Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy Christmas and thanks

Hello and welcome to my blog. Firstly and most importantly,

I wish you a wonderful Christmas and every 
happiness throughout 2017

Thank you for continuing to visit my blog and I apologise for being so flaky this year. I've got lots of news to share with you in the new year as well as continuing to feature local places and people. As promised gzillions of times, ok twice, I'll start with the story behind the writing of Blood and Bandages, then move onto a feature on the Marlipins and Liza Mckinney our retired Marine Ward Councillor. Until then, here's a little Christmas present  and a stocking filler to thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to seeing you again 2018. Opps sorry, that should be January 2017.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Blood and Bandages - Fighting for life in the RAMC Field Ambulance 1940-1946

Hello. It's great to see you. I'm sorry I've been gone a while but I've been finishing this...

    William Earl's and my book!

    Do you remember back in March I posted on visiting the London Book Fair to sell the book? Well, I met three publishers and one of them, Ian Bayley of Sabrestorm Publishing, made an offer there and then. This is why,
     "From the many manuscripts and book ideas we receive on a regular basis, ‘Blood & Bandages’ stood out. A terrific first-hand account of the stresses of army life in the RAMC combined with the pressures of being away from home and those you love. Liz Coward expertly weaves in the historical background of William’s experiences and the additional photographs (many of them from William's personal album) ensured that I couldn’t put the book down."
      Since thenWilliam, Ian and I have finished the book, found additional photos and moved onto the final proofing and editing stage. It's been a long, hard journey and there have been moments when I thought it couldn't be done, but it's almost there and already selling on Amazon and Casemate.  
     The book will be launched in April 2017 and between now and then I'd love to share the story of its development. I'd better dash now because I've got to get back to proofing every coma, hyphen, and word in Blood and Bandages. 
      Thanks for dropping by and see you on 1st November.
Ta-ra for now.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

I'm back!

     Sorry I've been gone for so long and thanks for bearing with me. I've been uber-busy and have got lots of news for you.  I'm still playing catch-up but will be back in the saddle next Friday, 23rd September. I'll look forward to seeing you then.
     Ta-ra for now.

Monday, 14 March 2016

A personal response to the AAIB report on the Shoreham Airshow disaster

       Hello and welcome to my blog. Last week saw the publication of the interim Air Accidents Investigation Branch report on the RAFA Shoreham Airshow disaster.
     The investigation's purpose was clearly stated in the report;

"The sole objective of the investigation...  is the prevention of future accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to apportion blame or liability.
Accordingly, it is inappropriate that AAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose." (AAIB Bulletin S1/2016 Special)

      Yet the moment it was published, the scalp-hunters descended. The organisers were the obvious target. It was implied that at best, they were incompetent, at worse, complacent. Commentators forgot that these organisers are also members of our community; dedicated volunteers who had raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for RAFA in bygone years. 
     By pandering to the blame culture, the raison d'etre of the AAIB investigation was ignored. In so doing, the press also missed the fact that the investigation meant that the victims had not die in vain. 

(L-R top row Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Daniele Polito, Mark Trussler, Graham Mallison L-R bottom row, Maurice Abrahams, Mark Reeves, Richard Smith, Dylan Archer and Tony Brightwell courtesy of The Telegraph online)

     Because they died, weaknesses in CAA processes and procedures have been revealed. These weaknesses can now be eliminated or strengthened and safety at UK airshows improved. Despite the tragedy of their deaths, these men have left a huge legacy and one of which the families should be proud and we should be grateful.  The focus should be on that and not on finding scapegoats. 
     Thanks for dropping by and see you soon with an update on my preparation for the London Book Fair. 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Building up to the London Book Fair

     Hello and welcome to my blog.
     I hope you enjoyed Cowspiracy. It was a revelation to me but then I saw Irene, one of my regular readers. She'd heard the same message way back in the '70s from Delia Smith and Colin Spencer. I didn't know whether to be delighted or disappointed. Either way, we are still keen to reduce our consumption of meat and dairy and increase our intake of plant-based food.
      The Universe must have approved of our decision because it coincided with Vegfestuk in Brighton. Vegfest organises the largest Vegan Festivals in Europe and I popped in last Saturday. It was like walking through the wardrobe to Narnia. Everyone, apart from me, seemed committed and well informed. I played catch up by attending a talk on how milk can leach calcium from bones, and sampling the wares in the food court. They were surprisingly good, so our aim will be easier to achieve than anticipated.
     Turning to Shoreham Beach matters. Did you go to Saturday's meeting at the Church of the Good Shepherd? I missed it, (because I was at Vegfest), but apparently 200 people turned up to discuss the proposed redevelopment of Beach Green.
      Beach Green is our only publicly owned green space. It has a large concrete toilet block in the middle and over the years, various proposals have been submitted for its' redevelopment. Another proposal has now been received from Wilbo's Restaurants Ltd. It would like to demolish the toilet block and some adjacent beach huts and build on the entire green and part of the adjoining Nature Reserve. It would then like to construct:-
  • a three storey restaurant, 
  • an ice-cream and milkshake bar, 
  • a skate park, 
  • a volley-ball court,
  • a children's play area, 
  • a pitch-and-putt golf course and 
  • a bike hire.
      I think it's too ambitious and hiring bikes beside a Broadwalk upon which cycling is prohibited,  is asking for trouble. Opinions for and against the proposal are being sought, so if you would like to add yours, contact Shoreham Beach Residents' Association.
       Turning to more personal matters, I'm preparing to pitch William Earl's war memoirs at this years' London Book Fair.  Regulars will know that I've spent the last seven years researching and writing about this 100-year-old's war experience as a Nursing Orderly in the Royal Army Medical Corps.  William served in North Africa and Italy and his extraordinary story records his transformation from a unremarkable chemist's assistant to a heroic medic who helped to recover the injured from the front line, evacuate them under fire and bury those they couldn't save. No first-hand accounts of a Nursing Orderly have been published before so I'm honoured to be the first to re-tell the story of these extraordinary men.  
     I'll let you know how I get on, but in the meantime thanks for dropping by and see you soon. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Cowspiracy - the inconvenient steak

Hello and welcome to my blog. This post has a short and simple message - WATCH COWSPIRACY.
     We watched it this afternoon and it left us buzzing with ideas about how we could change our diet to help reduce:-
  • global warming
  • water depletion
  • deforestation
  • species extinction and 
  • ocean dead zones.
     This chilling 90 minute documentary deals with the impact of animal farming on all of the above. It asks if this topic is too hot for big environmental groups to handle and what individuals can do to contribute to our planet's welfare. I won't tell you the surprising conclusion, but once watched, I challenge you not to be moved.
      If you were impressed by Cowspiracy, you might feel the same about Blackfish, another hard-hitting documentary about Tilikum, the bull Ocra who killed a trainer at Seaworld Florida in 2010.
    Thanks for dropping by and see you soon.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Black-balled, a poem

Hello and welcome to my blog. As trailed on Monday, it's time to personalise this space and the most personal thing I can share is my fictional writing.
     I feel that fiction exposes so much more than autobiographical information. It reveals what makes people tick; the bit inside that drives you to stand in the middle of No Man's Land, yelling "OI! LISTEN UP!" That's what happened when I wrote Black-balled. I was so incensed by the injustice meted out to Medieval Jewish money lenders that I seized my pen and wrote this.
by Liz Coward

"Can I please join?" said Master Green
eyes eager, smile upon his lips.
"Regret you can't," sneered Master Dick, 
"but it's your dress. It does not fit."

The newly styled Green returned, 
eyes searching, smile hesitant.
"Can I join now, please Master Dick?"
"Sorry kynd Sir, it can't be done.
It's just your beard, a bit too long."

A freshly coiffed Green appeared,
eyes sad, smile fading crookedly,
"Can I join now, please Master Dick?"
The cold-heart said, "My hands are tied.
Gilders, maybe, will loose the knot."

One year on, hunched Green arrives,
eyes wary, smile long since gone.
"Good Morrow Sir. It's Master Green. 
A year has passed, I've given much."
"Ah, Green, thank you. You have been kynd,
but things aint' changed. In ten in years time?"

A decade on, poor Green comes in, 
eyes empty, mouth a bitter line.
"Can I now join your company?
Gain freedom of your feir city?
My money's gone, all spent by thee on
your East Cheape Fraternity."

"I'm sorry Green," laughed Master Dick,
"Yes, thank you for your many gifts.
Indeed, your largesse built this place,
Your name in underneath the Mace.
But rules are rules, see written thus, 
that "Jews are never one of us."

     Black-balled was written in November 2002 and was inspired by a London Walk through the old Jewish Quarter.  I hope you enjoyed it.
     Next week, I'll be back in the 21st century with a feature on the beach. 
     Thanks for dropping by and have a great week.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Time to ring in some changes

     Hello again and Happy New Year.
     Sorry its been a while, but I've been thinking about the blog's direction.
     For years, its been dominated by Shoreham's news but I feel that it's time to give it a more personal feel. The first of these new look blogs, will appear this Friday and I hope you like it.
     Thanks, as always, for dropping by and I look forward to seeing what you think.