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11/27/2012 Archived Entry: "November update"

I have good news to report today. At long last, and after several re-writes and anxious waits, ‘Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey’ has found a publisher. It feels like the cloud has lifted and I can see the horizon beyond. I felt it warranted opening a bottle of fizzy stuff to celebrate. Will let you know more when I have a date for publication.

Ampleforth Abbey

We took a neighbour to Ampleforth Abbey on Remembrance Sunday to hear Ampleforth Schola sing the Faure requiem. The abbey is within walking distance of our home and we go every year. Soloist, Robert Connell, came from Manchester Cathedral to add his rich baritone voice. It was quite moving sitting in the huge Nave listening to Faure’s beautiful piece and it gave us an opportunity to reflect and remember those who lost their lives in conflicts around the world.

On family matters, Tricia, my middle daughter, was up from Bournemouth on business recently and so we had an excuse to meet up for a family lunch at Pizza Express in York. She is still working towards getting her book made into a film and is looking for more development investment. It would seem it takes even longer to get a film underway than it does to get a book into print. However she remains steadfastly confident it will happen.

We have been a bit concerned recently about our eldest grand-daughter, Eleanor – I mentioned earlier that she is at university in Louisiana on a tennis scholarship. She sustained a shin splint injury which, unfortunately, developed into a stress fracture and she is off tennis for 6 weeks. However, she is not one to dwell on adversity and last weekend she hobbled off to celebrate Thanksgiving at the home of an American friend in Lafayette. She’s also had the opportunity to see some of the best American football players in action at the famous New Orleans superdome. All new and exciting experiences that she will remember for the rest of her life.

Back at home in England, her sister, Anna, is busy sorting out her own university applications and has received a couple of offers so far. She is interested in pharmacy and is working hard on her A-levels to get the necessary grades. She has just had her first driving lesson.

I have briefly mentioned the girls’ brother Angus, in a previous diary entry. He is also a very keen and talented tennis player and took up a scholarship at Millfield School in Somerset in September. He’d never been away from home before but settled into boarding life remarkably well and loves it. He’s always been a very active boy and was often bored at school, but now he says he actually enjoys going into lessons. When he is not in class he is playing tennis all over south-west England. However he has not deserted his roots and will be back up here to play for Yorkshire during the Christmas holidays.

Izzy has just returned from a school trip to Bewerley Park Outdoor Education Centre near Pateley Bridge. I think it rained most days but she joined in all the activities, which involved much water and mud but she came home happy if somewhat tired. I guess all the late night chattering and midnight feasts didn’t help .

Oliver, another grandson, gained a Distinction in his GCSE IT exam and has started a computer and business studies course at York College. He was one of those unfortunate students who sat the O-level English exam later in the year than others and was given a lower grade. His headmaster thought he deserved better and asked for a remark which resulted in a belated pass. However, he likes the course he has chosen, and is doing well so has decided to stick with it.

Like most of the UK we have had torrential rain for days, but I’m just going to take advantage of a sudden break in the clouds and try to get a photo for my piece.

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