Tag Archives: Inspiration

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.




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

Mid Bedfordshire Murder Mystery Virtual Tour no1 ~ Clophill and Haynes

We begin our journey at Clophill village green by the Flying Horse, famous for highway men in the past but for bistro food and a friendly ambiance today. First we are going to pedal along the High Street where homes reflect the passing of time of two centuries, but before we reach the iron stone church of St Mary’s, and just after the school, we will turn left up Great Lane. I love the simple village road names ~ Great ~ because it travels in an undulating fashion all the way to Haynes, Church End.

Clophill Old Church

Clophill Old Church

On the way, after the first major incline (major for me anyway) you can catch a glimpse of the ruin of the Old Church of Haynes, recently restored enough so that you can walk up the tower and admire the magnificent views to Hitchin and the Barton Ridge. A village initiative is on the verge of completion, to provide a centre for walkers on The Greensands Ridge. This should be a wonderful resource for the area. On foot, or perhaps by mountain bike,  you could detour beside the old church and take a path through Pedley Woods and to Chicksands Wood (an official assault course track for cyclists) but then you would miss Haynes altogether. At the top of Great Lane it is worth pausing to admire the view towards Haynes Park (setting for the murder in my mystery back in 1919) Its drive sweeps away from the manor and down towards the church of Haynes, also St Mary’s, where you may find the grave of Nelly Rault, the Jersey lass whose unsolved murder back in 1919 originally inspired my novel ‘Murder, now OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then.’ Unike Clophill, Haynes Church End is totally unspoilt and would have been recognisable to Nelly, were she able to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtime travel nearly 100 years. Continue cycling through this little hamlet and on for a couple of miles until you can see the village of Haynes on the brow of the hill to the left. Taking this left turn the road is steep and, if you can catch your breath you may enjoy glancing at the thatched cottages along the way. The village of Haynes (Silver End ~ I’d love to know why silver?) is a lively hub with a post office and thriving village hall, enjoying a variety of events from Am Dram, music and of course The Haynes 100 (referred to earlier in my blog) At the cross roads turn right towards Haynes North End, passing the Village Hall and Recreation Ground, and then further on is The Greyhound Public House, a welcome spot to quench your thirst or even to catch a snack or meal to build energy for the cycle back. After a refreshing break you could continue passing Chicksands Woods on your right and, if you have excess energy, you could detour along its numerous tracks. If not, it is here you reach the A600. To avoid the main road you could turn around and return by taking a left fork to meet the lane to Church End Haynes. Or, you could turn right and cycle along the A600 towards Shefford. After crossing two busy roundabouts you can turn right on the A507 back towards Ampthill but there is a cycle track on your right hand side all the way back to Clophill, a fairly flat ride to end your journey. Follow the cycle track and you can’t miss it! Have you any spare energy? You could always take a detour up Little Lane (just off Great Lane) turning left at the top. You will pass between Clophill Village Hall and Rec before a small hill descends to Mill Lane which

The Stone Jug Clophill

The Stone Jug Clophill

winds to your right along to Back Street and The Stone Jug ~ a real pub in the evening where villagers still meet and mingle, putting the world to rights before strolling home. Food is only served at The Jug at lunch times. Further along Back Street you could avoid the last stretch on the A6 by taking a left turn at Readshill. At the bottom turn right and you will see a path beside Beverley Court. It would be safer to dismount here since the footpath is used by children and elderly, but it will lead you past The Green Man, well known for its wonderful Italian food, and out on to Clophill Village Green. The outdoor cafe by the post office offers welcome refreshments which you can eat on benches provided near the stream ~ an area much enhanced over the last few years by the work of enthusiastic villagers. Or, if it is late Friday afternoon, you might even catch the fish and chip van and treat yourself to supper! (This Mio Bedfordshire Virtual Tour is not only to show that Bedfordshire is worth visiting too, but explores the settings for my recently released murder mystery ‘Murder, now and then.

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Filed under Bedfordshire, Murder Now and Then

Lady Mary Heath ~ Extraordinary Female Aviator in the Roaring Twenties

Background and Inspiration to Fly

Mary Heath’s unfortunate start to life, when her father was found guilty of murdering her 220px-Mary,_Lady_Heathmother, did not seem to hamper her development and ambition. Brought up by her grandfather and two elderly aunts, she took an active part in sport and passed a degree in science in Ireland. In WW1 she became a dispatch rider, initially in England but then in France. In her early years her achievements were in sport rather than aviation. In 1925 she was part of a delegation to an Olympic Congress in Prague and her journey by aeroplane changed her life. (photo from Wikipedia)

Her achievements

In 1926 she became the first female aviator to be a commercial pilot by gaining an A licence and she also flew Shorts seaplanes. (Diana’s eyes light up here!) In January 1928 Mary Heath made her name known worldwide, by her solo flight in her Avian from Cape Town to the UK. (Celebrate by Tracey Curtis Taylor this winter – see my last post) In the same year she went to the USA where she hoped to gain a position with KLM, but her gender was against her. Undeterred she continued to work in aviation.

Notable difference

Lady Heath married her third husband Reggie Williams in Lexington Kentucky in 1930, with each marriage securing enough income to continue to fly. The pair returned to Ireland for a further wedding ceremony causing more notoriety, since Reggie was from Trinidad and inter-racial marriages were extremely rare. They both worked as aviation instructors for Iona National Airways.


Mary had a most unfortunate end after such a glamorous life. She developed a serious drinking problem and died in London in 1939 at the age of 43 years – a sad end for a person who fought for equal opportunities in the public eye for so many years, whether it be gender, racial or social standing. She certainly had a story to inspire, although her demise was so very tragic.

For more information on Mary visit:

Wikipedia       Irish Historical Aviation        Eclectic Ephemera blogspot


Filed under Early Flight, Events, Flying Boats and Sea Planes, Frivolous Flying Facts, Memoirs, Role of Women, WW1