Friday, 14 December 2018

Sofia and Donald...Christmas day at Haslington Towers





Howde Folks,

We hope you've enjoyed our time with you. We have a few more weeks left before Lady M returns and as it is Christmas in ten days time I would like to share my last Christmas day downstairs with you. I guess what we are really saying is make sure you enjoy the festive season and make it special because you do not know what the future holds for you.

                                                       ************************



On Christmas morning  the Haslington household, like every other family with young children was in the throes of excitement as numerous attractive parcels lay under the tree waiting to be opened. Donny was desperate to know if he had a telescope, but Derek had strict rules about Christmas in his home. Like everything else in his tidy life, there was routine, order, discipline and precision to ensure that the whole day ran smoothly.
The twins were awake just after 6.00am and desperate to explore downstairs but remained in their beds until Derek, still in his dressing-gown went in just after 8.00am,
‘Good Morning, children, Season’s Greetings, How are Daddy’s little darlings on this bright new day? Do they think Santa will have honoured us with his presence yesterday evening?’
‘Merry Christmas, Daddy’, they uttered in unison before Donny said, ‘When can we open our presents? Has Santa left me a telescope?’
‘Later, young man, later. Now, it is time to get up, wash and dress in your best clothes for Christmas Day. Donny, suit and red bow tie, Sophie, pink dress. Mummy will give you breakfast at 9.00am.
Sofia wearing a long crimson velvet skirt and white Edwardian style blouse served breakfast of fruit juice, cereals and toast in the kitchen as usual. Derek was wearing a dark suit and red bow tie like his son and in total control of the situation. They looked like an Edwardian family but completely out of place, seated on stools round the kitchen table. Despite Donny’s pleas to look under the tree, it was totally forbidden until 10.00 o’clock when Derek, as “Master of the House” led his family including Sheba into the lounge.
He had previously been in and switched the fire on, but he was the only person allowed in that room before 10.00am on Christmas morning.
‘Wow’, was Donny’s comment when he saw that the floor in the corner of the room under the tree was covered in parcels; it looked like hundreds of them, but was there a telescope?
‘Silly boy,’
‘Children, children, Daddy says there is to be no squabbling or teasing on Christmas day.’
Like well-behaved Edwardian children they sat on the sofa, stared at the mass of goodies and waited for their father to start proceedings. First, Derek put a Christmas music CD in the CD player and waited until Harry Belafonte was singing Mary’s Boy Child before switching the tree lights on. Donny could hardly sit still; his dilated pupils were focused on the mound in the corner. Sophie wanted to prove to everyone that she was more mature than her brother; she had started to imitate her mother’s pose and sat regally on the sofa with her torso forming an ‘S’ shape.
Sofia, like other housewives up and down the country had the “kitchen” side of events under control; the turkey was already in the oven and the vegetables prepared. They would sit down to Christmas lunch at 1.00pm precisely.
Donny was convinced that he would explode with excitement if his father did not start opening the presents soon. He was an ordinary nine year old boy and patience was not in his vocabulary. At last, Derek picked up the first pretty and extremely large parcel which was always for himself from Sofia and began the proceedings; he carefully, slowly and methodically which in Donny’s opinion took for ever, opened the gift.
‘What has Mummy bought Daddy this year?’ he said as he removed the blue decorative ribbon and gift label before removing the paper to reveal a wicker basket. Derek folded the paper before opening the basket and discovering a picnic hamper.
‘Thank you my darling. We shall all benefit from this wonderful gift in the summer months.’ He kissed her on the cheek before going back to the tree and picking up the second parcel. By this time Harry Belafonte had finished singing and a choir were giving a rendition of Silent Night.
‘Donny, this one is for you.’ He handed over a small parcel to his son. At last, Donny had his first present to open but it was too small for a telescope. Unlike his father Donny tore the paper off at high speed and it was a Sudoku Cube from his friend Jack.
‘That will amuse you but look outside,’ Sofia said.
It was snowing; those white flakes were falling like manna from heaven, ‘Why don’t we have a barbecue this afternoon? Nothing exotic just hot dogs. We never eat much for tea on Christmas Day; we’re always too full of turkey.’
‘A barbecue in the snow?’ This was not part of Derek’s well-organised day and the tone in his voice indicated that he was not happy about the idea. ‘All the equipment has been put away in the garage.’
However, as Sofia had expected the twins thought it would be fantastic, “cool” and exciting. Naturally, Derek would not disappoint his children; he agreed to get the small family barbecue out after lunch. Sofia knew that it had to be a Christmas to remember and really all the family should be together. After all, they would be two members short next year.
‘Why don’t you phone Donald and ask him and Miranda to join us?’
‘What about Grandpa?’
‘Grandpa says he’s joining us for dinner Donny. You know he doesn’t do presents and cards anymore and I don’t think he’ll want to go outside in the snow.’
By noon about an inch of snow had fallen, three CD’s had been played and the mountain of presents under the tree had all been opened except for two which Sofia had carefully wrapped separately but tied together with both the children’s names on them.
‘Ah, this last gift appears to be for both of you,’ Derek untied them and handed them each a small package. Inside were doorplates with Sophie’s Room and Donny’s Room on them. Derek looked shocked, the twins were delighted.
‘I know Sophie wants her own room now that she’s nine Derek and I thought she could move into the one next to the bathroom tomorrow.’
‘But the…’ she was about to mention the candles and rose petals but Sofia gave her a stern look which told her she should remain silent,
‘I’ve already prepared it for you.’
‘Well, if your mother has already prepared it and as you are both growing into young adults I see no reason why you should not have your own individual bedrooms.’ He was not overjoyed at the prospects of their names being attached to the doors as it would spoil the paintwork. ‘Sophie you may remove your possessions tomorrow afternoon when we return home after brunch.’
‘Oh thank you, Daddy,’ she rushed over to give him a hug and a kiss which Donny considered to be far too sissy. He remained seated but delighted that his sister would be moving out tomorrow. There was only one more night of sharing a room with her.
Despite Derek’s careful approach to opening presents the room still resembled a bomb site with presents and litter strewn all over the floor. Even Sheba was excited with her new toys particularly a squeaking snowman which she was playing with. Sophie was delighted with her numerous gifts from friends and her parents,
‘May I take these straight to my new room?’ she asked as she collected her new possessions together.
‘Yes you may.’
‘Thank you Daddy,’ she left the room carrying her calligraphy set, jewellery box, umbrella, scarf, gloves, handkerchiefs, diary and address book, photo frame, bubble bath, “Name A Star” certificate, doorplate and alarm clock. Her other gifts of chocolate, sweets, selection boxes and stationery and her main present from Derek and Sofia, a digital camera remained in the lounge.
Sofia disappeared into the kitchen leaving her presents behind. She had been surprised to receive anything from Derek after the London excursion and his recent attitude towards her but he had bought her a beautiful green leather writing case as he said to go with the fountain pen which she had had for her birthday. He was so thoughtful, other men by their wives perfume and lingerie! However, he could not have realised just how useful this gift was going to be.
Donny was pleased with his Harry Potter Wand, bubble machine, photo frame, diary, scarf, gloves, “Name A Star” certificate, chocolate, board games, sweets and selection box but most of all, his telescope. It was in a box and he was desperate to set it up but it would have to be later.
Derek was left clearing up the final mess before he phoned Donald. Then it was the Christmas dinner with crackers and fancy hats before sitting down and listening to the Queen’s Speech at 3.00pm.
About 3.30pm Donald and Miranda arrived with their presents, dressing-gowns with names embroidered on them for all the family. Derek proudly handed them a large Fortnum & Mason hamper. When the exchanging of gifts was completed they wrapped up warmly and went out onto the patio where Derek had set the small barbecue up.
It had stopped snowing and two delighted children with Sheba headed down to the garden to have a snowball fight and make a snowman. Derek started his cooking and produced some of the finest Christmas Day hotdogs which they devoured and much to Sofia’s delight Donny suddenly said,
‘Wow, this is ace; it’s the best Christmas ever.’
                                                     *********************

Love to you all, Sofia and Donald ❤❤❤❤

Friday, 7 December 2018

Sofia and Donald...Light a Candle



Howde Folks,


This week we have chosen her blog Light a Candle. We love candles. My children burn them when they wish to communicate with me. Candles are such beautiful things. Prior to electricity they were essential for light in the darkness. Now, they are not just practical but decorative and some of them even add beautiful aromas to a room. We share her plea with you, please  Light a Candle.



                                                              **********
In the midst of all this gloom comes brightness, a new light, which brings happiness, warmth, joy and comfort. It is the time when Christians celebrate the birth of Christ: a time of goodwill to all men, a time to forgive and forget, and a time to give and receive. There's turkey and tinsel, sherry and mince pies, carol singers singing Silent Night, trees adorned with fairy lights; holly and ivy, mistletoe, crackers, cards, decorations, and Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

The Church prepares for Christmas throughout Advent. Each week a candle is lit as the excitement mounts for the coming of Christ. Christians remember how Mary and Joseph made the journey to Bethlehem for a census and, while there, Mary gave birth to Jesus.
The candles burn brightly in churches around the world: the flames flicker heralding the arrival of 'the light of the world'. A burning candle radiates a warm glow; it is relaxing and romantic, it dispels fear and anguish, it is a symbol of hope.
On Christmas day there will be barbecues on beaches in sunny Australia and different traditions upheld around the world. Here in Britain there may well be a blanket of white snow with robin redbreasts chirping in gardens making nature look like the traditional Christmas card scene. In homes families will drink mulled wine and celebrate by a log fire or more probably a plasma television screen! Friends and relatives will call round with the season's greetings.
It always seems like everyone is celebrating and enjoying the festive season. It is easy to forget the poor, the homeless, starving, sick, suffering and war torn areas of the world. It is easy to forget that many arguments occur at Christmas time causing separations and that some families have lost loved ones and are in mourning and feeling sorrow, not happiness.
Light a candle for the loved ones no longer with you because they have made that final journey home.
Light a candle to celebrate the coming of Christ.
Light a candle for the homeless.
Light a candle for the sick.
Light a candle for the starving.
Light a candle for the soldiers away from their families fighting for our freedom.
Light a candle to welcome people.
Light a candle to bring a warm glow into your home.


                                                           ***********
                                                   


Love to you all,

Sofia and Donald 
xxxxxx

Friday, 30 November 2018

Sofia and Donald... beware of scams




Howde Folks,

Okay, now we have updated you on events in the Haslington family and given you some information on the afterlife we want to warn you about scams. It is Christmas next month and a great time for scammers to take your money or sell you false products. They make you think you are getting a bargain when the item is faulty, already stolen or a dud. We also know of peeps who have broken into houses just before Christmas Eve and stolen all gifts from under the tree. We've never really understood why they were there. Did Santa come early? We urge you all to be really vigilant and careful. There is an old adage, 'if it's too good to be true'... we say leave it alone. Never give your bank details to anyone. Never open unsolicited attachments particularly from banks, PayPal, Amazon; they are designed to look genuine but are not, they are designed to steal your money! Lady M has often received emails from banks where she doesn't even have accounts. Recently, she received one from the tv licensing authority telling her that her license fee is overdue and if she clicked 'here' she could get a discount. Really! It was the wrong time and the wrong licence number but it would have been easy to click on a link suggesting a discount, wouldn't it?  Always think carefully before you click on to them.

We want you all to have a great Christmas and not a miserable one because you've been scammed. Scamming is everywhere these days and in many forms. Lady M first posted this one several years ago and it has been one of her most popular ones and so we would like to share it with you again.

                                                           ************************



Hello, We are quite interested in using your face/picture for a billboard/calling card advert. We presently have a billboard advert and your profile is chosen to do the job. Please reply with your approval,so we could move on with further details. All replies should be emailed to danielawhite001@yahoo.co.uk . Regards. Daniela.

Well, it sounds interesting... intriguing. Lady M requested more details.

Subject: billboard advert update
Good day

The profile we selected was sent by a third party company. They look through sites like Facebook, MySpace and MM to identify a profile for suitable for billboard advertising. We do not involved in erotic images. We explained in our previous email that our client who contracted this job to us produces international telephone cards.

This is a serious offer and to demonstrate how serious we are, you wouldn't pay any money. However, as this is a paid job you would get paid for this assignment, the photo session would hold in a photographer's studio close to your city. Let us know if you are interested,so we can send you more information.


Best regards

Daniela.
It sounds good. They are serious and they do not want any money. They are going to pay her. People have looked through FB and found her photograph. They WANT her. Wow. She is interested. Wouldn't you be? Next email.

Good day,

Thanks for getting back to us. This is an advert job, so you do not need to be a model in order to qualify, anyone can do an advert job, provided that your face match what we are looking for.

The total contract package for this Advertisement job is $30,000. We would want your face to appear in our client (Global Link International) advert campaign. The company is involved in international calling cards around UK and Europe. If you are accepted, your picture would be one of the faces for their new International calling cards and billboards. Find all details for the job below.

JOB LOCATION

Since we can not use the pictures from the social network website, we would need to take fresh photos. The photo shoot will be held at a rented photographer’s studio near you, so you don’t have to worry about travelling abroad, the name and address of the studio would be forwarded to you before the date of the shoot, all make up will be taken care of at the studio. You can also come along with any body of your choice on the day of the shoot, your family or personal manager.

JOB DETAILS

You have 4 different outfits to wear; this would be provided by our client on the day of the shoot. Note that your hair would need to be without any artificial hair colour.

TYPES OF CLOTHES

Casual

EXPECTATIONS

An advert job can be done by anybody, it all depends on if your picture matchthe kind of look we are searching for. Do get in touch with us if you will take the job so that we can start up from there. You would pay absolutely no commission, no personal cost to yourself.

Regards.
Daniela.
So, with such information and extremely curious our Lady M goes to the next stage. Alarm bells are ringing but...
Hello,
We appreciate your co-opration in theis project. Candimodels was founded in 2000 by David McDonald and Tracie Rowleys. Within this period of time we have grown into one of the most well-known and respected agencies of it's kind in UK and Nationwide. We have worked hard to ensure that we have the most comprehensive selection picture agency based in United kingdom. We acknowledge gorgeous pictures for commercial billboard advertisement.
Moreover,you have been selected for the billboard advertisement for our clients "Global Link INT". A copy of the picture will be sent to you. You also will have the opportunity to attend the launching of the billboard.
We require the following:

FULL NAME:


PHONE:

FULL POSTAL ADDRESS:

AGE:

OCCUPATION:
NAME OF YOUR BANK:( This is necessary, in other for the financier to know upon which bank cheque we to issue your salary)

Thanks.

Wow! It is all so impressive.
But wait a minute, not once have they mentioned her by name. The original email is a generalised one. If they are a UK company why are they dealing in dollars? Next stage...

Hello Marilyn,

I am happy to inform you that the photo shoot for the billboard/calling card advert is due on the 14TH and 15TH Of April 2012. The amount payable for this advert job is $30,000
(or its equivalent),because you are not registered with us you are entitled to 35%($10,500) of the total contract amount. You will receive your payment in two separate installments.First payment that will be made out to you by the financier would be for $5,000.You are to take out $1,000(being 20% of the first payment, as your part payment)the balance is meant for Studio fees and Legal Documentation. and "Sign up fee" with us,in case of future jobs.


A contract will be sent out to you via e-mail,the hard copy would be signed on the final day of shoot,the second installment payment of ($9,500 being your balance take home) would be paid to you in cash or be transferred to your bank on the shooting date immediately after the shoot. Candimodel members benefits include; being scouted by most of the top agencies in the world, from one place, at one time. Its just that simple. Candimodels, Scouts, backs up this claim by giving the potential model the opportunity to see which agencies/companies express an interest in them.
* Your portfolio is added to our agency database for 1 year.
* Agencies routinely search the database to find new faces.
* Agencies have access to your portfolio at anytime and can email it to clients.
* Agencies can find you by location, age, height, eye color, bust & more.
* Agencies can add your portfolio to their personal call back list.
* Agencies can add your portfolio to a global callback list (used by all the agencies).
Portfolio membership

Pls, do let us know if you are okay with this payment plan,so that we can move with other shoot arrangements. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards.



This is fantastic. For at least 5 minutes our Lady M was spending her $10,500 and she was going to be on their books for twelve months. Thank goodness her hair is still the natural colour. She may take someone with her to a professional photo shoot, the four outfits were to be provided by the agency. She would be invited to the launch. Her face would be on billboards, just how lucky can a girl get?
We would like to point out that there is a Candi Model Agency and a company called Global Link Int, but they may not be associated with this scam or even aware of it.

Why should she have to pay $4,000 out of her first payment? Why do this third party not pay it directly to the agency? Does a photo shoot with make up and hair being done by professionals for ONE photograph really take two days? Aren't contracts normally signed before the work and not at the end? Do professional agencies really pay out such large sums in cash? Why are we still discussing dollars in the UK? Why hasn't it been changed into sterling?

Lady M played around on Google and sure enough there were people around the world who had received this email during the last twelve months. Someone replied that it was a scam originating in Nigeria and they would send the cheque, but you would be obliged to pay the fees before the cheque was cleared. It would bounce all the way back. There would be no photo shoot. Our Lady M pulled out before she found out where the fictitious shoot was going to be. You have got to admit, it is a sophisticated scam. It has plenty of detail, is attractive and looks, until you scrutinise it, as if it is genuine. Strangely, after Lady M pulled out, the company made no effort to persuade her to reconsider.

If anyone can identify these fraudsters, knows who to contact re scams or wishes to publicise other scams please leave a comment. Thank you.

Love to you all and please be careful, Sofia and Donald ❤❤❤❤❤

Friday, 23 November 2018

Sofia and Donald back home in the pub!




Howde Folks,

We hope you enjoyed our little catch up with the family down under last week. We have decided to join them for Christmas this year. Miranda always loved Christmas and made her home sparkle.

"She certainly did. We really enjoyed the festivities." Donald spoke.

Well, she has professionals in to decorate every room except Derek's room and then she adds to it. There are new surprises every day for the twins. They adore it. Derek hates it; he just hides in his music room. He is like Scrooge at Christmas. Anyway, as promised we are now back at our home, The Bear Public House, known to all as The Clock because of the massive clock outside the bedroom window. The building was demolished to make way for a new road several years ago but for us it is still here, our home, and we love it. It is just as it was apart from the fact that hands are missing from the clock because of the non-existence of time in this parallel universe.

Right now we are sitting at our usual table in the bar. It is where we plan all our activities and adventures and where we look down and observe what is happening downstairs. Scott, my father is looking after the family in Australia at the present. He is watching Donny make moussaka at one of the restaurants. Both are having fun. Soon, he'll be back here and the first thing he will do is stroke and play with my hair. I love it; a tender father-daughter moment and he still calls me Sweet Pea. My mother, Brenda, is still behind the bar; she loves working as a barmaid or at least going through the motions!

Sheba or 'spotty dog' as Sophie used to call her is still with us. Her favourite place is at this table in the bar, she is with us now and wagging her tail excitedly as she knows I'm talking about her. Sometimes, she comes down to see Sofia and follows her around the house in Australia.

"Hello, there. Nice of you two to pop back and see us."

Donald looked up, "Hi Mum, hi Dad."

Yes, Doreen and Frank are still happy here. They pop in occasionally for a drink and to see us. They spend a lot of time dancing; they go back to the Palais in Nottingham and relive the night he proposed to her. They reminisce over the 'good old days' of when they had so little yet so much because they had each other. They often chat about their twins Derek and Donald in their childhood days.

"They just love embarrassing me." Donald added. That comment caused much laughter in the room.

Now, last but not least, my eldest son, Billy. Yes, I was surprised to see him again and learn that he had been watching over me for so long and waiting to meet me. Life may be full of the unexpected and surprises but death can be equally so until you become accustomed to it. I try to spend as much 'time' with him as I can. We frequently pop downstairs and go ten-pin bowling; he loves that and we take his half-brother Jack with us. Jack is growing up into a young man now and understands why he is with us and no longer downstairs with his parents. Cot death is always so sad. Billy still finds it distressing when he remembers getting the call to collect him. He talks of his agony when watching his father realise Jack had passed over.

Well, folks, I think that has brought you up to date with our family both upstairs and downstairs. Remember, if you want to know more about us we are in Lady M's trilogy and can be found on the Net or elsewhere in her blogs.

Love to you all, Sofia, Donald, Billy, Jack, Scott, Brenda, Doreen and Frank ❤❤❤❤❤





Friday, 16 November 2018

Sofia and Donald in Australia




Howde Folks,

Last Sunday Donald and I were at the Cenotaph and it was really sad but we were pleased to be there and show our respects. It surprised us, but we saw many others who were also in the afterlife and several who had ended their days on earth at Flanders Field. To those reading this, you never know when one or more of us are by your side.

Now, we have rushed down to Australia where our family are living and would like to give you an update on how things have gone since they left Haslington Towers. My beautiful children have left school and are working with Miranda learning all aspects of the business. They are on the board of directors. I am so proud of them. They are happy to work in the shops and restaurants and experience everything firsthand so that they understand the jobs from the point of view of the employees. Derek is still disappointed that they chose to ignore university. He had big ideas for them; they were going to get wonderful degrees and have eminent positions in their chosen walks of life which for Donny was to be a heart surgeon following in his father's footsteps. Sophie would have a greater choice but was to marry someone of status and importance. Their previous friends, Stephen Brook-Bank and Annabelle Proctor-Lees from their Nottingham schools are now history. Yes, they Skyped for awhile but the promised visit and holiday in Australia never materialised. They both went onto study A levels and are now at University. Stephen or 'BB' as his friends called him is at the University of Birmingham reading medicine and will follow in his father's footsteps. Annabelle is reading Media Studies at the University of Warwick and wants to be a television presenter. Their lives are totally different from Sophie and Donny's. As is the way, things have changed and they have all moved on; they are not even in a relationship now. They both have new partners. Derek groans when he thinks of them; they have all that he wanted for the twins. He cannot accept that his children are happy and do not need degrees; their lives are sorted and their futures are bright and prosperous. They know how lucky they are and appreciate what they have. Donnie's hobby is still astronomy and Miranda has had a new Skyshed erected for him. My dear friend Miranda...

"Wow, here you both are." An exuberant Charles Urquart-Latterly joined them on the garden seat where they were admiring the view over the South Pacific Ocean.

"What are you doing here?" Donald asked him.

"Er… this is my house... remember?"

They all laughed. Charles had made his fortune in Australia and left everything to Miranda.

"I often pop down, sit here and keep an eye on things. Like you, Donald, I loved Miranda even though I hurt her but I made up for it. Now, she has both of us looking after her."

"Me too and we look after all of the family." Sofia spoke, "Charles, I was just updating our readers on events out here."

So, dear readers, this seat where we all love to sit is sited at a memorial to myself and Donald. Miranda kept her word and had an area of the garden made into a memorial for us. There is a beautiful lilypond like the one back at HT where my ashes were spread. The children love to sit here and talk to me. Miranda has been very accommodating. She runs the Charm of Cyprus extremely well and it continues to grow internationally. Derek has to be careful not to stress with his health issues. He works for the company in his capacity as a doctor and runs first aid courses. Miranda has created a music room for him and purchased every possible classical DVD for him to play on one of the top Home Entertainment Systems where he can watch classical concerts from around the world in peace and quiet. This is his special place for relaxation and apart from the housekeeper and domestic staff nobody goes into that room.

"Look, Miranda's home." Charles shouted in glee as her chauffeur drove up to the house. They all moved to the front of the house to see her. She waited for her chauffeur to open her door before alighting from the vehicle. She had learned how to be a lady after her down-trodden days under Derek's thumb at HT. She blossomed and radiated happiness with her smile. She wore elegance in her dress and no longer trudged along in tracksuits. Her make-up? Toned down, no longer plastered to hide her feelings. Sofia looked for one thing, "She still wears my friendship bracelet."

So, folks, that's life down under. Next week, we will tell you about our life or 'afterlife' at the pub. Until then, be happy and blossom like Miranda.

Love Sofia, Donald and Charles xxxx








Friday, 9 November 2018

Sofia, Donald and Remembrance Day


Cenotaph London.jpg
The Cenotaph, London

Howde Folks,

Yes, Donald and I are still with you and we hope you are enjoying having us around. We've spoken with you about our 'haunting' experience, our family, the afterlife and those beautiful books Lady M has written about us. Have you read them yet? Anyway, this week on Sunday it is 11th November with you, although as we have told you time does not exist where we are. Despite that, Donald and I are going to join people at the Cenotaph in London for the service. No, we are not going to indulge in our favourite hobby. We will be taking this very seriously as we watch the service, the laying of wreaths, and the Parade.

Just in case you are not aware of this event we can tell you that it is remembered in countries around the world and has been since the end of The Great War, now World War 1. The idea was that that war would end all wars. How wrong can you be? Only 21 years later a second world war started. Lady M firmly believes we are now in the Third World War, which is a war against terrorism. 
"Sofia, you are digressing!"
"Oh, sorry, thank you, Donald. As usual, you are keeping me on the right track."

It is also known as Poppy Day because there were poppies on Flanders Fields where one of the battles in World War 1 took place. These were first worn at the memorial service in 1921 and the colour 'red' became symbolic of all the bloodshed and lost lives through war. It is an annual occasion when people remember all those in the armed forces who have lost their lives through doing their duty and fighting for their country and freedom for others. The tradition began by King George V in 1919. The day was chosen because it recalled the end of fighting on that date in 1918, 'the 11th hour, of the 11th day in the 11th month in accordance with the signing of an armistice. This particular year marks 100 years since that day and a special commemoration which is why we are going. In fact, we have already popped down to London to the Tower where there are candles lit each evening for those poor souls who left the earth too soon fighting for freedom. It is very poignant and emotional there.

"Hey, Donald, Lady M can't say we are not educational, can she?"
"Definitely not. We do our best. Don't forget the two minutes silence."
"Oh no."

Further, as a mark of respect to the fallen there is also two minutes silence at 11.00 a.m. Some  countries make it a public holiday, others do not but still have services and events to commemorate it. In some countries it is always held on the 11th regardless of the day of the week for others it will be on the nearest Sunday and known as Remembrance Sunday. Certain things are synonymous with the day like the Bugle sound of The Last Post; the recital of Laurence Binyon's poem, For the Fallen, with the immortal words, 'We will remember them.'; war poetry by Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke will also be read; hymns like I vow to thee my country, Jerusalem and Abide with me are often sung.

Lady M recalls her childhood days, (not long after World War 2; she's so old she remembers the end of rationing in the early fifties) when the headmaster took all his pupils outside to the playground where they stood in silence and listened to him telling them about the wars and importance of the day. He had his eye on the time and as 11.00 a.m. approached he called for the statutory two minutes silence; this was followed by prayers and then they walked solemnly in crocodile form back to their studies. In the fifties it was taken very seriously. She is embarrassed to admit that in the sixties it became 'an old hat' kind of thing and something that was over and should be forgotten. It was a tradition that was maintained but not so seriously or with the respect that it should have been. The sixties was an era when everything was groovy, the sun seemed to shine every day and passed hostilities were over and forgotten. Now, it is taken much more seriously and she is pleased about that.

So folks, that's where we will be on Sunday, the Cenotaph in London remembering and wearing our poppies with pride. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing please remember all those around the world who have fought and lost their lives for freedom.

Love Sofia and Donald xxxxx










Friday, 2 November 2018

THE SOFIA TRILOGY







Howde Folks,

How did Halloween go? This year, although time doesn't exist for us, we decided to go back to Jamaica Inn, room 4 and share it with paying guests. Well, it wasn't as much fun as last time. We tried but it was an elderly couple who had taken sleeping pills and they were oblivious to our activities!

Anyway, we are so excited to have a trilogy about us that we thought we would share our information with you all and republish her post of 11th May. As far as we are concerned you cannot have too much of us. So, enjoy!
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The first of the 'Sofia Trilogy', Look After Each Other

The idea for this book was to interweave three things. The inspiration, once again, came from events in my life. I once had the misfortune to meet a gentlemen whose sole aim in life was to complain and find fault. I have always had a strong relationship with my father and thirdly, have visited clairvoyants/mediums. What if? Could I work with a plot involving these three ideas and a lot of 'what if's?  It worked!

"Sofia Haslington is a 36-year-old mother and housewife kept under the thumb of her priggish, anal-retentive husband, Derek. Living by a second-to-second timetable and under strict rules enforced by her husband, Sofia decides to visit a well-respected clairvoyant, hoping for a bit of respite from her otherwise dreary existence. But what she is surprised to learn that day not only changes her life...it changes her.
Sofia, now planning to die on March 5th 2005, writes a "Do or Die" list and, with a renewed sense of spirit, unleashes the bad girl hidden deep down inside. From breaking the Ten Commandments to exploring the marvels of Tantric sex, Sofia goes on a liberating journey of body, mind, and spirit, relishing every last minute she has left on this earth. Women everywhere will laugh, cry, and cheer as Sofia counts down her final moments, making each one more memorable and enjoyable than the last." (Blurb from SBP edition)

I self-published this book in 2007. Later, in 2009, it was republished by the American Strategic Book Publishers in hardback. Both editions (paper/softback and hardback) are still available worldwide on Amazon, The Internet and the hardback edition from good bookshops. The paperback edition is ISBN 9780953945139. The hardback edition is ISBN 9781608600946. Both may be obtained from Internet sites or signed copies from myself. Just leave a message below.

The second of the trilogy, Sofia's Legacy

Sofia's Legacy  answers the question," Is there 'life' after death?" Sofia has died, but come back from "upstairs" to watch her funeral. What a revelation! To be able to see and hear what people were saying about her now that she was dead and they had no idea she could see and hear them. And Derek? Well, if ever there was a hypocrite it's Derek. Her father, Scott was with her and while Derek was, (trying to be the centre of attention), reading a passage from 1 Corinthians at the crematorium, Scott blew smoke rings in his face. He tried to shout above the smoke rings. It was hilarious. You really have to read it to fully appreciate it.  After the service Scott and Sofia joined them for the wake at Haslington Towers.

Sofia becomes accustomed to her new life in a world where time does not exist but where they keep an eye on events "downstairs" and try to help or hinder things. She manages to complete the 'do-or-die' list. Donald and she have many exciting adventures together. They also repeat some of the most enjoyable events; that's another advantage to being deceased or having passed over, because time doesn't exist  experiences may be repeated.




I'm afraid I'm not going to tell you anything else. Just read the book.
SOFIA'S LEGACY (ISBN 9781609763800)  Just email: marilynlrice@talktalk.net for further details or you can download on Kindle and all eBooks. Just put the title or ISBN in Amazon, B & N, bookshops on line or Search Engine. It is also available in paperback/softback from Amazon and Internet sites, all good bookshops or order it from your local library... all you need is the ISBN. Finally, purchase from me!


And, completing the trilogy, Love You Forever

Five years have passed. It is 2010. The reader sees how dramatic and unimaginable events have changed the lives of everyone Sofia left behind at Haslington Towers. Even more surprising events occur that lead to devastating consequences. You really will have to read it! I am not going to give anything else away!
But to quote from the blurb,
 "This stunning book series delves into karma, the afterlife, and more things in heaven and earth than you have ever dreamed!"


ISBN: 9781631353659     Soft/Paperback.

Available from Publisher’s Website: http://sbprabooks.com/MarilynLRice   Amazon, online retailers and good bookshops.

Or SIGNED COPIES from the Marilyn L Rice: Email: marilynlrice@talktalk.net.

Happy reading, folks! Lady M  and love from us Sofia and Donald 💖💖💖💖


Friday, 26 October 2018

Sofia and Donald go haunting on Halloween



Howde Folks,

We hope you are enjoying our little insight into our world. Have you noticed any feathers, robins or unusual activities? If, by any chance, a loved one has passed over recently and you are a little sad be assured that they will have received a warm welcome here and enjoyed a great party. They will also have been present at your final farewell to them. 

As promised last week we are sharing Lady M's writing about our haunting on Halloween as it is Halloween next week. It is in chapter 14 of her book, Sofia's Legacy. I like that book because it has my name in the title and is the second one in my trilogy. It also begins with my funeral. I really enjoyed it and my ashes are now on the lilypond at Haslington Towers. Should you wish to read all about us you may contact her, visit her website, or just have fun on the Net. She gets everywhere!

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Chapter 14

Sofia was in her bedroom looking at her list delighted that at last she could tick number seven and there were only two more to go: Lapland trip and Hogmanay in Edinburgh. However last night had been a night to remember or rather forget; she and Donald had shared room number 4, the supposedly haunted room of Jamaica Inn with a middle-aged couple who, from their conversation, had paid £300 just to stay in that room on Halloween. They all waited patiently but nothing happened; there was no footsteps, no other ‘ghosts’, no sound of horses’ hooves or anything vaguely resembling haunted.
Donald and Sofia had amused themselves with their favorite occupation but even sex can get boring particularly if you’re waiting for something else. And they were waiting… waiting and waiting…
The couple had been so disappointed that at four o’clock out of sheer boredom Sofia and Donald thought they would do their own haunting just to satisfy them. Donald moved the curtains much to the couples delight. There was nothing that would cause them to blow like that; they were mesmerized and clung to each other although neither party would admit that they were afraid. Then Sofia picked up a cup and took it across the room.
“Poltergeist activity,” they both screamed in a mixture of delight and fear.
“Do you think they’ve had their money’s worth yet?”
“Oh, I think we ought to give them a bit more. Do Dad’s trick with the clock; move the hands.”
“Good idea.” Donald moved them forward to 6.30 a.m. causing the alarm to activate.
“Oh, it’s morning all ready.” He said switching off the alarm; he looked at the time and then at his watch. “It’s only four; something in this room has moved the hands.”
“Something? Someone please,” Donald said, “How insulting we go to all this trouble to give you a haunting and you refer to us as objects.”
“Oh it really is haunted. Wait till I tell them at the luncheon club.” The woman was getting excited, “This has been the best birthday present you’ve ever given me.”
“A birthday present? Well there’s no accounting for taste.”
“He wants her to know how much he’s paid as well, Sofia, tightfisted swine.”
“Well, we’d better make sure she has a present to remember it by. I’ll switch the lights on and off.”
“Good thinking.”
Sofia moved toward the switch and played for several minutes switching it on and off; it would flicker and stop then stay on for several seconds then off. She was having a lot of fun particularly when she saw their faces; they were clinging to each other and looked terrified.
“The things people pay money for Donald.”
But Donald was in hysterics.
“What shall we do next?”
“Let’s jump up and down on the bed.”
“Great idea Sofia.”
Just as the couple had decided that poltergeist activities were over, the curtains were still and the light was off they felt large lumps fall on top of them and the man thought he could hear laughter.
“Can you hear anything?”
“No, but I can feel something on top of me and it’s not you. Do you think the ghost wants sex with me?”
“Oh please,” Donald spoke, “first we’re objects and now I’m supposed to want sex with you. I think I’ve had enough of this Sofia. Are you happy about number seven being accomplished?”
“Definitely. Although when I wrote it down in the book I didn’t think I’d be doing the haunting.”
“Death’s full of surprises.”
After that comment they both fell on the bed in fits of laughter.
“Come on Donald; let’s have a wander round this place and the Moor before breakfast and then we can listen to what this couple has to say about their night.”
At breakfast Donald and Sofia were in the restaurant enjoying the Full English when their roommates arrive looking pale and tired. It seemed that the other residents knew that they had occupied the supposedly haunted room.
“Well what happened?” someone asked.
“This is going to be good Sofia.”
“It was unbelievable,” the woman spoke, “the best birthday present my dear hubbie has ever bought me. There was nothing at first but just after four the curtains moved, footsteps…”
“I don’t remember footsteps, do you Sofia?”
“No, I thought we took our shoes off. Let’s hear what else she makes up.”
“…shadows gliding across the room, cups and saucers moving, proper poltergeist activity, the hands on the clock were put forward, flickering lights and then he jumped on top of me.”
There was silence followed by muttering.
“Nice to know we’ve made someone else’s birthday a happy one isn’t it?”
“Certainly is Donald.”
“I think we’d better get going. It’s November 1st down here...

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Hope you enjoyed that. Have a great Halloween, whatever you do and we'll be back next week.

Love to you all, Sofia and Donald 💖💖💖💖💀