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01/27/2012 Archived Entry: "January 2012 update"

Here’s my latest update on activities since my last post.

We had a very enjoyable festive season with family in York. On Christmas Day we were with daughter Sarah, Marc and their three boys, plus our middle daughter, Tricia, and while Marc and Sarah prepared a sumptuous Christmas lunch with turkey and all the trimmings, we joined the boys in front of their lovely new wood burning stove. They were more than happy to entertain us, especially to demonstrate their skills with new electronic gadgets. Our own present from Santa was an Ipad and the boys were very keen to get their hands on that.

Rhoda Walker beside the River Ouse on Boxing Day on our way to York

Rhoda Walker beside the River Ouse on Boxing Day on our way to York - photo uploaded by Cornwell Internet!

Then on Boxing Day we all got together with our eldest daughter, Janet, Duncan and four grandchildren at their house. Our son, Andrew, (whom I may have mentioned before is a Buddhist monk) wasn’t able to join us as he had commitments at his monastery in Northumberland. However, he was able to spend time with us after New Year and we had a day with him doing more research on my book about the Catholic martyr, Fr Nicholas Postgate. I’ve only recently realised that Fr Postgate lived only a few hundred yards from the cottage where I was born, so the three of us went off to investigate. We discovered my birthplace is now a holiday cottage and was unoccupied, but the kindly neighbours invited us in for a cup of tea and Christmas cake, served with a slab of cheese in the traditional Yorkshire way. After much reminiscing and chat we took our leave and headed off to Sandsend on the coast near Whitby. I’d promised Rhoda we’d fit in a walk on the beach, but as we parked up we noticed the tide was very high. However, it was on the turn and we were able to squeeze in a bracing walk much to Rhoda’s pleasure.

A few days after this, we had a major office panic - Rhoda’s computer crashed. “I’ve got a blue screen and dire messages.” she said. I went to have a look “Hmm, nasty…” I hadn’t a clue what to do. We tried all the usual tricks like rebooting and unplugging things but the blue screen kept returning to menace us. In the end we capitulated and sent for Andy, our computer chap, and now we have a brand new state of the art Applemac. The beautiful wide screen looks amazing and it ‘talks’ to our new Ipad, which is great, but trying to get to grips with all the applications is challenging to say the least. “You’ll fall for it and absolutely love it.” Andy was very reassuring. So far this courtship is proceeding somewhat slowly and the next test of this love affair is to see if I can persuade our new toy to add a picture to this diary entry. We’ll see! Computer-savvy grandson No.1 is coming over on Sunday to take some photographs for his GCSE Fine Art exam so if I get stuck he’ll no doubt come to my aid. I’m chuffed that Oliver has chosen where I live for his project. He says he has happy memories of the places we’ve taken him and the time he has spent here with us. So I reckon if I ferry him around on Sunday and Rhoda cooks him his favourite roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, then he’ll help me with my computer lessons.

On a more sombre note, I had a bit of bad news this month – my dear friend and fellow writer Reg Hill died. I remember meeting him in 1973 at the very first Crime Writers’ Association annual conference in Harrogate and we’ve been friends ever since. Rhoda and I often met up with Reg and his charming wife Pat at writers’ weekends. He was a lovely man and we will miss him. However, we can still enjoy reading his brilliant crime novels and watch his Daziel and Pasco characters on television.

And finally, I’m still working on a couple of books and, though there is some interest in them, I have to do further work on them. I’ll let you know how things progress.

Till then Rhoda and I send you our good wishes for a very happy new year.

Nicholas Rhea

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