It was with great sadness I heard recently that my friend Noreen Wainwright had died. Noreen and I first met at our local Cheshire Book Connections group and kept in touch via the Stoke author/blogger meet ups and social media.
Noreen was lively, funny, intelligent and caring and I know will be greatly missed by all who knew her. The current Covid-19 regulations mean that saying goodbye has sadly restricted the chance for many to pay their respects as they would have wished to. Noreen’s funeral takes place today and starts at 10-30am outside Meerbrook church with 10 minutes prayers followed by a private, family cremation and service in Macclesfield. Noreen did not wear black for funerals, so no mourning clothes, but bright and cheery is the order of the day.
A Justgiving page has been set up here to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice who cared for Noreen in her final days.
So in memory of Noreen and in grateful thanks for the short time I had the pleasure of knowing her, today I shall be wearing something bright and have chosen to share her ‘Five on Friday’ which originally appeared on 27th July, 2018.
I’d like to send my condolences to her family and friends, but especially to Brian, her husband who, it goes without saying, is bereft. I’m dedicating The Elizabethan Serenade to him, I hope Noreen would approve.
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
So many to choose from!
Michael Row the Boat Ashore, because it was one of the first songs, I used to “sing” apparently.
The Green Fields of France, by The Furies because it is so poignant and because my grandfather fought in the Somme.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen because it is bonkers and reminds me of my youth!
The Elizabethan Serenade because my husband really likes it.
Romance by Shostakovitch because it is so beautiful.
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Stop worrying about things you can’t influence
Try to be more patient
People can always surprise you, (good and bad) and you find that out when you are experiencing really difficult times.
All the stops and starts and byroads of your working life add hugely to wisdom, in the long run.
Stop getting angry and stressed over trivial things
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I have had a lot of journalism published
I have met Price Charles and spoken to him
I am one of 10 children (the oldest)
I live on a dairy farm and am married to a farmer
I have run 2 half-marathons.
Name 5 things you’d still like to do/achieve
Run a marathon.
Spend more time by the sea and learn to be a better swimmer.
See my books in print (not just e-books)
Have a regular newspaper column
Visit more European cities
(NB non-affiliate links)
The Body at Ballytierney
When Simon Crowe’s body is discovered at Ballytierney, old secrets threaten to destroy the lives of the townspeople. Inspector Ben Cronin is coasting towards retirement, so the last thing he needs is a case that threatens to expose the town’s dark underbelly.
Maggie Cahill, a priest’s housekeeper, is at a crossroads in her personal life when she received a letter out of the blue from someone in her distant past. Her peace of mind and her livelihood are at risk as she seeks the truth of what happened to Simon Crowe, and why someone knows secrets she thought she’d buried long ago.
By the end of the investigation, will both Maggie’s and Cronin’s lives will be changed forever? And will Ballytierney ever be the same?
Treated as Murder (Edith Horton #1)
Set in 1931, Edith Horton is a former VAD who finds herself not only struggling with her inner demons, but with the presence of evil in her village in the Yorkshire Dales.
Her brother is suspected of murdering an elderly wealthy widow, and sins of the past have echoes in her life and the lives of those close to her.
Death at Dawn (Edith Horton #2)
WWI is over but its echoes are still felt in the 1930s. Giles Etherington was a brave officer who also had a darker side. He does not return from a lone morning’s shooting for grouse on the “glorious 12th”. Is his death an act of revenge for his actions during the war, or as a result of his behaviour since? Edith Horton, his wife’s best friend finds herself drawn into the quest for his killer.
Crime at Christmas (Edith Horton #3)
Jeremiah Arkwright’s death was sudden and violent. He was a domestic tyrant and uses his strict religious beliefs to control his family. He also had fraught relationships with his farming neighbours. There was another side to Jeremiah, however – a secret life. Has somebody discovered his secret or has someone close to him sought revenge? Edith Horton is drawn into the dark secrets of Pear Tree Farm.
Swallow Hall Murder (Edith Horton #4)
What links the dead poet to Swallow Hall? Many lives have been damaged by a controlling mother, and more than one person has ties to the dead man. Edith has her mind full with concerns about her own relationship and her brother’s health. But, when one of her old friends returns home, Edith is soon involved in the mystery of the Swallow Hall Murder.
Murder in Retreat (Edith Horton #5)
After settling in to married life in Ellbeck. Edith is happy when Henry goes on retreat to Staffordshire, knowing that spiritual renewal is an essential part of a busy vicar’s life. However, after meeting fellow priests, Henry soon realizes most have their own secrets and deep troubles to reflect upon. His sense of unease is vindicated when he discovers there is a murderer in St. Chad’s House, and he is reluctantly drawn into the mystery.
At home, Edith is plunged into a crisis when the son of her housekeeper, and friend, disappears. A figure from the past has been in contact with the boy, and both women fear for his safety. Adding to Edith’s distress, she worries about Henry and is unable to dismiss the deep concern she feels about him and what is happening at St. Chad’s.
Will Edith and Henry’s involvement in the troubles affect their relationship? Can they survive the seemingly endless struggles and find their way back to each other?
A Homespun Year (with Margaret Priestley)
This is a book which celebrates the joys of seasonal living. We show the reader how to spend less and make more; how to slow down and live in tune with the seasons. The book is full of recipes and things to do to make your home life more enjoyable We encourage the reader to be more confident and creative. The book includes instructions on growing you own herbs, making curtains and kitchen accessories, and baking your own Christmas cake and puddings. We aim to take the mystique out of home-making and and restore the joy, much of which has been swept away in a world of consumerism and speed.