Monday, August 20, 2012

Anita Birt'sNote Book

by Anita Birt

I learned to think like a sheep in a never-to-be- forgotten lesson. Many of us have watched sheep dog trials on television or  in the field as the border collies  herd sheep through gates or hold them in small groups.Well trained by their handlers the dogs have a natural instinct to round up sheep. Years later I saw a border collie herding chickens as they squawked and cackled at such an indignity.

Several years ago my husband and I were visiting relatives in Usk, Wales. Their property sweeps down to the Usk River. Deep, wide and calm during the summer, it turns into a raging torrent when winter rains raise the river high and it overflows it banks.

On a bright sunny day we walked with the family along the river path. I hopped and skipped with five year old Christopher stopping every few steps to pick up stones and toss them into the water. Megan,  a black and white border collie belonging to the family joined us and  circled back and forth. Without warning she ran on ahead, turned to face us, flattened herself on the path and stared into my eyes. Unblinking.

The look in her eyes frightened me.  I felt menaced, afraid to move. .I didn't know what to do. For seconds I stood their holding Chris's hand. What did Megan want? I turned away from the river, walked into a field bordering the family property and headed towards the house. Megan jumped up, gamboled along side us and then ran off to join the rest of the family following behind.

And that's how I learned to think like a sheep. No sheep in its right mind disobeys a border collie. Nor did I. I recognized the menace in Megan's eyes and figured out what she wanted me to do., figured out what was troubling her. I was waking too close to the river with Chris. She was protecting  him.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

No comments on my last post. Nothing to continue wasting time trying to scrape up interest in my boring life.What if I write about the wild sex life of people who are way over he hill and sliding down the far side. Hmm. A bad idea. Save the sex for the young and leave the memories of great sex to the old folks.

Yes, Once upon a time we were young and remember joyful moments with our lovers. But that was then and this is now and I'm writing about truly fascinating older people. I shall say no more. This is my current project and needs care and attention if it is to survive. And if I survive! Time is fragile and spins into minutes, hours and days like a whirlwind. Sometimes I feel as if I shall never keep up to the turning wheel.

In the meantime: Tomorrow I shall tell you  how I learned to think like a sheep.

Step out and buy my books or download them to your e-readers.

Historical romance, A VERY DIFFICULT MAN. Contemporary romance novel, ISABELLE'S DIARY.

Follow that story as a historical romance, ISABELLE'S STORY.  Do you enjoy time travel tales? Mine is

different, the hero comes from the past to the present time, RING AROUND THE MOON. Following that

is my contemporary romantic suspense novel, TOO YOUNG TO DIE.

Enjoy them. I promise you a good read. (I can't delete the underline)


Monday, August 13, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book


An explosion had rocked The Ariguani. September 8, 1944

I scrambled into my warmest clothing and grabbed my life jacket. I don't remember being afraid and hurried to the saloon as the ship still rocked from the first big explosion. There were no further big explosion but solid thumps continued to rattle the ship.

"Not to worry," said the chief steward. "It's the navy boys practicing dropping depth charges." In the next breath he said. "Captain's orders. You are not allowed out on deck."

No one asked why. We sailed on and docked in Liverpool on September 10th. We had been ordered not to carry much cash. Our RAF husbands had arranged to have money delivered to us on the ship before we disembarked. I lined up with the other women while the clerks called out names.No money for Anita Birt

. I left the ship carrying my suitcases and purse. I had a ten shilling note and a few unfamiliar English coins. My husband was "somewhere in England." I didn't have a clue where he was or how to find hm.

I was virtually penniless in a foreign country . . . may be continued

If you want to know what happened next, you must leave a comment!


NOTE:  From searching the Internet I have discovered: The Ariguani sailed in convoy HX 304. The ship was 425.2 feet long. 54.1 breadth. It could fit into a Canadian football field.

September 8, 1944, U-boat 482 attacked convoy HX 304 and torpedoed Empire Heritage, a steam  tanker. P:into, the convoy rescue ship came to pick up survivors and was torpedoed. The armed trawler, HMS Northern Wave picked up the remaining survivors. The attack occurred north-northwest off Tory Island.

Three months later, U-boat 482 captained by Graf von Hartmut Matursky was attacked and sunk by the Royal Navy. All hands lost.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book


Assigned our cabins we were ordered to carry our life jackets at all times. Keep warm clothing beside our bunks. Leave our cabin door hooked open at night. Not allowed on deck after dark. In n emergency, gather in the saloon.

Our ship joined twenty other ships outside the harbour and picked up a few more before our small convoy sailed into a dense fog. Fog horns blew night and day. On the third day bright sunshine greeted us. To my astonished eyes I gazed at long lines of ship stretching to the horizon. It was as if a magician had swept aside the foggy curtain, waved his wand and prepared us for the next part of our journey in the company of other ships, large and small.

We had joined a huge convoy. Every night The Ariguani changed position but we were always close to the head of the lines and in and out of the first three port side lines. The north Atlantic heaved and rolled as oceans do but our little ship coped well with everything.

Royal Canadian Navy ships shepherded us across the Atlantic. Half way across, the Royal Navy took over. Days passed until we reached as point where the convoy separated. My part of the convoy sailed north heading for  the north channel, the other part sailed south.

Days passed  with only the sound of our ship's engines breaking the silence. Water foamed over the bow as we plowed through the sea.

Early morning, September 8, a huge explosion lifted me right up off my bunk slamming me down hard.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book


My husband, a member of the Royal Air Force, trained in Canada as  Navigator. We had been married fourteen months when he was posted back to Britain and left Canada in May 1944. The war in the Atlantic was winding down. As a RAF dependent I had the opportunity to travel to Britain. I jumped at the chance.

* * * * *
I received the telegram on the second week of August. "Proceed to Halifax. Stay at The Nova Scotian Hotel. Await further orders. Tell no one about  your travel arrangements." I had my Canadian passport, warm clothing and a minimum amount of cash.

On August 27, orders came to taxi to the Halifax docks. On the way I couldn't see any ships' superstructure over the sheds. Little wonder, the S.S. Ariguani was a small ship about the size of the ferries that plied between Toronto harbour and the Toronto islands. It didn't look sea worthy. A white clad steward stood at the gangway.

"Is this ship safe?" I asked. Assured it was I boarded with other women, many with small children and some with babies. We gathered in the saloon.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Anita Biort's Note Book

Tomorrow I shall start posting my story about crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1944 and the attack by German U-boat 482 on the convoy. Being close enough to a huge explosion to feel it rock the ship I was on was a shock, but I don't remember being afraid.

My romantic suspense novel, Too Young To Die is now available in paperback edition as well in e-book format. The sexy cover is eye catching but doesn't reveal the essence of the story. A male friend of mine thinks the cover will sell the book. Have a look and tell me what you think.

I am curious. Is there anyone out there reading my blog? Am I writing into a vacuum? Answer please.

It is late evening here and through my window I am watching birds flying around like crazy. Are they night jars also called goat suckers? They fly with their beaks open and scoop up bugs.

I have started writing a new book, not a romance, something completely different. Lots of possibilities with interesting characters.

Who remembers the Bob and Ray radio show way back when? How about Wally Balloo, their sports broadcaster? Sometimes they'd sign off, "Write if  you get work."