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Monday, 20 July 2015

B stands for Enid Blyton,

As a child I was an avid reader and one of my favourite authors was Enid BLYTON . She wrote a myriad of books, the ones I enjoyed  most were The Famous Five and The Secret Seven.

The Famous Five consisted of four children and a dog called Timmie, he was George's dog. George was a girl but rather a tomboy, I think her real name was Georgina. The other three characters were Julian,  Dick and Anne.

 In the summertime, they all returned home from their respective boarding schools to stay with their  Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin. Unfortunately Aunt Fanny was taken ill and had to go to a far away hospital for specialised treatment, with Uncle Quentin at her side.

 Arrangements were made for them to be cared for by Aunt Fanny's temporary cook Mrs Stick, her ghastly husband and sly son Edgar.

They disliked their guardians so much that  they decided to run away to Kirrin Island.......... thus, the adventures of  The Famous Five invaded my life.

 As soon as there was a new copy published of their latest adventures I was down to the local library to order it. My parents and family purchased many of  Enid Blyton's  books for me, on special occasions, such as Christmas and Birthdays.

 Famous Five stories  kept in the bookcase by my bed.


Another set of  Enid Blyton stories that I loved were The Secret Seven, yet more exciting adventures for me to read under my quilt, with a torch.....During school days I was in bed at 8pm and then allowed to read until 9pm.... then it was 'lights out'.... Or rather, 'light's on',  in my case! Naughty girl!


However, unknown to the parents I had a torch under my quilt and carried on reading. Unfortunately, one night there was a power failure and my Father got very cross because he couldn't find the large torch I had 'borrowed' for my nocturnal reading! Reluctantly, I had to hand it over..... not to be thwarted, I borrowed a torch from my brother so I could carry on with my favourite pastime,  reading!


Then came The Secret Seven.


I read a lot of novels in a very short time.

  The storyline here was about a group of juvenile detectives. Peter was the leader, then there was Janet his sister.  Jack who was Peter's best friend, then Barbara, George, Pam and Colin. They would all meet up in an old shed and use secret passwords for entering. They also had badges with SS engraved upon them.         




When the school holiday arrived my brother and l formed a similar  sort of club with our local friends, our headquarters based in the father's shed. With the help of our elder sister we made badges and played all summer with our very own Secret Seven.

 Big sister set out a trestle table for us  with Sandwiches fairy cakes and jelly and ice cream and cups of cream soda... after all this was devoured she would read us a passage or two out of our beloved ENID BLYTON'S  Secret Seven Stories.


My humble tribute to a Bountiful author who helped me expand my knowledge of the English language and also indulge in a little escapism, imagination and fun during my childhood years. 

Enid Blyton

1897- 1968
My sincere thanks to the BUBBLY Denise for devising ABCW and to the BOUYANT
Roger for keeping us all afloat.
Many thanks too, to the band of helpers.
Best wishes,
.ABCW team.








Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A stands for Antibes in France,

Antibes is a delightful little town on the Cot d' Azur  part of The French Riviera.  It is surrounded by mediaeval ramparts which would protect the town in times of strife.

A view of  the town from the sea, you can see the snow covered alps in the background.

One of the many colourful streets that weave their way through the old town.

The place has many fine restaurants and street café's, serving the delicious Mediterranean food also there are quite a few Italian Tratoria's that  serve some of the finest  pasta dishes I have ever tasted. My favourite one was called  Mamalu's,  a very simple little café that served a different pasta dish each day. We dined there several times and my favourite dish was the Linguine Vongole.


I managed to persuade the chef Lucca to share his recipe with me, I would like to share it with you, but I was sworn to secrecy. However, it is on our menu regularly so if any of you are passing by , I would be delighted to cook it for you !

We would walk along the ramparts to a beautiful beach in Juan les pins which is part of the province of Antibes. Yet another part of town to soak up the sun and swim in the azure waters.

Juan les pins fabulous beach.

The Ramparts. 

Walking back along the Ramparts into Antibes is The Picasso Musee`D'Antibes   

La Joie la Vivre (Picasso).

  This  is one of Picasso's famous painting which he painted in Antibes, he found the light there most favourable for his works,

La Joie de Vivre painted in 1946 is emblatic of  his stay there.                                               

Picasso's bronze statues along the ramparts overlooking the bay.

The master at work in his studio.


That's all folks, I could write and write about yet another favourite holiday jaunt but hey we're only at the letter 'A'....still plenty of time to have ANOTHER jaunt in Europe!

My sincere thanks to the AMIABLE and AMUSING Denise for devising ABCW and also to our ACTION MAN Roger for doing what he does, so well.
Best wishes and thanks to all the little helpers, also welcome to Melody, a new little helper,
Di. xx 


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Z stands for Zakynthos

Zakynthos also known as Zante is a pretty island nestling in the Ionian Sea. it is the third largest of the Ionian islands with many picturesque beaches and bays. Navagio Beach, pictured below left, is a famous beach on Zakynthos and can only be reached by boat, there is a shipwreck on the beach that people flock to, to photograph!

Caretta Caretta!

This is the affectionate name for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

This stunning sea creature comes ashore on several beaches in Zakynthos to lay their eggs. The Bay of Laganas which has six beaches, approximately four kilometres in length, hosts 800-1800 nests. The mothers come ashore between June and August, at night and drag their 100 Kg bodies up to the dry part of the sand where they leave over 100 eggs in a chamber40-60cm deep. They lay their eggs late at night  but can be frightened by human intervention, such as noise or bright lights.



The surviving hatchlings emerge about two months later and return to the sea.







The babies making way to the first of many adventures in the sea.

Twenty to thirty years later the female adults will return to their natal beach to reproduce...... 


So the circle of life continues, she returns to her place of birth to repeat the process once again.

Loggerhead Turtles are a protected species and it is forbidden to remain on the designated beaches of  Zakynthos after sunset so that the turtles can emerge from the sea to lay their eggs in the hours of darkness.


The Greek national Anthem was written by a Zakynthos writer,  Dionsios Solomos in 1823, then in1865 it was set to music by Nicholas Montzares.  Inspired by the Greek War of Independence Solomos wrote the hymn to honour the struggle of greeks for independence after centuries of Ottoman rule.

My sincere thanks to the ZANY Denise for devising ABCW and the ever ZEALOUS Roger for doing what he does as the administrator of this ZEPHYR like blog site,
best wishes and thanks to all the helpers too!
ABCW team,




Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Yonca's Retreat.

During this round of  ABCW  I have written quite a lot about our many trips around Turkey, we have stayed in 4 and 5*Hotels,  A Mountain Hut, (loosely described as a rustic pension) complete with holes in the roof, we discovered this during  a scary storm orchestrated by the loudest thunder and fork lightning, which was streaking across the turquoise blue lake beneath us, and stripping the bark off the surrounding fir trees. The exceedingly rude owner,  ignored our requests to move to another room, even though rain water was cascading down the walls... His attitude was a shrug and a 'what do you expect, this is a mountain lodge, and yes, it does rain!


After the storm, then a beautiful sunset.

The fire was lit to dry out the rather damp guests


The next day we managed to pin down the holiday manager who immediately arranged for us to transfer to

Yonca's Retreat

What a delightful retreat YONKA'S place is , We were greeted by herself and a very friendly golden retriever called Bertie who wagged hi tail so energetically that he almost lost his balance, He was to be our best friend of the holiday.


It was just like walking into a secret garden.

Yonca  was a very talented lady, she would write all day long and then indulge in her art work, we would often see her sitting down by the harbour sketching away.

The name of the place where Yonca's Retreat is situated is called Kalkan, It is in a delightful part of The Turkish Riviera and has lots of tiny boats and yachts bobbing around in the beautiful turquoise waters.

Beyond the harbour there are lots of quaint little shops purveying aromatic herbs and spices, the aromas are divine. There are a lot of roof top restaurants serving delicious Turkish cuisine.

The views across the town and the harbour and looking toward the mountains are sublime.

Oh how I yearn to visit Turkey again but sadly my failing health is against me! Also the political climate in my favourite countries are deemed to be high risk areas for British tourists.
Maybe we can revisit Austria and do a spot of Yodelling !
There! decision made..Yodelling in Austria...our next holiday destination and we could probably take a leisurely drive through Europe via the Euro Tunnel.
My sincere thanks to the lovely Yorkshire lass, Denise for devising ABCW and also to the ever Youthful Roger for doing what he does, so well!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

X stands for XBox

A poem by Ken Nesbitt
Xbox Xbox,
 you're the one for me,
I also love my 3DS
and my Nintendo Wii. 
Gamecube, Gameboy,
Apple iPod Touch.
I never thought that I would ever
be in love this much.
Pac-man, Sonic,
Mario and Link.
Your names are etched inside my mind
In everlasting ink.
Run, jump, flip, hang,
double-jump and climb.
That's all I want to do
with every second of my time.
This is true love
Yes it's plain to see
X box X box
will you marry me?

Ken Nesbitt is an American children's poet. he was named Children's Poet laureate in 2013 by The Poetry Foundation. His writings often include imagery of outrageous happenings, before ending on a realistic note. he's a wonderful writer, so I urge you to Google him and read some of his stuff, well worth a read !


My sincere thanks to our eXuberant Denise for devising ABCW and also to Roger for his eXactitude in administrating ABCW

Without these two eXceptional people and the band of eXcellent helpers. ABCW would not be here so to quote Roger "Thank you for all you do".


Monday, 8 June 2015

Vistas and visions of Liverpool

View  of the Pier Head and the  visually stunning waterfront.


I thought I'd let the camera do the talking showing Liverpool at it's very best.        It's been a busy few weeks around our beloved city.

 The Three Queens sailing majestically up The River Mersey for Cunard's 175 Anniversary  Celebrations.  See the vision of The Red Arrows Aerobatics Display team.

The Queen Mary berthed at The Pier Head Liverpool.

Vision of the three original Queen Liners

After the spectacular Cunard celebrations then came

The 2015 International  River Mersey Festival with the Tall Ships sailing into port.
Majestic Tall Ship in full sail entering the glorious Liverpool Bay.


Berthed in the famous Albert Dock.

Sailing past The Royal Liver Buildings. Notice the also famed Liver Birds atop each tower.


So here I sail away leaving some wonderful VISIONS of my beloved city Liverpool, I do hope you have enjoyed learning more about my home town.


Many thanks to the veritable Denise for devising ABCW, who, at present is VROOMING around The Isle of Man with her husband Jon, and enjoying The TT Races!

 and also to Roger our most valued administrator..

 We too,  thank him for what he does, so valiantly!

Best wishes,

ABCW team.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

T stands for The Three Queens. and The Three Graces.

Liverpool (my home city) has been throbbing with activity this weekend as the major British  shipping company Cunard has been celebrating it's 175th anniversary.

 The three imposing buildings that line the Liverpool  waterfront,  (from the left) The Royal Liver Buildings, The Cunard Buildings and The Port of Liverpool Buildings. These magnificent buildings are known as The Three Graces.


 The Queen Mary was the first ship to arrive on Saturday.

On Monday she set sail to greet her sister ships,  The Queen Elizabeth 2 and The Queen Victoria, in the bay of The River Mersey


The Three Queens arriving at The Pier Head.When they had lined up opposite The Cunard Buildings, they performed a very clever manoeuvre, turning to face the buildings. The icing on the cake was a fly past by The Red Arrows Aerobatic Display Team.



It is estimated that one million people visited this magnificent spectacle, over the weekend. We had a band from The Royal Marines playing, The Welsh Choral Society performing, along with folk groups singing sea shanties and  the street performers strutting their stuff too!  There were several Pop Up food stalls selling some delicious food,  from all over the world.

  It's amazing the amount of talented people that live in this vibrant city.

My thanks to the truly amazing Denise for devising ABCW and Roger for his tenacity in his administration of ABCW.

best wishes to all,
Di..ABCW team.