My love affair with John Boyne and why I’m buying ethical chocolate from now on

Hello from rainy Scotland. Now today’s weather is more like what we normally have for summer. In case you weren’t aware, for the last couple of weeks we’ve been experiencing hot sunny weather…which was nice, but not normal. Global warming at its best. Today, it’s cooler and raining.

Anyway, how are you? Hope you’re well and have had a good couple of weeks. I’m currently nursing red eyes having peeled and chopped a large bag of onions this morning to put in the dehydrator (dehydrated onions are lovely rehydrated in soups, stews and sauces). Anyway, despite wearing onion goggles (yes those exist), the onions still managed to get into my eyes and I had to run out of the kitchen, blinded by tears, to the downstairs toilet so I could wash them out. Yes, I am looking adorable right now!! 😉

My love affair with Irish author John Boyne continues. No, I’m not actually having an affair with him, I just love his books. I’m currently reading The Heart’s Invisible Furies and it’s an amazing book. I’m desperate to know how it ends, but I don’t want to finish it either. Sigh.

He’s the guy that wrote The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

I’ve never read that book nor seen the film as I know what happens in the end and I don’t think I could bear it. Anyway, this is my second John Boyne novel and I am now a lifelong fan. He’s a superb storyteller.

What else have I been up to? Well, I was going to cut our front hedge this morning. It’s a large hedge and desperately needs cutting, but the hedge cutter needs charging. I had actually charged it yesterday – or so I thought. What I had actually done was set it up to charge, but didn’t push the battery into the charger properly, so when I went to start up the hedge cutter, it was dead. Pan breid! So, the battery is back in the charger and I hope (fingers crossed) it’s charging. To my lovely neighbours: yes I know the hedge is a mess, I’m doing it tomorrow. Promise! It’s raining now anyway, so I can’t do it now.

I met up with a couple of friends last weekend for a late lunch. We ate at La Lanterna which is an Italian restaurant next to Central Station in Glasgow. The food was great (I had the mussels followed by lasagne) and the chat hilarious. The two ladies I met – Laurina and Carol – are friends of mind whom I used to work with. We’ve not seen each other for months due to the pandemic and it was great to catch up. We had a right laugh. Can’t wait to see you two again sometime soon.

Glasgow, by the way, was jumping. There were so many people in Buchanan Street (I had to walk down it to get from Queen Street station where my train comes in to Central Station) was heaving. It was so bad, I put my mask back on just to get through it. A few other people did the same, but basically it was back to a normal type Saturday afternoon for everyone else. I’m still concerned about Covid, so I’m still doing my best to socially distance from others particularly in a crowd. What was nice, though, was seeing how happy everyone looked. Just hope this is us on the final stretch back to normality.

I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past week for  my Sisters of Sin second novel, Envy. I want to do something on the impact of business on the environment and, when looking into it, discovered to my horror how bad the chocolate industry is. There are people, children, working on African cocoa farms who are basically slaves. This is going to be one of my themes for this novel. I had no idea things were still so bad. And the cocoa is bought by large companies whom we all know and love. I’m going to  buy ethical chocolate in future. I can’t keep buying chocolate that’s been harvested by people in forced labour. It’s just not right. Here’s a Washington Post article on it from December last year if you’re interested in finding out more.

Okay, so that’s me for this week. I’m off for another cup of tea and maybe a wee biscuit. Hmmmm. Til next week.

Dawn xx