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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,




Random Z's