This is just a short blog to wish everyone a Merry Christmas / Happy Hanukkah / other seasonal delight. At least we’re now past the Solstice, so for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting longer!
We’re going to spend Christmas Day out at our daughter’s place, and are planning on staying overnight, so that should be a pleasant ‘country Christmas’ complete with various friends and the 3 dogs and 3 cats! We are under various weather watches and wind warnings at the moment – the big storm that has brutalized central Canada and most of the US is set to hit us this evening.
We’ve been told to prepare for up to 110 km/hr winds and about 25-30 mm of rain overnight as temperatures rise to +10C. I guess it will be a green Christmas!
I hope that the weather is clement where-ever you might be. If you’re being buried in a blizzard, whipped by a windstorm, or simply dashing about because you realized you forgot to buy someone a gift, don’t forget that you can get some good books to read at www.jtgoddard.com.
And please, use the code XMAS22BL at checkout to get a 15% discount off your entire order – this offer remains valid until Christmas Day!
Thank you again for being a loyal reader of this blog. As always, my New Year Resolution (well, one of them) will be to write to a more frequent schedule. In between novels and other adventures, of course. Among other projects, I’m working on the next Gavin Rashford novel, which will hopefully be published in the spring, and which is set in the Maritimes – mainly Prince Edward Island. This will open up new vistas for him (and me) to explore. Here is the current opening scene – but don’t hold me to it, as I have discovered that stories are really shapeshifters and may change significantly between first draft and publication!
Staff Sergeant Gavin Rashford swore, flapping his hands and opening and closing his mouth rapidly. Tears welled in his eyes as he groped around for his can of pop. He could hear laughter. He chewed furiously, swallowed, and gulped a drink, swilling it around his mouth. His vision cleared and he saw the giggling girls. They were about six or seven, he guessed, and apparently thought that a man burning his mouth on a hot deep-fried scallop was really funny. He glared at them, and they rushed back to their mother, who was sitting at an adjacent table.
The morning rain had dissipated but the pavement was still damp and steaming when he had pulled off the highway just before one o’clock. He was hungry, and still feeling a bit hungover. He drove down the ramp and surveyed the array of fast-food options available. He settled on the one offering a scallop basket; ‘when in Rome’, he thought. Although even through his headache he remembered that he was in Nova Scotia.
He had parked at an angle between the building and the picnic tables, between a minivan and two Honda Goldwing motorcycles, then gone inside. There was no line-up, so he ordered his meal, then went to the washroom. He had finished, washed his hands, and returned to the front area long before the young woman behind the counter called his number. He took the cardboard box of food and some extra paper napkins, balanced his can of soda in the crook of his elbow, then pushed open the door with his foot and found an empty table outside.
An elderly couple in bike leathers were chatting at an adjacent table, a map spread out between them. Further down the slope two children from the minivan laughed as they ran around next to their parents, who were still eating.
He had felt the sun on his neck as he opened the lid and the perfume of fried food rushed out to meet him. He speared a scallop with the small wooden fork he had been given, sniffed it without any idea of why he did that, and popped it into his mouth.
The mother gathered her children in her arms, glaring back at the big man who had frightened her daughters. There was a steady drone of traffic from up on the highway. A plane on final approach to the nearby airport cruised overhead, the wheels already down. Rashford took another scallop, more carefully this time, and smiled to himself.
‘At last,’ he thought. ‘Now I’m on holiday’.
I wish you and your loved ones all the best for the festive season, and I hope that 2023 brings you good health, prosperity and happiness.