Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

Two determined authors, bulletproof and dangerous…


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Where I find Courage…

Whenever I am down or feeling one of many shades of blue, I usually need a piece of music to get my soul moving again. I have had many favourites over the years, both songs and instrumental, but this piece has kept me going now for years.

I defy anyone listening to it, to ignore the challenge it presents. The challenge to rise above yourself and take wing is overpowering and always fixes all my broken bits.

So today, on this special day of resurrection, I pass on to you my gift of a moment I will remember forever…

 


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Cup of Tea, Anyone?

 

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I didn’t want to go shopping, but I needed a loaf of bread, and I had used the last of my antacid medication. Yesterday was a nightmare. I was fine right up until lunchtime, and then the giddiness and nausea began. This is happening with sickening regularity lately, and I just have to take the antacids and wait it out.

My head still felt a bit weird when I woke up this morning, but most of the nausea seemed to have gone. I tried to talk myself out of the trip to the shops, but common sense prevailed. It was a lovely day, and I could see all my favourite blossom trees on the way to Waitrose.

When I reached Waitrose, it seemed the world and his wife were there before me, but I smiled as I passed them all, queuing at every till, and made my way to the self-service tills. Technology is slow to be taken up, here in Petersfield, it seems.  As much as I hate learning anything new, I am so glad I managed to grasp the fundamentals, and it really wasn’t that difficult. I am so glad I did, as I don’t have to queue anymore.

That was when I saw it. A rather large, wirework cup and saucer, big enough for a giant to use, with delicate ornate openwork. I decided on the spot that it would look sensational in my back yard this summer. The only trouble was, it needed a pot plant of some kind to put in it. I looked around and spotted a deep pink pelargonium, “guaranteed to bloom all summer” it said on the label.

As I made my way home through the car park, several people commented on how lovely my cup and saucer looked, so not only had I cheered myself up, I had spread a little of my joy to others!


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The Tree of Life…

 

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The other evening as we watched a  about Budapest called Travel Man on channel four, I caught a quick glimpse of what looked like a metal weeping willow tree and knew I had to find out more about it.

The tree particularly interested me, because one of my hobbies is making wire bonsai trees and although this one looked quite large, it looked beautiful.

I found out that the Tree of Life is a commemoration for the people who risked their lives to help keep the Jewish population of Budapest safe during the days of exportation in WWII. Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat at the time and was one of the principle leaders in the movement to protect the Hungarian Jews. If this group had been caught, they would have been executed.
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The famous Tree of Life Memorial is a commemorative sculpture that has its home in the center of Raoul Wallenberg Park.   It was designed to pay tribute to the 5,000 Holocaust victims that are buried in the area. It is made into the shape of a willow tree, which in traditional Hungarian Jewish thinking, is a symbol of mourning. It can also represent an overturned menorah. There is a synagogue here, with some rather famous copies of Torah housed in their ark. This Tree of Life is an amazing work of art, every leaf has the name of a family etched on it.

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The park was started in the 1990s after Hungary was returned to a democratic state. A large donation from the world famous Estee Lauder (approximately $5 million U.S.) made the whole memorial possible. The completion of the memorial occurred in 1996.

So many lives lost. I wonder how that has changed the destiny of all those left behind with no sons to carry on the family name. But they have taken more than just the sons or daughters, they have destroyed a complete line of what could have been. What should have been.

 

All those sons and daughters that should have been born, the weeping willow tree is still weeping today…

 


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Scarlet Ribbons for her Hair…

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Scarlet Ribbons has to be my all time favourite of all Anita’s books. Inspired by the song, I think she was truly inspired when she wrote it…

It was all over at last. He would never hurt anyone ever again. If they had the police here, Annie’s mother had paid dearly, given away her own freedom. Murder was murder, no matter how necessary. But if it was up to me, I’d have given her a medal. I wondered when it had happened, and why we hadn’t heard anything. We must have fallen into a deep sleep, upstairs with Annie.

Alan carried Annie down the stairs, past her mother who was still leaning against the open front door. Her face was wiped clean of emotion, no tears as Annie was taken from her. She might as well have used the same knife on herself. She was dead inside, a lifeless husk with faded blue eyes. I couldn’t feel sorry for her though. It was too late for that.

I walked past her, following Annie, forgetting all about David until he called my name.

‘You can’t go with her, Mags. We’ve done our part, it’s over now.’

I kept on walking beside her, trying to touch her hand, her hair, whispering my goodbyes.

Alan sat Annie in the back seat of the car and we watched as it drove away. Half way down Stanley Road, Annie turned and looked through the rear window. Was she taking one last look at what had been her home, or was she saying goodbye to me?

I lowered my eyes, not wanting to see her disappear, that’s when I noticed the red ribbon lying in the road at my feet. For a moment I hardly dared touch it. What if it disintegrated or something? Slowly I plucked up the courage to pick it up, and holding it in my hand, I realised that it was the closest I had ever come to touching her, really touching her. Suddenly, tears were coursing down my face.

David put his arms around me, he didn’t speak and I was grateful for the silence. My tears became huge, gasping sobs as my heart emptied itself of all the pain, only to be replaced by another kind. As he led me away we heard sirens behind us. Not the kind we have today, but loud bells.

Somebody had called the police.

scarlet-ribbons-newI put Annie’s ribbon in my jeans pocket, wiped my face and said, ‘Where to now?’

‘You choose, Maggie.’

‘Home, let’s both go home. We’ve done what we came here for.’ I waited for a tremor, a sign. But nothing happened. We were still there.

‘This can’t be happening. You said I could go back if I helped. I have, now let me go!’

‘Who on earth are you talking to, Mags?’

‘The voice, the one that keeps me here. Haven’t you heard it?’

He shook his head.

‘Well, if it won’t let me out, I’ll find my own way back. I’m not staying here.’

I started walking double time. David had to run to catch up to me.

‘You don’t have to follow me. Find your own way out.’

‘There’s gratitude for you. Thanks a bunch, Mags.’ He emphasised the Mags. ‘All right, Miss Smarty-pants, how do you know which way is out? Or if there is more than one way out of here. We may be stuck with each other a while yet.’

I stopped walking and he bumped into me. Without turning around, I mumbled, ‘Sorry.’

‘Pardon?’ he said. ‘I didn’t catch that.’

I knew he had, but said it again anyway. Before I knew what was happening, he had turned me around and kissed me.

And I let it happen. It felt so good to have his arms around me, his lips soft and warm, so warm it was bringing parts of me alive that I had almost forgotten about.

As much as I wanted it, needed to be held and loved, I couldn’t let it happen. I loved Jack, but David felt so good, so familiar as if those arms had held me before.

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A Walk Back in Time…

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Today dawned bright and sunny, such a contrast to the grey miserable days we have been having lately.  Even though it was bloody freezing, we felt compelled to go for a walk, and we could always pick up something nice for tea on the way home.

The frozen grass crunched under our feet as we walked to town and huge clouds of steam from our mouths followed us down the road. On the way, we noticed just how many front gardens were showing signs of life, with bright green shoots bursting bravely into the winter sunshine, reminding us that Nature was already preparing to give way to Spring.

We walked around the town, looking in some of the windows, not really interested in buying anything it was just great to be out in the fresh (all though freezing ) air. Before returning home, we decided to visit the Physic Garden, one of our favourite places in Petersfield and situated just off the high street.

 

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This garden is from an ancient time and was originally used by apothecaries to grow herbs for medicinal purposes. It is well cared for, and the complicated knot gardens are well worth seeing. They also have a collection of the oldest fruit trees I have ever seen, most of them supporting quite an array of mistletoe.

It is a walled garden and very old, one of the oldest places in our town. Most of the original planting is still going strong, some plants that we have never seen before. We tend to pop in whenever we are passing, as there is always such a lovely ambience when you walk around, almost as though time is hesitating, waiting for you to catch up…

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My Hero…

I first watched Jack Nicholson in the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and vividly remember being instantly struck by his boyish and slightly naughty charms. He is one of those people who can convey so much emotion and feeling with just one raised eyebrow, not to mention the wicked gleam in his eyes.

Over the years, I have watched him in awe in so many different roles. Sadly frustrated in “Terms of Endearment” with Shirley Maclaine and the comical devil in “Witches of Eastwick.” He played the maniacal hotel caretaker in “The Shining and the grumpy obsessive-compulsive writer in “As Good as it Gets.”

The other day I watched him in “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman. Old and not as attractive these days, but the charm was still there if you looked hard enough.

Jack was fascinated by the actor Marlon Brando, watching the film “On the Waterfront” over forty times, studying the method acting style Brando professed to have invented. This surely had an impact on Jack’s development as an actor. If proof were needed, and certainly not by me, Jack has 12 Academy Nominations to his name.

I don’t know much about his personal life, although I suspected it hadn’t been a rose garden. I have since learned that his life almost mirrored my own. No father on the scene, Nicholson was his mother’s name. His ‘sister,’ who was in fact, his Irish mother, brought him up. Regarded as the class clown in High School, he had detention every day for a year. And one failed marriage, yet several children by other women.

He has said that he attributes his eccentricity to being born on the cusp, the point where two star signs meet, on April 22nd, 1937. They say this gives you the characteristics of both astrological signs, and I think the mixture of Aries and Taurus would indeed produce someone like Jack Nicholson.

He is 80 this year, just a few years older than I am. I wonder how he is faring in his old age, for he looks lonely sometimes. Is he still searching for that special someone, or has he resigned himself to remain alone.  Like myself, he has been branded ‘difficult to live with,’ but maybe we would have got along just fine…

“Nicholson is the Hollywood celebrity who is most like a character in some ongoing novel of our times. He is also the most beloved of stars—not even his huge wealth, his reckless aging, and the public disasters of his private life can detract from this…For he is still a touchstone, someone we value for the way he helps us see ourselves.”        David Thomson, film critic.[53]

 

 


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Jungle Book

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The family had been looking forward to watching the new Jungle Book film on TV this Christmas, and listening to them talking about it, I wondered why they loved it so much. I had never seen the earlier cartoon version, although I knew the songs from all the clips they show.

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I only had a vague idea of the story. A baby brought up in the forest by wolves, befriended by a lovable old bear called Ballou. A different telling of Tarzan, I thought.

This version was not just a cartoon. They used real animals combined with CGI to create a magical story, and I was instantly enthralled. Although I personally hate technology in all its forms, as whenever I try to utilise it, everything usually goes pear shaped. But I can appreciate it when other people use it well, and this film is flawless.

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Children (and adults) will love this film, and not just for the animals and scenery. This timeless story, with its ultimate message of peace and goodwill is a valuable one in today’s world.

Pity we can’t get all the world leaders to watch it too…