Thanks to Covid-19…

  • Companies have discovered that working from home and video conferencing are viable business options, saving time and expense.
  • School kids have lost the fear of speaking in front of a video camera and have learned to make sensible use of computers. They’ve also come to appreciate school!
  • We are enjoying beautiful walks on our doorsteps and discovering great places to take a holiday in our own countries.
  • Neighbours are noticing each other more, sharing things and offering each other practical help.
  • We’ve survived quite well without exotic South American fruit and all those cheap Asian gadgets and clothes.
  • Reading has proved to be a lot of fun – even to the grandchildren via Zoom.
  • Cycling has often turned out to be a more efficient way to get from A to B – as well as being good for our health.
  • The air has got a lot cleaner and there have been far fewer road accidents.
  • We’ve managed to catch up on some of the things we’d wanted to do but never found time for.

I’m sure you can come up with some more side benefits of this crisis. Leave a comment below.

Mysterious coincidences and a surprising ending

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara 

Having previously owned a similar vintage VW camper to Daisy-Rose, I was intrigued by this book from the outset. It starts on a rather sombre tone – the early death of a dear friend – but I was soon drawn in to share Ana’s mixed emotions and her encounters with a variety of unusual characters in a far corner of Cornwall.

Two people whose lives have been shattered by devastating experiences set out to trace the mysterious previous owner of an ancient, decrepit camper van. Curious assistants and enigmatic signs help them in their quest, which culminates with a couple of surprises. In the process they experience emotional healing and the chance of a new start in life.

Well developed characters and an entertaining storyline keep one in suspense to the end, but the uncanny denouement will not satisfy all readers.

Ein einzigartiges Familiendrama

Der Duft von bitteren Orangen, von Claire Hajaj

5 Stars

Wer Eltern hatte oder selber eine Familie, der weiss, dass es früher oder später zu Meinungsdifferenzen, Spannungen oder sogar Konflikte innerhalb der Familie kommen kann. Wie, aber, wenn sprachliche, religiöse, kulturelle und vor allem ethnische Faktoren mitspielen? Oder kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen zwischen den Herkunftsvölkern?

“Unsere Familien werden niemals akzeptieren, dass wir zusammen sind.”

A delightfully ‘old-fashioned’ tale

The Little Village School by Gervase Phinn

5 Stars

A new head teacher turns the village on its head – in the nicest possible way. Wayward kids are tamed and emotionally wounded kids find healing through her loving care. Even the most die-hard traditionalists – with the exception of Miss Sowerbutts – warm to her rather quickly.

What will happen when the local doctor finds a sprig of mistletoe on her desk after the school Nativity play?

All Things New by Pete Hughes

Joining God’s Story of Re-Creation

Pete Hughes stands back from both traditional historical accounts and selective Bible passages to concentrate on the story God has been unfolding over the centuries.

Chapters such as ‘Creation and the Image-Bearers of God’, ‘From Slavery to the Promised Land’, ‘Jesus, the Gospel and the Kingdom of God’ and ‘The Resurrection and the Birth of the New Humanity’ trace the biblical story in a refreshingly contemporary manner. Interwoven with these theological considerations, we witness some very personal experiences – highs and lows – as the the young Anglican Vicar follows God’s leading to plant and nurture what is now known as KXC.

Sixty years later…

For some months I have acted as a senior classroom assistant – one morning per week – in the fourth class (mainly 10-year olds) of the little village school where I live. What a shock for an old man like me!

The printed T-shirts and hotpants, alternating with fashionable tops and ripped jeans were no surprise. But what had happened to the uniform? Even the teacher was casually dressed.

The Peregrine’s Odyssey by Michael Kleinfall

During the first 20 years of the second century AD, Gaius Segusiavus Peregrinus is torque-bearer of the Gallic clan based near Lugdunum (Lyons). As master of the family’s cereal and luxury goods shipping enterprise, he constantly roams Mare Nostrum, visiting the trading posts in Ostia (Rome), Carthago, Alexandria, Antiochia and Ephesos. His faithful wife Fionna delights him whenever he is back at the Villa of the Three Crows, but his sons and nephew disappoint him. Will anyone prove worthy of inheriting the family torque when he dies?

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