Jam & Jerusalem, and Jane

I’m a total disgrace. This post has been sitting in drafts for ages – time has just been whizzing by and my diary has got way too full too quickly lately. So the writing time has again, been pushed to one side. It is now going in the diary, with all the other things, so at least my stories and blog posts get their share of my attention 🙂

So this post… After 2 weeks on holidays and 2 weeks of being ill, it took me a while to get back into the swing of things.  The hols were lovely; we spent 9 days travelling around the south of England, visiting some fictional places that turned out to be very real indeed.

Our first fictional stop was the village of North Tawton St. Peter. If you are a fan of the British sitcom ‘Jam and Jerusalem’, you’ll know it better as Clatterford St. Mary. If you watched the show, the low set walls that line the pathways around the church building are quite distinctive. The large main entrance door is the setting for a few hilarious moments on the show.

We had a wander around and found a door near the back that was open. We went in and saw the familiar pulpit where the Rev talks about his good friend Alan Titchmarsh, who he hopes to meet one day. The altar where they discuss the Harvest frog and the Harvest man, the organ console where Delilah plays the hymns in such a diabolical manner, it’s perfect! It is a place we’ve watched tons of times and it was brill to BE there.

We heard voices behind us and realised we were not alone. A group of women were sitting in the area just outside the main sanctuary. For a second I hoped it might be Sue Johnston and Jennifer Saunders. But it wasn’t. No disappointment though, these were the real ladies of the real church, in this real town.

It was their fortnightly coffee morning and we were invited to join them. They told us all about when the show was being filmed. Who were the really friendly actors, and who were the ones who kept their distance. Some of the ladies had very briefly been in the show as passers by. We had tea, cake and a great chat with these smashing women. They gave us directions to the house that was used as the home of Sue Johnston’s character, and we had a sneaky peak there too. I’ll never look at the programme in quite the same way again. I think I love it more, now that I’ve met some of its heart.

From there, we went to Bath, to do some Austen spotting. I have been immersing myself in all things Jane Austen. I’ve come to the conclusion that, although I would love to think of myself as Anne Elliot, mature steady woman who stays true to her course and finds contentment in the face of all sorts of adversity. I’m actually more like Elizabeth Bennett’s mother; neurotic, dramatic, never out of arms reach of the smelling salts.

But that’s by the by.

Our few days in Bath were wonderful. Now that I’m able to walk more than 5 mins without needing a rest, I was glad to pound the pavements of Bath and take it all in. I got to see ‘Royal Crescent’. We did the tour of ‘No. 1 Royal Crescent.’ In 2006 it ‘was acquired by the  Brownsword Charitable Foundation specifically with the intention of making it available to the Bath Preservation Trust.’ Click here for more details on its history. It is an amazing house with many artefacts from the Regency period on display. The people that Jane Austen wrote about were the people who lived in these houses. Again I experienced the blend of fact and fiction as I wandered around the house, and the streets.


I feel blessed to have experienced some of the reality that frames the ‘fiction’ I love some much. They say that every story is based on something or someone real. Jam & Jerusalem, and Jane’s stories are no exception 🙂

Amo’s Believe it or Not!

I’ve decided to dabble in fiction! Yes, the truth it seems is not enough for me now. I’ve developed an itch to try my hand at a bit of story telling. I know… hard to believe!

(this stuff writes itself really…)

One of the more nagging things about the Christian life for me is the ‘insistance’ of truth. Now I don’t mean the ‘I’m right and your wrong’ type stuff. That’s a whole other rubik’s cube of delight :/ No I mean that the individual should live a life that is true. No telling lies. Accepting a situation as it is. Loving people as they are. Believing that God is real and present. There’s plenty of room for dreaming and envisioning what could be, but it’s vital to have honesty in the ‘now’. It took a long time to get used to that because I daydreamed a lot as a kid.

I didn’t have imaginery friends. I pretended that real people I knew, liked me more than they actually did, or thought I was cool, or wanted to hang out with me or go out with me.

I used to imagine complciated scenarios where I’d be rescued by famous people. I’ll only tell you this one and you’re NOT to laugh! But… I had a fully scripted imaginery scenario (on repeat in my head) that the drummer from Frankie Goes to Hollywood (yes the ugly guy with the perm and the tash) ran to my rescue at a Frankie concert (which I never went to) cos some other fans were trying to steal from me. I got a VIP pass to the after party which had lots of St. Ledger (it was all I drank at the time!) and crisps!

Yes my friends, the inside of my head did and continues to hold a menagerie of nonsense!

Anyway… welcome to Ficticious Amo! It is my new blog where I will make stuff up. I’ve only posted a couple of things. I’ve a couple others that are entered into comps so they can’t go up yet. I will add more soon.

Would love love love, some suggestions, scenarios – funny or otherwise to get me rolling with this stuff.

I did spend a short time wondering if ‘making stuff up’ was going to be good for me. But then I thought hang on, if it sheds a few pounds it’s GOT TO be good for me! All I have to do is choose the weight I WANT to be and make sure to post it in the right blog 🙂

But you know the ironic thing about all this… there are people who thought I was WAY cool and I never noticed. I only found out a few years ago that one of my nieces took ‘Annmarie’ as her confirmation name  cos of how cool I was. I’ve spoken to people who would have loved to hang around but me but didn’t cos they thought I was too popular and ‘zany’ to want them to talk to me.

I spoke to one guy who is STILL single cos he chickened out of asking me out at a school disco and hasn’t fancied anyone else since!

I made that last bit up by the way! This fiction stuff is a doddle! 🙂