Order In Court – Book Review

Order In Court by David Osborne is an odd, but fun little book. Each Chapter is a new adventure by Barrister Toby Potts. From his love life to his court life, everything is just a little odd – but so are all his clients.

I purchased the book because the tease said it was humor, and I was pleasantly surprised his unique style of writing made me laugh out loud. Mr. Osborne has a gift for turning your tongue. And his subtle humor and innuendo is refreshing.

“Gettig squiffy on rough cider” makes it clear what was going on. Mr. Dan D Lyon is yet another of his characters you’ll want to know more about. He pokes fun at just about everyone, but in a kind way. And you’ll need to be paying attention as you read, the hidden barbs and twists are cleverly woven into the text and all are worth a chuckle.

4 Stars for Mr. Osborne’s latest.

The Flower Sellers – A Tale of Two Sisters

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

That phrase never appeared in my latest read – “A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London’s Flower Sellers” by Hazel Gaynor. The children of historic London were the flower sellers – watercress, roses, lavendar, shamrocks, each season there was one special nosegay they sold on the street to the affluent Britains. It was there they learned to take each day as it comes, don’t wrorry about the future, leave the past where it is. It was there that “little mothers” were born. They were the children who raised their younger siblings in the absence of any parents. It was there the street Urchins might meet Mr. Shaw and be chosen to live and work at his Watercress and Flower Girls Facility in Clerkenwell.

The street urchins of London in the 1800’s, results of polio, accients and abandonment, were like most of the street children – they wore tattered,m dirty frocks, which hun off their undernourished bodies and went about barefoot. Mr. Shaw “sensed that it would be only y housing the girls, removing them permanently from theirlife on the streets and providing them a purpose, that we could ever make a real and lasting difference to their lives.”

The houses were called a “Crippleage”, but they were places where children learned that “to love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth”. They learned to make silk flowers by the hundreds, and they learned to care and share.

This is my best read of 2015, at least thus far. Ms. Gaynor has done a wonderful job telling their true story, all the while asking “Is this an ending or a beginning?” Good question – one I should have asked myself over the years. The love of two sisters, the sorrow of childhood poverty, the history of women in society, the compassion of a London man who owned an engraving business who had #enough and hired a room for hot cocoa and bread and butter.

A must read.

Hospitality Trends – 2015

Professor Cathy Enz, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, recently defined trends for the 2015 travel season.

First, Millennials are the new “power segment” , who will represent 50% of all travelers by 2025.

Technology is essential for this demographic and they expect power check-in, payment, eating and shopping.

A distinctive subset of this market, are foodies looking for unique and novel experiences along with a gourmet experience at reasonable prices.

More travelers will depend on concierge services integrated outlets, usb ports and wireless technology integrated with their hotel,. TV services are basic, but don’t forget the simple clock.

As more travelers prefer technology to human beings, bypassing the front desk, using a digital concierge, and saying good-bye to bellmen is about here. I can’t image art festivals are exempt.

Local tourism businesses need to ask themselves:

Do I provide on-line booking?
Is my system by date, and type of room or exact room?
Do I make it easy for the customer to spend money?
What room upgrades do I offer?
Do I offer charging stations, phone/tablet usb ports?
Do I have a choice of pillows – hard or soft?
Are there adequate suitcase racks or dresser tops?
Do I have room safes?
Do eateries join my network on TV by food type? If I don’t have a TV system, do I offer that on paper?
Do I have maps of local basic business, including the library, etc. in all my rooms?

10 Stacks doesn’t stack up. 2/8/2015 My Review

10 Stacks To Success: How to Achieve Success One Goal at a Time by Jerome Jay Isip

I was intrigued by the title and Mission of this book. I had hoped it would enlighten me on the mindset of the Millennia’s and what motivates them. If you’re going to be in the retail market you need to understand your buyers. After I acquired it I couldn’t decide what market he was writing for. 10 stacks #1

The mission statement was intriguing, but the language was unnecessary. He indentified 10 steps (what he called stacks) to having a beautiful life. I was curious how they might differ from mine and other generations.

It was a disappointment, to say the least. He may be speaking to a target market of younger, less educated and lost souls, but it certainly wasn’t a generation I know. It might get read at a public library, but the language would probably keep it from being offered. 10 stacks # 2

And for me, he lost me at stack 4 (Dream a Little Dream). His primary question was “What do you want from this world? I don’t want anything from this world – it should be what can I give to this world this week? How can I make a difference?10 stacks #3

His opening quote should have made it clear where he was going and the attitude of the writing. Hopefully, for his sake, his target market can relate to him. I could not.

Save your money and time for a book that is more worthy than this one.

Until next time – – -

The Boys in the Boat – Book Review 2/2/15

The story of ordinary men doing extraordinary deeds is always enjoyable, but this one is exceptional. From the inclusion of historic events and social values of the times to the details of rowing, the story is so well written you are there with them for every beat of the oars.Boys in the Boat Cover

What spoke to me most was the “swing”. If you’ve ever had the opportunity/priviledge to be involved with a group and have a “swing” moment, it gives you a senes of belonging like none other. In High School, our award winning marching band competed for awards and placement in the Annual Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Hours of marching, learning music, polishing shoes, and instruments – no detail was too small.

The drum major practiced throwing his mace by the hour. Rain or shine, we marched; we played; we cleaned; we marched some more. Perfect diagonals – perfect rows – perfect music – perfect uniforms; and the ultimate challenge was 125 students stepping off the competition line as one. All in step, same length, same style, same beat, as one – it was our “swing” and we did it. – Jjst like the boys of the boat.

What a wonderful opportunity to share in their triumph and remember our own after almost 50 years. Great job Daniel James!!!