January 2024 From the author’s desk…

9 January, 2024 in From the author's desk

As our loved ones depart after the family Christmas festivities…

As she was undressing, Ruth noticed the thin book where Naomi had left it open on her bedside table. She turned on the bedside light.


‘And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,

Speake to us of Children.

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may stive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backwards nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

So He loves also the bow that is stable.’

 Ruth turned to the cover – The Prophet by Khalil Gibrain.

Twice she read it before switching off the lamp. She didn’t sleep, with her mind turning over and over.

She couldn’t bear the idea of Yann being taken away from her; the whole reason for her existence gone. Waking up each day without him. His lovely laughing face was even more treasured now that Jancek was dead. The tears came back when she thought of her difficult husband and the emptiness he had left behind, along with their wonderful son.

She turned the bedside lamp on again and reached for the book. This time she spoke the lines aloud, slowly. It said so much and she kept coming back to the one line that caused her to reconsider.

…And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you…’

Yes she loved him so much but…

…their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

   Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams…’

She had to think of her little boy first. What was best for him, no matter the sorrow it would cause her, was most important. He came first, he was the reason for her life.

Exhausted when the dawn arrived, she put on her dressing gown and went down to the kitchen. Naomi was already there and they sat in silence sipping hot tea.

“You are right, Yann must go.”

Naomi rose and pulled the tearful Ruth to her.

An extract from chapter eighteen of  –‘ Go Swift and Far – a Tale of Bath’ The first book of The Westcott Chronicles


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“A young man buffeted by world events is left reeling, but survives to build his own empire in Bath. The ancient city has seen it all and has her own cards to play...  Douglas Westcott writes from experience of the chaos of history, business, and wild passions in this gripping trilogy.”

Tom Craigmyle

‘An interesting and believable cast of characters move through the conflict of development versus conservation, still relevant in Bath today as the city continues to deal with how society and social mores have changed over the years.’

Kate Joyce

‘Breathes life into the historical city of Bath – a must read!’

Andrew Foulkes

“I couldn’t put it down and the story captivated me – I couldn’t wait for the next edition.”

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