Date: 28 May 2017 4:45 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Well, I never expected that! But, thinking it through, which has taken several readings, of course, Mary, it is obvious. Kathie is jealous of Hilda, not just jealous of those who Hilda loves and who love her. Perhaps now, Hilda will be able to get through the wall of pride which Kathie has built up. Her encounter with the Lord has started to chip away, and Ellie's forthright approach has continued the good work. I do hope Hilda, now, can find the right words to say which will finish the job and turn Kathie into the woman she is meant to be.
As for Matey, Nancy and even Vivien, it is going to take some time for them to come to terms with how much they have let Hilda down, with the best of intentions. No doubt Hilda, as usual, will be at the forefront, picking up the pieces.
Thank you Mary, for one of your most thought provoking chapters.
Date: 26 May 2017 7:52 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Ah! This was what was coming! Poor Matey …”For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…” she seems to be getting further away from Hilda when the opposite is what she would want. Helen on the other hand has much more clarity and seems to know intuitively what Hilda needs. And Hilary – yay! Always a favourite of mine.
Date: 25 May 2017 8:41 pm Title: A New Dream – Vol 7: The Dew of Hope
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Date: 25 May 2017 7:43 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Well the cat is certainly out of the bag now, and despite the agonising effect on Hilda she can now approach Kathie on the right level and the right way. I'm sure the Lord will give her the strength she needs, and Helen sitting at the top of the stairs will also be a comfort. Will she collapse again after this, or will extra help be forthcoming to allow her to see and help others before her day ends. A powerful piece of writing Mary, thank you.
Date: 24 May 2017 11:51 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
About time too! Hilda had no chance of getting through to Kathie without this information as so much of what she was saying was driving that jealousy further forward. Now that MA has finally said the words there's hope for all of them - particularly Hilda as Kathie has been one of the biggest burdens on her shoulders.
That feeling of betrayal will linger within Hilda for a while, all those people she had finally trusted with her own feelings keeping something so important from her. Yes, she'll accept their reasons but it will take time to forgive. It will be far more difficult for her to get back to where she was with Gwynneth as Gwynneth's actions are less easy to accept and understand than Nancy's.
Hilda's immediate reaction was that of both sympathy and empathy for Kathie and a knowledge that she just might be able to get somewhere with a totally different approach and better understanding of the main problem.
MA's summary of Kathie's feelings and behaviour was masterly yet merciful - her deep love for Hilda and anger at Kathie's actions has still left her with compassion for a woman clearly confused, terrified and lashing out to hurt those she perceives to be hurting her. Perhaps Kathie would benefit from talking with MA - no punches would be pulled but it just might get through to her in the end.
Nancy will learn from this and become stronger, whether she'll have the strength or even the wish to help Kathie and push her to be all that she truly is without that jealousy taking over remains to be seen. Nancy's own hurt will take time to work through and she has a lot to take on board.
Helen is turning into such a power of strength, her story about Hilary and Phil and her own attitude to those she works with is wonderful. Her offer of help and strength at the end will bolster Hilda, knowing that someone is just outside the door if she needs them will keep Hilda going.
Now Kathie, please just listen, open your heart and allow Hilda to help you move on .....................................
Date: 24 May 2017 10:59 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
It must be so hard for Gwynneth to go against all her training and experience and hold back where Hilda's concerned. On top of that she must be terrified of Hilda doing too much and losing her having already watched her die once.
The shawl is inspired - such a beautiful way of bringing MA into this group of close knit people as a human being rather than forceful nun. It's beauty both in physical terms and the love it brings makes it so very special.
I'm so glad that Helen is included in this, her friendship with Hilda is quite different to the relationships Hilda has with the others and one that is just as important and helps to keep a balance. Her gentle way of managing Gwynneth is also more effective than MA's approach - she and Gwynneth are possibly too similar in some approaches to really help each other where Hilda's concerned.
Such a lovely discussion about Meg, I'm sure she herself would be stunned by the amount of both lopve and confidence they feel for her. The mentoring scheme would help all of them to move forward and be invaluable to those other pupils who are suffering in silence. It's very hard to stand up to bullying, often due to the fact that there is nowhere to go to with it so this will make a huge difference. I like Joan Bertram being involved as well, it will be good for her.
Ooh, memories of the Sinclairs - isn't it about time they came to visit and make sure Hilda really is recovering?!
Date: 24 May 2017 1:17 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Gosh what an intense chapter, Hilda needed to know the truth about Kathie but it took Mother to tell her in the end. It was obvious that Hilda would be upset that Nancy or Gwynneth hadn't enlightened her before, will she be able to have the same trust in them in the future, I do hope so as I am sure they thought they were doing it for the right reasons, even though we all knew they were wrong! Helen is a real support to Hilda. Iam looking forward to hearing how Hilda deals with Kathie now she is in possession of the full facts.
Date: 23 May 2017 4:58 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Don't apologise for long chapters! Longer the better!
That was an interesting scene - and so good that Hilda finally knows exactly what Kathie's problem really is. She'd never have thought about this herself.
Look forward to hearing what she has to say to Kathie - and the latter's response. I'm cautiously hopeful that this may be the turning point (if it's not, doesn't seem much hope for Kathie) and will be something to be built on when she goes to the convent
Date: 22 May 2017 9:24 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Author's Response: Thank you, Sarah.
Date: 22 May 2017 8:16 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Well that revelation was a surprise! I didn't think Hilda was ever going to learn the truth until she was in the convent. I can understand how betrayed she feels because she could have dealt with Kathie quite differently but I also understand why Nancy and Gwynneth did not want to tell her the truth. Being Hilda, I'm sure she will forgive them both once she gets over the shock. I'm glad Helen told Hilda about Kathie's repentance and her encounter with God because it will make it easier for Hilda to deal with her.
What an amazing update!
Looking forward to how Hilda talks to Kathie. I just hope Kathie can respond.
Author's Response: Oh, gosh, thanks, Seven, because it didn't feel amazing to me at all, but as though I'd got everyone's reactions wrong, and didn't get across Hilda's deep sense of betrayal. But the truth did have to come out, or poor Kathie would never have given up her jealousy.
Date: 21 May 2017 10:28 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
I'm not sure just what truth I was expecting to be revealed in this chapter, but it certainly wasn't that one!!! And yet, it had to be told; Hilda had to know just what lies behind Kathie's actions if the latter is to have any chance at all.
Yes, either Gwynneth or Nancy should have told her long ago, but fifty fifty hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it's easy to see why they both were so reluctant to do so; also why Vivien felt it wasn't her place, as such a newcomer, even though she saw the situation plainly. I'm not sure MA herself thought this was the best time for Hilda to learn, either, but she recognized the need for the truth to come out. She knew, too, that she herself would be best placed to help Hilda come to terms with the others' acts of omission in due course. Even she may have her work cut out at first, but I have every faith that her wise counsel will prevail in the end.
I do hope that Hilda will now be able to get through to Kathie and help her understand that her jealousy is needless. The fact that Helen relayed what Vivien had told her about Kathie's encounter with God, and her apologies to those she had hurt, coupled with Hilda's own pride in the way Ellie had treated the mistress must have heartened Hilda enormously, as must Helen's very real and very needed physical support to get up that flight of stairs, and her willingness to be there waiting for her when the meeting with Kathie is over. I"m sure the others will be waiting with bated breath to learn the outcome, too.
THank you, Mary - you kept me, at least, on the edge of my seat right through that chapter, and I, too, will be waiting with bated breath to disover what happens next.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for another amazing review, Elder. I was on the edge of my own seat as I wrote it, wondering where she was taking me, but I did feel the truth had to come out soon or poor Kathie would never be what she was meant to be. And after all, Ellie had started the ball rolling with her own confrontation with Kathie, hadn't she? Let's all thank goodness for MA.
Date: 21 May 2017 10:10 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Well that was not the truth I thought you were going to reveal, but it was much needed. Helen is providing a strong presence and a useful supporter and I suspect a prayer warrior as well. Nancy and Gwynneth certainly need MA and Ian's care and support.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Pauline, but now you've got me wondering. What truth were you thinking about? What have I written that I've completely forgotten about? (Hilda would shoot me for that sentence!!)
Date: 19 May 2017 10:25 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
A lovely scene with team Hilda – I enjoyed reading it in Dorset last week, when I managed to get a signal! Hilda misses nothing of course, and Nancy is taking on the same quality in her concern for Vi. I love the shawl taking centre stage – it almost has life of its own – and to see MA quite discombobulated by it. Hilda’s brain is still working away, coming up with solutions to problems like the bullying and how she herself can be of best use. ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.’ Perfect!!
Thank you, Mary
Author's Response: Thank you for the loving review, Blueskye, from the shawl taking centre stage to Hilda and her plans for the girls, especially Meg and Ellie. She was never going to just sit and twiddle her thumbs!
Date: 18 May 2017 12:59 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
a wonderful gathering of all Hildas friends. What a lovely gesture of Hildas to put the shawl round MA .
Love the mentoring idea. Iknew Hilda wouldn't be able to do nothing for a week, it's a good idea and I'Mm glad Helen was in agreement as this helped to win Gwynneth over.
How good that Ian and MA will be able to spend time together and just like Hilda to suggest a trip for them.
Can't wait for the next chapter and am wondering what truth is to be finally revealed .
Author's Response: Won't be long, now, Sue. Thank you for a lovely review, and for approving of the mentoring scheme Hilda had in mind. As she said, how can she sit and do nothing for a week? Glad you agree!!
Date: 16 May 2017 11:41 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
It was so like Hilda to insist that MA wear the shawl her mother made for her.....how comforting it must have been after so many years. The quote is so appropriate for Hilda, and I'm sure I was not the only reader to gasp at Kathie's temerity in trying to ride roughshod over Hilda. I loved this chapter, feeling at one with the various characters as they chatted before and during the meal, covering so many so many topics. The mentor idea is brilliant and should help the school to become much more 'bully free' Looking forward to the 'Truth being revealed' next time you post Mary ! Thank you.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked the quotation, Rosemarie, and yes, the shawl had to figure somehow when MA appeared, didn't it? Thank you for the review.
Date: 16 May 2017 1:32 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
A lovely chapter. Mary. A gathering of friends who all care so much about Hilda and are still concerned that she is trying to do to ouch so close to her near death experience. It was lovely of Hilda to realise how little time Kate and Ian spend with each other and to suggest ways they can have time alone together whilst Kate is I staying at the school. I wonder if we will share their trip to
I love the idea of the three girls acting as mentors to other girls. It will be so good all round.
I remember Hilda's bread and butter pudding in Hilda's Revenge. It sounded delicious.
Now wondering what surprise you have in store for us next. Thank you, Mary
Author's Response: Thank you yet again for posting your review twice, Linda. *giggles madly* Although I think it was three times last time. Thank you so much for reviewing and I presume you meant to finish that sentence by wondering will you share their trip to Interlaken? We'll see - my chapters seem to be very long-winded these days, and we seem to get stuck on the same day for ages, which must drive you all dotty when you want to see someone else who hasn't figured for a while.
Date: 15 May 2017 7:21 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
I love the way Hilda manages to get everyone doing just what she wants without any problems. Has she any tips for the rest of us? Sounds like Ellie's party is going to be a riot like the pantomime. Lovely gentle update and can't wait to see what you have in store for us next.
Perhaps Hilda should have had a lime green bathroom?!
Author's Response: Nooooooo!!!!! How dare you!?! *giggles* As to getting everyone to do as she wants, I wish she would give me some hints and tips, Seven. Then I'd sens them on to you... Thanks for the review.
Date: 14 May 2017 12:59 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Lovely chapter, so nice to see Ian and Kate together, it's great to know that in the future he'll be moving to a job where he is nearer the convent, Kate must find her position stressful at times and knowing her twin is near will be a help. It's also good to see how you have developed the character of Helen. Each of those in this little group brings something different in their support of Hilda, good to see them all together, and to see some improvement in Hilda, though she is obviously still very frail. Glad she's recognised her need of rest - but also of some occupation, a bit of teaching will fitthe bill nicely
Thanks for this Mary, look forward to whatever truth you might revealin the next chapter!
Author's Response: You mean you have no idea, ivohenry? *giggles* Never mind, you won't have to wait too long! Thanks for the lovely review, and yes, MA does find her leadership stressful at times, especially as it wasn't something she ever aspired to, and asked them to choose someone else. Fortunately she has Pauline to go to, and her Prioress is a good support. Plus there's Sister Catherine, mentioned in this chapter, who will also appear soonish, in a very unexpected place.
Date: 12 May 2017 11:54 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
A very satisfying chapter, Mary! And, please, look after yourself - we can wait!
Author's Response: Why satisfying, shesings? I ask because, for me, it wasn't satisfying at all. I couldn't get down on paper what I really wanted to say, and it felt stultifyingly boring. I wanted it to move the story on - but didn't, did I? But thank you for accepting what I offered.
Date: 12 May 2017 10:36 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Mary thank you. Hilda is right about needing to do things, and not just sit and read, pleased Gywnneth is trying to understand. Looking forward to finding out which truth you are about to reveal.
Author's Response: Thank you for understanding that Hilda couldn't sit and do nothing, Pauline.
Date: 12 May 2017 6:07 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
OH my word - where to start??? Clearly, Hilda will take longer to recover physically from her brush with death, and everyone knows it, but there's no doubt her brain is already back in full working order - at least for the duration of this meal. I'm by no means sure, given her 'wobbly' earlier on, that she won't collapse again once she and Mother are alone again, but for the moment....
I love the warmth of the relationship between the group sitting there. It's good to see someone like Helen, who we normally see under at least partial working conditions, relaxing among the group, and clearly enjoying their company, while still keeping an eye on Hilda's well being. As Hilda outlines her plans, the fact that she, who has been among Hilda's key medical caregivers, is generally approving of them, and emphatic that Hilda needs things to occupy her mind and brain while her body recovers its strength helps Gwynneth to at least partially overcome her own doubts as to their wisdom. I'm sure too, that she'll make sure Jack doesn't interfere. Good to see how the rest relate to each other too - they must all have found Hilda's placing of the shawl on MA's shoulders very moving, and MA herself must be rejoicing to see all their quiet, but vehement support for Hilda.
It's quite amazing how much Hilda has already planned - her suggestions ring so true for everyone concerned, and we know MA will be keeping a stern watch on her doings. But if her scheme for having the girls act as mentors to others who may be bullied is an excellent one, not only for those who may be suffering, but for Ellie and Meg's self-confidence, knowing they are helping others. MA's suggestion of including Jeanne is excellent; I hope Joan Bartram will rise to the occasion too, and agree to help - she might not realise it and may have to be open about her own special knowledge first, but any staff who notice all is not well with a girl might be happy to consult her, too. And Vivien was quite right to tell her what had transpired once the girls were left alone - Hilda needed to know about it. I can well see why Nancy is so filled with doubt about her own capacity to step into this woman's shoes!
Hilda's suggestions of how Meg, Marianne and Ellie can all be helped to catch up, and her plan to help by tutoring the first two are all excellent - and MA can be counted on to make sure she doesn't overdo things. And only Hilda would consider Ian and MA's own needs by making sure the two of them have time to spend together, knowing how rarely it happens. I strongly believe that MA and Ian will arrange their Interlaken trip so they can be back for the pantomime. Love the final touch of their reaction to MA's tales of her own exploits during the War - that's surely a side of them none but Hilda and Ian knew about before.
So much action and energy, but at the same time, so much quiet enjoyment of time spent together. Thank you, Mary.
Author's Response: Where do I start, Elder? That was a massive undertaking, to write so much in your review. I think you covered just about every turn of the conversation, but yes, the warmth round that table seemed to be life-enhancing, though goodness knows how I succeeded in creating it. I'm so pleased you liked the mentor idea, and it should prove helpful for both sides, I think, or rather Hilda thinks!! *grins* Thank you so much.
Date: 29 Apr 2017 12:52 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Poor Gwynneth she wants to keep Hilda safe lets hope what MA said to her has made her realise she must let Hilda do what is needed. Jacck seems to have realised that . Loved Hildas bathroom nice to know she has something that isn't school regulation. looking forward to the supper party. Thankyou Mary. Get well soon.
Date: 24 Apr 2017 3:35 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Sorry to be so late reviewing, Mary. My mother had a fall and crushed some vertebrae . . .
Poor Matey - I thought she was getting used to the idea that it was counter-productive to try and thwart Hilda's plans, but I guess it takes time really to take it on board, especially when your patient looks so frail. I did enjoy Hilda's astonishment at Jack not complaining but actually telling her to enjoy her supper party! And as for the bathroom - magnificent!
Date: 23 Apr 2017 8:38 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
The sure yet gentle way that MA manages to persuade Gwynneth and Jack to step back and allow Hilda to do as she needs to with the dinner party is lovely - and a mirroring of her own way of thinking where she plans on stepping back to allow Hilda to absorb her thoughts and choices re Ellie and the convent. That's exactly what will help Hilda at the moment, someone who is there for her, cares for her and wants the best for ehr but acknowledges that the one person who really knows what's best is Hilda herself.
What a bathroom - the contrast between that and the softer colours in the other rooms shows the real Hilda, a lady of depth, warmth and passion. It's so telling that Hilda keeps that passionate love of colour, glitter and sparkle hidden just as she keeps her true self hidden from all but those who creep into her heart. She's kept that inner part of herself hidden for so long it's not surprising that letting down the walls and allowing a number of people in within such a short time has left her bewildered.
I hope that Nell's diaries will help, even if they are hard to read at first. Their friendship was one of love but also of laughter and Hilda will remember that and hold on to it once she is able to move past the great grief enveloping her at the moment.