Saturday 30 January 2016


It’s ages since I’ve been in Liverpool after dark but having bought tickets for the Liverpool Echo Carol Concert at the Anglican Cathedral, son, Tim, who goes into the city most days, decided he would drive us there, avoiding the city centre. It was the last Friday before Christmas and a lot of the shops would be open for late night shopping, so it was going to be chaotic. When we said we’d walk down to Central Station and get the train home, he said, ‘Definitely not as the trains would be packed. He would come and pick us up.’

I’m glad he did.

The cathedral was magical with a beautifully lit up Christmas tree and it was packed with people.

Joe Riley who writes for the Echo was the Compere and there were several special guests, including Pauline Daniels who has played Shirley Valentine on the stage, a 14 year old girl, Angelina Dorin-Barlow sang three solos and had the voice of an angel, John Hayden, an expert on bell-ringing, spoke about how the clappers on bells are muffled when they ring out the dying of the old year, but the leather mufflers are removed to ring in the new year with a joyous sound. The cathedral bells have a claim to fame which Joe told us about but which I can’t remember now but the cathedral has a very good website if you want to know more. The really special guests were the Appleton Family whose son has been undergoing treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for the last five years. The concert was in aid of the hospital which is known worldwide. There were also several guest ensembles: Liverpool Cathedral Youth Choir, Choirs of St Mary, West Derby, and Holy Trinity, Southport. All the singing was glorious and I pitied those exhausting themselves doing their Christmas shopping.

For me, the occasion brought memories flooding back because when I attended Liverpool Girls College, our school and St Edmund’s used to celebrate Ascension Day in a service at the cathedral in the fifties, there was no shop or restaurant then. I was also confirmed there.  As for Alder Hey Hospital, Tim and I were to visit there over a period of six weeks after Tim fell out of a conker tree and broke both wrists, cracked a kneecap and broke his nose. It was to be eight years before his nose was to be fixed as his bones were still growing. At twenty-one, a slither of bone was taken from his hip and a new bridge made for his nose, but this was done at Whiston Hospital’s special plastic surgery unit.

We were also reminded of this when I fell from some steps outside a shop recently and landed on my nose. Fortunately I suffered no broken bones but my face was a mess with cuts and a swollen nose and two black eyes. Still, I’ve had a lot of sympathy from folk and encouragement from Tim and my husband thinks I’m brave and uncomplaining.

But setting this aside, I must tell you about the view from outside the cathedral which stands on St James Mount, we could see the lit up ferris wheel down by the waterfront and it was down to the waterfront  that Tim took us as he had returned home earlier via the dock road, after going past the Albert Dock where there were trees decorated with lights but also a couple of sailing ships. The way one ship was lit up was in the outline of a Christmas tree.

Whilst considering the amount of electricity being used, I was also thinking of my ancestors’ day when they didn’t have electricity so never had the pleasure that Christmas lights  provide us with in the darkest times of the year.

Last time I blogged was in September after I suffered a stroke and I told you I would be taking a break from writing. Well, now I am writing the next book. "Walking Back to Happiness" and I'm into the era of the sixties. My latest saga  “Many A Tear Has To Fall” will be published in March in hardback. Check out your nearest library. For those with a Kindle two of my historical romances which I wrote years ago are out in Ebook format for the first time on Amazon.
My next paperback will be Lily's War published 21st April

P.S. My son Tim Francis also has an E-book up on Amazon called  “It’s Still Out There”. A children’s book that he has written and illustrated.
Kindle medieval: Love's Intrigue and My Lady Deceiver.
As a local writer I have been invited to appear at the Frodsham Literary Festival at the Community Centre on Friday, 8th April 2016 between 6-8pm to promote my work and sign books.