The Towers in Midland

My writing life has been diverted to my book, so there hasn’t been much  time for blogging, and to be honest there is actually enough time, were I not spending it on watching streaming services, reading new books, voluntary work, house work etc : in other words living!
But I am 3/4 of the way, so I can’t complain. I have this strong feeling my main characters are not standing out enough. Their sidekicks almost seem more interesting. I might have to take a big chapter from the beginning and transplant it to the back in order to give it more drama. But as my friends on the Twitter writer community say, that will be in the first edit.
Finish it first.
Writing every day like some do is an impossibility for me. I don’t want it to get boring.

The whole Brexit thing could have been exciting if it had happened but it did not. The Brits are now going for a new election, as if that is going to change anything to the mess they are in. Cutting of your nose to spite your face is always a tricky position to be in. Politicians are trying to tell people that nose-less faces are the best thing ever and they should decide if a face without a nose looks good and not all those people from Europe, who keep telling them that having a nose though you can live without one can be useful and looks better. So now we wait until January for this saga to continue.
Most people are now worn down to the point of not caring either way which is the state of mind the politicians were aiming for.
The goodbye party on the Dutch beach will have to wait until spring.

Moved to next year

The rest of the world is still going to hell in a handcart.
Climate is pushed to the background by Who will win Strictly come dancing, The Bake off or Say yes to the dress and similar mind numbing equivalents of Bread and Games for the masses.
I actually have started to see it on my dog walks in just over a handful of years. The bridle path I take used to look like a wide river in autumn and spring. Now I keep my feet dry even after a few rainy days.

This is the same path only 2 years ago!

Path now

There have been more huge forest fires, hurricanes , floods and droughts again. Too many to mention. Borders of dangerous countries are bristling with weapons waiting to see who will ignite the fuse.
Ten percent of the world population is on the run for something. Be it war, poverty or something else, while the rest is doing their best to shield their mostly hard earned possessions from them. Charity wearing very thin when it is reaching their own back yards.
No wonder books that are all about escapism such as science-fiction and fantasy are booming at the moment.
I have always loved them for their sometimes clairvoyant look at our future, but find it sad to see the more scientific ones a bit neglected.
Am nearly finishing a wonderful book The Dutch House, by Ann Pratchett . The premise, revenge for being treated very unjust, is quite simple, or made to look simple, but it is mesmerising all the same.
One of the two people who have suffered this just goes on to have a very successful life, while the other practically puts her whole life on hold for it. She also uses it to keep clinging on to her younger brother.
The when they can hurt one of the people who have hurt them back the roles reverse.
The whole dynamics is breath taking. Often I find that people who have been writing as a journalist create some wonderful books.
I would definitely recommend it as a lesson how people can ignore what is good in their life, just to keep worrying at old scars.,

The Dutch House: A Novel by [Patchett, Ann]

Having been feeling a bit under the weather, I finished some detectives I found through Twitter.
I read those, try to solve the puzzle and forget about them, unless they were really great such as Nicci French, Elizabeth George, Mike Craven and a few others.
Talking about puzzles, I have turned into a real old age pensioner, getting the 1000 piece puzzles out and losing myself in them for hours. Have no idea where that came from but I am now addicted. Guess it is not too unhealthy for me. Maybe it will stave off the old Alzheimer, which I now and then feel creeping upon me. It’s what scares me more than deadly diseases. Every time I enter a room, not having any clue why I went there, I start thinking of making my wishes known to my loved ones about what to do with me when I have gone completely gaga.
Depressing stuff and alas not very unthinkable.
In people of 85 years and older, 25 to 50 % display signs of dementia, mainly Alzheimer and before that age it is about 7 %.
Something to be said for having a dicky heart and just pop your clogs after smoking, drinking and eating all the wrong food for a few days.

But let’s go to a more cheerful subject : The energy young children can give you. Now I can hear all those exhausted parents or teachers and such saying :What?!
Once a week I have the pleasure of helping two 9 year old girls, great friends with each other, with their homework at their school.
They are both first generation immigrants,one from Morocco and one from Brazil.
Their Dutch is quite good, but not having much of it spoken at home, they find it hard to follow the lessons in class, which makes them seem not as bright as their peers.
Having had two English kids going through a similar experience in the Netherlands, I feel I could help them.
One of the girls had decided just never  to say anything in class, to the point the school thought she did not speak Dutch at all and made her parents very worried.
The other by chatting all the time, to hide that she did not understand it all, was getting behind as well.
Their nice but young teacher has 24 children to manage plus an insane curriculum, so there is not much time for special attention.
They do have a special needs teacher but she is in over her head with all the demand for her help. A delightful lady but we could do with ten of her.
From the moment they had their first session with me, going through the homework with no pressure or fear that the other children would laugh at them or the teacher would move on to the next person if she would take too long to answer, the silent young lady started to talk a hundred words a minute and showed to be a very intelligent young lady. She loves reading the texts to me and her friend. Proudly showing her knowledge. Difficult words can be repeated with no shame and I make a point to explain them them clearly so it is not just memory but knowledge.
The other one , whose parents she tells me are strict, knows all the answers to the questions and just needs to be able now and then to jump up and run around the classroom with me calling out the questions she has to know the next day and she answering perfectly.
When we’ve got the school stuff out of the way, we talk about their families, their culture and Barbie’s.(My secret little passion since I was 9)
They tell me all their little woes and the good things that have happened to them.
When I arrive and leave I get the sweetest of hugs from both.
I think I get more out of it than them. Their spontaneity and energy make the dullest day bright.
Our local Red Cross arranges these ,as they call them, Bridge parent sessions, which I am very grateful for. The school is extremely appreciative and helpful. I can recommend it to every retired person.

Excerpt of the beginning and close to the end:
So much had befallen her since that fated night that she was not that silly, innocent young girl any more, she was then .
News about what had happened after she had disappeared had trickled down slowly to the New Forest, where she had been staying for most of last year with Jonah. Oh Jonah!But no, she would not think of him it was too painful.

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