Milly Reynolds the Crime and General Fiction Author

Creator of crime sleuths Mike Malone and Jack Sallt and writer of other general fiction

Christmas Trees

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Last weekend was lovely. Husband and I visited the Church of St.Peter and St. Paul at Gosberton where they were holding a Christmas Tree Festival. It was brilliant, lots of twinkling lights bringing a warmth to the stones of the church. Many years ago, when my son and I used to play for our local Brass Band, the Band gave a Christmas  Concert at this same church – again during a Christmas Tree Festival and I have never forgotten it. While we played the lights were dimmed and from our position before the altar, the whole body of the church was alive with sparkling, glimmering lights. It was magical and that was why I included that scene in ‘Strawberries and Sheep’. My pictures just do not do the spectacle justice – you’ll just have to trust me.

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It’s nearly Christmas!

The tree is up! I love getting ready for Christmas – always have. The tree is my favourite thing because whereever we go, we always buy a little something to go on the Christmas tree. Therefore, when putting up the tree, I always come across things that bring back lovely memories; a soldier from Copenhagen, a Murano Santa from Venice and a little windmill from Amsterdam to name three. Add to those the decorations that my son made when he was at school and you can see why my tree is special.

Unfortunately, I have fallen behind with my writing. I had been hoping to get a new Mike Malone ready by Christmas – sadly he is still a long way off. He’s nearly solved the crime, he’s almost there. At least everyone has his previous adventures to read if they are missing him.

Will write again soon.

Birthdays

I am not a brilliant cook by any means, I have a go and the finished products, although looking ‘rustic’ are usually good to eat. Therefore, when my Dad asked me to make a birthday cake for his 93rd birthday, how could I refuse?

The cake itself was ok, the tricky part was the decorating. I would love to see a TV cook covered in icing sugar and chocolate for once; they always seem to wear the finest silks and don’t even bother with an apron. How do they do it? The first layer of cream went on fine – I thought I was doing well, but I was actually being lulled into a sense of false security. The chocolate fingers found their way around the cake with no problems and those that were broken were swiftly dealt with which is something else you never see Mary Berry or Jamie Oliver doing. When did you last see a TV cook polish off the biscuits that were left over?

With the row of fingers complete, I thought I was winning. Only the piping and the decorations left to do. I filled the piping bag with rich chocolate frosting. I squeezed the piping bag and my first little swirl appeared as if by magic – at the same time as a dollop of frosting emerged from the top of the bag all over my hands. I carried on regardless, leaving a trail of escaping frosting behind me, but at least the swirls were in place.

Only the decorations to do, truffles to place up on the cake, candles to go in pride of place and I was finished. Looking at the finished cake and the silver board, you would never know that the kitchen was a disaster area. But I’m not telling anyone. It’s our secret, ok?

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Mike Malone No 10

The Woolly Murders3I have achieved the goal that I set at the beginning of the school holidays, to finish the new Mike Malone. I did it! The book is now in the process of being published and will be on Kindle within the next couple of days. I suppose I’d better start planning the next one.

Planes and cricket

What an amazing few days.

There is something majestic and powerful about the Avro Lancaster bomber. A beautiful aircraft. So, why is it so special to me, someone who was born after WW2? Well, my uncle was a navigator on the Lancasters during the war and survived many missions. My regret is that I never talked to him about his experiences, I never got to know the man behind the lovable and much loved uncle. Therefore, now that the Canadian Lancaster is in the UK to join the Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, I’m like a child at Christmas. To see these two magnificent planes flying together for maybe the last time …

When they were joined by the Vulcan bomber this week, well, I just had to see them, didn’t I? And see them I did. I’m dead chuffed with myself too. Working out from information on the internet the possible flight path from RAF Waddington to RAF Marham, I pinpointed a spot where I might just be lucky. So, Thursday afternoon, I drove to Frampton Marsh, I walked out onto the sea-bank, I waited for nearly 40 minutes and I was rewarded. Those three magnificent machines flew right over me. Spine-tingling, an historic moment that will probably never, ever happen again. And I was there. What is even more incredible is that no one else seemed to have the same idea that I had, after all there were 4 mile tail-backs around Waddington. But where I was, no one. I had the sea-bank to myself, I was an audience of one and I will never, ever forget that afternoon.

So today, keeping the Lancaster theme, a visit to Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre to see another working Lancaster. Unfortunately, this one is not airworthy, but she is still superb. She taxys up and down and the sound of the 4 Merlin engines  – breath-taking. As you can see from the photos, she is one special lady.2014-08-23 10.32.51 2014-08-23 10.32.13-2 2014-08-23 10.34.04

And cricket? Where does cricket fit into a report about Lancaster bombers? Well, while at the Heritage Centre today, I met England’s Stuart Broad. Need I say more?2014-08-23 11.17.14

Finished at last.

Have finally finished the first draft of the next Mike Malone – provisional title, ‘See How She Runs’. Hopefully, after editing, it should be available on Kindle mid September – or earlier if I can manage it.

It doesn’t actually seem right to be so happy at finishing a book when everyone is reflecting upon the tragic news of the death of Robin Williams. I grew up with ‘Mork and Mindy’ and my son grew up watching ‘Flubber’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Jumanji’ to name a few before moving onto the brilliant ‘Good Will Hunting’. He was a man who brought joy and laughter to many, so sad that there wasn’t enough joy in his own life. Rest in Peace.

 

Windy days and nights

Wow, what a blustery weekend. Luckily, we were not too badly affected here. I don’t know about you, but I can put up with strong winds in the daylight, I just don’t like listening to them rattling around the house at night when I can’t see what is happening. In fact, there’s nothing better than sitting in the garden on a bright sunny day like today and listening to the wind in the trees. Just not at night please, my imagination always runs riot and I can’t sleep.

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