Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

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November Books!

Some more wonderful books this month.  Love to hear what you have read recently, I really enjoy your recommendations.

June Emerson- Albania-the search for the Eagle’s song. Not only is June an artist, a practising musician in her 80s, still working in the sheet music company which bears her name and inspiration and organiser of the Repair Cafe, she is also a bit of a travel writer. There is no end to her talents. In the late 80s on almost a whim she spotted an advert for a guided tour in Albania. Thus began a love affair with the country, the music and the people, and in due course two booklets. A Fascinating read. This lady really is my role model.

Ian McEwan-Nutshell- unborn babe with amazing thinking skills over hears his mother and her lover planning the murder of his father. The book struck me as odd and thought-provoking, until page 124. How could I be so dense? I had my “Reading like a Professor” lightbulb moment. Then all of a sudden the book was clever, sheer genius and brilliant! Loved it. If anyone is looking for a book for Book Club, this has got to be one, so much to get your teeth into, don’t let people give up, See how long it takes for their light bulb moment. Even the names of the characters should have told me. As I said , just dense.

Kate Atkinson- A God in Ruins- a stand alone follow on from Life after Life. The main protagonist is Teddy Todd, RAF fighter pilot in the Second World War. There are a lot of chapters about this part of  his life as well as about his family. It’s a good read, but the chapters are each very long, too long to read one at bedtime, at least for me. They also dot around a lot from one time period to another , which is confusing to me as I couldn’t always recall who the secondary characters were from one chapter to when they appeared again. Also I got bored with them all, the book is just too long for me, which is what I thought about Life after Life. Love to know if anyone else has read this one and what you thought.

Joanne Harris- Blackberry Wine- I have waited ages for this one to appear in the library. It’s a lovely book, if you enjoyed Chocolat , you will enjoy this too. Young boy befriends old man who is a whizz of a gardener and herbalist. Later on young boy as young man writes a best seller based on the character of the gardener, then moves to France where the magic begins.I was reminded of the message from Joni Mitchell about the pink paradise putting up a parking lot, the sentiment fitting in with our discussion in my York City Wallls post on tourism. One of my favourite book this year.

Samuel Beckett- Waiting for Godot- re-read of a loved play, prior to seeing in performed at the Stephen Joseph theatre in Scarborough.. It’s like marmite you love or loathe it. A play in which nothing happens while waiting for Godot. Bit like life!

Emma Healey -Elizabeth is Missing- this one was recommended to me by Simply Hooked in the October books comments. A woman in her late 70s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, worries why she can’t find her friend Elizabeth and why no-one listens to her concerns. This story is entwined with her earlier life and her missing sister. A good read and especially good for highlighting the symptoms of this terrible condition, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as one after another of my own Mum’s peccadillos, as we thought them at the time, were mentioned. Especially poignant were the endless notes and the most irritating reading out loud of street signs. A well observed book, and I would sincerely recommend everyone reads this, because it may save you months of misery whilst you try to cope in these early days should your friend or relative fall victim to this illness.

Have you read and enjoyed or not enjoyed any of these? Has anyone been to Albania? I spent a long time reading about the country after reading June’s book on t’internet, fasicanting country and the folk costumes looked so Greek to me. And please do give me your recomnedations. Rainbow Junkie, I am reading yours right now An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris.


California Dreams….and a bit of Arizona!

It is great to be back home… We had a fantastic trip and my head is brimming with images, people, places, scenery, new experiences,thoughts, ideas, creativity. It has been a simply wonderful experience The jet lag has set in, there are two suitcases of washing to do and normal life awaits, but I can’t wait anymore to start writing about this trip!

Four years ago we visited San Fransisco, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe. We only had ten days and vowed to come back for longer. Unfortunately Eric got cancer, but after treatment made a full recovery and we started saving for the trip! Both of us have milestone birthdays this year- he has already passed the day, mine is still to come, so it seemed right that this should be the year for this adventure.

So our first port of call was San Fransisco. Last time we came we had bought an outfit for the then baby Master H from Macy’s so it was only right and proper to buy one for Master T this time. So we began with coffee in Union Square and the trip to Macy’s.


Eric loves the film Vertigo  which Hitchcock filmed in California to show case the state. We had visited most of the locations on our first visit- this time the plan was to visit the remaining ones. So the next stop was to the Legion of Honor. A lovely art gallery- with rather a nice Monet- waterlillies.


For Vertigo fans- we found the pillars from which Madelaine is seen gazing at the picture of Carlotta, but there is no such portrait!

No visit to any city is complete without a great deal of pavement (sidewalks- I gather pavement means road in the US) pounding, and oh boy are the streets in San Fransisco something else!


See what I mean. These first three pictures were taken by Eric, on his new birthday present. The rest are taken by me on a slightly inferior camera but one that meets my needs. Anyway off we go again.

Last we visited this row of houses called the Painted Ladies and loved them so much we just had to come back. They are so pretty, and by the time we got there the infamous fog had lifted and the sun was shining and people were out with their dogs, and sitting on the grass and just chilling!


Eric is also just a tad obsessed with the Golden Gate bridge and one thing we really wanted to do was to take a boat trip round the Bay and under the bridge. So here we are waiting to go.


And here is the Bridge, the fog descended just after the trip began, and this is the best photo I took!


Now as it happens I quite liked the fog, because whilst there is a fog there is also a fog horn which makes a rather a mournful noise and is rather atmospheric. Don’t worry Eric says I am weird too if that’s what you are thinking.

The trip round the Bay takes you to Alcatraz ( we went there last time, and it was a pretty amazing place and I would not have liked to be there)


And San Fransisco looks so very lovely from the sea, can you imagine what it must have been like to be so close and so far away, if incarcerated in Alcatraz- apparently the inmates could hear the noises from the city.


And so the boat goes to Golden Gate Bridge and under it and round back again, and this is my best closer up picture.


And finally it is back to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, where we delighted to find that there were still these guys in residence- we had heard they had gone and we were so thrilled to see them here.


And of course the sun had come out again


I didn’t actually take this picture, but it is my camera. Anyway the sun was out again and the sea looked just perfect.



And so it was onto the next stage of our adventure- The Road Trip. And as we collect the car from the airport ( cheaper from the airport rather than in town—Why?) Eric says it has always been his ambition to drive over Golden Gate Bridge- WHY? I said he was a tad obsessed didn’t I? What he didn’t realise was that first it entailed driving through San Fransisco-


AAAGH! Scary or what! And so onto the bridge and over! And then the sat nav sets in- now we could have had a car with one fitted but Eric has downloaded a free one to his phone. There was a really good reason why MaryLou was free- she gets lost, and where did she get lost for the first time- coming over the bridge, and what does she do, but gets us back on the Bridge going back into the city. But Marylou is a resourceful  satnav lady and after we have paid the toll ( you only pay in one direction) she takes us through the Golden Gate car park and up onto the Bridge again- so yup that’s right we drove it 3 TIMES.


And so we were finally on our way.

PS Eric says he doesn’t need to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge any more.

to be continued…

Love to have any comments or questions, which I will reply to.




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