Friday, 12 June 2015

Friday 56

Page 56.

'I've missed you this week, Laura Tilling. I kept thinking about you. I don't know why. You've got under my skin, how did you do that?' and he was trying to be light about it, but I could tell he meant it.

This is Rachel Heath's first novel.  The story is set in post-war Britain and South Africa and is a fictional account set around a true story. The title of the book is taken from a statement given during cross-examination by Mrs Gibson at the trail of her murdered daughter, Gay.

'She was one of the finest types of English womanhood, physically, mentally and morally.'

Of course we very quickly learn that Gay was not a 'fine type' at all. I enjoyed the book and felt it well researched and well paced with a clever little sting in it's tail. When I had finished the book I still wondered how Laura and her husband would proceed with their lives.

For Freda's Friday 56

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

London life

As soon as we were back from holiday I had to go to London for a health check, staying overnight with our elder daughter. Her rooftop garden is the size of a postage stamp with little room for extravagant planting
but cut flowers are abundant in every room,
sitting room
and bedroom.
In the evening we went to a pop-up restaurant in Harrods, gawping at their lovely window displays 

and the cars like pieces of bling jewellery that were parked outside!
What did we eat? Here's the menu.

At the end of the meal the chef came and joined us at the table for question and answer. I was amused to hear him describe his treatment of the charred runner beans as 'rather feral'!
For the following day my daughter had arranged her work so that we could spend some time together. What a treat! We walked across the bridge from St Paul's to see the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at Tate Modern.

See how small Shakespeare's Globe Theatre looks dwarfed by the modern buildings around it.  

The London skyline is changing all the time. I like the nicknames that the new structures are given. Can you spot 'the cheese grater'?
Once in the gallery space the views of London were still getting plenty of attention
although the children were busy being creative.
After quite a bit of culture is was a 'spoil mother' afternoon. Oh, YES! I was taken for afternoon tea at Claridge's. Beautiful flower displays were arranged at either side of the entranceway.
Just how I would like my borders to look at home!

Then it was down to the business of sandwiches washed down with a glass of pink fizz before the serious ceremony of tea pouring got underway.
I passed on the warm scones because I'd spotted the cakes on another table
and I was jolly pleased that I had.
(But, do you know, they packed them in a little carton for me to take home!)
Oh, this sort of London life suits me quite well!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Springtime in the Mediterranean is beautiful when the ground is a profusion of wild flowers.

We were in Greece for a much needed dose of vitamin D, but so early in the year the sun can't be guaranteed to shine every day. On a rather dull day we borrowed bicycles from the hotel and explored the local area.

Another day we hired a car and looked a little further afield.

The hotel supplied us with picnic boxes.

And two of our party braved the cold water.
My, but this exploring lark is hard work!
We had booked our holiday in a brand new hotel, the Ikos Olivia. It had been open for only one week prior to our arrival and we were prepared for a bit of initial chaos. The reception was terrible, marooned in the lobby with a glass of fizz because our rooms weren't ready. Not what you want to hear when you've been up since 3am! We were disappointed with the room, when we finally got to it. It was smaller than our airport accommodation, with only a pokey shower room and a terrace with very little sun.
But we spent very little time there so it didn't matter too much.
In a few years when the gardens have matured I think that the site will be beautiful. All the planting has a watering system in place. The walls are going to be dripping in bougainvillea.
Apart from the staff at our arrival and the very frosty main receptionist who told us that the room that we had was, 'very nice' when I asked to be moved to a room with a bath, all the other members of staff were terrific. But the Olivia is a huge complex, not really our sort of thing.
Nevertheless we had a good time!
Georgio's cocktails were excellent

And all the staff at the Ouzo restaurant were FABULOUS, spoiling us rotten with a cake for the birthday girl
 and singing in both English and Greek!
The food was excellent - this was my breakfast.
Yup, both plates.
Necessitating a daily exercise class!
Evenings meant another cocktail (and the opportunity for Heidi to wear another pair of heels)
Can that girl pack!

Then the serious business of studying the menu.
Mmm, veggie starter,
and grilled prawns for main.
On the last night of our holiday the outdoor theatre at the hotel gave their first show.
A colourful ending to a very nice time.