Three Loves 1


Linda has already treated us to a series called ‘Live, Laugh, Love with Linda’. I’m sure you will have found inspiration to get out there and enjoy life, as I did. To keep it fresh, we’re changing it up a bit and now concentrating on three of Linda’s main loves – eating, reading and visiting new places.



For me, love is reading a good book. As I devour crime books, many are soon forgotten: the unbelievable, the boring or the weak! A good crime story needs something different to be remembered by me. ‘Death of the Elver Man’ by Jennie Finch┬áis a book to remember. I instantly connected with the title, which reminded me of a childhood activity. I was taken back to standing in a stream trying to catch eels at around nine years old and realising how impossible it was. The book was set in Somerset. A probation officer starts a new job. One of her clients is blamed for the death of an elver man in the poaching underworld. Such a different setting intrigued me. Realising his innocence, she searches for the killer and becomes stalked herself. The customs, dialect and local ideas she encounters add to the atmosphere. Her car is an old banger that always lets her down. The book has its fair share of violence and description. I enjoyed this book, a debut novel, and was pleased to find another two already written by the same author, ‘The Moth Man’ and ‘Smoke and Adders’.


Love is a good meal and my absolute favourite is duck. Its pink, velvety, melt in the mouth texture simply delights me. The sauce with it is always a major interest. When I check out a menu, my eyes are always drawn to the duck and my choice is made. Starters of shredded duck are fab. I could make a whole meal of this starter. Ha ha! Duck with orange or plum sauce are really good. I once ate duck with tangerine sauce at the Ravensworth Arms Hotel many years ago, which I remember fondly. Recently, I went to The Old Mill at Consett. My husband recommended it five years ago and I decided to go last week. I just fancied somewhere new. Set on a country lane is an old mill house which curves around two ponds. The eclectic array of farm implements add to the warm interior. We sat near a coal fire…Mmm. Hoping for a coffee, my other half had other ideas. He pointed out the duck and a black cherry jus, whilst ordering steak and ale pie. It was divine! Succulent black cherries sat in a dark cherry shiny sauce, which swamped the tender duck. Well it was swamped when I poured the whole jug of jus out! This is now my favourite variation of duck. I love roast duck and curried duck is also tasty. I just love eating duck!


I love is a good place to visit … and CenterParc’s spa at Whinfell Forest is my favourite spa. Booking the twilight slot of 5pm to 8pm on a Saturday night in January is perfect. I love to dive into the hot outdoor pool. Yes, you swim outside. Yes, you swim in the dark. Yes, it is cold walking to the poolside. But entering the underlit, turquoise, hot water is wonderful. Swimming under the stars, or when it is snowing or raining, is incredible. Back inside are tiled steam rooms with beautiful scents. There is a pool with various jets to attack any knotted muscles. Three hours later, relaxed and rejuvenated you leave feeling that as an experience, it is amazing. I love it.


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