Archive of ‘Creative Non-Fiction’ category

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

50 years ago – 22nd November 1963 to be exact – the 35th president of the United States was assassinated as he rode with his wife in an open-topped car in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. That date is indelible to every American of my vintage. We all know where we were, what we were doing and how we heard this terrible news. I was in senior year of high school in Pleasantville, New York. We were having a history lesson when students from the physics lab across the hall came charging out, screaming that President Kennedy had been shot. They’d just successfully completed their project which was to construct a radio – and as soon as they tuned it in, that was the first thing they heard. The news spread round the school like wildfire. (more…)

Hurricane British Style – memories of the Great Storm of ‘87

A candlelit supper. Romantic you say? After eight consecutive nights of it, not to mention eight early morning breakfasts of it, as well as several dark, rainy (remember, this is England!) days of it – romantic? NO!

By some bizarre quirk of fate, this basically urbanite, art-and-culture loving American married an open fields-and-bosky woods-mad Englishman, and ended up living in rural Sussex in a cosy old country cottage.

Enter: One large hurricane.

Exit: Electricity and telephone for eight long days and nights. (more…)

Not Dead Yet – a visit to a retirement show

It was a typical Sunday morning. We’d had our breakfast, listened to the Omnibus Edition of ‘The Archers’ and were immersed in our reading of the Sunday papers when Alan interrupted with a news flash.

‘Have a look at this. There’s going to be a Retirement Show in London. The advert says there will be more than 70 stands. Do you fancy going?’ (more…)

The Holiday from Hell – something ABTA couldn’t tell me

BIENVENUE

Moules! Frites! Fromage! Vin!

A recently divorced neighbour had invited us to join him in his beloved cottage near the picturesque town of Cahors in southern France. It was July – and (surprise! surprise!) cold and wet in England – so we were really looking forward to basking in the reliable sunshine of Le Lot. It had been a trying time for Bill since his wife had left him, and as Michael and I had been particularly supportive, this holiday was his way of repaying our kindness. (more…)

Lily of the Valley – yes, my fingers are green

I was born in the merry month of May, the month when lily of the valley blooms and permeates the air with its heady fragrance. Is it any wonder that I love that flower? My grandmother’s birthday was May 14th. I was supposed to be her birthday present but was a tad lazy and was born on the 16th. Although we did not share a common birthday, Nana and I certainly shared our love for these dainty, bell-like white flowers. (more…)

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