© Noel Harrower 2015
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2014 has been a mixed year for us, with some good things and some not so good. Jenny and I have kept in good general health throughout the year, and enjoyed the company of a few friends and relatives. In the Spring I was quite active. I was getting more used to walking with my prosthetic leg. (For the benefit of anyone who missed out on my last newsletter, I had my right leg amputated two years ago, following the collapse of my artificial artery inserted ten years earlier.) I was also using my pavement scooter more frequently for my attendance at church and visits to the town and the seafront. I can use it for up to 4 miles before the battery starts to run down. Activities have included working as Secretary for Transition Town Exmouth (TTE), an ecological group aiming to lower the carbon footprint in this area, and continuing as convener of the Glenorchy Church Mission Committee. T.T.E. is promoting locally sourced food, and, during the year, several of us have visited the local independent shops and identified and listed all the Exmouth produce, and provided the shops with a sticker For their windows advertising “A Taste of Exmouth.” I have also gone with a colleague to several community meetings in the Town Hall, and am now a member of the Exmouth Community Liaison Panel. I have also arranged a link between TTE and my church, Glenorchy United Reformed, who are very active in the community, running a Work Club, which has helped over a hundred people to find a job in the last twelve months. They also run a community allotment.    I decided in the Spring to get my children’s historical novel published at last. I had made several attempts to interest a publisher, but very few are willing to spend on the gamble of an unknown person these days, so I went to the library and consulted The Writer’s Annual Yearbook, which keeps up to date with the massive changes taking place in the publishing field. They had an article on self-publishing, which in this digital age has become quite acceptable. Their first recommendation was Troubador Publishing, which fortunately for me was a firm in Leicestershire. As my book was about Nottinghamshire, it seemed appropriate, so I telephoned them, sent them my manuscript and had it accepted. This well established company help with editing, printing and marketing. This whole exercise kept me busy for the rest of the year. “Uncivil War” is set in Nottingham and Newark and is about the misfortunes of several children who were caught on one side or the other during the period 1642-6. I got the idea for this tale after doing an adult education course at Nottingham University in the 1980’s, but did not have time to write it until I had retired. It is a crossover novel, suitable for both older children and adults, and is now available from all good booksellers for £8.99. ISBN: 9781784620400. All the main incidents are factual, but I have used my own imagination to develop the characters and some minor adventures. I had planned to go to Nottingham for the launch on November 29th. Unfortunately, I slipped on the garden path last October and fractured my shoulder, so this had to be cancelled. The book is published though, and can be ordered through all main bookshops.      I hope to go to Notts in the Spring for a book signing exercise, and to meet with old friends, and of course, my step-son, Alex and his wife, Sallie, who still live there. During the year I have been attending the Exeter Hospital regularly for sessions of immunotherapy. This is a treatment for tumours on the bladder. I have also had two cataract operations, so both eyes are now clear. The situation was caught in good time so I have not been inconvenienced.     Jenny had a collection of her poetry published last year, and so she and I have attended a few poetry readings in East Devon. She has been invited to take part in the filming of one of her poems based on the Exe estuary. This has been chosen for entry in an animation project being run in Exeter next year by a local film group. I am just beginning to get more movement back in my left arm. Although it is still in a sling, I am managing to use it as I write this letter. It is feeling a little tired now, so I will wish you all a Happy Christmas. May we also enjoy a peaceful New Year in these troubled times,
Christmas Epistle - 2014
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