Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Letter to LJ

Today I received a Christmas Greeting from you.  Just a wobbly signature on a purchased card. No longer do I get pages filled with news.  I wish I had kept all of your letters. I think our letters would have encircled the globe if they were laid end to end.
So many years of letter writing, the black line of ink that travelled from you to me and back would stretch for miles out of sight if we could untangle it from the pages.
Your letters became less frequent as your illness diminished your confidence and ability to write.  And now you are unable to do the smallest things without help. I feel guilty that I have so much of what you have lost. Even if I could give some back to you, you are not able to receive it. I don’t want to tell you that I am having a good time, when for you every move is an effort. My calendar is full. My life is busy. I treasure days I have at home at home when I see no one. I will write to you about the weather and complain about the television but I don’t say too much about what I do.
I will tell you about my dogs, the garden, what I have written and what my girls are doing. I miss our sharing and your visits here. But I won’t say these things to you when I write today.
Because by telling you how much I miss the things that we shared I might make you more aware of how much you have lost. I wish you the peace of Christmas, dear Friend.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Panic! This morning the computer wouldn't start. Considering I have a book in there almost finished and hadn't saved yesterday's work to the external drive, the feeling was like finding the dog missing and the gate still closed, car gone from the garage or of being lined up at the checkout with an overflowing trolley of goods and finding your wallet missing when you know you had it 40 minutes ago whe you paid for coffee. I guess we have all experienced that scary moment of amnesia when you try to remember when you last saw the car or the wallet and in my case, what's inside that box that I haven't copied and what did I write yesterday??  That feeling of loss, the blankness of memory as we try to recall actions done on automatic pilot. When did I last see the dog, did I lock the car, the blind rushing back to the coffee shop hoping the wallet is still there becomes a trauma if the situation isn't resolved quickly. On my second day in Ireland I went to the loo at Glendalough, walked back to the car and discovered I had left my shoulder bag hanging on the hook in the cubicle. That bag had everything in it, cards, money, driver's licence!  As you would expect, it was no longer in the cubicle. I hurtled into the visitor's centre to report it missing and found that someone had handed it in. I think that was a greater shock than finding I had lost it. Moments like that restore one's faith in humanity.  Lost people are a different matter. I can't imagine how that feels. So at this Christmas time let us all be mindful of how we part from our friends and family, turn off the automatic pilot and look at them, see them. Let us all hope that the missing people find their way home. Happy Christmas.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Getting Started

Hello! Is there anyone out there? I can’t see you but I’m told  that you are there. I guess I will just go with the idea ‘I will see when I believe or blog’ as is the case here.  I don’t know much about blogging so I will need your help. If you are not too busy. My name is Laurie. My sign is Leo. I was born in the Chinese year of the Wood Dog and my passion is writing– history and biography at the moment, but I deviate to crime fiction occasionally which is a kind of history, especially when the crime has already been committed.

Procrastination is my Achilles Heel. Do you know what I mean? Have you noticed that getting around to it sometimes takes longer than doing the job. Are you a procrastinator? Being a writer and a procrastinator is a double whammy. Even starting this blog is an example of procrastination. I have been telling myself I should have a blog ever since I saw that movie Julie and Julia. How long ago was that? Anyway, here I am and I’m pleased to meet anyone who is interested in writing, especially if you are writing his—story or her—story which is what history is at its best, the story of ordinary and extraordinary people. Do you have a favourite historic person? My person of interest at present is Margaret Catchpole who was not who she is said to be. But I have to stop procrastinating and get on with the writing and let you get on with yours…maybe when I check in next we can talk about how to give procrastination the push and the problems of writing history, the kind people enjoy reading.