Tears & Laughter: First Post of the Year

Holkham Beach

Hello and welcome to the first post of the new decade.

We spent New Year in a sweet little cottage in Norfolk and this was Holkham Beach on New Year’s Day. Fabulous.

But since then, it’s been back to serious stuff, like my dad’s funeral last week.

Apparently it’s the ‘done thing’ (who knew?) to have a collection at the service, so we had one in aid of The Salvation Army, a cause close to his heart.

It was down to us to take the donation box home, count up the money and then send it off to the charity.

So, my Mum was totting it all up (over £300, if you’re interested), when she came across a rogue bank note! It said ‘Danske Bank’ at the top. Flippin’ heck! Someone had put a Danish note in the collection! Of all the …! Well, I never! I was not impressed. The air was a little bit blue with my cursing.

It didn’t matter, as my mum pointed out, that someone ‘Might just have been to Denmark on their holiday.’

We went through all the people who’d been there. Who seemed shady? Who might have done such a terrible thing?

And then my OH came into the room to see what all the fuss was about. And pointed out, reasonably, that the note said ‘Twenty pounds’ and was, in fact, from Northern Ireland.

Oh, we said. Oh. And then we remembered that my cousins, who live near Belfast, had been at the funeral. Which explained it. Whoops. (But in my defence, I’ve never seen a bank note from Northern Ireland before. Have you?).

Here it is, in all its glory. With its strange affiliation to Denmark emblazoned on the front… .

(And while we’re on the subject of Northern Ireland, have you seen ‘Derry Girls’?! Oh, it’s good! We have binge-watched the whole of the first 2 series – and the Bake Off ‘special’ in the last week or so and it’s been fabulous. We needed a good laugh and it didn’t disappoint).

Now, on a completely different but writing-related note, Good Housekeeping Magazine (Feb issue) is running a novel writing competition. They do this most years, I believe and this time I am going to attempt to send an entry.(I know, I know: you’ve heard that before).

The closing date is 31st March 2020 and it’s free to enter but you do need the entry form from the magazine, so hasten to your nearest newsagent, if you want to have a go, and buy a copy.

The first prize is a £5,000 advance, an agent of your very own and publication of your novel.

And 5 runners-up will attend a masterclass with a commissioning editor at Orion Books, have lunch with the Good Housekeeping team and have the chance to be represented by the agent too.

Also, the People’s Friend magazine have a special edition out this week: every one of the 7 short stories is written by a new writer (ie: new to People’s Friend).

I think that’s rather lovely and shows how much they encourage new writers and are actively looking for them. Here are the guidelines if you want to know more.

Good luck with either or both of those, if you decide to submit your work.

Bonnie on Holkham Beach, New Year’s Day

This entry was posted in Bonnie, Competitions, Good Causes, Magazines, Television and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tears & Laughter: First Post of the Year

  1. Beth says:

    Condolences on the loss of your Dad. I’ve been without mine for more years than I’d care to say, but still miss him. Your dog, Bonnie, is gorgeous.

  2. Pat says:

    Sorry to here about your loss, but thank you for sharing this information with us. I’m off to find a Good Houskeeping magazine right now.

  3. Shane Telford says:

    That’s a Northern Irish bank note Helen! Danske are a Danish bank but we have quite a few of them over here (my old bank)

  4. Penelope Alexander says:

    Thanks for all this, Helen, and welcome back! Hope you’ll have lots of writing success this year.

  5. juliathorley says:

    It’s so easy to off in the wrong direction, isn’t it? I’d have thought the same about that bank note.

    • Yes, it’s just so odd to have a foreign bank on a domestic note! Never seen it before – obviously! Gave us a laugh though, when we realised our mistake (and all the innocent people we’d suspected!)

  6. Wendy Clarke says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father, Helen. I didn’t know. Like you, we took our own Bonnie away for new year. We chose Dorset 😀

  7. Sharon Boothroyd says:

    So sorry about your dad, Helen. Just over £300 is a lovely sum for the Sally army.I’ll pass the GH novel comp on to other writing friends. – many thanks. It was good to see your recent story in TABFF.

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