun blasted through the huge windows and I ran to them, hoping to get someone’s attention. The wooden shutters closed on their own. I was trapped in darkness.

The door behind me opened slowly, its ancient hinges groaning.

“Christine that wasn’t funny,” I said as I turned around.

Oh no, please, no!

I wanted to scream, but couldn’t muster up the energy. Terror sapped my strength as I backed slowly away from the green light that seeped through the door. The room was icy cold, my breath formed a cloud hovering in front my face.

The air was full of whispers!

 

 

 

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Final Journey!

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I opened my eyes and stretched, it was a Saturday, not that one-day is much different from another when you’re retired, but I remembered it was a Saturday because I had a hair appointment. Maybe I’d go to the mall early and enjoy a little retail therapy. I sat up in bed and stretched again. It was a good morning, no aches and pains, no creaking bones.

I washed and donned my PJ’s. No crazy rush to get the washing done over the weekend, I was retired; I could feed the washer any day I chose. I padded down the stairs to Bob’s man cave. Even at seven o clock in the morning the television was on. Arsenal was playing, and for once it seems, they were winning! No Arsene Wenger at the helm these days.

“Bob, what do you want for Breakfast?”

No answer, he was engrossed in the game, didn’t even look up. Not unusual when he was engrossed in football.

“I’ll bring some toast and coffee down.”

I switched the coffee machine on and cut some bread. Yup, still made my own bread, neither of us liked the doughy mess the American supermarkets sold. I wasn’t hungry though so I took a tray down to the man cave and left it on the coffee table. You could at least say thank you, your team are winning for heavens sake!

I walked out onto the porch, it was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm. Bird’s song was the only sound I head. I love living out in the country. I inhaled the atmosphere. When I die, this is where I want my ashes scattering, I feel comfortable here.

No time to linger today, I have a hair appointment and shopping to do. Maybe some new sandals, we’re flying to Italy next month. Maybe I’ll have my ashes scattered on the Amalfi Coast? No, maybe not, its beautiful there, but I don’t speak Italian, I’d be lonely. Why am I thinking about where I want my ashes scattered?

I went back upstairs to the bedroom, ignoring the dishwasher that needed to be emptied. Not in the mood today, it’s a ME day and I’m going to enjoy it.

I was lost in thought, wondering what I should buy. Maybe a new sun dress too, can’t wait for the Italian sun to kiss my shoulders. I giggled as I remembered the last time we were in Italy, and getting my 65-year-old bum pinched!

I froze in the bedroom doorway. If I’d had any breath left in me I’d of gasped. There was someone lying on the bed, still as a church, it was me!

NO! NO! NO! How could this happen?

I ran downstairs to Bob; he was engrossed in the game. I tried to shake him, but he didn’t see me, didn’t feel me.

Bob! Bob! I think I’m dead!

It was useless. Slowly I went back upstairs and looked around our bedroom. It was full of memories, photos of my daughter, and paintings of Italy. I touched the cold face of the “me” that lay on the bed, hoping I’d wake up. I didn’t, so I sat next to me and waited.

***********

It was 10:30 when Bob went upstairs. Sheila normally rose around seven, but he hadn’t seen her yet. He worried she was sick.

“Hey, are you staying in bed all day? I thought you had a hair appointment.”

He saw his wife lying on the bed. She was pale and still.

            “I’m sorry Bob, you’ll have to get your own breakfast today.”

He didn’t hear of course. He wasn’t a romantic man, but he bent over his wife’s body and gave her one final kiss on her forehead. They’d been married over 50 years, he’d be lost without her.

 

Aging the Write Way

Growing old

As I went to put the carton of milk in the oven this morning, and the croissants in the fridge to warm, I thought about my mum and laughed. Yes, I’ve become her. I used to make fun of her all of the time for doing these things. When I was in my teens and twenties, I thought I’d be young forever. Little did I know how quickly those years would pass. Old age creeps up quickly. Everyone seems to be younger than me now. I’m not quite sixty yet, but very close.

Nothing can slow down aging, its part of life, but life doesn’t have to slow down because of it. I’ve been writing since I was eleven or twelve. My head is full of stories.  Every single day is an adventure to me. The older I get, the more important, its become to share my adventures. Some will make you laugh, others, well you’ll think I’m crazy. There’s one thing for sure, I’m not going to keep them locked in my brain until I die, I’m aging the write way!

 

Dead of July is the my first novel. I published it 2013. It took a couple of years to write, and another year to edit and perfect. Give it a try. Its based on real events that happened to me when I was in my early twenties. 

Traveling Along the Write Path!

Saturday morning means two cups of coffee, a smoothie and a bottle of San Pellegrino before I even think of taking a shower. Saturday means feeding the washing machine and tumble drier constantly, but Saturday also means writing. Its hard write while working full-time, but I’m on the right, or should I say the write path!

I’ve only managed to publish one novel, Dead of July , of which I’m very proud. It’s available on Amazon for $0.99. I’m also re-editing my first two short stories, which will be published towards the end of the year. They’re all fun reads, and great practice for when I retire and write full-time. Add a little crazy to your life and read “Dead of July”. I think you’ll enjoy it. Keep track of this crazy writer, she’ll be famous one day!

On the Write Track

On the Write Track

Changes

When you get to a certain age, you start to look back over your life. I find myself doing that more and more. I’m not OLD, but I’m not young either. I’m closer to 60 than 50. Of course I’ve been influenced by events and people over the years, but I’ve done most things my way, and I’m proud of it.

Beat the clock

I was born in the fifties…Of course I remember nothing of those years. I was too young. I don’t even have any photographs. For some reason this TV show pricks my memory. Bruce Forsythe and ‘Beat the Clock’

Twiggy

Twiggy

I do remember the sixties…I became a teenager during those exciting years. Looking back the sixties changed everyone’s life. Twiggy, Rock Festivals, oh the music.

Ch ch changes

Ch ch changes

I do remember the seventies…I drove my parents insane during those exciting years. The music was the best I can remember. David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Lou Reid, Motown. David Bowie was my idol. I dyed my hair red, spiked it up and became his biggest fan. I traveled all the way from my home in Brompton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire to see him perform at Earls Court in London. It was one of the highlights of my life. I got married in 1977 too! I’m still married. In the time that getting divorced was the thing to do, we stay married. It wasn’t always a bed of roses, but after 38 years we’re still together.

The eighties

The eighties

In the eighties music, and the world turned weird…hairstyles and fashion were garish and bright. There was some good music, but no one seemed to have any direction. I had a blast during the eighties because I was in my twenties and living in Germany. I also gave birth to a beautiful baby girl so the eighties were special for me.

In the nineties…we moved to the good old US of A. It was an exciting adventure. We made new friends, learned the American language (which is much different to British English), visited San Francisco, rode horses, went to baseball games. It was different and we liked it. We must have liked it a lot, we’re still here!

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And now we’re in the 21st Century…wow!

My daughter is married and living in a different city. She earns more than me! I’ve become a writer, just part-time because I still work. What do I think of the 21st Century? I love it…but I still listen to David Bowie!

I’ve written lots of short stories about the seventies, which are currently being edited, but my first novel is set in Germany in the eighties. Its a ghost story called Dead of July.

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Thanksgiving curse!

Heart shaped Christmas lightsNot the kind of curse to threaten anyone but me!

I got sick over Thanksgiving last year. I was home alone on the Sunday following Turkey Day! The pain and fever wasn’t the worst of my sickness. It was the hallucinations. I believed my mother to be with me. She died back in 2002. Other people passed through too, people who were no longer on this earth. I thought I’d died. It lasted a terrifying three days. Reality faded in and out.

When I finally clawed my way from my grave of sickness I was amazed to find our Christmas lights twinkling outside. Who had gone into the shed, retrieved them and hung them? Certainly not me, unless I did it in my pyjamas. In sub-zero temperatures I doubt it. The Christmas lights on the deck made the shape hearts, maybe my mother wasn’t a hallucination. Did she visit and magic them up in the shape of hearts to show she loved me? I suppose I’ll never know for sure!

It’s Thanksgiving again, and I’m not feeling well. Exactly the same symptoms as I had last year. Is it a Thanksgiving curse, or a reason for my mother to visit? My husband is here this year so at least I won’t be alone.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!

 

Celebrating a wonderful daughter

On September 30th 1984, a child was born, in the British Military Hospital of Iserlohn, Germany. My child! That was almost thirty years ago. Today we are having an early celebratory lunch because she will be spending the thirtieth anniversary of her birth in Germany where her husband is currently working. I can’t think of any place better. She may not be in Iserlohn, and the British Military Hospital may not even exist anymore, but it’s still a wonderful place to celebrate.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter!

From this!

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To This!

186 JoCh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s great being a mum!

Below is a link to a story I wrote about my time in Germany before my daughter was born. I’ve been told its a fun read, it was certainly fun to write.

Dead of July – A German Ghost Story

Speeding up the Tale!

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The older I get, the more urgent everything becomes. My passion (as well as travelling), is writing. The first book I published was a short story called ‘Girl on the Beach’. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. The genre was a little mixed, but I had a lot to learn….I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting there.

A couple of months ago I decided to re-write ‘Girl On The Beach’ and then re-launch it as a Young Adult book. Since making this decision, I’ve had visitors from England, a wedding and a very busy summer. In two days I’m attending a fiction writers conference and would love to share my book with some of the attendees, who knows, I may even get discovered……or maybe not.

I have ten pages to re-write! I can do it. Yes this blog is all about Travel Tales and Mishaps…..I’m simply speeding up the tale. Keep checking in, who knows, I may be a success story. I’d love you to join the celebration.

Dead of July, my first full length novel, is available on amazon. Check it out, read the reviews, support a hardworking old bird who is trying to live her dreams.

 

Market my girl Market

I love photography, cooking, wine, traveling and writing and try to do them all as much as I can. To take photographs you need a decent camera, I have one. To cook, you need a stove/grill/hob/pans and a flair for food. I have all of those. To enjoy wine…..well that one’s easy. Traveling requires time and money. I juggle them both. Writing is easy, its my passion, and what I love, but my friends tell me that my novel is my best kept secret…..I try.

Dead of July is my first full length novel and is available on Amazon. I’m proud of it! So far my readers have enjoyed it, I have the reviews to prove it. The Kindle version is currently on sale for $1.99 so buy it, read it, and tell your friends. Maybe you will be better at  marketing than I am. Dead of July_Cover_in-template

Hey Ho Hey Ho and Back to Work I GO!!!! (Unwillingly)

On June 20th I picked up my first visitors from Denver International Airport. We had a lot of catching up to do, and sat out on the deck until well after dark drinking champagne and beer (yes the guys preferred beer). It was lovely! On June 21st, same flight different day and more visitors. Cocktails and appetizers at a local watering hole occurred once they had checked into their hotel. For the last two weeks, evenings were spent partying, with a wedding somewhere in between. Now, two weeks later I’m on my own again, looking down at what was once a flat stomach……oh well, a couple of weeks of sensible eating and exercise will fix that (I hope!). Now on the eve of my first day back to work, I pause to think. Can I make my living writing? It would be my dream career, but easier said than done. Do I take the risk and devote eight hours a day to it? Not sure I’m ready for that, so I unwillingly prepare for my first day back at work. I like my job, but I like writing better…..one day!

Bride and grooms dudes

The Bride and a couple of the wedding party.

Take a look at my first novel Dead of July and if you like the look of it, purchase a copy and help me leave day job to write full-time.

http://amzn.to/1aXh4Md

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