As I get fitter, my goal is to walk a little further each time I go out. (I’m now up to a little over 7 miles, which I’m proud of because it wasn’t that long ago that half a mile was pushing it.) My secret, if you can call it that, is having a walk I love and which interests me, and the winter time, when the boats to Brownsea Island stop running and the tourists retreat to warmer places, is the perfect time to do this.
So, I picked a lovely sunny day and walked up toward the old lifting bridge. (Not the Twin Sails bridge, or the Twin Fails as we locals affectionately call it because of its habit of breaking down, but the old faithful one that’s been working reliably since 1927.) And then I stopped dead and stared because moored a little way out from the Quay was the MV Dorset Queen, which is only believed to be one of the Dunkirk Little Ships!
Anyone who’s read my book Love Always or any of my World War 2 Esther and the Professor cosy mystery series, or has read this blog for long will realise that I am passionate about local history in general and wartime Poole and Dorset in particular. I'm also fiercely proud of all our fishing and pleasure boats who headed across to Cherbourg when France fell to rescue the Canadian soldiers. They even towed the Inshore Lifeboat along with them because it couldn’t keep up and its shallow draught made it invaluable on the beaches.
Now, I knew there was a little ship over at Weymouth because I’ve been on it, but there the MV Dorset Queen was, beautifully adorned with wreaths for Remembrance Sunday and you can read about it here if you’d like to know more. https://dorsetcruises.co.uk/dorset-queen-history/ But, as so often, a place I thought I knew well surprised and delighted me.
That wasn't the only surprise either because Poole is, of course, the home of the RNLI, and of the small, but fascinating RNLI museum in the old boathouse down on the Quay near to the Fisherman’s Wharf. (You know what that looks like because I’ve lost count of how many pictures I’ve shared with you, because it is gorgeous in all its moods.) It has a shop and I like to buy my Christmas cards there and pick up fun small presents so that my cash follows my beliefs. And, as always I have a look round and wordlessly pay my respects, and look what I saw! Isn’t Well-Iam the dog cute? And what a clever idea…
Speaking of clever idea, here are this week’s special offers. As always, they're 99p in the UK and 99c in the US…
Wasted on the Young, Up the Garden Path, A Stitch in Time -
These are the first 3 Amy Hammond books, about a craft loving lady with a never ending to-do list who is old enough to know better but young enough to want an adventure. Just not necessarily the adventures she finds as she gets to know her enigmatic next door neighbour Peter Cunningham and keeps finding trouble...
The Wrong Twin The Toddler and the Tough Guy
Visit the pretty little Dorset town of Oldcastle. It’s built on a beautiful slow moving river, nestled in the heart of the Purbeck Hills, and home to a series of cosy, a little old-fashioned romances. Meet a Royal Marine who has to take on his orphaned toddler niece and face a threat he hasn’t been trained for. So, of course, he gets trained by a single mum and childminder, and I’m sure you can guess what happens. In the Wrong Twin, Juliet Saxon has lived her whole life in her glamorous actress sister’s shadow and got her out of all sorts of scrapes, but she never expected to be not only left holding the baby but to have been registered as adorable Ben’s mum to protect him from his father’s family. Now that family have found out, so what lengths will she go to to protect him and is it possible that she will finally be the right twin for the reserved, damaged Giles?
Fallen Angel, Haunted Angel - These are the first two of the current-day Shadows Romantic Suspense series which are published under my pen name of Eleanor Neville. A little sexier, a little more violent, but with strong heroes and feisty heroines who have absolutely no intention of falling in love. None at all. Actually, it’s against the rules, but Shadows aren’t very good at keeping to the rules.