Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The death of Neil Armstrong - first man on the moon.

Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the surface of the moon on 20th July 1969. He has died at the age of 82, leaving the world with one of the most famous phrases which will go down in history.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
According to those who knew him he was a quiet, humble man in spite of his abilities and achievements, not least of which was being the highly respected commander of Apollo 11.
It is a lovely sentiment which his family have asked for in his memory. Namely when we look up at the moon on a clear night we should remember him and give him a wink. I often look up at the moon and I wonder what he thought when he was back on earth and looking up there. It must have seemed incredible remembering he had actually walked on that distant silver disk which appears to float slowly and gracefully above the clouds. 

Additional Note: About forty years ago Neil Armstrong travelled to Scotland and was made a Freeman of the small town of Langholm, near the Scottish / English Border, the home of his ancestors in the days of the Border Raiders and Reivers. A special pipe tune was composed in his honour called Commander Neil Armstrong's Moon Step 
The following is a little anecdote passed on to me by Myra Adamson and purported to be true.
In case you didn't know this little tidbit of trivia, on July 20 1969, as Commander of the Apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on to the moon were,
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,"
They were televised to earth and heard by millions but just before he re-entered the Lander, he made the enigmatic remark -"Good luck, Mr. Gorsky".
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.
Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to what the – “good luck, Mr. Gorsky' statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.
On July 5 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question to Armstrong.
This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died, so Neil Armstrong felt he could now answer the question.
In 1938, when he was a kid in a small mid-western town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbour's yard by their bedroom window. His neighbours were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. "Sex! You want sex? You'll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon !"

True story. it broke the place up.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


Apart from  adventure story which I wrote when I was about eleven and an avid reader of Girls Crystal, Lonely is the Valley is the first book I ever wrote. I have been formatting it ready to add to my collection of other digital books on Amazon and Smashwords.
Available from Amazon UK

 It has made me reflect on my early efforts as a writer. The first chapter and synopsis, then written under the pseudonym Lynn Granger, was written for a competition run by Women’s Weekly and judged in conjunction with Woman’s Hour and another magazine for women – I forget which. Mine did not win. I think both editors and publishers must have had more patience in those days because Lynda O’Byrne, fiction editor of Women’s Weekly, took time to write to me and say she had liked my entry and she suggested I finish the novel and send it to Robert Hale for their Rainbow Romance Series. Not many busy editors would do that now so I shall always be grateful to her for helping me to get a foot on the writing ladder. I cringe when I remember how ignorant I was about the writing world. I didn’t know any other writers and had never heard of the RNA or even the Writers’ and Artists’ Year Book.
I was a busy wife and mother. Moving house is upheaval enough but we had moved from one farm to another with loads of alterations to be done, over years, not months. There were no computers then and I was not a trained typist. I wrote by hand then slogged away in secret on my little portable typewriter, complete with correction tape. I sent it to Hale. They sent it back. It was too long for their Rainbow Romance Series. I thought that was a polite rejection and stuffed it away. Six months later I had a letter asking if I had completed the alterations yet and would I send off the manuscript as soon as possible. I don’t think publishers would take time or trouble for that these days, except perhaps for someone famous.
Hopefully I have learned and improved my writing since then. See - a blog which five of us share.