SEVEN POSTCARDS

Dearest Bob,

The heron is in full flight alongside the canalboat, just like the one we saw on our first trip. Then it was so sunny and warm, now just drizzle and chilly. God, I wish you here.

Love you, Sheila xx

Dear Bob,

More downs today. Beth and Gary bickered non-stop through all three locks; remember those just before the Moorhen pub. You and I laughed our way through them, our playful giggles no doubt both a balm and irritation to fellow travellers. Much better than the rotten language and atmosphere permeating the deck and tow-path today.

Your one and only, Sheila xx

Hi Bob!

At last the sun and as promised I took out the painting set you bought for me. Thank you again! I think I’ve captured your likeness and spirit very well, although the colours smudged a smidgen. No, neither wine nor river water alas, rather tears. My eyes and my life still blurred, awash and adrift.

With all my love, Sheila xx

Bob,

You won’t believe it! I sold a sketch! I can just imagine your guffaw followed by your proud bear hug. The picture? A fair representation of the humpback bridge near Beasley lock. Oh, the tunnels we go through and this time no songs to echo inside them; our dear kind friends would be mortified if I broke out into ‘Three Little Maids’! That’s just between you and I!

Loving you always, Sheila xx

Dearest Bob, history buff,

You would have loved to wander around the ‘castle’ again as pictured on the front. Or as I see them, a heap of ruins, just stones. Last time I felt an ethereal presence. Do you remember? Now it all seems drab … dead. Oh dear, I fear I’m becoming a morose travelling companion. Three is such an awkward number.

Missing you, Sheila xx

Bob,

Laughter and smiles today! Ten locks successfully negotiated, without a sour word. Then pub lunch at the Keeper’s Inn! We all raised a glass for your birthday. Bother, I didn’t mean to cry then. Hate that you’re not here.

Lovingly yours, Sheila xx

My dear soulmate, husband, best friend, my Bob!

Home tomorrow! A bittersweet return. As the lone oak tree on the postcard, so am I — truly alone. Two months of crushing grief, loneliness, of missing you, our life together. Your spirit has been with me every day of the trip, it always will be. Though I’ll always treasure our time together, our memories, I must forge ahead with my own life.

RIP dearest Bob, our love will last into eternity. Sheila xx

©Annika Perry, 2021

The above piece was inspired by Writing Magazine’s exercise in which to write a story in seven postcards. All seven postcards to be from to the same person to the same recipient.

NB. All photos from Pixaby.

“A Message of Courage, Kindness and Friendship.”

They say a picture paints a thousand words and with this in mind I’m overjoyed to share some photos of a young lady enjoying my children’s book “Oskar’s Quest”.

However, words still play a huge role and I’m very happy to include the following five-star review of the book by Erica, the girl’s grandmother and best friend!

“Oskar’s Quest” is a beautifully illustrated book sharing a message of courage, kindness and friendship. Annika Perry has a gift for writing up, not down to children. Even very young children are attentive, curious and observant. My four year old Granddaughter and I love reading “Oskar’s Quest!” My Granddaughter has already memorized parts of this book, especially the sound effects. She loves following “Oskar,” the blue bird, and “Maya,” the golden bird, throughout the story. Often a key to an engaging children’s book is how the adult also enjoys reading the book over and over and over again. I highly recommend “Oskar’s Quest!”

Many thanks to Erica not only for this wonderful review, but also for the permission to use the photographs of Abby. The copyright of these is held by Erica.

I have only known Erica a few months here on WP and already value her as a kind and thoughtful friend. Although not a reviewer before she quickly understood how important and key reviews are to a writer.

An inspirational person, her posts are always a joy to read, touching on adventures, travels, family and nature! She is also humble and almost by accident I learnt of her travel writing, love of running, taking part in Half Corked Marathon and Great Walk of 63.5 km. Do take a look at her blog Behind The Scenery.

Finally, I am elated to announce the first foreign language version of “Oskar’s Quest”. The translator, Marion Roberts, worked tirelessly to translate my children’s book … working wonders with text and especially the popular albeit tricky sound effect/onomatopoeic words!

Heartfelt thanks to David Cronin for formatting the latest version of my book and I appreciate all his work – without his help it would not be here! As simple as that!

Below is a picture of my favourite teddy, Minky, as he’s enjoying “Oskar’s Abenteuer”. Luckily he’s fluent in German having accompanied me on my studies at the Karl-Marx University in Leipzig and University of Tübingen. (btw. ‘Abenteuer’ means ‘Adventure’)

Purchase Links for “Oskar’s Quest“:

Paperback Amazon UK Kindle Amazon UK Paperback Amazon CA

Paperback Amazon US Kindle Amazon US Kindle Amazon CA

Purchase Links for “Oskar’s Abenteuer“:

Amazon UK Amazon US Amazon DE

FRIENDSHIP

img_0094

From a young age we all strive to form friendships, to feel that special moment of ‘oh yes, you get me’ as kindred spirits meet, cautiously at first then unconsciously a life-long friendship is cemented. To have even one two o’clock in the morning friend, on whom to call without fear of disturbing in moments of need, fear, sadness or even celebration  is a blessing indeed.

img_0095

The subject of friends has been on my mind this week as a dear and very close friend celebrated her birthday. As I bombarded her email with birthday messages, some posted here today, the sentimental and poignant quotations struck a chord with me. 

Only our truest friends know us to the core, the inner worries, the films and books that will bring us to tears of laughter. Only lifelong friends from young know the ‘whole’ us, events at school, childhood, teenage years that are so instrumental in forming the person of today. Only with them can you reminisce about the broken hearts of young love, the friendship breakups which cut so deep, the scars still raw.

img_0097

As we exit what is hopefully the haven of home a cloak descends upon us – for better or worse. We can’t help it! In the midst of desperation, a smile will be plastered across our face as we greet others in the street, at work. In a snatched lunch hour an email full of your true feelings will be sent and soon the ping of reply from a good friend brings soothing comfort and support.

img_0092

Friendships take many shapes and when young you believe friendship is one solely between peers. The sense of joy is overwhelming when you realise how short-sighted, how juvenile you’ve been and a close friendship strikes up between your parents and your more mature self, as a closer warmth and care for your grandparents develops and later you become aware that the security of friendship is found not only in platonic relationships but also in loving ones. This really does feel like hitting the jackpot!

img_0093

Like relationships, friendships take work – hard work at times! Like relationships there can be break-ups, big ones that reverberate across a large group of people, as the ground shifts, old friendships crumble, new ones are formed. Unlike most relationships, friendships can be sustained for months, even years, with only remote contact – it is amazing how one can sense the others problems, call just at the right time, how easy it is to slot back into relaxed chat after a three-year hiatus apart and pick up the conversation as if from the day before. 

The journey of life, with its highs of happiness and lows of loss and suffering, would be unbearable without the constant presence of friends – the shared expedition easing the load, doubling the joy.

img_0096

As friendships take new format in the world of interconnectedness a new source of inspiration, support and sharing is created. Its warm glow a ray of sunshine and hope on the many bleak aspects of the internet.

So, to new friends here on WP, I ask you to join in a virtual celebratory toast to friendships everywhere! 

champagne-glasses