Hilindas-latest-head and welcome back to my Blog Party. It’s day two, and, as you probably remember, I asked my guests to bring two items each to the party. Yesterday, we were joined by Jo Barton, Sue Moorcroft and Jessie Hastings, (One of the characters from my latest novel, ‘Love Them and Leave Them.’) Jessie’s feeling a lot less nervous today, and I think I just spotted her in the garden, playing giant Jenga with Linda Hill.

I’m really pleased Linda could make it to the party. She brought some well-timed champagne, (we’d just polished off Sue’s bottle!) Linda’s also brought a CD , ‘The Best of Roxy Music.’ She’s clutching a photograph to her chest, I’ll try to get a look at that later. For now, Linda, help yourself to some of Jo’s Jaffa Cakes and let’s have a read of your Q&As.

What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you? I was a late reader because my sight is so poor and I didn’t get glasses until I was nearly 8 when I realised those odd black marks were actually letters and they formed words. The first book I ever read to myself was The Ship of Adventure by Enid Blyton.

Which book have you always meant to get round to reading, but still not read? There are approximately 700 on my TBR at the moment and they are ALL calling to me. A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale is one I really want to read and I’ve always told myself I’ll read Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, but I haven’t got round to it yet.

Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)? Bryan Ferry – I once asked him how far his lyrics had been influenced by Shelley’s poetry as I can see parallels. He looked at me with astonishment so I’d like to continue the conversation. My maternal grandfather –  I’d like to ask him just what was going on that made him give my mother away when she was six weeks old after her mother had died as a result of childbirth and why he married again just six weeks after that! Angel Clare from Tess of the D’Urbervilles – so I can challenge him about his pompous treatment of Tess. David Attenborough – he’s a bit of a hero of mine and I’d like to be as active when I’m his age.

What’s the best advice you have ever received? Make the most of every moment.

Where are you happiest? When I’m stepping out of a plane door about to encounter a country I’ve never been to before.

Describe your best ever holiday. Oh. Tricky question. I love travel so I’ve had some fabulous trips. I adored the Galapagos Islands where we were swimming about two miles out at sea with literally hundreds of Galapagos sharks. It’s slightly disconcerting when they swim right at you and look you in the eye and you can see all their teeth. My husband took a great video clip of a shark that was 9 feet long swimming right at him and only swerving away when it got to about three feet away! I loved snorkelling with manta rays in the Maldives too.

But I think my best ever holiday was a trip to Antarctica. We began in Rio and toured the city over several days (although it rained so hard that when we stood at the feet of the Christ the Redeemer statue we couldn’t see the face!).

Then we went to the Iguazu Falls, staying on both the Brazilian and Argentinean sides with a helicopter ride over them. It was the first time I’d been in a helicopter and really exciting. We were there for three nights and the falls are spectacular. Once we left there we went to Buenos Aires to embark on a small cruise ship. It normally held 350 passengers but as there are such strict rules about numbers on Antarctica, there were 120 of us on board with 2 crew for each passenger so the service was amazing. Our first stops were in the Falklands over four days where the poignancy of the setting and the war really touched me. It felt quite surreal seeing places that had been on the news. It was there we began to see albatross and penguins.

Leaving there we went to Antarctica where I think Paradise Bay is the most beautiful place on Earth I’ve ever been. The colours of the ice were incredible. What I would say though is that 500,000 penguins on Paulet Island regurgitating fish for their chicks absolutely stink! The tabular icebergs are so majestic as they float by silently. We had several days cruising and landing on Antarctica before a pretty rough journey back to Argentina and Ushuaia and then a flight up to Buenos Aires for three further days. In Buenos Aires we were lucky enough to go to a traditional tango club and had a fabulous evening watching the dancing. The city had the greatest number of homeless people I’ve ever seen. We had to make sure we were not too obvious about being British too!

We were away for almost a month and had the most amazing time.

What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in? A book of course. And tea. And chocolate.

What’s your signature dish? Er – well, it wasn’t the 9-foot-long ginger snap that was meant to be 24 individual ones. I decided to tweak the recipe and produced a monster that had to be removed from the sides and bottom of the oven with a bolster chisel. My husband does most of the cooking these days.

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook, why? I definitely prefer Twitter as I like the immediacy of it. There’s such a buzz about books there too that I find really exciting.  Facebook is a bit of a mystery to me and I don’t really like using it! I find I’m added to groups I have no idea about on Facebook and my timeline never reveals the things I’d like to see. I only use Facebook for book related items and never anything personal. I don’t think people need to see the last meal I ate!

Thanks for those brilliant answers, Linda. I can see why you feel the need to have a conversation with your maternal grandfather! I suspect I’d need answers too. Now, I’m trying to visualise a 9-foot-long ginger snap being removed with a bolster chisel.

I asked Linda if I can share the picture she’s been lovingly holding on to, and she’s agreed that I can.

linda-and-bryan-ferry

Now I see why she’s so proud of it! 🙂

Linda Hill is a blogger at Linda’s Book Bag.

Another guest is coming up very soon …

Check out my full guest list here.

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