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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Plymouth

 

 My novels Ditty Box and Blitz are mainly situated in Plymouth, Devon. Many of my readers may not know much about Plymouth so I decided to write a brief article concerning the city of my birth.
Plymouth sits on the Devon side of the border with Cornwall (or Kernow as it’s know in the Cornish language).
It has always been a port city since the Bronze Age settlement of what is now known as Mount Batten. The area of Sutton superseded this in the 9th century and became the start of the modern city Plymouth. Most British people have heard of Sir Francis Drake who insisted on finishing his game of bowls before he took the English fleet out to defeat the Spanish Armada. There is still a bowling green on The Hoe which is purported to be where he played, but I’m not sure if this is the actual green or just in the general location. The Mayflower also set out from Plymouth to take the Pilgrims to the New World (now the United States of America).
The nearby town of Devonport has always been a place for the Royal Navy and in 1914 Devonport, Plymouth and East Stonehouse merged to become the County Borough of Plymouth.
Over the years Plymouth has grown and is now the second largest city in the area. Devonport Dockyard which serves the Royal Navy is the largest operational navy base in Western Europe and still employs a lot of the work force of Plymouth.
Entering the city from the English Channel a ship passes around the breakwater and lighthouse. Next ships pass Drakes Island which over the years has had various uses. The land looking out over the sea is The Hoe, a place for Plymothians (or Janners as they are often called. There are many different explanations as to why they are called by this name). On the Hoe is Smeaton’s Tower which used to be the Eddystone Lighthouse, until it was replaced and the old tower resurrected looking over Plymouth Sound.
The River Tamar separates Devon from Cornwall to the left of The Hoe while to the right if the Barbican where the fishing industry of Plymouth has been settled for a long time.
The city centre sits down the hill behind The Hoe. Most of the area has been built since it was destroyed by the blitz during World War II, but there have been ongoing updates and renovations during all the years since then. The city spreads out behind the shops and buildings of the city centre until it reaches the countryside which is the beginning of Dartmoor.
This article may not be completely historically correct, as most of it is from my memories of growing up in Plymouth and stories from the older members of my family. Hope you enjoy reading about Plymouth and it helps you to interact more with my novels.

Friday, December 30, 2022

Happy New Year

 

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022

 Looking for ebooks as Christmas presents?

Visit Smashwords for their End of Year Sale. 

All books discounted or free.

 



Thursday, October 6, 2022

Change of Seasons

While those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are getting ready for winter, or experiencing extreme weather conditions of hurricans and other fierce attacks of mother nature, we in the Southern Hemisphere are getting ready for summer. It appears summer 2022/2023 is going to be a scorcher. Good in some ways – not in others.

Lovely summer days mean going to the beach and enjoying the warm weather. However, in New Zealand we have to be careful as the ozone layer is quite thin above us and this means sunburn and heatstroke. A lot of houses have heatpumps which give us warmth in winter and coolness in summer so that's good, but  when the humidity is high we suffer.

During the winter and autumn I have been writing, editing and preparing the prequel to Blitz for publication. Ditty Box is the fictionalised story of my grandparents love story. They both died before I was born so I only have the stories told to me by my mother as a reference but I hope I have done them justice.

What on earth is a Ditty Box I hear you say? It's a box sailors, in particular Royal Navy sailors, used to take to sea with them to keep their precious documents and other special things with them. Letters from wives or sweethearts would be kept in these boxes and sometimes special items such as a lock of hair.

Both books are available in ebook and print from Amazon and ebook only from other online bookstores. I hope to have another book out before Christmas but it really depends on how much life interferes with writing.

To all of you in New Zealand I hope you have a good Labour Weekend and to those overseas I hope you have a good celebration for your country's national holidays.

 

 

 

Phil is left unemployed when his boss sells his fishing boat. He attempts to drown his sorrows with alcohol, but he is attacked and left unconscious on the side of the road.
Enid wonders why no one ever ask her out on a date? How do other women find the men in their lives?
She finds Phil unconscious on the side of the road, and takes him to her nearby flat where he recovers. They meet occasionally as friends until Phil joins the Royal Navy. Enid agrees to write to him and keep him company when he’s home. Although Phil is pleased he doesn't realize Enid has She pushes her feelings to the back of her mind, and enjoys the time they spend together, but World War 1 casts a shadow over their relationship. Will Enid reveal her love for Phil before he goes off to war?
This story is loosely based on my grandparents love story, although names have been changed. The boxes sailors took to sea for their personal belongings was a ditty box, hence the title.

 

 

Twenty-four-year-old Velma longs to be treated as an adult, but her older sisters insist they know what is best for her future. Tall, dark, and handsome, Jack is a soldier distantly connected to Velma's family. He sweeps Velma off her feet and asks her to marry him. War looms on the horizon and Jack must go to face the enemy. Will their love survive the family and the war –or will their parting be forever?