49 Days In 1988: Week 49 – Stocking Fillers

Click here to read the first week of this feature, and follow the links at the end of each post.


Newport – December 24th, 1988

It’s been a fantastic day. Sarah’s birthday party, this afternoon, helped to kick the Christmas holiday season off with lots of merriment, happiness and glitter. I left London with lots of smiles on my face.

While I sit here tonight, waiting for Father Christmas to pop down the chimney to fill my stocking with Bob, I can’t help but wonder what Bob is doing tonight and if he’s hoping to find me in his Christmas stocking when he wakes up in the morning. I’m glad he poured his heart out to me a few weeks ago because it’s certainly helped clear the air between us the last few weeks.

Although I’m looking forward to spending time with the family tomorrow, and usually am wanting the day to last forever, deep down inside, I can’t wait to get back to London on Tuesday. Maybe I’ll get a time machine for Christmas? I don’t know how many times I’ve asked for one, but wouldn’t that be the best gift ever? Thanks for the idea, Mr Wells.

At least I’ve reach Christmas knowing that there is still a chance for Bob and me. It looks likely that 1988 will end with me not being single. I hope it lasts until the bell of Big Ben chimes in 1989.

Merry Christmas.

#London #music #bloggers #city #LGBTQI #LGBT


Welcome to the final post of this new feature which I started at the beginning of 2018. As those of you that have read any of the entries know, I’ve been sharing snippets from my diary of 1988. We’ve also taken many trips in my Music Time machine to hear some songs from the 1980s which have been chosen by some specially invited guests.

#author #blogger #writer #books
Author, writer, and blogger, Janice Spina

This week, I’m delighted to welcome back Janice Spina to my blog. Janice is somebody who I’d admire very much. Not just because she’s a fantastic lady, but because of the talent she has for writing and the way she makes you feel so welcome whenever you visit her blog. She has a heart of gold.

Janice, aka J.E. Spina, is an award-winning author with twenty-two published books. She has been writing since the age of nine. She always dreamt of being an author but did not realize this dream until after she retired from an administrative, secretarial position in a public school system in Massachusetts.

Her goal is to write for all ages and encourage children to read which will cultivate a love of reading and carry them throughout their lives. Janice’s books range from PS-Grade 3 to 18+. Janice’s motto is Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks.com! Her logo is Jemsbooks – Books for all ages.

Her stories have been featured in other authors’ anthologies and in The Writers Newsletter.

Janice plans to write more children’s books, middle-grade, young adult fantasy and novels over the next two years. As she says, “There is always another story running around in my head just waiting to be written down.”

Janice’s hobbies are crocheting, exercising (walking, hula hooping to keep in shape), and reading, reviewing books, blogging, supporting her fellow authors, travelling, going out to the movies and dinner with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren who are her inspiration to write.

Janice’s most recent book, published in October 2018,  comes from the Abby and Holly series, which is aimed at readers in Middle-grade/PT/YA.

Book Blurb

Abby and Holly are cousins who are more like sisters. They enjoy doing everything together. Holly lives with Abby and her family in a haunted Victorian. Holly must deal with some difficult decisions in her family when unexpected and unfortunate events come to pass. Abby is there to lend support to Holly along with two ghostly apparitions, Felicity and Minerva, who live in Abby’s house. These specters provide some magical and helpful advice along the way as they watch over Holly during this difficult time. The girls’ friends, twins Davey and Derek Donato, from their own series, pop in to support Holly and bring some fun and comical relief to the story.

Click the links below to purchase the book

Amazon. Com

Amazon UK

Connect With Janice


Author’s Website


Facebook – Children’s Books

Facebook – Novelist Page







Barnes & Nobel – Children’s Books

Barnes & Nobel – Adult Books

Janice’s song choice is Flash Dance (What A Feeling) by Irene Cara.

Released in 1983, Flashdance (What A Feeling) became Irene Cara’s only number one hit in many countries and turned the record platinum. However, that didn’t stop the song from also sweeping up an array of awards including a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

It looks as if I still had lots of feelings for Bob during Christmas 1988. I wonder if those feelings lasted? Do you have a favourite song connected with feelings? Share a link to it in the comments.

I’d like to finally take this opportunity to thank all my guests who have appeared with me onboard my music time machine during this series and to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Click here to follow my music magazine on Flipboard

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© 2018 Copyright – All rights reserved – hughsviewsandnews.com


  1. One, two, skip a few, ninety-nine, one hundred. Apologies, Hugh, that’s a bit the way I’ve read your posts and am just catching up with some now. I wonder did your wish come true. I hope 1988 ended well for you, but that 2018 finished even better and that you have a wonderful 2019. I’ll be popping over when I can.

    1. Thank you, Norah. You’ve been a wonderful supporter of my blog and I’m always delighted to see you. I only wish we had already connected when you visited London and met up with Geoff. I certainly would have joined you both (if you’d let me).

      That dream in the last few days of 1988 did come true, but it turned into a nightmare over the coming years. That’s another story, though.

      Wishing you much success and happiness in 2019.

      1. Yes, it would have been wonderful to meet up, Hugh. That was early blogging days for me and I was still a bit ‘shy’. It took a lot of courage to suggest meeting up to Geoff, Anne, and Lisa and I was pleased when they agreed. Then I think we all hoped that none of us was related to Jack the Ripper! But it turned out well with great memories.

        I look forward to the other story. 🙂

        Thanks for you wishes. All the best to you, too.

        1. I can remember the very first Bloggers Bash in 2015, and how scary it was meeting everyone for the first time. Although I’d had videos calls with the committee, Geoff, Sacha, and Ali, it was even scary meeting them in person for the first time. We’ve both come a long way since then, Norah.

  2. A very merry Christmas to you and your guest Janice. Another fascinating diary entry – such a hit from word go – and so lovely to discover more about Janice and her awesome song choice. We could all do with a time machine from time to time, especially when music is concerned! Happy Christmas to you, and yours.Hugh. Xxx

  3. A lovely way to end this one, Hugh. It’s a delight to see Janice featured too.
    Loved seeing the Corgis on your holiday message too.
    Wishing you and yours a magical Christmas. I hope you are having a wonderful time. Happy holiday hugs!

  4. 1988 was a special year for me, too. It was the year our miracle child was born- a blessing indeed!
    I’ve enjoyed these posts, Hugh, and hope you found your happy-ever-after. Great to see Janice here.
    Merry Christmas!

    1. How lovely to share a special year with you, Jacquie. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the snippets from my diary which gave glimpses into my life back then. I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you all.
      Merry Christmas to you. 🎄

  5. I have to admit – this week’s ending was a bit of a surprise to me. I did not expect Bob to still be in the picture but now there are all sorts of possibilities brewing. This has been a great series, Hugh, and it will be interesting to see what creative ideas and posts you come up with in 2019. What a diverse author Janis is! Her goal to write for all ages is admirable and must be very difficult. I am inspired by her productivity – and to think she just started after she retired. Wow!

    1. Thank you, Molly. I’ve really enjoyed bringing this series to you all. It’s a shame it has come to an end but, what’s that saying? ‘All good things must come to an end.’ 😀 Thank you, too, for being one of my featured guests and for joining me onboard my music time machine.
      Merry Christmas 🎅

  6. What an honor it is to be able to share some of your journey from 1988, dear Hugh! I know I’ve said this before, but I absolutely love your writing. You have a way of making me feel as if we are sitting over a hot cup of tea and having a chat. Thank you so much for bringing us along! And thanks also for introducing us to Janice! Cher xo

  7. Yay about Hugh and Bob. Although it doesn’t sound like you saw him again after he spilled his heart, I’m glad to find out the feelings were still mutual. And, now I understand your history and fascination with time machines!

    Nice to meet Janice. 22 books and counting? Holy moly, Christmas jolly… That’s incredible. I have to say, Hugh, you know the most accomplished, passionate and creative bloggers and authors!! Talk about effective time management. Happy holidays to all of you!!

    1. We did meet up again after I returned to London after the Christmas holidays, Liesbet. The first time was something very special, but it wasn’t long again before the relationship was off track.

      Thank you for following this feature. I’m glad you and so many others enjoyed not only the snippets of my life in 1988 but also being introduced to all my guests that joined me onboard my music time machine. It now needs a service, valet, and rest before I set off in it again. I’m not sure when that will be but I’m sure it will be making an appearance again.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing your diary with us, Hugh. It has given us a fascinating glimpse into the young Hugh (not saying you’re old now, by the way!) and his life in London. Lovely to see Janice here and what a fantastic play list we now have to listen to. Have a great Christmas.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Thank you, too, for being a part of this series by being one of my guests onboard my music time machine. I’ve really enjoyed sharing snippets from my diary of 1988 with you all.
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 🎅

  9. Thank you for sharing this series with us, Hugh. I’ve greatly enjoyed following along.
    I agree that this series would make a great book.
    Nice meeting you, Janice. I’ve enjoyed learning more about you. Fabulous song choice!

  10. Great series Hugh. Is this the way it ends for us? Lol, still pining for Bob? I hope 1989 brought some new and worthier characters into your life. ❤ And Loved seeing Janice here and a great song choice! 🙂 xxx

    1. Thanks, Debby. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this series. Thanks for being with me all the way with it, and for also being a part of it. Yes, December 24th 1988 is where we leave the series, but the idea to turn this feature into a book is still embedded in my mind. 😀

  11. A time machine and a shrinking machine to help you fit into the stocking for Christmas was in order, Hugh! I am glad to read 1988 was a great year for you! In truth, 1988 was the year I birthed my second daughter, and the whirlwind began! Too tired to journal about it though… What a pleasure to “glimpse” into your 1988 and learn more about you as well as all the wonderful bloggers and authors you highlighted in this series. What a Feeling also won Best Song in the Academy Awards in 1984 🙂

    1. I’m glad you and many others have enjoyed this series, Terri. I’ve had great fun sharing some of my diary extracts from 1988 with you all and also introducing my guests (including you) to my followers. Thank you for being a part of it.
      Looking back at the whole series, 1988 was one of my best years, despite many of the problems I encountered. However, life would be so boring if it were not for the occasional problem to solve.

  12. Thank you so much for allowing me a place in your wonderful Series! I appreciate and thank you for your kind comments about me too! Good luck with your diary and whether you do a book or not. Blessings to you and yours, Hugh! hug xx
    Wishing you and all your readers a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year! hugs xx

      1. Thank you, Hugh! Last was fun and I will be remembered! Ha! Love the song too! Makes me want to get up and dance like crazy! LOL! Blessings of Christmas and the New Year to you too! Hugs xx 🎄 🎁 🎉

  13. Well, well, Princess, you have given your heart to Bob. I don’t want to break the bubble, but I don’t have good vibes on this one. There will be others who will be more meaningful. Until then, hold on to your bum and have a safe ride. LOL 🤪

    Hugh, you have given us a great year of post that I for one looked forward to each week. Thank you for being a good sport and allowing me to tease you. Now I wish you and your partner a Merry Christmas. HUGS

    1. I would have probably been singing ‘Last Christmas’ when Christmas 1989 arrived, Chuck. That will probably give you a clue as to what route the relationship between Bob and me took. My diary entries for the last week of 1988 and those into early 1989 make some very emotional reading.

      I’m so glad you and many others have enjoyed this series, Chuck. I’ve had great fun reading the comments and sharing some of my life from 1988 with you all.

      A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and Anthony. I hope Santa pops down your chimney on Monday night. If you see him, say ‘hi’ from me. 🎅


      1. Thanks Hugh. I think a lot of people believe it to be an Eva Cassidy song but it was written by Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, at a time when the band was all over the place emotionally, and was on their Rumours album. As you will have seen from the video they often closed their live shows with it as an encore.

    1. I’ve just read the last of the entries in the diary, Aimer. There’s also an entry for Jan 1st 1989, which reads quite positive, even though New Year’s Eve ended on a nightmare. What I hadn’t realised was that the back few pages of the diary also contain lots of names, address and phone number of many of those who have appeared in the diary (and extracts)
      Thanks so much for being one of my guests in this series.
      Merry Christmas 🎄

      1. LOL! What a nice surprise to find that your diary was a little black book 🙂 Did you think about trying to get in touch with any of those old ghosts? It’s certainly the time of year to get nostalgic 🙂
        Merry Christmas to you, Hugh. And Happy New Year!!

        1. Very true, it is, isn’t it? However, I’m pretty sure that everyone will have since moved on, especially given that in those days we were all renting rooms or apartments. The phone numbers listed are all landline numbers, in the age just before the first mobile phones arrived on the scene.
          Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Ainer. 🎄

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