A Tale of Two Forests

We all come from somewhere and our lot could have trudged here in ancient times before we were islands, likely as not to hunt for food. They might have landed by boat a few thousand years ago from Iberia or they could’ve come across with the Celts from France in the last couple of centuries. We don’t know much about the early times; nothing was written in the parish until present times. Beyond me old man and what he told me of his folks, it’s a blank, but we all comes from somewhere and for us that somewhere was our island; Lihou.

Most westerly of the British Channel Islands sits the tiny
island of Lihou. Technically it is only an island for half
of the time because when the tide recedes a granite
causeway is revealed and Lihou becomes a peninsula of its
larger, neighbouring island – Guernsey.

Maurice V Lihou.jpgThe name ‘Lihou’ is thought to come from long ago when the local language was influenced by the Celts from France,
the Vikings or ‘Norsemen’ from Scandinavia and the Romans. The first part, ‘Li’ is likely to come from the French word for ‘the’ and ‘hou’ from the Norse word for mound or
island. So Lihou means ‘the island’.

In nearby France, close to the town of Granville, is the medieval monastery of Mont Saint Michel and it was the monks from Mont Saint Michel who built and consecrated a
priory on Lihou Island in the year 1114. At that time, Granville, had a different name; it was called ‘Roque de Lihou’. Legend has it that large le-mont-saint-michel-17622-13_w500forests surrounded both Roque de Lihou in France and the south-west coast of Guernsey until a great storm and tidal wave in the year 709AD swept away the trees and submerged the land in both areas making Lihou an island for the first time.

This book is a record, with some conjecture, of one branch of the Lihou family from Nicholas (born in 1445) to the present day, embellished by local and national history. Hopefully each chapter will serve as a time capsule for future generations moved by an appetite to understand their ancestors.

The draft forward and first chapter can be found on the ‘Manuscript Link’. Comments or feedback will be very welcome.

NB As the enclosed is a short extract, a full and proper acknowledgement of the considerable contribution made by those who researched the genealogy of the family is not included. Without their efforts, the entire book and this short extract, would not have been a possibility.  The published version will, of course, include such an acknowledgement.









More to Life

When he announced the end of our marriage, it was as if a nuclear bomb had gone off in our family. That was five years ago, and we were all scarred by it. He with his guilt; me with my loss; our children with their confusion. I didn’t find out for many years how much he had suffered. Our tacit silence in the early days kept our feelings of alienation from the world a secret from us both. He felt alone. That was that; there was no reason. Enough questions; he wouldn’t play the game any more. ……….My birthday today. Forty-nine years old and have now officially given up on romance. Am going to try self-pity on to see if it suits me. Then join a nunnery. If my cunning plan doesn’t work, that is. Will tell you more details when I have the confidence to share my risk-taking behaviour with anyone other than a counsellor. Sorry I haven’t been in touch for a while. Big things going on for me. Big decisions. My two big kids have just moved out of home into flats of their own, little Sophie spends half the week with her Dad. Time for me to move on. Couldn’t quite bring myself to write it all down for fear of inviting criticism/reality check/derision….i.e. 16 stuff I don’t want to hear! Basically, I’ve done it again: acted before thinking, opened mouth before putting brain into gear. Only this time I haven’t changed my mind. Yet.


Divorce, career kaputt, and a house move!  Three of life’s most scary situations hit Rachael as she’s entering her forties, and she’s now nervously facing a very different future from the one she signed up for. Her response? Run away! Flinging off convention, she plans a wild, exciting and challenging adventure, heading to the East in search of the meaning of her life. But she has teenage children, and to leave them behind is unthinkable. Her ex has a few words to say about her plans, too: will he scupper her dream? Come along for the ride with Rachael and her family as they stumble through weird encounters, meeting quirky and often downright peculiar characters on their travels.

More2Life is a light-hearted look at family relationships when tested in unfamiliar environments.


  1. Women´s Fiction: Family Life/Divorce/Parenting and Families
  2. Travel Fiction

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Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Tour Guide Life

Flying low over Costa Rica’s highlands, we look down on green jungle dotted with single story wooden dwellings with corrugated iron roofs. A twenty-minute taxi ride takes us from San Jose airport to my friend Ros’s coffee farm, where we step out into the glorious scent of jasmine and looked over to the horizon where volcanoes rose up, silhouetted against a grey sky.

The world of the Tour Guide leader explained and described by one of the most experienced in the business. Maureen Moss takes you through joys and challenges of leading a group of travellers to some of the most exotic locations in the world.

How do you keep your customers happy when they can be a diverse bunch of people? How do you keep them together when they wander off to take in the sights? These questions and many others confront the leaders every day in parts of the world that throw up their own unique challenges.

If you want to find out if this is the life for you – read on!