Tag Archives: jan Edwards

Courtyard Garden : new shoots and spiders #courtyardgarden #plants #gardening #orchids #houseplants


Not much gardening to be done on the first day in December, you might think. But noted today how the shrubs cut back so drastically just a short while ago are already beginning to put put up new shoots.

The indomitable holly – reduced to little more than a pole – is already sending out new leaves!



Like wise the Quince and the shrub rose.20181201_14262520181201_142637

You don’t expect new growth so late in the season but it is so mild, with little sign of the cold winter that had been predicted back in September.


20181201_142723Less welcome? A plastic bottle thrown over the wall by some ghastly child. I make that assumption by the style and content of the bottle.  I hate littering – and hate it even more when people litter my garden!


On better things…



The spider plant given me by my friend Misha is flowering well.

As are my selection of orchids, which, having finished flowering back in June, have been on holiday in the conservatory all summer. I have brought them indoors in case of frosts. I have nine orchid plants and had some of those for up to ten years. Most are showing flowers and/or flower spikes. Tip – they thrive on neglect! I water once a week (or even fortnight!)and feed every third watering.




Count Down to Nothing #crimefiction #flashfiction #writing

Count Down to Nothing

(Awarded a Highly Commended in the Potteries Prize for flash fiction)

Related imageSadie lifts the lid on the creaking, stuttering, kettle to stare in at the scant half cup of water at its base. Flakes of beige limescale-confetti dance around the looped coil in a maelstrom of bubbles and steam, and as all motion ends there is a vague waft of electrical burning.

‘Our fourth kettle.’ She nods, pleased that her instincts are correct. ‘A four-kettle marriage. Three cars. Two houses.’

She pauses to listen to her neighbour putting out the bins. ‘It’s too early. Time for tea.’

Sadie taps each of the mugs that dangle from the dresser hooks, ‘three … four … five … six…’ and picks her favourite; a rotund affair with speckled white glaze. From its belly a pair of slinky painted cats stare back at her through slitted purple eyes. Their gaze is all knowing. Tacit approval, as reassuring as the daily tallying that bolsters her perspective.

Scalding kettle dregs are emptied down the sink and Sadie wishes it were so simple to wash away the detritus in her life. The back-up kettle is humming a gentler tune from the gas hob. As metal expands with the rise in temperature she keeps the running total of each tink and pop with her forefinger against the worktop edge, ‘ten … eleven…’, and longs for dusk to drift into night.

The steam whistle is calling time. Tea is made and drunk in the wait for salmon tinted clouds on the western horizon to fall into a purple dark. She washes the cup and sets it on the drainer, giving the sun a minute more to take cover – counting down those slow sixty seconds on her watch before she moves out to the garden.

One shovel waits its turn beside a footing trench that measures a precise one metre wide by one deep, elegant in its balanced proportions. Seven steel rods traverse the body at its base. Six bags of ready mixed cement are waiting to meld for eternity with five large buckets of water.

‘Four kettles. Three cars. Two houses. Per husband.’

(c) Jan Edwards 2018
Not to be copied or reprinted without prior permission.

The brief was to write a 350 word flash fiction.


Readings from Winter Downs at Chester Litfest 27th November #readings #literaturefestivals #Chesterlitfest

Having been in Chester for Fantasycon in October I am thrilled to announce that I am returning to the city to take part in the Chester Literature Festival.

The Chester Literary Festival takes place between 10th November and 1st December and has a huge line-up of authors!

I shall be a participant in the ‘Elevenses’ stream of readings at the Storyhouse in Chester.  Local authors are  being given the opportunity to read from their latest work, answer questions and sell their wares as a part of the larger event and I am very much looking forward to it! (Albeit with some nerves!).

I shall be reading from Winter Downs at 11am on 27th November – so if you are in Chester that day please do come and listen! (It is free!)

Now to go and start practising!

Into The Night Eternal has landed! #horror #books #janedwards #folkhorror

My contributor’s copy of Into The Night Eternal has just arrived!

“Inspired by a country thriving with folklore and folktales come four novellas by award-nominated and award-winning authors heralding from both sides of La Manche, Lycopolis Press presents – INTO THE NIGHT ETERNAL: TALES OF FRENCH FOLK HORROR.



Continue reading

Courtyard Garden : Scented Geraniums (pelargoniums) Before the Frost Does!

pelsThis morning we had a frost – second of the season – and more forecast later in the week so time to give my scented pelargoniums their annual scalping before being stashed in the conservatory for the winter.

The flowers are very pretty, but small, yet the scented leaves more than make up for that. Not just because running your hands over them leaves your skin smelling so sweet but also because they provide a gorgeous intricately cut  foliage to offset pots of the more blowsy annuals.

I have three of these, the original plants all being bought some twelve or more years ago at the National Herb Centre in Warmington near Banbury, Oxfordshire. Well worth a visit if herbs are your thing!

These are doubtless daughter plants from those originals. They are ridiculously easy to propogate from cuttings. Hack of pieces of fresh growth and push them into a pot of well-drained compost and you will have dozens in no time!

These plants as with any pelargoniums,  are fragile, however, and need to be cossetted through the frosty months. I have :

One Pepper-scented plant pel 3


One Rose-scented plantgeran-3


pel 4One Lemon-scented plant




20181022_104643All are now safely trimmed and tucked away for the winter20181022_105526

Nanna Barrows #shortfiction #janedwards #ghoststories #leinstergardens&othersubtelties


We all had fun at the Ghosts at the Gladstone event on Saturday.



It is always a fun afternoon but this year, due to time constraints (editing book two of Bunch Courtney and writing book 3) I looked through my back catalogue of supernatural fiction for something suitable. But my trouble is that I am somewhat verbose!

The majority of my short stories are at least 4,000 words long, with most topping 5 or 6k. So I turned to an old story, ‘Nanna Barrows’,  which first saw publication in the BFS magazine, New Horizons #54, way back in 2009!  Continue reading

6towns radio today @6TRcurtaincall #radio #janewdards #mishaherwin

Misha and I will be chatting about books and writing and 6×6  with Becs and Rob on the Curtain Call show – 6towns radio at around 4.30 today – s0 don’t forget to tune in HERE