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December 2011

Put your feet up and start reading! It's holiday time!

Yes, guys it's December, again, the shops are full of glitter and Santas and Christmas carols are pushed into the ether. Oh yes, and in this cacophony of sounds and colours, people are frenetically looking for yet  another present that they HAVE to buy for ............!

It is also a time when Jamie Oliver is in head to head competition with the forever present Delia, .....and Rick Stein pushes his way onto the screen as well and Heston Blumenthal prepares another sophisticated, creative and impossible to replicate Christmas dinner making us all put the apron aside and head for his "The Fat Duck" restaurant.

The next words are for the lucky ones. The ones  who do not need to cook very much, who do not need to visit relatives living at the other side of the country or earth, or who do not have to be the only ones in the office while the whole world is ENJOYING itself. So, for you my lucky ones, here are a few reading suggestions. No, not the intellectual ones but books aimed to give you hours of pleasure tucked in bed with a cup of cocoa, or in a comfy armchair with a cat on your lap and a cup of coffee aside, or when you decide to be a bit sporty and prefer to sit in the coffee shop in David Lloyd. So,  it's time to endulge yourself and your grey cells.

The wedding girlThe first choice goes to Sophie Kinsella and the books written as Madeleine Wickham. WHSmith still has a great offer (4 for 5£) so off you go now! I really enjoyed "The gatecrasher" and "The wedding girl" and planning to read "The tennis party".The gatecrasher



Murphy's LawIf you are in the mood for some mystery books written by an "Agatha award winner" Rhys Bowen's "Molly Murphy series" is a must. Her books are more than just detective stories. It is obvious that Rhys did a lot of research into the life of the Irish immigration at the beginning of the 1900, the challenges of the daily life, habits and cultural aspects our generation knows very little about. Tell me pretty maidenI loved "In like Flynn" and "For the love of Mike" and getting ready for some charming hours reading "Murphy's Law" and "Tell me pretty maiden".

If you like to cook curries probably you have come across Madhur Jaffrey. Although you will not see her on TV anymore it's good to remember that she played an important role in promoting Indian cooking through her books and BBC television series. I'm not going to suggest one of her cookery books but her memoir "Climbing the mango trees". The book starts with the following words "I was born in my grandparents' sprawling house by the Yamuna River in Delhi. Grandmother welcomed me into this work by writing OM, which means "I am" in Sanskrit, on my tongue with a little finger dipped in honey ..................." I remember reading this first paragraph in Waterstones and I was hooked.Climbing the mango trees

And a last suggestion for today. It could very well be that you are thinking about making some changes in your life be it on a professional or personal levels. If you tend to think and overthink  ............ here is the perfect book for you by Dr Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, "Women who think too much".  As a solution focused psychotherapist and a person who also tends to overthink  .... yes, nobody is perfect .............. I found the book very, very useful.

 Women who think too muchThat's all for today! Happy reading and if we don't meet again before Christmas, over-eat, laugh out loud, think why you are lucky, and just really enjoy!


The vibrant colours of the Algerian markets are on Terminus Road


I am nostalgic! Is it because of the grey December days in Eastbourne? Who knows? Suddenly I miss the Romanian markets, the colourful stalls full of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables (the mountains of juicy cabbages, red potatoes in cone style packs, the egg shaped red grapes, the red onions, perfumed quinces) negotiating with the stall owners, chatting with the occasional neighbours one meets in between the stalls.

There are no proper street markets in Eastbourne. The supermarkets, hypermarkets bring you shiny products in plastic bags, hygienized ( I really miss seeing some earth on the carrots and potatoes), tasteless most of the time but looking gorgeous. So much form without the substance!

5 years down the line and ................ there is HOPE! 6 weeks ago a couple of Algerians, absolutely adorable, decided to risk it all, blend their natural negotiating instincts, customer care and taste of fresh produce and open a shop in Terminus Road. What a discovery it was for me!


It is not only a shop! It is a place where you are encouraged to try exotic (for me) products, you are mentored  how to cook them, and all of this with a genuine smile and warmth!   What an asset for Eastbourne! May their venture flourish and I do hope that the Eastbourners will support this young but oh so needed venture.

So, remember! The best and cost effective fruits and vegetables in Eastbourne can be found at 223 Terminus Road close to the Pier end! See you there!