Archive for November, 2007

The Jimston Journal

November 30, 2007

It is of considerable pleasure to me to be included in the on-line Jimston Journal. But it is of great sadness that this is the last one.

Below is the announcement: 


 The December Issue of




is now on line for your enjoyment at


You’ll find some of the best writing

from around the world, as well as a

variety of photographers, including

our featured photographer,

Luisa Cruz of Portugal.


But Jimston fans can still share in his thoughts at


November 28, 2007

I have just written a long post on my other blog.  I do not wish to merely duplicate it here. So I will write here about my sadness that Michael Allen will not be writing his blog for a long time. I will miss him. I will miss his guidance, his wit, his intellect, his grasp of the publishing world. At least, I can console myself by reading the rest of his books and learning from them. He is a darned good author! He is also, by my reckoning, the patron saint of the writer struggling for recognition. Thank you Michael. is still there for folk to read many a good posting, and also some of his stories and essays.


Suppression of Vice — Patrick Read

November 12, 2007

The Suppression of Vice by Patrick Read (Michael Allen)

Blackmail, murder and sin in Victorian London.
A dazzling crime novel.

So we are told on the book’s cover. But if the reader is expecting the usual sort of crime story with a brilliant detective, professional or amateur (either aided or hindered by plodders on the beat), he or she will be disappointed. The ‘dazzling’ thing about this book is the skill of the writer in both narrative and portrayal of characters.

But crime story it most certainly is, and involving brutal unsavoury characters. But it is all done with a light touch that entertains the reader on every page (at times, hilariously), while driving him, or her, eagerly onwards to see how it will all end.

But is a satisfactory conclusion possible when a certain royal becomes involved in a seedy affair? Suddenly certain things become familiar. Will the villain pay for crimes committed? Tension grows…

I loved the settings and descriptions of scenes and dress. The Victorian period, with its vivid contrasts and hypocritical standards, came very much alive for me. And not me alone, for my husband read the book to me — and at times when we should both have been working. A most enjoyable ‘shared’ read!

Healing words of ‘Thank you’.

November 8, 2007

Diane West, apart from being a newspaper columnist, is a good poet… words pour out of her heart just as the mood takes her. I have seen a poem she wrote to a friend and I was deeply moved. So I am putting it here — unedited, raw from her ‘pen’.

This is Diane’s
“Thank You”

Thank You.

A warm, gentle person, caring mum and good wife

Who takes nothing for granted and worked hard all her life.

Considerate and generous, loving and kind

Not many like her on this Earth will you find.

With a passion for life, which she lives to the full

Sharing time with this lady could never be dull.

I’ve known her but a short time, though it seems like years

I’ve told her my secrets. I’ve had laughs and shed tears.

She’s been there for me when I’ve been sad and low

And I ‘m so glad I met her, she’s a treasure to know.

We have so much in common, it seems really odd

Is it simply coincidence or is it all down to God?

I wonder if when feeling my pain and my strife

He chose one of his best to come into my life.

It matters not now but of one thing I’m sure

Where there is illness, she is the cure.

She’s given me sunshine and put a smile on my face

When I’ve felt down and useless, been my saving grace.

Made me feel special and believe in myself

Which means more than money and riches or wealth.

She’s given me faith and made things seem right

And when there’s been darkness, she showed me the light.

She guided and led me, till I felt at ease.

Her caring and patience have helped me find peace.

How do I say thank you, to someone so nice

To repay all her goodness, there isn’t a price.

So all I can do is pray she will know

That the seed she has nurtured is starting to grow.

It’s fed and it’s watered with joy and delight

And its new buds are blooming with colours so bright.

Repaired by an angel, it will blossom once more

It’s head held up high as it once was before.

Gone is the guilt, the pain and despair

And where there was doubting, trust now walks there.

The past doesn’t matter, when the future looks bright

I welcome tomorrow…it’s a beautiful sight!