Birthday Thoughts

A little cake I ate today.

As it is my birthday today I wanted to share a few thoughts with my wonderful blog readers. Reflecting on this year, my blog has become an important part of my daily life and I appreciate everyone taking the time to support it.

Thank You

A big thank you for reading my articles. I originally had a blog that I used once in a while for a poem or eco-rant but I never took it seriously. Then in May I began to turn it into a working blog with regular posts about books and the environment. Occasionally I began to review TV shows and movies too.

This week I achieved 500 plus followers and this was great to discover. I feel as though people are kindly supporting my writing on a regular basis and this has been heart-warming. The 500 milestone means a lot to me and I thank you all very much.

Projects

Firstly, I have to mention that I went to see Steven Spielberg’s version of West Side Story again today and am absolutely smitten with it. Please go and support the film if you get the chance. Here is my review.

I have been waiting for my publisher to finalise my YA story about two teenagers who visit a mysterious house which changes their lives for good. To me, this is possibly the first of a couple of books starring these particular characters. Fingers crossed you will check it out when it finally gets released in spring. I will be sneaking out some extracts in the meantime to whet your interest.

So anyway, that was just a little post to say that I appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks for giving me something to celebrate on my birthday.

Covid or Climate Change?

I worry everyday that while Covid continues to be causing problems, climate change is being sidelined, almost as if it doesn’t matter. We probably have to live with Covid for ten years but the environment can’t wait that long to be saved. We need to act now!

Already the Glasgow Summit, which was only a month ago, has been forgotten about in the news and in the general media. It is a shame that at a time when we have come to demonstrate clearly how vulnerable our ecosystems are, we are getting distracted by other things.

Climate Change matters because:

– Every day pollution is growing and the atmosphere is being damaged. This will have a knock-on effect with weather systems and storms. Only last week America suffered stronger tornados, Antarctica had its hottest day on record and typhoons have destroyed homes in the Phillipines.

– Political changes could lead to funding for renewable energy and sustainable transport. Without government initiatives and support, many necessary changes to industry and transportation will be overlooked.

– The Glasgow leaders’ meeting really brought climate change to the forefront. If we can keep it in the spotlight then we can influence change more swiftly.

– Extinctions of species wait for no body. Covid or no covid, many groups of animals and plants are dying out as we speak. We have the power to slow or reverse this process of extinction.

These are my thoughts on the issues of global warming and temperature rise. I do wonder how you feel about the situation. Do you feel that climate change needs to have more awareness given to it or do you think it should sit on the back burner until Covid has died down?

My First Published Book – An Extract

Here is an extract from my published book, ‘The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost.’ I hope that you enjoy it and consider checking out the kindle version of it.

How could I keep everything as normal as possible? How could I hold my head up high? Nothing made any sense to me anymore. I was overwhelmed, bewildered and out of painkillers. My head pounded slowly as it had for the past ten hours. A night spent at my mum’s house was needed but I really ought to go back there, to the home I had shared with Michelle. My heart was sat throbbing gently in the soles of my shoes. My ears quietly rang. My nose ran tirelessly. I felt as though reality had subsided and everything was a mix between chaos and sublime fantasy. My children needed me. No doubt about that. But what could I say? What should I do? Who could I turn to? Why didn’t I see any of this coming? I was not one to cry but tears fell out of my eyes like rain from an overloaded storm cloud suddenly offloading. Like daggers, they seemed to cut across my cheeks and dig into my jaw, carving faint yet permanent etchings across my face and staining me forever like ageing creams dissolving the past and dripping poignantly onto the floor as if flooding and muddying the future and any chance of escape.

 

I had put a few clothes in a bag last night and got out of there as the police had urged me to. They wanted to examine the house and take finger prints and find out exactly what she did. I had accidentally taken her jumper with me. As I picked it out of the bag I thought about the last time I had seen her in it. Just the other evening. She had been cooking salmon and I recalled her taking it off because she said it stank of fish. I sniffed it now and it was clean and fragrant. It reminded me of spring and the strolls we took through the hills. My heart sank back down into those soles and I gathered myself together. My kids were stood either side of me as they saw me caress her jumper. They leant into my shoulders and we stood in silence, looking out of the window, reflecting quietly.

 

I gathered up their stuff and we got in the car quickly. My mum asked if I would be alright on the road driving in this state. I tried to make her believe that I was capable and I started to drive off, without looking over my shoulder. I needed to face up to this. As I drove quite slowly through the mainly car-less roads, the usual warmth associated with going home did not reassemble and I was left feeling confused, uncomfortable and out of place. I noticed a glazed look in Alfie’s eyes and the sparkle of partly evaporated tears chalked into his face. I could not determine the way Tess felt exactly as she looked quite serious yet I sometimes thought I could see the beginnings of a smile, especially as we passed some of our favourite haunts, like the park, the duck pond and the place where she went to dancing lessons. I prayed to a god that I had never really believed in that she might get through this in one piece and have nothing but fond memories of her wonderful mother. Little did I know this day was going to resonate with her more strongly than anyone else. Alfie was the one with mixed emotions, so I largely anticipated him suffering greatly.

 

We turned into our street eventually and I could still see the police cordon wrapped around our garden. There seemed to be no sign of anyone though and I had been assured we could return home today. So we got out of the car slowly and were soon approached by our elderly neighbour who hugged us all in turn and gave me some stew in a little plastic pot. ‘It must be so awful for you,’ said Margaret as she squeezed Alfie tightly.