Annika. BBC IPlayer.
Written by Nick Walker and starring Nicola Walker Annika is a Scottish crime drama television series, based on the BBC Radio 4 drama Annika Stranded.
Sharp, witty, enigmatic. DI Strandhed takes on unfathomable murders washed up in Scotland’s waterways – confiding in the audience as she hunts the killers. (BBC)
Unusual and innovative with a very talented cast this was my new obsession. I am a huge fan of Nicola Walker and this is different again from her other roles. I liked the historical references tied up with the cases. I liked the subtle humour. I also liked the fact that each episode is 47 minutes long. It is brilliant!
A Letter to Jo by Joseph Sieracki and Kelly Williams (illustrator).
In a quietly beautiful letter to Josephine, Leonard writes of the loneliness he felt, the camaraderie he experienced, and the terrible violence he witnessed. Now, Josephine and Leonard’s grandson Joseph
Sieracki expands the letter into a moving tale of a young man’s fears and bravery far from home.
This is a beautiful story told in graphic novel form. In addition there are original photographs of the people involved, the original letter and some absolutely stunning graphics, with an explanation on how they were created by the illustrator.
It is a beautiful complete whole.
Race Across the World. BBC IPlayer.
I want to do this!
Five pairs of travellers participate in an epic race that will take them across Canada. However, there is a catch, the pairs cannot take planes, must leave behind their smartphones and credit cards, and will not have access to the internet. Provided only with the cash equivalent of their airfare from their starting destination to the finishing line, they must find innovative ways to manage their budget and conduct their journey. If they run out of money, they must earn some more to continue the journey. The duos must also pass through a number checkpoints along the way.
Narrated by John Hannah.
Canada was amazing and I love the idea of living on your wits with no tech to help you on your way.
Beachy Head Lighthouse Challenge 2023.
This walk is organised by The Rotary Club. There is a cost of £8.50 with money going to different charities, including the RNLI and also towards the upkeep of the lighthouse’s famous red and white stripes.
There are very few days when it is possible to walk around the lighthouse as it must be during spring tides and when it is light enough.
The meeting point was at the foot of the Downs by St. Bede’s school in Eastbourne. We then proceeded up the lane for approximately half a mile to Whitbread Hollow where we checked in. Once checked-in, we set off across the Downs to Cow Gap, down the steps to the beach and over the rocks, boulders, sand and slippery seaweed to the lighthouse.
It was a fairly strenuous walk; the beach part the hardest. You could go right up to the lighthouse and climb the steps up onto the base. Stewards were there counting people on and off, ten at a time. Stewards were also strategically placed along the route, as were paramedics and the RNLI shoreside.
Beachy Head is a notorious suicide spot in the South Coast and the sad part of the walk as we came closer to the lighthouse along the cliff base was the rusted remnants of car parts caught in the rocks. We had a silent moment of contemplation for those who had been driven to such drastic measures.
On return, all participants received a certificate to authenticate that we were one of the few people who have undertaken the “Lighthouse Challenge”.
It was a beautiful still and sunny evening for this unusual walk in a beautiful part of the South Coast.
Community Choir Joy.
Last night I went to listen to one of our local Community Choirs sing at the underground Grove Theatre, one of Eastbourne’s more intimate theatres.
They were an absolute joy. There is something uplifting and joyous in a group of people, all ages, getting together to sing. Songs we all knew and some we didn’t. You don’t have to be pitch perfect, just enjoy singing; sing loud and proud. It was a pleasure!
Summer at the French Cafe by Sue Moorcroft.
A French book cafe, a summer romance, France. Love a bit of chic lit now and then. Precedes my August French Road trip.
Americana by Luke Healy.
Luke Healy hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s one hell of a hike through some of America’s most dramatic landscape. I love a travelogue and this one has sent me hunting for my hiking boots.
Colin From Accounts. BBC IPlayer.
Written by and starring Harriet Dyer and; Patrick Brammall.
Ashley and Gordon are brought together by a car accident and an injured dog, and learn to navigate life together while showing their true selves, scars and all.
Some proper laugh out loud moments here. Clever acting and writing.
Rain Dogs. BBC IPlayer.
Starring Daisy May Cooper, Jack Farthing and Fleur Tashjian. Created by Cash Carraway.
A dysfunctional family on the fringes of society attempt to go straight in an ever more crooked world.
Echos of Cathy Come Home. Brilliantly acted.
I watched two French drama series recently, both starring the same three actresses: Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou and Julie de Bona. Both loosely based on a true event and both HerStory. The woman’s side of historic events.
Created by Célile Lorne
In 1914, German troops advance, men leave for the front lines, and four women grapple with the devastating consequences of war at home in France.
creator: Catherine Ramberg
Amid a devastating fire in 1897 Paris, three women see their destinies turned upside down by forbidden love, identity theft, betrayal and emancipation.
Both were mini series of eight episodes each, with three brilliant actresses. Even managed to get past the dubbing.
Groombridge. East Sussex.
Had a spring walk around the quintessential English village of Groombridge in East Sussex on Easter Sunday.
Groombridge is a village of about 1,600 people, straddling the borders of the counties of Kent and East Sussex in England.
I had been working in the village school during the week and wanted explore this beautiful area more. It was a stunning Easter Sunday morning and we had a great, if muddy, ramble of about five miles.
A Little Lane, the brook runs close beside
And spangles in the sunshine while the fish glide swiftly by
And hedges leafing with the green spring tide
From out their greenery the old birds fly
John Clare (1793-1864)
Written by Neil Cross and starring Idris Elba.
A serial killer is terrorising London while disgraced detective John Luther sits behind bars. Haunted by his past failings, Luther decides to break out of prison to finish the job and capture a cyber-psychopath who has been taunting him.
Dark beyond your wildest imagination. Deeply disturbing but compelling viewing. Spent most of the time looking away from the screen. Luther fans won’t be disappointed.
The Choir of Man. Arts Theatre. Leicester Square. London.
A British musical created by Nic Doodson and Andrew Kay. Set in a traditional British or Irish pub, the show features a working on-stage bar.
It’s the best pub in the world… Brimming with hits from artists such as Queen, Luther Vandross, Sia, Paul Simon, Adele, Guns & Roses, Avicii and Katy Perry to name but a few, this is a pub like no other!
This was the best Saturday afternoon fun I have had in a long time! Go and see it if you can.
Charlecote Park. Warwick.
Spent a fascinating morning at the National Trust property Charlecote Park last week.
Overlooking the river Avon on the edge of Shakespeare’s Stratford and home to the Lucy family for over 900 years, Charlecote Park is an immaculately preserved and presented Victorian family home. I love a Victorian House and this is one of the best- especially the kitchens and courtyard areas. After a wander around the house, the surrounding gardens and parkland provided a great walk with the family. The weather was cold and crisp; a perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon.