Monday, February 24, 2014


I've just finished "The 100-Foot Journey", and before that, "The Book Thief".
So, what do I think of the first two books on my list to read before watching the film...

The Book Thief...
I loved the way this was written...not because of the unusual narrator so much as the originality of the writing. Reading the book was a new and refreshing experience for me.

It didn't concern me that the full horror of what was happening to the Jews in Nazi Germany wasn't a feature...I know critics have been savage regarding this omission, but I really don't need another book or film to shock me back into line... lest I forget. I was happy with the whole focus being centred around the perspective of  a young German girl along with family and friends...albeit through the eyes of 'Death' the ever present narrator, who's articulation gave plenty of indication, to me at least, of the horror of events, merely by mention of his harvest of souls. 

I also appreciated the very short chapters and the reminders and explanations of what was to come in the pages ahead. At first I thought it would spoil the plot...knowing what was to happen before it actually happened, but as it turned out, it added another dimension.

I'm really looking forward to the film. No, really, I am.

The Hundred-Foot Journey...

I never thought a book centred around French haute cuisine would hold my attention for very long, but oh, my goodness, what a treat this book was.  Outstanding!

Admittedly my interest did wane for a few pages towards the end, but I was soon hooked back in and finished the last page with a smile.

The film comes out in August starring Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory and Manish Dayal as Hassan Haji...the Indian boy who makes the 100-foot journey from his families' newly established Indian restaurant situated in the south of France, to a competitor's Michelin 2-star kitchen just across the road. For me, the journey is really from Mumbai to Paris via England, but I guess the real drama is contained within that hundred-foot distance separating Le Saule Pleureur and Maison Mumbai.

The anticipation of watching this movie is palpable. It will be such a treat. I know I'll be in France when it comes out, but I don't want to watch it in French, so I guess I'll be treating myself to the DVD. An early Christmas present :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I could get used to this.

Yesterday I woke up to the message on our door with a little present...I suspect it was from the Telfords a few doors down the corridor.

...and then Bev served up a breakfast treat.

We had lunch out.

Incidentally, this is a shot of David's Valentine Tree to Eileen...

Each leaf (one for every year he's known her) is heart-shaped with a message.
This caused me grief with Bev at the time, me being so thoughtful and all :)

Anyway, today we were invited next door to breakfast with the Bartschis, Moffatts and Copes...yes, the decor and furniture are the same in all our apartments (except that table, which was borrowed from downstairs).

It was a great starter.

The main course was traditional American pancakes with 100% pure maple syrup with scrambled eggs containing something delicious, along with sausage, bacon and ham...with second helpings.

The company and conversation matched the breakfast...awesome!

We will have lunch with the Flinns.

There's nothing like eating out.

Life is good.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I'm 62 today

The mind, as you age,
Is an artist, it seems.
Monet paints your mem'ries,Picasso your dreams. -Robert Brault.

Monday, February 17, 2014

An evening with friends

Belated Feb 14th Sweethearts evening...

The venue was packed with less than a minute walk to our apartment at the end of it all.

The food was exquisite, the company first class and the evening a great success.

During the entertainment section Doug Murray sang a few, I sang a few (thanks to the Slatters for the loan of the guitar), all the men sang a few to the ladies and everyone else sang a few to everyone else.

The poetry (Linford original) was pure gold.

It doesn't get much better than a night like tonight.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Southport is supposedly by the sea...and so it is, once the tide comes in. Southport itself is charming and  we found lots of interesting shops and things to see. The biggest surprise was the weather...such a beautiful day. So yes, a few hours well spent.

Lunch first at the Prince of Wales.

It was quite a spread.

Waiting for the loo.

Pretty spectacular in its day...all original features.

I guess the tide is out.

At the end of the second longest pier in England.

 Some fellow workers.

The sea is out there somewhere. This is at the END of the pier which is over a mile long.

Grant helping out some tourists.

We never did get to paddle in the sea.

 Nancy and George.

Some of the original ironwork was spectacular. 

Didn't really have time to scratch the surface. We quite liked that little tree with all love hearts hanging with pens dangling for people to write their love notes. They even made provision for 10' tall people :)