Canada in instalments: 1 Port Edmonton

Canada is big. You will hear a lot of that in this travelogue. The country is big. The mountains and the lakes are big. Animals are bigger than our equivalents of them. People are big and they are also big-hearted. Following in this tradition, Port Edmonton is big too. You don’t know where it begins and where it ends. It just sits there in the windswept and open plains, which may be prairies, or may not be prairies at all, but they are vast, flat, blanketed with weather-beaten grasses and punctured with coniferous trees. So to me that equates prairies. Port Edmonton is sprawled in the middle of that vastness.

Whilst there, our wonderful hosts took us back in time to Port Edmonton of the yesteryear. You might think that there is no history to speak of in Canada and you might even be excused in thinking that any trip back in time will take you straight to the Stone Age. But you will be wrong. Take a look at this little gem of the Wild (Canadian) West:

Advertisements

Swimming with Sharks by Anna Legat – a brilliantly written mystery

“This was a brilliantly written mystery. I was caught up in the story from the start. The author crafts a suffocating psychological thriller with Nicola Eagles, a timid, gauche woman as the victim. The author keeps us so tightly inside Nicola’s head it’s nearly claustrophobic but it fits the story perfectly.

We are given glimpses of her surroundings – the lush, tropical holiday resort, the people who interact with her, her deepest fears, her most intimate thoughts – but we are shut out from anything else. So when DI Gillian Marsh is called to investigate Nicola’s disappearance, we have no idea what really happened. It’s a rare author who can keep me guessing until the end – and the ending was a shocker.

DI Gillian Marsh is an interesting character, and I will be more than happy to continue to follow her adventures. But what drew me into the book and kept me there was the author’s mesmerising prose. I started reading for the mystery, and finished with the impression of having lived a whole other life in Nicola Eagle’s skin. Fascinating.”

Jennifer Macaire

 

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my pigeon toes…

I am delighted to inform the world that our resident lone-ranger Pigeon has a girl-friend!

He used to live on the ground, waddle about aimlessly, picking up leftovers from under the tree feeder, dropped by other airborne birdies. You could say he suffered from depression and low self-esteem, as any overweight, lonely pigeon would.

But no longer!

Pigeon has been seen whispering a sweet-nothing into a lady-pigeon’s ear on top of a wall, observed jealously by a blackbird. There was also some canoodling and a couple of mounting attempts. Oh dear, I hope they are taking suitable precautions!

P1060747

Jealous blackbird applying to join hatch.com

P1060748

And look! There are plenty of fish in the sea, or hot birds in the sky, as the case may be:

P1060761

 

 

A remedy for a cold winter night

liz-robinson-quote
Watercolour, ‘Water Villa, Meeru Island, The Maldives’ (c) Steve Wylie

 

Chilled to the bone by the wintry weather, I have no choice but to reach for ‘Swimming with Sharks’ and immerse myself in the sweltering-hot world of a Maldivian island. A gentle touch of heated mystery will go a long way.

I see offers of new paperbacks of ‘Swimming with Sharks’ at a humble £2.74, lower than the kindle price!  For link, click here:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swimming-Sharks-Gillian-Marsh-Legat/dp/1783759658/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside!

Went to Burnham-on-sea to recharge the batteries because, let me tell you, I’m hardly a Duracell-man (or -woman, as the case may be). My batteries had been running low for a while, especially after a few near-lethal short circuits experienced this year.

So we went paddling by the boats –

p1060467

Head-butting the goats –

p1060482

Sitting on a fence –

p1060490

Losing common sense –

p1060494

Being swept away –

p1060498

Calling it a day –

p1060477