Boxing Day Memories

Boxing Day Buffet 1
26th of December means two things to me. Family gatherings with cold buffet’s were our Boxing Day tradition, but first and foremost it was my mum’s Birthday! She’d have been 100 today!

Here in the US, Boxing day isn’t on the calendar, but I take the day off work every year anyway, like I said it’s my mum’s birthday!

Families are a mixed bag aren’t they. Mine caused stress every year. Two brothers who didn’t get along must have caused mum endless heartache. The rift was too deep to ever fix. My brothers were always referred to as the “good brother” and the “bad brother”. The bad brother is dead now too, but he leaves behind a legacy of ruin and pain. Does anyone miss him? Who knows? I miss the brother he used to be when I was a kid, and before he turned bad.
Anyway, its boxing day, my mum’s Birthday, and I just want here to be remembered. Phoebe Ethel Newman, rest well in Heaven – we always remember you. Love You!


Alone Again Naturally


I’m alone tonight, and it made me think of this song!

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The CrownWhen I was young I needed only my dreams and ambitions. As I aged I needed my husband and my daughter. I still had dreams and ambitions of course.

Now as I’m approaching old age. Yes, I said approaching, I’m not quite there yet, I need my old friends. Those folks I haven’t seen in 30 years or more. Is it because as I stroll towards my sunset years I need to say goodbye? I don’t think so. I just want to reconnect with the people I had so much fun with before responsibility took over.

I’m taking a trip down memory lane this year. Visiting my old haunts, rekindling my teen age years. Names have changed, people (like me) have moved far away, but hopefully one or two of my old friends remain.

Can’t wait to introduce my daughter and her new husband to faces and places. London, Birmingham, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

It’s not to say goodbye, but to say “hello again.”

If anyone out there remembers me I’d love to see you. I’ll be in Richmond, North Yorkshire December 26, 27 and 28th.

2014 Trickles away – A bitter-sweet year!

As the final few days of 2014 trickle away I think about all that happened. It was a bitter-sweet year with a weird beginning. My basement seemed cursed. Burst pipes, fires, but I handled it, and moved on.

Most of the year was filled with planning a beautiful wedding, and it was beautiful!

A weddingSeeing my lovely daughter so happy was a pleasure. Gaining a son-in-law was an added bonus. Getting together with family and friends I hadn’t seen in a long time was the icing on the cake. June and July were special months and I will always remember them with a smile.

The rest of the year passed in a blur. I had an extremely busy job which made my brain hurt so much I would escape for long walks during my lunch hour to prepare me for the afternoon. I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore. After sixteen years of loyal service, covering several positions because of previous layoffs, I was a casualty of another downsize and cast aside without a second thought. I guess it happens. Yes my feelings were hurt, but I learned from it and I’m sure it will make me stronger.

As 2015 approaches I think of what it has in store for me. A vacation in Italy (providing I find a new job) and challenges I’m sure I’ll overcome.

There will be more tears and laughter, joy and sadness, all of the things that make up life. You can’t control life, but you can control the way you handle it.

Heres wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Dance like there’s no tomorrow!

I was in my mid twenties and a young wife. My husband was in the British Army and we lived in Dorset, far away from my parents, who lived in North Yorkshire. We always travelled home for Christmas, which made my mum extremely happy, but I didn’t realize how happy….until I saw her dance. It was Christmas day, and she was in the kitchen preparing the Christmas Feast. The radio was on and she didn’t hear me open the door. I’ll never ever forget the look of sheer happiness on her face as she danced to a tune I can’t remember. She twirled around the small kitchen, rocking to the beat of the song that played on the radio.

As I think about it now, it makes me emotional. My mum was 65 at the time, but danced like a teenager. She was embarrassed when she saw me watching, but it’s a site I will never forget. I miss you mum.

I wish I had a photo to share, but all I have are memories.

Walking back to 1957 – Not such a bad life after all!

I decided to go back in time this morning and ended up in 1957, the year I was born. It made me feel old.

1957-BSA-A10-with-Watsonian-SidecarOh I remember these. I sat in a side car just like this many times.

Your average neighborhood pub. Lovely! I probably wasn’t in one in 1957, but I remember them from later years. Look at that car!










Queen of EnglandGod Save the Queen, how young and lovely she looked after only one year on the throne.

england v young eng 1957





My husband’s favorite football team. He was two years old when this game was played. Does anyone remember the threepenny bit, which is how much this program cost?





As I sit here sipping coffee, fifty-seven years later, I think of everything I’ve seen and done, and smile. I’ve had some rough times, but all in all, it hasn’t been such a bad life.

The World Cup – Wembley 1966

The 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth staging of the World Cup, was held in England from 11 to 30 July. England beat West Germany 4–2 in the final, winning the World Cup. With this victory, England won their first FIFA World Cup title and became the third World Cup host to win the tournament after Uruguay in 1930 and Italy in 1934.

The 1966 Finals, held at Wembley Stadium, was the last to be broadcast in black and white. The tournament held a 28-year FIFA record for the largest average attendance until it was surpassed by the United States in 1994. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Oh th memories. My (soon to be) step dad and I watched this game together in the livingroom of his old stone house in Gilling West, North Yorkshire. The black and white TV was turned up full blast and the air heavy with cigarette smoke and the aroma of beer. Even at nine years old the excitement of the game consumed me. 1966 World Cup

The final score – 4 – 2 to England. Geoff Hurst was a hero when he scored his third goal, a hat trick. England were the victors against the West German team. My (soon to be) step dad, who was not the athletic sort, stood up, slopping beer everywhere, danced a little jig and then hugged me. I still remember that hug. It was special, it smelled of beer and cigarettes, but it made me feel like I belonged to a family again.

I’ve watched the World Cup ever since. I love the skill of the players, the excitement, the drama, and it  brings back happy memories of my step dad. Enjoy the 2014 games everyone. Italy v. England today…….let the fun begin.

My first novel, Dead of July, is set in West Germany in 1982. World Cup Fever was rampant. The final was between Italy and W. Germany. I was living in West Germany at the time and cheering for Italy to win. That was a game to remember!

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Decorate the Christmas Tree with Memories

Baby Joanna's 1st Christmas 1984 - from my Mum

Baby Joanna’s 1st Christmas 1984 – from my Mum

Gift from a Wedding - October 2013 - Cabo San Lucas

Gift from a Wedding – October 2013 – Cabo San Lucas

Hand made ornament from a good friend in 1998.

Hand made ornament from a good friend in 1998.

Made by my lovely daughter in 1995. I treasure this one. Our first Christmas in the US.

Made by my lovely daughter in 1995. I treasure this one. Our first Christmas in the US.

A knitted santa made by my late mother. Probably 20 years ago.

A knitted santa made by my late mother. Probably 20 years ago.

Putting up the Christmas tree brings back such sweet memories.

Putting up the Christmas Tree brings such sweet memories.

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Sunsets and Cameras

When I was a child, I imagined the entrance to Heaven would look just like this. 

I have loved taking photographs for my whole life. From my first little Kodak camera, to fancy Olympus and Cannon cameras with tripods, lenses, light diffuser. Every camera gave me pleasure.

First I took photos at Rock Concerts, David Bowie being my favorite. Then I got married, photos in abundance as we moved around with the army. Vacation photographs in France and italy.

Next I had a daughter so there were baby photos, horse shows, all captured on film. When digital cameras were invented I was in seventh heaven. Every year camera’s improve, the photographs getting easier to take and more and more pleasing to the eye. I could start my own museum with the cameras I have. I carry one in my purse, just in case I need it. My favorite camers is the on used for sunsets and actions shots. Of course there is also the camera on my cell phone. I am in heaven. What do I enjoy taking photographs of the most? Sunsets. They mark the end of a busy day and are always accompanied with a glass of wine. (My other passion).

Memories captured, never to be forgotten. 

I love my camera.

Childhood re-visited!

When I was invited to a ‘red carpet’ party I didn’t really know what to expect, but I am very glad I went.

I was a kid for an evening.

Do you remember the photo booths that used to be located in bus stations and railway stations? We used to squeeze into them with our sweethearts, or best friends, and pose for a photographs. At a red carpet party that’s just what you do, only you have props.

After a couple of glasses of wine I couldn’t wait to put on the pink cowboy hat and jump into the luxurious photo booth to get my picture taken. It was a blast. It was so much fun, I may even have one of these myself.




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