Durham divas

Sandi RussellColor by Sandi Russell 001

Lotte ShanklandCopenhagen Tales 001Lovely weekend ‘up North in Durham staying with new friends Lotte Shankland and her husband Hugh in their wonderful tumbling, Georgian house looking out towards the Cathedral. In the bedroom hangs one of Lotte’s amazing banners, for the Ruth First Educational Trust at the University. But both Lotte and Hugh have contributed to OUP’s series, edited by Helen Constantine, of collections of short stories based around major capital cities. Hugh, a lover of all things Italian produced Rome Tales and Danish born Lotte, appropriately Copenhagen Tales. Warmly recommended as is their warmth, generosity of spirit and Lotte’s brisket and dauphinoise potato dish.

Sandi, our longtime, much loved friend, jazz singer, teacher and novelist also recently published well, a couple of years ago now, Color, a glowing, haunting account of a community and family relationships set in the American south, in Virginia. A Durham resident for over 30 years, Sandi, despite health problems that would have poleaxed any normal mortal, continues to teach and write.

We love them both. Fantastic women.

Durham too, despite drenching rain was a sight for sore eyes. Especially the Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture. Below my friend, Jess, imitating a toadstool.Durham in aprilThe old Bailey bridge, I think…