Magnifying candlepower

Glass has always had a fascination for me. When I was young there was a craze for collecting glass animals, cheap enough to be bought with pocket money, and usually sporting elongated necks, corkscrew tails, floppy ears and black beady eyes. Collections of them adorned many a young girl’s bedroom, but they were prone to breaking so I suspect few survived beyond the fad following hard on its heels.

Read more about my glass finds on

Coffee at the opera

For our recent short trip to Bordeaux we found a studio apartment in the old town, just off a little square, the streets radiating from which were lined with restaurants, bars and bistros. In the evenings people sat at outside tables and milled around providing a lively atmosphere. Great food was available everywhere, ready to be appreciated, with duck (including foie gras) on offer at a fraction of the price we would pay at home.