Saturday 14 November

A truly miserable autumn day. Household chores and then a walk round Lloyd Park, in the rain. Although as the cafe is open for take away, we cheered ourselves with a coffee and a slice of cake. Simple pleasures of lockdown. This afternoon the drizzly weather continued, so I read my book, and indeed finished it, as it was a very gripping story. Called “The Dry”, by Jane Harper, set in South Australia during a devastating drought. Increasingly I find that the sense of location to a story is as important as the plot and characterisation. It is a whodunnit, which is not my normal type of reading, but it is very cleverly written, and I speculated continuously as to who the real villain was. Highly recommended.

The evening’s entertainment was perfect for a winter’s evening in lockdown, and accounts for why I did not write the blog last night. 8 ladies of my extended family did a Zoom French wine and cheese tasting. We all had fun buying the mini bottles wherever possible, and comparing notes as to which shop had the best Camembert, Brie, goat’s cheese or Comte. We tried 2 white, one rose, and 2 red. We also had a little quiz, just for fun. Some of us dressed up. I had a stripy T shirt, braces and a beret. It was truly hilarious, we compared our comments on the wines and the cheese. Chablis and Cote du Rhone came out mainly as the front runners. We enjoyed it so much we are already planning the next event. Maybe mince pies and mulled wine tasting?

2 thoughts on “Saturday 14 November

  1. I, too, enjoyed The Dry and recommend Harper’s mystery, The Lost Man; think I might even like it better.

    Your comments on Berlin made me think of a series I have been reading featuring Bernie Gunther by Philip Kerr. I stumbled upon The Other Side of Silence and was taken with the characters (including a fictional Somerset Maugham), plot, the setting (French Riviera, 1956) and writing, that I investigated and found it is a series of over 10 books. My next read was March Violets, which was the first in the series and is set in Berlin in 1936. Bernie, who is not a Nazi, is an ex-cop turned private detective. This one is part of the Berlin Noir trilogy. Having finished the trilogy and wishing to continue to follow Gunther’s “life”, I was prepared to purchase The One from the Other, set in post-war Germany (1949) which is dominated by memories of the war. However, I was visiting my favorite used book store and spotted Metropolis, Kerr’s last novel before his death, which is a prequel to the series. I loved reading about Gunther as a young and inexperienced policeman with excellent instincts when it comes to solving murders. The books are filled with geographical references to Berlin and other parts of Germany and with tons of history. At the end of many of the novels, Kerr writes a short prologue about what became of the real-life characters he incorporated into his story. Can you tell I am really excited about this series?


    1. Hi Janice, I don’t know these books but they certainly sound worth looking into. Thank you so much for your detailed responses, it’s so wonderful to know I am not writing into a void!!


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