Two countries

With New Zealand’s borders open again I have been able to make another trip to my home country of England, after a gap of over three years. Being in London when the Queen died, and during the subsequent period of national mourning, was a truly remarkable experience.

Sadly there wasn’t enough time to see all of my relatives and friends living in various parts of the kingdom, but I did visit a lot of places, too many to list here. I stayed several days in Oxford, where I did my medical training and spent much of my career, meeting some old colleagues and exploring the riverside and surrounding water meadows.

Grandpont, Oxford

One day I took the train to Malvern, with its memories of Elgar’s music and my time at the College of Healing. The town features in my novel “The Windflower Vibration”. I walked up the hills and had tea at St Anne’s Well.

On the Malvern Hills

Another highlight was staying with an old school friend who lives in a converted farmhouse in Wharfedale, Yorkshire. We walked the dogs by the river, and ate fruit from the orchard where 250 apple varieties are grown.

Washburn river
Apple orchard

For the first few years after I moved to New Zealand in 2000 it seemed easy enough to make frequent return trips to the UK. But international flying has become much more complicated and expensive since the pandemic, and attracts increasing criticism for its impact on the environment. Also, having reached a later stage of life, I wonder how much longer I will be fit to travel. So although I hope this latest visit to England won’t be my last, I am aware that it might be.

Knowing this I do sometimes feel torn between my two countries. But my present life in Auckland is a very happy one, and over the years I have enjoyed the best of both worlds.


Completing the trilogy

I tend not to plan much ahead in my life, and back at the beginning of this year I had no idea that I was going to publish a series of three novellas during 2014 – marking the launch of what I hope will be an on-going career as an indie author.

The Windflower Vibration, the third book in the trilogy, has just come out. Please read on for the blurb, and details of a free offer on the e-book version.

“A man dies while swimming off an Auckland beach. Georgina is out walking with her grandson when the rescue helicopter arrives, and they become involved in the aftermath of the event. Was this man’s death due to natural causes hastened by medical malpractice? Or was it one strand in a complex web of events, spread over two hemispheres and two centuries, involving homeopathy, Elgar’s violin concerto, forbidden love affairs and a sick dog? Georgina’s life has seemed empty following the loss of her husband, but by the end of her quest to unravel these mysteries she has found a new purpose. Set partly in England and partly in New Zealand, The Windflower Vibration can be read on its own or as a sequel to Jennifer Barraclough’s earlier novellas Carmen’s Roses and Blue Moon for Bombers.”

The Windflower Vibration is available in both print and ebook versions from Amazon and other online stores. Between now and the end of this year, I can offer readers of this blog a free copy of the e-version from Smashwords: if you are interested, click on this link and enter the coupon code GP73W at check-out.

I would hugely appreciate your help with marketing; please consider posting a star rating, writing a brief review on Amazon or elsewhere, sharing this message with your contacts and/or asking your local library to buy a copy – thank you so much.