The Inaudible Audible

Flowering Pink Camellia

Imagine an early nineteenth-century glass house filled with camellias. Camellias placed there in the mid-1800s in the belief that the glass house replicated the best conditions for these Asiatic plants. Inside the plants flounder, sicken. Black aphids fester upon the leaves, buds of flowers die and drop off before they can flourish and bloom to their full beauty. The few that flower normally do so without the usual heavenly scent.

What are the camellias’ stories? What are the emotions felt by visitors to the glass house?

Wollaton Hall in Nottingham was built in the 1580s and it is home to the glorious glass house. Today the hall houses a natural history display and the grounds include a 500-acre deer park and stunning lake. The Camellia House is one of the earliest cast-iron glass houses in the UK and was built in 1827.

Wollaton Hall Camelia House
The Camellia House at Wollaton Hall Glass House

In a unique experiment in 2019/2020 musician, beatboxer, and composer Jason Singh was commissioned to create a musical composition using ‘biodata’ of the plants. With sensors placed on leaves he captured the electrical signals from the camellias. These were then converted to midi signals and thereafter generated into music and sounds.

Jason was surprised by the depth of his emotions during the project, at times feeling physically unwell, as well as suffering from anxiety and agitation upon listening to the plants.

He gives an evocative voice to the plants, a sound enhanced as musicians on xylophone and harp responded to the plant sounds and added their interpretation.

Where once visitors walked quickly and disinterested through the Camellia House, during the installation they sat, listened and contemplated.

Hopefully many will have added their thoughts to the sight and music before them. Through the melancholic, entrancing tones Jason Singh wanted to stimulate feelings within visitors about the plants, environment, our place in the world as well as conservation and people’s wellbeing. Furthermore, he hoped to raise questions and exploration of our inner selves and our global position within the natural world. In the process, he unexpectedly tapped into his soul and undoubtedly others experienced the same whilst listening to this most original musical installation.

A final word. I had meant to visit this installation last spring but for obvious reasons this was not possible. However, it’s a joy to finally be able to share about it here on my blog!

A GHOST AND HIS GOLD: A BOOK REVIEW

A Ghost and His Gold combines the paranormal with intense violent battle scenes from 1899-1902; it features three ghosts not only haunting a house and its occupants in present-day South Africa but who are themselves haunted by events in their past lives; it’s a story about seeking forgiveness and ultimately finding redemption.

Furthermore the book explores not only the horror of war, concentration camps, scorched earth policy but also date rape, rape, violence against women. Can any ever be forgiven? Can anyone carrying out these acts ever find peace within themselves and acceptance by loved ones again?

Initially, A Ghost and his Gold appears to be a normal paranormal ghost story as Michelle and Tom, both working in the finance sector although she is also a part-time writer, move into their new home. The new townhouse is situated on the site of an old Boer homestead. Michelle immediately senses and sees a presence in the house, one that makes itself known to them and their friends during a party using an Ouija board. Tom, a hard-nosed realist, is sceptical that the man named Pieter was there or even existed.

From the close-third person narrative in 2019, the novel switches to 1900 and Pieter is in his house with the family as he is woken by banging on the door with a warning that the ‘khakis’ (British soldiers) are on the way.

It is in the midst of the Second Anglo Boer War and the events focus on Pieter, his strong-willed wife, their daughter Estelle and other children. Estelle is treated with contempt by her mother, a woman who later rejects her.

As another ghost called Robert makes itself known to Michelle, she discovers his journal written whilst he was a British soldier during the war. The first-person perspective of the journal is especially powerful, personal and direct. During the siege of Mafeking, Robert befriends a young man called Richard and he takes him under his wing.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s research of the period is impressive. Yet she does not fall into the trap of using all her knowledge with a flood of information, rather skilfully incorporates detail where necessary; be it of the furniture or buildings of the era, the form of travel, clothes and she is particularly adept at writing battles scenes, the weapons used, their tragic consequences. I felt as if I was in the midst of the carnage, feeling the horrors experienced by Robert, Pieter and the others.

Whilst Pieter and some of his family and friends have some reservations about the war, their women have no such qualms and see no other option for their ‘Volk’. Tragically they suffer dreadfully during the war and these scenes in the book are not easy to read, horrors repeated many times throughout history and alas in present times.

The third ghost is a poltergeist who first appears on Michelle’s computer screen — this part of the book had me jumping back in fright as I read it! Estelle is consumed with ferocious anger against Tom and as she starts to haunt him he suffers nightmares and becomes increasingly sick, all the time unaware of the cause of his illness. Michelle knows the cause, Estelle, but why does Estelle hate Tom with such frightening malice and enmity? Slowly I learned her history through her own third-person narrative.

Throughout the author manages the nigh-impossible; equally portraying the ruthlessness and violence of both sides as well as their humanity and warmth. It is heart-wrenching to see how the mutual loathing and hatred intensified as the battles were protracted and that both Robert and Pieter, who had briefly met in battle, lose their kindheartedness and compassion. It is only in death that they realise the true cost of war and that so many wrongs need to be righted for them to find peace, for Estelle to be freed from her path of vengeance. However, they need help and at last through Michelle, they have found it!

The finale of the book had me totally engrossed as I read late into the night, with the story building to a crescendo of action and emotional pinnacle I could see no resolution. Luckily the author had and with expertise she brings the book to a terrific conclusion and some light in the darkness.

A brief note regarding the start of the book which begins with a list of names of famous characters from the era along with a timeline of major events. I couldn’t wait to read the novel and skipped these informative pages. They are a valuable resource but feel they might be better placed at the back of the book. The shorter explanatory notes scattered throughout the novel are extremely helpful.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted, or those seeking a simple ghost story or cosy read. One recommended for readers looking for a thought-provoking, action-packed novel with a rich variety of characters set in historical times with a paranormal twist!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: TSL Publications

Available to purchase:

TSL Publications (ebook and paperback)

Lulu

Amazon

Reading Challenge 2021: Oskar’s Quest – Annika Perry

A review from Charley at booksandbakes1 is like seeing my own book anew! Her insight and detailed analysis of ‘Oskar’s Quest’ is extraordinary and has me twirling with joy in my studio!

Comments are closed on my reblog here but I look forward to catching up with you all on her wonderful blog!

booksandbakes1

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you’re all well and are getting into the Easter spirit 🐣! I’m thoroughly enjoying my Easter break – reading plenty, spending time with my family (my support bubble), in the garden and spending time soaking up the warmer days. I seem to have got my writing mojo back so whilst I appreciate it is now April, I have a couple of posts I need to catch up with. Today’s post is the book I chose to read for the reading challenge. The focus for March was: Read a book that was gifted to you. If you’d like to catch up or take part in my reading challenge, please click here for more information. I’m sure all my avid reader blogging friends get books for birthdays, Christmas and then when you decide to treat yourself… or is that just me? Anyway, I had the perfect book in…

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Dear Creative Spirit

Dear Creative Spirit,

Thank you for the gift of creativity.
For the ability to read and write
May I learn to trust Write,
to gain confidence that my words matter.

Thank you for placing these gifts in my hands.
Let the faith you show in me
give me belief in my own ability

Thank you for my precious imagination,
A world without is incomprehensible.
Let it run free and wild.

Give me strength to let loose the reins,
to overcome my many fears and worries
that bind and shackle me.

I see my spirit floating freely
As creativity is unleashed

I imagine these moments of epiphany
I will find you, I will find infinity.

I know there is nothing I cannot do
Thank you for letting me know.

May my words help others, be a support;
May they find enjoyment, humour and
the spirits of their own
lifted within my words.
Giving hope.

My heart is full of joy and excitement
at the thought of my creative capabilities.

©Annika Perry

‘Dear Creative Spirit’ is one of the first exercises set by Julia Cameron in her ‘The Artist’s Way’ and after my initial hesitation of what to write, I found myself inspired as I addressed my own Creative Spirit.

I came across a rough draft of this recently and since have edited it to this final version here – I hope it gives others the ability to trust in their gift. Confidence in one’s capabilities is often the hindrance to even start writing and sharing one’s work.

Clearing out is a task I throw myself at with glee! For some this is a chore, understandably so, whilst for myself, the opportunity to revisit past items, letters, papers is an act of time travel!

Amongst the haul, I unearthed a calendar beneath a desk, papers were strewn on top, dust neatly and evenly covering the surface. I cleaned down the pretty cover and flipped through the images.

The artist is Erkers Marie Persson and for many years she painted for the Swedish Calendar. In her paintings, she tries to capture the wonder of bygone eras when generations mixed easily with each other. The pictures included in my post are taken from this delightful calendar which our company gave away to customers! Thankfully, I retained one as well!

Over Easter, I will be enjoying a ‘home-holiday’ and taking a mini-blogging break, popping in now and then. I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing holiday time!

“A childhood without books — that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.” Astrid Lindgren

MESMERISING MARBLES

Marbles hold a fascination for us all! From the early childhood games, the trick to winning more becomes an obsession and soon one small leather pouch of marbles is just not enough!

However, they quickly become a fleeting memory for most of us but for one Swedish musician his interest in marbles and particularly marble machines only deepened.

During a visit to the Speelklok Museum (self-playing musical instruments) in Utrecht, Martin Molin from Gothenburg was inspired to combine his passion for marble machines, gears and self-playing machines into the most audacious project.

After all, why content oneself with playing a conventional musical instrument when one can build a contraption that uses 2,000 marbles to create an unique and melodic tune.

Each part was hand-crafted, beautifully carved and engineered with tracks, pulleys and funnels collecting and rerouting the marbles. It is a labour of love and a stunning work of art!

Originally Martin Molin, a member of the Swedish folktronica (comprising elements of folk music and electronica) band Wintergatan, thought the project would take two months. Sixteen months later the Marble Machine was ready.

He had created a music box as never seen before!

Marble Machine

The sheer energy is noticeable even before the music is heard as Martin powers up the machine using a hand crank. As the marbles are fed into the multiple feeders they are cleverly released from height via programmable gates, thereby falling and striking various instruments.

The array of instruments is astonishing and include vibraphone, bass guitar, cymbal and emulated kick drum, high hat and snare drum sounds using contact microphones.

The musician felt that “marble machines always make music, but I was thinking maybe I can make a programmable marble machine, that doesn’t make chaos but is actually controllable in the sounds it makes.” He achieves just such control through a music score which is stored on two programmable wheels utilising Lego Technic beams and stud connectors to trigger armatures to release the marbles which even allows for key changes.

The artist’s ingenuity for music and engineering is extraordinary, a whimsical notion resulting in the ultimate marble music machine.

Luckily his passion for the art is flourishing and he has built a new and hugely ambitious Marble Machine X which utilises 50,000 marbles!

For now, the original Marble Machine is on display and partially operating at the museum which inspired him so much and I for one look forward to visiting Utrecht in the future to see it in person!

Marble Machine X

Sources: Google, wikipedia, wired magazine & BBC Radio 3

CREATIVE HAVEN

Often we let our dreams remain just that — a fantasy! A longing etched in the heart and mind, slowly dissipating into oblivion.

One such dream had lightly rested in my spirit for a long time and finally dared to take form within me last spring. For a week or so the idea gently took root, and as always I tried to stomp out the ridiculous notion! It would not obey and instead reached deeper into my consciousness, my dream took on a dramatic design. At last, I could see it! My writing studio!

For another week I pondered the possibilities, the position for such a building in the garden, exploring the numerous different garden offices for sale as well as taking into account the overall cost.

With all the boxes ticked I approached my husband to discuss the plan and his enthusiasm mirrored mine! After much deliberation we settled on a building and time-frame — delivery was organised for the middle of January!

It was wonderful in the midst of this dark and traumatic month here in the UK to have this positive exciting new project underway.

I revelled in planning all the elements of the venture, from the construction to the completion, overseeing all the various stages.

First trees and bushes had to be cleared; I bade a fond sad farewell to a beloved acacia tree and climbing roses. In its place, two super guys laid a cement base and the light and airy feel to the corner lifted my spirits and I could not help but give a little twirl on this temporary perfect outdoor dance floor!

All ready for the cement!
Me in a celebratory twirl on the newly dry cement base (Thank you to Pam at ROUGHWIGHTING for encouraging me in this dance, no snow alas!)

Whilst waiting for the building electricity was an urgent necessity and a professional company explained that this would need to come from the mains in the house. Furthermore, a trench 600 mm (2 feet) deep needed to be dug from the house to the new building for the armoured electrical cable. My husband took on this unenviable task, digging in all weathers, and for all his hard work I happily listened to his descriptive monologues of each varying layer of clay (there are many!)

The final trench

Soon enough the building arrived and the two guys came back to erect the kit-form building.

Floor bearers laid and start of wall construction and panels added!

Within four days, the piles of wood and building parts had been transformed into a magnificent new garden office. At their suggestion decking was laid all around the building and this complemented the modern sleek design perfectly!

Ta-da! My Completed Writing Studio!

With the exterior completed it was time to tackle the interior and at first I was daunted by the gaps between walls, ceilings and floor. No fear, I was reassured by my husband, as all would be finished beautifully and during the coldest days in the year he filled, painted, added skirting, coving, trims as necessary.

In less than two days the electricity was all put into place and at last there was light and power in the building. All in time for the new carpet and curtains.

An opening ceremony was held one sunny evening and with great aplomb, I cut the ribbon strewn across the handles and we stepped inside. My mother poured the champagne she’d brought and we had a wonderful celebratory time picnicking on the soft carpet!

Finally it was time for a heave and a ho! Three days later all my furniture was in place, which included ‘borrowing’ a bookcase from another room and putting my all-important ornaments, knick knacks and pictures into place.

My writing desk side!
The computer desk side!

The pièce de résistance was the most unusual and stunning present from my mother — a beautiful Tiffany lamp. Can you see the dragonflies flitting about?

I have now fully moved in and I am ecstatic. Ensconced within this cosiest of writing retreats I’ve found that creativity has flourished! It is peaceful within, the rain on the roof a mediative tune for my soul, the tap-dancing pigeon gracing me with its presence in-between nibbling seeds below the bird feeder just a metre or so away from me. The light is startlingly sheer and invigorating. Within me the transformation has been astounding, my heart is full of joy and energy, life feels lighter and more positive. Already I feel inspiration bubbling within me!

“Dreams are the illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” Marsha Norman

A snug welcoming haven even at nighttime!

Note: All photographs by & copyright ©Annika Perry

SWAYING ENIGMA

As I headed out into the garden one sunny February afternoon a movement caught my eye; upon the decking the wooden swing seat was gently swaying and for a moment or two endless possibilities swarmed to my mind. A ghostly being seemed to have taken comfort upon the seat, enjoying the wintry sunlight. Alas, the reality is most likely far more mundane and the breeze caught the slats as if a sail.

However, the image would not go away. Luckily I’d taken a video and soon poems came unbidden to me. Here are a couple of them.

The first is in a traditional Haiku format composed of only three lines. The first line of Haiku has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third has 5 syllables.

ROCKING

Childhood memories
Sway with mysterious ease
Gentle cosseting.

©Annika Perry, March 2021

My second poem is a form called Eyeverse and is a four-line poem based around an image. The name was coined by mslexia, a British magazine for women writers founded in 1999 which releases four editions a year.

MOMENTS

Tea spilled on your torn jeans
My curls tousled through your fingers
Our first youthful kisses
A mere ghostly presence.


©Annika Perry, March 2021

THE FREQUENCY OF US: A BOOK REVIEW

Are we where we truly should be? Where we belong with those who love us absolutely? These questions are at the heart of ‘The Frequency of Us’, a novel that defies genres and offers in one sweep romance, elements of the supernatural and hints of a ghost.

I was propelled by explosive force into the book as German bombs fall upon the city of Bath on the fateful night of 26th April 1942. Amongst the terror of the barrage of explosions Will Emerson, a young wireless engineer, dashes to rescue a neighbour’s son who is in Will’s radio workshop. Heading back across the long garden he sees his Austrian wife, Elsa Klein shouting a warning to him; a warning he fails to heed and instead, looking up he sees a bomb heading their way … then there is the light.

At this moment Will’s life and those around him are changed beyond one’s wildest imagination.

He awakens to a world without Elsa, where seemingly no one knows of her and his house has returned to its earlier bachelor self.

Already thoroughly hooked by the superb narrative the novel quickly moves seventy years into the future and introduces Laura James, a young woman whose life is defined by her emotional abuse by her father which led to her chronic anxiety and depression. As her first job back after her breakdown which included strong antidepressants, Laura is assigned as a carer to an elderly gentleman, to assess his needs and possible removal from his rundown home. A house that feels haunted. The home of Will Emerson.

The two are opposites in many ways, Will’s curmudgeonly nature almost drives Laura away, yet they are oddly drawn to each other, finding a form of understanding and gradually she becomes convinced his memories of Elsa and life pre-1942 are not signs of dementia but actual events. Laura’s tenacious research threatens to break her down once again and as she meets people from his earlier years, discovers events from the night of the bombing, Will’s and Laura’s lives become irrevocably intertwined.

Throughout a refrain used constantly by Will and one she heard as young from her father runs through her head: “Everything is always happening.” Somehow this seems the key, but how?

At one particularly low point, suffering from suspected severe medication withdrawal side-effects, Laura reflects wryly: “We are not credible witnesses to our own life.” Of course, the truth is far more complex, immersive and emotionally wrought.

As the mystery deepens the author’s deft handling of the complicated strands of the plot creates an intense read. Only afterwards did I fully appreciate all the clever details which foreshadowed the nail-biting final section of the book. I read like one possessed, racing to finish the book yet rueing the moment I would reach its end.

‘The Frequency of Us’ unfolds through a series of alternating first-person narratives of war-time Will and modern-day Laura. These are interspersed with the occasional voice of other characters which reinforce the story, all created with Keith Stuart’s natural flair.

From the first, I was completely enthralled by ‘The Frequency of Us’, hooked by the combination of heartwarming and vibrant romance and confusing conflicting paranormal events. Will, Laura and the myriad of other characters are portrayed with heart and skill, quickly entering my psyche and remaining there.

This is a superb and original third novel by Keith Stuart and as with ‘A Boy Made of Blocks’ and ‘Days of Wonder’, a book that will stay with me and I highly recommend. I’m eagerly awaiting his next book!

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Publication Date: 25th March 2021

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group / Sphere

Available: Amazon US Amazon UK

SUNLIGHT ON HER FACE

My short stories are usually written without too much planning, although I’ll have a rough idea in my head and maybe some notes scribbled on a paper beside me. However, writing a radio play is another skill set altogether and for this exercise I planned meticulously.

Below is my summary plan of my radio play ‘Sunlight On Her Face’. For those interested in reading the full 15 minute play please click here.

SUNLIGHT ON HER FACE / Summary Plan

The play is called “Sunlight On Her Face” and starts in a prison in 2010s in Buenos Aires as Pedro is shown in by a guard to an interview room. Waiting at a table is the prisoner, a belligerent Carlos who immediately demands cigarettes. The anger and the tension in the room is palpable as the men cannot even start discussions without arguing.

Soon however, Pedro states his reason for coming. He is on a quest to find his sister, Juanita, who vanished 30 years earlier as she was seized off the streets by junta military and is now is one of the 30,000 ‘disappeared’ from the era. Pedro believes Carlos was a soldier at the camp she was held and yes, he does indeed remember the beautiful Juanita from the faded photo Pedro has presented. This is too much for Pedro who threatens to leave. Carlos persuades him to stay.

The next scene cuts to the event shown in the photograph. It is the early 1980s when the family are celebrating Juanita’s 18th birthday. Admist the happy celebrations, conflicts within the family increase as Juanita repeatedly accuses Pedro of causing upset in the family with his illegal activities against the junta. She fears for his life. Tempers are calmed by their mother and the fireworks he brought for her birthday are lit. However, before he leaves for the night the two siblings have a final fraught run-in.

The play returns to the prison and the conflict and bitterness between the Carlos and Pedro develop. Their anger threatens to derail any further talks, however it is Carlos who silences them with his accusation that Pedro is as responsible as the army for Juanita’s fate since Pedro’s actions caused her capture.

Carlos has hit a nerve and the play cuts to the fateful day when on a street, Juanita, who was visiting a friend, runs into Pedro posting leaflets through the letterboxes. She confronts him, shouting and crying, so scared that he is still involved with the student protests. He fails to calm her and then suddenly, brusquely, desperately, he begs her to run. To run for her life. It is too late, two soldiers seize her and bundle her into a truck. Pedro is dragged onto another, all the time screaming her name.

The final scene returns to the prison where drinks are poured, a packet of biscuits opened, both brought in by the embittered guard. Both men know this is the time for the final denouncement.

Carlos starts by saying how lucky Pedro was to be released – an administrative error we learn. Pedro does not feel lucky. Juanita meanwhile was taken to a camp for the women deep in the jungle. There Carlos reveals his admiration for Juanita who courageously started to help the other women.

Then, in shock Pedro learns that Juanita became pregnant and only for that reason was she kept alive until the baby was born. Incandescent Pedro demands more details. All Carlos knows is that a boy was born and then taken over by a couple connected to the top military. There are no records and now Pedro is barely able to talk.

There is a final silence. Carlos declares in justification that he was only following orders. That he had to do what he was told. What did he do? Pedro asks. Uninterrupted Carlos recalls how a group of women were drugged, put on a plane which flew low beneath the radar. It was only one of many such flights. The plane flew east to the Atlantic and the rising sun. As he hauled Juanita to the open door and as she tumbled out the sunlight caught her face, lighting it like an angel.

Pedro leaves Carlos, who is now sobbing, with a chilling message damming him to hell.
The End

DUALITY OF WALKS

Why restrict oneself to only one walk at a time? When two are far more exciting!

As I stride out into my neighbourhood through woods and fields I’m simultaneously traversing the path of an ancient wall 300 miles north and 2000 thousand years in the past.

Nearer to home is a beautiful lake, over a mile long and created when the gardens of the local Hall were designed in the middle of the 18th Century.

The Hall itself was host to such prestigious guests as Elizabeth I and her grand retinue in the 1500s as well as King Louis XVIII. Along with his wife and courtiers the party numbered over 350 people and they resided at the Hall between 1807-1809 after King Louis XVIII fled the French Revolution.

Hall photo courtesy of and copyright © Hello Romance , with thanks.

Nowadays the Hall with its Elizabethan and Georgian aspects is a beautiful wedding venue.

Hall photo courtesy of and copyright © Hello Romance , with thanks.

I’m further immersed in history on my second walk, this time a virtual one as part of The Conqueror Challenge, which involves a fabulous 90 miles following Hadrian’s Wall.

Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north of England and the hike starts off at Wallsend near River Tyne not far from the North Sea and finishes at Bowness-on-Solway near the Irish Sea.

Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans in AD 122 by order of Emperor Hadrian and it was the north-west frontier of the empire for over 300 hundred years.

The landscape is breathtaking and along the 73 miles of the wall, much which is alas not in existence, there are fascinating fort remains to explore!

At home I’m still standing by the lake, soaking up the serenity of the winter peace. During the rest of the year, the 35 acres site is bustling with people and particularly with water skiers, both of national and international competitive standard, including a young man who was in my son’s class at primary school.

Just up the road is the local church and one has existed on the site since 1190. It was built by Audrey De Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford during the reign of Richard I (The Lionheart).

The current church was established in 1435 and looks very much the same now as it did nearly 700 years ago. It is incredible to think that the church registers go back without a break to 1539.

As I leave the church, my walk along Hadrian’s Wall continues and I pause for a while at Homesteads to explore the ruins of ancient Roman military site. At this vantage point, the panoramic views stretch 360 degrees across the stunning countryside and show exactly why the Romans would have chosen this location for the fort. Amongst the ruins, I happen to see the oldest toilet in England!

Following a couple of months of bleak, damp and bitterly cold weather I needed an incentive to set out for daily treks. The inclination was rather low at the thought of walking through the same familiar routes and thankfully I came across The Conqueror Challenge on various blogs to encourage me out every day!

These challenges vary from the extreme to more moderate and Hadrian’s Wall looked just ideal for my first attempt at the challenge.

An app on the phone handily allows me to track my progress as well as seeing my location in 3D on StreetView. Along the way four postcards are emailed to me packed with information and for every 20% completed a tree is planted! Participants of the challenges have ensured more than 450,000 trees have been planted since August 2020. Furthermore, I look forward to receiving a medal upon completion of the walk – I can’t remember if I have ever received one before!

To finish my post I would like to briefly mention a very special man on who passed away on 2nd February 2021.

Sir Captain Tom Moore raised our spirits in 2020 with his warm, kind and positive nature and utter determination and true Yorkshire grit in his own particular charity fundraiser. Born in Keighley, West Yorkshire (a town close to where I grew up), he served in India and Burma during WWII.

Sir Captain Tom shot to fame as he aimed to raise a £1000 for the NHS by walking a lap of his garden on each of the 100 days leading up to his 100 birthday on 30th April 2020. To say he smashed the amount he hoped to raise is an understatement. He raised over £33 million for the NHS Charities Together, an incredible feat for one individual. He gave us all hope and inspiration when it was so sorely needed proving that the human spirit can prevail when so much feels lost.

As the flag at my local church flew at half-mast in his memory, the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ which Sir Captain Tom Moore recorded with Michael Ball played on loop in my head. It rightly became a number one hit in the U.K. in April 2020.

Here is it for you all!