A Ghostly Embrace

Elizabeth and the rest of her village remain without power. Given the total amount of extended outages across the country and storm Franklin following on the heels of Dudley and Eunice, my sister is likely to be with us for a while longer. This morning she returned to her home, emptied her non-working fridge, and brought back its contents to transfer to our appliance.

As we watched a large pittosporum swaying in winds climbing to a speed of 60 m.p.h. we feared for its safety and, should it fall, that of the nearby arch over the Dead End Path. The South African native shrub had been allowed by our predecessors to grow into a tree and we had simply shaped it a bit.

I completed the scanning of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘The Highwayman’.

End papers.

Back cover.

This evening we dined on flavoursome liver and bacon casserole; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; and firm Brussels sprouts with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I finished the Douro.


  1. With the storms, I was fearful of what the ghostly embrace might mean. I’m glad you didn’t have more damage, and that Elizabeth is settled with you. Those illustrations are both romantic and spine-chilling.

  2. Good luck with the remaining winds. Hope you received no damage. Elizabeth’s contribution should make some interesting meals which I’m sure Jackie will create gormet meals.

  3. Now Franklin is coming! 😮 Oh, gosh!
    So glad Elizabeth can be with you! Hope all is remedied soon for her to get back to her home.
    These Keeping illustrations are ghostly great! He sure focuses our attention in interesting places and ways…and the action he creates is amazing!
    Ooh! So many owls in the Osteospermum photo! YAY! 🙂
    Keep safe! and (((HUGS))) 🙂

  4. What a talented and versatile artist Keeping was.
    We now have power restored – I hope the same for Elizabeth before too long. Though your beautiful home, and Jackie’s wonderful hospitality must make for a very welcoming shelter from the storm – have you got your ‘bed and breakfast’ sign out?!

  5. When I look at the osteospermum I see a head, perhaps sporting a beret, but with a definite chin and looking slightly down. Kind of ghostly in itself, like the book plates. Hope Elizabeth gets her power back soon!

    1. Thanks a lot, Maj. Anne has pointed out that the tree is not a daisy. The correct word is Pittosporum. We have the daisies too, which Is why I got the names muddled

  6. The images are outstanding. The garden looks endangered, for sure! 60 mph winds? Goodness!! I hope you saved that osteospermum. My heart goes out to Elizabeth to have been without power so long. I’m glad she has you two lovely people to turn to for help! <3 God bless your welcoming home!!

    1. The tree is OK still, although winds remain fierce. Actually it is a pittosporum. I have Anne to thank for pointing out that I muddled the name with osteospermum daisies which we also have. Thank you very much, Jan.

  7. I’m sorry about the continued lack of power but pleased Elizabeth has you both.
    Hope you all stay safe from Franklin.

    The snow melted but the rain has been torrential all day. The mini river continues to flow around the outside of the house.I cleared the drains, well, the grates anyway, and Joss put sandbags around the doorway.

    Storm Franklin seems determined to make it’s presence known, it really is strong and noisy.

    1. We hope you will be safe, too, Sue. I seem to have trashed your comments on crosswords and A Suitable Boy, so thanks for those and this. My first edition of the book now has completely dark brown pages – such a disappointment.

  8. The ghostly images are well done. This tale was put to music by two women, many decades ago. My mother had the record, but I do not remember their names. A search on “The Highwayman song” comes up with a more recent one written by Jimmy Webb. That one has been covered by many, but is not the song I vaguely remember.

  9. Keeping’s drawings are so good; I love the one near the end of the rear view of the Highwayman on his horse. I hope Elizabeth gets her power back soon. Franklin is still raging round our house.

  10. I enjoy looking at these drawings. The door and the galloping horse and rider profile are my favorites. I’m curious if they are negatives in the book. Either way, the lines are fascinating. I’m glad Elizabeth is safe. I’m glad she could get her food out of the frig. Whenever a big hurricane is on its way here, we try to eat all the perishables. She may have lost electricity at her home, but she has the loving power of family supporting her.

  11. I hope your power stays on. Here, above 60mph, it’s anybody guess, but we’ve been lucky the last few years. I’m glad Elizabeth can bunk in with you and share her food that would otherwise spoil. As for those illustrations, they are pretty ghostly and chilling. I do like those end papers.

  12. Keeping’s drawings have an ethereal feel about them and they left me in no doubts about the ghostliness of the embrace. Meanwhile, storm after seem to have descended on the terra firma about you. I hope the windy procession peters out quickly now.

      1. I have been trying to reduce watching Netflix and the elk, and cutting down on activities that have been eating up my time. I have begun reading books again, of which there is a pile that would shoot through the stratosphere if arranged in a pile. I am hoping to rekindle photography again.

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