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Ella Minnow Pea: a tale of censorship, letter by letter

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn was our book club’s latest pick. Opinions were divided on how enjoyable it is, but all agreed it is a clever depiction of authoritarianism and censorship. It reminds us just how quickly societies can fall apart.

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Reflections on Father Christmas

It was our family tradition to gather together early in December and prepare our Christmas wish lists. My brother, sister and I would carefully write our lists and hand them over to Mum and Dad to be checked. Then we threw the lists into the fire and let the smoke carry them up the chimney to waft away to Father Christmas. Continue reading

Drawing the Line – How I Felt about Going Fishing


Recently I had the pleasure of spending a few days in the wilds of Scotland, celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday. One afternoon a group of us went out on a boat to see the scenery and hopefully spot some seals. Fishing was an added option. I found the experience quite thought-provoking. Continue reading

A Street Cat Named Bob: Film Review

bob-pic‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ is the film of the best-selling book (and its sequel). I’m a great cat lover and enjoyed the book, so going to see the film was a must. It’s fun and full of some lovely cat scenes, but the entertainment value comes at the expense of the book’s deeper meaning. Continue reading

The Vermin Revolt

J89A0415 There once was a land of rolling hills and valleys. At the top of the highest hill lived the King in a grand palace. Nearby, in a castle, lived a Count. His job was to count the King’s money which he kept locked in the castle cellars.

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Polar Perspectives


We stood on the deck scanning the horizon. The long lens on my camera was heavy but I didn’t mind. I peered across the ice, willing it to come into view. Then I spotted it. A yellow blob. Yes, there! It was one of those moments I’ll never forget. I said to myself, ‘I’m actually here. In the Arctic. And I’ve just seen a polar bear.’ Continue reading

” No Comment”


And is it true you made it up,

Spread those lies, blamed the fans,

Called them drunken hooligans?

No comment! No comment!

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Jungle Book – Well Worth Another Look

Jungle Book 2016How many of us have fond memories of the 1967 Disney film animation of Jungle Book? Lots, I suspect. I certainly do. Even with my dreadful memory I can still conjure up images of Baloo performing ‘Bare Necessities’ and Kaa’s hypnotic ‘Trust in me’.  So when I heard there was a new version, part of me wondered: why? But as I love animals, another part of me couldn’t wait. I wasn’t disappointed. Continue reading

Costa Rica for Wonderful Wildlife Watching

Red Eyed Frog Iconic of Costa Rica Costa Rica certainly lives up to its reputation as THE place for conservation. On a recent trip I was delighted to see a fabulous selection of wildlife: monkeys, exotic birds, sloths, frogs, snakes, as well as iguanas and other prehistoric looking reptiles.

And take hundreds of photos – that is, until my camera broke down!

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The Oscars Approach


               Cover Image of Spotlight the Movie                                         

The 2106 Oscars approach and  Spotlight and The Big Short are both up for the Best Picture Oscar. Deservedly so. The films bring into sharp focus two major issues of our times – paedophilia committed by Catholic priests and the crash of 2008.

Spotlight is a gripping and emotional account of The Boston Globe’s exposure, in 2002, of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of its paedophile priests. Along with the rest of Boston society, The Globe itself had been guilty of turning a blind eye to the issue. But now a new editor – Jewish, from out of town and less in thrall to the local dignitaries – was prepared to reveal all. Rather than naming ‘a few bad apples’ the decision was made to expose the systematic cover-up, right to the top. Continue reading

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