Home | Living On Three Continents

June 11, 2012

Dear Reader

Author Susan Siddeley chooses a novel way to bring her recently published book to the attention of readers.

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October 02, 2011

Writing, And What It Takes...

"It’s been harder than giving birth and taken longer, much longer. Years of stealing time in bathrooms, huddled under blankets, crouched over laptops, when I should have been cooking supper, ironing and reading the classics. Years of attending writing groups and workshops.''

But Susan Siddeley has aqt last "delivered'' a book - and it is about to be launched this month.

Continue reading "Writing, And What It Takes..." »

May 10, 2011

Underground Rant

Susan Siddeley gives a subway ticket seller an earful he is never likely to forget!

Continue reading "Underground Rant" »

July 24, 2010

Estate Tour

...Dona Luisa, gardener and cook for an abundance of years, had virid fingers. Romance has it when she first arrived the flower beds were all timely roses with lavender interceded, but with diligous digging, she transplanted feral flowers from the surrounding hedgegroves, so that today we have towering hollyhocks, rampant morning glorious and dark-eyed daisies in dominance...

Susan Siddeley's "friend'' Gregorio, takes us on as most delightful and utterly unforgettable tour of a Chilean estate, fencing with language as he perambulates. (Or should that be promaberlates?)

Continue reading "Estate Tour" »

April 02, 2010

When The Inspector Called

... “I’ll start in here,” the inspector said, stepping into the kitchen, pencil in one hand, official pad in the other. He looked up and down, glaring at the chip pan on the stove-top, yanking the cord of the regulation extractor fan and running his hand along the stainless steel draining board...

Susan Siddeley recalls the day the inspector came to call at her childhood home.

To read more of Susan's delicious words. please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "When The Inspector Called" »

March 18, 2010

Fear of Football - The World Cup

Susan Siddeley spares a trepidatious thought for the tiny underdogs of football in the forthcoming World Cuo in South Africa.

Continue reading "Fear of Football - The World Cup" »

November 19, 2009

Hold It!

Susan Siddeley's poem expresses a longing for a quick-fix spray with which to varnish the world.

To read more of Susan's splendid poetry and prose please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "Hold It!" »

September 12, 2009

That Certain Age

...She’d made it! Made it through thick and thin, war and peace, raising daughters, moving house, and her husband’s retirement. She was to be properly recognised for her efforts by Her Majesty’s Government. About to collect her wages - as she came to call the weekly instalments - her recompense...

Susan Siddeley remembers her mother in this wonderful warm-hearted article.

For more of Susan's enjoyable poetry and prose please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "That Certain Age" »

August 27, 2009

Tuesday Afternoons

Susan Siddeley sends us a vivid poem about yesteryear ironing days.

Susan points out that the sheets at her rural home, Los Paranoles, some 20 miles from Santiago, Chile, are non-iron, striped or flowered, and fitted.

To read more of Susan's top-drawer verse and prose please visit http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "Tuesday Afternoons" »

August 06, 2009

"Is There Any Jam Or Isn't There''

Star Open Writing contributor Susan Siddeley issues an invitation to join writing workshops at her home which is beside a vineyard in a village on the edge of historic Santiago, Chile, South America.

To read Susan's poems and articles please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading ""Is There Any Jam Or Isn't There''" »

July 30, 2009

Show Time

“Reality TV came too late for my mother, but she’d have been a star,’’ writes Susan Siddeley in this wonderfully funny and heart-warming portrait of her childhood family life.

To read more articles and poems by Susan please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "Show Time" »

June 21, 2009

Thank Heaven For Cheques

Oh the things a woman thinks of when she's in that bank queue.

Susan Siddeley presents an engagingly confessional poem.

To read more of Susan's articles and poems please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "Thank Heaven For Cheques" »

May 06, 2009


…If your man is being generous, showing evidence of hard work and caring, accept it with a smile. He could be out gambling, watching cricket, or behaving like a politician…

In this delicious tale the inimitable Susan Siddeley tells of the day an uninvited chandelier arrived in one lady’s life.

To read more of Susan’s words please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/living_on_three_continents/

Continue reading "Chandelier" »

April 26, 2009


…So it was, the following Sunday, the first after Easter, mounted on a bay mare, I followed our manager, dressed in his splendid huaso (Chilean cowboy) best: tight black trousers, long leather leggings, silver spurs, striped pocho, plus, for this occasion, a satin cloak and the above mentioned silky headscarf. I’d put on a black skirt and a black jacket with a white blouse underneath - the nearest I could manage to the dressy huasa outfit…

Susan Siddeley tells of a colourful event called Quasimodo, and in so doing explains why Victor Hugo gave this name to his misshapen bell-ringing character.

Continue reading "Quasimodo" »

June 25, 2008


Susan Siddeley puts her best presentational foot forwards in applying for a job as a literacy worker.

And if those politically correct Canadian bureaucrats still possess an ounce of common sense they will instantly employ her as a teacher of good humour.

Continue reading "Wanted..." »

April 05, 2008

Picking Up The Beads

…Red meat was also off. Ditto - most unexpectedly - alcohol. As she sipped water and tucked into some lettuce, we went over her recent travels, her latest romance and the way her life was turning out…

Emma is home on a whirlwind visit – but has she really changed?

Susan Siddeley tells a delicious mother-daughter tale.

Continue reading "Picking Up The Beads" »

March 17, 2008

Plum Jam

…Something burning. Heck, the pan contents are beginning to stick. I switch off the heat and make a last trawl for the remaining pits. Twenty to go. Come on stones, yield. One ninety five, two hundred. Great. No appendicitis pinned on my jam!...

Besides producing a sweet treat, Susan Siddeley’s jam making session also yielded words to treasure.

Continue reading "Plum Jam" »

May 19, 2007

The Canadians Are Coming

…Sharon and Dana stood on our front step, grinning and confident. Their red cheeks shone above their rainbow sweaters. They smelt of action and adventure. Their lilting voices rang around the lupins and bounced off the dustbins…

In this wonderfully evocative article Susan Siddeley recalls the time when two young Canadian girls arrived in a Yorkshire hill village.

For more of Susan’s entertaining words please click on Living On Three Continents in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "The Canadians Are Coming" »

April 12, 2007

Before Breakfast

“Oh, Marlene, I love one in a morning, before breakfast. It really helps usher the day in. The trouble is before you know it, it’s another and another, and the next thing it’s ten o’clock… I’m a ten a day woman at the moment - don’t even stop for Corrie and Heartbeat. And last week, when the grandkids came round, I let them watch a video so I could finish one.’’

Ah, but what is Susan Siddeley on about in this delicious monologue? You are sure to be surprised.

Continue reading "Before Breakfast" »

November 30, 2006

Getting It Right

...The war’s been over for years, but Mum’s still fighting. You should see her, making the beds in a morning, throwing the covers around like she’s wrestling the world, or scouring hell out of the front steps...

Susan Siddeley tells a perceptive story about a daughter who likes books, a "lost'' husband and a Mum who has to keep herself busy.

For more of Susan's well-crafted words please click on Living On Three Continents in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Getting It Right" »

November 23, 2006

Back To School

...After me, they never went to the coast again. I was a shock. Who would plan to have a baby less than a year after a wedding when war was threatening? Of course Dad joined up and eventually went overseas. So, instead of a nice warm man to snuggle down with every night, Mum was left holding a wailing baby. Dad never came back...

Read this powerful piece of writing by Susan Siddeley - ten unforgettable paragraphs - and marvel at her skill in summing up a marriage and a life.

Continue reading "Back To School" »

August 24, 2006


…Done well has our Maureen, Mrs Bottomly. Oh yes. Never been one to shirk. Not like her dad! Our Jack should be running that window cleaning business where he works. Would be if it weren’t for his back. Lumbago he says…

In this delicious one-sided conversation-piece Susan Siddeley introduces us to a lady who rarely allows a word in edgeways.

Continue reading "Ambition" »

July 07, 2006


One year ago today, about this time, four young suicide terrorists exploded back-pack bombs in London, three of them on tube trains, one on a double-deck bus. Three of the terrorists were from Leeds.

In this story Susan Siddeley imagines the reaction of a “victim’’ who was far from the scene of the explosions

Continue reading "Bombshell" »

April 27, 2006

My Mother Believed In Miracles

Susan Siddeley’s mother believed in miracles on five days in the week, but on Thursdays and Saturday’s she faltered. Susan’s brief prose-poem vividly encapsulates a many-paged book of memories.

Continue reading "My Mother Believed In Miracles" »

March 23, 2006

I Didn't Think It Could Happen In A Lunchtime

A two-week writing workshop at the home of Susan Siddeley, Los Parronales, in Santiago, Chile, was led by Toronto poet Stuart Ross in January. "Perhaps the most inspiring and productive components of the daily sessions were the prompts - challenges I would have abandoned if I hadn’t been part of a group scribbling away, with lunch, high sun and blue pool waiting outside,'' says Susan.

The following piece is her funny and engaging response to one of those challenges.

Continue reading "I Didn't Think It Could Happen In A Lunchtime" »

November 17, 2005

In The Cut

Sonia phones to confirm the order. One truckload of cement to be poured into the trench along the front of the house... Ah, but what will lie hidden beneath that cement? Susan Siddeley tells a deliciously dark tale.

Continue reading "In The Cut" »

November 10, 2005

Writing Workshops In Chile

Susan and Gordon Siddeley will again be running 14-day writing workshops at their vineyard home in Chile's beautiful central valley. Authors Beth Follett and Stuart Ross will be leading and encouraging participants. There will be lots of sunshine, fine wine and good comradeship, and a chance to see and learn something of Chile and its literary heritage.

Susan has been a regular contributor to Open Writing with her entertaining and surprsing columns. To read them click on Living On Three Continents in the menu on this page.

These events in Chile promise to be a remember-for-the-rest-of-your-life experience. Herewith the full details of the workshops.

Continue reading "Writing Workshops In Chile" »

November 03, 2005


All a plant needs to maintain its vim and vigour is water. Isn't that so? Susan Siddeley is waiting in hope for an answer.

Continue reading "Hope" »

October 06, 2005

A Professional Organiser

“Mum attacked our house every morning, duster in one hand, carpet sweeper in the other, polishing or binning everything in her path. Unfolded clothes, dropped toys, ashes, crumbs and loose papers were an anathema to her…’’ Susan Siddeley pays a wonderful tribute to her mother, a lady whose organizational talents should have been more widely used and recognized.

Continue reading "A Professional Organiser" »

August 25, 2005

'Urray, 'Urray

The girls and staff at Greenmount School have more than one thing to cheer about in this story by Susan Siddeley. And cheer they do, though a few aitches are dropped amid all the enthusiasm.

Continue reading "'Urray, 'Urray" »

August 18, 2005

Pride Day

Susan Siddeley is a spectator at Toronto's annual Gay Pride Parade.

Continue reading "Pride Day" »

July 28, 2005

Highway Robbery

Susan Siddeley and her husband were shocked at the high cost of food and drink in England - until they came upon The Highwayman Cafe.

Continue reading "Highway Robbery" »

July 14, 2005

A Perfect Shirt

Susan Siddeley, whose home base is a farm near Santiago but who also spends part of each year in Canada and England, writes a delicious story about a Chilean boy's steps towards manhood.

Continue reading "A Perfect Shirt" »

June 09, 2005

A Negative Balance

A shot in the night gave author Susan Siddeley an idea. "Nothing prepared me for that first shot...'' she typed. Then the phone rang. "You're currently incurring a negative balance,'' said a voice. An announcement which prompted Susan to write this deliciously surreal column.

Continue reading "A Negative Balance" »

June 02, 2005

Tough As Old Boots

Susan Siddeley maintains her sense of humour as she wrestles with the English and Spanish lanugages, and a particularly tough piece of meat.

Continue reading "Tough As Old Boots" »

May 26, 2005

Call Me - Unreliable?

Susan Siddeley devotes countless hours to her writing, and to encouraging others to write. She and her husband run writing retreats on their farm near Santiago, Chile.

Susan is also a voracious reader. But is she a "good'' reader? This engagingly honest article gives you the answer to that question.

Read it, ponder for a moment,then ask yourself the question: "Am I a good reader.''

Continue reading "Call Me - Unreliable?" »

May 05, 2005


Susan Siddeley writes enticingly of the writing workshop/retreat that she and her husband hosted on their farm in Chile in January this year.

Her account of the talk, the wine, the food, the scenery, the outings, and the sunny, sunny weather will make all who read her column wish they had been there to share the experience.

Maybe you could be, some day. Susan and her husband will be organising similar events. Watch out for details.

Continue reading "Turns" »

December 23, 2004

Christmas There And Here

The word Christmas rings slightly hollow in Chile, which is gearing up for summer at the end of December, says Susan Siddeley. Nevertheless, rampant commercialism has seen to it that Christmas has taken off and is being celebrated in the Northern hemisphere way.

Trees are decorated and snowy scenes constructed in public places as well as in private homes. Whether this is good or bad is often debated, but Chilean children certainly aren't complaining.

Continue reading "Christmas There And Here" »

December 02, 2004

Getting There

Susan Siddeley thought that the menacing bus drivers of Santiago should be cautioned, retrained, fined or jailed. Then comes the day when you have to take the bus...

Continue reading "Getting There" »

November 25, 2004


Susan Siddeley writes of the day when four men showed up, insisting that they had to cut down some trees.

Continue reading "Trees" »

November 11, 2004

Sally And Hoppit

Susan Siddeley's guests think her dog and cat have pretty names. What they don't realise is "Hop it'' in Yorkshire means buzz off, and "sale'' is Spanish for out. Susan's poem will make you smile - but there's a serious point to it.

Books of Susan's poems are availabe for sale. Click on Gillian Arthur in our Links list.

Continue reading "Sally And Hoppit" »

November 08, 2004

Remembering In Toronto

Susan Siddeley will be heading out next Thursday to a Remembrance Day service, ready to give thanks for a good education and the opportunities it has afforded while remembering the unlucky ones who gave their lives in wartime.

Continue reading "Remembering In Toronto" »

November 01, 2004

Red Alert

Red Alert for poets and literary fiction writers.

Book Now!

Only two places remain in a January 2005 residential writing workshop to be held in a country house set in a vineyard outside Santiago, Chile.

“The Reality Project” - the title of the workshop led by Toronto writer and editor Beth Follett - will examine the vocation and responsibility of the writer. Suggested reading includes works by Woolf, Chekhov, Rilke and Neruda … Time is set aside for writing and consultation.

The fourteen-day holiday will include trips to Pablo Neruda’s houses, the Pacific coast, Pre-Columbian museums, and the Andes Mountains.

Cost, including full board and side trips, is $100per day plus airfare.
For details on this (and other workshops) please phone

Susan Siddeley 416 968 0759




Continue reading "Red Alert" »

October 22, 2004


Susan Siddeley's welcomed, and welcoming, poem will strike a chord with many a parent.

Continue reading "Visitors" »

October 17, 2004


Domus speaks of a private matter to a friend, in Richard Mallinson's short story. But Domus's revelation comes back to him as a challenge from an unexpected source.

Continue reading "Domus" »

October 16, 2004

Cornering The Market

Oh those sweet tangerines! Susan Siddeley's poem features Chilean men who have grabbed a very special corner of the market.

Continue reading "Cornering The Market" »

October 09, 2004


After reading Susan Siddeley's super speed-along poem you will probably be more cautious the next time you go supermarket shopping.

Continue reading "Supershop" »

October 02, 2004

Brief Encounter

Who is that, reflected in the mirror-lined passage leading into the shopping mall? Read Susan Siddeley's brisk poem, and discover the unwelcomed truth.

Continue reading "Brief Encounter" »

August 14, 2004

Where There's A Toilet...

In this column Susan Siddeley focuses on the vital topic of...ahem...er...loos. You know. Rest rooms. Washrooms. Toilets!

Continue reading "Where There's A Toilet..." »

July 31, 2004

Guilty With An Explanation

Susan Siddeley deals with a parking ticket - Chile style!

Continue reading "Guilty With An Explanation" »

July 10, 2004

A Full English

On a recent visit to her native England columnist Susan Siddeley found herself overhelmed by an over-abudance of tasty meals which included the fabled full English breakfast.

Continue reading "A Full English" »

June 19, 2004

Disappearing Or Hiding? - The Villages Of North Yorkshire

A rolling landscape between Turner-stacked clouds and an Omo-white lighthouse. Susan Siddeley paints a dazzling word portrait of North Yorkshire and offers good advice to those about to visit one of the choicest parts of England.

Continue reading "Disappearing Or Hiding? - The Villages Of North Yorkshire" »

June 12, 2004


Susan Siddeley is amazed when she sees a caravan parked on the roof of a building in the centre of Toronto.

Continue reading "Caravan" »

June 05, 2004

A Downtown Bench

A Yorkshire lady observes the rich variety of folk using a Toronto park bench - then, as Susan Siddeley reveals in this entertaining article, the city authorities step in and spoil the fun.

Continue reading "A Downtown Bench" »

May 29, 2004

The Pitfalls Of Spring

Susan Siddeley discovers that one needs to be particularly polite to the Litre tree to avoid receiving two lovely black eyes.

Continue reading "The Pitfalls Of Spring" »

May 08, 2004

The Perfect Job

"I am familiar with the trials and tribulations of learning a second language,'' says Susan Siddeley in this application for a job. "Such as being handed a lottery ticket when I wanted some fried chicken...''

Continue reading "The Perfect Job" »

May 01, 2004

Doing It Proper

The birth of a new grandchild reminds Susan Siddeley of things her Auntie Mabel used to say.

Continue reading "Doing It Proper" »

April 24, 2004

The Writer's Dream

The phone rings, and enthusiastic author Susan Siddeley imagines a two-book, even a three-book, publishing deal. Then, doesn't every writer dream?

Continue reading "The Writer's Dream" »

April 10, 2004

Single, Single

Susan Siddeley is bemused by the complexities of ordering a cup of coffee in Toronto.

Continue reading "Single, Single" »

April 03, 2004

Tea With Auntie Mabel

Not long after consuming a full English breakfast you are confronted with a stack of salmon sandwiches, a large pork pie, a jar of pickles, fruit jelly, a Victoria sponge cake, some of your favourite chocolate biscuits...
Susan Siddeley describes the delicious ordeal of visiting her Auntie Mabel.

Continue reading "Tea With Auntie Mabel" »

March 20, 2004

Huddling In Toronto In Winter

No need to huddle to stay warm in Toronto during a chilly Canadian winter. Citizens can follow The Path - an underground network of walkways and shopping malls connecting the downtown buildings.

Yet some folk still huddle in the cold. Columnist Susan Siddeley explains why.

Continue reading "Huddling In Toronto In Winter" »

March 13, 2004

Ups And Downs

Susan Siddeley tells of a life which is divided between three continents.

Continue reading "Ups And Downs" »

March 06, 2004

Growing Ripe And Good

Susan Siddeley lives on her farm near Santiago, Chile, for a number of months every year. She also spends time every year in Toronto, Canada, and in Runswick Bay, a tiny fishing village on the Yorkshire Coast.

Here is the first in a new series of columns by Susan for Openwriting.

Continue reading "Growing Ripe And Good" »


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