Friday fiction Vlogs · So it's Saturday · Sunday Story

Week Five 2019 Weekend Catch Up!

I fully intended getting all three of these posts out on time but then I got distracted with other things so lets have a weekend catch up xxx

Friday

Saturday

This week has been a mixture of something old  some thing new, and things I have been meaning to try out for a while

Podcasts

This week I have caught up on a few of the back catalogue of a podcast I only found towards the end of last year. My Favourite Murder is a mix of true crime and humour, not a mix you would think to put together but it works.  I love the fact that most of the crimes they cover are ones you will never have heard of and at their live shows they get the audience to contribute. They also do mini episodes reading listeners true crime experieces. Now. of course, I could just give you the link to the website but nope. I decided to share an animation one of their fans created to match one story, this perfectly explains how the humour is integrated and also why I love this podcast, because these two women could be your friends, you can easily imagine hanging our and swapping stories with them.

Music

I haven’t listened to much music this week but what I did listen to was amazing and took me back to me teens. I saw a post this week about the film and that inspired me to hit play on the soundtrack, while I love all the songs this is one of my favourites.

Reading

My current wip I am focusing on his quite dark themes including depression and suicide so I decided I needed something fun to read so I had a look at my book pile and spotted this old favourite. While this is the fourth book in the Wilt series I do think you can read it as a stand alone and enjoy it but you do get more from it if you have already read the other. The books are wittiy and although in some aspects they are a little dated interms of advances in modern technology they will still make you laugh out loud at the obsevational humour.

Watching – TV

I frequently lose interest in these sort of programmes once we are through the audition stages but occasionally The Voice is one I will continue to watch. I enjoy the fact that the main thing in these blind audions is the singers ability to perform a song, yes occasionally the judges will try to guess about the singer, but many times they are deceived by age or looks. Sadly once it reaches the viewers votes then you find those who are different do fail to get through as far as they should.

Watching – Film

This week I spotted an old favourite on Netflix that I have not watched for a while. It is interesting watching past favourites to see how they age, yes the clothes in this may be a little dated and we all know the technology would be different if this were made today but it is a faithful retelling of the book with, in my opinion, the perfect cast and pacing. The popularity of the series Hannibal is no doubt due in a large part to the charasmatic portrayal of Lecter in this and the subsquient film.

Watching – Netflix

I have been trying to decide if I want to watch this for a few months, then I was struggling to find something to watch a few nights ago, now I am half way through the second series. It’s funny and in a very light hearted way challenges the conventions of good and evil, the way the books are balanced and whether philosophy has all the answers. It has an amazing cast and even though I was a little unsure about Ted Danson (I still always think of Cheers) I decided it was worth a try and I am so glad I did but I am worried that I am soon goingto run out of episodes at this rate lol.

 

Sunday

Questioning the World · So it's Saturday

So it’s Saturday – Week Four 2019

As I explained on Wednesday the new arrival in the family has rather thrown me for the last few weeks both waiting for the arrival and making sure everything is settled after. But, now this week I am getting back into the swing of things and building up to the Leeds signing in March. Exciting things lay ahead…

Podcasts

This week I have been catching up on an old favourite podcast, Truth & Justice. It started out out life as a fan type podcast for Serial but has developed into a must for any true crime fan. The show does not just rehash the same welol known crimes over and over again but it focuses on miscarriages of justice nd actually helps not only free innocent people but works to find the real culprits. The down side of this is that while some people may be freed you do not always get to know what is happening on the other side of it as the process is a slow one but you do get to feel like you are doing your own armchair sleuthing by hearing and examining all the evidence. You can find out more here.

Music

I have not listened to a lot in this last couple of weeks despite my determination to start listening to more I did however have a play through of a favourite Kylie album a couple of times. FGolden took a couple of listens to grow on m, yes one or two songs of course jumped straight out as favourites but some like this grew on me slowly, definitely worth  a listen

Reading

I finished Afterlife last week but have not actually begun a new book yet, I really enjoyed the paranorla romance but feel the need for something different, I do have a couple of auto-biographies waiting to be read of maybe a comedy, I do like to switch things up as I read.

Watching – TV

Again this week I have not watched much however my watched items I have put together from the last couple of weeks, so on Tv I watched this episode of Killer in the Family on Really, so often families either claim they knew nothing or that the suspected everything so it is interesting to have programmes that look at he fall out from these crimes, I think in most cases the family suspect their family member may be guilty of something even if they do not realise the full extent of the crimes.

Watching – Film

I cannot say that this film was my choice however I actually enjoyed it, we needed a family friendly film and this was my son’s choice, it has been a long time since Iwatched the orginal film and I still remember how much I enjoyed that not just for the story and special effects but also for that philosophical statement which is so true of real life.

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Overall it is a great watch, fun nature vs nurture and the neverending questions about morals and the human right to determine the survival of other species.

Watching – Netflix

Finally this week I watched something on Netflix that is another foray into true crime…

Bundy is the poster boy for serial killers, one of he ones we know most about but hearing from him in his own words makes his actions all the more chilling especially as henever takes complete responsibility for all his crimes. Once again the question of who knew or suspected what comes to the fore with Bundy having fooled so many people.

Me And Mine

Lest We Forget.

Today at 11am the store I was working in fell silent except for one or two people, one packing a bag one I could hear still opening and closing freezer doors. My initial reaction is anger at the fact the ignored the silence but the I remember those we are taking the time to think of died so people had the freedom to choose their own actions. When I was younger I would get annoyed at people who would say I fought for you, I still do! You see I don’t believe they fought for me, or the person next to me, they fought for themselves and their loved ones, because after all is that not the catalyst that drives people to want to make the world a better place, they do not do it for the faceless masses they do it for their loved ones, for the children they have or long for. I have grandparents who fought in wars and those who stayed behind working in the mines but the eleventh hour of the eleventh day for me will always be about remembering one person.

My dad didn’t want me to look into his family tree he thought there was some dark secret. What I founfwas a tragic tale of a man who went to war and never came back leaving a wife and seven children behind. My grandad never knew his father, my dad recalls only ever once seeing a photo of a tall man, that when he asked who it was he was told it was his grandad, a blond haired, haired blue-eyed Irishman, the photo disappeared and was never seen again. I will never know the answer to why a miner who had no need to fight decided to go to the front, one can only speculate that it was for a better life for him and his children, sadly like so many others he never returned home.

Last year as part of the Somme memorials I got the chance to get the War Diaries for his regiment, and everything became real. You see before he was a name in a list of names but reading these diaries, learning where he travelled and where his life ended made him as real to me as my own grandad had been. The chances are even if he had lived through the war he would have passed away long before I was born but my grandad would have known him, my dad would probably have known him, we would know our lineage and ancestry not just that his parents came from County Galway, a fact scribbled on a census record.

More than that I read the day he died. He died on the 6th there are no casulaties listed for that day but then I realised that it was likely he died at somepoint during the night before and it would not be until the following morning by daylight that the dead and missing would be counted. He was a mere Private, his passing warrented no mention of his name, a number in a tally chart was his diary entry. I want to share with you the day he passed.

Almost every family if they delve deep enough will find someone who went and did not return, regardless of the rights and wrongs of modern politics and wars, we remember those who sacrificed their lives so their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren could have to freedom to live lives they could never have even dreamed of.

Questioning the World

Anger and Indignation

Yesterday in the UK a man who committed heinous and terrible acts alongside his partner died.

Quite rightly people are remembering the victims, many doing so rather than mentioning the man’s name, what I want to talk about today is the ones who are commenting about the fact he should have been killed years ago, that he should never have been allowed to live this long and then I wonder how many have actually read the articles over the years and understand the complexities of the situation.

You see while I myself may personally agree in the idea of the death penalty being reinstated there is the question of the families to be considered. This man has wanted to die for decades, for him incarceration was a far worse punishment than death, but the families of the victims have been some of the most vocal in their pleas that he not be allowed to. While some have their children home to rest in peace, one remains missing, the suggestion he may one day reveal the poor boys final resting place was enough to make it worth suffering him to exist for those who had the most reason to wish him dead. Over the years various members of victims families have begged him to let the boy come home and be laid to rest with his loved ones, trips to the moors have been taken, we will never know if he was just taking the p*** or if the movement of the land meant the remains were no longer where he thought they were. Recently some guns were found belonging to the man, perhaps yet another clue, and his letters written behind bars are to be kept from the public in the hope that their may be clues hidden in those but the question is, did he only take the one secret to his grave with him?

I am a huge true crime fan, I read books, listen to podcasts, watch TV shows and films and last year I listened to an audiobook, One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley by Carol Ann Lee, and recently I was drawn to listen to it again after listening to a podcast, we know that there were four victims of the moors murderers but the question that keeps coming back to me is, were there more?

When Pauline Reade’s Body was found one of the officers says they had eight case files which they thought could be potential victims, the four victims were all included but it is never said what happened about the other four, you have to wonder if up there on the moors more than one body remains, the man himself has hinted at times there may have been more but never given facts. The woman, his accomplice, down played her own part in the murders and I doubt would ever have admitted more existed, but more than that we know they travelled to length of the country at numerous times over this time period, who is to say there are not other children missing across the country who may have crossed there path. The children’s murders happened 6 month apart but there was then an eight month gap to the murder which would see them arrested.

You see for me this is the thing, I have only seen one suggestion of a potential victim who got away, the four victims all had fairly well established time lines which in some ways makes it easier to put together a story for what might have happened but what if there are others not in the immediate vicinity, children who were not as well cared for who no one was sure when they disappeared or where they disappeared from? The only two people who know if they did more, are both now dead, the family of Keith Bennett may never know where he is, the families of Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, may find some measure of peace. He claimed to have killed four other people, the police say the investigated looking for the crimes he claimed to have admitted to, but he was a liar! This was a manipulative, sadistic person who enjoyed playing power games with other people, who can rule out that the number he gave could be right but the details wrong, time has passed since the crimes and generations of families passed away, but you wonder if those with missing children wondered if their child could have fallen prey to this cruel pair, because there is no evidence of other victims that does not necessarily mean they do not exist, only that the pair kept no trophy from that kill, left no paper-trail that led back to them.

In keeping this man alive so long authorities denied him the freedom of death, then denied him his wish to die and they honoured the families wishes that he be forced to live in the hope of revelations, if the death penalty had been imposed there may very well still be four bodies laying in the cold desolate moors rather than one, because with nothing gain I do not believe they would ever revealed anything. While as a society we may feel anger and hatred towards this pair and their actions, it sometimes requires a more logical and less emotional view to see the bigger picture or maybe it is the fact we personally have nothing to gain or lose that makes us simply want to rid the world of this type of evil. We would love to believe this type of evil exists only rarely but somewhere round the world even as I type this a predator is stalking their prey, while we may very well wish to rid ourselves of the rabid dogs, we owe it to their victims to discover how they became what the did, learn how they cover their tracks, where potential opportunities to stop them were missed, we should only destroy them once we can be sure there is nothing left to learn from them. History will grant them infamy, we have to ensure the names of their victims are spoken as loudly as those of the criminals and sometimes real justice and retribution come in forms that we would not automatically choose.

Inspirational Angels · Questioning the World

Give Away & Page Take Over

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Join me tonight 9pm UK time as I take over the #Leeds2018 #HourglassEvents page click the link and join in advance http://ow.ly/McOi308JscK

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Four years ago this incredibly brave little man lost his fight against cancer, he left an army of followers all heart broken by his loss and devastated for his family, I wrote Voices Across The Void to honour his memory and to raise awareness and funds for the charity set up in his name Cords4LifeUK, I said Iwould never give this book away free because of that but today and tomorrow to honour him and this family I am with the hope if you like it you will leave a review, spread the word and help make cord donation something offered to all new mums so they may help save a life or at the very least give those precious extra few months cells from a donated cord gave Charlie with his family. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voices-Across-Void-Pa…/…/B01GZ5NFPU

 

Me And Mine

On this day 100 years ago…

On this day 100 years ago today a battle begun, one which would see thousands killed, and family histories forever changed, including mine.

When I started doing my family tree I began with my mums side, unusual as it is often easier to trace back the family name but my gran was still alive and could help me on that side, but curiosity did get the better of me and I wanted to know why my dad knew nothing of his family, why I could not remember my granddad ever talking about his family, although there was one brother who visited him. My dad was reticent, I think he suspected some terrible dark skeleton hidden in the closet. What I found was a man who went off to fight a war in a country he would never leave and do it for a country that would, at a later date put up signs barring those with his heritage.

In 1877 of Irish immigrant parents, Michael Acton was born in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire. Making his way north through Lancaster he ended up in Castleford, where he met and married my great-grandmother Fanny Wall. Together they had five children, frustratingly I cannot find the document I had with his signing up date so I cannot be sure if he ever saw his youngest child before he left for war.

As a coal miner I think it unlikely he would have been conscripted and I am pretty sure from what I remember of my research at the time he signed up before conscription begun, just another man who wanted to what he believed was the right thing and make the world a better place for his family. Maybe he was naive and believed the home by Christmas posters, maybe he thought by fighting for the country his Irish heritage might be overlooked as he sought to provide for his family we will never know because my granddad was only 7 years old when his dad left to fight for freedom on foreign soil and he would never see him again.

My dad only ever saw one photo of his granddad, a big blonde haired Irish man standing next to a horse and cart in the photo, he had asked his dad who it was only to be told it was his granddad and the matter dropped. No one knows what happened to the photo, my aunt does not recall seeing it and she checked the photos she took from the house when it was cleared and cannot find it, maybe another relative has it, maybe it got lost, tucked inside something thrown away as unimportant. It is the truth that there were not as many photos back then, certainly very few people could afford to have them taken and no one had personal camera’s, I like to think somewhere in other branches of the family they do exist because in some ways there is nothing left other than a few words on census records, and on military records. There is no grave to lay flowers at, and though biologically he lives on through me, my siblings and our children, the name is passed on less and less over time, my son bears his fathers surname and while my daughter does have it eventually she will marry and change it and her children will more than likely not take it forward, from our branch only my brothers sons will carry it forth.

But I digress, so a man sets out, leaves his loved ones behind, I doubt any of them really though of the circumstances they would end up in, if he had left expecting to leave his wife a widow and children fatherless could he have still signed that bit of paper? Maybe he believed they would be looked after, from stories my Aunt remembers that was not always the case, my granddad spoke bitterly of the priest coming round and taking the last penny from the fireplace, I was christened Church of England, it never crossed my mind we would be anything else but piecing together the facts and anecdotes my Aunt knew, we came to a conclusion the Acton’s who came from Ireland, travelled from County Galway to a new life in England were probably Catholic, I confess it came as a bit of a shock and we have no technical proof at the minute but it does make some things fall into place. It is also worth noting the names O’Brien and Connor also feature down that family tree which adds a little more circumstantial weight to that hypothesis.

So what do I know about this man well very little other than these few pieces of information..

1262_00544Dead! A simple four letter word that changed so much, but it get worse because normally when a loved one dies you have a grave, somewhere to lie flowers and acknowledge they lived but not for him. There was no body, no resting place his wife and children could visit instead he is commemorated in a cemetery in France, Thiepval, along with thousands of others who never came home,

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Instead of returning home to his family they received medals in his honour which could never take the place of flesh and blood, Victory medalWW1_1914_Mons_Star_WWI_ob

A name carved in stone that remembers a man his children never had the chance to know, and for what because some men believe they have the right to determine the fate of others, they think they have the right for power and wealth, because they think they are more worthy than their fellow man and hold others live not only as having no worth but in contempt. Even today around the world there will be families mourning loved ones, killed for standing up for what is right, killed for trusting the words of people who do not care if they live or die. There will be others who die for causes they believe in, believe honourable but they too are wrong. No one should ever have to die for a cause, because the only cause we have any business with in this life or the next is peace, love, tolerance and understanding; whatever your belief system you have no right to judge another person no right to act as your own god and pass sentence. We can only hope that the anniversary of one of the worst conflicts in history can remind us what they fought and died for and that many people from different nations stood together united in the hope that they would make the world a better place for us.

Memorial

Book Signings · Me And Mine · My Books

Exciting News!

Today am throwing the schedule out of the window, no TV, you will have noticed no book review yesterday, I was just too excited to post and was not allowed to share my news until after it was announced last night, so drum roll please………..

I have officially been signed up to be one of the signing authors at…

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The event will be taking place in Peterborough in October next year, so we have plenty of time to get really excited and hopefully I can get some interviews with other authors to share here with you as we share this next part of the journey together.

As you know I attended the ball part of the Leeds Event, I could not attend the day signing due to the day job, damn that day job it spoils all the fun, but I did grab an image from the page to share so you can see the set up and get an understanding of just how excited I am to know I will be occupying one of those tables next year.

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I am not going to say too much more here today simply because I will post more tomorrow once it has all soaked in a little more but I cannot keep the smile off my face, here is the first banner and you will see this updated as more authors are signed up and hopefully get to meet a few of them here on my page.

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