Wednesday, 21 April 2021

TURNING TO CRIME DURING LOCKDOWN By Helen Hollick

 


My lovely guest, Helen Hollick continues talking about how she turned to crime this last year!

Lockdown – almost a year of it as I write this article – has had a lot to answer for one way or another for many different people in many different ways. For writers it seems to have been an ‘either or’ circumstance. My writer friends have either not had the impetus or concentration to write, or haven’t been able to stop the words gushing from brain to keyboard via flying fingers.



For myself, I have found it difficult to concentrate on my main, pirate-based nautical adventure series of the Sea Witch Voyages. In part, this is because I am, sadly, disappointed with the publisher who has taken the books over – they have taken much longer than I expected to appear back in print, and there have been issues with incorrect formatting. It is a well known, but odd, thing for writers – it takes very, very little to knock our self-confidence. Being disappointed with the production process is a blow that can shatter the impetus to keep writing. Having said that, Jesamiah fans have no need to worry, he will be back produced under my own Taw River Press logo... but not just yet.

Lockdown, for myself and my family was not too much of a hardship as we live in North Devon in the middle of nowhere one mile outside a rural village. We also have thirteen acres of land so no problem with avoiding people whilst walking the dogs or exercising the horses. My mind, however, turned to writing articles and then I discovered the amusement of crime.

Murder, in fact.

Although I suppose I had better clarify: in fiction not reality!

I had become a huge fan of Debbie Young’s Sophie Sayers cosy mysteries



https://authordebbieyoung.com/  early in the 2020 lockdown, eager for each story in the series, but coming to the last book I looked for more cosy mysteries, which is a term that means a mystery or murder usually in a domestic setting with a female Miss Marpl- type amateur sleuth, and without the serious in-depth explicit detail of sex, crime or police procedure: Midsomer Murders or Murder She Wrote as opposed to Morse or Lewis.

I had been considering writing a ‘Murder Mystery’ for some time, but ideas and actual writing are two different things aren’t they? I was rather missing Sophie and her friends, so I nurtured the seed of my own cosy mystery into a healthy growth by adding the angle of setting it in the 1970s and placed my main character, Jan Christopher, in a public library – because I had worked in a library for almost thirteen years from 1969, so I have quite a few anecdotes to use as ‘background story’.

In my historical and nautical novels I try to be as accurate as I can where research is concerned – get the facts wrong and an author soon has readers complaining on Amazon. But I found it just as hard to ensure I got things right for 1971 as I do when writing about my Captain Jesamiah Acorne’s adventures in 1719! Only fifty years ago we had no mobile phones, no personal computers, no internet! Most houses only had one TV (black and white – colour was only just coming into use) and one telephone, which in our case was a party line shared with a neighbour – so calls were far from private! (Ooh! Now there’s a good idea – a murder overheard!) Our phone was in the hall, near the front door, and I recall sitting on the stairs whispering to my boyfriend and hoping my parents couldn’t hear.

I enjoyed ‘meeting’ my new characters; Jan, her love interest, DC Laurie Walker, her uncle and guardian DCI Toby Christopher, and her Aunt Madge. I am also looking forward with some great excitement, to discovering what adventures befall them all in future episodes of The Jan Christopher Mysteries. Book Two is already under way... A Mystery of Murder.

BUYING LINK:

Amazon Author Page (Universal Link) http://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick

 

The first in a new series of cosy mysteries set in the 1970s... Will romance blossom between library assistant Jan Christopher and DC Laurie Walker – or will a brutal murder intervene?

 


Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker – and it is love at first sight for the young couple.

 

But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby boy is taken from his pram,  a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, brutally murdered... Are the events related? How will they affect the staff and public of the local library where Jan works – and will a blossoming romance survive a police investigation into  murder?

 

ABOUT HELEN

Helen and her family moved from north-east London in January 2013 after finding an eighteenth-century North Devon farmhouse through BBC TV’s popular Escape To The Country show.

 


First accepted for publication by William Heinemann in 1993 – a week after her fortieth birthday – Helen then became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she also writes a pirate-based nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages.

 


Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She also runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction. She is currently writing more Voyages for the Sea Witch series and the next in the Jan Christopher Mysteries series. She has other ideas for other tales – and would like the time to write them!

 

CONNECT WITH HELEN:

Website: www.helenhollick.net

Newsletter Subscription: http://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.hollick


If you missed Helen's first post, please click HERE

If you missed Helen's 2nd post, please click HERE

As always, thank you for stopping by and please come back as Helen has more to tell. Yes, of course, there will be bubbly. Now you must return.

Until next time, I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your hear.

 Hugs

Pauline



Twitter: @HelenHollick

Friday, 16 April 2021

A Tribute to Richard Tearle (7th May 1948 to 13th April 2021)

A Tribute to Richard Tearle (7th May 1948 to 13th April 2021)

 


A few months ago I had the great pleasure to have Richard on my Blog to talk about his recently published books, Musical Mayhen. Richard also came back to my Blog with a wonderful post on Coincidences, an amazing true story.


 
Earlier this year, Richard’s novel, The North Finchely Writer’s Group was published and to my delighted was submitted to Chill Awards where the book received a Chill with a Book Premier Award and was also Awarded Book of the Month for March. It is with great sadness that Richard was too ill to fully appreciate what readers thought of his wonderful, award winning, writing.

 My dear friend, Helen Hollick has written a moving tribute to Richard which says so much about this extraordinary man. Please click HERE to read about this wonderful man who left his family and friends behind far too early in his life.

 Links to Richard’s post on my Blog.

 


A Premier Award

Melody Mayhem 





Monday, 22 March 2021

TURNING TO CRIME DURING LOCKDOWN By Helen Hollick

 It is always a pleasure having the wonderful, Helen Hollick visiting PBHQ and I am delighted that Helen continues  to share her lockdown writing about turning to crime!



Lockdown – almost a year of it as I write this article – has had a lot to answer for one way or another for many different people in many different ways. For writers it seems to have been an ‘either or’ circumstance. My writer friends have either not had the impetus or concentration to write, or haven’t been able to stop the words gushing from brain to keyboard via flying fingers.

For myself, I have found it difficult to concentrate on my main, pirate-based nautical adventure series of the Sea Witch Voyages. In part, this is because I am, sadly, disappointed with the publisher who has taken the books over – they have taken much longer than I expected to appear back in print, and there have been issues with incorrect formatting. It is a well known, but odd, thing for writers – it takes very, very little to knock our self-confidence. Being disappointed with the production process is a blow that can shatter the impetus to keep writing. Having said that, Jesamiah fans have no need to worry, he will be back produced under my own Taw River Press logo... but not just yet.

Lockdown, for myself and my family was not too much of a hardship as we live in North Devon in the middle of nowhere one mile outside a rural village. We also have thirteen acres of land so no problem with avoiding people whilst walking the dogs or exercising the horses. My mind, however, turned to writing articles and then I discovered the amusement of crime.

Murder, in fact.

Although I suppose I had better clarify: in fiction not reality!

I had become a huge fan of Debbie Young’s Sophie Sayers cosy mysteries

 https://authordebbieyoung.com/  early in the 2020 lockdown, eager for each story in the series, but coming to the last book I looked for more cosy mysteries, which is a term that means a mystery or murder usually in a domestic setting with a female Miss Marpl- type amateur sleuth, and without the serious in-depth explicit detail of sex, crime or police procedure: Midsomer Murders or Murder She Wrote as opposed to Morse or Lewis.

I had been considering writing a ‘Murder Mystery’ for some time, but ideas and actual writing are two different things aren’t they? I was rather missing Sophie and her friends, so I nurtured the seed of my own cosy mystery into a healthy growth by adding the angle of setting it in the 1970s and placed my main character, Jan Christopher, in a public library – because I had worked in a library for almost thirteen years from 1969, so I have quite a few anecdotes to use as ‘background story’.

In my historical and nautical novels I try to be as accurate as I can where research is concerned – get the facts wrong and an author soon has readers complaining on Amazon. But I found it just as hard to ensure I got things right for 1971 as I do when writing about my Captain Jesamiah Acorne’s adventures in 1719! Only fifty years ago we had no mobile phones, no personal computers, no internet! Most houses only had one TV (black and white – colour was only just coming into use) and one telephone, which in our case was a party line shared with a neighbour – so calls were far from private! (Ooh! Now there’s a good idea – a murder overheard!) Our phone was in the hall, near the front door, and I recall sitting on the stairs whispering to my boyfriend and hoping my parents couldn’t hear.


I enjoyed ‘meeting’ my new characters; Jan, her love interest, DC Laurie Walker, her uncle and guardian DCI Toby Christopher, and her Aunt Madge. I am also looking forward with some great excitement, to discovering what adventures befall them all in future episodes of
The Jan Christopher Mysteries. Book Two is already under way... A Mystery of Murder.



BUYING LINK:

Amazon Author Page (Universal Link) http://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick

The first in a new series of cosy mysteries set in the 1970s... Will romance blossom between library assistant Jan Christopher and DC Laurie Walker – or will a brutal murder intervene?

Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker – and it is love at first sight for the young couple.

But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby boy is taken from his pram,  a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, brutally murdered... Are the events related? How will they affect the staff and public of the local library where Jan works – and will a blossoming romance survive a police investigation into  murder?




ABOUT HELEN

Helen and her family moved from north-east London in January 2013 after finding an eighteenth-century North Devon farmhouse through BBC TV’s popular Escape To The Country show.

 First accepted for publication by William Heinemann in 1993 – a week after her fortieth birthday – Helen then became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she also writes a pirate-based nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages.

 Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She also runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction. She is currently writing more Voyages for the Sea Witch series and the next in the Jan Christopher Mysteries series. She has other ideas for other tales – and would like the time to write them!

 CONNECT WITH HELEN:

Website: www.helenhollick.net

Newsletter Subscription: http://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.hollick

Twitter: @HelenHollick

 If you missed Helen's first post, please click HERE

As always, thank you for stopping by and please come back as Helen has more to tell. Yes, of course, there will be bubbly. Now you must return.

Until next time, I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your hear.

 Hugs

Pauline


Monday, 8 March 2021

‘Write what you know’ they say... By Helen Hollick

 


It is always a pleasure having the wonderful, Helen Hollick visiting PBHQ. Helen’s visit today is even more special because Helen is talking about her latest book. It is a new genre for Helen, a cosy murder mystery. If you love cosy mysteries, you will love this book and if you don’t, then please treat yourself, I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Now help your self to a glass of bubbly and settle down to meet Helen and her new character, Jan Christopher...

 

When writers are asked, ‘How do I start writing a book’ (setting aside the obvious answer of ‘put bottom on seat and just write!’) the usual answer is ‘Write what you know about.’

Which I’ve always found to be a little puzzling as I write historical fiction and eighteenth-century nautical adventures. I don’t actually know any post-Roman Britons, was not there at the Battle of Hastings (I’m not that old!) and nor have I ever sailed in anything bigger than a small dinghy. However, the art of writing is making it up - with a lot of research added in.

 


When I came up with an idea to write a cosy murder mystery, however, I knew exactly where and when I was going to set it – and use as much of ‘what I know’ as I possibly could. I decided to set A Mirror Murder in the 1970s, using my experience as a library assistant during that decade for my lead character, Jan Christopher. Her uncle and legal guardian is DCI Toby Christopher, and she forms a romantic alliance with his Detective Constable, Laurie Walker. I had my characters, the setting, the plot – the murder (and the murderer) but to my astonishment I discovered that I had to do as much research for 1971 as I did for 1719!

 Did we have teabags back then? What fashions were popular? How did the police communicate in the ‘70s? (Remember the blue police telephone boxes now only used in episodes of Dr Who?) 1971 seems only yesterday but it’s actually fifty years ago! No computers back then, no internet, no mobile phones. When I left school us girls were expected to be shop assistants, hairdressers, typists or housewives and mothers – not meaning any disrespect to these, but at the lower level of Secondary School education, we were not thought bright enough to consider anything even remotely intellectual.

 Like me, in A Mirror Murder Jan Christopher knew that she wanted to write, but her ‘I want to be a writer’ was scorned by the teachers. She liked books and reading, so was guided to apply for a job in the local library. A library assistant was regarded as one of the more elite jobs. Even so, the librarian was always addressed as ‘Mr’, never by his first name. Equality was only on the brim back then, and if you were shy and na├»ve – like I was – well, you didn’t question anything, you just accepted it.

 Jan, (her full name is January, but she only uses ‘Jan’) is a little bit like I was at eighteen; shy, not worldy-wise, but I wanted to give her more opportunities than I had, bring out her confidence, her conviction in herself. All helped, of course by the dishy DC Laurie Walker who becomes her boyfriend.

 I enjoyed writing a little bit of fictional revenge into my story. One of the librarians at a library where I was sent to cover for absent staff was a bully. I’ve got my own back in A Mirror Murder; I’ve made him experience the displeasure of the Chingford CID! But, no spoilers...

 Most of the public who came into the library were lovely people, although there were those who grumbled (they will be in future stories – I might even murder one or two of them!) The old lady, used in A Mirror Murder, who cut food coupons out of the newspaper was real, as was the young lad who made a puzzling request for a book (again, no spoilers). We put new books under the counter for our favourite borrowers, learnt quickly that shelving returned books was not a task to be hurried (the longer you took the less likely you’d get other boring jobs to do.) Even during the electricity power cuts because of strikes during the three-day-week in the early ’70s we had people insisting that they could use a torch to select their books, and while tidying the shelves of a morning before the library opened various items would be found... an uncooked rasher of bacon used as a bookmark...

  

BUYING LINK:

Amazon Author Page (Universal Link) http://viewauthor.at/HelenHollick

 


The first in a new series of cosy mysteries set in the 1970s... Will romance blossom between library assistant Jan Christopher and DC Laurie Walker – or will a brutal murder intervene?

 Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker – and it is love at first sight for the young couple.

 

But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby boy is taken from his pram,  a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, brutally murdered... Are the events related? How will they affect the staff and public of the local library where Jan works – and will a blossoming romance survive a police investigation into  murder?



 

ABOUT HELEN

Helen and her family moved from north-east London in January 2013 after finding an eighteenth-century North Devon farmhouse through BBC TV’s popular Escape To The Country show.

 First accepted for publication by William Heinemann in 1993 – a week after her fortieth birthday – Helen then became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she also writes a pirate-based nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages.

 Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She also runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction. She is currently writing more Voyages for the Sea Witch series and the next in the Jan Christopher Mysteries series. She has other ideas for other tales – and would like the time to write them!

 CONNECT WITH HELEN:

Website: www.helenhollick.net

Newsletter Subscription: http://tinyletter.com/HelenHollick

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.hollick

Twitter: @HelenHollick

 

Thank you for stopping by and please come back as Helen had more to tell. Yes, of course, there will be bubbly. Now you must return.

I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your hear.

 Hugs

Pauline

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Coincidence - Thomson!

Over the next month or two I will be adding some wonderful, coincidence, stories from amazing authors. Today's story comes from award winning author, Ian Thomson.


There was a boy in my form at school with the same name as me. Exactly the same name. There was no intrusive ‘p’ in Thomson. He was called ‘Ian’ like me, not ‘Iain’ or ‘Eoin’ or any other exotic variant. Neither of us had a middle name. Quite simply, we were both called ‘Ian Thomson’.

 We were not related in any way. I was born in Colchester while Ian was born in Dumfries. However, we had both been brought up in Radcester, an unremarkable town in the East Midlands. At the age of 11, we both found ourselves in Shell 1, the top junior class, and since it was an old-fashioned kind of school, we were seated in alphabetical order across the room. I sat next to Ian and then there were Vulpage, Vines, and Wardle.

I don’t know what possessed the staff to put us in the same form. You’d have thought they’d have split us up to avoid confusion - you know, like they do with twins, who are usually separated, unless they pine for each other. There was always a laugh when the register was called and our name was called twice. Sometimes we used to swap desks and if we were challenged we would say, ‘No sir, I always sit here.’ The class would confirm this noisily and the master would be left scratching his head and doubting his sanity.

 The coincidence of our names promoted a kind of confederacy at first and then we quickly became firm friends, even though our primary interests began to diverge quite soon. Ian showed an aptitude for the sciences and was proving to be a wizard at chess. I discovered a passion for the stage after starring in a junior production of Sweeney Todd. On the back of these talents we acquired nicknames: I became known as Johnny Depp and he was Garry Kasparov. It was the other boys who invented the nicknames but the masters began to refer to us as Kasparov and Depp, no doubt relieved to have a means of distinguishing us by name in class.

Privately, and between ourselves, I called Ian ‘Synonym’ and he called me ‘Homonym’, but that’s by the way.

His logical mind took delight in patterns. He was excited by configurations in nature: symmetries, spirals, waves, tessellations, and stripes. The fact that every single snowflake was different and yet they all had six sides thrilled him. Fractals had him in ecstasy.

Our paths diverged a little further in the sixth form. He went on the science side and I went on the arts side but we always met at lunchtimes in the common room and did The Daily Telegraph crossword together. I think I was probably better at general knowledge but he was a total ninja at anagrams. He could see letter patterns at sight.

I remember him giving me a lecture on coincidences.

You see, Homonym, the fact is that, mathematically, coincidences are quite random. In reality, they happen all the time. The coincidence of our names is amusing but it’s really quite trivial. ‘Thomson’ is a very common name and so is ‘Ian’, or it was when we were born. I’ll bet the country is seething with people with our name.

 ‘Thing is, we don’t notice most coincidences and, when we do, we find them cute or strange, or we invest them with magical or spiritual qualities. The fact that, for most of the time, we don’t register the coincidences around us is why we have a low tolerance of them in books and plays.’

You may be smart, man,’ I said, ‘but you shouldn’t dismiss the magical.’

After we left school, Ian went up to Cambridge to read maths, naturally, and then he began to rise in the chess hierarchy and will one day make Grand Master. I went on to Drama School and have been moderately successful. You will have heard my VoiceOver in a number of ads and I’ve had decent roles in a couple of soaps. We still exchange Christmas cards but otherwise we sort of lost touch.

One day last summer, I was driving back to Radcester from location shooting on Dartmoor when I decided to break my journey at a country house hotel. Kearston Hall was once a rather fine Elizabethan house and I thought I deserved a bit of luxury after my sleep-deprived exertions of the previous fortnight’s filming.

The receptionist signed me in to the Thomson Room.

I expect you put me in there because of the coincidence of the names,’ I said.

Well, no, sir,’ she said, smiling. ‘It’s the only room free. We have a major function on this weekend. The rooms in that wing are all named after famous scientists. Mind you, perhaps the room was waiting for you, perhaps it’s fate.’

I laughed and went off to find the room, clutching the key with ‘Thomson’ printed on the fob.

Later, I was enjoying a vodka tonic in the bar when I was aware of a guy leaning over me.

It is you,’ he said.

It was Ian, of course.

Hey man,’ I said. ‘This really is a coincidence.’

A fairly high order one,’ he said.

I’ve got an even better one for you,’ I said. I explained that I’d been given the Thomson Room and showed him the key fob.Surely the hand of destiny is upon me,’ I said. ‘It was meant to be.’

He laughed.

It was the only room left, man,’ I said. ‘Seems there’s a wedding going on.’

Yes,’ Ian said. ‘It’s mine.

The grey suit, the mauve cravat and the buttonhole registered at last.

Oh, no shit, man?’ I cried. ‘That is just the wildest coincidence ever!’

Not quite.’

What do you mean?’

What you just said is the wildest coincidence ever.’

 ‘Sorry?’

 ‘Oh, no shit, man is a perfect anagram of Ian Thomson.’


You can find Ian's award winning books on Amazon



If you missed the other Coincidence stories, please click on the links ...

The Piper

An Hair Raising Coincidence

The Best Laid Plans

And Did Those Feet...

A Magical Memory

A Caribbean Tale 

Six Coincidences in on evening


Thank you as always for stopping by and please come back for more.

Please, take care of yourself and each other and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.

 Hugs

Pauline

 




Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Coincidence - Six Coincidences in One evening. How a Little Hairy Hobbit Transformed my Life

Over the next month or two I will be adding some wonderful, coincidence, stories from amazing authors. Today's story comes from author and illustrator, Gilli Allan.


I went to art college aged sixteen. Various factors, including my immaturity, caused me to drop-out after only two years; my intention was to get a job as an illustrator. I was willing to consider fashion, book or advertising but unsurprisingly, none of the possible employers – magazines, publishers, advertising agencies – were willing to consider me!

Croydon Art & Technology College.


During the next five years my life became a stony uphill road. To keep body and soul together I took jobs I was totally unsuited for. Although I never let go of my ambition, my self-belief fluctuated wildly. Consequently, the time and energy I devoted to keeping my portfolio of specimens up-to-date and professional, and to apply to potential art-world employers, was inconsistent. I veered between hyperactivity and lethargy. It didn’t help that my love life was also a desert. According to friends I was far too choosy.


That’s when a series of coincidences - seasoned by a sprinkling of luck - changed everything. I decided to accompany my parents to an advertising industry party, given by a photographer friend of our family. Typical of me, I scanned the assembled company and wrote them all off. But a small man, ten or more years older than me, with wild hair and a wild beard, took a marked fancy to me. That evening my parents nick-named him my ‘little hairy hobbit’. I eventually gave in to his blandishments and danced with him. Peter was South African, not long arrived in the country, and was looking for a job as a copy-writer. He certainly had a way with words
and he made me laugh. The time had come, I decided, to take my friends’ advice. I accepted his invitation to 'go out'.


From the start, Peter misread me. He saw someone bound to have far more intellectually adventurous tastes than was actually the case. His own enthusiasms tended towards esoteric jazz, foreign movies or alternative theatre. But apart from the mismatch in our tastes, I didn't find him at all physically attractive. I never slept with him. I don't recall ever even kissing him (he nicknamed me his frozen camelia!), but I knew he had higher hopes of our future than I did. He even credited me - undeservedly - with his dream job which he found in the weeks after we met! I was uncomfortable to find myself the focus of his magical thinking. And his ability to amuse me was undercut by his total failure to arrive at a date on time. 


South African Embassy

 On that fateful day I had been hawking my specimens round various artists’ agents and magazines with no reward.  I therefore had my portfolio tucked under my arm (1st coincidence) when I arrived on time outside the South African Embassy on Trafalgar Square, to meet Peter.  Nearly half an hour passed. I was tired, fed-up and decided to give him one more minute. When he arrived just in-the-nick-of-time, (2nd coincidence) the lucky star that might have whizzed past if I’d lost patience and gone home, juddered to a halt above me.  Peter told me plans had changed and we’d been invited for a meal at his friend’s place. (4th coincidence.)

My lucky star now amplified its beam to full strength. I’d never before met, nor even knew about Alan. It turned out he worked in an advertising design studio as a senior illustrator (5th coincidence). He looked at the portfolio I still had with me and advised me to call his studio manager asap. Their junior illustrator had just walked out (6th coincidence)! I phoned the following morning, and an almost immediate appointment was made. I was offered the job at the interview, and I started the following Monday. At last! I was in my proper place in the world, at ease in my own skin.  


Peter had long gone when my husband-to-be came into my life. I arrived home after work and discovered an impromptu gathering at the flat I shared with my sister. The good-looking stranger I met in my own kitchen was called Geoffrey, and it became immediately apparent he was deeply interested in, and very knowledgeable about, art. So, the self-assured artist
he encountered that evening (even though commercial rather than fine) had to make more of an impression on him than a depressed and demoralized shop girl.

And it is Geoff who has supported me, been my best friend and given me the life that has enabled me to become a writer.  But I do wonder - would he have pursued me with such determination had the transformation which began outside the South African Embassy, and involved a little hairy hobbit, never happened? 

 

For a fuller account of this story go to:

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com/2019/10/not-all-turning-points-are-life-changing.html


BURIED TREASURE



mybook.to/BURIEDTREASURE

Find Gilli’s other books TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL at

author.to/GILLIALLAN

Contact Gilli at

 

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gilli.allan.1

https://twitter.com/gilliallan



If you missed the other Coincidence stories, please click on the links ...

The Piper

An Hair Raising Coincidence

The Best Laid Plans

And Did Those Feet...

A Magical Memory

A Caribbean Tale 


Thank you as always for stopping by and please come back for more.

Please, take care of yourself and each other and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.

 Hugs

Pauline