Tuesday 29 January 2013

Holocaust Memorial Day

On Sunday I accompanied my aunt to the local event to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau  on 27 January 1945.  This year’s theme was Communities Together:   Build a Bridge.

My aunt came to the UK as a young girl on the Kindertransport after Kristallnacht to flee the Nazis.  She and her sister managed to escape but her parents and many other members of her family perished in the death camps.  Members of my family died in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Other camp survivors and their families attended.  The fact that these people have reached a grand old age and have been successful in their fields shows that, despite the holocaust, Hitler failed in his plan.

Unfortunately, many people in the world still suffer from persecution because of their race, religion, disabilities or sexuality.

One of the projects of this scheme is to keep alive the music of the death camps and a choir sang a Czech folksong composed by Gideon Klein (1919-45) while in the Terezin Concentration Camp.

Dr. Dolf Mogendorff spoke about his parents who survived the Holocaust in Holland and a group of young people acted out the story of Anna, a recent refugee w
ho fled to the UK from Eritrea.

Liesl Carter, who has only recently tracked down her father’s grave in Germany, lit candles and recited the commitments of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and Rudi Leavor sang the mourning prayer El Male Rachamim and led the minute’s silence.


I am keeping up with the weekly challenge and have had one short story accepted, one rejected (well send back for re-editing) and read out two of my pieces on local radio.

Watched:        Borgen, The Shrine, episode 1 of the new series of the excellent Moving On plus  cried my way through Call the Midwife.
Went to see the National Theatre production of The Magistrate screened locally.  Academy Award nominee and Tony Award-winner John Lithgow (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Shrek, 3rd Rock from the Sun) takes the title role in this uproarious Victorian farce, with Olivier Award-winner Nancy Carroll (After the Dance) as his wife Agatha. The director is Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You and Into the Woods, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London).
With his louche air and a developed taste for smoking, gambling, alcohol and woman, it's hard to believe Cis Farringdon is only fourteen. And that's because he isn't. When Agatha dropped five years from her true age and that of her son when she married amiable magistrate Posket, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps.Read:              Very little
Healthy Writers Group
Shovelled a load of snow in the past week, Pilates and some indoor exercise.  It's a start!

Monday 14 January 2013

Busy doing nothing


A couple of dry days gave me the opportunity to hack back a cotoneaster which was making a nuisance of itself to passers-by and had dropped its berries into my wall and produced clones; prickly thug!  I replanted the wall with more bulbs and colourful polyanthuses and vowed to keep the wall in flower all year.

At the Gardening Club, members filled a table area (8ft x 2ft approx.) with examples of what is flowering or showing interesting foliage this month.  It was amazing, to say we complain there is nothing in the garden at this time of year.  One member brought some frankincense which he had purchased while on holiday in the Middle East.  It is made from the resin of a tree and is available in three grades; for medical purposes, for cosmetics or perfume and for incense.  

Out and about

Our team did not perform well at the Quiz, where we usually hold our own.

Ate with friends at the Red Hot World Buffet, which I can’t rate highly enough.  Three courses from a menu offering Mediterranean, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Italian..... need I go on?  You can choose your dream menu and refill as often as you like!  I chose Mediterranean salads, followed by rice noodles and vegetables which were cooked in front of me and ended with a selection of Italian desserts.  For me, a vegetarian menu made in heaven!

 So that feast in addition to a 30th Birthday Party hasn’t helped me to lose those pounds.


I am now in week 2 of the W1S1 weekly challenge which spurs me on to complete and submit my work. 

I recorded a couple of pieces for a local radio programme which I help plan.


We were forecast snow and it actually arrived.  Not a lot fell in our area but, for we Brits, it’s a main topic of conversation; will it, when, how much?

 And finally, check out this Facebook page for quotes by writers:

 I’m trying to choose one for my motivation.  Which do you prefer?


Wednesday 2 January 2013

First footing


Happy New Year!

A swift look back at 2012 in no particular order

The ups:

Swam in North Sea

Completed a full year of the Write 1 Sub 1 monthly challenge leading to short stories being published.

Joined a writing group and wrote for a read some pieces on local radio.

Started Flower Arranging classes and won the trophy for best beginner out of two classes

Held a party at the coast.

A healthy new grandson

Special people treated successfully for cancer

Spent a weekend away with my sisters and an afternoon tea with many of my female cousins; ideas which had been talked about for ages.

The downs:

Lost close relatives and friends.  The downside of being blessed with a large family is that lots of celebrations are balanced with worries and losses.

I have much to be thankful for.

So what of the coming year?  While I subscribe to the Yiddish proverb which translates to “man plans, god laughs”,  I do believe in trying new things, so:

I have taken up the weekly W1S1 challenge.

I aim to complete my novel/novella

Finish those projects on my to do list.

The eat healthy, keep fit, watch weight are givens!

What would yours be?

James, from my writing group, is doing a survey and asked me my 5 best authors and 5 best books, which are not the same thing.

It wasn’t easy but this was my reply:

Penelope Lively
Anita Shreve
Faye Kellerman
Anne Tyler
Nora Ephron

The Millennium Trilogy:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl who played with Fire
The Girl who kicked the Hornets' Nest
by Stieg Larsson

Heidi by Johanna Spyri


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon



Just read The Colonel and his Daughter by fellow blogger Teresa Ashby.  Great read, funny and pacy.

My next read will be by A life of two halves by my friend and ex-colleague Tom Murphy.  The title refers to the years being brought up a catholic and becoming a priest then leaving the priesthood to marry and a change career to teaching.


Quartet.  Lovely film with great acting.  Apart from the main actors, other parts were taken by real musicians and artists.

Absolutely nothing on the TV over the holidays to mention. 

Writing:  As much as I can to keep up with the weekly challenge.

I leave you with the thought that the days are getting longer and shoots of bulbs can be seen in the garden.  Make your year a good one.



“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...