29 August 2023

A Nice Walk

Last week's walk wasn't as pretty as most, there was a fair amount of walking on roads. But we did walk through some countryside

and found this gorgeous converted church.
The owners told us a bit about the history.

The public footpath goes right through the garden
following the line of their footpath, just where that lawnmower is.

They are going to apply to move the path to the boundary of the garden
where I was standing to take this photo. It would offer them more privacy
and give photographers a better view of the whole building. 

Back at the pub where I had a free meal! After ordering our food my lasagne didn't arrive. I was just about to enquire when the waitress who took our order came over, she was very apologetic as she explained it hadn't gone through to the kitchen. I think it was the supervisor who then came over, also very apologetic, to tell me that they wouldn't charge me for it, AND when it did arrive the kitchen had given me an extra large portion!! Although a free meal is a bonus it did mean that most of my group were halfway through their meals by the time mine arrived, and one had finished, then I felt a bit like they were waiting for me to finish before they could go. I did say I didn't mind if they left but they seemed happy to finish their drinks and chat.

∼ Be safe and well ∼

Polly x

21 August 2023

A Nice Day Out

Our latest U3A bus pass group outing was to Southend-on-Sea. I like seaside towns, probably because they hold happy memories of childhood holidays.
The weather was good, sunny with a few clouds but very warm.

Mind you I don't like the amusements anymore,
too noisy and I have developed a phobia for heights!

After a lunch of fish-n-chips M and I had a walk around. There are 46 large elephant sculptures and 72 baby elephants scattered around landmarks of Southend, Leigh and Shoeburyness.

The art trail is free but purchasing a map supports Haven Hospices. Unfortunately I only managed to see a few. If I had been on my own
I would have walked around a lot more. 

We were going to walk to the end of the pier and ride the train back
but the weather had become overcast and VERY blustery,
so we took the train there and back. 

The station

The train

At 1.3 miles the pier is the world's longest pleasure pier.

Doesn't that look cold, it wasn't though, I was brave and wore a short sleeved dress and didn't have a cardigan with me!! 

Cafés, restaurants and shops at the Arches along the promenade.

We finished our day with a coffee in M&S café.

∼ Be safe and well ∼

Polly x

15 August 2023

A Good Read

The Lies We Tell by Jane Corry

Sarah always thought of herself and her husband, Tom, as good people. But that was before their son Freddy came home saying he'd done something terrible. Begging them not to tell the police.
Sarah and Tom are thrust into a moral dilemma, how far are they willing to go to protect their only child?
As the lies build up and Sarah is presented with the perfect opportunity to get Freddy off the hook, she is faced with a terrifying decision . . .
Save her son . . . or save herself?

I really enjoyed this well written psychological thriller, it has a very good premise and plenty of plot twists to keep you invested to the end.

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x

10 August 2023

A Nice Walk

 This walk was around Hatfield Peverel

St Andrew's church

The wall of remembrance

Harvest time already

A short rest.
Our leader had sweets - haribos and Werther's toffees. I chose a toffee

Look at that sky! The week before the walk the long range weather forecast was for rain but we had glorious weather, warm and sunny with just a few clouds.

Back in the village there were lots of very pretty gardens. This was my favourite with the wheelbarrow, pergola and a stunning huge lily.

After a nice 4½ mile walk we had all worked up an appetite.
I had gammon, egg and chips, it was delicious.

∼ Be safe and well ∼

Polly x

3 August 2023

A Good Read

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Set in 1957, the south-east suburbs of London, Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local newspaper. Disappointed in love and on the brink of forty she is living with her truculent, overbearing mother, a drab existence from which there is no likelihood of escape.
When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, Jean is assigned to write a feature about Gretchen, to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely (and not unpleasantly) intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen is now a friend, and her quirky and charming daughter Margaret a sort of surrogate child. And Jean doesn't mean to fall in love with Gretchen's husband, Howard, but Howard surprises her with his dry wit, his intelligence and his kindness — and when she does fall, she falls hard.

This is such a tender, beautiful novel. I loved the characters and enjoyed reading about their lives. I particularly enjoyed the 50’s setting with descriptions of work life, home life, fashion and leisure, all portrayed so well. And it's delightful how Jean's fluffier news pieces about domestic matters are interspersed throughout the novel. I remember people talking about “The first cigarette of the day” being a small pleasure! Different times.

I love the dress on the cover.

BUT… the end. A lot of reviews I have read agree - was it really necessary to end like it did? and, if you don't like the ending of a novel after really enjoying the story, is it still a successful reading experience? Well yes it was for me.

∼ Happy Reading∼ 

Polly x
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