Torquay advertises itself to tourists as the "English Riviera". That description may apply in the summer but it took a huge stretch of imagination at the weekend, when the beaches were deserted, the sea grey and shrouded in mist, the wind howled and the rain never stopped. It wasn't quite a Mediterranean weekend but we Brits like our bracing walks and I defied the elements and spent Saturday afternoon walking along the seafront. I've had to take this picture from the tourist board as it was too grey and grim for me to use my camera. My hotel was on the clifftop above the second cove in this picture, with stunning views across the bay.
My conference turned out to be far more interesting than I had anticipated and,if I thought anyone concerned with it might ever read RD, I would apologise profusely for suggesting I might be reading about Mma Ramotswe instead of listening. I met lots of old friends, made many new ones, heard some brilliant speakers, attended seminars and discussions and generally had an interesting and informative weekend. It was good to have the little grey cells stimulated after more than a year in retirement.
Of course the high point of such gatherings is THE FOOD. My good cyberfriend, erp, has asked me for details so, just to make you all envious, I must say that the food was excellent. We ate in the beautiful, candlelit Edwardian dining room to the accompaniment of a selection of popular classics played on the grand piano. I did have a little dilemna because I have bought lots of new clothes for the wedding party we will all be attending a couple of weeks from now and I had to work my way round the menu very carefully so as not to pile on the pounds. Even so, I had two fantastic evening meals: on Friday I chose melon, followed by sorbet and then a beautiful steak with vegetables. I skipped the bread, soup and potatoes but no-one would expect me to miss out on the dessert trolley now would they? I did choose the smallest confection with no added cream! On Saturday I kept to the same wardrobe-conscious routine but with sea bass as my main course. It was all cooked and presented superbly. I hope you are impressed, e!