Search This Blog

Thursday, 31 December 2015


A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one without any fear...

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, WAR IS OVER sang John Lennon whose lyrics echo down the years.  I wonder what the great singer/songwriter would have thought of the world as we head into 2016?

Celebrating the end of any war is a time of both sorrow and joy so I've chosen to repeat a popular poem from May 2015 for my final post of the year.  The poem was written by Gill Cullen, a Guernsey girl now living in Vancouver, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of the
Channel Island of Guernsey.  This, my favourite line, will stay with me always: So many of our loved ones gone, yet still present in the cry of the seagulls or the rise and fall of the tide...
Thanks again, Gill.

Dear Guernsey

How I wish I could be with you this year. This 70th celebration of the end of the Occupation.

How many years I have sat and listened to stories of your Occupation, from my father ... stories of trepidation and daring , Of victory signs , Of tea dances, of curfews (often missed - with bad recompense ) Of hunger .. Of seaweed bread ... Of cabbage soup , Of Crystal sets , Of prisoners of war .....

My childhood was during a time of recovery for you, dear Guernsey ... And I embraced your lovely beaches , your windswept shores , your crashing waves ...
Ferry rides ...watching every wave as it broke on the bow of the "Martha Gun " or the " Capstan" or the " Lady Dorothy. "
Other Liberation days when a trip to Herm was often in order to help celebrate ..and to walk through the fair on the way back ....
My life has taken me away from your beautiful shores , but my heart remains a Guernsey Girl, an islander through and through ...
I would love to stand with everyone this year, on this anniversary .. So many of our loved ones gone .. Yet I am sure still present .. In the cry of the seagulls or in the rise and fall of the tide ...
I miss you always more on days like this ..
Yet you always welcome me back with open arms and a warm hug
 Enjoy your day, dear Guernsey ........
You will always be my first love ...
My Sarnia Cherie ....


Peace in our World

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas to you all

Thanks to everyone who has supported my blog this year. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a very happy New Year

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Walking Back to Happiness

I made a Christmas Wish today for a woman I've never met. Melanie Reid, a successful Times journalist is tetraplegic after breaking her neck and back in a riding accident in April 2010.

And though her life was shattered that day,  she has shared her high and lows ever since in her  weekly Spinal Column, laudable for its wit and  unremitting honesty. Her words have made me smile, weep, groan, commiserate, coil back in horror or hit the air with my fists... and yet I  have never experienced pity.

Although she is officially paralysed she still has a degree of function. 'It takes 200 muscles to walk properly,' she says. 'I may have, oh, 50 in my legs and torso that, although they are rigid, unco-operative and sore, combine enough power to allow me to bear my own weight.'

The news recently hadn't been good - her desire to walk  superseded  by the reality of crippled hands, paralysed bowel and bladder, worn out shoulder joints and constant neuropathic pain. So earlier this year she gave up trying. 'Attempting to walk just caused me more heartache,' she recalled. 'It was a waste of other people's time; it served purely to remind me that I would never recover ; it exposed my past foolish bravado.'

That 'foolish bravado' can now be described as optimism. For the past month Melanie has been commandeering unsuspecting visitors to help her husband guide her along on the frame. In the beginning it was three steps before her leg buckled. Then, gradually, she made it further. This week, with the aid of her husband and brother, Melanie walked. 'I walked the  length of the living room, ' she says, 'not once, not twice but three times.'

Which brings me back to my Christmas wish. Melanie now has hope for the future. Please, Santa, make that hope a reality.

Saturday, 5 December 2015


I was thrilled recently when local authors Helena Fairfax and Marie Laval asked  if I would join them for a Coffee and Romance book-signing at the Old Gate, Hebden Bridge, one of Yorkshire's prettiest towns. We arrived on a dull but dry day and set up our stall.

The slow trickle of customers soon turned into a stream on  what everyone agreed was the wettest day of the year.  And that was when the camaraderie kicked in.  No amount of rain could daunt the late arrivals who, despite being  soaked to the skin, added to the party atmosphere.

'Which book should I buy for my girlfriend?' asked one man who soon came back with his mates to look at the historical and contemporary  novels on display.  They generously chose books for their wives and girlfriends - their their mums and sisters too.

Which brings me to the purpose of this short post: thanks guys. It was a pleasure  to meet you all. Romantic Englishmen are very much alive and living in Yorkshire.

Marie, Marilyn and Helena - photo taken by a customer

Fame at last in the Ladies!
A man braves the rain.