Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Perfect Fit!

Spare a moment and take a peek at Daisy, my beautiful new card wallet. Last week I had new cards printed for my two novels, which have been designed to reflect the book covers. And to add a little more sparkle when I hand them out, I ordered a new card wallet, but it is not just any card wallet. My cards are just a tad larger than the average and BaggieAggie, who designs and makes the most gorgeous things, made a wallet to fit my new cards perfectly. 
I ordered my little Daisy on Monday and within a week it was sitting in my post box waiting for me! You can not believe how fantastic that is. We live 4,000 kms south of the UK on a little pebble in the middle of the ocean and getting things here can be very easy or simply a nightmare!

Thank you Rosie for making my little wallet to fit my cards so perfectly!

If you would like to see more wallets like my Daisy, take a peek at:BaggieAggie

Friday, 17 September 2010

A Short Story - Carla!

For those who never mead it to my web site, here is my latest short story...enjoy!


      Copyright: Pauline Barclay

The fragrance of the garden drifted on the breeze, Maud was almost intoxicated with its perfume.
She closed her eyes to help concentrate and identify each blossom and bloom; her nose was an expert on garden bouquets.

She had the ability to sniff the air carefully allowing the fragrance to pass through her senses; her nose to the flower garden was likened to that of a wine connoisseur. Gently, she took another intake of air and twitched her nose. Then slowly, twisting her head from side to side, she quickly and easily identified each unique fragrance. The garden was a paradise of colour and perfume. She had loved her garden for as long as she could remember.

Taking in the vista of the beauty that surrounded her, she knew that her garden looked as good today as it had ever looked. Over the years seeds had been scattered willy nilly with the help of the wind and the birds who frequented her sanctuary. But even with this intervention of nature, Maud still knew exactly which plant grew in her garden and where.

The planning and all the hard work had been done so many years ago now. They had been young and full of energy; they'd had a wonderful zest for life when they had first moved into Carla Cottage. But that was back in 1925, when the twenties were roaring and the Second World War was unthinkable.

Carla Cottage was then, and still is today, the perfect picture postcard image of a country home. Of course in those days, it wasn't romantic; the beams and inglenook fireplaces were part of the way it was. There was electricity, but no plumbing for the water system. The well, which had served as the main supplier of water, was now a major feature on the east side of the garden. It had been the garden that had captured the heart of Reginald and Maud. In those days it was a field, a wilderness in which nature had firmly taken a hold. Reginald had dug and rejuvenated the soil and Maud herself had carefully planted hundreds of flowers and sprinkled thousands of seeds to encourage a wealth of colour and fragrance. It took years to turn their wilderness into a beautiful garden, and eventually it was stocked with every bloom that would grow in their well-loved soil.

The children and even the grandchildren had long since grown up and each one had taken into their adult life the joy of the garden. Maud had patiently taught them how to identify each bloom and how to capture its special fragrance. She could still hear their laughter as they chased each other through the gardens, hiding and seeking with one another. She had invented fun games to help them learn the names and identify each plant. They had been so keen to learn and she had loved every moment of their childhood. The tree house Reginald had built for the grandchildren was still visible to this day. Maud put her hands over her eyes to shield the bright sunlight, now she could see the tree house clearly. It looked as good today as it had when her dear Reginald had build it, almost breaking his legs in the process when he felt out of the tree. She smiled at the memory of the day. Fortunately, her dear husband sustained nothing more than a sprained ankle and a few bruises.

Maud moved her head to one side, as if she still could hear the childlike chatter of her grandchildren as they played in their special tree house. Her own children's tree house had long since fallen apart. But the memory of their childhood days was still with her. She had taught them so much and they had wanted to learn. She had shown them how to carefully cup each bloom in their tiny hands and then very gently inhale its fragrance. Their eyes opened wide and their faces had lit up with joy and delight when they were able to identify many of the garden blooms by the fragrance - a game they had played time and time again. She had made sure there were lots of rewards, they never lost interest – she had loved those years.
Throughout each childhood, thousands of seeds had been sown, hundreds of tiny seedlings had been pricked out and finally a garden full of blooms had been planted. Each child and later grandchild had had their own garden plot to grow what ever they wanted. Nicholas, their son had grown beautiful flowers and Emma had insisted on growing vegetables. The grandchildren had experimented, each year changing their minds, but fortunately their joy of the garden never waned. The plots today were no longer tended by the children, like the seeds on the wind they too had found pastures new. The plots were now full of wild flowers sown by her and the birds.
The garden had suffered for a time when Reginald had passed on. Maud had found that her haven had lost its charm and what had seemed to be welcoming and warm, now held her at a distance, as a stranger might. To walk in their garden alone was never the same without her all-time beloved partner. They had bought Carla Cottage for its garden and they had lived there together for over sixty years. He had brought her there as a young nineteen-year-old bride. They had been lucky; they had found a perfect life together. Her thoughts were broken by the noise of an old Tigermoth plane has it growled above her, she looked up and waved at the goggled pilot. The noise unexpectedly reminded her of how the garden had looked during the war. Apart from a small patch of flowers they had grown vegetables; “You can’t eat flowers, pretty has they are,” Reginald had said every time he had to dig up their much loved flowers to make way for essential food. After the war they had returned their garden back to its former glory as quickly as possible.

Maud bent down and touched the roses near where she was standing. “Yes,” she said aloud to the old English rose; “We were very lucky indeed.”

Monday, 13 September 2010

A Beautiful Day!

Yesterday, Sunday, we decided to treat ourselves to an English breakfast. There is a little restaurant on the seafront in Matagorda that does a lovely one, so with the doggies walked and fed, we left them in charge and off we went.

After eating our breakfast we walked along the seafront, it was hot and with little or no breeze we were soon glowing! The seafront at Matagorda is wonderful. There are no cars and plenty of room for walking, cycling or roller blading. As we approached the Hotel Beatriz we saw a few people having a little workout on the new sports equipment that has been installed on the seafront. There is something for everyone here, cycling, twisting, weightlifting and much more.

On the beach there are people enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and being Sunday, many locals like to spend the day with their families on the beach. The sand is soft and fine and the sea clear and warm. And as we stroll along, we have the rich blue sea to one side and the beautiful volcanic mountains in the distance on the other. The island is very stark this time of the year, as this particular part of the island has had no rain for six months. This is normal!

Now having walked off our breakfast, enjoyed the tranquillity of our walk along the seafront, we climb back in to our car and head for home.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Prologue - Satchfield Hall

As I know some people prefer to read my Blog instead of my web site and as I have the prologue and chapters 1 and 2 of Satchfield Hall on my web, I didn't want visitors to my Blog page to miss out. So here is the prologue from Satchfield Hall.....I hope you will like it enough to want to read more...!


Celia stood in the shadows of the sweeping boughs of a willow tree. From her vantage point, she could clearly see the four people who were huddled together, their heads bowed as they carried out the solemn ritual of bidding their last goodbyes. But despite the distance of no more than twenty yards from where Celia watched the mourners gathered, they could not see her.

She needed only to take a few steps forward and she would be visible to them, but Celia had no desire whatsoever to be seen.

Unlike the small party, she was not dressed in sombre clothing. For her, it was not a day to mourn she’d done that years earlier. Though unlike today, she had cried: Wept at the loss of the man she believed had cared for her. And he had, but not in the way she had thought. Like everything in Henry Bryant-Smythe’s life, she was seen as an asset, an investment. And when she had deprived him of what he believed was his insurance with a healthy dividend, he had made her pay, and the price had been high; very high.

Celia shuddered. Even in death, it seemed Henry Bryant-Smythe was still able to create a sense of fear, but despite this, she knew it was at last over. Her reason for standing, silently in the cover of the boughs was to witness the end of his life on this earth. She’d waited for more years than she could count to see this day. She’d heard a saying once, that only the good die young, well here was evidence that the evil stayed on this earth for a very long time.

She herself was well beyond the flush of youth and she knew that he’d celebrated his thirtieth birthday days before she’d been born. And so with a wry smile she mused, you didn’t need to be a mathematician to work out he’d lived far more years than most.

‘Justice,’ Celia almost screamed, until she remembered where she was standing. But there was no justice she thought with bitterness. Even as he had lain dying he’d not uttered her name, or repented. In the end nothing had changed. He’d told her years earlier the reasons for what he had done, but even as he’d spoken to her, his voice had been thick with loathing. Celia knew he’d had no regrets for the pain and suffering that he had caused. She recalled he’d smiled at her, a sardonic smile that changed his face from haughty to malicious. Even his eyes had sparkled with malevolence and like lasers, they had bore into her.

‘I just wanted you to know,’ he’d snapped. His voice sounding like the crack from a whip and had cut just as deep. ‘Because of your behaviour, I lost everything. You were the catalyst for all that happened. It is you who should beg for my forgiveness.’ In the corners of his mouth spittle had foamed as his lips tightened with his deep resentment, before he had added, ‘But don’t ever ask, because I would never give it.’

Despite her mature years, his presence and tone had sent a shiver of fear down her spine.

Now, decades later, standing in the shadows of the trees, knowing his time on this earth was over, Celia could still feel his presence. And to her horror, she realised, that despite all that had happened he still had the ability to chill her blood.

Her father, Henry Bryant-Smythe, the Squire of Satchfield Hall, powerful and evil had destroyed so many and so much and had ultimately destroyed himself. Only now, as the words he had spoken echoed through the passage of time, Celia felt pity: A pity that defied all the pain and suffering. She knew the words he’d snapped at her all those years before, meant he had, if only to himself, rewritten the past and he’d seen himself as the victim.

Her mother, who had suffered at his hands, had gone to an early grave. If only Muriel Bryant-Smythe had had the fortitude to stand up to the man who’d taken her as his bride at barely sixteen, then maybe all of their lives might have been so different and so much pain would have been avoided. But somehow, she didn’t think that would have been, her mother was too beautiful and her father too iniquitous.
Even knowing he was gone, she couldn’t remove the hate she had in her heart for him. It had been there for so long, it was like another organ. It was part of her. It had shaped her life and all of those around her. Now, having witnessed all that was necessary, she turned to leave, and silently she thanked God it was over. But no sooner had she turned her back on the scene being acted out in the memorial garden then she was startled. A hand touched her arm. It took all of her will power not to cry out. And as Celia looked up, she saw with joy, it was Jack and she smiled. In a loud whisper she asked: ‘What are you doing here?’

‘It looks to me, the same as you, making sure he really has gone.’

Celia and Jack left via the concealed exit. The same one Celia had earlier walked through when she had entered the memorial gardens. Squeezing his arm, Celia was pleased to see Jack. Somehow she had a feeling he would turn up and as they walked, arm in arm, neither looked back. No doubt, she thought, her father was spinning, somewhere between Hell and Heaven.

She knew Heaven would have difficulty in taking him, there had never been an ounce of good in him, but then Hell too had its standards. Wherever he was, he would not be pleased with what in the end had been achieved.

He’d believed he was so powerful and he’d used that power to destroy and crush. It took the victories from a second world war and a country desperate to rebuild and recover from its wounds before the power Henry Bryant-Smythe wielded would be weakened and eventually removed. But despite being stripped of what he valued the most; power, reputation and above all wealth, he continued to haunt those he had sought to destroy.
Smiling that at last the chapter was closed, Celia looked up at her son, she had been blessed.

With arms linked, together they walked the few steps that took them to Celia’s car. Tony, her driver was already waiting for them. He smiled as they appeared through the thick hedge that concealed the little gate. He could see already that his employer’s step was lighter. Her face was the face of a woman who had succeeded in the end.

As Celia and Jack approached, he opened the rear passenger door.

‘Are you ok?’ he asked.

‘Thank you, Tony. Never better,’ Celia said as she stepped into the car and made herself comfortable.

Tony shook Jack’s hand, ‘Nice to see you Jack and no doubt your mother is too. Today is a big day for her.’

Jack nodded, it was a big day for him also, but he didn’t say this, instead he patted Tony’s shoulder as he made his way to the rear passenger door and joined his mother.

Once Celia’s seat belt was locked into its snap, she rested her head on the headrest and closing her eyes, she breathed a sigh of relief and at the same time a tear trickled down her cheek. It was over. She’d never stopped wondering how one person could create so much pain and suffering. She should have felt some inner peace, after all in the end she’d had the last word, but she didn’t hear that, instead all she could hear was her father’s voice as it thundered through Satchfield Hall all those years before.

  Chapter ONE

 What Henry Bryant-Smythe had learnt had sent him into a wild rage that no amount of appeasing by his wife would calm him down. But even as he fumed at what he saw as a scandal, he’d put a halt to it before it could do any further damage to him..........
You can read chapters One and Two from my web site www.paulinebarclay.co.uk 
Satchfield Hall is available from Amazon.

Friday, 3 September 2010

What a Pain!

Friday 3rd September ... What a horrible couple of days I've had. Just when I thought that I was on the road to being more my old self, then my Shingles reminded me that they we vey much still with me! Not only are they so painful, but I've felt terrible. I had no idea that this would be with me for so long. Five weeks so far and no real sign of them leaving just yet. During this time I have managed to have just one full night's sleep.

If there is a possitive side, I have lost weight! And when I have been able to get comfortable, I've sat with my lap top. This as allowed me to add my new short story, Carla and write The End to my third novel - 98,000 words written. Now lots more work to do before it will be available, but progress despite my terrible Shingles! :))
So if you have a moment, please take a peek at my latest short story Carla, is will make you feel all nice and happy.New Short Story - Carla

And to make today's little note a little brighter, here is a picture of the view of the village, Montana Blanca taken from the mountain side near Tias on the lovely island of Lanzarote!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

A Short Story!

Today I posted a new short story on my web site, I've called it, Carla. I add short stories from time to time to add more interest to my web site and hopefully to encourage more new visitors too. But, and this is a big but, do I now add the same short story to my Blog page?

I decided last month that maybe a Blog page would be nice to have, and so far I have to say, it is great. Despite the earlier misgivings, I am enjoying my Blog page and the interaction with all your lovely comments. But I want to keep both my web site updated daily with my Jottings and of course my Blog page updated regularly too!

So far I have noticed that some visitors only look at my web site, whilst others only look at my Blog page....mmmmmm what to do!

So dear readers, followers and friends, you tell me. Do I also add my short story here, or just tell you about it and then you click and visit my web site and read my story!

I will now go away and carry on editing my 98,000 words of my third book whilst I await your thoughts!

Until then, have a fabby time!