Coddiwomple sums up my current outlook on life, my recent adventures back home in England and, this blog!
First and foremost, I must discuss the one and only Flavia De Luce. I do not think coddiwomple is a verb with which Flavia is familiar, as she always seems to know exactly where she is going at all times. Flavia’s latest adventures in, “Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d” entertained me at every turn. I was relieved to return to Buckshaw with her and reacquaint myself with the old guard; Feely, Daffy, Mrs. M, Dogger and even little Undine and enjoyed getting to voice new characters. Thoroughly enjoyable, over too quickly and for those of you who have read or listened to this latest gem from Mr. Bradley, the ending…
Here is a review and clip from Audiofile Magazine:
I Love this romanian cover art for “A Red Herring without Mustard”
Home Again, home Again, jiggety-jig!
I am just returned from a 2 week whirlwind visit back home; London, Basingstoke, Manchester, Liverpool, Wales and York!
Little story about Liverpool. We arrived in the early afternoon and had to leave the following morning so we had to make quick work of our stay. We walked from our hotel, next to the Liverpool Lime Street train station, down to Albert Dock. Strolled along the Mersey, perused a random and exhaustive (not exhausted) The Jam exhibit and then hopped aboard a bus to Woolton, home of Strawberry Fields and St. Peter’s Parish Church. I expected the neighbourhood to be overrun with Beatle Mania but it was serenely quiet. Not a soul about. We couldn’t find the church and without our trusty cell phones to guide us, were at a loss. I heard three church bells ring in the distance, an ancient form of GPS and the sound led us to the gates of the beautiful old church and the final resting place of Eleanor Rigby. After a contemplative rest on a garden bench in the cemetery, we set off for Strawberry Fields. As we passed through the church gates I noticed, on the ground, a petal in the shape of a perfect white heart. The bell rang out twice, a melancholy farewell. At the entrance to Strawberry Fields we were, once again, the only people in site.
The sun was beginning to set, the air turning cooler and rain was inevitable – a perfect final scene to our day in Liverpool. I had failed to bring a coat and huddled into my partner for warmth. A little car pulled up to the bus stop and a Woman leaned out the window and asked if I was alright. She had driven by and thought it looked like I was crying into my boyfriend’s shoulder. We laughed and thanked her for her concern, assuring her that the bus would be along shortly and I had stupidly forgotten my coat. She asked where we were headed and as the rain began to fall, offered to drive us as far as Penny Lane. We thanked her again but assured her the bus would be along any minute. We could see her thinking and looking at the darkening sky and then she told us to hop in, she would drive us all the way to our hotel. I shot a look at my boyfriend, raising an eyebrow and he nodded with a grin as if to say, why not? I could think of a million reasons why not but I felt so dreamy and content from our recent sojourn that I happily trundled into the backseat. Her name was Sylvie. I’d guess she was in her sixties and she chattered away happily about her family and her history in Liverpool. She pointed out landmarks, giving us a brief caption of each place and when we told her we had tried to find a certain monument but couldn’t, she promptly drove us there and waited while we hopped out to snap some photos. She told us that her Mum had taught her to show kindness to those who needed it and she had decided we could use a bit of kindness that day. It was no surprise that the bumper sticker on her car said, “Practice Random Acts of Kindness”. As the rain poured down she drove us right to the front door of our hotel, hopping out to give us a hug and snap a selfie. It was a remarkable day, magical in fact. The church bells, the white petal, the serenity and dear Sylvie!
I cherished seeing my family and the quick stop in Liverpool, en route to Wales, was excellent as I had never been but my heart came to rest in Wales. I purposefully booked a B&B as close to the Sea as I could get, without stopping on a boat, and every night the sea sounded as if it would breach the bay window and soak me in my bed. I felt so soothed. Not just, “oh isn’t this lovely after the dry scorch of Los Angeles” but a deep, powerful, albeit melancholy, soothing. It felt like I was home and I cried my eyes out to leave. Such drama as I stood on the tiny country railway platform, soaking wet from stubbornly standing in the rain rather than undercover, as if I could soak up the rain and hold onto it for later use. The rain and my tears mixed as I scrutinized the trees, the mist, the verdant green, filling myself up before returning to the desert. Now, more than ever, I am determined to work overseas – to return home regularly and shore up my spirit. Television, film, audiobooks, theater, writing…something!!!!
Here are a few pictures from Criccieth, Wales. We chose that spot as it is near the magical village of Portmeirion in porthmadog. If you have ever watched the 1960’s television program, The Prisoner, you will remember the village which, miraculously, hasn’t changed a bit.