27 April 2022

A Good Read

Love And War In The Appenines by Eric Newby

In 1942 at the tender age of 22 Eric Newby was captured by the Germans during a failed raid on a Sicilian air base, and spent time in a POW camp. This memoir tells the story of his captivity, his escape and the subsequent period that he spent hiding in the inhospitable terrain around the village of Fontellanato. For several months he was sheltered and fed by local people, despite their fear of the German army and the scarcity of their own resources.

It is a story of courage, resilience and human kindness. Newby's style is quite matter of fact, and sprinkled with a lot of humour, but there is no mistaking the danger he was in, and the physical hardships that he had to endure. He describes the everyday life of the villagers, the mountain tracks and woods of the area, the huts, caves and hay lofts where he had to hide, the setting and the period really come to life. He is grateful for all the help he received and respectful even towards those who refused to help, appreciating the difficulties they faced. Amid all the difficulties he met the woman who became his life-long love.

It's a very absorbing read.

∼ Happy Reading ∼ 

Polly x

23 April 2022

Easter In The Cotswolds

Alexandra House Hotel, Swindon was a good base for my friends M & J and myself for our 3 night Easter break. We travelled by coach stopping in Oxford for a couple of hours

where we had time to enjoy street entertainment

fancy a bite - get it - bite!! 

apart from lots of food stalls the rest of the market was spectacularly underwhelming 

the indoor market however was much better.
Our hotel had a pretty Easter display at reception

some nice seating areas and bar areas
and the rooms were very good, warm with a super comfortable bed and en-suite.

Our first trip was a scenic drive through some pretty Cotswold villages to Bourton-on-the-Water. Easter holiday + glorious weather = people, lots of people, it was heaving. 

Admiring a garden on the way to the delightful, excellent Model Village.
As a keen miniaturist I was in my element. 

Built of Cotswold stone it is a one-ninth scale model of the actual village, complete with model village within the model village! And it is the only grade II listed model village in the country.

The River Windrush flows under Bourton's famous bridges providing
a beautiful backdrop to the miniature beeches, cherries and chestnut trees.

You can hear music in the tiny church

 and can wander the lanes peering into all the different buildings.

Eastfield House used to be the cottage hospital

The Motor Museum

The Croft ice cream parlour

Look at the cute little post box

The following day we visited Bath starting with a guided coach tour doing the usual
tourist stuff around the city, which was very nice.

You can't visit Bath without going to the Royal Crescent
and hearing about the eye watering property prices!!

Planted in 1793 this tree is one of the oldest
architectuarally planted trees in the world

Timber Treasures, the shop behind the tree, has an interesting history. It's part of the old Abbey Gatehouse, and, at 600 years old it is one of the oldest buildings in the city. In 1817 in a room above the shop a young Mary Shelly finished the final draft of the classic Gothic novel "Frankenstein". Over the years the shop has been a gin palace, a brothel, a greengrocers, a Temperance Meeting House and an antique shop. Today it sells hand made wooden gifts.

We found a wonderful bookshop 

With so many tourists there were queues everywhere. The queue for the Abbey was the full length of the building. J and I can walk miles but we're not good at standing, so we all decided that once you've seen
one Abbey/Cathedral you've seen them all.
At £25 we decided not to go into the Roman Baths

The Pump Room restaurant looked very nice

Pulteney Bridge
The walk along the river is very nice.

We had a lovely few days.

∼ Be safe and well∼
Polly x

18 April 2022

An OK Read

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty

Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle are beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, a pair of blonde identical twins, and an outlier, redheaded Gemma. They attract attention everywhere they go. Whenever they're together, laughter, drama, and mayhem ensue, they are like one entity, but apart each is very different, and very much her own woman, dealing with her own share of ups and downs.
Lyn has organised her life into one big checklist, juggling the many spinning plates of work, marriage, and motherhood with expert precision, but is she as together as her diary would have her seem?
Cat’s marriage isn’t as perfect as she would like, which is causing her doubt about bringing a baby into her very precarious world.
And free-spirited Gemma ends relationships when they reach the six-month mark. Will she ever find lasting love?
The novel follows the Kettle sisters through their thirty-third-year, as they struggle to survive their divorced parents' dating each other, their technologically savvy grandmother, a cheating husband, and champagne hangovers.

I think the “Three Wishes” are the letters they read out at their birthday dinner, each saying how they saw their future unfold, but secretly wishing for something that a sister already had.

I was left feeling a little indifferent, there’s not a lot of substance to it, it’s just ok.

∼ Happy Reading ∼ 

Polly x

14 April 2022

Holiday Roundup

On my daughter's birthday we were able to use the ferry which had opened on the 4th April. There were still a few bits of flood debris around but nothing that was considered dangerous. 

It's a great way to get around and I'm glad that I got to experience it.
After crossing we walked along the river.

Passing Gloria and Gerard. The sculptures by Mark Andrews were designed to celebrate the wealth of wool in this district. The building to the right is part of the original wool stores. Queensland wool was originally shipped to Sydney. But in 1898 the state held it's first wool sale. This coincided with the completion of the Bulimba rail branch line along the waterfront which meant that the many sidings on the line provided access to wharves, wool stores, and factories. Wool from all over Queensland came to the stores by ship and rail, and motorised transport after WWII, creating jobs and prosperity.

We went to the Powerhouse. I forgot to take a photo. It's a huge pre-war industrial building. With two main theatres, gallery spaces, restaurants and bars, it hosts exhibitions, events and functions from weddings to conferences. We had a few drinks and then walked to one of my daughter's favourite restaurants, Zero Fox. Full of alcohol and delicious food we returned home.

On my last day we visited Kangaroo Point, a popular recreation spot. As well as a lovely scenic walk beside the river, it also offers parklands, bikeways, playgrounds, picnic and barbecue spots, ab-sailing and climbing. 

These girls didn't mind me taking photos. They were doing a rescue task as part of their university course. One girl was going to ab-sail down about half way, then the other girl would go down to rescue her. There were also some fire fighters further along, they practice regularly to maintain their life saving skills.

The heritage-listed cliffs are approx 20 metres high. They even have night lights.

The sign says "Entry to climbers only"

You can see the path below where we had walked from, and just about make out some steps on the left. We climbed up to go to Joeys cafe. I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, but recovered immediately once at the top. 

So of course we deserved coffee and cake!!

Nice views

This was from a previous day, I thought I would include it as it's my favourite flower - Frangipani, beautifully simple with a divine scent. It didn't arrive with the flower, it was one I had picked earlier.

Lots of happy times and memories to sustain me until I return.

∼ Be safe and well∼
Polly x

12 April 2022

Anzac Square

Well I'm back home. I had good flights, managing a bit of sleep on each one. And I had a good first night's sleep. This first week back I will be saying "This time last week". I got very behind with my holiday blogging, so I'm doing a bit of catching up.

Anzac Square was opened in 1930. It is the State War Memorial of Queensland, a significant public and historical site dedicated to the men and women who have served their country in conflict and in peace since the Boer War.

I think these are Boab trees

The spectacular Shrine of Remembrance

with the beautiful Eternal Flame burning in the centre,
which unfortunately you can't see in my photo.

The inscription reads
"In memory of the Queensland heroes who
fell in the South African War 1899 - 1902"

Although it's in the heart of the CBD Anzac Square is a lovely quiet place
to stand and reflect, stroll through or sit for a while.

 ∼ Be safe and well∼
Polly x
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...