Her Majesty the Queen was subdued on her birthday. So are we all after the film The Towering Inferno became reality at Grenfell Towers. Reality without the hero, without the Hollywood sanitisation protecting us from thinking about slow deaths due to smoke inhalation. The film was clean, vision only. There was no smell of fear, no burning of heat, no difficulty breathing, no choking or coughing. There was no edge of panic in voices and actions. [Read more…] about People First? Some Thoughts on Grenfell Towers
Last week Anne Wan, local children’s author, talked about why writing for children is fun and what she learned from writing her debut novel, Secrets of the Snow Globe: Vanishing Voices. In Part 2 she shares her three top tips for writers and what she loves and loathes about editing. There will be a lot of common ground here for writers in all genres! [Read more…] about Writing Children’s Fiction – Anne Wan Interview Part 2 – Allison Symes
Pet Jackdaws; the start of the Hiltingbury woodland clearance; a lot of orchids; the first Glow-worm for years; angry caterpillars; the Felon’s Grave and beloved Winchester Cathedral.
Gran writes on June 2nd 1948 (at a time, of course, before the introduced Grey Squirrel became such a confounded nuisance, and people’s attitude to it changed:
Cycling along a quiet lane I was startled when a Grey Squirrel leapt off a post almost into my lap, but my surprise was nothing compared to his. He lost his head completely, tried to regain the post but instead plunged into the wire netting beneath it, where he struggled desperately to get through. How I wish the little wild creatures knew that I would never hurt them!
I enjoy interviewing authors for Chandler’s Ford Today. I love finding out their top tips, how they work and what inspires them.
It was a joy then to meet local children’s author, Anne Wan, for tea, coffee and a chat at Bay Leaves Larder recently. Anne has a background in primary school teaching and her book Secrets of the Snow Globe: Vanishing Voices is now out (North Oak Press). [Read more…] about Writing Children’s Fiction – Anne Wan – Interview Part 1 by Allison Symes
Last Thursday (the election day), I attended a rather special event in Chandler’s Ford called “Seniors’ Information and Wellbeing Day”, organised by Home Instead Central Hampshire, a private care service company.
There were 14 exhibitors and a variety of talks during the event, which took place at the Dovetail Centre in Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church. [Read more…] about Great Resources and Information for Seniors
(Editor’s note: The Witness Appeal is issued by Hampshire Constabulary. However Chandler’s Ford Today believes the Hampshire Constabulary possibly meant ‘Hursley Road in Chandler’s Ford’, not ‘Hursley Road in Hursley’. Please read on despite this confusion.)
Officers are appealing for information following a burglary on Hursley Road.
The incident happened at around 5.35pm on Saturday, 10 June when the elderly residents were upstairs watching TV at their home on Hurlsey Road. [Read more…] about Hampshire Constabulary: Witness Appeal: Burglary on Hursley Road
I often drive along Hursley Road on a Friday evening and it seems that almost every week the Give Blood vehicles are parked outside St Boniface church – a blood donor session is underway.
Today (14 June) is World Blood Donor Day, so I thought I would write a little a bit what happens when you give blood – and highlight some of the improvements that have been made over the thirty-plus years that I’ve been a blood donor. [Read more…] about World Blood Donor Day
Sshh – do you want to know a secret about Chandlers Ford? You may not be aware that last year, we were thrilled and proud to publish a collection of short stories called “Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford” . Together with my writing chums, Maggie, Catherine and Sally, we spent a year researching, writing and publishing our first anthology of short stories: “Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford”. We wanted to write stories that were locally set and derived from the happenings and history of this lovely area. We also wanted to reflect Chandlers Ford modern and diverse characteristics. [Read more…] about Sshhh – Do You Want to Know a Secret about Chandlers Ford?
GoPhysio in Chandler’s Ford has begun fundraising to buy a defibrillator to give the local community life-saving equipment. With currently over 30,000 people suffering an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK every year, 90-95% of these people will die if immediate treatment is not given.
With very few in Chandler’s Ford which are available 24 hours a day, goPhysio felt it was critical for the community to have access day and night. It will be stored on the outside of the clinic meaning anyone can use it in an emergency (address: 11 Bournemouth Road, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh SO53 3DA). [Read more…] about Life-saving Defibrillator Fundraising For Chandler’s Ford
On Monday morning 5th June 2017, I, along with my wife Val, my sister, Heather Witham (Nee Vining), my brother Simon Vining and his son Bob Vining met with Rob Preston to see what progress had been made in the refurbishments of Hiltonbury Farmhouse since I was last there a couple of weeks ago.
It is certainly a “Proper” Building site now as it was a requirement for all of us to sign the visitors book and that we all wore high viz jackets and proper boots or to use the technical term we all had to wear “PPE” Personal Protective Equipment. [Read more…] about The Vinings Invade Hiltonbury Farmhouse!
I like one-liners. Comedians use them of course but one-liners are invaluable to fiction writers too. One-liners can end a story or film with a gasp or a giggle. They can turn a story on its head at the very last moment.
Equally, use one-liners at the start of a tale and they can draw a reader into the story with powerful imagery. They can convey information in a few, well chosen words and because the good one-liner has to have impact, there’s no room for waffling and so can make a great writing exercise for learning how to “write tight”. [Read more…] about One Liners by Allison Symes
Who should I vote for in the forthcoming election? A person or party with political gravitas, one that shows qualities of statesmanship. Or should it be statespersonship? Where are such people? I only see squabbling fourth-formers exchanging slogans as if they embody the solution to the world’s problems.
Our politicians try to do their best but they are products of the system which seems to me to be flawed. But that is a story for another day.
[Read more…] about Who Should I Vote for?
Following Janet’s post with Carl Maskelyne’s pictures of the “Flying Scotsman” locomotive, I thought I’d post this short video of it pulling a train out of Stirling the other day.
It’s a fine beast and my video clip, though a bit amateurish, builds the expectation nicely, giving brief glimpses of smoke in the trees, before it bursts into view in all its splendour. [Read more…] about The Flying Scotsman in Scotland
Everything in the garden is in full swing now. Dead head spent flowers so that the plants don’t use all their energy into making seedheads, rather they can produce more blooms instead.
Carry on cutting the lawns regularly, mow in different directions to prevent wear patterns and to encourage upright growth. [Read more…] about Gardening Tips for June from Wellie
Just to let people know that the Twyford Waterworks Trust is having one of their interesting Open Days on Sunday, 4th June.
Information taken from their website:
Sunday 4th June 2017
Today we will be focusing on our industrial railway. [Read more…] about Twyford Waterworks Open Day: Sunday, 4th June 2017
Carl Maskelyne from Chandler’s Ford took these wonderful pictures of the Flying Scotsman when it came through Chandler’s Ford yesterday morning (Wednesday 31st May 2017).
These photos were taken at the new footbridge in Sutherland Way just down from Chandler’s Ford station (heading towards Flexford Road). There was around 50 people there and the Flying Scotsman came through at around 10:25am. [Read more…] about The Flying Scotsman in Chandler’s Ford
Andy Wells will be running from Chandler’s Ford to Naomi House and Jacksplace on Saturday, the 3rd of June, 2017.
Andy is raising money for the charity in his son Ethan’s name. [Read more…] about Fundraising: Andy is Running from Chandler’s Ford to Naomi House and Jacksplace
Moths emerge in the breeding cages; the “Devon Belle” takes Gran on holiday; memories of a visit to Italy in 1922; The Artist Dorothy Adamson, and a pair of Ring Ouzels.
May 7th 1948:
In Kingsway the beautiful and unusual Adam Laburnum is just coming into flower. M. Adam, a French nurseryman in 1826 grafted a bud of Purple Laburnum on to a yellow. The hybrid tree produces three kinds of flowers, the yellow of one parent, purple of the other and the pink hybrid flowers. This is the most celebrated record of hybridization.
[Read more…] about Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 17)
On 22nd May I went to my old home Hiltonbury Farmhouse to meet Rob Preston the new tenant who is planning to open this wonderful old Farmhouse as a restaurant in early July this year.
Rob is a great entrepreneur who has been in and around the wine and drinks industry all his working life but always wanted to work on “The other side of the bar” as he put it and open a family restaurant setting a high standard for good food and excellent service. [Read more…] about A Special Visit to “Hiltonbury Farmhouse”
So, in two weeks time – and three years earlier than we expected – we have a general election to look forward to. Some people may have reacted to this news with “a chance to get rid of the current government”; others with “a chance to give the government a greater mandate”. But for many it is possibly “here we go again”. [Read more…] about General Election 2017