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Never Too Late by northie

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2 hours ago, northie said:

 For the original, the outer layer is butter cream apparently.

Sounds about right. One of my favorites is carrot cake with butter cream topping. No raisins :puke: but lots of walnuts. But of course brownies with lots of walnuts are even better. :P 

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22 minutes ago, Timothy M. said:

Sounds about right. One of my favorites is carrot cake with butter cream topping. No raisins :puke: but lots of walnuts. But of course brownies with lots of walnuts are even better. :P 

Why do people insist on ruining perfectly good cake (or bread) with vegetables? (I hate raisins too.)

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  • 1 month later...

It's about time for another update.  :)  Not much progress currently as my time is being spent elsewhere. A new story, Apart will appear late summer (timing subject to change) in Premium. A short novella (4-5 chapters long), it started out as an entry for this month's Anthology before I decided it needed more time to do it justice. 


So what's it about? :X  :lol:  When the time's right, I'll start a new thread with a teaser. If you're not a Premium member, why not consider it? You can join for a one-off limited period or for longer. It gives you access to a select group of stories and it helps keep the lights on. https://gayauthors.org/subscriptions/

Eric will return to my notebook just as soon as this project is complete. Only a couple or so weeks to go. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/24/2020 at 11:17 PM, northie said:

Only a couple or so weeks to go.

I said on May 24. *sigh* With that story now posting, and a month-long writing course completed, I am definitely back to Eric. No other distractions on the horizon. *crosses fingers*

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  • 1 month later...

I'm currently staying in Eric's part of the world, or maybe, Rob Bairstow's would be more accurate. Chapter 10 is well on its way. Eric and Rob have reached a pivotal point... I hope the good progress I've managed over the past few weeks will continue. 

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  • 1 month later...

More progress - Chapters 10 and 11 are complete.  If I manage to keep up (or increase) the pace, I'm hoping the story will start posting in February next year.  A definite date closer to the time. Meanwhile... Eric and Rob meet up finally. That's Chapter 12 - soon to be written. Hopefully.  

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  • 3 months later...

Hmm... three and half months later, it's time for another update. Progress is being made (Chapter 14 is mostly done) but I'm obviously not going to make March or April for the start of Book 3. Although it's dependent on the level of remaining restrictions, I expect most people in the Western hemisphere to be out and about during the summer this year, me included. So, I've decided that Eric will return in September.

Is that definite? Yep, all other things being equal. I know where I'm going with the story and the main characters, so even if there's a chapter or two still to be written by then, I will start posting. 

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  • 4 months later...

Getting there! Chapter 17's done and we're definitely moving towards the conclusion. Having said that. there's probably another 4 or 5 chapters to go. Possibly more, given my inability to judge. 🤨 😄 Posting will start in September, most likely the second half of the month. Once I find something suitable, I'll post a teaser.

Hopefully I'll be visiting Andy & Adam's wedding venue next week. Croome is a National Trust place in Worcestershire. It's great to visit any time but I also need to remind myself of some things. 

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1 hour ago, Timothy M. said:

Sounds great, I'll look forward to September and revisiting Eric.

Thanks, Tim. You've supported Eric from the start.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a couple of photos from Croome - the house as a whole, and one room which I love (ignore the packing cases).





Croome - interior.jpg

Edited by northie
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  • 3 weeks later...

Here for your delight and delectation is the first taster from the third volume of Eric's story. It's from Chapter 7.


After a glorious weekend, Monday dawned grey and cooler, though there were breaks in the cloud. Claire flung open a window to welcome the reduction in temperature – A Helping Hand's office didn't run to air conditioning. Sat at her battered desk, she opened the laptop and debated what to tackle first out of that day's to-do list. The media attention, together with the videos had resulted in a satisfying trickle of potential volunteers. Should she sort through those, or turn to the much longer list of suggested new clients?

There was little point in deciding on new clients if they didn't have the case workers in place. Another question lurked in the background – how many volunteers could she and Mike, her deputy, cope with? She suspected the two of them were close to capacity. With a sigh, fundraising was added to the list of tasks. A steady income stream would be required from somewhere before they committed to another paid member of staff. The small spike in online donations over the weekend didn't cut it at all.

Let's look at the latest batch of hopefuls.” She thought there might be space for another couple of volunteers – just. “Must talk to Mike about that.” Claire scribbled a reminder and stuck the note onto the laptop screen. Clicking on the first résumé, she settled down to take notes.

The desk phone rang. She blew out a long breath before answering.

A man's voice replied. Hi, could I speak to Andy Harper, please. I understand he's one of your employees.

Andy's a volunteer worker with the charity.” Conscious of the media coverage, she took care not to let the guy's soft, warm baritone lull her into saying things that were inadvisable. “As such, he's only ever here when we have monthly update meetings. I'm Claire Watson, his boss. Is it something I can help you with?”

Err… maybe. I'm actually trying to reach Eric Whitehouse. It appears he's one of your clients? My name's Rob Bairstow. Eric and I worked for the same employer many moons ago.

OK.” Claire waited for more information.

He may not remember me – we didn't work together as such, we were just in the same extended team. It's taken me a while to hunt the memories down. Funny how someone you've not thought about for decades can pop back into your head. Now I can visualise Eric from that time as clearly as someone I saw a couple of months ago.

She dragged a pad of sticky notes nearer and jotted down the relevant points. “So what is it you'd like to do?”


The third volume is due to start during the second half of September. Enjoy...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Make a note in your diaries.

Never Too Late to Believe will start posting on Friday 24th of September.


season 2 the secret box GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

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  • 4 weeks later...

Eric Part 3 will commence posting a fortnight tomorrow ie Friday 24.9.21

Here's another teaser, this time from Chapter 16


Eric marvelled at the difference four months had made to Andy's garden. Though why he should be so surprised was a puzzle. He knew the seasons as well as the next gardener. A filled plastic salad bowl in one hand, he paused on the patio and looked around. 

August's latter half was rarely a good time to view gardens. Many plants had lost their flowers and as for trees, their freshness was a distant memory. He spotted a couple of repeat-flowering roses, cream and yellow, further down and what he suspected was a clump of goldenrod, continuing a yellow theme.

He turned. “Andy, are we eating here on the patio?”

From the seemingly-dim recesses of the kitchen came his answer. “No – I thought we'd sit closer to the pond.”

The day, while bright, was also humid and overcast.

A knife chopped something. “The acer's still looking good and there're bees feasting on the hyssop.”

Eric nodded to himself. “Sounds good. I'll wander in that direction.”

“I'll catch you up with everything else.”

He raised his free hand in acknowledgement. It was odd not to have his walking stick – like part of him was missing. Seeing he had a lift there – and back – tiredness wouldn't be an issue and the garden was flat. Already he'd found himself looking around, thinking he'd left the stick somewhere, but really, it wasn't needed.

Eric took his time, a gaze alive with curiosity switching from side to side. Sniffs, foliage inspections, and approving nods at Andy's plant care followed. He'd have to give thought to his own garden. Apart from planting a few annuals to replace those uprooted by the vandals, no work had taken place. He hadn't been in the mood. Then Rob appeared. Plus, Andy seemed more taken up with his wedding arrangements. October wasn't that far off.

“New clothes. And a present.” The refrain ran through his thoughts every day. Sometimes it got voiced. It wasn't so much a reminder as continuing disbelief, plus the fact he hadn't a clue what to get the lads. “Rob?” He made things. Maybe, if his new friend had time, but that didn't solve the 'what' question.

His dawdling was soon overtaken. Andy strode past, carrying a large tray with food and the tea things.

The young man grinned when Eric put the salad bowl down on the table. “That'll be warm by now.”

“Cheek. Anyway, it has more flavour if you leave it out for a while.” Andy's look pushed him to go on. “Only discovered it because I've dozed off a few times recently waiting for the kettle to boil.”

“You have been out and about recently. Not surprised you're tired.”

They both sat down. Eric noted the white-painted metal furniture looked past its best. 


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Just prepared the first chapter (and the story) for posting when the time comes around. My god - it's definite! 👀😄

Currently 70k words for your delectation - probably 80k+ at least by the time I finish Eric's story.

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Chapter 2 is up. Chapters will be posted weekly (assuming I remember😳) Don't forget if you're a GA member, you can follow the story and / or me as author. Enjoy. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapters 18 and 20 are both more than 5000 words long. 😮  Chapter 20 might even make it to 6k. May not be long for some people, it is for me.  🤨😄

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