Impressive, quirky, idiosyncratic

A major celebration is always a time for reflection, for remembering people and occasions, quirks and sayings, events of significance and insignificance. Granny used to say… I can still see his face when… Do you remember the time we went to…? That’s something I’ll always remember, especially when the idiot…

So reflections were on my mind as well as lips during our stay in Madeira.

Read more at http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com

November 1st

Here comes winter. The clock has changed and we’re in the count-down to Christmas, though many shops have been sneaking festive fare into their displays for the past month and more. But with Halloween over, and a free run until December 25th (though here in Scotland we have St Andrew’s day on November 30th, with Thanksgiving in the States) retailers will be ramming presents, food and what to wear for those wall-to-wall parties (what parties, we huddle by the fire here!) and that all-important big day.

Read more at www.jingsandthings.wordpress.com

Previously average

As I stay far from shops I have become a great fan of online shopping. This of course means buying without trying on, so I’ve had to think harder about what styles suit and what colours would work with other clothes in my wardrobe.

Until fairly recently I haven’t had a problem with clothes shopping, as I seemed to be around average height. So skirts were the length

Read more at www.jingsandthings.wordpress.com

Food al fresco

When you hail from a country where summers rarely reach dizzying heights of temperature (more often a mix of sun and cloud and the occasional shower) eating in the open air is a fairly rare experience, especially when it comes to evening meals. As the sun goes down the dew falls, making it chilly to sit outside, and more often than not the pesky midges appear to make the occasion a misery rather than a pleasure. So one of the real joys of trips abroad is…

Read more at http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com

Noir – author and experts

Recently, husband and I were pleased to receive an invitation to a book launch, not in the tented village of the Edinburgh book festival, but not far from it in Waterstones, the well-known book shop, at the west end of Princes Street. Lin Anderson, Tartan Noir crime novelist and co-founder of the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival, was launching another book – None but the Dead – about her forensic pathologist Rhona MacLeod, the action of this taking place on the small Orkney island of Sanday.

Read more at http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com

Jamón, whisky and sculpture

Once again the tents have gone up in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square, the walkways laid, bookshop and bars stocked, hospitality spaces decked with tubs of flowers, toilets positioned, and the central area supplied with watching-the-world-go-by chairs for some of the throngs anticipated.

Read more on Edinburgh during its festivals at www.jingsandthings,wordpress.com

Sun, olives, lamb and baklava

On a hot summer evening in the Aegean olives have a zingy, comforting flavour that’s missing at home. The same goes for watermelon. Served up free at many restaurants what is often a tasteless fruit in Scotland oozed honey sweet juice, and served chilled was wonderfully refreshing. Husband even made a drink with it and iced water.

Read more about dining in Pefkos, Rhodes at http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com

Lindos

We decided to brave the heat on a trip to Lindos, a place we had heard much about, opting to take the bus in as being higher up you can see much more. This was quite an experience, zig-zagging up narrow mountain roads with hairpin bends where it often seemed certain the bus would hit a wall or outcrop of rock. But the driver had driven this route many times and knew how to navigate obstacles.

Read more about Lindos on http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com

Thomson Tui – smile or grimace?

A breathless young lady climbed onto the bus. She was one of the Thomson airport team and she told us to head for the check-in desks displaying the Tui smile logo. So we tumbled quickly from the coach to make way for other buses seeking a stop-off space, and trundled our cases into an airport building bursting at the seams with travellers.

Our flight didn’t take off until 9.55pm, but we were collected from our hotel at…

Read more at http://jingsandthings.wordpress.com