Ruth Hartley’s Birthday

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Cheese, please!

Cheese!

My Mum is the artist and writer Ruth Hartley. Last week we threw her a 70th birthday party. That was because she turned 70…not because we were trying to freak her out.

My older sister baked cakes and made soups and dips and organised a tower of wonderful cheeses. There were old friends and new wines, speeches and thank yous and Silent John even sang her a song! A super do!

In which I am attacked by a speed boat and Grace plunges under a train

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I loved Greece.. I really, really did. Only there was one ineey meeny mini bikini moment where it could all have gone a bit well ..I believe the expression is ‘tits up’.


We go on this boat to see turtles. We see a turtle. We pootle a bit further around the coast past beautiful coves and cliffs like this. A couple of times the boat stops and everyone jumps off to swim and snorkel. I don’t snorkel anymore but I too dive off the side into the warm, shimmering water and then clamber back up the boat’s ladder.

Acting the Goat in Greece

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View from Shoestrings

I apologise for the silence.  These last two weeks I have been researching the impact of tourism on the Greek economy – well, mainly my impact on the beautiful island of Zakynthos. Turns out that the major impact is on local rose wine sales which went up by at least a third…

Vision Slip

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A few years ago…well maybe more than a few…I was on a train at some daft time in the morning on my way to San Francisco.  I hadn’t slept much the night before anxious about the trip and was a bit woozy.  The carriage was almost empty and I thought no one would mind me snoring so leant down to pull out the foot rest.

Whumph!

Something seemed to both punch me in the arm and

No Spoilers

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Tomorrow the BBC will disclose the identity of the new Doctor Who.  For many us in the real world this will be more life changing than royal babies, Zimbabwean election fraud, bedroom tax and even racist buses chugging around London with ‘Go home ++++!’ emblazoned across the sides.

Mixed Emotions

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It is hot. Very bloody hot. Not that I am complaining but Grace has a black fur coat and is finding it all a little much. She is floppy and there is much panting.  Here she is with her homies…hot dogs.

Usher, Grace, Terri, Albert and Monica at Corsham Court

Last week we were volunteers at the very cutting edge MIX conference here at Corsham Court.  I had volunteered last year when I first arrived in Corsham and it helped me figure out the layout of the campus. Not that anyone approached me for assistance.  More the other way around which was a bit embarrassing.  I’d be standing there with Grace trying to look informative and perky and delegates would sidle up to ask me if I needed help getting anywhere and could they find me a volunteer?

Phone In Freak Shows on the BBC.

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Dear All – Dad has taken a bad turn and I will be flying over to be with him at the weekend.  I don’t want to write about it this time. Instead I have distracted myself by doing a piece on the BBC Late night radio show I ended up doing a cameo on. T x

Disclaimer: This is my recollection of the show last Friday.  It is written without recourse to transcripts or copies and has been flamboyantly reworked.  I may have got it entirely wrong. Just saying…