Girl on the Tube

Having lived in Wirral and Oxford until I was 22, I'd but rarely travelled on the Tube until I started working in Upminster. Even then, I travelled mostly by bus or I walked. It took me a while to work out where the lines were connected, how to avoid the interchanges with the longest walks,…

We are the Quarantineys

A long gap between posts indicates nothing more sinister than me having better things to do. This blog is going to have more than a touch of "what we did on our holidays" about it. I fear it will only foment jealousy and resentment. Travelling back from Médoc via Mareuil-sur-Belle *** We are back in…

Wheeling the oils

Here's a middle-class, 21st-century question. Where do you get your olive oil from? I am more than old enough to remember when the answer was almost invariably "Boot's". Olive oil in tiny Crosse & Blackwell bottles were sold in pharmacies for unblocking your ears. That was the only place I encountered olive oil until I…

The Little Escape

We finally made our way out of London on Bank Holiday Monday (how can you tell during a lockdown?) and drove south for an hour or so into Kent past Churchill's house, Chartwell. It was the first time either of us had ventured more than four miles from home for 10 weeks. It felt odd…

Avoid it like the plague

Last week I visited Arrowe Park Hospital (A.K.A. Coronavirus Central) with my father, who'd been sent for an X-ray. Our visit was enlivened by the sighting of a rat making its way swiftly and confidently along the corridor. Eventually the poor wee thing was cornered and forced to surrender to overwhelming force, i.e. a woman…

Why I love Greece

My first visit to Greece was in April 1971. I was 16¼. Although I’d just dropped Greek for Spanish at A Level (and never regretted it), I was still studying Latin and Ancient History and I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of spending three weeks in Greece if I could help it. My former…

In Northern Greece

Yes, that's where we are - so there won't be a blog this week. But there should be plenty to talk about next time. In the meantime... thanks to the two loyal friends who've already reviewed my ebook on Amazon. If you are one of the many millions of potential fans who haven't yet read…

Freedom to travel

Watching the D-Day 75 Commemorations on TV has made me think, and not for the first time, how exceptionally fortunate I am, and how easy it is to take such good fortune for granted. It's obvious, when listening to British veterans of 6 June 1944 talking about their experiences, that they recall the events of…