Reading matters…….

Wanting some lighter reading I picked through our shelves and chose a Fifties copy of 006 copy.jpgGeorge Simenon’s ‘The Blue Room’. I often think it is quite surprising how French (and other) writers are stylistically worlds apart from British authors. Same with films of course. It was a real pleasure to read this short but very satisfying novel so quickly. Just recovering from a hernia operation I hadn’t much else to do….I certainly couldn’t walk anywhere. French authors seem much more capable of getting right inside a character so that you almost become the character yourself and feel what they feel. In this case an adulterer on trial for a murder he did not commit as a result of what the French call ‘une grande passion’  or an intense relationship and affair. The ingredients of the novel were straightforward – a small French village where everyone knows everyone, an illicit affair, an interrogation. The result – something extraordinarily powerful. This book is in translation although you certainly would not know it, and who is to say how good the translation is. But the writing is top quality and expressed with economy. Having said all  this I am glad that I have just, by accident, seen on-line the following comments on Simenon by John Banville………

‘He has a Nabokovian ability to convey in words the tactility of things, although the words that he employs and the sentences he makes of them are always humble and plain. He prided himself on his modest vocabulary and the spareness of his language; having finished a book – which he would do in the space of 10 days or so – he would emerge from his study shaking the finished manuscript by the spine, in order, as he joked, to get rid of the last remaining adjectives.’ 

Wonderful! ( I don’t think he used a single exclamation mark either).

We have quite a large Crime section on our shelves (bigger than in either of our s-l300.jpgbookshops), and there are quite a few novels which we perhaps haven’t read or have forgotten reading. One such was Nicci French’s ‘The Red Room’. Totally coincidence that I chose The Red Room immediately after The Blue Room! In fact fool that I am I have only just noticed……..Anyhow what an unexpectedly great read this was. In a somewhat different way to Simenon, French also got right inside the head of our protagonist, a female psychologist helping to solve a series of murders whilst trying to get a grip on her own private life. The scenario and plot were utterly believable and all the characters well drawn. A really gripping Crime novel of the first order.

Unknown.jpeg‘How Many Socks Make A Pair?’  is what’s called a book about surprisingly interesting everyday maths. It does fulfil its function. However, Rob Eastaway sometimes explains the maths and sometimes doesn’t – with his ‘you get the idea of this, but I won’t go into it in detail as the maths is a bit complicated’. I found this frustrating as sometimes you get the impression that he is just serving you up one puzzle or conundrum after another. Still, enjoyable on the whole……..

A Family get-together……

20190504_103652 copy.jpgAlways nice to have a family get-together and this one to celebrate two birthdays Katherine and David. It was good that Aiisha could explore our new play park in the village which seemed to go down well….20190504_103803 copy.jpgand from there an easy transfer to the Amusement Centre in Looe with more rides and the opportunity taken to win two unicorns.20190504_132148 copy.jpgThe beach was good too with Aiisha dressed for the weather and David apparently fearful..20190504_151424 copy.jpegA Birthday cake at home was well received.20190504_181859 copy.jpgNext day, a Sunday, we were off to Falmouth for a proper Birthday meal. We parked by Kimberley Gardens with its even better play park……..20190505_131210 copy.jpg20190505_131922 copy.jpgwhich even pleased some of the adults……20190505_134122 copy.jpg20190505_134845 copy.jpg                           A nice place to live here with its Edwardian houses….20190505_135031 copy.jpg20190505_135035 copy.jpgVery big fish in the pond too…20190505_135142 copy.jpg20190505_135407 copy.jpgOur meal was at the Star and Garter winner of Best Foodie Pub in the South West by Food Magazine. Great views.20190505_142230 copy.jpegPost lunch some light exercise on Gyllngvase beach. A nice day all round. 20190505_171440 copy.jpg20190505_171654 copy.jpegOn the following day we went to Lydford Gorge in North Devon, lots of steps through woodland, to see the 30m White Lady waterfall20190506_143408 copy.jpeg20190506_143810 copy.jpeg20190506_143921 copy.jpg20190506_143954 copy.jpg                       We then wandered along the trail (this goes from one NT cafe to another!)…..20190506_145324 copy.jpga beautiful walk…..20190506_145354 copy.jpg20190506_151514 copy.jpgwith the occasional rapids and falls…20190506_151704 copy.jpg20190506_152350 copy.jpgin parts it is quite narrow with a deep drop and the handrails then prove useful.20190506_153118 copy.jpg                        and at one point there is a ‘money bench’ with inserted coins of all ages and descriptions…….I must admit I am easily impressed sometimes, but all of us were agreed it was a magnificent walk and worth repeating.20190506_154050 copy.jpgOn the last day we went to the climbing wall at Looe which said it would be open but wasn’t. We took the opportunity then to have a look round the Sardine Factory which tells you all about the history of Looe particularly as a sardine centre, and Katherine told us that it was very similar to the one in L’Escala. 20190507_104827 copy.jpg20190507_104850 copy.jpg                 Now where am I?20190507_104947 copy.jpg20190507_105251 copy.jpgNext stop was Victoria services to fill up with lpg and there we found that the Climbing Centre was absolutely terrific and more than made up for our disappointment in Looe.  I thought four and a half year old Aiisha was astonishing and totally unfazed. maybe a new long-term hobby for her?

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Pencarrow House at yet a different time…

20190418_144927 copy.jpgWe’ve visited Pencarrow at slightly different times of the year, and it always pays as you see the grounds clad in different clothes as it were. This time it was mid April. Smart Classical house, still lived in by the family. No pics allowed inside.20190418_132718 copy.jpg20190418_144410 copy.jpgAfter our guided tour, with a knowledgeable guide, we decided to once more walk the whole perimeter of the grounds. This used to be a formal Italian garden, but now blends in with the rest of the park.20190418_144451 copy.jpgJust past these trees was the grotto which we hadn’t visited before….20190418_144959 copy.jpgFrances descending to the underworld….20190418_145026 copy.jpgNice views of the house itself on our walk…20190418_145107 copy.jpgMagnificent colours at this time of year….20190418_145231 copy.jpeg20190418_145247 copy.jpegI like the so-called Colonel’s garden with its water feature…20190418_145615 copy.jpgAfter the climb uphill we reach the prehistoric fort with its impressive remains and outline clearly visible…20190418_152102 copy.jpeg20190418_152345 copy.jpgYou then go down the ‘Cathedral’ walk which is particularly magnificent when the trees are leafless….20190418_152904 copy.jpg20190418_152910 copy.jpgThen through the glory of Pencarrow the almost mile-long avenue of Rhododendrons and Azaleas…they really are enormous and laden with flowers..20190418_153522 copy.jpeg20190418_153720 copy.jpegI like to examine individual booms as well……20190418_154124 copy.jpgYou don’t see notices like this in many places….20190418_154600 copy.jpgPencarrow is quite near to us and well-worth the visit. Still, at this time of year it is almost as nice, perhaps better, to be in our own garden which has now come into its own…20190421_102621 copy.jpg20190423_153320 copy.jpeg20190423_153326 copy.jpg20190423_153404 copy.jpg20190423_153430 copy.jpg20190423_153450 copy.jpg20190423_153504 copy.jpg20190423_153523 copy.jpgAnd when we have enjoyed that our local lanes are full of botanical interest. At the moment crammed with bluebells….20190430_172338 copy.jpg20190430_172433 copy.jpeg20190430_172604 copy.jpg20190424_165305 copy.jpgand wild garlic……20190430_173547-copy.jpg20190430_172846 copy.jpg20190430_172604 copy.jpg20190430_172851 copy.jpg20190430_175209 copy.jpgAmongst all the common roadside plants this single orchid stood out…..20190430_175344 copy.jpgand in parts there are still clumps of late primroses…..20190430_175519 copy.jpgAt  the village end of our walk we came across some white bluebells (!)….. 20190430_180133 copy.jpgand some p20190430_180405 copy.jpg