Tag Archives: inspiration to write

Diana’s Virtual Tour of the Fife Coast ~ Crail ~ The Jewel of East Neuk

My first awareness of Crail was as a jigsaw puzzle, the harbour being so full of character with its wee fisherman’s cottages and boats bobbing in the water inside the protective harbour wall.

When you first stumble across Crail you usually park in the village, with ample off the road parking, a neat tree lined street of Georgian elegance.  Crail is best explored by foot and each time you do so you will probably find a different route down to the harbour, from narrow paths and castle walls, to steep cobbled roads. Don’t forget to pop into the museum and also enjoy an ice cream, fish and chips or a snack at one of the cafes. There are many sheltered spots for a picnic too. Just head for the castle walls.

It was such a surprise the first time we visited, peering down from the coastal path as it meets the main road, magical if the sun is shining: reminiscent of Cornwall’s Mousehole.

Who would not be inspired by Crail!

The Healing Paths of Fifea memoir, tells the full story in prose, poetry and fantasy.

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Filed under Fife, Fife Fantasy, Scotland, The Healing Paths of Fife, Virtual tour of Fife

Diana’s Virtual Tour of the Kingdom of Fife ~ Dunfermline

DSCN4481.JPGDunfermline has a fascinating history, style and an air of timeless tradition; a small but pleasant town centre where you can amble from shop to amenity  without feet ache. Yes, there are signs of decline, but many new shops are taking over the empty ones and the place is beginning to buzz again. Dunfermline was, in fact, the first town we ‘lived’ in in Fife. Initially the area was a temporary home for my husband when he was commuting from Bedfordshire to Edinburgh each week. I know, people usually do that the other way around but we like to be different 🙂 We came to know the Premier Inn on Duloch Park pretty well!


It was whilst alone at the Premier Inn that the idea for ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ was born. My initial inspiration was ~ St Margaret’s Cave, which will have its own tribute post when it reopens in the spring. In fantasy I can thank St Margaret for her guidance! (after all it is a fantasy / memoir)


On a recent visit I was excited to spend some time in The Carnegie Library and Museum. This remarkable building has been restored, blending ancient and modern, now enjoying floor to ceiling views overlooking Dunfermline Abbey, The Abbot’s House and as far as the Forth. We whiled away a couple of hours, including a welcome coffee, and one of the librarians was pleased with my donation of a copy of my book. (I hope they buy a few too. Fingers crossed.)


There was a touch of green eyed envy though, as I looked down on the Reading Room, with its wood panelling and quiet reflective study areas, when here at Kinghorn we are struggling to pay our huge electricity bill for out Community Library.


Still, Carnegie would be proud of his legacy in Dunfermline, and I look forward to visiting the town’s other tourist sites including the palace, abbey and Pittencrieff Park, also donated to the town by Andrew Carnegie, his place of birth.

(Author Diana Jackson enjoys 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, Libraries, The Healing Paths of Fife, Virtual tour of Fife

Jersey Lass Murdered! ~Haynes Bedfordshire in 1919!

‘Did you know that a Jersey girl was murdered close to where you live in 1919?’ wrote a lady from the Channel Islands Great War Study Group in an email whilst I was researching for ‘Ancasta ~ Guide me Swiftly Home.’

Here’s a link to their website, which is packed with interesting information and photos relating to The Channel Islands in WW1.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADriven by curiosity we cycled over to the churchyard in Church End Haynes, Bedfordshire which looks towards the imposing building of Haynes Park stately home (used for other purposes now but it was once Hawnes School and then Clarendon School)

Here’s a potted history of Haynes Park.

The grave stone was not hard to find, a WW1 military grave with an unfortunate tilt, almost as if the resident below was trying to get out! We sat on a bench close by, looking out over thegravejigsaw park where men trained in an army camp during and after the Great War. Church End Haynes must have changed little from those days, a tiny hamlet nearly a mile from the main village of Haynes.

Several walks in the surrounding countryside, around the park and over towards the hangers at Shortstown I began to feel an affinity to this young girl, who I have renamed Lucille Vardon. I made a couple of trips to carry out research in the Bedford Archives, pouring over newspaper cuttings of the original trial and photos of the day. Next we planned a trip to Jersey, which I had visited as a child but only a couple of times as an adult. Armed with copied pages, photos and notes, the idea for ‘Murder, now and then’ was born.

My plot weaves in and out of the original murder, but it is set in 2019, with descendants inspired by people from the original murder case. Here is one the photos which set my imaginative brain to work overtime and inspired my murder mystery:

1915 Army Camp 02

Haynes Park Camp 1915


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Filed under Channel Islands, Murder Now and Then, The Great War, WW1