Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Cometh The Hour . . .


THE latest entry on our Poem page (see right-hand column) is Manners, from American writer Elizabeth Bishop. Manners are vital, even in today's busy world where we're all supposedly equal and formalities cast aside. For we all appreciate being treated well and respond in kind; good manners earn you respect, which we all like too.
Author Evelyn Waugh observed that Americans use manners to get closer to each other, while the English use them to keep one another at arm's length. If you've experienced American hospitality or, alternatively, become a new resident in a posh English neighbourhood, you'll know what he meant.

Happily, books are open for all to enjoy or share. We have a fresh novel to be published for spring which aims to bridge traditional values with our troubled, divided world. The Lost Hero draws us into current controversies but pays homage to those basic tenets of family, faith and fairness.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man they used to say, but bookseller Patrick Fermour is a modern hero; an unassuming shopkeeper, good husband and doting father; gentle, polite and thoughtful to all. He also says the odd prayer but has doubts over religion and creed - or, perhaps, just an open mind.
I hoped the book might help put matters in perspective but can't claim the full credit. Its theme was the result of a dream and a different approach employed in its writing, inspired by crime-thriller writer Peter Robinson. Rather than plotting ahead, the events and characters unravelled as the story went onward. Or, some would say, it was left to God's will. Amazingly, this worked out and provided unexpected twists. Even the hero of its title turned out not to be lost, but within each one of us - waiting to be found. As ever, the end result is for readers to judge.

Another book on the way, or promised, was Borrowed Times. This humorous memoir was themed around our post-70th years being the most golden, but I'm no longer so sure. Over past months there have been more health setbacks and deaths of friends than ever feared, so that notion - and book - remain a work in progress.

At the hour or writing we're getting over unusually wild storms here in the UK, but have not experienced the seasonal cold of winter. Attitudes, here and elsewhere, to those who lead us, as well as where we should be going, have changed too. But we remain, at heart, largely the same. Our heroes might alter, but let's keep our manners and respect for all.
In the meantime, it's still the ideal time of year to settle down in warm comfort and enjoy a book. There is plenty of free reading on this light literary website, started by retired journalists tired of all the bad news. You can also purchase books from it, on Kindle and in paperbacks sponsored by the Arts Council, and so help maintain our non-profit venture. Prices are at the minimum rates recommended to us.
So, happy reading to all!

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Whooping It Up!


WELCOME to 2020 or, as the Chinese will have it, the Year of the Rat.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Goodwill To All


A DECEMBER chill has settled over our Fylde coast off the Irish Sea.

Friday, 1 November 2019

A Warm, Homely Tale


LAST month on our Column/Memoir page I saluted the life of older friend 'Joiner John', or 'Two By One' as he'd once been known among building-trades mates.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Autumn Gold


AS nights draw in here on the Irish Sea coast of Lancashire, there's a cosy glow at our cottage home in Great Marton. It comes from a reading light beside the flickering fireplace, for when better to enjoy some reading?

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Time To Fall Back


SUMMER is slipping away, hopefully with a final flourish of sunshine this month. However, don't be down-hearted.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Damping High Spirits?


THE school summer holidays are here and, typically, our weather has taken a turn for the worse