Sarah Coles
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Astley Castle -The Best Landmark Property of All

THE BEST Our first Landmark holiday was at Ascog on the Isle of Bute, when Dexter was four months old – now he is nineteen.  With Dexter, Bob and me, Bill and Margot with Geordie three years later, Ann who was at school with me in the 50s and Mike, and others from time to time, we have been to a Landmark property almost every year since.  Margot says it’s how she’s got to know the countryside. Every Landmark whether castle, farmhouse, townhouse, stable or mansion is a dilapidated historic property renovated by the Landmark Trust and then let for holidays.   Without exception, each is...
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2020 EGYPT again

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COVID. THIRD LOCKDOWN

COVID AGAIN! Last year, we thought Covid would come and go like Spanish flu – killing plenty, sure, but over after a few months.  In fact Covid has rumbled on since March 2020 and it’s now January 2021.  We are in our third lockdown, with spiky graphs climbing higher and higher, and reports of overflowing hospitals and a coffin shortage.  In ‘free’ periods not many people were about, and a plus was the joy travelling by train or going to the cinema because no one could sit beside you. Now, again everywhere except essential shops (food, hardware, post office but I can’t think of anywhere...
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EERIE EDINBURGH

Bill drove us to Portobello and parked among an estate of very proper 1930s bungalows.  Weirdly, a 19th century mausoleum like a giant concrete block towers over them.  It is the Craig Miller Mausoleum (what Miller did no one seems to know) and its sides depict the crossing of the Red Sea.    One has a plaque with the Israelites, a man and dancing maidens, called ‘the song of Moses and Miriam’.  There’s a hen or two, and a cow.  Water laps their feet.  On the other side is Pharaoh on his chariot – you’d recognise him anywhere – as he and his men and horses are overthrown by...
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A Journey with Corona Virus. Living in a Pandemic

Illness is the travel of the poor, they say, and I meanly agreed.  I thought how people like Mary Hillier, my daily, lovingly discussed the symptom of illnesses, like places visited on holiday. Corona virus, or Covid 19. We’re still in the middle of Corona lockdown, and I told Geordie (15, in Edinburgh) to keep a diary of this weird time, then thought, I’d better make a note myself, since I have actually – I presume – had it. Symptoms are so varied – you can have it without knowing, you can have it badly, and you can have it lightly. Me? No tests, I haven’t officially had it. Most...
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