A Letter from Mabel
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
2M ago
Been a while since I transcribed one of my great-grandmother’s letters from her time in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon. (Trigger warnings: she was from another era, another time so her words are not always PC.) Horekelly, Madampe, Ceylon December 4th, 1900 My dearest Mother A Happy Christmas to you and everyone, and I hope you will all have a good time. It seems such ages since the Christmas before last. I don’t count last year at all because it was so muddling and strange. I suppose George and I will have a very quiet time by our lone lone selves. I don’t even expect there will be a service at t ..read more
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P is for Pet Loss
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
3M ago
Millie and Susan When we first get a puppy, back in 2007, our kids are 8, 10 and 11-years-old. We visit the litter a couple of weeks after they are born. Six little furry things, snuggled up together, paddling tiny paws against their mother. We choose the only girl. Black with a white flash across her chest. My mum comes along to see them. Lethal. She holds a squeaking brindle boy and falls in love. In a few weeks, they come home. Buddy goes to Mum’s. Perfect timing as my step-father has recently had to go into a nursing home as he has advanced Alzhiemer’s. Buddy helps fill the void. Brings li ..read more
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I is for Icicle
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
3M ago
St Michael and All Angels, Bampton What I love about visiting churches is the odd stories that crop up. Yesterday I went in search of a reconfigured headstone that remembers a man killed in unlucky circumstances. ‘In memory of the clerk’s son Bless my iiiiii Here he lies In a sad pickle Killed by icicle In the year 1776.’ Stone embedded to the left of the tower doorTower door ..read more
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Y is for Yew
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
3M ago
One of the yews of St Mary’s Last weekend, on our journey back from Llangollen to the Wirral, we stopped off in Overton-on-Dee to count off the last of the Seven Wonders of Wales: Maybe not the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but the twenty-three yew trees in the churchyard of St Mary’s form an impressive circle around the church and are well worth a visit. During a chance meeting with the organist amongst the tombs, we discovered a little more about the trees. Now supported by yew props and protected by railings, the oldest is classed as ancient.* This tree predates the church which was most like ..read more
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D is for Death
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
4M ago
St Thomas’ churchyard, Heptonstall Our little lives are rounded with a sleep. This week Hero Press announced that they will publish my first non-fiction book D is for Death in April 2024. It’s been a project of love and has been all-consuming but I am excited that you will finally get to read it in a few months. In the meantime, here is the blurb. Hero acquires unique A to Z guide to death  Hero Press has acquired world rights for D is for Death by Sophie Duffy. This fascinating A to Z of death will be published in the UK on 20th April 2024. Rights were acquired by Christian Müller ..read more
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D is for Death
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
1y ago
New Project https://www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/d-is-for-death/ So sorry I’ve been so rubbish at posting on here but I’ve been busy with cancer recovery and a new venture – a non-fiction book about all things death and dying, a change of direction for me. Rather than telling you all about it here, please have a read of the above article I wrote for the Royal Literary Fund. And please come along for the ride and I promise to be more present on here, feeding you snippets of interesting information and, of course, stories. Meanwhile, here’s an image for you. Of my favourite door which got me the most ..read more
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Betsy and Lilibet
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
2y ago
Baby Queen Elizabeth II Delighted by the news today that Harry and Meghan have named their new baby girl Lilibet Diana. A nod to her great grandmother and her late grandmother. Despite everything, this is a new addition to a family who have had a hard time – being rich and royal doesn’t exempt you from the strifes of family life. Let’s hope that baby Lili will forge her own path and add good to the world. And here’s a book trailer for my novel, ‘Betsy and Lilibet’, my homage to the Silent Generation. If you’re wondering who Betsy is ..read more
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One Year on…Party, Party.
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
3y ago
The Grand Oriental Hotel Colombo Nov 27th 1900 Dearest Tommie A year on Friday since I left England. It seems longer than that, don’t you think? Sometimes it seems ages and ages since I saw you all, and yet the fact of not having had any winter makes it seem wrong somehow. We came down from N. Eliya yesterday, very sorry to leave although we ought not to grumble as we have been there a month all but three days, at least, I have. George, of course, missed four days when he went down to Marawila. We are going to Horekelly on Thursday and we really don’t know yet how long we are to stay there. G ..read more
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Mab and George: Will They Stay or Will They Go?
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
3y ago
Elephant Nook Newara Eliya Nov 13th 1900 Dearest Tommie We are really having very jolly weather here in spite of the monsoon. It is fine all day and comes on to rain about six, when it is nearly dark, so it does not affect us at all. I think the change is doing us both good, although things are so muddley just now, that we never know what we may have to do next. It is pretty well certain though that we shall not go back to Horekelly but to Veyangoda. Mr Hartor has had notice given him and is to go at the end of the month so we shall go there as soon as the house has been cleaned up. If George ..read more
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Mab and the Tea Leaves of Ceylon
sophieduffy
by sophieduffy
3y ago
Elephant Nook Nuwera Eliya Nov. 6th 1900 My dearest Mother Here we are in our little elephant hutch again and very jolly it is too. We came up on Thursday and had a very nice journey, getting in here about 5 o’clock. I am not enjoying myself just at present as I am a grass-widow. George had a wire from Mr Martin on Sunday asking him to go down to Marawila as further evidence was required evidently before the Attorney General decides the case. So off he went by the night mail on Sunday night and would go to Marawila in the coach on Monday and get to the courthouse in time in the afternoon. I h ..read more
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