I will also be writing about our visits and trips which is another passion of ours. For as long as I can remember I have loved exploring, combined with a new language and culture and to me that’s heaven.
We are shortly off to Bulgaria to visit friends and “explore” parts of the country we have not discovered yet. Our Bulgarian friends are also fascinated and interested in our pen pals and so it will be interesting to gain their thoughts on the subject and also about prisons in Bulgaria.
I have promised my penpal a post card of Bulgaria and to try and bring to life Bulgarian life.
2016 was a challenging year for me, I learnt a lot, changed a little and begun on a journey which has brought so much to me.
My partner and I decided to become penpals to two inmates on death row in Florida, USA. People always ask why we do this, well I feel its giving a little to someone who has nothing and no one. A letter and kind words can mean so much at a time of need. In this modern social media dominated world we seldom have time to put pen to paper and write a letter and turn to our phones or pc’s to send messages.
My partner and I both feel strongly about the treatment of prisoners and death row inmates and therefore this year already I have had an article in local press (Hastings Observer), National Press (The Sun) and appeared on National TV, ITV This Morning with Holly and Phil, to talk about what we do. All of this was a great experience and it has helped the organisation who find penpals for death row inmates as people have contacted them since my TV appearance – which is brilliant news.
We would love to visit our friends and somehow, one day we will. I have decided to write more about our friends on this blog as I often struggled as what to write on here, however I would now like to share the support we give our friends and a little small glimpse into their lives on death row. We have plans for further articles and hopefully TV work, in the form of a documentary.
Death row in the USA has been in the news recently and so its a good time to try and help people see that the crime aside, these are human beings and are our friends. Friendship can be found in the most unlikley of places but can mean so much.
2017 has started brilliantly for my writing. I am currently working on two titles for Pen and Sword Press. Both are to do with the lives of women 1850 to 1950 and their achievements during this interesting period period history. One title is looking at Eastbourne, East Sussex and the other is Tunbridge Wells, Kent. I am in my element with all the research!
In the last yeat I have been very poor at writing and have let my writing slip. Sometimes things come along which take over from our writing and get in the way, or life just takes over. It is now 1 January 2017 and for some reason I feel refreshed and rejuvinated and cant wait to write.
I have recently been commissioned to write a book about women 1850-1950 in Eastbourne, looking at womens lives, occuptations, leaisure persuits and the ward years. I have already started the researched and am enjoying my project.
I am also determind this year to put on a play which I wrote a few years ago as I have met some wonderful people who would be great in this production. The first play will be an adaptation from one of the stories on the Hastings Old Town Ghost Walk – script is ready and all I need now is the cast – very exciting!
2016 was a scarey year for me and at one point I thought that I would never write again. I am so glad that things have worked out and now I am not wasting one single moment and will grab opportunities with both hands.
I am also going to update this on a more regular basis than in the past.
Happy New Year!
In October 2015 I retired from leading the ghost walks to concentrate on lots more projects and writing. I have 101 projects in the pipeline and am currently working on my new tours business Historic experiences, not only will I offer bespoke history tours but also courses, publications and events.
This year I am going to be running some Adult Education courses at Bexhill College and Claverham, Battle. This is very exciting, I just hope that I get some people book onto them so they actually happen.
The first is a whole day at Bexhill College on August 13th – this is aimed at people who are wanting to get started in tracing WW1 ancestors. The day is designed so that the first session is Getting Started in Family history followed by Tracing your WW1 ancestors and the final session Tracing you Female WW1 Ancestors. You can attend all three or just the ones which interest you the most. Please contact Bexhill College if you are interested.
After researching my own family history in WW1 I wanted to share my experience with others who were keen to learn about their family connections – I hope my course will motivate and inspire attendees to research their past.