Book review: The Girl from the Workhouse

Book review: The Girl from the Workhouse

The Girl from the Workhouse by Lynn Johnson, published by Amazon

Imagine you’re a young girl aged eleven, Ginnie Jones by name. It’s 1911 in the Staffordshire Potteries. Your father works hard in Chamberlain’s pottery, but life is okay. You live in a tiny terraced house with your parents and your big sister Mabel. And today is your birthday. Even better, though you can’t read, you’re going to be awarded a book prize at Sunday School.

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Life in the Time of Coronavirus #4: Lockdown

Life in the Time of Coronavirus #4: Lockdown

Monday 23 – Friday 27 March 2020

We were still adjusting to life with social distancing when I got the dreaded text from the NHS. It seems I am one of the UK’s 1.5 million Rapunzels, “at risk of severe illness” and to be locked away in a tower for twelve weeks. Or until Coronavirus goes away. Whatever.

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Life in the Time of Coronavirus #3: Far from the madding crowd?

Life in the Time of Coronavirus #3: Far from the madding crowd?

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March 2020

On Friday this week, schools and colleges shut in the UK. This was a great relief to our pregnant teacher daughter-in-law, who had been agonising about going to work in her secondary school ever since the Chief Medical Officer indicated that pregnant women are at increased risk.

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Life in the Time of Coronavirus #2: Testing times

Life in the Time of Coronavirus #2: Testing times

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Of all the noteworthy events in my life caused by the Virus so far, one of the hardest to bear has been the sudden closure of our theatre. Sounds petty compared to losing lives, but let me explain. Regular readers will know that we live in the Malvern Hills, a short walk from the pretty Victorian spa resort of Great Malvern. We’re blessed with an unusually large theatre and cinema complex for a small town, attracting audiences from all over the region.

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Life in the Time of Coronavirus blog #1

Life in the Time of Coronavirus blog #1

Sunday 15 March, 2020

So where did it start for us, life in the time of Coronavirus? I suppose it was partway through our recent trip to visit one of our sons and his wife in New Zealand. Initially we were just pleased to find no Chinese tourists there when we arrived in Christchurch on 14 February. New Zealand was fabulous, and continued to be fabulous, relatively empty of too many other tourists and virus-free.

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Death in New Zealand

Death in New Zealand

Or maybe … Murder DownUnder/Death in the South Pacific.

If you’re following our latest travel blog, PeteandJacDownUnder, you’ll know we’re currently on holiday in New Zealand. We’re combining seeing dearly-missed family with a trip we’ve promised ourselves for many years. Continue reading “Death in New Zealand”

Fear and Fables…horror at Christmas

Back in the autumn, the bijou but lovely team at Stormy Island Publishing kindly accepted my flash story Mirror at Midnight for their upcoming Halloween anthology. Then fate intervened, via toddler’s orange juice poured into the editor’s laptop, and Halloween went by uncelebrated (by me). Continue reading “Fear and Fables…horror at Christmas”

Whither the Land of Hope and Glory?

Campaigners for Remain and LibDems united in Great Malvern

So here we are, two days before the Election of 2019. Totally lost.

On the one hand, we have Boris Johnson refusing to look at a photo of a small child, seriously ill with pneumonia, who’s forced to lie on a pile of coats in A& E. Continue reading “Whither the Land of Hope and Glory?”

Book Review: The Wall

The Wall by John Lanchester

by John Lanchester. Published by Faber and Faber, 2019.

We’re in Britain, in the near future – perhaps nearer than we think. And something has gone horribly wrong.

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