Thursday, 2 March 2017


In these days of mega hype when everything is "fantastic" and Donald Trump even describes a meatloaf as "great" I chose my headline for today's blog very carefully. FramSoc's Tony Lawrence said that Eva Clarke's story was remarkable when he introduced her and writer Wendy Holden to a packed house (the biggest FramSoc attendance by far) on Tuesday but it turned out that her story was not only remarkable, it was incredible.

Eva was born en route to a Nazi concentration camp and Born Survivors, Wendy Holden's non fiction account of Eva's and two others' Jewish mothers' experiences in concentration camps, ghettoes and military factories, tells a story like no other. In a wonderful presentation Wendy described how she discovered Eva and how she went on to find the other two survivors who were all born just before the Americans liberated the concentration camps. Eva told her own mother's story. Being pregnant in a Nazi camp or factory was normally a death sentence and each pregnant woman strove to hide their condition. Were they found out there was every likelihood of becoming guinea pigs for one of Joseph Mengele's horrific experiments. 

It was a moving talk and we both felt uplifted by it. Eva's attitude to her mother's torturers was, whilst not forgiving, very understanding and her attitude to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants was warm and positive and , I am delighted to say, extremely well received by her Framlingham audience. After all, she said, she was once all three of those.

At the moment, my second novel is being fine tuned by the wonderful Caroline Goldsmith Publishing Consultancy who are preparing the files in both Kindle and paperback formats. Spiffing Covers, who did such a good job with Give Me Your Tomorrow, are working on the new cover and I'm very pleased with the first draft.

The novel tells the story of a man who looks for bargains on eBay and, while I've been waiting for the book, I've had a go at bargain hunting on eBay myself.


I was delighted to find this wonderful French vase c1880.

And this fabulous Art Nouveau vase made by SA Majolique Bruxelles in 1900. But not everything has run smoothly.

A pair of these fabulous Paris porcelain vases by Le Tallec and dating to 1964.

Is no longer a pair. Never mind, it's a huge pity but the one remaining should still bring more than I paid.

In other news I had a few hours out with the detector yesterday. Here's what turned up.

Lots of lead as always - the lead scrap box is starting to refill
The usual array of buttons
A couple more musket balls
A nice little military badge.

A Tudor period spectacle buckle sadly broken but unusually with the pin remaining
The best find of the day was this silver Medieval penny minted in London by ILGER for Henry III. The line across indicates that its owner was about to cut it into a half penny when it was lost
The legend "Henricus Rex is clear but the portrait is terrible.

We're both over the colds that plagued us last week and we're now looking forward to travelling up to Kirkby Lonsdale for a weekend with friends before travelling on to St Andrews to visit our daughter Sarah and her family for a week.