Sunday, October 17, 2021
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It’s Coming On!

How much longer will this book take? I wrote my first book in 3 weeks – but took 3 months to edit it. This book, BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk, just happened during the pandemic restrictions. I felt some sketches might be helpful. I was recommended to an artist. We did a deal. But no sketches arrived. Months passed, and I felt disheartened.  But a lady in our church can sketch. And so can the son of another couple in the church. They have produced sketches, and I am so grateful to them. Then I decided I wanted …

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Where Is It?

My question too! I thought it would be published early this year, but then… No, failure to publish is not due to the pandemic. In fact, if there had not been a pandemic, there might well not have been a book.  I felt that simple little sketches would lighten and brighten the text. Like E. H. Shepard’s sketches for A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books. An artist was recommended to me, and we struck a deal. It all seemed straight forward and full of promise. But no sketches arrived. Months passed. Maybe he was ill – it seemed best …

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Coypus! (From ‘BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk!’ to be published later this year.

Again, it was winter, some years later, and once more the landscape was a refreshing white. We had cycled, and now we walked. Stealthily. We followed the tracks through the snow. It was four-footed, and quite heavy. Not as heavy as a deer, but more than a rabbit or a hare. We followed those tracks for a mile or two, until they went into a hollow tree lying in the snow. They did not come out the other side. We had it cornered. Catching live mice with my bare hands was my idea of excitement, adventure and achievement. Well, bare …

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Cleaning Boots!

Cleaning Boots – (Excerpt from book BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk. To be published later this year)  Further language and culture – boots, Grum, June and June, and dwile flonking. Mrs. Lamb, our new char lady, cleaned boots on a Saturday, she told us. My mother thought this sounded both mundane, but also rather specialised; boots, rather than shoes, or general footwear. And when she enquired about the number of boots Mrs. Lamb cleaned on a Saturday, was surprised to be told that she cleaned very few; maybe four on a Saturday morning, but up to eight, …

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SCHOOLDAYS! – a short extract from BIG BLUE SKY -A Celebration of Norfolk (to be published later this year)

In 1953, our family moved to the village of Wroxham, seven miles north of Norwich in the Broadland area of Norfolk, due to my father’s work. It was the year of the coronation, and at school we all made cardboard coronation coaches, and were given a commemorative mug. It was also the year of the east coast floods, and my parents would drive us to seaside villages where we would view devastated houses in which lives had been lost. Aged eight, I was still with the little children, and now in Mrs. Shreeve’s class at Wroxham County Primary School. We …

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Jumble Sales!!!

Chapter Twelve (of BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk) Norfolk Churches – and my journey Jumble sales, Flemish weavers, canaries, Malchus’ ear. As the preacher droned on in a solemn monotone, most eyes closed and chins gently rested on chests. The small elderly congregation in the country chapel in rural Norfolk appeared to have departed for the antediluvian land of Nod – except for Hugh, sitting alone in the back row. His flushed face was deepening in hue as he became increasingly agitated, and eventually leaving his pew, he strode to the shelves of Bibles and hymn books …

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My Norfolk Birds

Below is an excerpt from my ‘soon to be published’ (well, later this year) book, with provisional title BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk. It is not a very spiritual tome, though my spiritual journey is, in essence, tucked into the final chapter. But here is the opening of chapter three. Chapter Three My Norfolk Birds Chased by ‘the hag’, ravished in a tunnel, snogging behind a gooseberry bush, and Mrs. Starling’s beak. It was 1960, and at fifteen, coming up to sixteen, newly acquired hormones were tumbling through my veins, and I was trying to discover my …

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BIG BLUE SKY

I never meant to write a book – and then my first one was published. And now my seventh was not really intended, but perhaps a result of the pandemic lockdown. The title has changed around 7 times, and although I have gone through the manuscript around 20 times (and Wendy once and friend Jonnie once), it might still have a few tweaks when the usual proofreader has done his stuff. BIG BLUE SKY – A Celebration of Norfolk is the current title and looks like it’s here to stay. I was born in Norfolk over 76 years ago, and have …

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Coypu! (Extract from my latest book, ‘A SHIVER IN MY FINGER’ – to be published 2021)

It was February 1961. We had cycled, and now we walked. Stealthily. We followed the tracks through the snow. It was four-footed, and quite heavy. Not as heavy as a deer, but more than a rabbit or a hare. We followed those tracks for a mile or two, until they went into a hollow tree lying in the snow. They did not come out the other side. We had it cornered. Catching live mice with my bare hands was my idea of excitement, adventure and achievement. Well, bare hands the first time, when I was bitten; subsequently, gloved hands. I …

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June and June!

The following is an extract from my (hopefully) forthcoming book, which is tales and anecdotes, and brief historical facts gleaned from living most of my 76 years in Norfolk. If you don’t know Norfolk, this might seem a little strange! Jackie was a local lady, and always had been. Narwich, as she pronounced it, had been her home from birth. My wife had met her at a ladies fellowship while we were living in the city, and as a result we were both invited to a social event at the local Methodist church where Jackie was a member. An invitation …

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