Preface to Gertie’s Path

A scrawny village errand boy called Gertie (real name Gerald, but who wants to be called ‘Gerry’ at the start of the Second World War!?), is spurred into action. For a lanky lad with smelly feet, awkward elbows and big ears, who liked to keep things simple, perhaps Gertie wasn’t the most obvious choice as a champion and certainly plenty in the village had shrugged him off as ‘can’t make him out’. Then the war had started. Things had begun to get desperate and they couldn’t afford to waste anything … not even Gertie!

Gertie was happy to keep himself useful, seldom out of mischief and invariably managed to scoop up a few of his fellows, as well as some of the Lads from the House, along the way.

Together the Salvage Scamps were determined to do their ‘bit’ for The Effort. With bicycles, wheelbarrows and buckets; Gertie, Walker and the rest, managed to enlist the vicar and his church warden, Humfrey; the village shop-keepers: Ol’ Creak, Brisket, Bracket and more, as well as the local farmers: Abe, Totters, Tuckly and even the intimidating Mr Tor, into their scrapes.

There were three great ladies in Gertie’s life: the doctor’s housekeeper, Mrs Tweeny, who didn’t ‘do’ doors and had a couple of young nurses billeted with her; the church warden’s missus, Aggy, who, as far as Gertie was concerned, had always been a force to be reckoned with, but now she had command of that typewriter there was no telling what she was capable of; and the hospital cook up at the House, Mrs Toombs, whose monumental bosom would have been enough to daunt a lesser man. But it was Rusty who Gertie adored.

As the local residents adapted to wartime-ways, the old village and the new RAF hospital had plenty of characters and best-intentions between them, but country wisdom and military efficiency didn’t always rub along smoothly!

There were two more indomitable females that Gertie never made the mistake of underestimating: the grand old lady of the village “can’t run an English village without a Marm about the place,” and never forgetting Matron, up at the RAF hospital, “keeping the nurses on their toes, the Lads on the mend and the doctors in their place!”

The Americans had started to arrive by the truckload and Marm was not impressed! She had enough to deal with already: there was the Spring Bazaar to arrange, the village hall was falling down around her ears and the church warden had lost the vestry keys again. It certainly didn’t need those Yanks to go barging about the place complaining about country corners jumping out at them.

Gertie had his reasons for suggesting that ‘a spot of visiting might be called-for’ to the Post Mistress. But when it came to Corp’s predicament and getting a bit turned-around, Matron caught wind of it and was soon on the war path: “Better to have it out, than packed away and fermenting!”

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1st book in NEW series
Gertie’s Path – available to pre-order:

Not So Safely Forgotten (England – Spring 1942)

About the Author

Dominique’s history is as scatty as her freckles. Born in 1963, she never quite got on with the second half of the 20th century (never mind the 21stC), but with her grandmother’s encouragement, and a bit of self-honesty, Dominique realised she was far happier with ‘a half-dozen decades back and a little to one side’; after that Gertie was bound to happen.

Dominique has spent the past twenty years with her life partner, who died recently of Alzheimer’s.

She now lives in Stamford with her twin sister, who takes care of her in a small house filled with wonderful memories and fresh laughter every day.

Kesriel is the stylish articulate one, Dominique is the one in dungarees with a teddy bear in her satchel.

Granny would be proud

Reviews

“authentic and evocative”
 
“delightfully uplifting”
 
“reminiscent of less complicated times and lives”
 
“charming quirky and nostalgic”
 
“has a quiet melodic quality”

Where to Buy the Books

Walker’s Stamford
Gothic House, 10 High St, Stamford, PE92AL
01780 764405
stamford@walkersbookshops.co.uk
 
Walker’s Oakham
27 High St, Oakham, LE15 6AH
01572 723957
oakham@walkersbookshops.co.uk
 
Oundle Bookshop
13 Market Place, Oundle, PE8 4BA
01832 273523
https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/theoundlebookshop
 
Lincolnshire Life online store – https://www.lincolnshirelife.co.uk/shop/
Direct from the author – purchases@gertiespath.co.uk