There are places that remain in our memories, the details may become slightly blurred, nostalgia may colour our thoughts, but they don’t fade. And how those places made us feel at the time is the one thing that remains.
Today I’m welcoming Georgia Rose, one of my online friends whom I’ve known for a long time, and had the great pleasure in meeting and getting to know her in real life at Barb Taub’s writing retreat on Arran, a few weeks ago.
Thank you for inviting me onto your splendid blog, Judith. This has been a lovely post to think about and write.
I lived in several different houses as a child but the one I loved and think about most frequently we moved from when I was only about four.
It was a rather grand looking terraced Georgian property that needed plenty of work doing to it and had some unusual features. One of which was that it was built on the side of a hill. This meant that to go out into the garden you had to go up a rather beautiful staircase (I fell down it once, put my tooth through my lip and still have the scar to prove it) onto a large landing and out through double doors onto a covered veranda and then into the garden.
It was in this garden that my phobia of chickens started. Mum kept hens, however they frequently escaped from their run and I remember being too frightened to go and play if they were out as they were on beady eye level to me, and had vicious beaks. The funny thing was that mum couldn’t eat the eggs they laid so she would sell her eggs to the shop over the road. And then buy any eggs we needed, from the shop over the road…
Because the garden was on a level with the second floor of the house there was only a short distance up one side to get to the roof. Our small dog, Maginty, loved to climb up onto the roof so he could sit by the chimney. Unsurprisingly he often caught the attention of passers-by on the pavements below and concerned people would knock on the door to tell mum there was a dog on her roof. Unsurprisingly I think she got quite blasé about situation. One icy morning mum was again trying to reassure some alarmed person who had knocked on the door but when they wouldn’t give up and asked her to come outside to look, she found that Maginty had lost his footing and was splayed across the slates, trying not to slip off the roof to a certain death.
I am so familiar with this story I can see all of this in my mind but now have no idea if I actually witnessed it or if I’m purely remembering what I’ve been told. What I do know is that I have no idea how Maginty was rescued (because of course he was rescued, dear reader) although I imagine it must have involved a fireman’s ladder because of the height of the roof from the road.
There was also a wonderful attic in this house. A small door led off the wide landing then there was a short flight of stairs up to another level and although it was always called the attic, it was also my bedroom for a while. It had a small window that opened among all the foliage that grew over the veranda and bare boards on the floor. And it was in this room that early one Christmas morning, having discovered a packed stocking at the end of my bed, I opened up a selection box and bit into my first and last Marathon (now Snickers). That introduction to nuts enough to put me off eating them my entire life.
The other majorly exciting thing to say about this house was in the cellar. It is well known that Henry VIII sent Catherine of Aragon to live at Ampthill Castle, situated in Ampthill Park, from 1531 to 1533 while he sorted out their divorce. Rumour has it that there was a passageway that led under the park from that castle as some sort of escape route. Now, this favourite house of mine is close to Ampthill Park, and my dad had a workshop in the cellar. When I went down those cellar steps there was, and presumably still is, a large circular brick lined start to what looked like a tunnel. It was tall enough for a man to be able to stand up in it and a short way back into it, it had been filled in with earth. I may be being fanciful of course with my imaginings but then what are childhoods for if not for dreams and what-ifs?
My parents were young and dealing with all the challenges small children bring as well as doing all the work the house needed. I suppose with my child-sized view of life back then I have rather romantic memories of it and thought the house perfect just as it was. I remember a beautiful dress my mum made for me there and her bringing me cheese and pickle sandwiches in bed when I was ill, which for some reason I ate while sitting under an umbrella. I remember playing with the fuses from plugs while sitting with dad when he was mending something and swallowing a couple by accident. And I remember enjoying sticking my fingers repeatedly into the putty he had used to replace a window. I wonder if he ever noticed and smoothed it out again or if the indents my stubby fingers made are still there?
I guess I get a warm feeling whenever I think about this house because of its character and beauty and the fact that while we lived there my family were still together.
Interview Resources & Information for Georgia Rose
|Facebook Page||Georgia Rose – Author | Facebook|
|Bio||Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. Following completion of the trilogy she was asked for more and so wrote a short story, The Joker, which is based on a favourite character from the series and the eBook is available to download for free at the retailer of your choice. Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre and its sequel, Loving Vengeance, has now completed The Ross Duology. She is now embarking on her third series – A Shade Darker. Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her passion for people watching and her overactive imagination. She has also recently started running workshops and providing one-to-one support for those wishing to learn how to independently publish and you can find her, under her real name, at www.threeshirespublishing.com. Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing. Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband.|
A Killer Strikes by Georgia Rose – publication date 1 January 2023
The perfect family… The perfect murders…
A family massacred. A village in mourning. Can anyone sleep safely while a killer is on the loose?
Laura Percival, owner of The Stables, notices something wrong at her friend’s house when out on her morning ride. Further investigation reveals scenes she’ll never forget.
While the police are quick to accuse, Laura is less so, defending those around her as she struggles to make sense of the deaths. And all the time she wonders if she really knew her friends at all.
A chance encounter opens up a line of investigation that uncovers a secret life. One that Laura is much closer to than she ever realised.
A Killer Strikes is a gripping domestic thriller. If you like character-driven action, suspenseful storytelling and dark revelations then you’ll love this exciting novel.
Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/AKillerStrikes
Genres: Psychological thriller, domestic suspense
Formats: eBook (available to pre-order now), paperback and hardback to be available by 1 January 2023.