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Dank, dark and dismal... but that's just weather.

Reviews written

since 28/03/2003


Unemployed After 50 22/11/2014

You always have a choice...

Premier Travel Inn London - Tower Bridge, London 26/10/2014

Room at the Inn

Premier Inn Birmingham City Centre, Birmingham 26/10/2014

Another Night, Another Premier

Long Reviews vs Short Reviews 13/10/2014

Let You Entertain Me

The Long Good-bye - Raymond Chandler 12/10/2014

Not So Fond Farewells

Landfall - Helen Gordon 11/10/2014

There's a darkness...

Mercure Brandon Hall Coventry, Brandon 05/10/2014

More Warwickshire than Coventry

Mercure Brandon Hall Coventry, Brandon Commuting between Norwich & Coventry is not a realistic option and given that I'm not about to give up the former for the latter as a full-time home, the only solution is to work from home some of the time and accept frequent business trips to the office. Too frequent, but, hey, I love my job. The upshot of all of this is that I feel as though I live in the Premier Inn on the outskirts of town. I'm not saying that I'm a frequent visitor, but they do apologise if "my" room is not available. ( They decided it was my room, I never actually asked for it ... but I am getting to the point where I feel I should be moving in my own furniture and cuddly toys.) But just occasionally, there are reasons why it turns out not to be the Premier. On the latest occasion it was simply that I was late booking and they were full. So next up, was Brandon Hall. We (the company) use Brandon Hall a lot - it's only a short drive from the office (not so helpful for those of us who don't drive) and does have a spa, gym and pool (essentials for those who are more important than me and just conceivably spend even more time away from home - though I'm not convinced about that last bit). To be fair - once our company rates are taken into account, it isn't always more expensive than the Premier. Sometimes it is, vastly so - you're not going to get a £29 room here - but Premier rates are notoriously variable, so it's worth checking. It's also close enough for us to use for meeting space when the office ...

The Madonnas of Leningrad - Debra Dean 28/09/2014

Beauty Under Siege

Glan Y Mor, Rhosneigr 27/09/2014

Glan Y Mor - Sea Shore retreat

Glan Y Mor, Rhosneigr Where to start? Well, technically I should probably start with why I wanted to come to Anglesey, or maybe with the booking process... but that's all just technicalities. I could start with getting off the train at Rhosneigr station, glad that the sun was shining, and that there was actually a footpath all the way to the village. I could start with the difficulty of finding the cottage... the directions only actually make sense after you've found the place. I did ask a woman walking her dog – but she wasn't local. Then there was a couple – "we only arrived today". Then there was the gent who said he was 'sort of local'. What he meant was that he owned the cottage, but didn't live here full time. All the same he came out barefoot and started walking up the road with me. Didn't really have any more idea than I did, but he pointed me in the right direction. And I got here eventually. But really the place to start isn't with any of that. So ignore it. The place to start is walking into the white walled, white floored, kitchen and thinking: YES! The place to start is wandering around the ground floor, and finding the deck that overlooks the dunes. The place to start is knowing that you're going to come back, even though you've only been here for an hour or two. And of course, I shouldn't post this review until I've booked for next year. THE LIVING ROOM The house fronts directly onto the dunes – whatever road once existed seems to have vanished in the meantime – and the living ...

Daughters of Fire - Barbara Erskine 21/09/2014

Dangers of History

Lonesome George - Henry Nicholls 20/09/2014

Not Just About George

Lonesome George - Henry Nicholls Sometimes we find books on our shelves that we've been meaning to read for a long time, and by the time we get around to reading them they may have lost their original purpose. It would be easy to assign this category to Henry Nicholls' tale of (probably) the last Pinta giant tortoise – an old male whom the media christened Lonesome George. If the book had been what its cover purports it to be the life and loves of the world's most famous tortoise there might well be cause to pass it over. If you're remotely interested in the Galapagos and its tortoises, you probably already know that Lonesome George passed away a couple of years ago. The post-mortem confirms that, basically, he died of old age – this despite the fact that by local tortoise standards, he wasn't that old. Maybe he just finally got the feeling that there wasn't much to continue living for. Who knows what goes through the head of a tortoise – even such a well-studied one as this. The point I was wanting to make though, is that the death of George doesn't detract from the value of the book. Obviously, six years after its publication and with the death of its alleged star, some of the possibilities explored in the later chapters are now absolutely non-viable. On the other hand, if, like me, reading it sends you off to find out what happened next, you'll discover that there is still hope – some of it surprising. I'll leave that part of the journey to you. So back to the book… For those who do not know: ...

Happpiness is Easy - Edney Silvestre 31/08/2014

The Wrong Boy

Kagbeni, Upper Mustang, Nepal 30/08/2014

Mustang Gateway

Contact - Jonathan Buckley 25/08/2014

Undesirable Contact

Fishtail Lodge, Pokhara 25/08/2014

Lakeside Lodge Below Fishtail Mountain

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