Thursday 31 March 2016

The joy of reading ... when you're 10

We're having some very strange weather here in (usually) sunny Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Our early mornings are foggy with strange, dense mists blowing in from the sea. They burn off as the day goes on, but every morning when I open my shutters I find myself staring out into a real pea souper. It appeals to my inner sense of drama, and makes me wonder what mysteries might be concealed behind that wall of white ...

And during those foggy mornings, when he can't go out exploring with his faithful hound, young Emi has been spending his time reading this wonderful book, One dog and his boy, by Eva Ibbotson. It's a great tale of derring do, about one boy's battle with his over-bearing parents to keep a little dog called Fleck.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Red Letter Paella Day ...

Today was a Red Letter Paella Day. Back home in sunny Sant Feliu de Guíxols there's nothing quite like paella de mariscos to keep the troops happy. It's the very taste of home.

And while I was working away in the kitchen I listened to a really interesting podcast by Jerry Brotton for the BBC History Magazine. He's just published a book This Orient Isle about the influence of Islam on Elizabethan England, focussing on how Elizabeth forged alliances with the great Islamic Empires of the day after she was excommunicated by the Pope, and how this, in turn, impacted upon English society. I've not yet read the book, but he wrote a great article on the subject for the March edition of the BBC History Magazine, and the podcast (link attached: Muslims and Jews in 16th Century England) is well worth listening to. It's such an interesting angle on a fascinating period of history.

All the best for now,

Bonny x

Monday 28 March 2016

Happy Easter ...

... from the snowy mountains of Andorra.

Vall Nord Ski Resort, Andorra
Emi striding out with Victor, his ski instructor at Vall Nord
We're celebrating Easter with a helping of the white stuff. We've been spending our days skiing, and then coming back into town for the most amazing spa-pampering and fabulous food. And, of course, after all the calories we burn off up the mountain we can really tuck in and enjoy ourselves.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

the cheesemonger and his tomb in the leafy churchyard of St. Mary's, Ealing ...

When I'm going to South Ealing tube station I often take a shortcut past the allotments, and down the side of St. Mary's churchyard. St Mary's is a rather lovely old church. Most of the building dates from the eighteenth century with later Victorian and twentieth century additions.

 Now I have to 'fess up: I've always been fascinated by churchyards. To me they represent libraries filled with the life-stories of those interred within, all laid out and filed in a random system of headstones and tombs. 

And there's one large, distinguished-looking family vault, resting in a prime position just beside the wall of St Mary's church that's always made me pause.

The family name, Strudwick, sounded very solid and English and respectable to my Irish ears. And I've always wondered about the patriarch lying within, surrounded by several of his nearest and dearest. His rather succinct inscription reads: 

William Strudwick died December 30 1829 aged 60 years

The other morning I had to wait around for some workmen. I couldn't get on with any proper work of my own. But I had my laptop and an internet connection. So, to while away the time, I decided to do a little on-line detective work to see what I could unearth about this William Strudwick.