Pink Rose Petals Not Red

Taken during the Blue Plaque Ceremony

It has been over a year since I posted anything on the website. The reasons for this, apart from the obvious lack of will, have ranged from the death of my mother, to moving from the home we had occupied for over thirty years and finding somewhere else to live, to the surge in interest that the Elizabeth Goudge Facebook group has generated, which has led me to wonder if the web site was an outmoded way of sharing our love and appreciation of Elizabeth Goudge’s work.

I still receive the occasional comment to respond to, but they are getting fewer. Perhaps a blog would be a better format? It has been 15 years since I first started the web site at the prompting of Sylvia Gower, who had worked tirelessly to get the Blue Plaque erected on Rose Cottage and then felt that she wanted to pass the baton of web sites and the future of keeping the flame of Elizabeth’s genius alive into younger hands.

Yesterday a friend came to visit, her first since we moved, and she, like me, loves books and the stories they tell. Not only those between the pages, in the typeset, but the tale of the book itself. She picked out from my shelves a couple of Elizabeth’s books, and a package containing three pamphlets she had written as greeting cards to peruse. A letter fell out. It was from the poet Anne Lewis-Smith who had for a while been a neighbour of Elizabeth’s on Dog Lane. Elizabeth venerated poets, not realising that her own work was highly poetic in nature. Anne Lewis-Smith left “Primrose Cottage” in 1980, moving to Pembrokeshire. She was kind enough to send me a letter that Elizabeth had sent her as it contained some of her thoughts on poetry. Anne Lewis Smith was just one of the poets Elizabeth knew, Ruth Pitter being another. Here is a extract from one of Anne’s poems, The Window.

There she sat
Alone in a room,
By the window,
Looking out at a tree,
Alone with her sadness,
With her despair,
She watched the birds
All together in their nest

(Extract from The Window by Anne Lewis-Smith)

This could have been written about Elizabeth Goudge and her constant struggle with depression and lack of self-worth. Harriet at the window in The Rosemary Tree.

I think I should stop doubting myself and just continue to share my thoughts, stories and admiration for Elizabeth Goudge, her life and work. I hope some of you chose to accompany me.


  1. Hi Deborah,

    I’ve just read your post on Facebook which led me to discover your new article.

    I visited this website several times these last few months in the hope of a new post.

    I think lots of people would be happy to have it going on.
    It is interesting to share information and points of view about Elizabeth through different means which are complementary and always bring something new for those who want to know her better.

    Thank you for the share of Anne Lewis Smith ‘s poem.

    I’m sorry about your mother, and I wish you much joy and happiness in your new home.

    As I’m no English speaker, I hope my language is correct.

    Hope to hear from you again.

    Josiane Natalis

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, your English is perfect. It makes me all the more keen to continue. Anne Lewis Smith was very kind to me and gave me encouragement to continue writing, as have you

  2. I just picked up Pilgrim’s Inn to reread it, again! And wanted to refresh my memory on the lovely Ms. Gougde and I came upon your website.
    Thank you for keeping it going. It isn’t an easy task.

    • Thank you for visiting the site. I will be posting again soon. It’s a constant joy to be in contact with so many like-minded people

  3. Dear Deborah,
    I don’t know when you published Pink Roses (above) … I just happened to see the website bookmark today and thought I’d visit, realizing I hadn’t received an email notification in a long time regarding a post (didn’t you send them out once upon a time?). I’m not on facebook so having these stories here is a treasure. I hope they continue (or a blog), but I do understand if it feels like it’s time to let it go. I appreciate being able to travel with you.

    I so enjoyed reading Sylvia Gower’s book, purchased as a reprint from Girls Gone By Publishing. The more literary study found in Beyond the Snow has not quite kept my interest, but I will get back to it.

    You have so many major transitions on your shoulders right now. I’m so sorry for your losses. May there be bright blessings in and around your new home, springing up in unexpected ways and places.

    • Dear Jana,
      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful message. You are quite right, I did send emails to regular readers, but it is a facility wordpress no longer offers.
      I am very well thank you and have moved to a flat in a small rural town with fantastic views of our local hills. We are visited daily by flocks of small birds, and have a rookery in the next field. Sheep graze nearby and we feel much more relaxed. We are blessed with a loving family and I am doubly blessed to have correspondents like yourself. Elizabeth Goudge just keeps on giving. I love our pink rose petals! I will try and remember to email you personally when I post a new article

  4. Good morning, Deborah and all,

    I was delighted to find a new post and replies here in the middle of the night as we in Saskatchewan go through yet another snowy period. Winter is too long at six months. Yet, thank God for planning seasons for us as I know we will yet experience another spring.

    I find this website more calming than Facebook where it is difficult to tell who is answering whom.

    My sister, Georgia, in Tennessee looked for a missing book from my dear collection, The Castle on the Hill. She found a lovely copy in England – it took many dollars to buy and weeks to arrive in Canada. But as she is bed ridden she was delighted to do this for me.


    • Dear Lilyan

      I am so pleased that you enjoy the website, it gives me the impetuous to continue. The greatest pleasure is receiving messages from around the world.
      I love snow and am always childishly pleased by it’s infrequent arrival, but six months…..
      I have connections with Canada as a relative of mine emigrated out there in the early 1900, becoming a pony express rider which I always thought was very romantic.
      And my husband’s father ran the main theatre and cultural centre in Alberta for decades, hosting the Queen on one memorable occasion.

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