( In Parentheses, January 22nd)

Since posting the last few chapters, we’ve had a number of close friends writing concerned emails to me. This chapter now is me speaking today, 22nd of January, but please remember that all other chapters are 2-3 weeks behind time. It always takes us a bit of time – I have to write the stories and Frank corrects my English, together we upload photos from the camera and our phones, sort through them and upload everything in the correct order…. meanwhile of course new experiences tumble in and need to be digested and written down etc etc. We are trying our best to keep up with ourselves.


So the bad news from family and friends that I refer to in my recent chapters happened three weeks ago, and thankfully there have been NO further traumatic incidents!

Grief is a very personal thing of course and a blog is a very public thing. While trying to be as open and honest as possible in my writing, there are many things that I can’t or don’t want to write about. However, they affect the way we see and feel, so if you can read between the lines, you will find or feel more than meets the eye. The series of desert photos speak about how we felt in the days after receiving all this news. I’ve not been one to take photos until now, but something in those tough days around Christmas and New Year has opened in me and made me see things differently.

There is one piece of tragic news from before Christmas though that I do want to write about today, partly because it’s public anyway, as it’s been all over the local Devon news and the social media, partly because as a Tango dancer, you may well know the person involved and therefore may want to know about it and help her.

Just before Christmas, Frankie Gould, who used to be our kitchen mama at the Mango for a number of years, was involved in a horrendous car crash and tragically her three year old son Reuben was killed. Frankie has had surgery for a severely broken arm which has gone well, although she won’t be able to return to work for a while yet.

I still cannot comprehend that Reuben has gone and cannot begin to imagine how this must be for Frankie and her partner Tom.

A crowdfunding site has been set up to help support her for which I post a link here in case any of you would like to contribute. The money of course has been hugely helpful for Frankie, but more so I think the fact that it has come from so many people.

For a second instalment of desert photos, click here. Shadow and light, eternal movement of sand and wind, the ephemeral nature of beauty and the fragility of life.


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