Beginnings, Middles and Endings

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All stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Most fiction authors write their books with that in mind, although there are probably exceptions. The idea of a beginning, a middle and an end mirrors life itself. We are born, we live our lives, and we die: fulfilment.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life today. And death. Yes, I’m having a ‘down’ day. I’m fortunate in not having too many of those. I’ve always been a cheerful person. I smile a lot, laugh a lot and sing a lot – which probably irritates some people immensely. My parents were cheerful people, who sang constantly (not only in the bath!) so I’ll blame them for that.

But today is not a good one for me. For a start, who could feel happy in the face of so much tragedy in the world at present? The shootings in Paris have left people around the globe feeling both outraged and deeply saddened, and it’s hard to put such violence out of mind.

The weather is foul today. It’s a wonder I stayed on my feet during my morning walk, the wind was so strong. It had been howling all night and to make matters worse, it started to pour down just as I stepped outside. Yet I can’t survive the day without my walks, bad weather or not. When I got home I had a phone call to tell me that my uncle had died. He was eighty nine and had been frail for some time, but when death actually comes, it still hits hard. So I’ve been thinking about him – Uncle Bob – for most of the day, too.

prefab

This old photo was taken in 1954, outside our old prefab. (About page).  Bobby is third from the left at the back. It was his wedding day, in fact. I was to be a bridesmaid, aged seven, along with my five-year-old sister and twelve-year-old aunt. When the photo was taken we were getting ‘dressed up’ inside the house with my mum.

Bobby was my mum’s brother, six years her junior. I haven’t seen much of him these past few years because he’s lived all his adult life in Southport (Merseyside) – which is my home town. Originally from Liverpool, like my mum, he never lost his Scouse accent. He had a happy life though, and died peacefully in his sleep. I’m trying hard to dwell on the good things in my uncle’s life and I know that my depression today is natural on receipt of such news. My main thoughts are with Bobby’s four children, my cousins.

Beginnings, middles and endings . . .

Birth is a most wonderful thing; a new life to start on its journey – whether it is a human child, a terrestrial animal or marine, or a member of the vast plant kingdom – the journey through life will take its course.

Many parts of the world are now experiencing hot, summer days, whilst more northerly latitudes are in mid-winter. In Britain we are fortunate in having what are classed as mild winters and warm summers, i.e. with a few exceptional years, we have no extremes. Apart from the few cold days just after Christmas we’ve had a mild winter this year, so far. Even though today is quite wild, it isn’t too cold.

But it’s always heartening to welcome the first signs of new life in our gardens. It gives us the feeling (often erroneously!) that spring is on its way. Here are a few photos, taken today, of our first lovely snowdrops and hellebores. There are also some daffodils already in bud – which is very early!

So our garden will soon have some colour other than the green grass and evergreens. Soon we’ll have the purple crocuses and yellow daffodils opening, followed by the bright red tulips and a whole array of blossoms on the trees – lilac, cherry, willow, hawthorn, maple, and many different fruit trees and bushes. In summer we’ll have a riot of colour from so many flowers and shrubs. Then by autumn the garden will again fade and winter will follow. The earth’s cycle never ceases.

Beginnings, middles and endings.

The phrase also has my mind racing about my third book. I’m already enjoying the challenge of a new beginning and have spent a lot of time on it this last week. The book is planned out fairly well, although I still need to do some more research for one particular part. I love doing research and have to take care not to let it lead me in all directions.

But today my mind’s on other things.

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About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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12 Responses to Beginnings, Middles and Endings

  1. Concerning the killings in Paris—I’m extremely sad that the 2,000 killed in Nigeria are almost being ignored by the news…

    And:

    I love this statement of yours, Millie—“I love doing research and have to take care not to let it lead me in all directions.” 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      You’re right about the Nigeria situation almost being almost ignored by the media. Why that was so I don’t know, other than that the Paris shootings were closer to home (meaning to all ‘1st world’ nations).Perhaps killings like in Nigeria have become too commonplace for the media. But It’s shameful that should horrors – so many deaths – should be virtually overlooked.
      Yes, I do adore doing research. If I don’t get anywhere with my books, perhaps I should offer my services as a researcher!. Haha!
      Thanks for commenting, Alex (or should it be the full Alexander? Forgive me if I’ve been shortening your name in error!
      I’m trying to do this quickly before the Internet goes off again! We had no connection at all in this village for most of yesterday, so I’m very behind with everything on WP. Village life has definite disadvantages!

  2. shanechall says:

    Gardening can be a host of highs and lows, beginnings and ends. I find it very good at calming my thoughts. I go out, pick some stuff, check on things, and the whole world quiets down for a bit. What matters is the plants. They get their time, and then when I’m ready it’s back to the madness.

    • milliethom says:

      I love the way you’ve explained that. Gardening is definitley therapeutic though I’m sure most people would say the same about any hobby that takes them away from the usual routine. I agree there’s nothing to match the effects of working on the land. The sights and smells are enough for me to unwind. Thanks for commenting, Shane.

  3. amommasview says:

    It is that moment we need. The time we need to gather our thoughts ans grasp everything going on around you. And still remain focused…

    • milliethom says:

      You’re probably right about that. Yesterday gave me time to think about the important things in life. I’m feeling so much more positive today.Thank you for the comment.

  4. Thank you for sharing Millie. I am so sorry about your uncle Bobby. The ending, no matter when and at what age it comes – is always very sad. The Paris, Nigeria and even in general, news is always frightening and depressing. I have been following the news of a young woman (in her 20s) shot in Lae, PNG, my town by police while she was driving. I just found out today she was the daughter of a cousin and a close friend (her father), I used to work with. This murdered girl’s father was murdered also last month. Shocking…Research and gardening are two very good meditative and creative absorption we all should try. Your flowers look beautiful. My chickens dug out and ripped most of my two new garden beds today. I thought about cooking one of the chickens for dinner. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more about your third book.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Joycelin. I’m feeling better today and trying to catch up with things on WP. The Internet in the village has been dreadful since Friday and I’m so behind with reading posts – simply because I can’t keep connected for more than a couple of minutes at a time! I’m really not ignoring everyone. It took me an eternity to put my post up yesterday, miserable as it was. Positive thinking today. I have started Book 3 and loving the feeling of writing (and creating) again. Thank you for the kind comments, as always. I’m hoping to do the award post sometime this week – hopefully before we travel to Southport for the funeral. Take care of yourself.

  5. I of July says:

    another good read Millie… thanks for sharing with us your world…

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you Heath. Life, eh? Isn’t there a song – ‘What’s it all about, Alfie . . .’?
      I hope I can ‘get into’ people’ posts later this week. Our blinking Internet is doing just that, right now. Blinking! (On and off all the time.) I can only access other blogs at intervals – which doesn’t help, considering I can’t just sit here all day waiting for it to spring to life. An engineer can’t get out until Wednesday, so I’m twiddling my thumbs until then. Who knows, I might manage to get into a couple of posts when the Internet is playing nicely. Even putting this post up on Saturday took ages, especially the photos. I can’t even email anyone!
      Moan over. Have a great day, Heath. Thank for the comment.

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