Without a trace may seem a funny title for my latest blog, but it is inspired by a programme we have here on TV. It is a programme called ‘Spoorloos’ (so literal translation is: Without a Trace). In this programme, which has been going for years now, the presenter tries to find missing family members for people.

The thing that strikes me the most about this, is that more than 90% of the people who make requests are adopted children. Often from countries far away, like South America and such like. Despite the fact that they left the country as babies and were adopted by Dutch parents, there is a certain moment in their lives that there is an enormous desire to go back to their roots. Even though they have had a wonderful childhood here and grown up with loving parents in a country which is basically economically sound, they long to know more about their background, where they came from and more important why their mother or father gave them away for adoption.

The programme it a real tearjerker every week, such sad stories about mothers finding themselves in impossible situations for numerous reasons, who have no other choice than to give their babies away. The thought itself I find very difficult. Being a mother myself and having brought two babies into this world I would hated to have to give my baby away and never even see it in some cases.

Now we all agree (I hope) that the stigma about being unmarried and pregnant has changed dramatically over the years, but a lot has to do with either religion or economic situations. In other words people were just too poor to feed another mouth or too ashamed for religious reasons and the agencies that handled adoptions were only pleased to take the newborns into their care and then when suitable parents in spé were found, pass the baby on. Often small babies merely a few weeks old, left their roots and travelled half across the world, to their new families and homes.

Now don’t get me wrong I make no judgement at all. Living in Europe and the economic climates here is totally different than say, for example in poorer countries in South and Central America or Asia.

The thing that strikes me the most in these programmes is that despite the fact that the adopted children actually grow up here in The Netherlands (or other European counties) and have a good life, an education and the possibility to go into adulthood with not only a roof over their head, but the prospect of a good job. But at a certain moment, there is a craving to know more.

It must be hard actually for the adoptive parents who were so enthralled to have a baby, when perhaps they could not have one themselves, or maybe just from the goodness of their heart, they welcomed such adoptive babies and small children, to actually give them a better start in life. I always feel a bit sorry for these parents when they are confronted with the fact that the child they have looked after for many many years, suddenly wants nothing more than to find out about where they came from and who their biological parents actually were and more importantly the big question: how could their parent(s) have given them away?

I don’t know a lot about the rules and regulations for adoption to be honest but I know they are very strict and it takes absolutely ages for everything to be put in place and a decision made if you are deemed to be a fit parent or not. Strange actually that any other normal person can make the choice to get pregnant and have a child, whatever the circumstances.

It is amazing to see how the presenter of this programme manages to trace the families. Sometimes in the most remote areas, in the middle of mountainous regions, or in other words either in big busy cities or in the back of beyond. But they manage it somehow; despite the fact that these days there is such a fuss about our rights on privacy and often it is hard to convince people why they are actually searching for someone in the first place. Often it is not allowed to film such moments, for instance visiting an official record office, which is understandable.

Then when they find the person in question, mother, father, perhaps even siblings who remained with the biological parents, the thing that is similar in each and every case is that mothers have had their hearts broken having to give up their babies and are over the moon when they find out that their baby, maybe 20 years later or so, is desperate to find them. This is when the real tearjerker stuff starts!

The pain and suffering the mother or father have been through giving up their child, not knowing where they are, how they are doing, or even what they look like many years later. It must be awful to just not know. How happy and emotional and often completely overwhelmed they become when the presenter tells them that their son or daughter wants to meet them and shows them a photo. The gratitude is amazing. Finally all the questions they have been asking themselves for many years are answered.

When the actual meet up takes place, it is incredibly emotional as you can imagine. Often despite language barriers, mother and child are reunited and that is all that matters. All is well and peace returns. It is a hard wrench when the child leaves again and goes back to the adoptive family and more often than not, that there is just not a possibility to remain there. Of course they can visit and with current social media (Skype, facetime and such like) they can keep in contact. I just wonder how the adoptive parents feel at this moment? Are they glad or do they feel disappointed deep down in their hearts, feeling that they have done their utmost to give this child a new start in life and then it comes down to the crux that the child longs for contact with the biological parents.

I know that becoming a parent is one of the biggest things that happens in your life, it certainly was in my case and I would have never been able to give away my child whatever the reason. Again no judgement from my side as I live, as I said, in Europe in good economic climes and things have changed so much over the years anyway.

The reason that I was inspired to write this blog, was not only watching the programme yesterday evening but also the fact that whatever happens in your lifetime, you always remain connected to your roots.

I have to agree on this score having been born in the UK and moved to The Netherlands more than 44 years ago, but I still feel that my roots are really on England’s ‘green and pleasant land’. Don’t ask my why, because I don’t know and I really cannot give a reason, but when I go back and that is not often these days, there is just some inexplicable connection that always makes me feel that I have come home.

Often when I write stories, blogs or columns, I talk about places I know well in England and then my memory is reminded of the fact that this is where my roots lie. Strange when you think I have lived longer in The Netherlands than I actually did in England.

I know that people who emigrate all over the world and believe me the Dutch go everywhere but the one thing they all have in common is that they always miss their homeland.

For those of you who are reading this blog and find yourself in a similar situation, an adoptive child, or someone who has left the land of your birth, it might be nice to try and strike up a discussion with one another. I notice that some of you are asking for this in the feedback and my conclusion is that this subject is so huge; the programme on the Dutch TV is just the tip of the iceberg. One thing that is also interesting is that siblings are delighted when they find out that they have other siblings elsewhere. These connections are extremely strong. They have longed for it all their life whatever the age.

So is the conclusion to this blog that you always remain attached to your roots whatever the circumstances?


Look forward to receiving your comments in the feed!


Image copyright Wikimedia Commons (Google Images)




Today is Wednesday, the sort of half way moment of this week. Weather is just wonderful, early spring, warm sunshine and beautiful. It is amazing how the bare winter bushes, trees and twigs have suddenly burst into leaf. Everything is filled with fresh green growth. This is my favourite time of the year.

Last week I published a blog written in 2016 and I went to my friend’s funeral. Well, I can only say it was very tasteful, exactly how he would have wanted it. A celebration of his life, some tears but laughter too. I met 4 of my old colleagues who I have not seen for more than 30 years and it was wonderful to share old memories and laugh about some of the things that happened all those years ago.
I came away with the feeling if Hans had been there he would have loved it all.
And when they say to me that I have not changed at all over the years, yes, the greatest compliment imaginable.

My working week started very positively, lots of news, good things and just like my horoscope said in the newspaper, projects that I have been working on for quite some time will suddenly come into fruition. There will be more about this in future blogs.

I decided to spend less time behind my laptop and get out into the spring sunshine and went cycling. It is amazing to see what a difference a day can make with flowers and bulbs, which were just green leaves out of the ground and now carpets of colour appearing everywhere.

Yesterday I received a message from a friend of mine that accidently he had deleted his entire website and content and was basically completely offline until everything is put right. Yes, shit happens and it is a moment to remember I think always to have everything backed on either files in Dropbox or on a separate USB stick. I know I am quite lax about this myself. Some of you have been asking me this question, so it is good to re-address it.

His theme for this week was a hologram from several years ago: Ultimate Return. What does this mean exactly? What is an ultimate return? Ultimate Return is all about becoming the authentic you once more. Before birth even. If you like shedding all the ‘spam’ in your system, which you have picked up along the way and coming back to the real you.

I actually have a print of this hologram hanging on my bedroom wall. It was from a workshop I did years ago with him.

It is so easy in this fast moving life we live in at this moment, to literally pick up a lot of energy, which really does not belong to us. Just like spam, cookies and such like on a computer.

So at that moment he said to me, ‘what do you choose, love or fear?’ If you go into the feeling of fear then you allow so much negative energy to enter into your own system. Of course it is incredibly frustrating when something like this happens, but in the end and perhaps some weeks later you will receive the confirmation that it happened for a real reason and in retrospect you will be glad. You may not have that feeling right now, as frustration (and fear) have taken over but if you can move yourself into a feeling of love and contentment, then you know, always and every time, things happen for a reason.

Perhaps after the winter months; after all we had snow in Holland only a few weeks ago, this week is a moment to just let everything glide to one side and enjoy the simple things in life. Enjoy how nature is literally changing in front of your eyes. All in the space of a simple 24 hours. Back to the basic feeling of no matter what is going on everywhere in the world, nature is purely following its cycle. As if it is reminding us, it is time to release all the things we suppose are important and remind ourselves how much beauty is literally unfolding before our very eyes.

How many people reading this blog would love to clear their own system of spam and unwanted cookies? Well you can! Make a choice for yourself. Push everything to one side and get yourself out into nature. It does not matter where you live, what season you are actually in, nature is a constant cycle.


Have your lunch if you are working in a park nearby. Don’t sit and eat behind your desk, get up, move and get outside. Believe me you will feel so much better for it. Even if you work in a big busy city, there are always places of peace and tranquillity.

There is also a lot happening astrologically at the moment because the biggest planet of all, Saturn has gone retrograde (this means going backwards). Saturn is all about slowing down time, making space to literally think about your plans. Being patient. Instead of plunging head first into a particular project, take the time to analyse, think and decide. Also Chiron, the ruler of deep karmic patterns has moved from Pisces (the last sign in the zodiac) into Aries (the first sign). Chiron was in Pisces since 2010 (8 years ago) giving us time to heal on a spiritual level. Now in Aries this is all about healing on a personal level, the ultimate return to the authentic you. We will re-discover ourselves; heal ourselves, our courage, confidence and identity. Chiron stays in Aries until 2027 so don’t rush; there is plenty of time. We were all working on healing old wounds, previous lifetimes, physical and emotional pain whilst Chiron was in Pisces. Healing to rediscover your authentic self.

Isn’t it lovely when so many things happen that everything all comes together? Despite the fact that maybe in the first instance we are not sure why, but when we dig a bit deeper, the answers all appear.

So close off your social media! Get outdoors. Enjoy the simple things. Take your time, don’t rush, time is an illusion we have all created. See the beauty all around, literally unfolding right in front of you.

Images: Photos from Jill Kramer



There have been a number of events this week, which have inspired me to write a blog about the subtlety of language. I have been on a trip down memory lane.

As many of you know I was born in the UK so English is my so-called ‘mother tongue’. However in 1977 I was transferred by the company I was working for to the Head Office in Delft, The Netherlands. Thinking at the time and at the age of only 22 that this would be quite an adventure and something to do for a couple of years. Travelling and visiting other countries has been a passion since I was little. I used to collect travel magazines when I was young and cut out the pictures, then paste them into scrapbooks, thinking at the time: one day I will visit these places.

So in the summer I arrived here, quite young and innocent (that did not last for long!) and was suddenly confronted with a language, which I really knew nothing about whatsoever. The Netherlands is a very small country in Europe so as you can imagine there are not a huge amount of people worldwide who actually speak Dutch, but for some or other reason, not only are the Dutch excellent at other languages, which they have to learn for the reason just mentioned, but they get everywhere across the globe, so there are people speaking Dutch in more countries than you can imagine.

I hadn’t been here very long before I used to go every Monday afternoon (as stipulated by my employers) to learn Dutch, as I just had to be able to communicate with people, as one of the things I actually had to do in my job was answer the phone every now and again!! I remember that first afternoon so well, a small group of 10 people none of which has the same nationality, all there for one purpose, to learn Dutch. Our teacher the lovely Mrs. Mulder only spoke Dutch as she told us that was the only language we were going to not only learn, but also communicate with one another over the next few months, when attending classes.

My goodness what fun it was and what a group. Personally I could chat to one or two of them, I was fluent in French (having been to Paris so many times as a teenager because my father lived there) and a smattering of Italian and Spanish. But we were a close group, not only during the lessons, but would often meet socially as well.

My boss, Hans Raven was the Director of the Pharmaceutical Division of Gist-brocades and passionate about languages and I owe him so much for the help he gave me. He would patiently explain the different vowel sounds and write ‘tricky words’ on post it notes which I taped to the lid of my IBM Golf Ball (remember those?) typewriter. This was long before Word Perfect, Word Processing and computers and I would also type out things in double spaced drafts for him to correct before actually doing the real correspondence.

And bit-by-bit I learnt more and more. Our little group got better and better on those Monday afternoons and after lessons we would cross the road to the local café and continue on a more social score.

I recall it was around Christmas time that year that I began to actually feel confident about attempting to speak. Of course I had my English accent, still have that. I sat in a room with other girls, most of whom were jealous of me and quite bitchy, but there was one, Anneke Flikkema, a really shy girl from Friesland (which is one of the counties here in the north of the country) who helped me the most. Her dialect had several similarities with English or I should say Scottish and bit-by-bit she gave me confidence to be more daring. Eventually I moved into my own office as I became more proficient, the idea being to put me in a room with other Dutch girls to learn the language faster. Well she was the only one who made any effort on that score!

When our mixed group did our first lot of exams in the summer of 1978 we all passed with top grades and this stimulated us all to carry on to the next level. Eventually nearly three years later, there were no more ‘Dutch for Foreigners’ classes to attend, we had done the lot and all passed with flying colors. We all said farewell to Mrs. Mulder who retired and decided to go on with yet another level; Dutch Basic Knowledge and found ourselves that autumn in a class of only Dutch people. I recall the teacher a man was absolutely horrid, we disliked him intensely, and he laughed at us from the first moment for being so stupid to even attempt such a class. But this stimulated us all to go to heights we never thought we could reach. He set the bar really high and actually inspired us all. I am grateful for that, and luckily he was able to admit his amazement that we all passed with top 10’ s (yes all 10 of us, and this would be the equivalent of English Grade A’s).

At Gist-brocades where I worked until my daughter was born in 1988, my boss had such a ‘wicked’ sense of humor and he would teach me things in Dutch which I in all innocence would repeat making people laugh until they cried about what I had said. Luckily I have a sense of humor too and I could laugh about it and I virtually had my own front-page article in every edition of the company newspaper headed with expressions I had said to someone each week. I was well known in the company or more than 3000 people in Delft alone, not to mention the entire companies across the world (the same as the one I originally started my working career in England all those years ago) who contributed to the same group.

Words were already my passion having written, as you all know, since school days, and now I had another language to not only add to my belt but also to explore and I got better and better. Now, almost 40 years later and doing something entirely different now, apart from the everlasting passion for words, hence this blog, I look back with fondness on all those who helped me become fluent in Dutch.

So here we are in January 2016 and this week I have been reminded again about the subtleties in languages. Your mother tongue is always there and always will be but you have added more to your collection.

I spend the majority of my days working with words, either writing books blogs or actually translating words from Dutch to English. Over the years it has also become second nature to flip from one language to the next, but I admit openly and truthfully that I can always express myself the best in my own language, even though I have others in my portfolio.

At the moment I am learning more Italian, a lilting language that I just adore, love to speak because it sounds like singing and this is my other little on-going project at the moment. I did some very basic stuff in 2014 and surprised myself that once you step over that boundary of actually daring to speak how rewarding this is not only because you respect those you actually talk too, and often your hands, face and eyes help you along the way when you can’t find the actual word you are looking for, but it is just fun and I love it.

I also have great conversations some days over an afternoon cup of tea with one of my neighbors, a retired policeman about the Dutch language. Recently I have taken up doing the Dutch crosswords in the national newspaper and as I pass the newspaper onto him after I have read it he usually finishes the clues that either my husband or I have left unfinished. We talk a lot about the nuances between the languages and as he is an avid football fan, we inevitably talk about the famous Louis van Gaal the Dutch football trainer for Manchester United Football Club who actually lives in the UK and the absolutely hilarious and the sometimes rude mistakes he makes in the English language, when he tries to literally translate word for work instead of listening and thinking, about what pours out of his mouth. He has taken English to a new level and both of us sympathize with the British that they have him in their country and what a disgrace he actually is and how we can imagine that the fans will be glad when they get rid of him because he is actually no good as a trainer either!!

I have two hilarious books in my cupboard which are written by a man called Maarten Rijkers, a former Director at the Dutch beer company Heineken of phrases collected during his working life (he has retired now) of things he colleagues said in English. It is so funny and titled “I ALWAYS GET MY SIN” which is such a dreadful mistake in English when trying to say the Dutch words “ik krijg altijd mijn zin”. It may look the same and even sounds similar but we all know that ‘sin’ in English means something entirely different from actually saying ‘I always get my way’. I really recommend them if you feel confident and fluent enough to read them and they make me laugh out loud every time. I actually bought and send them to my former boss, Hans Raven for his birthday one year, because knowing him so well after all those years and his incredible sense of humor that he would enjoy them too. He did!

So language is such a huge and inspiring subject, I see it a lot in the work I do translating as well. Often sometime the hardest things to translate once you have obtained the realization that you cannot literally translate (and no Google translator and auto correct you really CANNOT) are phrases we often call proverbs in English. Sometimes they come up in texts I am looking at and working on and each and every time I have to rack deep down into my brains with the thought, how do we actually say that in English?

The one that comes to mind most of all over the years is a Dutch phrase about the so-called “doofpot” literally translated as ‘deaf pot’. I have to admit that many years ago I did actually just leave these words in inverted comma’s in a text just because I did not know how we said this in English. Eventually the penny drops when you suddenly hear the phrase at the least expected moment. In English we say that often subject that we all know about but don’t talk about is ‘swept under the carpet’ and this is what they Dutch mean when they talk about things they all know but don’t talk about. They shove it all in the so-called Deaf Pot.

That is how a passion for words begins simple phrases and playing around with these words in languages and how huge the differences can actually be and how in all innocence you can either write or say in another language. You mean well, but often you can get it totally wrong or actually be offensive (like our friend Louis).

I think I am very privileged that my ‘work’ is my passion. I am happy to play and work with words, I started when I could first write and when we moved house three years ago, I found some of my very first school books when I would write stories on Monday mornings at primary school that would have my teacher laughing and telling my parents when they came to the meetings at school about the things I wrote that had happened in our lives. Some would be true, others would be fantasy, and I loved to write about goodies and baddies, witches and fairies and such like. I remember too that my mother was really embarrassed one time when I wrote about the rats behind the coalbunkers in our garden, and how the man from the council had to come and put out poison. About how we had had ‘sosigis’ (sausages) for tea at my gran’s house!


But coming back to the way in which I started this blog about the subtlety of languages it always remains such a huge learning curve, ongoing and ever increasing. The best language you know, speak and write is your mother tongue. I admit that I can write the same in Dutch, and a little bit in other languages but each and every one of my sentences will not be absolutely perfect in another language even though I may have lived here longer than I actually did in the UK. I will always ‘anglesize’ my words and get sometimes the order of the words wrong every now and again. In English we always put the verb in a sentence in the middle, in Dutch is usually at the end.

And don’t get me going about numbers! I still have problems to this day. In English we say for example twenty-one but in Dutch ‘one and twenty’. We say half past three in English referring to the proper time (sorry readers we did not ask them to make GMT – Greenwich Mean Time in London of all places) but here in Dutch we say half four or in other words it is half an hour before 4. Imagine how confusing that is and how many times I have either been too late or too early for appointments. Hilarious if you think about it and how many phone numbers I write down backwards if people don’t say the numbers one by one. I still count in my own language even now.

I hope that this blog has made you smile and think about how subtle the difference in how words can actually be between one language and the next and I am going to finish with one of dear Louis’s best ever-English total rubbish phrases.

“If you not listen to what I said, death to the gladiols, my words are different cook”.

Work on what the hell he is talking about here!!!!!


Jill Kramer 2016


I am dedicating this blog to a very dear friend of mine who was courageous to share this story with me!

In these times we are so connected with one another all across the globe in a web of social network. You rarely come across anyone who is not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Whatsapp, Facetime and all the rest. It is considered to be quite ‘unsocial’ if you are not on the net and not sharing your entire life with everyone. It is true some people are so incredibly addicted to social media that they spend the majority of their time watching what is happening on their own time lines. Every day they post up about the weather, what they are doing, where they are thinking of going on holiday, their emotions, their families, you name it we share it! All notifications are switched on, they don’t want to miss a thing!

We also like or comment on all the posts of our friends, it is a wonder really that we have any time to do anything else. We are all in groups of ‘friends’, ‘professionals’ and ‘like-minded’ people. Virtually everyone has a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer and with the speed of today’s wifi, we are literally seconds away from being in touch with one another.

Often because we place ourselves in ever increasing circles of friends, we get messages from people who we do not know personally. The best rule of thumb is if you don’t know them in that way: then do not accept or enter into any kind of exchange. But we are curious people by nature of course and we see that several people we know are also in their group, so often we accept such a request without even a second thought.

Then all of a sudden there is a message, which usually begins in a very simple way: ‘Hello’. More often than not we will reply in the same way and so a conversation is underway. Then often follows a question: ‘How do we know one another?’

This conversation increases in size because it literally becomes a chat online about them and you. They can say, ‘oh I was browsing the net looking for someone and I came across your details and I think I perhaps know you from your work?’ Such an easy innocent pitfall, which you plunge into.

Then you rack your brain, it is so feasible, that it could be the truth. Then they suggest, shall we talk further on something like Google Hangouts? To be perfectly honest even though I think I am up to speed on everything on my computer and smartphone I had never heard of Google Hangouts. Apparently it is a free way to chat with friends, through your email, either by writing, video or by phone. And all for free. What could be better than that?

The conversation now becomes a little more intimate. Questions are asked back and forth and answers given. You discover you have a lot of things in common. You may even be chatting in a different language than you normally use, but it is all ‘fun’ and seems ‘innocent’ and gradually you begin to feel you are really forming a friendship with this person (male or female).

They ask you to send a photo, you do of course because by this time, so much information has been shared … you get a photo back and of course it is a really handsome man or beautiful woman. Always is.

An innocent message has now become a ‘full-blown chat’ in which all sorts of topics are discussed. You make arrangements to be online to continue at a certain time and in the end you are looking forward to those moments. It feels as if you have met a person who understands you completely, thinks it is absolute destiny that your paths have crossed. They like the same things you do. Any subject it does not matter. What you don’t realize is that they have completely combed your social media already and know what you favourite colour is, which flower you like the most, if you prefer red or white wine, because yes guess what, these are all the innocent things we share with one another on any social network. How many people reading this can say that they have never posted a photo of themselves, sitting somewhere enjoying a drink. Yes right, all of you have done it sometimes and even tagged the people who are in the photo with you. No matter where you are. No matter what the subject matter is.

We are all guilty as charged, myself included.

At the moment when you begin to feel really comfortable with this person, who seems to be, by this time, the most perfect person completely in tune with you, then the rot begins.

By this time, you have said when your birthday is, and they have said theirs too, so then they ask questions like: ‘what would you like most of all for your birthday or vice versa and of course you reply, because it is all such fun and seems so innocent.

They tell you what they would like and then … such an innocent question isn’t it? Would you buy that for me? It is bound to be something expensive for sure!

Eventually, just like the person who shared this story with me, you are completely caught up like a innocent fly in their sticky web and you have shared so much about yourself and they have to. You feel too comfortable, as if they have become a real friend even though you have never met them in person.

They innocently avoid, with numerous excuses, why they cannot talk to you directly online, the best one being is that their mobile phone is old, they need to upgrade their subscription, the camera on their laptop doesn’t seem to work and of course they are so incredibly busy in their top line job (because they all have wonderful jobs with huge incomes) and have no time to go and do something about it. No sorry they say, never heard of Whatsapp or Facetime, they supposedly cannot download that on their phone. Despite promises to get modernized and get a good one, this never ever happens. They fob you off with numerous reasons why not.

The first seed of doubt is now sown in your mind. But you are hooked and chatter on with them. You really want to believe that they think you are special, the nicest person they have ever met, a few romantic words flash by in the middle of the conversations and your ego is flattered. Don’t think that this will never happen to you, because it could and many have gone before you in similar situations.

Your family, friends and acquaintances begin to remark how happy you are, how good you look at the moment, because believe me flattery is the best thing ever to pep-up your self-esteem.

Life is good; everything seems to be going really right for you. If you are unattached, you are seriously thinking about making arrangements to meet one another. The chat is almost now comparable to a sort of dating site. You actually have feelings for this person; despite the fact that ‘rational you’ tells you that you have never even met. You don’t care really. This person understands you and talks to you in exactly the way you want to hear. It is almost like a form of brainwashing. And even if you are reading these words and thinking: how stupid, this would never happen to me, believe me every single one of you becomes vulnerable in such situations.

Then the bomb is dropped. All of a sudden they say they cannot chat tomorrow, they have something unexpected. The range of excuses is huge: an operation, a business trip (because in the meantime they have convinced you that their job is marvellous) a family member has died and they have to go to a funeral. The list is endless.

You actually miss them, but a few days later, they are back and on you chat once more. Then they tell you a really terrible sob story and ask you if you can help them financially? Of course they will reimburse you but things are a bit tight and again an excuse can be one from simple to completely over the top. This is the moment when you seriously should stop and ask yourself, is this for real? The majority of us would say that at that moment we are sensible, but there are others who have been so drawn into the story, they believe it and actually are willing to help. It is incredibly sad that people are so cruel and can go to such lengths to gain such control over people.

But it is true and at the end of the day, you may or may not succumb. If you send them money then you can be absolutely sure that there will be something else and more and more excuses. Yes they want to meet you; can you send them the money so that they can travel to where you live. Believe me this really happens, I know of several people who have fallen into this trap. A complete sham and they have been taken in totally.

However, the painful side to this story is that people really become damaged. They have fallen for all the crap they have been told, because none of it is really true. The photos have all been taken off Google images, the person who chats to you is not the person you think they are and probably do not even live in the country they say they do. But it hurts you and is painful, when you come to that realization and you do, because at some stage they will become indignant with you when you don’t fulfil their requests. Terrible stories like, they need an operation immediately, and their health is at stake and will often sign off in a chat when you say: tomorrow at 11 hrs, ‘well I hope I am still alive’! They play totally on your sympathy, that you sign off and then worry for hours on end if they are actually OK.

It is all nonsense! That is what you have to tell yourself and be strict with yourself. It is good to confide in someone you trust and tell them your story, just like my friend did with me. It was when I said, come on this is all too good to be true and cliché’s like that, they suddenly opened their eyes and realized that their soul has been ‘hacked’ by some really evil person. An evil person who made them feel good. Offered them all the things they felt they were missing in their own lives, a listening ear, which understood them better than anyone else on this entire planet!

But it is all rubbish! It is all geared to make you become vulnerable and to stop you thinking sensibly. They pray on some of your weaker points. When someone says you are the most beautiful/handsome person they have ever seen, we all feel good. Be honest, all of us!

As I said, a web has been woven and you are stuck inside it. But be strong and have the courage to talk to your closest friend(s) about it. Tell someone what is going on and allow them to give you a hand, to help you get out of it. They are your real friend(s). Your heart knows you can trust them and they will make no judgement at all. Just offer you that hand, that listening ear and help you to regain yourself.

Then the next step is delete everything. Really everything! Report them to the social media. After all the fuss this past week with things like Facebook and some other hacker gaining everyone’s passwords. Be ruthless, report, delete and never open the account again. That is the only way.

Change your passwords. Funnily enough this was a trending topic on the national news yesterday evening and people are far too sloppy with their passwords. Often software (Apple) offers you a secure wallet to save your passwords, but remember to change the password to the wallet regularly too. These hackers are brilliant but ruthless.

A tip is to make a password a sentence. A simple sentence that means something to you. Perhaps you have a favourite book, saying or such like and add capitals and spaces. Far too many people use family names, dates of births and such like.

My friend is shaken, but fine. They did not send any money of course. Had the courage to tell and ask for help from the people they trust and I have huge respect for that. I made absolutely no judgement whatsoever. Remarks like: ‘how could you have been so stupid?’ is like rubbing salt into a bleeding wound. Don’t do it. Be compassionate. Understand. That is what a true friend is for isn’t it?


First of all I want to thank each and every one of you who has written to me about how much you enjoyed the first two chapters of THE BLUE HOUSE. I think I have replied to every comment now.

In the original blog I wrote I shared the first two chapters of this book for free with everyone.  But it is a book and the adventures continue. So if you want to know more and have the book there are two ways to do this:

You can order online via www.bol.com. You just need to type my name JILL KRAMER into the search and you will find all my books. The price of the book is Euro 19.99. However, if you are not in the so-called catchment area (i.e. in another country for example, perhaps outside Europe as well) it may not be possible for you to order this way. It is a Dutch site and maybe difficult to follow? You can though click onto the English flag for words in English as opposed to the Dutch.

I can also order the book for you from my publisher. The price is ex postage and packaging. Because I know sending money around the world can be made even more expensive by bank charges, I opted for a PayPal account quite some time ago, which means that I can email an invoice link for payment to you. PayPal accept all currencies and all means of payment (bank, credit card etc.). If you want to order in this way, please send an email directly to me, not through the reaction on my feed:


Tell me you full details: name, address and email. I can then send off the invoice and once paid I totally guarantee that the book will be sent to you as soon as possible. I use Jiffy Bags to send, to protect the book and its cover during transportation.

The book has 40 chapters in total (one little surprise chapter at the end as well) and around 200 pages. I took this photo this morning on the table in my conservatory, it is pouring with rain here by the way!

No obligations at all, but so many of you have said how much you enjoyed and I want to offer you the chance to read on. This book (the Dutch version) has been also nominated for a book prize here in The Netherlands as well. So far I have received a lot of positive comments.

Hope that this helps those of you who are interested in reading more about Grace and Matthew. This was my first romantic fiction book ever!


Something a little bit different in this blog. I want to talk about our physical body and our soul.

There are a lot of people in the world who believe that you have one life. Many then think that you have to cram literally everything into this one life experience. Not so really. People who are spiritual or perhaps think differently, will gladly recognize this fact that every single physical living body has a soul too. Sceptics will definitely disagree. A lot will say you get one life so you have to make the most of it. This is not right.

So what is your soul? To me this is the real you, the little voice inside that talks to you, guides you and advises you. The true essence of who you are. Your soul is endless and goes on forever. Time is not important. Each and every life is feeding your soul with experiences to enable it to grow.

Soul-beings longed for the opportunity to actually be in a physical body. That is the one thing they did not have. Even though souls in groups lead an almost magical existence there was still the longing within to be a person. To have a real body, to be able to feel emotions, to see, to speak, to hear, to touch, to feel, to get angry, to be happy or to be sad. Everything in fact that we associate with ourselves. The person who we are actually reading this blog right now.

But what if there is more? What if each life becomes an endless experience and learning curve. Enabling you as a soul to grow and experience the things you craved to do?

A lot of people, particularly scientists and medics will say that when death occurs, life ends. Physically speaking this is right. What they have difficulty in recognizing, purely because their work is based on proven facts is that when the physical body dies the soul leaves the body. This has now in the meantime been proved by some scientists in Russia (I believe) who have captured the images using Kirlian photography. We all know that a physical body ceases to actually function when the heart stops beating. This is the true fact we can attach to death.

I like many people believe and I say this because I have had a Near Death Experience, that the soul lives on. That there actually is a place on the other side! Even if you are thinking as you read along: ‘yes sure, what is she trying to say’ but please bear with me.

Just imagine if what a lot of people already believe in, is actually right? You need to look at the release of the physical body purely as a moment of death when the soul leaves the body to return ‘home’. The job is done, the lesson learnt.

One of the best illustrations of this on film (and I know it was a fictional children’s’ film – but often fictional films have more truth than we actually know at the time) was the moment in one of the Harry Potter films when the soul of Sirius Black leaves his body when he encounters the Dementors with Harry. His life force or soul is literally sucked out of his body. With Harry’s help (the famous patronus) he is able to stop the procedure. Yes I know this is just a film! But the visuals are good and help people perhaps to understand.

So what actually happens after death: I can only write about the things I believe in or have seen or been told by others. I am not trying to make a big statement here that this is actually what happens; this is merely a little synopsis of my own opinion.

After death the soul is in a sort of place of waiting. Between worlds if you like. To come to the realization that the physical life they knew has ended. Souls witness their own funeral, the final journey in that particular life. After that the soul goes to a place where they see a summary of the life that has just passed. What lessons and experiences have they had? This goes right from the death moment to the birth moment. Then all memory is erased. At least that is the way it is supposed to happen.
Then they wait for the next incarnation moment, taking into account where they want to go and what they are accepting as the lesson in a new life. A soul actually beomes a literal new physical being when the moment of fertilization occurs and the cells divide with great rapidity. A new human is being formed.

Sometimes all memory is not erased and then people will often have really clear memories about previous lives. So much so that they totally recognize other soul beings when they meet them again on their path. They will have a definite recognition if they re-visit places they have been to before. They will meet people who belong to their soul groups and you may have recognised this yourself, when you met someone and there was an instant ‘click’ just as if you had known them for years. People who you would describe as life long friends, you may not see one another each and every day, but the connection when re-made is just as if you were together the day before.

People often come back to places they know, there is a secondary moment of having the feeling that you have been there before. Perhaps you have experienced this yourself. The feeling is only momentarily, but just as clear all the same.

So maybe this is something to think about when you are rushing around in your life, trying to cram every single experience into it. Take your time, slow down, time is an illusion, so enjoy it.

You may or may not resonate with these words, but just think what if this is the case? What if this is right? Why am I here and what am I here to do? Slow down, let the answers come to you themselves.

Try communicating with your soul; you can do it easily through something as simple as a meditation. Ask the questions you want to ask, you may not receive the answers straightaway; it is only important that they are heard. Answers come at the least unexpected moments. Remember that. Also remember that each and every experience, good or bad, happy or sad, wonderful or disappointing are all part of the great curve of gaining knowledge.

Slow down, you don’t have to do it all in one go!!


Oh, Oh how we all love to have a good moan about the weather, especially when it does something we least expect. The thing is though, the weather will do exactly what it wants, whether you like it or not, because it is all related to so many factors, the most important of which is, nature. And if there is one thing no one can completely control that is nature and a good thing too.

But don’t we all love to complain about the weather? We want the seasons to begin when we think they should, in other words, no sudden surprises after perhaps a lovely sunny day that the wind changes direction and the next day you get an unexpected dump of snow. That is what happened yesterday in some parts of Holland. The temperatures go up and down depending on how the ‘climate’ is actually moving around the globe depending on the time of year. Which direction the winds are blowing and how much cloud formation there is.

I am definitely no weather expert for sure, but I know that the winds and the oceans around the world are the key factors in the weather. And not to mention the differences between the northern and southern hemispheres. The movement of other planets and stars around our planet, they all play a role. The moon after all controls the ebb and flow of every tide of all our oceans.

True, there have been some days this year when you can really feel the warmth of the sun coming back after a virtually mild winter here. Then out go the chairs, off go layers of clothing and you sit in a sheltered spot in the sun. It does your physical body good, literally, absorbing Vitamin D from the sun’s rays on your skin. But always remember how strong the sun is; always protect your skin, each and every time. It only takes a few moments to apply sunscreen even if you think you don’t need it. You do.

I was thinking this morning how many conversations in general start about the weather and usually in a negative way. We are frustrated when it rains, when we want to be out and about, irritated if our plans have to be changed because the weather has let us down. Remember all those barbeques you planned in the summer, which were washed out? Fed up if we are stuck in busy traffic because of snow or icy roads and when the weather is good (always from Monday to Friday when the majority of us work) and then the weekend is totally crap weather wise. I mean how frustrating is that!

However, starting a conversation with someone when the first vibes are negative really sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. Even though we have reached amazing heights in our evolution, there is one thing completely out of our control – the weather. But why spoil every encounter with another person, in other words an exchange of energy, but pulling it down immediately into the negative. Why not say things like: ‘did you have a nice weekend and what did you do’? Or ‘you are looking really smart today and like your new hairstyle’. Endless possibilities, but in some or other way, the weather is a big deal to all of us and that is what we often talk about at length.

Each and every season has its charm for sure. With only four per year that is not a lot really. Everyone has their favourite moment and relates to winter, spring, summer or autumn. To me each of them has their charm, but I like spring the most, when everything comes back to life after a long ‘winter sleep’. That the leaves burst open on the trees, everything looks fresh and green again, flowers begin to bloom in the garden and the silent wintery world is suddenly full of sounds. Birds chattering in trees, people are busy outside in the garden, people are walking in the parks and having picnics, children are playing outside and so on.

Doors and windows are open wide, letting in the fresh air, having been shut tight most of the winter with the cold and biting winds. Bare legs and arms, open shoes or slippers, yes this really is more my cup of tea.

I love the summer too, those sunny days with gentle breezes. The return of the swallows. Eating al fresco, long evenings and starry nights.

As I said we all have our favourite seasons. But why do we continually allow the weather and either its high’s or low’s to affect us so much. Of course it is the on-going strife for perfection. We can control so much these days and we expect a lot. We are moving fast in today’s world, innovation and technology changing almost daily but even so, nature is just going to take its own course.

The weather will do what it wants, when it wants, whether you like it or not!

So maybe it’s time to change your frame of mind and just enjoy each day as it comes.
See the positive in everything instead of always choosing the negative approach.

There are actually people who love to be out in the rain, splashing around in muddy puddles. Children are fascinated by the snow and building a snowman. Winds blow around the globe spreading the pollen to fertilize the plants, flowers and vegetables.
The sun warms our planet and gives it light. Nature is just fascinating.

Next time you want to have a ‘moan’ about the weather, remember all those days when it was just perfect. About the beautiful sunrises and sunsets you have seen, all the days you had when the weather was good. Talk about that instead with one another.

Be positive!


At this moment I am writing a new blog about something really personal. It is all about my upcoming heart operation when my cardiologist will perform ‘ablation’ on my heart to sort out my rhythm problems. I have atrial fibrillation and some flutters for several years now.

We are going to do a blog together, from two different view points, from my side, preparing for a second heart operation and a second chance and from his viewpoint as my cardiologist. Should be a bit different than other posts in which people express a lot of fear when they are waiting. I have no fear whatsoever, just know completely and instinctively that I have the best doctor in the country (Holland) taking care of me.

So literally waiting now for a date and a phone call to tell me the date, so even though the first part has been written by me already, now awaiting his part and then we can finish it off telling about the whole procedure.

I often read dramatic stories about such subjects and I think it is time to help people to get into the proper mind-set about such a procedure. I have to admit I wasn’t myself until we had our discussion on the 13th March but now feeling totally ready to go. Just waiting now.

This is just a quick and short post to tell you all, something is in the pipeline and on going, so keep connected and watch this space for the full blog soon.


I promised to share the first two chapters of my latest book, which was published yesterday, 13th March 2017 (quite a significant day for me personally and I will be sharing more about this soon). This book will be available in a few days via www.bol.com and if you are not in the ‘catchment’ area for this site you can order via me if you want to read on all about Kate and her adventures.


Kramer, Jillian Elizabeth
NOVEL, Romantic Fiction
‘A Second Chance’

Other books by Jill Kramer:-

* Impossible Love
* Re-kindling the Flame
* True Colours
* 2016 was a Blogging Good Year (e-book)
* The Blue House
* Het Blauwe Huis (Dutch)
* Fireflies in the Summer (and other short stories)

Published by: Brave New Books

ISBN: 9789402173987

Available through: www.bol.com (or from the author)

Website: www.wordpassion12.com

Email: wordpassion12@gmail.com

Edited by: Annette Barèl


A SECOND CHANCE is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely coincidental.

Jill Kramer 2018 ©

All Rights Reserved

Falling in love with someone is the most wonderful, yet the scariest feeling in the world. When you are not sure where life will lead, but it’s too much of an exciting adventure for you to care. When just the sight of someone gives you butterflies; when hearing them say your name gives you a warm fuzzy feeling running through your body. You get all these odd little feelings and you are happy. But there is a niggling feeling when you are apart that tries to discourage you. But then you see the other person again and everything is better, everything is perfect ….

This book is dedicated to all of you who know exactly, in all walks of life, how great it is to have A Second Chance.

I hope you enjoy.

Jill Kramer 2018©


When Kate unexpectedly decides to take a last minute trip to New York City, she never realizes that this will be the beginning of a new phase in her life. She runs a business called Baking for Beauty with her friend Thea. They have been incredibly busy up until Christmas with their special boxes for the Holiday Season. When her friend Beth invites her to come over, she doesn’t hesitate and gets on a plane to John F Kennedy Airport in New York. In the taxi queue waiting to go into Manhattan, a fellow passenger asks if she would mind sharing. Actually she does, and sits in silence all the way into the city until the taxi drops him off at Central Park. During her stay they keep bumping into one another all over the place. Surprising really when there are so many people there at this time of year.

A chance meeting in Bloomingdales, they make an appointment to meet up in Bryant Park, Kate is disappointed when he does not show up, even though she waits for almost an hour.

Months later, back at home, suddenly one day, someone arrives with a huge bunch of flowers and an invitation to lunch.

Read on …..


Christmas in New York

It was a really cold day and as the plane taxied off toward the runway it started to snow. Kate was glad that she has decided to take her full-length coat with its real fur collar, as she was sure it would be even colder in New York at this time of the year. The engines of the plane got louder and soon the Boeing 747 (completely full) was charging down the runway ready for take off. After a steep climb up and through the clouds. Kate hoped there would be some blue skies and some sun on the long flight into JFK.

It was quite some time since she had been to New York. Three years to be exact. In the past she had been many times, but more often on business trips rather than for pleasure. Her dear friend Beth had asked her to think about having a holiday and spending Christmas with her. Christmas in New York! She was looking forward to it so much. Christmas trees, lights and the buzz of a city that never sleeps.

She settled herself down into her seat on the plane, glad she had got a bit more leg room in the comfort class. Business Class was so totally over the top expensive these days, luxurious, but to be honest she would rather spend the money shopping in New York than actually paying a fortune for a plane seat! The stewardesses were rushing back and fro as the ‘seat beat’ sign had been extinguished and people began to move about.

Kate got out her Ipad and went to her e-books. It was the only way to survive a long flight she thought to get engrossed into a book because the flight was quite boring after take off.

There was a good film on offer, but for the time being she was happy to read the book, the latest from Dan Brown, an author who she loved and again about his character Robert Langton, so she knew it would be an exciting book from start to finish.

Some of the places mentioned in just the first chapter were familiar to her. Montserrat just outside Barcelona was a place she had visited several times.

She was glad that the seat next to her was filled by a small child, who had fallen asleep within minutes of the plane being up in the air and she was not squeezed in by an older larger person. Flying time to New York was nearly 9 hours and she would be there around lunch time local time. 6 of the hours being the time difference at this time of year.

Within minutes she was totally engrossed in her book, the plane flew across the north of England and Ireland and then all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to John F Kennedy International Airport.

Her mind wandered off her book and she closed her eyes. Having had such an early start to the airport, it was not surprising that she drifted off into a sleep, filled with mixed dreams about the past year, what had happened and it could be concluded that 2017 had been an eventful one for sure.

She was woken by the stewardess asking her if she would like a drink and something to eat, the majority of passengers were already eating those typical plane meals. She accepted gratefully. The air in planes is so dry it made you thirsty.

After she had finished some food and had a warm drink, Kate began to feel drowsy and settled down with the very inadequate cushion on planes and closed her eyes. It had been such a busy build up to Christmas this year. A couple of years ago she had started a little company called the Baking for Beauty.

She and her friend Thea, whom she had known for almost 20 years, suddenly had had the idea that they would make things for beauty based on the idea of bakery. Soaps were shaped like slices of cakes, ‘bombs’ for in the bath were shaped like donuts and so the ideas had flowed. There were body scrubs, body and hand lotions, hair masks and lip balsams. In the summer they started making products, all of which were purely natural and included no artificial ingredients and special boxes for Christmas and birthdays. After a lot of publicity on social media, things had taken off big time and the orders were piling in. It was a really busy time for them both (not to mention all their staff now) and that is why Kate had decided she needed a complete break and had chosen to go to New York for Christmas. She and Thea had been making, stirring, filling and boxing for weeks on end. Every single muscle in her entire body ached from the physical effort, but this year had been a record one for sales, their biggest ever.

She was grateful to the huge amount of helpers they had had, it was a full on job with little time to relax until all the parcels had been despatched and knowing that there would be a lull in orders during the week between Christmas and New Year, she had made a snap decision to accept Beth’s invitation and actually go off on a trip somewhere completely different and away from the endless invitations to spend the days with the same people year in, year out. She was thankful that after her divorce the majority of her friends had remained loyal, but she still felt a bit of a loose end on her own during the Festive Season.

It was not long before Kate had drifted off into quite a deep sleep despite the plane noise and the huge amount of people on board as the plane was completely full not a single empty seat. In her dreams she was thinking of New York, of all the times she had been before and being a real romantic, wondering if she just might meet someone really special on this trip?

When Beth mentioned the idea of New York, she had just happened to see a picture of Central Park in the snow, it looked so pristine and white and so lovely, her mind was made up instantly.

In her dreams she was already there and having a totally romantic and wonderful time, and it was announcement on the tannoy that the plane was preparing its descent into John F Kennedy airport, which woke her up in a start.

After taxi-ing to the terminal and disembarking Kate joined the long queue through the passport and customs section. They were thorough and strict here and even though she already had her ESTA visa in place she still knew there would be fingerprinting and eye photo’s to be made. Since the terrorist attacks in the USA, it was a nightmare these days and people who came into the country were screened literally from head to toe.

She collected her luggage and went out into the cold sunny day to join yet another queue for taxi’s or limo’s into the city centre. Beth lived in a beautiful top storey loft apartment in the Meat Packer’s District in Lower Manhatten.

Eventually she ended up sharing a taxi with a man who was obviously either coming home for Christmas or doing a last minute business trip. As they both got into the taxi at the same time, and he asked: ‘share’, she had only nodded. He looked tired (well who would not after a long transatlantic flight), sad eyes but the most amazing colour blue and a boyish appearance. She didn’t really want to make conversation or share a taxi, but it was inevitable really having to with someone when plane loads of people arrived at JFK at the same time, the number of taxi’s and limo’s were limited too. So she just stared out of the window and made no conversation. Neither did he.

The car sped through the motorway lanes towards Manhattan Island and her first glimpse of the Hudson River and the bridges crossing the water and the sky scrapers made her feel excited. She was really looking forward to being back again and also meeting up with her friend Beth, who she had not seen since her last visit.

The taxi dropped him off first in Upper Manhattan, at the top of 7th Avenue to be exact. She knew it well, it lead immediately down to Times Square, past Carnegie Hall. She carried on then on her own to where she would be staying.


Sunday 24th December

After a difficult and disturbed night’s sleep in a strange bed, with endless city sounds, which went on all night, Kate was awake early. It would take her several days to adjust to the 6 hour time difference anyway.

When she had arrived yesterday mid afternoon Beth had suggested that they spend an easy day at home. In the end they have given in and gone for a quick meal locally. Kate was tired and after the long flight you just needed time to chill out and stretch your legs, which she did walking to and back from the restaurant.

There was such a real buzz in the air in New York. Everywhere was decorated for Christmas and after breakfast (all healthy and non fattening of course), she and Beth planned their day. First of all they would go to the shops along 5th Avenue and took a taxi there. The pavements were filled with last minute Christmas shoppers and each and every shop window was decorated. They walked down to Times Square, cutting through between 6th and 7th Avenue and the crowds were huge. Preparations were already underway for the big ceremony planned for New Year Eve. Kate would not be there for NYE, she had to go back before then.

There was a distinctive chill in the air, as if there would be snow, quite normal for this time of year and as winds blew down from the lakes separating Canada and the USA, Pittsburgh had already had snow. Despite the cold, there was a wonderful atmosphere everywhere, people wishing one another a ‘Merry Christmas’ and huge numbers of Santa’s shaking tins for donations at virtually every store. At the end of the afternoon, they decided to treat themselves (well it was Christmas Eve after all!) to cocktails at the Top of the Rock bar by the Rockefeller Centre.

Here was the famous Ice Rink and the biggest tree Kate thought she had ever seen. The lights all glittering in the wind, which had picked up during the day. They took the elevator all the way up to the top and settled down into comfortable chairs.
‘Well’ said Beth, ‘I think it has to be a Manhattan don’t you? Kate nodded, as she gazed out of the windows across the skyline of New York. She could see all the famous landmarks, mainly because of the lights. The Empire State and Chrysler Building all lit up in different colours, with the winter background of the setting sun across the Hudson and East rivers. It was quite beautiful, Kate thought. She was glad to actually sit down, rest her legs as they had walked quite a distance, which was so easy to do when in Manhattan. Each block was number either East or West and the main roads leading up or down from Central Park were numbered.

Within seconds a smart waiter brought them their cocktails which were delicious and Kate thought that she must try not and drink it too fast, she felt the warmth of the whisky which it contained go down from her throat warming her entire body, right down to her toes.

She and Beth had also been talking non-stop. Their friendship was such, that they just started again from the moment they had left off and Kate had told her all about her little enterprise. Beth was a writer and very well known in fact. Kate was not a person to be influenced by this fact, probably the reason why they had become such good friends for quite some time now. Kate loved to write as well, and that is how she originally met Beth. At one of the book signing sessions, Beth had just looked up and said to her: ‘You look nice, how about meeting up afterwards’. Kate at first had thought maybe she was being propositioned, but Beth was just one of those people you took an instant liking too.

They both sat there, stretching their legs, sipping at their cocktails when Kate suddenly was aware that someone was staring at her. It was her taxi man. He nodded and she nodded back but made no more effort than that. How strange bumping into him here of all places, considering the number of people who were milling around in the city today.

After a third cocktail and Kate was feeling decidedly tipsy by this time, she and Beth discussed their dinner plans, and decided a super sandwich from Dean and Deluca was probably enough considering they would be eating huge amounts of food over the next two days. Beth’s family were coming for Christmas dinner plus a number of friends and she was glad that Kate was there to help her with a turkey that looked so big they both had wondered earlier if it was even going to fit into the oven.

Traditional Christmas dinners were Kate’s speciality, she had done so many over the years. Stuffing the bird first of all, then wrapping the breast meat with bacon or pancetta slices to keep the moisture in, then a huge roasting bag and setting the oven time. She and Beth had planned all the traditional trimmings of course including Bread Sauce, which had made them both laugh the evening before. Who on earth would want to pour a sauce made from bread all over their turkey? It sounded awful, but it wasn’t, it actually went very well together, with the roast potatoes, cranberry sauce, and different vegetables. Beth had drawn the line with sprouts. She disliked them intensely and they had gone for a selection of roasted veggies, like parsnips, carrots, onions, pumpkin (which Kate was sure everyone in the USA would find strange as pumpkins were usually used for more ‘sweet’ dishes than savoury). But that was all for tomorrow morning.

It was time to pay the bill, which Kate did, and pull their tired bodies from their chairs and get their snack before the shop shut. As they went to leave, Kate looked back at her ‘taxi man’ who was staring at her quite intently and she just mouthed the words ‘Merry Christmas’ and left without another thought.




Every day when checking my email in the morning, I am absolutely amazed about the number of reactions to my blog post in which I shared the first two chapters of my book THE BLUE HOUSE.

I want to take this opportunity to say how much I appreciate your words and also that you are taking the time to write back to me. I try and reply to each and everyone of them.

In the blog I shared only the first two chapters so of you want to read on all about Grace and Matthews adventures, then you can buy the book in two ways:

First of all, for the people who are in the ‘catchment’ area for the website www.bol.com you can order my book online. You just need to type in my name (JILL KRAMER) in the book search and you will see all of my books which have been published so far through my publisher (Brave New Books).

For those who are not able to order online through bol, you can always send me an email and I will order for you. The price is Euro 19,99 ex postage and packing.

Know that transferring money across the globe can be expensive because of exorbitant bank changes, I have a PayPal account and can send you an invoice which includes the link to pay to your own email. So if you are interested, please send an email to me: wordpassion12@gmail.com and let me know your full details (name, address, and email) I will order for you and send the invoice for payment. As soon as funds are received I guarantee that the book will then be sent to you.

This coming week, my 8th book is being published: A SECOND CHANCE. I shared a sneak preview in another blog. More information about this is on my pages (on the left hand side of the site).

Anyway, let me know if you are interested.