Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck- #Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu? by Janet Gogerty


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first post from author Janet Gogerty and this week a post from Janet’s archives in February of this year.. which, six months later is still very current.

Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu?

Whether you jet set on business or love going on cruises, you can’t have failed to notice there are more hazards to travel lately. Your cruise ship may weigh anchor and keep all the passengers hostage – in quarantine because of Coronavirus, which we now have to call Covid19, though that doesn’t slip as easily off the tongue. If you’re lucky you may get to have your own videoblog as self appointed spokesman to your national television channel and the folk back home. If you’re unlucky you will have a cabin without a balcony, a government that will not evacuate you and test positive for the virus.

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Is flying any better? You may not be allowed on the plane if you have a temperature, you may not be allowed off the plane until you can be hermetically sealed and sent off to a quarantine centre; though that could be the start of a pleasant fortnight’s holiday if a nice hotel has been commandeered. World wide plague is not the only hazard for fliers. Storms hurling themselves across the Atlantic to Europe have caused mass cancellation of flights, but that is better than the Ryanair passengers on a flight from Prague, that in hindsight should have been cancelled. Thrice, pilots attempted to land at Bournemouth Airport as passengers screamed and hyperventilated. They abandoned the attempt and with petrol running low were diverted to Brussels from whence they returned to Prague…

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Although I hardly ever go anywhere outside this kingdom I can give advice on ocean liners and airliners. Cyberson 2, builder and pyrotechnics expert, has often worked at Southampton, sending up fireworks to farewell passengers on their trip of a lifetime, or often their twentieth or perhaps their last… The first time he worked there, one of the regular workers on the docks described the arrival of an ocean liner ‘The first thing that happens, they bring all the bodies off.’ Whether this is due to the age of the passengers, the vast amount of food provided or terminal boredom, I cannot say, but it sounds like a good way to go. Perhaps if you pay extra you can have a burial at sea. My longest voyage was on ‘The Pride of Bilbao’ from Portsmouth to Bilbao and back again on an off season excursion, where the only hazard was the live entertainment.

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Storm Dennis was not the only problem at Heathrow Airport on Sunday as ‘technical issues’ created chaos. Whiteboards, marker pens and extra staff were drafted in to ensure chaos continued. When I worked at Heathrow I won’t pretend I was not occasionally envious of passengers jetting off somewhere exotic, but mostly I was glad I could go home and would always advise DON’T even THINK of flying at Easter or Christmas. One Christmas Eve, working in Singapore Lounge, the evening flight was delayed, putting Christmas on hold in Singapore and Australia for those who celebrated it. I cringed as a young colleague said in a loud voice in front of the passengers ‘That’s ALL I need.’ We would be late finishing, but she only had to get home to Osterley Park and none of us were going to miss Christmas.

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Singapore Airlines treated their customers with oriental respect and had letters printed out and delivered to them explaining delays. When we worked in British Airways lounges catering staff were left to soothe disgruntled passengers. The huge lounge in Terminal 1 catered for the many short haul flights, very different from the serene atmosphere of quieter business lounges. There was an endless surge of passengers, the buffet bars constantly replenished, platters of sandwiches devoured instantly. I only worked there a couple of times, but one weekend a story came from our colleagues. There was a strike on; passengers kept coming in, but none went out. Then the British Airways staff abandoned the desk leaving the catering staff to deal with the ever increasing braying mob; in the end they called the police.

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What were your worst travel experiences? You can tell us about your good journeys, but that might not be so amusing…

©Janet Gogerty 2020

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

Books by Janet Gogerty

One of the recent reviews for At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

Jane Deans 4.0 out of 5 stars A series of gentle mysteries Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2020

This work is a series of short stories on the theme of ‘missing persons’ linked by the central character, Toby who is an amateur detective, himself attempting to find a missing girlfriend. The settings and characters are reminiscent of seaside postcards and evoke a bygone England of conventional households and family relationships. Most of the stories were gentle mysteries and there are references to familiar pub chains and English tourist destinations. The only parts that jarred for me were the elements containing a robot and one with a ghost, both of which were implausible in the context of the other stories.

Janet Gogerty, Buy:Amazon UK – And :Amazon US – Goodreads:Goodreads – Blog: Tidal Scribe WordPress – Twitter: @ytregog

 

Thank you for dropping by today and Janet would love to read your feedback and if you would like to participate in this series here is the link again: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – How long does it take to write a novel? by Janet Gogerty


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the second post from regular contributor to the archive posts, author Janet Gogerty.

Janet explores a subject that relevant to all of us who have works in progress… and then find when we get around to finishing the project the world has moved on from the original start point, including events, locations and technology.

How long does it take to write a novel?

An image posted by the author.

How long does it take to write a novel? I am going to go for 2014 as the conception of my latest novel ‘At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream’. The character of Tobias Elliot Channing, the holder of a degree in psychology and registration as a private investigator, first appeared in a short story ‘The Ambassadors’ in Audio Arcadia’s audio book anthology imaginatively titled Short Stories Volume One.

It then appeared in a paperback edition An Eclectic Mix Volume One in 2015, with a wonderfully colourful cover. Toby’s actual birth had come about when our exercise for writers’ group was to create a detective character. The story idea came from Pete at my other writers’ group – write something inspired by the painting The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger which hangs in the National Gallery.

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In February 2014 the Valentine’s Night Storm gave me an idea for the start of A Story, but what the story would be I had no idea. Compared with other natural disasters in the world our storm in Britain was a minor event, but three people were killed. Our house shook during the night even though we are ten minutes walk from the cliff top, further along the coast, at Milford-on-Sea, a Valentine’s romantic dinner turned into a disaster movie; a ‘freak’ wave picked up shingle and smashed it through the panels that make up the front of the art deco building, the diners were eventually rescued by army vehicles. Metro: Dream Valentines Day meal turns to nightmare.

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The weather forecasts warned everyone to stay away from the coast the next morning; so we walked ( okay I dragged Cyberspouse, saying it would be fun to take the scenic route to the local shops ) to the cliff top to see high tide. It was exciting, no chance of being blown off the cliff as you could lean into the south westerly coming off the sea and taking your breath away. But as we clung to the low fence on the cliff top and peered over we got a shock, piles of smashed wood washed over by the waves, rows of beach huts reduced to matchwood. And that is when I had my idea; but you will have to read the novel to find out why Ellen Green was so afraid when she looked over the edge of the cliff that morning.

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Fed up with waiting for me to get on with writing the novel, Toby Channing drove his camper van into two very different novellas I was writing, which along with The Ambassadors are part of the collection ‘Someone Somewhere’ published in 2017. ‘Someone For The Weekend’ and ‘Durlswood’ became two of his strangest cases.

What has happened in the intervening two years? Lots of blogging and writing; strangely only five months pass during the novel and the passing of time makes no difference to Tobias Elliot Channing because he is firmly fixed in 2014. It is just as well this novel had a fixed starting point, because writing novels ‘in the present’ is just about impossible. How the world has changed in the past five years…

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©Janet Gogerty 2019

About Janet Gogerty

 

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

Janet’s latest book, a thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

About the book

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days.

In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

A review for Quarter Acre Block

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars History remembered and relived…

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.

This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Janet on: Goodreads

Connect to Janet

Blog: Tidal Scribe WordPress
WebsiteCC Side Writer
Facebook: Beach Writer
Twitter: @ytregog

Thanks to Janet for sharing her journey to publishing her latest novel, and I am sure that like me you have a similar tale to tell… Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – #mystery – Wish you were Here by Janet Gogerty


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post from regular contributor to the archive posts, author Janet Gogerty. Janet shares a short story based on the popular pastime of sending postcards to family and friends when on holiday…

An image posted by the author.

I started collecting picture post cards when I was eight and still buy them on holiday to send to the oldest and youngest in the family; people like getting mail through their letter box, including Pete who blogs as beetleypete. When he asked if people still sent postcards bloggers started sending them, as you can see on his blog post. Postcards from blogging friends – Beetley Pete

‘If anyone else would like to post one to me, you can read my address easily, and your card will be featured in Part Two. Thanks again to all of you who took the time and trouble to send me a card.’

When we were away in Whitby I bought an extra card and as I sat down to write ( and here’s my confession – I don’t get around to writing postcards till about two weeks after returning ) and saw the piece of paper on which I had written his address lying on the table, it gave me an idea for a dark story. The names and places have been changed to protect the innocent! Thanks to Pete for the idea.

Wish you were Here…

19

Detective Inspector Greaves stepped through the front door, he needed to go no further to see the body. The scene was bloodless, but any impression that the woman had died of natural causes was cast aside when another step revealed a large syringe stuck in the back of her neck. Why would the killer leave the evidence when it could have been the perfect murder?

‘Where’s the husband?’ Greaves asked the uniformed officer.

‘In the kitchen, doing the washing up Sir.’

‘What! Crime scene, evidence… did you stop and think?’

‘No Sir, he said his wife liked to have everything clean and tidy if they were having visitors.’

Further discussion was pointless, he sent the officer outside to keep a little band of neighbours at bay and stepped carefully round the body to make his way to the kitchen, where a middle aged man was vigorously polishing a glass.

‘She always liked to leave the house tidy when we went out, in case anything happened to us while we were out and the police had to break in and…’

‘Mr… Mr. Stanton isn’t it? I need to ask you a few questions… When you came home was the front door locked?’

‘Yes, everything looked normal until I unlocked the door.’

‘And where were you today?’

‘With the chaps, four of us, been away on a three day golf break, they dropped me off first, drove off before I got inside.’

‘So they can confirm that. Did you call your wife while you were away?’

‘Yesterday morning.’

‘Was that the last time you spoke or had any contact, no emails, whatsapp?’

‘Yes, she was fine, enjoying the peace, no sign… who… it doesn’t make sense…’

For the first time the man showed emotion, but shock could do strange things. When Greaves had sat the man in the police car with two officers he returned alone to gain an impression of the home and the lives of these two people. An ordinary house in a quiet road that had never drawn attention to itself before; nothing could be assumed, but on the face of it this was a bizarre senseless murder.

In the dining room he spotted a piece of paper on the polished table; an address, no phone number or email.

Geoff Jones, Cowslip Lane, Tweedley, Norfolk, NR19 2D3.

Greaves checked the address book sitting neatly by the house phone and found no entry for a Geoff Jones or anyone in Norfolk.

auto automobile blur buildings

Back at the police station Mr. Stanton was safely installed in an interview room, alibis checked, background checked. Inspector Greaves started with the only piece of evidence.

‘Who is Geoff Jones?’

‘Never heard of him.’

‘Has your wife got friends or relatives in Norfolk?’

‘No, she’s never even been to Norfolk.’

‘Mrs. Stanton, was she still working or retired?’

‘Retired, or she reckoned she was still working, did stuff on the computer, goodness knows what, I don’t go on the internet, but she was happy dabbling with her writing, left me in peace to watch what I liked on television.’

‘As routine procedure we will seize… er take your wife’s computer, I assume you have no objections?’

‘Well she won’t be needing it will she… oh God, I can’t believe this is happening…’

At that moment a female officer knocked on the door with a cup of tea, though they were supposed to have equality Greaves was glad to leave her to deal sympathetically with the overwrought husband. He had work to do.

Back in the office he handed out tasks to his small team. ‘Check this address and if it’s genuine get onto Norfolk Police and ask them to send someone round.’

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In Cowslip Lane Geoff Jones was enjoying the evening news; the doorbell took him and the dog by surprise. On the doorstep stood a young man, trying to edge inside out of the torrential rain. He showed a warrant card.

‘Mr. Geoff Jones?’

‘Yes, that’s me, oh god, has something happened to my wife, no they send uniform for that don’t they?’

‘No, just a routine enquiry. Do you know a Mrs. Rita Stanton of Mulberry Close, Sandbourne, Dorset?’

‘Dorset, I don’t know anyone in Dorset.’

‘Are you, er do you live alone?’

‘No, my wife’s away for a few days at her sister’s.’

‘Might she know Mrs. Stanton or anyone in Dorset?’

‘NO, look what is this about?’

Andy’s first day as a detective constable wasn’t going well so far.

‘We’re making enquiries about a murder I’m afraid. Have you been outside the village in the last two days, work, visiting?’

Andy was gratified to see Geoff Jones look distinctly nervous.

‘No, I’m retired, well a writer actually, blogger; all I’ve been up to is taking Rufus on his two hour walks and doing my blogs.’

‘Can anyone confirm that?’

‘I haven’t seen a soul, no one else has been out in this dreadful wet weather, but what on earth has any of this to do with me?’

The young detective felt suspicion creeping into his bones, who would take a dog out for two hours in the torrential rain? As he tried to edge further into the hallway and avoid the very large dog, he got a glimpse into the front room. On every shelf and available surface were propped picture postcards.

‘You must have a lot of friends Mr. Jones, a lot of friends that go on holiday?’

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The next police visit to Geoff’s house was in the morning. This time Andy was accompanied by a search warrant and an inspector from Dorset Police, who had driven up overnight. Fortuitously they met the postman at the door, with a postcard from Dorset. Jones’ computer was taken away, Jones himself was taken away and all the postcards collected up.

6

In the interview room Geoff Jones protested his innocence, though he hadn’t actually been arrested. ‘Blogging friends, I wrote a post about picture post cards and followers kept sending them.’

Greaves left him to stew for a while and went back to the office to see how enquiries were going and stared at the postcard posted in Sandbourne, Dorset.

Wish you Were Here!

Best Wishes from Rita Stanton ( Scribbletide )

He tried to curb the enthusiasm of the young detective.

‘We may have barged in too quickly, if this poor man is totally innocent we have some explaining to do. The card seems to prove what he told us about his followers. What have you found on the internet?’

‘Jones was telling the truth about the blogging and the post cards, what he didn’t mention was that a while ago he wrote a serialised story about a chap who wanted to commit the perfect murder.’

©Janet Gogerty 2019

About Janet Gogerty

 

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

Janet’s latest book, a thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

About the book

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days.

In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

A review for Quarter Acre Block

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars History remembered and relived…

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.

This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Janet on: Goodreads

Connect to Janet

Blog: Tidal Scribe WordPress
WebsiteCC Side Writer
Facebook: Beach Writer
Twitter: @ytregog

Smorgasbord at Christmas – Festive Short Stories – Xmas Eve by Janet Gogerty.


Stories have always played a part in Christmas celebrations and over the next few weeks I would like to share your festive tales… and you can find details of how to participate at the end of the post.

Xmas Eve by Janet Gogerty

Linda hated Christmas, or rather the long run up to Christmas. It was busier but easier when the children were still at school; they knew exactly who would be there for Christmas every year; four children and four elderly relatives. Now, since the children were grown up and the elderly relatives no longer around, each year was different.

But this year would be the first Christmas she and Roger had spent by themselves. He was looking forward to spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone, relaxing; Linda was not. With the prospect of such a quiet Christmas there did not seem to be anything to get ready for, so she didn’t.

It was quite liberating, others talked of vast amounts spent, huge crowds fought through and piles of presents waiting to be wrapped. It only took Linda one afternoon to buy the requested gift vouchers and post them off. On the food front Christmas Eve would be no different from her Saturday morning shop at the local butchers and greengrocers.

But the day before Christmas Eve things started to unravel. She checked her e-mails in the morning and there was a long one from Sarah.

….remember the English guy I met at the backpackers’ hostel? (no she didn’t) Well, we’re an item now! Unfortunately, his visa has nearly run out so we are trying to get a flight home together…

In the afternoon John rang, he thought they might be lonely and had swapped shifts; he was getting a lift home on Christmas Eve.

In the evening Kate called; Gavin’s parents had found a last minute booking on the internet and were off to spend Christmas in the sun; she and Gavin should be down by tomorrow evening, picking up Paul on the way. Hadn’t Paul told them he’d broken up with his girlfriend on Tuesday?

Linda looked around the house; apart from the cards, there was no evidence of the festive season. Roger was completely calm, though disappointed he wouldn’t be having his quiet Christmas; he was already working out when they would go again.

‘They can take us as they find us, they know we weren’t expecting them.’

He reluctantly went up in the loft to bring down the decorations and lights, but Linda’s joy at having a proper Christmas was tempered by her panic at how much there was to get ready. She thought of the small joint of pork on order at the butchers and the miniature pudding in the cupboard.

‘No problem,’ reassured Roger ‘we’re finishing early tomorrow hopefully, in the morning you just have to make up the beds and make a shopping list; we’ll go and do a big shop when I get back.’

It took Linda a long time to get to sleep that night; when would Sarah arrive, what was the new guy like, would the weather be okay for Kate and Gavin’s trip down or would they be involved in a massive pile up on the Motorway, why hadn’t Paul told them of the break up?
The next morning Roger decided to take the bus to work as parking would be horrendous, but assured Linda he would be home by two o’clock. She rushed around with piles of bedding and towels, tidying, dusting, vacuuming; she was enjoying herself, but at one forty five the phone rang. It was Roger.

‘Sorry darling, I’m going to be late, all hell’s broken lose here, I could be very late, lucky I left the car at home, you go ahead and do the shopping without me.’

Terror gripped Linda, surely he wasn’t expecting her to drive to the shops?

‘But Roger I…’

‘Sorry dear, got to go, see you tonight.’

She looked out of the front window at the shiny red car leering smugly at her. Officially Linda drove; she had a licence gained at the second attempt, a spotless licence with no points. When was the last time she had actually driven? She had certainly never driven the new red monster Roger had bought when their other car packed up. Take it out during the day when it’s quiet, it’s lovely to drive he had said. How Linda envied those people who proudly stated I never learnt to drive or who remarked I don’t drive as if it was an incurable medical condition. Had she ever enjoyed driving? She couldn’t remember; parking, turning right, roundabouts had always presented problems. With the first baby she had ventured out with him safely strapped in the back seat, but he had started crying and she could not concentrate.

She realised she much preferred the healthy option of pushing the Silvercross pram; you could get loads of shopping in the tray underneath. They had never been able to afford two cars, so much of the time the car was not available for her to use. Roger enjoyed driving, on outings and holidays he naturally slipped into the driver’s seat.

As the children got older and had to be taken to things it was difficult to avoid; but they soon realised it was embarrassing being out with their mother. People would be tooting as she held everybody up, trying to get in or out of the multi storey car park or they would have to walk miles to avoid awkward parking places.

When they all learnt to drive confidently they gave her lifts; otherwise she was happy walking, cycling, going on the bus or accepting lifts Roger’s got the car, such a nuisance!

Now there was no getting out of it. She could never bring all that food home on her bike.

Where had Roger put the car keys? Linda hunted all around the house then found them in the pocket of his spare coat. She knew you pressed the button to unlock the car; that was all she knew. Opening the front door she looked round to make sure nobody was watching, slipped into the car, then slipped out again to open the gates. The road was busy and the driveway sloped down steeply, another reason she was loath to use the car. Linda turned the key and the engine started, but her mind went blank till she remembered it was automatic and managed to get it into reverse. For the next ten minutes she blocked the pavement as she waited for a gap in the traffic.

When she finally lifted her foot off the brake pedal she rolled straight back into the opposite kerb. Somehow she got into forward gear and set off to the sound of angry beeping from the car she had just missed. She perched on the edge of the seat; it was set well back for Roger’s long legs.

Linda had forgotten the new roundabout and stopped to work out which exit she wanted, an impatient horn tooted behind her and she set off in panic, missing her exit and going round again. As she drove up the new dual carriageway she dared to feel a little confident. The brilliant lights of the supermarket loomed ahead, she was going to make it. But where was the entrance? Not over the footbridge or through the cycle underpass; all she could see were hedges and fences. After circumnavigating the whole superstore complex she hit upon a solution and followed the huge supermarket lorry.

Linda was pleased with herself as she drew into a nice quiet car park and found a large bay. She locked the car but as she walked away a loud rough voice yelled out and she realised he was addressing her.

‘Hey you stupid…’

Linda could hardly believe the words she was hearing. She turned to face a scowling driver climbing down the four steps from his cab.

‘Do you want me to crush your… red toy car, move it now.’

As she shakily got back into the car she stalled twice and finally backed out, cheered on by sneering trolley boys. The main car park was busy, yellow jacketed figures directed drivers into impossibly small spaces; she squeezed in, clipping the wing mirror of the next car. The only way to get out of this terrible place would be to shop slowly and leave after everyone else had gone.

Shopping slowly proved easy as it was so crowded; her trembling hands pushed the wonky trolley, the only one left. Little children cried, school children skidded down the aisles and arguing couples blocked the junctions. She was tempted to abandon the trolley, the shopping, the car and just walk home. When everyone turned up at the house she would announce that Christmas had been cancelled. This get out plan comforted her a great deal, gave her the confidence to try just one more aisle, then another; gradually the trolley filled up and it seemed a shame to abandon it. The long queue at the checkout reassured her; the car park should be empty by the time she got out and in the dark nobody would see her.

At last she was outside, but could not remember where she was parked. In the dark the red car was not so bright and shiny.

A security man came over ‘Can I be of assistance Madam?’

‘Well you won’t believe this, but I can’t remember where I put my car.’

‘I certainly would, it happens all the time,’ he replied kindly ‘now what is the registration number and make of the car?’

All hope disappeared; she couldn’t remember the number and didn’t know the make. Her brain had switched off when Roger had talked interminably about what car to get; all she had been interested in was how much it was going to cost.

‘Red you say Madam, how about that one over there?’

He gallantly steered the uncooperative trolley over to the car and she hoped he would not witness her attempts to drive off. Luckily his radio buzzed into life. She struggled to get all the shopping in the boot and wondered if the car would get back up the driveway, weighed down so. The cars either side had gone and she followed other vehicles to the exit.

Linda recognised the nice quiet little road at the exit, she cycled on it to avoid the main road; the circuitous route through the residential area would be safer. She noticed the dashboard for the first time, or more specifically the petrol gauge, it was nearly on empty. Had Roger mentioned filling the tank up? Yes. Would she pass a petrol station? Would she know how to use the petrol pump? No. There was only one thing to do; get home as quickly as possible before the petrol ran out. When she heard the police siren she pulled over carefully to let it pass and was surprised to see the police car stop in front of her.

‘Did you know this is a twenty mile an hour area Madam?’

As she looked into the face of the law in the light of the street lamp a wonderful thought occurred to her; if she got lots of points on her licence maybe they would take it away.

When she arrived home a car was blocking the driveway, but she didn’t care if she left the red monster on the main road. In the light of the street lamp she saw the boot of the strange car was open and beneath it Gavin, Kate and Paul were hauling out huge bags of shopping.

‘Hi Mum, we knew you wouldn’t have much in, so we did a big shop on the way.’

©Janet Gogerty 2019

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

This month saw the release of Janet’s latest book, a thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

About the book

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days.

In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

A review for Quarter Acre Block

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars History remembered and relived…

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.

This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Janet on: Goodreads

Connect to Janet

Blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/
Websitehttps://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Janet would love to receive your comments.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Book on the Shelves – #Thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream by Janet Gogerty


Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Janet Gogerty... A thriller – At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream.

About the book

In the summer of 2013 Annette Bethany Brown went missing without trace. Her boyfriend Toby Channing was the last person to see her, the only person who knew where she had spent the previous days.

In February 2014 Tobias Elliot Channing, private investigator, was still roaming the country, a camper van detective specialising in missing persons; hoping to discover why so many people go missing. He was visiting every place that had a connection with Anna, there were still no clues to her disappearance.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

A selection of other books by Janet Gogerty

A review for Quarter Acre Block

Anita Dawes 5.0 out of 5 stars History remembered and relived…

I can remember the winter of 1962-63, also known as the Big Freeze. It was one of the coldest winters on record for the UK. The temperature plummeted and lakes and rivers froze. The sea actually froze in a few places, something I never expected to see!
Blizzards and the freezing cold probably had most of us dreaming of living somewhere warmer. I know my mother did.

She had heard about this new scheme where you could travel to Australia to start a new life and all for £10. That must have appealed to many people after suffering through that particular winter. I was only a child then, and don’t remember why we didn’t go, so when I saw this book all about a family who did go, I had to read it.

I followed this family as they made plans, packed up their belongings and travelled all that way. I discovered what it was like to find yourself in such a vastly different environment to the UK, and found it all fascinating.
The early arrivals were given a quarter Acre block of land to live on, which is a substantial amount of space, practically unheard of in the UK unless you had pots of money.

I learned what their new life was like through the eyes of the youngest daughter. She described an enjoyable journey as they slowly came to terms with their new life.

This was a light-hearted and fascinating read about something that almost happened to me. I often wonder what my own life would have been like if my mother had managed to swing it...

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Janet on: Goodreads

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 12 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events!

When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story. The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.

Quarter Acre Block was inspired by my family’s emmigration to Australia.

My new novel is called At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream. When Toby Channing’s girlfriend disappeared without trace he was the last person to see her…

I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online.

Connect to Janet

Blog: https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/
Websitehttps://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news of Janet’s latest book. thanks Sally.