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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

I have the most wonderful readers

Yesterday I had a lovely email from a reader who wanted to thank me for "bringing some happiness and fun into an old man's life". Charlie Horner is 87 years young, and yesterday was the anniversary of his wife's death.

This is what he wrote:

"The mourning period went on and on until one day , a friend gave me a "chick lit" to read , I remember thinking ," that's not my type of reading material ". The friend was a close friend of my wife's and she thought I needed some happiness in my life . So, I sat down with a book I didn't want and read ... and read and finally finished it with a smile and a feeling of , all's right with the world.."

His words brought tears to my eyes, and when he told me that my book A Stitch in Time in Applewell made him feel good, I really did cry.

He sent me a poem (Charlie has had 16 poems published in The Daily Mail newspaper) and it was so moving that, with his permission, I wanted to share it with you.


The Old Man sat there on the beach , staring out to sea ,

I wondered what HIS hopes were and what I thought they'd be ?

Is he remembering happier times with his family on the sand,

His children frolicked in the waves , whilst he listened to the band,

The beach was getting crowded as children came to play ,

And lovers lie on blankets , for them , a glorious day ,

The Old Man looked around him and gave a smile or two,

As children made sand castles and laughed like children do .

I wondered why he was alone , what made him come down here ,

To sit in isolation with hosts of people near .

I wondered where his wife was , what sort of life he'd led,

Is he on his own at night when it is time for bed

Is loneliness quite normal, does he welcome every morn .

Is each day the same as always , beginning with the dawn .

Does he eat his meals in silence , with his dinner on a tray ,

Does he wish that he was somewhere else , does he try to find a way ,

And as I watch this Old Man staring into space

I have to take a closer look , I think I know that face ,

I move a little closer, now he's easier to see,

I realise and I'm shocked to say , that that Old Man is ME

That I may have lightened his sadness just a fraction, makes writing worthwhile. Never underestimate the power of uplifting feel-good fiction.

What I've been reading...


How could I resist a sweet romance with my name in the title! I loved the premise, too. Living in a van for a year and being free to explore the countryside sounds like pure escapism. But unfortunately Adira doesn't get far - however she is exactly where she needs to be.

This is a perfect summer read, with a grumpy-sunshine romance, a wonderful community spirit, and a wannabe girlfriend who is determined to put a spoke in the wheel of true love.

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