Category Archives: Memoirs

Diana’s Virtual Tour of the Kingdom of Fife ~ Cambo Gardens

Breaking my rule of writing these posts chronologically I am jumping to the present. DSCN4464.JPG

 

Today we visited The Snowdrop Festival at Cambo Gardens between St Andrews and Crail. It is two years since our last visit and the restoration work they have carried out on Cambo Country Estate  is remarkable and its history is fascinating.

 

The snowdrop walks lead you through woodland;DSCN4468 into more formal gardens where the multitude of varieties are labelled; then most beautiful of all beside the brook on a path towards the sea. A morning here is as enchanting as ever, but now there is a lovely cafe and visitor’s centre too; all tastefully housed in the restored stable block.

 

 

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We have also visited Cambo in April, which was equally charming, but for anyone in Fife at this time of year, taking a stroll through banks of snowdrops all the way to The Fife Coastal Path and The North Sea is a must. I hope that the photos will speak for themselves.

Isn’t the tapestry below stunning too?

Enjoy!

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(Author Diana Jackson loves researching social history and this inspires her writing. Her latest release ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’, a fantasy / memoir, reflects her growing love for the Kingdom of Fife.)

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Filed under Fife, Memoirs, Research, Scotland, The Healing Paths of Fife, Virtual tour of Fife

The Healing Paths of Fife by Diana Jackson

coverThe Healing Paths of Fife – a personal Memoir – Fantasy, will be released on Kindle on 20th April 2017.

It can be pre-ordered here in the UK or on Amazon.com.

Part 1 From Redundancy to Rejuvenation has been available in paperback form, but this is the first time that it will be released on Kindle together with

Part 2 Letting Go and Moving On  – released for the first time – both parts as a combined novel:
The Healing Paths of Fife

Here is a description:

Diana walked along the Fife Coastal Path from North Queensferry – beneath the famous Forth Rail Bridge – to St Andrews. While on her way she trod in the footprints of a multitude of pilgrims and famous people through the ages, but she also followed in the steps of ordinary folks of Fife. She ‘met’ some fascinating characters – from St Margaret in Dunfermline to the real Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, in Lower Largo.

Diana was enamoured by her beautiful surroundings along these healing paths. As she paused to have a ‘wee blether’ with those she ‘met,’ she learnt a new way of looking at her world, finding values which gave her a blueprint for the next stage in her life and she was fortunate to discover a sense of peace.

The further Diana travelled the more she became absorbed in the history of Fife and her affinity for the area grew.

As you read on you may find yourself ‘walking beside Diana.’ Her experiences might help you with some of the challenges you face in your own life, or they may inspire you to visit the region of Fife and have adventures of your own. Some would call this an allegory but it is certainly a memoir with elements of fantasy. Diana leaves the reader to judge which is which.

Part 1: From Redundancy to Rejuvenation

Serendipity! Diana’s husband’s job temporarily located them to Fife, at the same time as Diana was made redundant from a life time of teaching.

Part 2: Letting Go and Moving on

In order to live her new life to the full, Diana needed to truly let go of much of her old life. That did not mean forgetting her friends and family but finding a new and deeper relationship with them, even at a distance. As she and her husband threw themselves into a community life in Fife, deep down Diana was still searching for her true purpose and with the encouragement of new and old friends alike she ….

ISBN 9780993260834

The Healing Paths of Fife will be available as a paperback through Amazon by the end of April.

 

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Filed under Book Cover, Events, Fife, Fife Fantasy, Memoirs, My books, Writing

We will remember them

DSCN3304[1]For anyone who has family members who fought in The Somme I can recommend a trip to northern France at this time, the 100th anniversary, to show respect and give thanks for the contribution of so many men who gave their lives to try to keep us free from tyranny.

Having walked along small country tracks, treading in the footprints of those men  who lost their lives so tragically, we eventually  reached The Thiepval Memorial, parked and visited the small but informative museum. We made slow progress as we read the many plaques which lined the pathway leading to the memorial arch. Finally we climbed the steps, pausing in the gentle breeze. Gazing upwards, in unity with fellow visitors, we were aware of a silent incomprehensible sense of awe, verging on disbelief, as our eyes scanned the 72,000 or more names of the ‘missing’.DSCN3305[1]

We had done our homework and were able to locate the record of my husband’s great uncle among the dead from The Bedfordshire Regiment on pier and face 2C. His name, already familiar to us from war memorials in Clophill and Ampthill in Bedfordshire, seemed almost insignificant. A life lost. A man taken at the age of only nineteen years in 1916, with a whole life ahead of him cut short. So sad.

DSCN3309[1]I’m not sure how long we paused to reflect. A timeless period when ‘then and now’ seemed one and it was difficult to keep vivid imaginings of battle and bloodshed from disrupting the view of the calm and gentle Normandy countryside.

Our next search, before returning to Arras where we would stay the night, was to find the Adanac Cemetery ~ Canada spelt backwards. It took a while to locate the gravestone of my husband’s other great uncle who lost his life in The Somme. Family have letters from him saying that he is looking forward to coming home. That was just before he died in 1918, aged twenty  seven. It was all the moreDSCN3315[1] poignant to stand beside his actual burial site and we were so aware of how far he was away from his home village of Clophill, which before that time he had never left in his short life.

Then, taking a deep breath we headed to Arras. The squares were full of celebrations for Bastille Day, one with a makeshift beach and games for the children and the other square with tables for alfresco dining with neighbours, friends and family. We ate in our favourite restaurant in the caves under the street, had a good night’s sleep in a local hotel, before awaking to the tragic news of the carnage in Nice. Our hearts were heavy as we headed home.

As we reached Calais, we passed huge barbed wire fences between us and the large immigrant camp. It was difficult not to be filled with despair. Have we learnt nothing in last 100 year that people’s cannot live in harmony and safety even today in our so called civilised society?

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Nevertheless I’m glad we made the trip. It was educational and opened our eyes to the futility of war ~ although without a doubt it was a relief to be home again too.

(Diana Jackson has written two books partly set during The Great War.

‘Ancasta ~ Guide me Swiftly Home’ is historical fiction, a family saga set between 1910 and 1920 which also reflects the story of early flying boats and sea planes.

‘Murder, Now and Then’ is a mystery of two murders set 100 years apart.)

 

 

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Filed under Bedfordshire, Family History, Memoirs, The Great War, WW1