Christmas on Becca's Books | 'Christmas Memories' by TA Williams

~ Christmas Memories ~

By TA Williams

One of the (very few) advantages of getting old is that your stock of memories increases as the years go by. I can remember Christmas Days going back half a century and I’ve tried to pick out a few highlights below.

Age 9(ish)
I really, really wanted a model aeroplane kit. In those days, that was what every boy wanted; preferably a Spitfire or a Lancaster. I can still remember my delight when I delved into my pillow case (you try squeezing a model aeroplane kit into a stocking) and found a package containing not one, but two kits. I was really, really pleased and sat down at the table to get started immediately. Alas, nobody had thought of buying me some glue, which is pretty fundamental when sticking things together. So, I could only look forlornly at the kits for the next two days until the shops opened.

 Age 19
By this time I was at university, wearing flared trousers and listening to the Rolling Stones, and rather turned my nose up at the childish notion of presents, a tree and so on. As it turned out, all I really wanted that Christmas morning was a handful of Aspirins. The previous night I had been out celebrating with a group of friends and the resulting hangover was of biblical proportions. I remember very little of that Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I presume I must have given and received presents but have absolutely no recall whatsoever now. Terrible thing, alcohol.

Age 29
Newly married to my Italian wife, we spent Christmas in northern Italy, in the foothills of the Alps. I’m not sure why, but I had constructed a “snow bike” (patent pending). It looked pretty much like an ordinary bike, with handlebars that turned and short skis instead of wheels. This masterpiece made of wood had taken me many evenings in the workshop to complete. There was a lot of snow around and so we set off on Boxing Day to try it out. Alas, my knowledge of basic structural design was not up to the task. Watched by at least a hundred bemused Italians I carted it up on the chairlift and then set off down the slope in fine style. I got about fifty yards down the hill, and was already realising one of the main defects of my design being that it had no brakes, when, totally out of control, I hit a bump. The front portion snapped off the back portion and I found myself buried head first in the snow. I got a bloody nose and a round of ironic applause for my efforts. The “snow bike” ended up in the woodburner that night.

Age 39
Complete with our daughter we went to Bad Gastein in Austria for Christmas with a group of friends. It was here that for the first time I tried an indoor/outdoor swimming pool. It was amazing to be able to swim out through a narrow passage into an outdoor pool where the water was blissfully warm, but the air temperature below zero. I liked it so much, I have just put it in my next book. 

Age 49
We went for some winter sun to the Caribbean. My wife has a dislike of air conditioning so, the first night, instead of turning on the aircon, we opened the windows while we went off to eat. When we got back to the room, it was reasonably cool but, as it faced onto the swimming pool, just about every mosquito, bug and creepy-crawly in Antigua had taken up residence in our room. Neither of us slept much that night, I imagine they had to redecorate the room to cover the blood stains and from then on we kept the windows closed and the aircon firmly on.

Age 59
A perfect Christmas. We stayed at home. The weather was fine so I did a Christmas barbecue – it’s not just those Aussies who can do that. The whole family was there and we had crackers, champagne, Christmas pudding and a very good Rioja. After lunch we watched the Queen’s speech and The Great Escape (for the tenth time). Excellent.
My latest book, What Happens at Christmas… is set at, yes you’ve guessed it, Christmas. I had a lot of fun writing it, throwing in some snow, a millionaire providing the wines, and a satisfying helping of romance. No model planes, no snow bikes, but just a group of happy people. That’s what Christmas should be all about. 

In need of Christmas reading recommendations? TA Williams has recently released his festive novel 'What Happens at Christmas...' It has received raving reviews so far and the perfect addition to your reading shelf this Christmas! Read on to find out more...

For the perfect Christmas…

When career-girl Holly Brice learns that her estranged father has died, she decides to take a trip down memory lane and find out about the man she never knew.

Arriving in the sleepy little Dartmoor village, she’s shocked to discover that she’s inherited the cosy little cottage she remembers so fondly, a whole load of money – and her father’s adorable dog, too!

Head to snow-covered Devon!

And as the first snowflakes begin to fall and Holly bumps into her gorgeous neighbour, Jack Nelson, life gets even more complicated! Men have always been off the cards for high-flying Holly, but there’s something about mysterious writer Jack that has her re-thinking her three-date rule…

Firstly, my name isn't T A. It's Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...
I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn't always very fair. It isn't always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I've done my job.
I've lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That's why you'll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador. 
I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.

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You can find What Happens at Christmas... on -

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