Friday, 1 November 2019

October reading

We discussed, 'Lake Success' at our October book club last week. It had been chosen by one of the group because it promised in the reviews to be a humorous read and so many of our book choices this year had turned out to be pretty depressing. Well, this one was no different! As a reflection of modern day America it painted a very grim picture and because Britain tends to follow where America leads it made uncomfortable, and at times unpleasant, reading. (None of us plan to make a Greyhound bus journey any time soon!) Although we felt the book to be rather flawed, with a weak, unrealistic ending it did engender a really lively discussion. The 'humour' mentioned in the reviews came from a few one-liners in the Woody Allan style. 
Jeanette Winterson's re-making of, 'A Winter's Tale' I found interesting, and an obvious choice of Shakespeare's plays for her to choose given her background as an adopted child.
I enjoyed the book, especially her piece at the end of the story that analyses  the role of forgiveness and time in Shakespeare's later plays.

I have yet to finish Pat Barker's, 'The Silence of the Girls'. The book is a re-telling of the Trojan War from the female perspective. I'm loving it and  shall have to look again at 'The Iliad' which I haven't read since my school days.  The book is on loan from the travelling library, a hardback edition, nicely printed and with a good cover design and end papers, all of which adds my pleasure in reading.

Sunday, 27 October 2019


After an early breakfast one morning we caught the local bus into the nearby city of Rethymno so that we could look around before the heat of the day. 
While the others sat for a drink in a café at the Venetian harbour I had a wander around.
Another beautiful day promised and nothing much was stirring.

We walked the rather precarious path to the mouth of the harbour and gazed out to sea.
Then we strolled round the headland and made our way up to the Fortezza fortress,
situated in defensive position on a hill overlooking the city and the coast. It was built in the 16th century by the Venetians to protect its citizens from Ottoman invasions. This is the main entrance, the eastern gate, facing the town and not visible from the sea. Above the entrance there is a niche which was there to hold the lion of St Mark, the Venetian symbol.

The coast road can just be seen far below.

Looking up towards the gunpowder warehouse and Sultan Ibrahim Khan Mosque.

The western auxiliary gate

The warehouse complex.
The  'mihrab', the prayer niche inside the mosque, pointing to Mecca.
It was lovely to walk around the perimeter of the fortress to enjoy a light breeze and the far-reaching views out to sea.

A hot day. Time to wander through the town to catch a bus back to the hotel.

A rather strange decoration - do the legs light up at night?

Friday, 25 October 2019

White Palace

Last week we were in Crete with friends for a blast of sunshine before winter sets in. We were a little further along the coast from the hotel where we stayed in the spring, this time with a far better beach  and a shallow sea that made swimming safe and pleasurable. We had booked a sea view room and arrived late in the evening. "How lovely," I said when we opened our French windows and heard the waves on the shore. "I don't think that we've ever had a room so close to the sea before."
At 3am I was saying, "shut the door, those waves are driving me mad!" Inconsistent? Moi!
The weather was glorious and part way through the holiday things got even better when we were upgraded to a suite. (We were on holiday to celebrate my birthday.)

The suite gave us plenty of private space,

with plenty of outdoor space for our friends to join us.
A great place to watch the sun go down.

Aah, it was good!

Monday, 21 October 2019

Visible Monday

This week Patti, who hosts Visible Monday, asks if we are in a city or country mood. She is currently in Manhattan and loving it. I'm more of a country person. I like to visit cities but not to stay. After an exciting time I'm more than ready to  return to the quiet of the countryside. Last night we went to the city of Wells where Himself was participating in an event at the Literary Festival. 
The cathedral city of Wells is small, of a scale that I'm comfortable with, I could quite happily imagine myself living there.
It's autumn in England, with drizzling rain. It's damp and cold, so it's rap-up-well weather; woollen jumper, coat and trousers, and leather ankle boots - with socks!
Linking up with Patti to see who's wearing what.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Exhibition at Andelli Art

This evening we went to a preview of work by artists who had studied at Leeds College of Art fifty years ago. Well of course were interested - it is where we had also studied, but rather further back than fifty years! I was particularly taken with the work of Kathy Dalwood who was exhibiting examples from her plaster bust collection. (We recalled her father from our student days. He had been a Gregory Fellow at the university and had given occasional lectures at the art school.)
Kathy beside her work.

I liked this Napoleon bust with it's pristine and delicate frills of plaster. There is a rather mad hatter quality that runs through the whole collection.