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Archive for the ‘Poldark’ Category

As I came out of the new organic supermarket this morning, the dry heat hit me–transporting me directly to California.

That would be nice.

Enter the shop in France and exit six thousand miles away and close to the ocean–all stocked up!

Dream on–though they did put a robot on Mars this week–not in my lifetime.

Good weather for a stressful day–a double clinic visit and the results of a blood test.

On second thoughts, maybe California and the land of perpetual sun is not such a good idea….

My first clinic visit is to a skin surgeon for him to look at a small cancer on the left side of my nose.

Stop PressPoldark’s scar becomes a reality!

Pas de soucis–the dermatologist assured me, providing a referral to Docteur Mylonas, the plastic surgeon–nothing to worry about!

He confirmed what she’d told me–that the culprit was the sun.

I had spent all my sun capital!, she’d said, charmingly.

Docteur Mylonas picked a date at the end of August for the small operation.

Just after lunch on the 28th suit you?

It’s this easy? Seems so. 

That’ll be forty euros for today, says the receptionist, all reimbursable barring 2 euros.

Quel système!

The blood sample was taken–here in the kitchen–at 8 am Tuesday by our friend, Sylvie, one of the local team of nurses.

Just the quarterly A1C  (measuring the glucose levels in my blood).

Sometimes the result comes in the post from the lab the next day.

Nothing yesterday.

I listen anxiously for the postal van’s vibrations on my return from the clinique.

Just before 1pm–a tad early–I hear it and go out to the box.

The envelope is there and the moment of truth–eek!

Worryguts in my head, it’s bound to be bad…

I unfold the paper and…

6.4% is clearly written–0.1% less than 3 months ago. In the range of normal–just!

A silent whoopee is followed by a moment of self-satisfaction as the anxiety recedes.

But there is no room for complacency, Robin, I quickly remind myself.

The 6pm appointment with the cardiologist will round off the day!

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A week nearly since Angharad died. The response on the blog has been extraordinary.

Over twelve thousand hits and an outpouring of emotion that has astonished me.

She touched so many hearts with her performance and–for those that met her–with her charm and zest for life.

Her early death at 63 is shocking and promotes a feeling of disbelief–how can this be?

Many people are watching Poldark again on the newly-reissued DVDs or on Netflix in the USA  and there she is in her prime–fiery and proud–in full flood, giving as good as she gets and eventually winning through.

It seems impossible that she’s gone.

Karen H in her comment recalled Demelza’s words in the final scene of the series.

“The last sentence Angharad says as Demelza rings so true,There is no tomorrow. All we have is now.”

Carpe diem–Karen adds.

Life goes on.

Il faut l’accepter.

The hay is in and the sunflowers are beginning to bow to the inevitable.

The tomatoes–better tended than last year–are ripening.

Even the two courgette plants are surviving.

Meredith and Alice collected five kilos of honey from the hive this week in the second harvest. It has a deeper hue this time due to the different plants the bees are working on.

The chicks are no longer chicks and are roaming wider each day on bug patrol.

The garlic is drying in the barns as the Lautrecois, (us locals!), look forward to the annual Fete de L’Ail Rose–held always on the first Friday of August–in a week’s time.

If the weather holds we can expect over 10 thousand people to mill through the narrow streets of the village.

Sawle Feast was a more modest affair back then but surely no less anticipated and prepared for by the Nampara household!

It has touched me deeply to read the many comments and learn how moved people are by Angharad’s passing.

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I have just heard that Angharad Rees has died aged 63 from pancreatic cancer.

It is devastating news.

Angharad was a wonderful friend and talented professional colleague.

Her portrayal of Demelza in Poldark was definitive and the series could not have enjoyed the success it had without her unique spirit informing the role.

We shared a very special time.

I will always remember her with enormous affection and respect.

She was a person who took pains to care for others.

She spread her magic where ever she went.

Her sense of humour was a joy and often for me a morale booster.

It was a privilege to know her.

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Winston as a Cornish gent, eagerly awaiting his debut as an extra in the second series of Poldark!

Today would have been Winston Graham’s 104th birthday!

He was born in 1908 in Manchester. His family moved to Perranporth in Cornwall in 1925 after his father died prematurely at 53.

There he married Jean Williamson–whom he’d first met when she was 13 (Demelza’s age when she first met Ross at the fair). He was just 18. They lived there for the next 25 years, bringing up their two children, Andrew and Rosamund.

Winston–a meticulous researcher as well as a great storyteller–steeped himself in Cornish history and customs. He wrote the first book of the saga–Ross Poldark--in 1945.

Eleven more books followed. The last in the saga– Bella Poldark–written when he was 92!

A month ago I checked out the Desert Island Discs archive ( a popular BBC radio series where guests choose eight recordings to comfort them after supposedly being shipwrecked on a desert island) . I remembered vaguely that Winston had been the subject some time around the screening of the series.

I found it and enjoyed listening to his choice and being reminded of his voice.

Last week when sitting with my back to his son Andrew–whose 70th birthday we had gone to Corfu to celebrate–I heard a voice say–“and what are you going to do this afternoon?”.

It was uncanny–the voice and the intonation were Winston’s!

Winston and Jean at our wedding in 1990.

I will always feel appreciative of Winston for writing such a wonderful tale that has meant so much in my own life.

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Meredith’s shot of the mountains of central Corsica–soon after taking off from Toulouse and heading east on our secret mission with a Poldark connection…

Elba–Napoleon’s home for a while and where the Ellis family had a holiday in 1962–is quickly followed by…

…the island of Giglio with last year’s wreck of the Concordia lying on its side, just visible,  looking like a child’s white coffin.

Then leaving Italy at Brindisi and approaching our destination, the island of Corfu–hoping the secret will hold until Tuesday evening when the celebrant should get the surprise of his life!

The view (below)–Albania–from the location where all was revealed last night and our subject was duly astonished that such a thing could be achieved.

PLOT revealed!

Andrew Graham–Winston’s son–is 70 today and Peggotty his wife summoned friends from far and wide (Texas and  Melbourne–Sydney, Bath and Lautrec) to bear witness and celebrate with a Surprise Party.

She did it for his 40th, his 50th and his 60th.

As Andrew arrived on the empty terrace of the villa last night, one by one, familiar faces popped up from hiding….

“She’s done it again and I had no idea!”

Today all 19 co-conspirators are all feeling self-satisfied and relieved.

Mission Accomplished!

Now let’s go for a swim…

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…from the local Amazon service in the UK, France, Italy, Germany  and Spain!

The postage and packaging charges should be significantly cheaper than when ordering it from the US.

The revision is 9000 words longer and tells the sad story of the how the promising third series of Poldark failed to materialise– plus further stories of life after Poldark, including our move to France and how a passion for cooking and a diagnosis of Type Two diabetes had very positive consequences…

There are many more photos, some from Winston Graham’s private collection, taken when he and his wife Jean joined us on location in Cornwall during the filming of the second series.

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Originally written and published by a small Cornish publisher in 1978–Making Poldark was updated in 1987 when the BBC aired the series again.

When I heard that Acorn Media were going to make Poldark available in a double DVD set for the first time in the United States, it seemed like a good opportunity to take another look at the book to see if it was worth updating again.

This extended version is the result. With many more photographs, some from Winston’s own album of photos he took while with us on location for the second series (published with the kind permission of his son, Andrew Graham).

It covers both the professional and the personal.

The original was a light-hearted memoir of the making of the series.

The new edition includes an account of how and why the plan to make a third series ended so badly–a sad and disappointing tale–enlivened towards the end by The Poldark Appreciation Society’s valiant and colorful protest campaign.

It sketches in the intervening years which have seen our move to France, my diagnosis with Type Two diabetes and the publication of Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

There are  two versions of the new edition. One is a color-enhanced Collectors Edition, the other is a standard black & white version.

They are available via the website, CreateSpace: 

 The Black and White version $14.99

Colour version $24.99

or http://www.Amazon.com/.

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