The Thursday Murder Club, p. 24

The Waitrose in Turnbridge Wells has a café. Ian Ventham parks his Range Rover in a handicap spot outside, because it’s nearest to the door.

Walking in, he spots Bogdan by the window. Ian owes Bogdan 4000 pounds.

Ian scans the chalkboard, looking for coffee. He asks, “Is all your coffee fair trade?”

“Yes, all fair trade,” says the smiling young woman.

“Shame,” says Ian. He doesn’t want to pay an extra fifteen pence to help someone he’ll never meet, in a country he’ll never go to. “Cup of tea, please. Almond milk.”

The Thursday Murder Club, p.24

Top dialogue! This guy Ian HAS to be the villain.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

July #TreeSquare Challenge #3: Sunday in Golden Gate Park

Learn about this challenge, hosted by Life of B.

Yesterday a friend and I went to Golden Gate Park. We parked up by Stowe Lake, and wandered around quite lost. Her cell said to go right, mine said to go left. I said I wanted to see the de Young (I have a membership card and I needed to go to the bathroom) My friend wanted to know why, whenever I’d ask for directions, I’d ask for the Japanese Tea Garden. I said, The de Young and the Japanese garden are right beside each other; if you find one, you find the other.

Originally, we were supposed to hunt up the Conservatory of Flowers, but it seemed a long way, and I hadn’t brought a sweater (It was cold and windy. Lucky she had a grey hoodie; I only had a thin cotton top. Anyhoo, I’m kinda glad we never found the conservatory, because when I got home I looked it up on the map, and we’ve had had to cross the entire park, lengthwise.

The park was lush and green, and it felt good just to be alive. The eucalyptus trees (not native, I was told by a naturalist on a tour last month) smelled heavenly.

Here are a couple of trees I saw in the Park.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Flower of the Day (FOTD): Acanthus

It’s been a week — no, more — since self has posted a flower picture for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge. Her flower today is Acanthus.

Self posted a picture of it on Facebook and asked if anyone knew the name for this flower, which grows along one side of her yard. A friend from Malta was the first to answer: “It’s called Acanthus, and it grows all over the Mediterranean. Its image is often carved into tombs.”

The man who built this house (in 1939) was from Italy. He planted a magnificent walnut, and all kinds of fruit trees (which have died one by one, over the 30 years she’s been in this house). Perhaps the fruit trees and the acanthus reminded him of his native country. Perhaps he was homesick.

She saw massive specimens in Filoli, the last time she visited, maybe a year ago (They were allowing a small number of visitors, everyone had to be masked)

Funny, another friend, who has a large, beautiful garden, told her it was “a weed” and grew wild. It’s definitely not a weed. She remembers, the first ten years in this house, the spikes were profuse, and very tall. But climate change is a thing: every summer in the last 10 years, that patch of side yard has been exposed to the most punishing sun. The leaves turned brown, and no flowers appeared. Until this year.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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