Turning the pages back to Chapter One The Dowager Countess of Wilton has longed for a daughter and then a granddaughter but with no little girl coming into the family. As a substitute she takes Lily under her wing. The Dowager Countess died without a girl in her family.
Lily longed for a daughter but it was not to be. Three sons and then four grandsons, she must have thought she would never see a little girl.
I do not think she was disappointed when I was born, she was happy to be a grandmother but would have been delighted had I been a girl.
The Bridge House begins shortly after Lily's eleventh birthday and the death of Queen Victoria. I have another five to ten thousand words to write before the story is told to its end. That end will come in 1983 with the birth of Rebekah,the first Ashford girl to be born in one hundred years.
Lily died happy. A second Ashford girl came along before Lily passed away in 1984.
Yesterday I went to visit my own granddaughters, Katherine - Ashford girl number four and Frances, Ashford girl five.
Just like her silly old granddad Katherine loves writing stories. She will be six years old next week and even at her tender age has quite a talent for writing.
Yesterday she dressed up as a policeman, took a notepad and pencil to scribble a story about my being naughty and having to be taken to gaol.
Her sister Frances is the most formidable three year old I know. You argue with Frances at your peril. I find her so much fun and love her infant humour.
Katherine and Frances do not appear in The Bridge House, it is now thirty-three years since Lilly left this world but I am certain she looks down upon Katherine, Frances and all Ashford girls wit pride and with so much love,.
Yesterday I was wearing with pride the Milton Keynes tie Mayor David Hopkins gave to me. I took the tie off, in turn put it on each girl and took a photograph. I plan to print off copies and give them to David and his wife Susan.
The Bridge House will be published in May next year and will become one of three books from which the royalties will be given to Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham.
The other books are The Wild Adventures of Di Central Eating. A school is going to illustrate the book. There is a lot of music in the book which we plan to have the children in the school sing, record and publish on a CD.
The third book is my teenage autobiography covering the two years I spent as a management trainee in the giant Birmingham department store Lewis's Limited. On my laptop I have open the document for this story. This week I plan to print it out, go through it and prepare it for republication next year.
Lewis's Department Store in Birmingham is long gone but the building is still there. On the ground floor is a branch of Weatherspoons. I had a lovely breakfast there last week. When we launch the three books for Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham I am thinking towards to launch them in Weatherspoons.
I want to invite the headmaster of the school involved to write a foreword to The Wild Adventures of Di Central Eating, Libby - The House Manager of Ronald McDonald House Birmingham to do the same for The Bridge House and I am wondering if a member of staff from Weatherspoons would do the same for my teenage autobiography.
I have this idea.............................
I am wondering if I could get a number of friends to read a book then write a very brief review. If we could get half a dozen for each book these could appear on the back covers.
Would some of my Facebook help ?
I never stop boasting about my LEONITE friends. I would be so happy if any wished to get involved in this way. That would be very special.
I know they are both very young but would Katherine and Frances do this for Auntie Rebekah ? With a little bit of help I think they could. Certainly for Di Central Eating.
If you have read today's blog this far and would be willing to help please drop me an e-mail at email@example.com or send me a message on Facebook - thepatrioticpensioner.com
Please help me make Books4Birmingham a resounding success for Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham, a tribute to Katherine and Frances's Auntie Rebekah. The First Ashford girl to be born im one hundred years.