#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About Janet Gogerty

In this new series on her blog ‘The Write Stuff’ Marcia invited us to share ten things people would not know about us, today it is my turn. Thanks Marcia.

The Write Stuff

It’s time for another Ten Things list here on The Write Stuff, this time featuring author Janet Gogerty. I know you’ll enjoy learning more about some of the fun and interesting things Janet has done, so I’ll turn it over to her! Take it away, Janet!

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Janet Gogerty

  1. I once worked on a chicken farm; it was up the road in our new Australian suburb and the cockerels used to wake us up. It was my school holiday job when I was fifteen, they paid me $13 out of the petty cash and on the first day the supervisor asked me to clean the toilet! I didn’t actually get to see any chickens, we sorted out the eggs.
  2. I had over forty white mice by the time I was elven.
  3. Family legend has it that HG Wells was a cousin of…

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Thursday Thoughts

So what’s been happening to us all this week? Getting out and about, doing some gardening? Every country and every person seems to have different policies on Covid so let’s not even think about that. We could go to the beach ….

Whoops – it’s been so windy there’s no sand left on the beach. So we could go down to the river…

A ferry trip turned out to be like the old normal. No hand gel, no rules, no queues, no social distancing – well I was the only passenger – and pay cash, £1….

Perhaps we should go to the circus.

What I actually set out to do was go back to our writers’ group at the library for the first time in a year and a half. Almost normal, limited to six people so a bit of negotiating who is going to go each week. Kitchen and kettle out of bounds and library coffee machine a no go area. But the words of my off line writer friends are as witty and wise as ever. The other event of the day was to have coffee in Arcado Lounge, one of my favourite places, cheerful staff, relaxing atmosphere, more fun than Costa. Open at last, same as before, just more spaced out, luckily there is plenty of space….

In the meantime, back in the outside world life continues to be stranger than fiction and provides ideas for fiction. A burglar stole the gold rosary beads that Mary Queen of Scots took to her execution. They were taken from Arundel Castle and no one can figure how they got in or out. But anyone who enjoys horror stories will know that burglar will have more to worry about than being caught by the police – what mysterious powers will that rosary have, what spirits will be unleashed by this unholy act of theft?

Enjoy Your Stay

This week, at long last many of us might think, some arrivals at English airports are now required to go straight to a hotel to quarantine for ten days. I heard a manager for the Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow say on the radio they were aiming to make the experience as enjoyable as possible – by providing real cutlery and high street toiletries, what more could you ask for? High street toiletries… what sort did they provide before and by high street do they mean from the pound shop? Another perk they might offer is a great view of the northern runway from the back of this hotel. The Renaissance hotel spent the last four years of the twentieth century holding the longest ever public enquiry into the building of a fifth terminal at Heathrow. The hotel’s swimming pool was closed and never opened again, but Terminal 5 opened in 2008.

The Bath Road was once the main highway from London to Bath; a stagecoach service to Bath was advertised in a London newspaper in 1657 and the last London to Bath stagecoach ran in 1843, as the Great Western Railway came to prominence. Fifteen miles into your journey you would have passed by the agricultural fields of Heathrow Village and stayed overnight at a coaching inn.  Now this section of the Bath Road is lined with airport hotels. During our long years living near and very near Heathrow we probably visited all of them, without ever staying a single night. They were popular places ( the only places ) for Christmas dinner and dances and other ‘Dos’. For a brief period I did silver service waitressing at The Excelsior, a whole group of hard up mothers at the junior school did £10 a night casual waitressing if there was an event on. We could pick evenings when our husbands were early shift – everyone’s husband did shift work at the airport. It was a mixture of great laughs and horrendous experiences; the several banqueting suites had moveable walls, so not only did you have to remember which were the In and Out doors to the kitchen, you had to figure out where you were and how you got there.

The local hotels were also good for a meal out; there wasn’t anywhere else to go apart from MacDonalds, though a nice little restaurant did open at one stage, in a little parade of shops near the Bath Road. It was called Café Concorde and it was always an experience going there. The young staff were very friendly, but you never knew what was going to happen. The smoke alarm in the kitchen would go off frequently and you never knew if you would get what you ordered or when you would get it. Then sadly Concorde crashed; but the owners were not deterred by this omen and the café reopened as Le Basilica, though its Italian connections were tenuous.

The only photo I ever managed to take of Concorde

Our favourite place to eat was The Excelsior Carvery. By this time I had a job at the airport in the business class lounges; the company I worked for was continually being absorbed into larger companies, one of which was Granada. Our friend who repaired televisions also worked for them and we each had a 25 percent discount at the carvery, making us very popular with friends. It was a great carvery, never to be matched again. A delicious choice of starters with as many visits as you liked. One of our friends used to have at least three plates of seafood each time and still have room to pile the vegies on with his generous helping of meat, he may even have sneaked up for another helping of meat, it was a big place, nobody would notice. We took all our visitors there.

Warning: brief mention of Covid – happy days, oh to go to carveries and buffet bars again and enjoy breathing all over the food and touching everything.

We also frequented the health clubs at various hotels, usually moving on when management ignored our letters about the poor state of the changing rooms. Our last hotel experience before we moved away was the brand new Marriot. It was down the road from us and there was a bus stop outside if I was coming after work.  It also boasted a cash machine, so we no longer had to go over the other side of the M4 motorway into town or into one of the airport terminals when we needed money. The shiny new hotel had an elegant atrium with coffee shops and sofas everywhere, so we could relax with coffee and cake after a swim in the health club. While others were sitting with lap tops and brief cases having important looking meetings, we would be sitting there with our wet swimming stuff and wet hair.

In the steam room you would often meet chatty guests and other locals. One day a chap was telling us ‘You know that Heathrow documentary, my brother was in that.’

‘Which one was he?’ we asked, thinking of pilots or the control tower or those long suffering airline staff always trying to get their flights off on time.

‘He was the one in a coma.’

Most of those in the steam room were guests staying overnight before flying off somewhere exciting. One chap asked everyone where they were going and I said ‘Home, I live down the road.’

He was astonished and said ‘You mean people actually live around here?’

The last house we owned was nearest to the airport and friends and relatives did not need to book into a hotel as they could stay with us, we didn’t even charge them for parking their car on the driveway. A walk across the fields took us to the Bath Road and the free buses into the airport.

Have you ever stayed at Heathrow hotels, or perhaps you are staying at one right now, in quarantine…

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 3rd February 2021 – #Greece Eat Dessert First, Mairzy Doats by Elizabeth Gauffreau, #FlashFiction Janet Gogerty

Today I was a guest at Sally’s Smorgasbord Blogger Daily. Pop over to read about other bloggers and enjoy some desserts.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The first post today will require you sit with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy some history and some recipes from the fantastic team at Eat Dessert First in Greece.

To Ioannina, Arta, Preveza and Thesprotia with pies and histories

Epirus … the northwestern tip of our country, with ancient history and rich cultural tradition, from the areas that first cultivated the idea of the Modern Greek Enlightenment. The contribution of Epirus to the Greek Revolution of 1821 was enormous. Two of the three founding members of the Filiki Etairia (a secret organization aiming to overthrow the Ottoman rule) came from there, Nikolaos Skoufas from Arta and Athanasios Tsakalov from Ioannina. The people of Epirus actively participated in the liberation struggle. However, Epirus was not included inn the newly formed Greek state in 1830. The Arta region was annexed by the Treaty of Berlin in…

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck- #FlashFiction – Friday Flash Fiction 575 – Bonfire by Janet Gogerty

Today is my second week being a guest at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord where she is sharing bloggers’ posts from earlier this year. Here is a pre Covid flash fiction…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the second post from author Janet Gogerty and this week I have selected a flash fiction piece from January 2020 when Brexit was looming and we thought that was all we had to worry about.. until March came rollicking in….

Friday Flash Fiction 575 – Bonfire by Janet Gogerty

I walked down the hill to Tuckton Village and passed boarded up shops; as I rounded the bend I saw the guards at the bridge over the River Stour turning people away; it was true…

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck- #Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu? by Janet Gogerty

Sally Cronin is sharing recent posts from other bloggers – read how I saw Covid earlier this year!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first postfrom author Janet Gogerty and this week a post from Janet’s archives in February of this year.. which, six months later is still very current.

Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu?

Whether you jet set on business or love going on cruises, you can’t have failed to notice there are more hazards to travel lately. Your cruise ship may weigh anchor and keep all the passengers hostage – in quarantine because of Coronavirus, which we now have to call Covid19, though…

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Friday Flash Fiction – 700 – Bookshelves

Vivienne waved goodbye to her daughter’s family with relief, the sun shone on her front garden once more now their campervan was gone. Peace in her little road did not last long as a large white van pulled up outside her front gate. What on earth had her son ordered this time? Yesterday it was a big bag of clothes and a large box of books from Amazon, she had not realised James was so fashion conscious and intellectual. A skinny young chap was hefting a huge box from the back of the van, fortunately James appeared at the front door and rushed out onto the front path.

Can you make sure the front door stays open Mother?’

Vivienne wedged open the door then retreated upstairs to the sanctuary of her front bedroom and gazed out of the window in amusement at the two men’s body language. Customers were not supposed to help, but stay a safe distance; now the delivery driver was taking a picture of the box on the garden path as proof of delivery, he hadn’t made it as far as the front door. As she turned away from the window she noticed the ironing board was propped against her wardrobe and her sewing machine was stuck on top of the chest of drawers. It was bad enough having a divorced son in his forties taking over her sewing room as a bedroom, now he was throwing her stuff out.

There was banging and huffing coming from the landing as the box made it to the top of the stairs, followed by James.

‘I’ll have to unpack it on the landing, make sure all the bits are there.’

‘What on earth is it and where is it going?’

‘In my bedroom, so it won’t affect you. It’s a stylish bookcase.’

‘For all your new books? At least they won’t be cluttering up the living room… have you joined The Open University?’

‘I have already got a degree Mother, remember. I might even read them, but the main task is to get them ready for my television appearance tomorrow. Cassie and I will be on Breakfast Television as representatives of MPJ and important businesses in general.’

Television really, oh I must phone…’

NO, no, it might be only a brief clip, but they will probably replay it all day.’

‘So is Cassie coming here?’

‘No, it’s all remote television now, Cassie will be in her living room with the vivarium and her interesting plants as background. She’s going to talk about MPJ helping the homeless, while I discuss the challenges of getting people back to work versus encouraging them to work from home, with the added bonus of the homeless staying in redundant office buildings.’

‘Well that won’t work, I was just reading in The Big Issue that converting office blocks into totally unsuitable homes is not the way forward.’

‘Perhaps you could get the BBC to interview you… in the meantime I have to create a new aesthetic for my office and the right image for me.’

Vivienne retreated to the garden to inspect the damage done by the grandchildren. From upstairs came much banging and swearing. When that was over James appeared with a cup of tea for her.

‘Where’s that nice photo of the twins, the one in the brass frame?’

‘I thought you had seen enough of Justin and Jacintha this week?’

He laughed. ‘I have, but they would look good on the bookshelf and what about that unusual ornament you brought back from Greece and the Buddha your friend gave you?’

On Friday morning Vivienne was up early, sitting in the living room with a cup of tea; she had crept around, not daring to make a sound in case broadcasting had started upstairs. It was a few moments before she realised it was James talking; she did not recognize her back bedroom sewing room at all. ‘The Office’ had sophistication and character. James should have been a set designer and he himself looked very suave, she felt rather proud. She had no idea what he was talking about, but perhaps the presenters and other viewers would.

Janet Gogerty: At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream

Novelist and blogger Carol Balawyder reviews my novel.

Carol Balawyder

janet-gogerty At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream

Toby Channing, a young psychologist, is on a mission. His girlfriend Anna has gone missing. The problem is that he was the last person to see her alive and so her family (along with others) suspect him of murdering her. Did he or didn’t he?

In an attempt to find her, he uses his camping van and poses as a private investigator specializing in missing persons. As he tours around the many different areas he has gone with Anna, a slew of different characters approach him with their own cases of missing persons (one being even a robot). As Toby solves these cases his search for Anna intensifies.

Janet Gogerty  takes us into Toby’s head – his fears, his loneliness, his unpleasant relationship with Anna’s parents – especially her father who wants nothing to do with Toby as he suspects him of murdering his daughter, his relationship with his parents…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Janet Gogerty, #Thriller Eloise De Sousa

Today I am once again a guest of Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord. In her current series she is sharing the bios of more than 150 of us who enjoy belonging in her café and bookstore, so don’t forget to drop in regularly.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone’s most current series is COLD CREAM MURDERS ~ GLOSSY LIPS, SMOKEY EYES ~ SOAP ON A ROPE ~ SUN SCREAM ~ LAVENDER TOES. And a bonus novella GRAMS’S CHRISTMAS BABY. This series will have at least 6 books when complete. The adventures take place in the imaginary burg…

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Silly Saturday – Round Cubes

Day three experimenting with blocks. As it’s Silly Saturday it doesn’t matter what happens. So far I have managed to put words on the page and give them a nice yellow background. On the previous blog I turned my pictures round. Now I’m going to see what else I can do with pictures. If you are not reading this, it hasn’t worked.

A Whale’s Jaw

Now I have managed to shrink everything on my screen so can’t see what I am doing…

Sorted my screen, not WordPress’s fault, but have lost all the other stuff so here are some more pictures – let’s have a theme – places you could socially isolate…

Why go on a cruise when you could go on a container ship?
If you pass someone coming the other way on the footpath don’t forget to keep your two metre distance!