'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Barbara Newhall Follett, a Mystery

Fair Use Photo from Wikipedia
I came across this really interesting missing person mystery from 1939. Turns out Barbara Follett was a prodigy novelist and her first book, The House Without Windows, was published when she was just 12 years old in 1927. Her second novel, The Voyage of the Norman D. received critical acclaim when she was just 14. Sadly though the same year her father left the family for another woman and Barbara's life was turned upside down. Her bright literary career was pretty much de-railed.

She married in 1933 and in 1939, her marriage in trouble, her husband said they had quarreled and she walked out the door with $30 in her pocket and was never seen or heard from again. It's still a mystery today. Did he do away with her? We'll never know. I find these things fascinating!

I started looking around about her and found a wonderful site about her, run by her half cousin. You can read all about the mystery of Barbara HERE. There are several of her non-published works posted there to read, including a full length novel, Lost Island, that was never published.

The House Without Windows is available free in multiple formats HERE on a site devoted to the book. How wonderful that her works are made available after all this time! Looking forward to reading them.

How about you, have you ever heard of Barbara Newhall Follett before or read these books?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Eyemouth and the Great Fishing Disaster

Ever since reading Susanna Kearsley's The Shadowy Horses I've wanted to go to Eyemouth to the museum and see the tapestry in remembrance of the Great Fishing Disaster of 1881. We did just that last Friday when we went down to visit Eric Brown, author of the Langham and Dupre Mysteries and many science fiction novels.

Eye mouth is probably my favorite place so far, as far as towns go. I love the closeness of it and the higgledy, jiggeldy way the streets go. It was a very active small town and just exuded fishing village from every corner. Jack's grandfather was the pastor of the church there and his mom lived there as a child!

Willie Spears lead the revolt to end the paying of tithes to the church. I guess it was mandatory back then.

Robert Burns was made a Mason here at the local chapter Land of Cakes! How's that for a name? Wouldn't you love to live there?

The great fishing disaster took place on the 14th of October, 1881. After a week of bad weather and no fishing they woke up to gorgeous blue skies and the fishing fleets of every harbour along the coast were thrilled to get out on the sea. But later that day the skies turn dark and the wind picked up, hurricane Euroclydon struck. Winds so fierce it layed flat 30,000 trees! Just think of all those small fishing boats. A total of 189 fishermen lost their lives between several villages. 129 from Eyemouth. Many made it back to the harbour of Eyemouth only to be bashed against the rocks while their families looked on from shore. What a dark day it must have been, leaving 73 widows and 263 fatherless children. You can read a fascinating account of the day here at the museum's website. The museum was a wonderful peek into the farming and fishing lives of Eyemouth. Take a walk through the museum with me...

The young girls, called fisherlassies, followed the fleet from Lerwick to Great Yarmouth gutting, salting and packing the herring along the way. They would make between £17 and £20 for the season.

This is the Eyemouth Tapestry...

This is an installation commemorating the 129 Eyemouth fishermen who lost their lives that day. They stand together with their crews. The largest groups are those that went down with their boats and the single or pairs are those who were washed overboard and the only ones of their crew that didn't make it back.

Very moving.

Peggy Ann

Monday, August 22, 2016

More Snippets of Maine

I-95 Everyone in the car gets really excited about now!
Traffic is backed up. Starts in New Hampshire. 
Maine is Vacationland and everyone is on their way there!
It's always like this!

Stateline is in the center of this bridge!
There's a tiny sign to the right just above the red car that says Maine State-line

This is one of my favorite pics. Early morning. A fisherman going out
Notice the fog laying on the other side of the lake. Click on this one to see it really good!

The second cottage on the property.

The morning is the best time. The lake looks like diamonds!
Of course the evening light is amazing too.

Isa made little flags with our names on them so we made sure and not eat someone else's doughnut!
Evening light
Bug on our screen.

Kennebunk ME.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


For about a week we had birds by the hundreds swarming and flocking overhead every night starting about 8:15 and when they all congregated they started filling up the neighbors maple tree. One group at a time settling on top and filtering down in. As they moved down into the tree another group would come. The noise of all the birds was amazing! I got my coffee and sat out on the porch and watched each night. The night I decided to bring my camera along to try and get shots of all of it they moved down the street to another tree! I think they are starlings, but I can't be sure. I don't see the white spotting on the body or the gold beak but they are the same size and I can't see them up close. These photos are not of the maple, but of the tree tops they loaded as they waited for everyone to arrive. 

This one is a shot I finally managed to get a couple weeks ago of the Pileated woodpecker! He's on the light pole. It's heavily shadowed but you can see the shock of red on top of his head and get an idea of his size! You always know when he's in the neighborhood as he has a shriek he lets out!

I've been noticing new birds, I couldn't quite determine what they were. They are the young starlings from early this spring finally starting to look adult! Several are from the late hatching and are just starting to get the black on the feathers (if their not starlings I don't know what they are!), but the one in the forefront is the earliest hatch and he has all the telltale feathers but hasn't gotten the gold beak yet.

The squirrel stays off my feeders now, but he still manages to get on the suet feeders and crumbles large chunks to the ground. I suppose the birds can share.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Friday we went to visit Eric Brown, author of the Langham and Dupre mysteries and a friend of Jack's. On the way we stopped off at Cove, a wonderful old harbour and small hamlet.

The Cove Hamlet, that sits up above the harbour, was built to plan by Halls of Dunglass in 1809 to house the estates fishing and farming families. I didn't take any pics up top. It's the beautiful natural harbour or cove below that is what draws people.

From the early 1600's use was made of the natural harbour at Cove. In 1740 the first of several attempts were made to clear the basin and an access road was built. The present harbour was completed in 1831. The harbour, pier, breakwater, pier cottages and tunnel entrance are listed as structures of architectural and historic interest.

In 1794 there were 16 Cove fishermen, fathers and sons. After the new harbour was completed the population rose to 20 families and remained at about that level until 1920, when it started to decline. Visually the harbour and its cottages are much as they were in the 1800's, when they attracted artists.

The pier cottages were built in the early 1800's and occupied until 1946, when the fishermen took them over for storage.

You can see the marks where another building once connected.

The tunnel had cellars, used for storing salmon and herring as well as cured and barreled white fish, leading off it. They were closed off in 1981.

Originally herring and white fish were the main fish caught from this harbour. Now there are only two boats fishing out of it and they lobster and crab. A gorgeous place! And we were lucky to get there at low tide.

There is a monument at the top for the Great Fishing Disaster of 1881. Cove lost 4 boats and 11 out of 21 men in it. I'll tell you more about that in the next post!

- Posted by Peggy Ann
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