Posts Tagged ‘Lake District’

Lindal-in-Furness 1969-83 — with poem

April 9, 2010

After spending our early years of marriage in Beeston, Nottingham, followed by thirteen years of family life in Loughborough, Leicestershire, we moved north to South Cumbria (to what was then part of Lancashire). People were awed that we would move to near Barrow-in-Furness. It was considered to be the end of a cul-de-sac, if not the end of the world. And yet, the first time we drove up here, the scenery we passed through lifted my spirit and I knew that we were doing the right thing. True, the roads then were poor and the children were constantly sick as we drove in and out of the area. But things improved and the new roads give spectacular views of sea, mountains and fells. The air is fresh and clean, the pace gentle and the ‘natives’, in the village where we first settled, friendly. As indeed are the people where we now live – just a few miles away. We never thought when we were young that we would live in such a wonderful place as Cumbria, with its magical walks and drives throughout the English Lake District. Fells, mountains, lakes, rivers and streams, not to mention the culture embracing literature and art.
I wrote the following poem when we were about to leave our first home up here.

Our Time in Lindal 1969-1983

Sixteen years of village life,
So many changes we have seen
In brick and stone, and mortal flesh:
Time for a boy to become a man,
For a youth to grow in wisdom
And strong men change to weak.
Time for many friendly souls
To take their leave of earthly things
Having left their mark in village lore.

Sixteen years since first we came —
Townies in a rural place:
“Takes thirty years to be accepted.”
Half that time has passed away,
But villagers with roots going deep
Into Lindal soil and Furness ore,
Faithful members of the church,
Keepers of the rural scene,
Have not withdrawn a hand of friendship.

Sixteen years, now we move on —
With sadness yes, but thankful too
For all that Lindal’s given us.
Thankful for the friendships made,
The cheerful smiles, acknowledging waves,
And nods of recognition.
Thankful for the time and space
To move and grow, explore and be,
Thankful for acceptance.


Checkmate — pre-published review

March 6, 2010

A pre-published review of Checkmate by Gladys Hobson
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.

Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash… but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions. In amongst the wily machinations there is humour. For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves.

Checkmate is the third book in the Designed For Love series.
The first book, Awakening Love, is published by Magpies Nest Publishing
This book is also published by AGPress (USA) as DESIRE

The second book of the series, Seduction By Design, is also published by AGPress

Checkmate is in preparation.

Visit my author blog — Hobson’s Books

The Lake District National Park — Glorious!

June 27, 2009
Cogna Moss Lake — Paradise!

Cogna Moss Lake — Paradise!

We have spent a week in our caravan just 50 miles away in the Northwest Lake District. The walking has been easy to hard work (for a couple of oldies!). Ennerdale, Whinlatter, Buttermere, Crummock, St Bees and Maryport are some of the places we visited for good walking experiences.

St Bees is a town by the sea and has a splendid coastal walk amid sweet-smelling greenery and wild flowers. Maryport is the site of a Roman Fort with an interesting museum, a marina, and a pleasant walk along both cliff and prom’. I think it is possible to do a complete circular walk in Ennerdale but two hours of walking is about all we can manage.

View from Whinlatter

View from Whinlatter

Whinlatter is spectacular in its mountain beauty with a number of walks and cycling paths — twitters gather there to see the ospreys. It also has an interesting centre with shop and great cafe. A drive along Crummock and Buttermere to navigate Honester Pass is a must (if only to see the energetic intrepid cyclists!) At the top are magnificent views not to be missed.

Of all the places where we walked my favourite is the lesser known jewel of a lake called Cogna Moss, Apart from authorised anglers, (who have keys to the gates and so can use a car) the only way to get there is to walk. We went in the golden light of a setting sun — magical! To get there from the caravan site first we walked across a field with friendly horses and dear little pigs munching on the grass, then on to gates and styles to follow a quiet lane until the lake is reached. The lake lies in a hollow overshadowed by high wooded hills rich in wildlife. We only met two people, partly because of the lake’s isolation and also because of the late hour. For me it is a golden treasure chest full and overflowing with such beautiful ‘jewels’ that tears came to my eyes. Ducks on the water, foxes barking, wind whispering in the trees and birds singing were in wonderful harmony. A single angler stood thigh height in the water, rod in hand. The sun appeared to sprinkle gold dust over the whole scene. As we left, we vowed that one day we would go back and spend a whole day there.SDC11399

Lake District National Park

April 13, 2009

sdc11040We are very privileged to live close to one of the loveliest places on earth, and it is pretty good here too! We do go away for holidays, usually to Derbyshire (Bronte country) to visit both the area and relatives. But I love the rugged coastal regions and we have to travel much further to get there.

With spring in full bloom, it takes a lot to drag me away from our garden. But we take a walk to either the local hill to get the fantastic vistas of sea and mountains, or down via a canal walk to the Morecambe Bay shore. Today we took a drive into the upper Lakes area and visited Wasdale, stopping for lunch at a pleasant place in the middle of woods. 

Sun and shadow over the rugged rock and screes dropping down to deep Waswater, Sheep and their lambs grazing peacefully, sunlight glinting on rippling streams. No hussle, no noise, no clutter, no shacks — just peaceful countryside littered with primroses and sorrel. 


Wasdale in spring 2009

Wasdale in spring 2009

Great Gable, in the far distance, caught in the sun as the mist is lifting. This is one of the most rugged areas of the Lake District. It contrasts with the more heavily wooded slopes of Whinlatter and similar parkland. 

See my anthology, Still Waters Run Deep, Stories of Hidden Depths,  centred mainly in the Furness peninsular and Keswick areas. for viewing samples.

For more photos of the Lake District, and others, visit:

KILROY — Presenter extraordinaire? Renegade politician? The mature woman’s sexy devil? – My experience, Part One

March 3, 2009

To those who never witnessed any of the long-running (17 years) popular Kilroy programmes, I will describe them as being daytime talk shows with the presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk interacting with an audience of folk  — mainly women — who have some connection with the subject under discussion. 

Kilroy has many critics and some who describe him in disparaging terms, but it took politically incorrect remarks made by him — recorded in a daily newspaper — to have his show withdrawn and himself banned from the BBC. However there can be no doubt that the Kilroy programme had a large following among those at home when the show went out. It was also shown in other countries, (or so I believe)

Kilroy is a bit of a renegade, smart and good-looking for his years. He is a ‘boy from the back streets’ who pushed through the barriers of class distinction to make it as a politician and television personality, even if he did manage to trip himself up and achieve a great fall. But Robert is not one to let a setback throw him into oblivion, entering politics again he managed to get to be a member of the European Parliament — even if he did a bit of falling out with his fellow party members. Kilroy is an individualist, and, quite likely, always will be. 

It is this speaking his own mind, somewhat naively, and being never short of words that made his Kilroy programmes what they were. With a backup team to support him and organise his half hour show, he had the whole programme plan set in his mind and knew whom to chat with and where they would be sitting. How do I know? I was on one of his last shows.

I recall quite clearly how it all began. I was taking a break from novel writing by doing the weekly ironing chore. I put on the television to relieve the boredom. Robert Kilroy-Silk was already in full flood on his Kilroy programme, but, contrary to my expectations, this was a different person to the one I was used to seeing, and of whom I’d heard so much disparaging talk about. No, this was a man I could warm to, a man with warmth and understanding, a man to inspire.

The seats at the show were not packed and those there were on the elderly side. The discussion was serious. No hilarity,. Kilroy being the friendly ‘counsellor’ drawing from nervous guests the problems they suffered with their sex life. Clearly, the problems were acute. For some, precious experiences which had been shared and enjoyed for many years, were no longer possible. I only saw part of the show and I wondered how many of the women had actually experienced an orgasm and why it was not possible, especially in this day and age, to get help in overcoming difficulties. 

Most people of my generation had no sex education and there was no sex to be seen on the silver screen. Explicit sex in fiction was banned too. ‘Fumbling in the dark’ would be an apt metaphor for many a wedding night! (if couples waited that long). I recalled a friend of mine saying that her parents had enjoyed sex well into their eighties. Fulfilling sex can be experienced in many ways. Retired couples have the time to experiment, work on the preliminaries, build up the passion, and have the maturity to laugh when things go haywire.

Thus inspired, I set to work and wrote Blazing Embers (initially in the name of Angela Ashley but now in my own name — Gladys Hobson). I set the scene in my own home town extending it to the close-by Lake District. I had a clear picture of the couple, and I decided on someone with the looks of Robert Kilroy Silk (tan and all) to drop into their lives and help solve their problems (in a most delightful manner).

Some time later, after my ‘inspired’ humorous book was written — a book like no other in the market place — I had the chance to experience Kilroy in action. 

PART TWO to follow. ‘My embarrassing ordeal’

Doom and Gloom? Look for the rainbow!

February 4, 2009


Promise of light in the darkness

Promise of light in the darkness

When skies are dark with rain clouds, I look for rainbows.



Dark sky, bright rainbow

Dark sky, bright rainbow

Like many people of our generation who were taught to live within their means, we have never overreached ourselves when buying anything.. In our day, not for nothing did Building Societies only loan what a single person could afford to pay back. The rapid rise in house prices followed by repossessions has been the ultimate price of careless lending.


The present situation was bound to happen. It is sad for those who will lose their jobs and homes, and how infuriating that the bankers and financiers who brought the situation about get even more millions in unearned bonuses. Would we pay a bonus to a shoddy builder if a new roof fell in?

And yet, all is NOT doom and gloom unless WE allow it to be so. It is our own attitude to present circumstances that determine whether we look for, and grasp, unforeseen opportunities to work things out for the better. This we owe to ourselves and to all who will have to pay for the country’s growing debt.

It was redundancy years ago that brought us to our present location. Very many job applications all over the country came to nought until one was offered in what most people seemed to think was beyond civilisation! (But to me, a paradise!) Things were tough for various reasons I will not go into, But, we all thrived and the family did far better than we could possibly have envisaged. Yes, money was in short supply but not for the first time. I knew how to create tasty dishes on a low budget and I could sew. We never did go in for foreign holidays so nothing missing there.  We were blessed with a utility type caravan and that ensured us reaching beautiful places in Scotland each year with visits to Wales and the West Country occasionally. When things improved, we continued to live within our means — only too aware that times could not always be financially good. The country has had several lean times since then but people never seem to learn — buy now, pay later with interest!

The piper always has to be paid.

Marketing New Book…Still Waters Run Deep, stories of hidden depths

December 8, 2008
Still Waters Run Deep, stories of hidden depths

Still Waters Run Deep, stories of hidden depths

My new books arrived last week and straight away I set about getting them into the shops. Everyone so far is delighted in the glossy cover with its photograph of Bassenthwaite Lake. Some of the stories have settings of that area but most of them are in our own area of the Furness region of Cumbria.

Some of the stories have been posted on my various web sites and full details of the book, plus reviews are on the Magpies Nest Publishing website where books may be ordered, although Amazon and other on-line booksellers will have it for sale as well. Bookshops in my own area already stock it. I hope to get a mention in the local paper shortly and there is also a possibility of an interview on local radio.

So much for Still Waters. Concerning a different book —  Awakening Love E-book — a lovely thing happened this morning. After me think no one I know is likely to buy an e-book, I met someone I know who used to work in our local Building Society. She told me that she had bought the e-book and intended doing a reader review and star rating! She also said that the e-book was lovely. I think it is the first one she has bought. Golly, that made me feel better about e-books!

Ebook delight!

Ebook delight!

Still Waters Run Deep… to be released Dec.1st

November 27, 2008


Poster for book

Poster for book



“Still Waters Run Deep, stories of hidden depths” is my latest book of short stories. The prize-winning author, Geoff Nelder, reviewed the book and had this to say:

‘Don’t be fooled by the writings of Gladys Hobson. She appears like a harmless mature woman and so you settle one afternoon to relax into her stories. Then in goes the hot poker and you find the goings on in Ulverston, ignited passion, and Cumbrian emotions. The wicked are saved by pseudonyms, the innocent by their ignorance. This collection is a jigsaw of zeal and a genuine feel for landscape.’

Geoff  Nelder (Award Winning author of numerous works — latest novel, Exit, Pursued by a Bee)

    Mystery and imagination: humour and horror, love and hate, joy and sorrow, poignancy and lust. Passions run deep wherever you live! The settings are both local and further to the north of Cumbria. Photographs increase the reader’s pleasure.    

At a modest £5.99 it is expected to sell quite well (at least, locally) for those small presents to give to others, or to oneself, to while away those quiet times during the Christmas break.  Well, I have a smile on my face — I hope it will still be there in a few weeks’ time!


Still Waters Run Deep. stories of hidden depths

Still Waters Run Deep. stories of hidden depths



Hopeful author!

Hopeful author!

Still Waters Run Deep, tales of hidden depths

November 20, 2008


At last my new book is not only at the the printers, but today we approved the proofs!

Hopefully we will get the books ready for a December launch. At £5.99 it could be a nice little stocking filler, and just the thing to pick up during the long Christmas holiday and read one of the short stories. There is a story to suit every mood. 


The tales have Cumbrian settings, although some are imaginary even if based on actual places. Mystery and imagination: humour and horror, love and hate, joy and sorrow, poignancy and lust. Passions run deep wherever you live, and characters may be recognised as someone you know even though they are plucked from my imagination, which has been nurtured by a lifetime of observation of human characteristics — especially those little foibles seldom admitted to.

Each tale has an introduction as to what inspired the story to be written.

Visit Magpies Nest Publishing for all my books