Friday, 20 March 2020

Hope Springs . . .


THIS is our second post for the month, as the sentiments of the first were overtaken by worldwide concern about the pandemic coronivirus COVID-19.
We are still, as always, hopeful, but its shadow has spread further and been darker than most expected or feared. At last, though, with the beginning of spring there are some signs of its spread weakening. The peak may not yet have been reached everywhere but in China, where it started, there have been no new cases at the time of writing. Also, in the UK a different more stealthy policy of containment appears to have reduced casualty fears - although London and the metropolitan south-east is worst affected, as are most European capitals.

But you know all this. You know also that we must not panic and remain sensible, to protect ourselves and those we love as best we can; to be patient and, for those of us who must stay at home, we need to remind ourselves daily of the real treasures of life we are protecting by so doing - those closest to us, our happiness and health, with good faith and in fairness to all.
There is much we can do, even when avoiding social contact. With spring the garden needs our attention as the weather at last brightens; home-cooked meals become lighter and healthier and, of course, there's no exuse now for not spring cleaning . . .

But it is also a time when we should stay relaxed and one way is reading which, thankfully, also takes us out into others' worlds and, on this light-literary website anyway, is spritually uplifting, full of humanity, love and last, but far from least, humour.
This non-profit-making website was started by retired journalists tired of all that bad news which has always surrounded us and is particularly alarming at present. There is a free feast of reading on all our Pages For You (see near top of right-hand column) and we will be updating pages more regularly than in the past.
There is also a new novel set to be published soon, The Lost Hero, and we display its latest proposed front and back covers here. It is about one man's struggle to meet stunning personal challenges as he travels across the world but, hopefully, also captures our current shared sense of crisis and need for faith, family and fairness.
Its first chapters will be appearing soon on our pages. Also, there will be early chapters of our latest, as yet unfinished, and seventh Sam Stone investigates series, entitled Cast The Last Stone. Could this be the end of our troubled hero? The book covers, when posted alongside these excerpts, will give some indications.

Roy's weekly newspaper column appears on our website every Friday (see latest on relevant page, with his note on COVID-19). There will be more poetry in our pages, especially about this season of hope and new beginnings while, of course, there are many books, both novels and memoir, available too. These come in Kindle editions or paperbacks sponsored by the British Arts Council. We keep prices to a recommended minimum, as advised by the publishers, and your contributions will help maintain this uplifting venture already enjoyed by readers from across the world.

As literature shows us, our hopes, dreams and fears are all remarkably similar, whatever our religion, colour or creed and wherever we happen to live. We hope you enjoy our efforts and are always happy to hear from you.
Our best wishes to all.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Marching On . . .


GALES buffet us and fields flood but spring is now also in the air and daffodils and crocuses emerging.

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.

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?