Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Book 2 in the Fairlyden Series - Mistress of Fairlyden

I have uploaded this book to Amazon as an E-book.

Mistress of Fairlyden

As Mistress of Fairlyden, and happily married to William Fairly, Sarah feels her life complete. But longing to share the joyful news of her pregnancy with Beatrice Slater, her childhood friend, Sarah defies her husband’s wishes and goes alone to Muircumwell Mill. She could not have foreseen the dreadful consequences which are to haunt her for the rest of her life, and force her to become the sole keeper of a disturbing secret.

At the Mill, she meets Beatrice’s sly and ambitious father, Edward Slater, whose evil jealousy and desire for revenge lead to a frenzied attack upon Sarah. Months later little Alex is born with a deformity of his feet. Sarah blames upon herself. William cannot bear the fact that his son will never be perfect and a rift develops.

Bored with the farm life of Fairlyden, and troubled by his son’s condition, William sets up a precarious business venture with Sir Simon Guillyman. Sarah cautiously welcomes this outside interest, thinking it good for William and their marriage. But when Sir Simon dies unexpectedly, his attractive widow poses a new problem.

With a growing family, financial hardship and the secret burden resulting from Edward Slater’s revelations, Sarah finds herself increasingly drawn to Crispin Bradshaw, owner of a Yorkshire woollen mill.

Mistress of Fairlyden is the moving and evocative second novel in this quartet of life on the land in nineteenth-century Scotland, following Fairlyden.

The Family at Fairlyden and Fairlyden at War will be uploaded in a few weeks time.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Grandeur of Trees

During the winter storms two more of our precious trees blew down and another had to be felled for safety. An ash seedling had taken root in the fork of the trunk which had also begun to rot. More than a hundred years to grow and and in less than an hour it lay on the ground. If only trees could talk what wonderful tales they would be able to tell.

Fortunately we planted three copper beeches for our three children when we moved here in 1970 . They were slender saplings then and even after forty years I can span their trunks easily with my arms. It will take another hundred years before they are as big as the ones we have lost. How insignificant our own lives are in comparison. More recently we have planted an oak tree and a white birch, both with special memories. Through time they will help to replace the trees lost in the large farm garden but it saddens me to think no more children will have the joy of collecting conkers from the horse chestnut tree as my children did, nor will they gather beech mast in the autumn.
Many of you will be familiar with the poem below, and even better if you have heard it sung in the rich deep voice of Richard Tauber.

Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.