All about me!

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I’m the one in the middle. Always ready to laugh, always ready for fun. As a kid I was ALWAYS in trouble. I turn every situation into a story.

Other than my family, the important things in my life are writing and visiting Italy. I  finally realized my Italian dream and bought a house in the small village of Colledimezzo, which is in the Chieti province of Abruzzo. I’m just as pleased as punch. I have another dream to fulfill now, to make it as a writer.

I’m still working on my next book, “Ghosts on the Sand” and I have one last short story to write before it’s done. Each story is based on events in my past. “Guy at the Bar” is a tongue in cheek thriller based on a man who tried to hit on me back in the seventies while I was having a quiet drink in “The King Bill” which was a pub I frequented in Brompton-on-Swale, where I used to live. “Ghosts on the Sand” was written about five years ago and it is based on my tumultuous childhood. My dad (by blood) was a bully. Mean, lazy and extremely scary. He beat my mam regularly. I have no good memories of him. This story starts after we left him for good. It talks about a little girl who had premonitions. I do still have premonitions, very accurate ones.

There are also two very short stories in this book.They both just popped into my over active brain. “Camera” is total fiction and set in Brompton-on-Swale and Richmond, North Yorkshire. Its a short, fast paced thriller. My editor couldn’t stop reading it, which meant it was edited super fast. I think that’s a good thing. My final story “The Engineer” isn’t written yet, but it is set in Italy. Total fiction and a kind of black comedy.

Hoping to release this novel for public consumption before March. Can’t wait to hear what you all think.

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The Smoking Volcano

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The fires on Vesuvius looked small from our hotel room in Naples this morning, but tonight the smoke is much thicker, and clearly visible from Capri. This it the view from Ana Capri, where we’re currently staying. The colors are fantastic, but I pray the fires are extinguished soon.

Flying into Naples

House sitter in place, cases packed, boarding passes printed…let the vacation begin!
I’m excited to be flying through Munich. My daughter was born in Germany, but I haven’t been back since 1985. I’m sure listening to people talk in the airport will make me feel nostalgic. An added bonus to my trip.  After Munich, its Naples, Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Feel like a kid about to open the best present ever.

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Rome in the Dark – A Cold Angel

I walked through the dark cobbled streets of Rome. It was three in the morning, but I couldn’t sleep so I decided to take the opportunity to photograph Rome at night, free of tourists. It was mid-week and everyone was in bed. There was a Spring chill in the air and I was thankful for my fleece. Sitting on a bench by the Trevi Fountain, I reviewed my work. The Trevi Fountain is magical at night. I took a few moments to inhale its beauty.

fount_trevi_night_lg“I’m cold”

I was startled by a soft voice close by. I looked up to see a young girl sitting on the wall by the water.

“You startled me, what are you doing here all alone?”

“There was a fire alarm in my hotel and we had to leave.”

“Where are your parents?”

“They’re looking for me. I heard them call my name, but I couldn’t see them. There was smoke.”

“Lets go and find them.” I said and held out my hand. She took it and walked with me. Her fingers were icy. Taking off my fleece, I wrapped it around her shoulders as she led me down an alley and into another piazza, one I hadn’t visited before. We turned onto a small dark street. It was desolate and deserted.

I heard the whisper of a womans voice. “Lisa, Lisa, where are you?”

“Listen, I hear someone. Is your name Lisa?” I asked.

Standing still, I listened, but the voice never came again. The street was badly lit and I proceeded with care until I came to the ruins of a building. The blackened walls told me it had been destroyed by fire. Shadows moved ominously inside. The doorway was gone, but the steps that once led to the entrance were tiled and the top step read “Hotel Delphi”

“Lisssssaaaaaaaa.” The very building seemed to whisper now.

“Come on, let’s get you back to your hotel,” I said to no one. The young girl whose hand I’d been holding was gone.

Now I was cold, very cold. I looked around, but there was no sign of the little girl, or my fleece. I hurried back to my hotel, confused and a little scared. Had the darkened streets of Rome sparked my imagination to see things that weren’t there?

Rome at night

The following day, after breakfast I returned to the Trevi Fountain which was now bustling with tourists, all eager to have their photograph taken near the beautiful landmark. I wanted to tell them how much better it looked at three in the morning. I shivered as I remembered the cold young girl, and retraced my steps to the darkened alleyway and condemned hotel.

I found the remains of Hotel Delphi. In the daylight the damage was clear to see. It had burned long ago and was nothing more than a shell. An old man approached, a sad smile on his face. He began talking to me in Italian.

“I’m English.” I said, smiling apologetically.

“Thirty years I work there, concierge. My life was there. Twenty people die in the fire.” he said in broken English.

“Oh, I’m sorry that’s awful. How long ago was the fire?”

“Five years to the day. The owners die, and no one has money to rebuild.” He walked away, shaking his head sadly.

I stared at the remains of the building. Something caught my eye. It was my red fleece wrapped around a blackened statue. The statue of an angel.

“Lisa, Lisssssaaaaa.” The sad voice carried on the wind.

I shivered and walked away.

 

Dead of July, (Kindle edition) is available for $0.99 until 8am (Pacific time) Monday May 12th.

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Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

 

 

 

A Girl Abroad – Germany 1982

In 1982, when I was 25, I moved to Dortmund , West Germany with my husband. He was a British Soldier in the Royal Army Pay Corps and was attached to the Royal Highland Gunners (19 Field Regiment) stationed in Ubique Barracks.

It was a great adventure for me. After staying with friends for a few weeks, we managed to find an apartment in an area called Borsigplatz. I loved that area, it reminded me of Italy, probably because of the amount of Italians who favored it too. When we first moved I didn’t have a job, and spent long days wandering aroung the streets, shopping, taking photos and learning the German language from the locals. I was a born traveller and living in a Foreign country was like a dream come true.

Borzigplatz

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This is Borsigplatz, a large round-a-bout where six roads met. One of the roads was called Osterholtzstrasse. The trams ran along Osterholzstrasse and right past RobertStrasse, the street on which I lived. They were happy days, I was young and full of hope. 1982 was a good year, made even better by the World Cup which was played in Barcelona. The World Cup final was between Italy and West Germany. What a battle that was! I have wonderful memories of that game, along with the parties afterwards.

Why am I telling you about this? Because it is what inspired me to write ‘Dead of July’, my first full length novel, which will be released in July of this year (2013). It is thirty-one years since I lived in Germany, but the memories are still with me. I hope you enjoy my story. Preview Dead of July

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I have written a couple of short stories, one of which is currently being edited. ‘Girl on the Beach’ is still available for $0.99 from the links below. It is a little rough around the edges, but it has received some great reviews. It is a simple story about a little girl who has a premonition. It is set in Blackpool in the early sixties. Give it a try.

I am very excited about the upcoming release of ‘Dead of July’. Follow my blog and my Facebook page for release details.

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I also have another blog TRAVEL TALES AND MISHAPS which was originally about travel, but now is about life in general.

Ghosts and Myths around the World

It is impossible to know why some of us are open and sensitive to the mist of things that were. We see and talk to people who have passed. We have the ability to see into the future.

My ability to see the occasional ghost, and glimpse the future in dreams sometimes scares me, but it is part of who I am. I don’t choose who I see, or talk to. They choose me. I would love to talk to my mother, but she has never visited me, I wish she would.

As a child I was fascinated by Greek and Italian Gods.

The Gods of Olympus

 

 

Neptune

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myths and Folklore from around the world fascinate me. As a child I would surround myself with books, becoming lost amid stories of the Titans, great Gods and the monsters they fought. Maybe my fascination is what opened the door to the other side.

I would like to use my blog to share stories from around the world. I can find these on my own, but it would be so much better if I could share real stories, passed down by generations.

Spread the word and share your folklore with me. Tell me about your ghosts, gods, spirits and trolls. Help me to share your stories.

Can you spot the Trolls?

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Dead of July – The Fifa World Cup Final was approaching.

The annoying presence of the smelly Evil Cossack was certainly becoming a regular occurrence, but I couldn’t let it ruin the big event, which was rapidly approaching. The fight for the FIFA World Cup. Who would be the win the coveted trophy? Would it be West Germany? I certainly hoped not because Italy was my team!!!

1982 World Cup was held in Spain - the logo was everywhere.

Morning always comes too quickly. When I next opened my eyes the sun was shining through a crack in the curtains. I could smell coffee mixed with the fresh smell of soap from the shower.  I got up and poured myself a cup of coffee and sat at the table to drink it. The sun was blasting through the windows telling me it was going to be another hot day. I loved the summer. In the brightness of the new morning, I felt silly for being so scared the night before. I had let my imagination get the better of me as usual. I had Viktor on my mind and was worrying that he found out that I had helped Anna escape. It made me see him everywhere.  I needed to pull myself together and stop dwelling on it.

As soon as Les finished his morning shower I went and showered myself and got ready for work. We were riding to work together and I needed to get moving or we would be late. Luckily for me I could wear jeans to work, and I put on a t-shirt under my blue overall. I put my ‘face’ on while Les ate breakfast and in no time, I was ready to go. It was Friday at last and the weekend was looming happily ahead of me. As I got out of the car and wandered into camp, I saw my yellow van parked in its usual place, and looking as good as new, actually a little brighter than it usually did. I think the British Army didn’t specialize in yellow and a good deal of paint mixing was done to get anything that closely resembled the color it used to be. There was no denying that REME guys had done a good job, and quickly painted over the nasty graffiti. They were making sure I would be there making my rounds and delivering their morning and afternoon tea and sandwiches as usual. They were a good crowd, and made my dead-end job seem worthwhile. How many people could say they really enjoyed what they did every day. I think I was one of the very few. I knew it wasn’t a good career move for me, but it wouldn’t do me any harm to enjoy this stress-free job for a while. I was only 26 after all!

My yellow van wasn't half as nice as this.

I set about my morning task of making sandwiches and packing them into the back of my van, along with dough nuts (fat pills), tea, coffee, and on a Friday, boxes of chocolates, Black Magic being the favorite choice.  It seemed to be a Friday tradition for some of the boys to buy chocolates for their wives on a Friday night, probably in the hopes of getting ‘lucky’ over the weekend.  Once my truck was loaded I sat down with Isabelle and Viv and had a cup of tea.  We chatted about the coming weekend and the World Cup Final, which of course we would all be watching.  Saturday was pretty important too, as France and Poland played against each other for third and fourth position.  I wasn’t too worried about that game. I had decided to go into Dortmund shopping instead.  Les would probably get together with the guys to watch it. My next game was going to be the final between Germany and Italy. Viva Italia! I took great pleasure in annoying any German I came in contact with by letting them know I wanted Italy to win.  I hoped it didn’t come back to bite me!!!!  I know they would enjoy taunting me it in if Italy lost.  I couldn’t help it though.  It was way too much fun, watching them get flustered and angry because I had the audacity to live in Germany and cheer for Italy.

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World Cup Fever – A German Ghost Story

1982 – Germany. Everywhere you looked you saw the excitement and anticipation of the World Cup!

The whole world was watching Spain 82

My German Ghost Story Continues amidst the excitement of the World Cup!

Was this man real or one of your visitors?”

I couldn’t answer.  I didn’t really know. I didn’t see how he could have been real because Isabelle hadn’t seen him, but my visitors usually came after they were dead. As far as I knew no one had died.  I often had premonitions too, but they usually came in dreams. All of this is pretty hard to swallow if you don’t believe in that sort of thing, but to me, it was part of life. I just accepted it. I had a regular ‘visitor’ who had been with me since I was seven years old.  She had died in a horrific plane crash.  I saw the crash (although I didn’t know what I was seeing) before it happened, and the little girl attached herself to me.  She has been with me ever since. A beautiful blue-eyed child with pink ribbons holding her blonde curly hair back from her face. I enjoyed the company of that visitor. I called her my guardian angel.

CHAPTER SIX 

We sat down that night and watched Italy beat Poland. It gave me great satisfaction to know that I would get to see Italy play in the World Cup Final.  Paulo Rossi scored both goals for Italy and the final score was two nil. I felt sorry for Poland, I always felt sorry for the losing team, but they had come a long way and shouldn’t feel disgraced. It was nice to focus on something other than Anna, and the man who had been haunting me all week. I hadn’t yet discovered if he were real or just some awful manifestation that had latched on to me. He fit the description of Viktor, which meant he was alive, but something was wrong!

After watching Italy beat Poland, we settled down to watch the other big game of the night, which was the game between Germany and France. I had not intended to watch the whole game, but once it started I couldn’t stop watching. If I had gone to bed I wouldn’t have been able to sleep anyway because Les was shouting and clapping. It was fantastic watching players such as Rumminege for Germany and Platini for France. It brings back incredible memories, good memories.

This image was everywhere

Both Germany and France battled to the bitter end and the game ended in a draw with both teams scoring three goals.  Then came the dreaded penalties. How I hated those tense moments just before someone kicked the ball directly at the solitary goalkeeper. If it was stressful for me I couldn’t even imagine how it felt for the players.  Germany were the victorious after the penalty shoot out, which meant that Saturday’s game was going to be OUTSTANDING.

Germany beat France in a penalty shoot out

We would be watching it at Julie and Graham’s house. They had invited about a dozen people for the World Cup Final.  Julie would be cooking, wine would be flowing and it would be a good afternoon. I was looking forward to it and hoped that only true fans would there so we would really be able to watch the game. I know Graham would only invite ‘real fans’, but what if those ‘real fans’ brought along their girlfriends, who just came for the party and free booze.  They would have to learn to be fans pretty quickly. There could be no distractions during a world cup final between Italy and Germany.  It was a very serious event.

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German Ghost Story – Chapter 14

 

Paulo Rossi and Diego Maradona - you can still buy the mug!

 

One of the most exciting games in the 1982 World Cup was between Italy and Argentina – two great teams. Two football crazy, temperamental, hot-blooded teams. I enjoyed this game immensely. It adds to the atmosphere of my story, when this game ended in 1982, even though I knew the final score, I could have watched it all over again. If you want to buy an ‘Argentina v. Italy’ mug, you still can, even though this game was 28 years ago.

I have finally managed to get back to writing my story, which I hope to finish in the early spring. I may stick with the name ‘A walk in the park’ or I may not, lets see. Enjoy chapter 14.

Chapter Fourteen

This game ended about twenty minutes after Rossi’s third goal. I had been screaming so much that it was hard for me to talk, which made Les happy because he thought I talked way too much anyway.  He used to say that before I woke up on a morning, my mouth started warming up ready for the day ahead of me.  I just loved life and had a lot to say.  You may wonder why I have talked about football so much! I want you all understand the atmosphere of that summer in 1982.  This was all part of it, sun, music, football, wine, our youth and most importantly, World Cup Fever!  These times pass so quickly. It seems only too soon that we look back and wonder where our youth and those exciting times went. I am speaking from experience when I tell you this .

After Julie and Graham left, I cleared away the food (not that there was much left), while Les got ready for bed, still on a high after the exciting game.  We both were for that matter.

The next BIG games to watch were the semi finals on Thursday when West Germany against France and Italy played against Poland!  Of course because we lived in Germany, and worked and shopped and socialized with the local people, all we got told day in and day out, was that Germany “Vould Vin”.  There was no doubt in the mind of the German people, that the West German team would be the victors. I really hoped that the final battle would be between West Germany and Italy.  It would be a stomach churning, nail-biting final, but that would be one for the record books.  Viva Italia!  Les was already in bed, and I walked through the living room and dining room, closing the wide open windows as it was raining lightly. As I closed the living room window, I peered down to the corner where the dark stranger had been lurking the night before, but there was no one there. I came across to the dining room window and closed that one, and almost jumped out of my skin.  As I closed it I caught a brief reflection of someone was standing in the room behind me, I froze for a moment before turning around, expecting to come face to face with an intruder. I was alone in the room! I think it was just the combination of my overactive imagination, the black tower (wine) and the excitement of the evening.  He had certainly looked real for a split second.  I laughed and went to bed.  Les was already asleep and snoring, the night after guard duty coupled with alcohol always did that to him. I relaxed and got into bed, it had been a good night.