Posted by: jowanderer | October 26, 2008

CHEESECAKE

消化餅屑       1杯(as you wish)
溶牛油           1/3杯
魚膠粉           3匙
忌廉芝士        500克
砂糖              3/4杯
忌廉              1/2杯
lemon juice    ( squeeze in some if you like)
 
i can’t find the nestle one, use this (250ml)

vary the cream:cheese as you like
i’ll do 1:1 ( 250ml:250g)
if you want it to be more fluffy, increase the proportion of cream
 
 
 
1. 消化餅屑及牛油混合壓於餅模底,放入雪柜。魚膠粉用1/2杯熱水溶化。
2. 拌勻忌廉芝士至軟,加入砂糖,再加已拌成泡沫的忌廉及魚膠粉水。 (do it slowly to keep the bubbles )
3. 將(2)倒入雪至硬身的餅模中,放入雪柜約2-3小時即成。

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Posted by: jowanderer | September 7, 2008

Jeffrey Archer – Kane and Abel

Jeffrey Archer – Kane and Abel

 

Florentyna struck those who saw her for the first time as a pretty, frail, shabby little thing. It was unfair that for the last three years she had had only one dress to wear, but those who could separate their opinion of the child from that of her surroundings understood why Jasio had fallen in love with her mother. Florrentyna’s long fair hair shone while her hazel eyes sparkled in defiance against the influence of her birth and diet.

Wladek returned to the castle with joy. Leon welcomed him back with open arms; for him, as isolated by the wealth of his father as Wladek was by the poverty of the trapper, it had also been a Christmas with little to celebrate.

‘Surely it won’t happen in my next pregnancy?’ she asked, phrasing her question to dispose the doctor to a favourable answer.

Grandmother Kane and Grandmother Cabot claimed that they would never travel in the dreadful machine and never did, although it should be pointed out that Grandmother Kane travelled to her funeral in a motor car, but was never informed.

Doctor and nurse were unanimous however in their insistence that he should remain in bed. Anne used the extra time to write long letters to the family, while William remained in bed, protesting, but on Thursday morning he got himself up early and went into his mother’s room, very much back to his normal self. He climbed into bed next to her and his cold hands immediately woke her up. Anne was relieved to see him so obviously fully recovered. She rang to order breakfast in bed for both of them, an indulgence William’s father would never have countenanced.
In all Sir Piers’ career as a politician, diplomat and now chairman of Kane and Cabot, London, he had never seen such self-containment in one so young. Presence is given to very few, he was heard to remark some years later. It had been given to Richard Kane and had been passed on to his only son.

William made no reply. He was thus provided with the motive for life which he had lacked before, and he acted upon his grandmother’s advice. He learned to live with his sorrow without complaining and from that moment on he threw himself steadfastly into his work at school, satisfied only if Grandmother Kane seemed impressed. At no subject did he fail to excel, and in mathematics he was not only top of his class but far ahead of his years. Anything his father had achieved, he was determined to better. He grew even closer to his mother and became suspicious of anyone who was not family, so that he was often thought of as a solitary child, a loner and, unfairly, as a snob.

When he had lived in the safety of the castle, Wladek had never thought of the previous day with so much occupying him from hour to hour. Now he was unable to remember even the previous hour, because nothing ever changed, Hopeless minutes turned into hours, hours into days, and then months that he soon lost track of. Only the arrival of food, darkness or light indicated that another twelve hours had passed, while the intensity of that light, and its eventual giving way to storms, and then ice forming on the dungeon walls, melting only when a new sun appeared, heralded each season in a manner that Wladek could never have learned from a nature study lesson. During the long nights Wladek became even more aware of the stench of death that permeated even the farthest comers of the four dungeons, alleviated occasionally by the morning sunshine, a cool breeze, or the most blessed relief of all, the return of rain.

She watched his car glide slowly back down Beacon Hill knowing that she wanted to see him again. She was delighted, though not entirely surprised, when he telephoned her the following morning.

Although she was well aware that he looked younger than herself, he had done so much with his life that she always felt deliciously youthful and inexperienced in his company. She told him about her husband’s death, and cried a little more- He took her hand and she spoke of her son with glowing pride and affection.

The announcement during that summer of the engagement came as no surprise to anyone except William. He had disliked Henry intensely from the day that Anne, with a well-founded sense of misgiving, introduced them to each other. Their first conversation took the form of long questions from Henry, trying to prove he wanted to be a friend, and monosyllabic answers from William, showing that he didn’t.

The old and the sick were starting to die, quietly at night, if they were lucky. The unlucky ones, unable to keep up the pace, were uncuffed from the chains and cast off to be left alone in the endless snow. Those who survived walked on, on, on, always towards the north, until Wladek lost all sense of time and was simply conscious of the inexorable tug of the chain, not even sure when he dug his hole in the snow to sleep at night that he would wake the next morning: those that didn’t had dug their own grave.

Breakfast in a freezing communal hall lasted for ten minutes and consisted of a bowl of lukewarm gniel, with pieces of rotten fish and a leaf of cabbage floating in it. The newcomers spat the fish bones out on the table while the more seasoned prisoners ate the bones and even the fishes’ eyes.

You must realise by now that escape is impossible. I have been in captivity fifteen years, and not a day has passed that I have not thought of escape.

Fifteen years to scrape together two hundred rubles, a shirt and a suit, and the doctor was willing to sacrifice them to Wladek in a moment.

Wladek never again in his life experienced such an act of selflessness.

‘May I sit down?’

‘Please do,’ said the woman, looking at him carefully.

He was unlatching the window when the door was flung open and into the room came the station master, a tiny man, no taller than Wladek, with a large stomach and an almost bald head covered in long strands of grey hair. He wore rimless spectacles, which had produced little red semicircles under each eye. The man carried a paraffin lamp.

He hesitated as he passed the woman and touched her hand, feeling the response. Nothing was said; no words would have been adequate.

From his inside pocket the man drew out an official looking form, signed it hurriedly, and handed it over furtively to Wladek. The station master’s eyes kept looking all around him for any possible danger. Wladek had seen those eyes so many times during the past four years; the eyes of a coward.

 He undid his little parcel and started to investigate. Apples, bread, nuts, two shirts, a pair of trousers and even shoes were contained in that brown-papered treasure trove. What a woman, what a husband.

He gazed into the blue expanse longingly: that way was freedom and escape from Russia. The city must have seen its fair share of fighting: bumt-out houses and squalor were all too evident, grotesque in the mild, flower-scented sea air.

Anne wasn’t sure whether she should talk to him about it, and each Monday she would carefully extract William’s letter from the box to be certain that Henry never saw the envelope. She continued to hope, that in time William would come around to liking Henry, but it became clear that that hope was unrealistic when, in one particular letter to his mother, he sought her permission to stay with his friend, Matthew Lester, for the summer holidays. The request came as a painful blow to Anne, but she took the easy way out and fell in with William’s plans, which Henry also seemed to favour.

‘However, it may interest you to know, Mr. Kane, that your mother has drawn out the entir

The letters kept coming, sometimes with new names. Anne continued to destroy them, but now they were beginning to prey on her mind. She wanted to discuss the whole problem with someone, but couldn’t think of anybody in whom she could confide.

She feared another could only mean more bad news.

She called the bank. The operator put her straight through..

‘Alan, you, wanted to see me?’

‘Yes, my dear, I would like to have a chat sometime. When would suit you?’

‘Is it bad news?’ asked Anne.

‘Not exactly, but I would rather not say anything over the phone, but there’s nothing for you to worry about. Are you free for lunch, by any chance?’

‘Yes I am, Alan.’

‘Well, let’s meet at the Ritz at one o’clock. I look forward to seeing you then, Anne!’

——–

‘William, dear boy, how are you and how are things at St. Paul’s?’

‘All is well this end, thank you, sir, but that’s not why I telephoned!

The tact of an advancing Mack truck, thought Alan. ‘No, I didn’t imagine it was,’ he replied drily. ‘What can I do for YOU?’

‘I’d like to see you tomorrow afternoon?’

‘On a Sunday, William?’

‘Yes, as it’s the only day I can get away from school, I’ll come to you any time any place.’ William made the statement sound as though it were a concession on his part. ‘And under no condition is my mother to know of our meeting!’

——
Alan hit an even worse tee shot. Williarn’s went right down the middle of the fairway. Alan chopped the next shot into a bush he had never even realised existed before and swore out loud for the first time in forty-three years. (He had got a hiding on that occasion as well.)

‘That’s asking a little too much,’ said Alan, as he joined up with William on the fif th green.

‘It’s nothing compared with what I’d do if I couldn’t be sure of your support, sir!’

‘I don’t think your father would have approved of threats, William,’ said Alan as he watched William’s ball sink from fourteen feet.

‘The only thing of which my father would not have approved is Osborne,’ retorted William. Alan Lloyd two-putted four feet from the hole.

‘Do you have any more bombshells for me?’ asked Alan.

‘Before or after your putt, sir?’

Anne turned and smiled at him. ‘How kind of you to come Alan, when you must be so busy at the bank.’

‘I couldn’t afford to miss out on one of your parties, my dear, they’re still the toast of Boston.’

She smiled. ‘I wonder if you ever say the wrong thing!’

—–

‘Anne, I am sorry. I can understand how that might look and why you are upset, but there really was a reason, believe me. May I come around and explain everything to you?’

‘No, Alan, you can’t. You’re all ganging up against my husband. None of you wants to give him a chance to prove himself. Well, I am going to give him that chance!’

——-
The two boys sat in silence on the small bench and waited. Frightening cries and screams, unlike any sound they had ever heard anyone make, came from the delivery room; to be succeeded by an even more frightening silence. For the first time in his life William felt totally helpless. The two of them sat there for over an hour, without a word passing between them. Eventually a tired Doctor MacKenzie emerged.

The two boys rose, and the doctor looked at Matthew Lester.

‘William?’he asked.

‘No, sir, I am Matthew Lester; this is William.’

The doctor turned to William and put a hand on his shoulder. ‘William, I’m so sorry, your mother died a few minutes ago … and the child, a little girl, was stillborn.’

William’s legs gave way and he sank on to the bench. ‘We did everything in our power to save them, but it was hopeless.’ He shook his head wearily. ‘She wouldn’t listen to me, she insisted on having the baby. It should never have happened.’

William sat silently, stunned by the whiplash sound of the doctor’s words.
———-
 ‘We can discuss this again when I am twenty-one and not before. Until then I would be obliged if you would run my bank in your usual diplomatic and conservative manner. I want nothing of what has happened to be discussed outside this office. You will destroy any information you have on Henry Osborne and consider the matter closed.’

————
During their last term, he and Matthew would sit in their study at St. Paul’s for hours, never speaking unless Matthew had some rnathernatical problem he was quite unable to solve- When the long awaited examinations finally came, they lasted for only one brutal week. The moment they were over, both boys were sanguine about their results, but as the days went by, and they waited and waited, their confidence began to diminish. … As more time went by and still he heard nothing, William began to assume the worst.
Yet another telegram arrived, this one from Charles Lester, congratulating his son and inviting the boys to tea at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Both grandmothers sent congratulations to William, but as Grandmother Kane informed Alan Lloyd, somewhat testily, ‘the boy has done no less than was expected of him and no more than his father did before him.’

The four of them had a memorable evening, mainly because Abel knew exactly what to expect from a good restaurant. His three guests all had a great deal too much to eat, and when the bill was presented, George was aghast to see that it came to more than he earned in a month. Abel paid the bill without a second glance. If you have to pay a bill, make it look as if the amount is of no consequence. If it is, don’t go to the restaurant again, but whatever you do, don’t comment or look surprised – something else the rich had taught him.

When the party broke up at about two in the morning,

‘I have been very impressed by what I’ve seen, Abel, because you got class, real class, and I am always on the lookout for that. Ellsworth Statler was a fool not to pick you up right away.’

‘What are you paid?’ said Mr. Leroy.

The suddenness of the question took Abel by surprise. ‘I take in around twenty-4five dollars a week with tips.’

‘I’ll start you at thirty-five a week.’

‘Tell me, Matthew, what is the point of spending one hour climbing up a hill only to come back down the same hill in a few seconds at considerable risk to life and limb?’

Matthew grunted. ‘Sure gives me a bigger kick than graph theory, William. Why don’t you admit you’re not very good either at the going up or the coming down?

They both did enough work in their sophomore year to get by, although their interpretations of ‘getting by’ were wildly different.

They both did enough work in their sophomore year to get by, although their interpretations of ‘getting by’ were wildly different. For the first two months of the summer holidays, they worked as junior management assistants in Charles Lester’s bank in New York, Matthew’s father having long since given up the battle of trying to keep William away. When the dog days of August arrived, they spent most of their time dashing about the New England countryside in ‘Daisy’ sailing on the Charles River with as many different girls as possible and attending any house party to which they could get themselves invited. In no time, they were among the accredited personalities of the university, known to the cognoscenti as the Scholar and the Sweat. It was perfectly understood in Boston society that the girl who married William Kane or Matthew Lester would have no fears for her future, but as fast as hopeful mothers appeared with their fresh-faced daughters, Grandmother Kane and Grandmother Cabot despatched them unceremoniously.

That summer, the grandmothers, fearing a fresh outbreak of predatory girls, despatched William and Matthew on the grand tour of Europe, which turned out to be a great success for both of them. Matthew, surmounting all language barriers, found a beautiful girl in every major European capital – love, he assured William, was an international commodity.

William secured introductions to a director of most of the major European banks – money, he assured Matthew, was also an international commodity.

From London to Berlin to Rome, the two young men left a trail of broken hearts and suitably impressed bankers. When they returned to Harvard in September, they were both ready to hit the books for their final year.

After months of long, studious days, William and Matthew were almost ready – no one ever thinks he is quite ready -for their final examinations. For six days they answered questions and filled up sheets and sheets of the little books, and then they waited, not in vain for they both graduated as expected from Harvard in June of 1928.

Alan Lloyd waited for his reply. It was not forthcoming. ‘Well, I must say, William, it’s most unlike you to be rendered speechless by anything!’
——–
William played for another meeting. ‘Don’t let’s make too hasty a decision. I think it might be wise to consult my colleagues and discuss this with you again at a later date.’

She shrugged slightly. ‘As you wish. I don’t really care about the money either way, and I wouldn’t want to put you to any inconvenience!’

William blinked. ‘Mrs. Brookes, I must confess to have been surprised by your magnanimous attitude. At least allow me the pleasure of taking you to lunch.’

She smiled for the first time, revealing an unsuspected dimple in her right cheek. William gazed at it in delight and did his utmost to provoke its reappearance over a long lunch at the Ritz. By the time he returned to his desk, it was well past three o’clock.

——-
Finally, after the legal papers were signed, he could find no more excuses for not returning to Boston. He invited her to dinner at his hotel, resolved to reveal something of his feelings for her. Not for the first time, she took him by surprise. Before he had broached the subject, she asked him, twirling her glass to avoid looking at him, if he would like to stay over at Buckhurst Park for a few days.

‘A sort of holiday for us both.’ She blushed; William remained silent.

Finally she found the courage to continue. ‘I know this might sound mad, but you must realise I’ve been very lonely. The extraordinary thing is that I seem to have enjoyed the last week with you more than any time I can remember.’ She blushed again. ‘I’ve expressed that badly, and you’ll think the worst of me.’

William’s pulse leaped. ‘Kate, I have wanted to say something at least as bad as that for the last nine months.’

‘Then you’ll stay for a few days, William?’

‘Yes, Kate, I will.’
———-

‘For larceny on a grand scale.’

‘Good morning, Mr. Leroy. It’s Abel Rosnovski calling from Chicago. I’ve just fired Desmond Pacey, and he wants a word with you.’

Melanie Leroy always dined with her father on these visits. Cool, pretty, with a slim figure and long legs which attracted many a stare from the hotel guests, she treated Abel with a slight degree of hauteur which gave him no encouragement for the aspirations he had begun to formulate for her, nor did she invite him to substitute ‘Melanie’ for ‘Miss Leroy’ until she discovered he was the holder of an economics degree from Columbia and knew more about discounted cash flow than she did herself. After that, she softened a little and came from time to time to dine with Abel alone in the hotel and seek assistance with the work she was doing for her liberal arts degree at the University of Chicago. Emboldened, he occasionally escorted her to concerts and the theatre, and began to feel a proprietorial jealousy whenever she brought other men to dine at the hotel, though she never came with the same escort twice.

‘Has Mr. Leroy given you the authority to represent him?’

‘No, but.. .’

‘Then I am sorry. It would be most unprofessional of me to continue this conversation.’

‘You couldn’t be less helpful, could you?’ asked Abel, immediately regretting his words.

‘That is no doubt how you see it, Mr. Rosnovski. Good day, sir.’
The next evening Abel spotted Melanie in the restaurant, not displaying her usual well-groomed confidence but looking tired and anxious, and he nearly asked her if everything was all right. He decided against approaching her and, as he left the dining room to go to his office, he found Davis Leroy standing alone in the front hall.

‘Oh my God, Abel, I hope you didn’t put all your money into me.’His voice was becoming thick.

‘Every last cent,’ said Abel. ‘But I don’t regret it, Davis. Better to lose with a wise man than win with a fool! He poured himself another bourbon.

She clung to him, happy in his happiness.
———–
Richard’s last words before sleeping were, ‘Tree, Daddy.’ William gave in.

It wasn’t his day.

‘You look exhausted, darling. I hope you haven’t forgotten that we’re having drinks later with Andrew MacKenzie.’

‘Hell, Andrew’s party had totally slipped my mind. What time is he expecting us?,’

‘In about an hour.’

‘Well, first I’m going to take a long, hot bath.’

‘I thought that was a woman’s privilege,’ said Kate.

‘Tonight I need a little pampering. I’ve had a nerveracking day.’

‘Tony bothering you again?’

‘Yes, but I am afraid this time he’s in the right. He’s been complaining about Matthew’s drinking habits. I was only thankful he didn’t mention the womanising. It’s become impossible to take Matthew to any party nowadays without the eldest daughter, not to mention the occasional wife, having to be locked away for their own safety. Will you run my bath?’

——–
The funeral was held in New York, and William and Kate stayed with Charles Lester. In six months, he had become an old man, and as he stood by the graves of his wife and only son, he told William that he no longer saw any purpose in this life. William said nothing; no words of his could help the gnevmg father. William and Kate returned to Boston the next day. The Red House seemed strangely empty without Matthew. The past few months had been at once the happiest and unhappiest period in William’s life. Death had brought him a closeness, both to Matthew and to Kate, that normal life would never have allowed.

When William retutned to the bank after Matthew’s death, he found it hard to get back into any sort of normal routine. He would get up and start to head towards Matthew’s office for advice or a laugh, or merely to be assured of his existence, but he was no longer there. It was weeks before William could prevent himself from doing this.

Tony Simmons was very understanding, but it didn’t help. William lost all interest in banking, even in Kane and Cabot itself, as he went through months of remorse over Matthew’s death. He had always taken it for granted that he and Matthew would grow old together and share a cormnon destiny. No one commented that William’s work was not up to its usual high standard.

Even Kate grew worried by the hours William would spend alone.

Then one morning she awoke to find him sitting on the edge of the bed staring down at her. She blinked up at him. ‘Is something wrong, darling?’

‘No, I’m just looking at my greatest asset and making sure I don’t take it for granted!
———

‘Then you must listen to an old man who has, over the years, come to view you with great respect, and if I may say so, with some affection, and I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do if I were faced with your predicament!

——–
William strode into the impressive oak-panelled room and did not need to count heads to be sure that every director was present. This was not going to be one of those board meetings a director could occasionally afford to skip. The conversation stopped the moment William entered the room, and there was an awkward silence as they all stood around and stared at him. William quickly took the chairman’s seat at the head of the long mahogany table before Peter.Parfitt could realise what was happening.

‘Gentlemen, please be seated,’ said William, hoping his voice sounded fim Ted Leach. and some of the other directors took their seats immediately; others were more reluctant. Murmuring started.

William could see that two directors whom he didn’t know were about to rise and interrupt him.

‘Before anyone else says anything I would, it you will allow me, like to make an opening statement, and then you can decide how you wish to proceed from there. I feel that is the least we can do to comply with the wishes of the late Charles Lester.’

The two men sat down.

‘Thank you, gentlemen. To start with, I would like to make it clear to all those present that I have absolutely no desire to be the chairman of this bank—— William paused for effect–unless it be the wish of the majority of its directors!

Every eye in the room was now fixed on William.

‘I am, gentlemen, at present vice-chairman of Kane and Cabot, and I own fifty-one per cent of their stock. Kane and Cabot was founded by my grandfather, and I think it compares favourably in reputation, though not in size, with Lester’s. Were I required to leave Boston and move to New York to become the next chairman of Lester’s, in compliance with Charles Lester’s wishes, I cannot pretend the move would be an easy one for myself or for-my family. However, as it was Charles Lester’s wish that I should do just that -and he was not a man to make such a proposition lightly – I am, gentlemen, bound to take his wishes seriously myself. I would also like to add that his son, Matthew Lester, was my closest friend for over fifteen years, and I consider it a tragedy that it is I, and not he, who is addressing you today as your nominated chairman.’

Some of the directors were nodding their approval.

‘Gentlemen, if I am fortunate enough to secure your support today, I will sacrifice everything I have in Boston in order to serve you. I hope it is unnecessary for me to give you a detailed account of my banking experience. I shall assume that any director present who has read Charles Lester’s will must have taken the trouble to find out why he considered that I was the right man to succeed him My own chairman, Anthony Simmons, whom many of you will know, has asked me to stay on at Kane and Cabot.

‘I had intended to inform Mr. Parfitt yesterday of my final decision, had he taken the trouble to call me and seek out that information. I had the pleasure of dining with Mr. and Mrs. Parfitt last Friday evening at their home, and on that occasion Mr. Parfitt informed me that he had no interest in becoming the next chairman of this bank. My only rival, in his opinion, was Mr. Edward Leach, your other vice-chairman. I have since consulted with Mr. Leach himself, and he informs me that I have always had his support for the chair. I assumed, therefore, that both vice-chairmen were backing me. After reading the Wall Street journal this morning, not that I have ever trusted their forecasting since the age of eighe – a little laughter – 11 felt I should attend today’s meeting to assure myself that I had not lost the support of the two vice-chairmen, and that the Journal’s account was inaccurate. Mr. Leach called this board meeting, and I must ask him at this juncture if he still supports me to succeed Charles Lester as the bank’s next chairman!

William looked towards Ted Leach, whose head was bowed. The wait for his verdict was palpable. A thumbsdown from him would mean the Parfittians could eat the Christian.

Ted Leach raised his head slowly and said, ‘I support Mr. Kane unreservedly!

William looked directly at Peter Parfitt for the first time that day. He was sweating profusely, and when he spoke, he did not take his eyes off the yellow pad in front of him.

‘Well, some members of the board,’ he began, ‘felt I should throw my hat in the ring…’

‘So you have changed your mind about supporting me and complying with Charles Lesters wishes?’ interrupted Williarn, allowing a small note of surprise to enter his voice.

Peter Parfitt raised his head a little. ‘The problem is not quite that easy, Mr. Kane!

‘Yes or no, Mr. Parfitt?

‘Yes, I shall stand against you,’ said Peter Parfitt suddenly, forcefully.

‘Despite telling me last Friday you had no interest in being chairman yourself?’

‘I would like to be able to state my own position,’ said Parfitt, ‘before you assume too much. This is not your board room yet, Mr. Kane!

‘Certainly, Mr. Parfitt.’

So far, the meeting had gone exactly as William had planned. His own speech had been carefully prepared and delivered, and Peter Parfitt now laboured under the disadvantage of having lost the initiative, to say nothing of having been publicly called a liar.

‘Gentlemen,’ he began, as if searching for words. ‘Well,’ he said.

The eyes had turned their gaze from William and now fixed on Parfitt. It gave William the chance to relax and study the faces of the other directors.

‘Several members of the board approached me privately after I had dinner with Mr, Kane, and I felt that it was no more than my duty to consider their wishes and offer myself for election. I have never at any time wanted to oppose the wishes of Mr. Charles Lester, whom I always admired and respected. Naturally, I would have informed Mr. Kane of my intention before tomorrow’s scheduled board meeting, but I confess to have been taken somewhat by surprise by today’s events!

He drew a deep breath and started again. ‘I have served Lester’s for twenty-two years, six of them as your vice-chairman. I feel, therefore, that I have the right to be considered for the chair. I would be delighted if Mr. Kane were to join the board, but I now find myself unable to back his appointment as chairman. I hope my fellow-directors will find it possible to support someone who has worked for this bank for over twenty years rather than elect an unknown outsider on the whim of a man distraught by the death of his only som Thank you, gentlemen!

He sat down.

In the circumstances, William was rather impressed by the speech, but Parfitt did not have the benefit of Mr. Cohen’s advice on the power of the last word in a close contest. William rose again.

‘Gentlemen, Mr. Parfitt has pointed out that I am personally unknown to you. I, therefore, want none of you to be in any doubt as to the type of man I am. I am, as I said, the grandson and the son of bankers. I’ve been a banker all my life and it would beless than honest of me to pretend I would not be delighted to serve as the next chairman of Lester’s. If, on the other hand, after all. you have heard today, you decide to back Mr. Parfitt as chairman, so be it. I shall return to Boston and serve my own bank quite happily I will, moreover, announce publicly that I have no wish to be the chairman of Lester’s, and that will insure you against any claims that you have been derelict in fulfilling the provisions of Charles Lester’s will. There are, however, no conditions on which I would be willing to serve on your board under Mr. Parfitt. I have no intention of being less than frank with you on that point. I come before you, gentlemen, at the grave disadvantage of being, in Mr. Parfitt’s words, “an unknown outsider”. I have however, the advantage of being supported by a man who cannot be present today. A man whom all of you respected and admired, a man not known for yielding to whims or making hasty decisions. I therefore suggest this board wastes no more of its valuable time in deciding whom they wish to serve as the next chairman of Lestees. If any of you have any doubts in your mind about my ability to run this bank, then I can only suggest you vote for Mr. Parfitt. I shall not vote in this election myself, gentlemen, and I assume Mr. Parfitt will not do so either.’

‘You cannot vote,’ said Peter Parfitt, angrily. ‘You are not a member of this board yet. I am, and I shall vote.’

‘So be it, Mr. Parfitt. No one will ever be able to say you did not have the opportunity to gain every possible vote.’

William waited for the effect of his words to sink in, and as a director who was a stranger to William, was about to interrupt, he continued, ‘I will ask Mr. Rodgers as company secretary to carry out the electoral procedure, and when you have completed your vote, gentlemen, perhaps you could pass the ballot papers back to him.’

Alfred Rodgers’. monocle hid been popping out periodically during the entire meeting. Nervously, he passed voting slips around to each director.

When each had written down the name of the candidate whom he supported, the slips were returned to him.

‘Perhaps it might be prudent under the circhmstances, Mr. Rodgers, if the votes were counted aloud, thus making sure no inadvertent error is made that might lead the directors to require a second ballot!

‘Certainly, Mr Kane?’

‘Does that meet with your approval, Mr. Parfitt?’ Peter Parfitt nodded his agreement without looking up.

‘Thank you. Perhaps you would be kind enough to read the votes out to the board, Mr. Rodgers.’

The company secretary opened the first voting slip.

Tarfitt.’

And then the second.

Tarfitt,’ he repeated.

The game was now out of William’s hands. All the years of waiting for the prize he had told Charles Lester so long ago would be his would be over in the next few seconds.

‘Kane. Parfitt. Kane?

Three votes to two against him; was he going to meet the same fate as he had in his contest with Tony Simmons?

‘Kane. Kane. Parfitt.’

Four votes all. He could see that Parfitt was sweating profusely at the other side of the table and he didn’t exactly feel relaxed himself.

‘Parfitt.’

No expression crossed William’s face. Parfitt allowed himself a smile.

Five votes to four.

‘Kane. Kane. Kane.’

He smile disappeared.

just two more, two more, pleaded William, nearly out loud.

‘Parfitt. Parfitt?

The company secretary took a long time opening a voting slip which someone had folded and refolded several times.

Kane! Eight votes to seven in William’s favour.

The last piece of paper was now being opened. William watched Alfred Rodgers’ lips. The company secretary looked up; for that one moment he was the most important man in the room.

‘Kane.’ Parfitt’s head sank into his hands.

‘Gentlemen, the tally is nine votes for Mr. William Kane, seven votes for Mr. Peter Parfitt. I therefore declare Mr. William Kane to be the duly elected chairman of Lester’s Bank.’

A respectful silence fell aver the room and every head except Peter Parfitt’s turned towards William and waited for the new chairman’s first move.

William exhaled a great rush of air and stood once again, this time to face his board.

‘Thank you, gentlemen, for the confidence you have placed in mine. It was Charles Lester’s wish that I should be your next chairman and I am delighted you have confirmed that wish with your vote. I now intend to serve this bank to the best of my ability, which I shall be unable to do without the wholehearted support of the board. if Mr. Parfitt would be kind enough…

Peter Parfitt looked up hopefully.

… to join me in the chairman’s office in a few minutes time, I would be much obliged. After I have seen Mr. Parfitt, I would like-to see Mr. Leach. I hope, gentlemen, that tomorrow I shall have the opportunity of meeting all of you individually. The next board meeting will be, the monthly one. This meeting is now adjourned!

The directors began to rise and talk among themselves. William walked quickly into the corridor, avoiding Peter Parfitt’s stare. Ted Leach caught up with him and directed him to the chairman’s office.

‘That was a great risk you took,’ said Ted Leach, ‘and you only just pulled it off. What- would you have done if you’d lost the vote?’

‘Gone back to Boston,’ said William, sounding unperturbed.

Ted Leach opened the door to the chairman’s office for William. The room was almost exactly as he remembered it; perhaps it had seemed a little larger when, as a prep-school boy, he had told Charles Lester that he would one day run the bank. He stared at the portrait of the great man behind his desk and winked at the late chairmar. Then he sat down in the big red leather chair, and put his elbows on the mahogany desk. As he took a small, leather-bound book out of his jacket pocket and placed it on the desk in front of him, there was a knock on the door. An old man entered, leaning heavily on a black stick with a silver handle. Ted Leach left them alone.

—————-

Peter Parfitt blustered in. ‘Well, I tried and I lost. A man can’t do more,’ he said laughing. ‘No hard feelings, Bill?’ He extended his hand.

‘There are no hard feelings, Mr. Parfitt. As you so rightly say, you tried and you lost, and now you will resign from your post at this bank.’

‘I’ll do what?’ said Parfitt.

‘Resign,’said William.

William passed him the letter. Ted Leach read it and then looked at William.

‘I shall be delighted to be overall vice-chairman. Thank you for your confidence in me.’

‘Good. I will be obliged if you will arrange for me to meet every director during the next two days. I shall start work at eight o’clock tomorrow morning.’

William swivelled round, and there standing in front of him was a middle-aged woman, primly dressed, looking very irate.

Within six months the clash with Peter Parfitt was a thing of the pass and William had become the undisputed chairman of Lester’s bank and a figure to be reckoned with in New York financial circles. Not many more months had passed before he began to wonder in which direction he should start to set himself a new goal. He had achieved his life’s ambition by becoming chairman of Lester’s at the age of thirty-three although, unlike Alexander, he felt there were more worlds still to conquer, and he had neither the dme nor the inclination to sit down and weep.

—–
Florentyna was speechless. The young man seemed to muster courage.

‘Will you have dinner with me tonight?’

She heard herself saying, ‘Yes.’

‘Shall I pick you up at your home?’

‘No,’ said Florentyna a little too firmly. The last thing she wanted was to be met at her apartment where it would be obvious to anyone that she was not a salesgirl. ‘Let’s meet at a restaurant,’ shb added quickly.

‘Where would you like to go?.

Florentyna tried to think quickly of a place that would not be too ostentatious.

‘Allen’s at Seventy-third and Third?’ he ventured.

‘Yes, fine,’ said Florentyna, thinking how much better Maisie would have been at handling the whole situation.

‘Around eight o’clock suit you?’

‘Around eight,’ replied Florentyna.

Posted by: jowanderer | September 7, 2008

Jeffrey Archer – Sons of Fortune

Jeffrey Archer

Sons of Fortune

 

… not only had she inherited the old man’s energy and drive, but he had also passed on to her his considerable knowledge and wisdom, so often lavished on an only child. Ruth hadn’t married until the age of thirty- three. It certainly wasn’t for lack of suitors, many of whom went out of their way to claim undying devotion to the heir of the Preston millions.

 

Another year passed before Ruth agreed to visit an adoption society and with one of those coincidence that fate decides, and novelists are not allowed to consider, she became pregnant on the day she was due to visit a local children’s home.

 

No-nonsense approach

 

Robert was delighted by how quickly miss Nichole settled into the household, and as each month slipped by, even he started to feel confident that they wouldn’t be facing the same problem a third time.

 

Just as night was contemplating day, Miss Nichol woke with a start.

 

After a thousand births, you are well qualified to recognized death. The pallor of the skin and the stillness of the eyes made it unnecessary for her to check the pulse.

 

It is often spur-of-the-moment decisions, sometimes made by others, that can change our whole lives.

 

Dr. Greenwood remained silent for a moment as he tried to take in this piece of information.

 

Take the child to the morgue. I’ll write up a report immediately, but I won’t inform the mother until the morning. No purpose will be served waking her at this hour.

 

But it was Josiah Preston who saved the day, by frequently remarking that his grandson had inherited his nose and pronounced forehead in the great tradition of the Preston. Miss Nichol constantly repeated these observations to fawning relatives and sycophantic employees, prefaced with the words, “Mr. Preston often remarks…”

 

… said Miss Nichol, hoping that she looked suitably distressed.

 

Susan read the letter a second time, saddened by the news. She would always recall how personally Dr. Greenwood had taken Peter’s death, almost as if her felt somehow responsible.

 

Asked Susan, surprised by such uncharacteristic exuberance.

 

Now make sure you write home every week,” his mother was saying.

 

His mother was on her third cup of coffee when the train pulled into the station. “We’ve arrived,” she announced, unnecessarily.

 

You can sit anywhere in the front three rows on the left-hand side. The moment you hear nine chimes on the clock, you will stop talking and not speak again until the principal and the rest of the staff have left the hall.

 

A crocodile of masters proceeded down the aisle – no mistresses, Nat observed. His mother wouldn’t approve. They walked up onto the stage, and took their places, leaving only two seats unoccupied.

 

“not to be served, but to serve”

 

“you must celebrated,” she said. Fletcher would have done so, but felt he couldn’t when he saw who had come bottom of the class.

 

It was bad enough being top of the class, without being invited to watch the Taft game with an old boy who had seats on the center line.

 

He’s a politician to his fingertips, or at least that’s how the press describe him

 

At twelve o’clock a bell rang, releasing 380 screaming boys to charge out into the courtyard. They resembled nothing less than a warring tribe. With their cries of, “Hotchkiss, Hotchkiss, Hotchkiss will win, death to all Bearcats.”

 

Pom-poms

 

Nat’s eyes settled on the second girl on the left, who seemed to be smiling up at him, although he realized to her he could only be a speck at the back of the stand

 

“You’ve grown, if I’m not mistaken,” said Nat’s father, nothing that his son’s trousers were already an inch short of his shoes. He only wondered how often he would have to buy him new clothes. “Well, it can’t be the school food that’s responsible,” suggested Tom, who was still the smallest boy in the class.

 

He’s rung Tom the following morning in the pretense of discussing the Wall Street crash, and then casually threw in, “Did Diane say anything about me after I’d left?”

 

“Diane’s out of the moment, but I’m expecting her back in about an hour. Who shall I say called?”

 

“Hello,” said a younger voice. Nat glanced down at his script. “Hello, can I speak to Diane?”

 

“you’re a rat.”

“true, but a rat with a telephone number.”

“you have her telephone number?”said Nat in disbelief.

“you catch on quickly.”

 

“Oh, my God,” said Nat as his father swung his car into a long drive and drove past a paddock full of horses. Nat’s father would have chastised him for blaspheming , but was somewhat taken aback himself. The driveway must have stretched for over a mile before they turned into a gravel courtyard to be greeted by the most magnificent white pillared colonial home surrounded by evergreens.

 

“Yes sir,” said Jimmy, snapping to attention. “But before we worry about tomorrow, perhaps you should get changed,” said Jimmy.

 

He had no idea how he looked, because he’d never taken any interest in clothes before. Act casual, look sharp, he’d heard a disc jockey telling his radio audience, but what did that mean?

 

The senator smiled. “And which part do you imagine fits your character?”

 

“what does Annie think?”asked Jimmy, ignoring the comment.

“She’s happy to go along with whatever I decide.”

“Then perhaps I should be the deciding factor.”

“what do you have in mind?”

 

“you should volunteer your service as campaign manager for my closest rival.

 

“have a seat,” said Harry Gates as he took his place behind the desk. He paused before he added, “Fletcher, I need a favor.”

“Anything, sir. I’ll never be able to repay you for all you’ve done for me.”

“You’ve more than honored our agreement,” said the senator. “For the past three years, Jimmy has somehow kept his place in the top stream, and he wouldn’t have had a prayer without your continued vigilance.”

“That’s kind of you to say so, but…”

“it’s no more that the truth, but all I want for the boy now is to see that he has a fair shot at getting into Yale.”

 

“What do we know about him?”

“A nice enough guy, but not a lot between his ears,” said Jimmy.

“Except a good-looking face,” said Fletcher.

“And several touchdowns last season, if I remember correctly,” added the senator. “so now we know who the enemy is, let’s start working on our friends. First, you must pick an inner circle – six, eight at most. They only need two qualities, energy and loyalty – if they’ve got brains as well, that’s a bonus. How long is the campaign?”

 

… we could kiss goodbye to any chance of you becoming president.

 

Mr Thompson sensed Nat’s reservations. “I think the time has come for a little Bribery, Nat.”

… ah, I see briberyis not enough for someone of your high moral standards, so I shall have to stoop to corruption… Nat still didn’t respond. … revealing his trump card, “my opposite number at Miss Porter’s has suggested that I should take a boy over on Saturday to read the male parts while we decide who should audition for the females.” He paused again. “Ah, I see I have finally caught your attention.”

 

…I am not willing to stand and watch this student sacrificed on the alta of a woman who gets her kicks from goading pubescent boys.”

 

Wisdom, courage and conviction are rare enough in a grown man, said the principal quietly as the door closed, “but in a child…”

 

“Do not waste a moment of your time while you are at Yale, or you will regret for the rest of your life not having taken advantage of all this university has to offer. A fool leaves Yale with only a degree, a wise man with enough knowledge to face whatever life throws at him. Seize every opportunity that is offered to you. Do not be frightened of any new challenge, and should you fail, there is no reason to be ashamed. You will learn far more from your mistakes than from your triumphs. Do not be afraid of your destiny. Be afraid of nothing. Challenge every wit, and let it not be said of you, I walked a path but never left an imprint.

 

The smile disappeared the moment he saw who was seated two rows behind her. Professor Karl Abrahams graced him with a nod. At least jimmy would discover what it took to get a nod out of Homer.

 

“which of you dreads the thought of your spouse returning home after midnight, drunk, with only violence in mind? For Mrs. Kirsten, this was something she had come to expect six nights out of seven, for the past nine years. Look at this frail and fragile woman and ask yourself what chance she would have up against a man of six foot two who weighed two hundred and thirty pounds?”

 

He focused his attention on the woman juror who had shuddered. Which of your arrives home at night and expects their husband to grab the bread board, a cheese grater or even a steak knife for use not in the kitchen for preparing a meal, but in the bed room to disfigure his wife? And what did Mrs. Kirsten have to call on for her defense, this five-foot-four, one-hundred-and-five-pound woman? A pillow? A towel? A flyswatter perhaps?” Fletcher paused. “it’s never crossed your mind, has it?” he added, facing the rest of the jurors. “Why? Because your husbands and wives are not evil. Ladies and gentlemen, how can you begin to understand what this woman was being subjected to, day in and day out?

 

“But not satisfied with such degradation, one night this thug returns home drunk, goes upstairs, drags his wife out of bed by her hair, back down the stairs and into the kitchen; he is bored with simply beating her black and blue.” Fletcher began to walk in the direction of his client. “He needs some other thrill to reach new heights of excitement, and what does Anita Kirsten see immediately when she’s dragged into the Kitchen? The ring on the stove is already red hot, and waiting for its victim.” He swung back to face the jury. “Can you imagine what must have been going through her mind when she first saw that ring of fire? He grabs her hand like a piece of raw steak, and slams it down on the stove for fifteen seconds.”

 

Fletcher picked up Mrs. Kirsten’s scarred hand and held it up so that the palm was clearly visible to the jury, looked at his watch and counted to fifteen, before he added, “And then she fainted.

 

“which of you can even imagine such horror, let alone be asked to endure it? So why did the attorney general demand ninety-nine years? Because, he told us, the killing was premeditated. It was, he assured us, most certainly not a crime of passion carried out by someone defending their life in a moment of rage.” Fletcher swung around to face the attorney general and said, “Of course it was premeditated and she knew exactly what she was doing. If you were five foot four, being attacked by a man of six foot two, would you rely on a knife, a gun, or some blunt instrument that this thug could so easily turn against you?” Fletcher turned and walked slowly toward the jury. “Which one of you would be that stupid? Which one of you, after what she had been through, wouldn’t plan it? Think of that poor woman when you next have a row with your spouse. After a few angry words have been exchanged, will you resort to putting the stove on to 350 degrees to prove you’ve won the argument?” He looked at the seven men on the jury one by one. “Does such a man deserve your sympathy?

 

“If this woman is guilty of murder, which one of you would not have done the same thing if you had been unfortunate enough to marry Alex Kirsten?” This time he turned his attention to the five women before he continued. “But I didn’t,” I hear you cry. “I married a good and decent man.” So now we can all agree on Mrs. Kirsten’s crime. She married an evil man.”

 

Fletcher leaned on the rail of the jury box. “I must beg the jury’s indulgence for my youthful passion, for passion it is. I chose to take this case as I feared justice would not be done for Mrs. Kirsten, and in my youth I hoped that twelve fair-minded citizens would see what I had seen and would be unable to condemn this woman to spend the rest of her life in jail.

 

“I must close my summation, by repeating to you the words Mrs. Kirsten said to me when we sat alone in her cell this morning. “Mr. Davenport, although I am only twenty-five, I would rather spend the rest of my life in jail than have to spend another night under the same roof as that evil man.”

 

“Thank God she does not have to return home to him tonight. It is in your power, as members of the jury, to send this woman home tonight to her loving children, with the hope that together they might rebuild their lives, because twelve decent people understood the difference between good and evil.” Fletcher lowered his voice to almost a whisper. “When you go home to your husbands and wives this evening, tell them what you did today in the name of justice, for I am confident if you bring in a

verdict of Not Guilty, your spouses will not turn up the stove to 350 degrees because they don’t agree with you. Mrs. Kirsten has already suffered a nine-year sentence. Do you think she deserves another ninety?”

 

Fletcher returned to his seat, but did not turn around to look at Annie, for fear that Karl Abrahams would notice he was fighting back the tears.

 

Nat’s didn’t care about bonnard’s prices, because he was a lover not a pimp.

 

Rain or shine, he would walk the five blocks to work.

 

Well, I think that just about wraps it up,” said Harry, before anyone could ak a supplementary question. “Thank you all for joining us. You’ll get a regular shot at the candidate in his weekly campaign press conferences – which is more than I ever gave you.”

 

The mistakes you make today are history tomorrow morning, your triumphs forgotten by the early evening news. Pace yourself, was one of Harry’s most repeated maxims.

 

“Is that really the time?” ask Julia, looking down at her watch. “It’s been a wonderful evening, Su Ling, but please forgive me, I have a board meeting at ten tomorrow morning, so I Ought to be leaving.”

 

Yes, I did become president of the college council, and yes, I was editor of the Law Review, which is why I was invited to join one of the most prestigious legal firms in  New York. I make no apology for never being satisfied with second place. And I was equally delighted to give all that up so that I could return to Hartford and put something back into the community where I was raised. By the way, on the salary that state is offering, I won’t be able to afford many silver spoons and so far, no one’s offered me anything on a plate.” The audience burst into spontaneous applause.

He waited for the applause to die down, before he lowered his voice almost to a whisper. “Don’t let’s disguise what this questioner was getting at. Will I regularly be on the phone to my father-in-law, Senator Harry Gates? I expect so, I am married to his only daughter.” More laughter followed. “But let me remind you of something you already know about Harry Gates. He’s served this constituency for twenty-eight years with honor and integrity, at a time when those two words seem to have lost their meaning, and frankly,” said Fletcher, turning to face his Republican rival, “neither of us is worthy to take his place. But if I am elected, you bet I’ll take advantage of his wisdom, his experience and his foresight; only a blinkered egotist

wouldn’t. But let me also make one thing clear,” he said, turning back to face the audience, “I will be the person who represents you in the Senate.”

 

… but she’ll come around, especially when I tell her… “

 

I’ll join you at the bottom of the steps.

 

“Thank you, Sally.” Fletcher received over a hundred calls a day, but his secretary only put them through when she knew they were old friends or urgent

business.

“Logan, how good to hear from you. How are you?”

“I’m well, Fletcher, and you?”

“Never better,” Fletcher replied.

“And the family?” asked Logan.

“Annie still loves me, heaven knows why, because I rarely leave the building before ten, Lucy is at Hartford Elementary and we’ve put her down for Hotchkiss. And you?”

“I’ve just made partner,” said Logan.

“That’s no surprise,” said Fletcher, “but many congratulations.”

“Thanks, but that wasn’t why I was calling. I wanted to check if you’d spotted the piece about Bill Alexander’s resignation in the Times.”

Fletcher felt a chill go through his body at the mere mention of the name. “No,” he said, as he leaned across the desk and grabbed his copy of the paper. “Which page?”

“Seven, bottom right.”

Fletcher quickly flicked through the pages until he saw the headline, Leading lawyer resigns. “Hold on while I just read the piece.”

 

I do not believe that he would remove one penny from a client’s account. In fact I’d stake my reputation on it.

 

“Business or pleasure?” Fletcher asked when Jimmy came on the line.

 

“It’s just a shot across our bow,” said Harry in reply to Fletcher’s question.

“It’s a bloody cannon,” responded Fletcher. “Ralph Elliot doesn’t deal in shots, so we’ll need to find out what the heel he’s up to.”

 

Fletcher grabbed his car keys and joined the flood of people hurrying out of the building. As he drove out of the members’ parking lot, a police car shot in front of him. Fletcher pressed his foot down hard on the accelerator and swung into the police car’s slipstream as they headed toward the school. The line of cars became longer and longer, with parents making their way to pick up their offspring, some looking frantic after hearing the news on their car radios, others still blissfully unaware.

 

He and Billy walked down the corridor together without a word passing between them. When they reached the main door that led onto the playground, Fletcher opened it tentatively and stepped into a beam of light, to be greeted by another huge cheer from the crowd. But he couldn’t see their faces.

 

I don’t think we need to vote on this, so why don’t you take us through the options, Nat?

 

I need to have a word with you in private, Fletcher, and wondered if you and your wife would possibly fly down to Washington and join Jenny and me for dinner one evening.

 

“Mr. Goldblatz, I must apologize, a family problem has arisen and I won’t be able

to make our meeting this afternoon.” “I see,” said Goldblatz, not sounding as though

he did. “Mr. Goldblatz,” said Nat, “I’m not in the habit of playing games, I have neither the time nor the inclination.”

“I wasn’t suggesting you did, Mr. Cartwright,” said Goldblatz curtly.

Nat hesitated. “My son has run away from Tail and I’m on my way to see the principal.”

“I’m so … so … sorry to hear that,” Mr. Goldblatz said, his tone immediately changing. “If it’s any consolation, I also ran away from Tail, but once I’d spent all my pocket money I decided to go back the following day.”

Nat laughed. “Thank you for being so understanding.”

“Not at all, perhaps you’d give me a call and let me know when it’s convenient for us to meet.”

“Yes of course, Mr. Goldblatz, and I wonder if I might ask a favor.”

“Certainly.”

“That none of this conversation is reported to Ralph Elliot.”

“You have my word on that, but then, Mr. Cartwright, he has no idea that I planned to meet you in the first place.”

 

I had to bluff a little when she asked where you were.

 

“Well, are you able to tell me more?”

“Tell you more?”

“Your last words were, I’ll know more in twenty-four hours.” his

“Before you burst out laughing, Joe, I’ll know more in twenty-four hours.”

“I’ll accept that, but what are today’s instructions?”

“The same as yesterday, I want you to go on buying Fairchild’s aggressively until the

close of business.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing, Nat, because the bills are going to start coming in next week. Everyone knows Fairchild’s can ride out this sort of storm, but are you absolutely certain you can?”

“I can’t afford not to,” said Nat, “so just keep on buying.”

“Whatever you say, boss, I just hope you’ve got a parachute, because if you haven’t secured fifty percent of Fairchild’s by Monday morning at ten o’clock it’s going to be a very bumpy landing.”

 

“Then drop in on your way from the airport; I want a blow-by-blow account of why Also wanted to see you, and make sure you give him my regards, because he’s the best chairman the party’s had in years. And ask him if he got my letter.”

 

Why don’t we go through to the library and I’ll fix you both a drink. Jenny should be down shortly

 

“Harry Gates was opinionated, verbose, irascible and maddening. He was also passionate in the pursuit of causes he believed in. Loyal to his friends, fair with his opponents, he was a man whose company you sought out simply because it enriched your life. Harry Gates was no saint, but there will be saints standing at the Gates of Heaven waiting to greet him.

“To Martha, we say thank you for indulging Harry and all his dreams, so many achieved; one still to be fulfilled. To Jimmy and Annie, his son and daughter, of whom he was inordinately proud. To Fletcher, his beloved son-in-law, who has been given the unenviable burden of carrying the torch. And to Lucy his granddaughter, who became class president a few days after he died. America has lost a man who

served his country at home and abroad, in war and in peace. Hartford has lost a public servant who will not easily be replaced.

 

Rising before the sun each morning, and collapsing in bed after midnight had few compensations, but an unexpected one for Nat was Luke’s fascination with the

electoral process. He spent his vacation accompanying his father everywhere, often with Kathy by his side. Nat grew to like her more and more as each day passed.

 

“If you were to become governor, Mr. Cartwright, would you treat the taxpayers’ money in the same cavalier fashion?”

 

“Never forget the stunt Elliot pulled with the ballot boxes after we’d all assumed the count was over.”

 

Make it short and to the point – no speeches, please

 

Fletcher raised a hand. “It’s my wife you have to thank.” He paused. “Not me. But it’s me that you have to convince.”

 

I’d be with her just as soon as I could get there

 

“I suggested that we go and sit in the front room, so that Mrs. Elliot would be more

comfortable. I then asked her to take me slowly through what had happened that evening. I didn’t hurry her, as witnesses are quite often resentful of being asked

exactly the same questions a second or third time.

 

“You know, I will regret only one thing,” said Nat, once they were alone in the corridor and could no longer be overheard by Dr. Renwick.

“Let me guess,” said Fletcher as he waited for the next quip.

“I think you would have been one hell of a brother to grow up with.”

 

Tom tried to field all the calls. If he thought Nat ought to speak to the caller personally, the phone was passed across to him, if not, he heard Tom repeating, “He’s tied up at the moment, but thank you for calling, I’ll pass your message

on.”

Posted by: jowanderer | September 7, 2008

http://www.travellife.org/thread-13741-1-1.html

Posted by: jowanderer | September 7, 2008

Spain

Area – 460HK

Safety – 2nd worst in Europe

Lunch Hour – 14-17

Barcelona

 

加泰羅尼亞廣場

Plaza De Catalunya

 

 

「英國宮」El Corte Ingles

Outlets everywhere around Spain, mostly fast food

The other side of the plaza links with the tree-lined boisterous 蘭布拉大道(La Rambla). Artists with funky make-up often gathers there, they are among the many who dressed in extravagant outfits, competing with the others for the attentions of the passer-by. Café.

End of the road stands哥倫布紀念, 貝爾港(Port Vell) and a sea-side shopping mall.

 

哥倫布紀念碑

 

 

 

西班牙廣場Palac Espanya

西班牙廣場(西班牙多個城市都有西班牙廣場)

 

西班牙民族村

 

 

92年世運會競技場

現在原來是球隊愛斯賓奴的主場,而愛斯賓奴巴塞隆拿是同市球隊。

 

聖家族大教堂

興建了逾百年,還時刻在動工,預計要廿年後才完全竣工的聖家族大教堂(Sagrada Familia)。我沒說誇,您沒眼花,這是事實。大教堂距離市中心不遠,隔鄰有麥當奴,巴塞隆拿球衣運動店,比想像中更貼近民居樓房。

 

巴塞隆那大教堂

 

 

自費前往米拉宮Casa Mila及奎爾公園(Parc Guell) 世界文化遺產

我們的旅遊車停泊在公園非正門入口。由該處甫進園,先發現粉紅色外牆,高迪曾經住過的小屋。這間故居如今是小型博物館,裡面珍藏著流線形設計的少量家具,貫徹了高迪那「直線是人為,曲線屬於上帝」的理念。看他的名作,即是聖家族大教堂、桂爾公園、米拉公寓等等….會先後發現大量曲線的應用, 跳出建築設計的平常框框。可惜時間所限, 過門不入便向前行。地理上公園位處山丘佔得優勢,前行不遠便俯瞰到一覽無遺的景致,遠處是巴塞隆拿市貌及汪洋,近景為下方的「大露台」與正門的「糖果屋」。「大露台」由八十根石柱承托,特別在周邊圍著波浪型坐椅蜿蜒連綿,椅背鑲嵌了彩色細碎的馬賽克(mosaic)瓷片石塊,坐下時,腰背會感覺有凸出位,扮演著辦公室OL的工作椅上,那個靠墊角色。高迪彷彿早就洞悉人體學上令人坐得舒適的法門,而作出相應設計。「大露台」下的支柱迴廊曾經是市集,天花板同樣有繽紛的盤子碎片拼貼。從這裡可清楚望到正門入口處兩座「糖果屋」(紀念品店),以及階梯上公園的地標一隻深受遊人熱愛,爭相拍照的蜥蜴守護神。公園吸引人之處,還有嶙峋異樣,呈圓弧形的多條拱廊,設計上是融合大自然,跟那裡的一樹一木相映成趣。

 

莎拉哥茜

Zaragoza

西班牙服裝品牌Zara的名稱來源正是

 

Barcelona – madrid =8hrs

 

莎拉哥茜大教堂

行十餘二十分鐘附近的店舖(賣的多是聖器,教堂物品精品)

 

鬧市內的Hotel Goya,出面街已有英國宮百貨公司(El Corte Ingles)方便購物

馬德里

 

馬德里作為西班牙首都,現有人口300餘萬,是繼倫敦、巴黎和莫斯科之後的歐洲第四大都市,更是歐洲多國中地勢最高的首都。

太陽門廣場

 

 

市政廳

 

 

零點

 

 

大皇宮(包昂貴入場費)

 

 

西班牙廣場

這裡就似空間感倍增,闊落的中環皇后像廣場,四周都被商廈環繞。裡面聳立著一座大型白色石雕,坐在頂處是西班牙文學巨擘塞曼提斯(Cervantes)。後面有他筆下的曠世鉅著「唐吉訶德」中,故事主角唐吉訶德及其侍從桑喬的黑色銅像,分別駕馭在馬上及驢上並肩同行。

 

(途經:茜貝雷斯廣場)

 

 

哥倫布紀念廣場

哥倫布廣場中央是一座高聳的哥倫布紀念塔,附近飄揚著最巨型的西班牙國旗,還有一艘高度抽象的帆船。廣場下方有一幅鐫刻於外牆壁上的巨型世界地圖,展示了昔日哥倫布四次橫渡大西洋的航線。

杜麗多

杜麗多中世紀古城

離首都 Madrid 個多小時車程 (5)的杜麗多古城(Toledo)

他打算帶我們到一河之隔的對面山,到觀景台眺望全景。眼見古城坐落小山崗上,橙泥色屋頂密密麻麻相連著,被護城河般的太加斯河(Rio Tajo)天然環抱,寬廣的美景盡收眼簾,真箇如畫的風光看得人心曠神怡,遲了點午飯也值得。杜麗多是中古時代至1560年的西班牙舊首都,近千年來在豐富的猶太教、回教、基督教和摩爾人文化交會衝擊之下古蹟處處。人口現剩餘五萬,鑄劍的製成品及鑲金造鋼術曾顯赫聞名。

 

大教堂

重點參觀是西班牙三大教堂之一的杜麗多大教堂(Catedral de Toledo)。其始建於十三世紀,內裡一幅全黃金打造的祭壇身矗立得堂皇瑰麗,有閘門相隔保護,彌足珍貴。另一邊一個圓形天窗,有色彩豐富的天使群立體浮雕圍繞,跳脫活現栩栩如生,當陽光凝聚照射進來時,恰似天使引路打開天國之道。值得一看的還有聖器室內多件珍藏,包括名畫家的作品,黃金聖經,及刻有耶穌死亡與復活兩面不同圖像的十字架。

 

附近的聖多美教堂有16世紀名畫家格雷哥(El Greco)的壁畫《歐爾加茲伯爵的葬禮》,有說是十大名畫之一。畫中描繪是歐爾加茲伯爵離世時,天主教聖徒從天而降參加葬禮的奇蹟,畫中只有兩人正面現身,正正是格雷哥本人及其兒子肖像。沿路的紀念品店櫃窗展示著長劍、鐵盾、頭盔、十字架、聖器,某幾間較大的有身穿盔甲昂藏五六呎高的鐵甲仿製武士雄糾糾在店門守護,可以作為合照的對象。如果嫌鐵器冰冷無情的大可買些顏色鮮艷,彩繪圖案豐富的陶瓷手工藝品,眾多選擇如杯碟、花瓶、酒甕應可點綴家居。

 

修道院

世界遺產之一由多位建築師設計,其外形特色與和諧並融合在一起,所有石門、石柱、天花、迴廊都有讓人嘆為觀止的雕刻。

 

名畫家葛雷柯博物館(包入場)

 

哥多華

Cordoba

從馬德里南下前往哥多華(Cordoba)與格蘭納達(Granada)一大段路,同樣會發現異趣,只是動物換了植物,大量的橄欖樹鱗次櫛比一行行的排列,連綿不斷,佔據了一個又一個山頭。西班牙平均氣候溫和,是上佳種植橄欖的地方。

清真寺

此地為安達魯西亞省最為著名城市之一。於11-13世紀,回教徒統治西班牙時,哥多華已經成為歐洲學術文化中心,亦為當地歐洲最著名大都市。團友抵達後,可遊覽市內最宏偉之「清真寺」,寺廟由一所教堂改建,但基督徒奪回此城市後,又再度改為教堂,團友可於此處一睹基督教及回教文化熔合後所產生之獨特文化,更可參觀附近的猶太區,區內兩旁有白色牆壁的民居,家家戶戶相連,每家的格子窗子,都擺設五彩繽紛的花盆,令人感受到一種獨特的南歐風情。

 

充滿回教色彩的南部名城,這地方特別處是沿路佈滿橘子樹,半生不熟的橙色與綠色混上,佈滿樹上。通往清真寺的方向,經過庭園,禁不住要抬頭看一株株的橘樹,感受那裡果樹伴我行的氛圍。

 

包括清真寺內眾多的紅白相間圓拱,羅馬橋一帶景色,出名的百花巷等等……. 始終,哥多華於一千年前曾是歐洲最文明的城市,阿拉伯人及回教徒曾扎根這裡有過光輝的歲月,1238年天主教徒奪回清真寺後,把回教寺院滲入西式教堂元素,造就了兩者文化的交會與融合

 

猶太區

白色牆上並沒掛上太多花盆太多鮮花

格拉那達

Granada

 

 

 

阿爾罕布拉宮

(Alhambra,又名紅宮“)

源自北非的摩爾人自中世紀七百年間進佔西班牙,統轄近八百年,引入了伊斯蘭教信仰,締造了阿拉伯文明於歐陸領土,1492年摩爾王朝退守至格蘭納達(Granada),所建立的阿爾罕布拉宮“(Alhambra)成為潰散前最後一個據點,是歐洲版圖上保留得較完整的回教色彩宮殿花園。阿爾罕布拉的阿拉伯語譯作紅堡,外牆經過時間洗禮, 原來的赭紅卻已漸褪色。外觀顏色淡了,內在精巧卻保存良好。

 

只好在外圍的夏宮避暑勝地(El Generalife)參觀

 

阿爾罕布拉宮的動人處,是欣賞精雕細鏤的花紋藝術與水光粼粼的建築物倒影,御花園(El Generalife)雖然不及王宮內精彩,還是可看到這種特色。部份走廊門廊的柱子牆壁至天花板皆有精巧雕刻,又擅長運用自然光線與水的配合,以一池靜水把前面的建築完完全全倒反映現,相映成趣。我們穿梭於蓊鬱的草木,來到另一邊有西班牙國王卡洛斯五世後來另建的宮殿(Palacio de Carlos V)。這裡的建築風格跟回教風味顯然不同,大型的石塊組成四四方方外形,內在卻是圓形廣場與迴廊庭院,自身內外是小對比,與摩爾人王宮的架構則是更鮮明強烈的大對比了。

馬拉加

 

西班牙南部陽光海岸的首府,名畫家畢加索(Pablo Picasso)的出生地馬拉加(Malaga)。於一個靠近海濱的城市,參觀的不是畢加索的故居或紀念館,他早在廿歲出頭時已離鄉別井,到鄰國的城市巴黎闖蕩,要參觀的是位於山上的(Castillo de Gibralfaro)城堡舊牆遺跡,在那裡可鳥瞰大地,俯視整個馬拉加市貌,對開的港口,附近山腳的樓房,滾圓的鬥牛場等等

托雷美利斯/格拉那達

 

太陽海岸

專車往摩爾人在伊比利亞半島統治781年之最後據點格拉那達。於中古時間,猶太人曾經控制該城的經濟,因此該城一度被稱為「猶太城」。

直布羅陀

Gibraltar

 

鄰接西班牙,卻隸屬英國的極細小海外屬地,一個人口只接近三萬,主要倚重金融和旅遊業發展的地方出發。她有幾分似回歸前的香港,除了是英國管轄外,遠處望去見到一座山的地形,人口密度之高位居世界前列,面積擴展要依靠填海造地

我們的旅遊車駛到邊界停下,要下車徒步過關。檢查似有若無,隨便得很。

 

兩大觀光點,一個在半山一個近山頂。從蜿蜒的窄路上山

第一個駐足點是燈塔附近能眺望海峽景色的觀景台,這地方別具意義,因為一地四景,難能可貴。首先,腳踏的是直布羅陀,今天適逢天色怪怪,背後是半被陰霾籠罩的岩山;憑山俯海,遇上好天氣的話正前方應該隱約望見北非的摩洛哥;而左邊的茫茫大海一望無際,只見一兩艘遠洋輪船拋錨停泊的是地中海;右邊除了繼續有西班牙南部海岸線,海面水域屬大西洋。直布羅陀海峽的名字聽得多,此刻身歷其境,一地四景,蔚藍天空下眼前是海邊漂亮燈塔,風光確如畫。

 

返回小巴往更高處去。下一站聖米高鐘乳洞(St Michael’s Cave)

塞維爾

西班牙「佛蘭明哥」歌舞表演(包入場及飲品)

皆因舞蹈源於這裡的吉普賽人,感覺上比起在巴塞隆拿或馬德里看的更為正宗

 

為西班牙第四大城市,曾是1992年世界博覽會之所在地。

西班牙唯一的河港,與美洲大陸有頻繁的商務物流往來。1492年,哥倫布從距離塞維爾80km的巴羅斯港揚帆出海,發現新大陸,寫下航海新一頁。貴為安達魯西亞(西班牙南部最大的自治區)的首府,塞維爾還稱得上是佛朗明哥舞蹈(Flamenco)的發源地,是知名歌劇《卡門》的故事背景所在,是鬥牛勇士明星輩出的鬥牛鄉

 

大教堂

西班牙三大教堂之首,在世界排名則介乎第二大至第三大的哥德式教堂塞維爾大教堂。其規模僅在梵蒂岡的聖彼得大教堂之後,跟倫敦的聖保羅教堂相比則在伯仲之間

裡頭放置了航海家哥倫布的靈柩,莊嚴地由四位國王的雕像扛著,另外有99處供遊客按圖索驥參觀的地方,可以細賞。鄰近是98公尺高的希拉達塔,可望到塞維爾大教堂頂部以至全市風光。

 

黃金塔

 

 

鬥牛場

 

 

卡門像

 

 

西班牙廣場

 

 

瑪利亞路易斯公園

西班牙國內有許多西班牙廣場,塞維爾的一個,被公認為最漂亮。位處瑪利亞路易莎公園之內,因為1929年舉辦的拉丁美洲展而設計,呈半弧形的廣場面積甚大,每個西班牙城市的特徵,都以瓷磚鋪成具代表性圖案,整齊排列劃分成小區,把歷史故事的彩繪壁飾展現,若要統統拍入鏡頭也要花上好些時間。一條水道環繞在廣場之內,幾座小橋橫跨其上,是西方的小橋景致。背後橙泥色的主塔與副塔建築群在陽光照射下顯得分外金黃,一條條圓柱及拱廊盡顯著古典的優雅。廣場前有些馬伕拖曳著馬車攬客,坐上馬車在廣場內或公園路邊繞圈,享受閒情逸致

里斯本

花地瑪Fatima

聖母瑪利亞在此顯靈,故成為信徒心目中的聖地

那裡的入口毗鄰有個方形市集,擺賣著聖母像及紀念品,較有趣的還有人體不同器官的蠟類製品:當地人相信假若身體某部份出了毛病,選購相關的器官燃燒誠心叩獻,病情便會好轉。而各種長短粗幼不一的肉色蠟燭會以不同價錢發售,善信大可隨意選擇。花地瑪的廣場非常宏大,最叫旅人覺得神聖及感動是當中一條長長的苦路,一個又一個虔誠信徒會由遠處全程跪地慢慢移動膝蓋前進,當時更目睹一位手抱嬰孩的女士跪著前行,如此畫面能不噤聲?教堂內的佈置相對樸實簡單,沒有一般歐洲教堂的氣派,三位牧童的靈柩就葬在兩邊,而昔日聖母顯靈的冬青樹位置現放上聖母像,讓人靜修祈禱。

 

巴西利卡教堂

 

 

太加斯河

 

 

貝倫塔

里斯本的市標,座落於美麗的德古河畔,外形挺拔,擁有優美的後花園、露台與阿拉伯式窗戶,曾用作城堡和監獄。

 

航海家紀念碑

外形獨特表露著亨利威風凜凜地站在船頭,指揮身後一大群追隨者,一起實現探索新大陸的夢想

正面看是大大的十字,側面看似帆船,上面有亨利王子、麥哲倫、達伽瑪等航海家及海軍的人像石雕,建築設計甚具特色。

 

修道院

世界遺產之一,由多位建築師設計,其外形特色與和諧並融合在一起,所有石門、石柱、天花、迴廊都有讓人嘆為觀止的雕刻。

 

黑馬廣場

 

 

露茜奧購物中心

 

 

自由大道

有「里斯本的香榭麗舍大道」之譽,全長1.2公里,路上鑲有精美的彩繪地磚,兩旁均為高級的酒店、餐廳、時裝店等。

 

愛德華七世公園

在公園的西北方有座Estufa Fria植物園,展覽了一些熱帶植物、溫室、紅鶴池及各種棕櫚樹等。為紀念英皇愛德華七世訪問里斯本而建成的一個仿法式庭園。

 

自費前往羅卡海岬

此乃歐亞大陸的最西端,在此可感受海天交接的蒼茫壯闊。在廣闊的草原上,只有燈塔、紀念碑和一棟餐廳。紀念碑上刻有葡萄園詩人蒙斯的詩句「大地盡頭,海之開端」,各團友可到遊客中心,自費購買一張「歐亞大陸最西端到達證明書」以作紀念。

 

「大地之盡頭,海洋之開端」,葡萄牙名詩人卡蒙斯(Camoes)在詩裡曾經這樣形容大石角(Cabo da Roca)。從地理位置上看,大石角位處全歐洲版圖最西一端,浩瀚的大西洋在眼前,跟身邊人來到這一站攜手踏過天涯海角,印證山盟海誓看來別具意義。要留下一紙印有彼此姓名的紀念證書,可到紅色燈塔處的旅客中心付款購買,價錢約百多港元一張,值不值就見仁見智了。6歐元

 

 

太加斯河毗鄰的各個風景區: 貝倫塔、425日大橋、航海紀念碑、洛博尼爾修道院、葡萄牙第一家葡撻店

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

馬介休(葡語Bacalhau)。馬介休其實是葡萄牙人出海捕獲的鱈魚,經海鹽略為醃製後保存肉質的海產,所以有人說成葡萄牙鹹魚。

Posted by: jowanderer | September 7, 2008

Germany

Berlin

 

 

 

most visitors arrive between May and September when the weather is the most reliable

From November to early March, skies tend to be gloomy and the mercury often drops below freezing.

July and August are the warmest times, though usually not chokingly hot. The nicest months are September and October, which deliver the added bonus of autumn foliage. May and June, when the trees are in bloom and the outdoor cafe season kicks off, are popular months too, though rain is more likely at this time

Dresden – Buildings of Renaissance and Baroque style are everywhere

 

 


 

Czech

Prague

查理士大橋

舊市政廳 old town hall

天文鐘

約翰胡斯紀念像 john haus

布拉格古堡 castle hradschin

聖維特教堂 st. vitus cathedral

古姆洛夫城「世界文化遺產」

Cresky krumlov

Krumlov – well-preserved Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The Český Krumlov Castle, built in the 13th century, is the second largest castle complex in Czech Republic after Prague castle. The Vltava River snakes through the town, making the inner historical center an island unto itself.

-Český Krumlov is a jumble of 750 years of architectural design

The Český Krumlov castle is considered to be the second largest castle complex in Central Europe (next to the Prague Castle).

 

Prague Castle

       The reasons are very simple: It’s not just an old castle but the best place to get a spectacular view of the entire city,

       This is the largest castle complex in the world, and it takes at least half a day to go through the buildings and discover such treasures as the crown jewels, art collections, and priceless manuscripts, books, and historical documents

       To get there, take the scenic route through the picturesque Mala Strana district, which dates back to the mid-13th  century. Then cross Hradcany Square and enter the castle via ornate Matyas Gate. That vantage point guarantees the best view of the city. The offices of the president of the Czech Republic are located in the next two blocks of the complex’s buildings. Just past there you will end up directly in front of St. Vitus’s Cathedral, the largest church in Prague and the final resting place of the remains of patron saints, sovereigns, noblemen, and archbishops.

Postcard photo

布拉格的木偶戲(Puppetry)、十分出名,賣木偶的店子也有很多,木偶的大細差異很大

中世紀建築的美麗城市布拉格﹔首先我們來到了位於伏爾塔瓦河左岸城堡區的舊皇宮

曾經是很貧窮的小巷,經過規劃、翻修後,竟然變成有著繽紛色彩、充滿藝術感的巷道,知名的文學作家卡夫卡也曾在黃金小巷22號寫作、居住過,而現在的黃金小巷則變成了販賣紀念品的小巷了

查理大橋是跨越伏爾塔瓦河、連接城堡區及舊城區、白天及夜晚各有不同風情很藝術的一座橋梁,橋的兩端各有一座橋塔,橋梁兩側則豎立了許多的聖者雕像,其中最受矚目的則是頭上有金星環的名為聖約翰.內波穆克雕像,相信去過查理大橋的人一定都不會錯過觸摸象徵帶來好運、在雕像下兩側的浮雕,我們也留下了一張張觸摸浮雕的相片。在橋上更有街頭藝術家的現場演奏、手工飾品、繪畫、操縱木偶的演出..等等包羅萬象,不愧為最有人氣的橋梁..

 

    

      溫泉小鎮卡羅維瓦利..            櫥窗裡販賣著啜飲溫泉水的杯子

 

     儘管溫泉在歐洲是少見的,一早來到的捷克第二站卡羅維瓦利,它卻是以溫泉馳名的小鎮,據說在中世紀時期就是王公貴族最喜歡的溫泉療養地,此地溫泉不僅可以浸泡更可以飲用,這個位於山谷的小鎮,它不但擁有優美的景色、華麗的建築、更有歷史悠久的古老溫泉,現在的卡羅維瓦利儼然成為遊客雲集的觀光小鎮了..

Cresky

美得像幅畫的小鎮,伏爾塔瓦河彎曲的弧線將小鎮跟山陵一分為二,紅瓦屋頂的美麗建築跟綠色的樹林再加上伏爾塔瓦河,構成了一幅很協調的風景畫;無論往哪個方向看,都會讓人有驚艷的感覺..

     走回舊城區沿途有石版街道、賣紀念品的商家、更有許許多多各種的房宅..等,舊城中心的市政廣場中央也豎立了一根黑死病的紀念柱,

 

Austria

Salzburg

薩爾斯堡

米拉貝花園 Mirabella

莫札特故居(自費) Mozart Geburtshaus

莫札特廣場 Mozart Square

弗拉赫高 Flachau

 

 

Solvenia

盧比安娜

Ljublijana

碧湖 Lake Bled

古城漫步

布斯當娜鐘乳洞 Postojna Cave

City Tour

 

 

 

Croatia

札格勒布

Zagreb

十六湖國家公園「世界文化遺產」

Plitrice Lake Nation Park

 

 

 

Hungary

哈域斯

Heviz

布達佩斯

Budapest

 

哈域斯溫泉湖「匈牙利」最受歡迎健康度假勝地」

溫泉健康浴(自費)

(途經: 巴力頓湖)

漁人堡 Fisherman Bastion

馬太爾紀念堂 Mathias Church

蓋列特山 Gallert Hill

自由女神像 Hero Square

英雄廣場 Hero Square

(途經:國會大廈鏈橋伊利莎伯橋)

Fisherman’s Bastion

       多瑙河及岸邊市區

 

Mathias Church

       匈牙利國王加冕的地方

       青銅彫刻

       馬提亞斯(Matthias)噴泉

 

國會大廈

       多瑙河畔的哥德式巨大建築物

匈牙利的物價算是今次到東歐數國中最便宜,刺繡品如手帕及衣服均是價廉物美

 

橫跨多瑙河連接布達和佩斯交通的橋梁多達8座,我們經過的鏈橋是應該是最有名的了,主要是它的造型像鎖鏈,兩端都有獅子守護著的一座橋梁。

     我們的第一站是佩斯區(pest)的市民公園,這個佔地約一平方公里的公園,主要還是布達佩斯市民的休憩場所﹔公園內有博物館、植物園、公共溫泉浴室還有融合巴洛克、哥德式..等各種風格建築的城堡,是一座複合式的公園,滿地落葉是公園給我最深的印象了。

     來到共和國大道盡頭的英雄廣場,中央是一座千年紀念碑,高約36公尺,頂端豎立著天使雕像,下方有7個騎馬雕像,環抱廣場的半圓形列柱間有匈牙利國王及民族英雄的雕像;英雄廣場主要是舉行國家慶典的重要場所喔,由於自始至終都是陰天,因此照片感覺很冬天吧!!

     來到位於布達區(buda)的漁夫堡時天色已經暗了,沒想到燈光投射下的漁夫堡更美,這座新羅馬風格建築的城堡形狀十分特別,所有的尖塔堡樓由廊道相互連接,彷彿童話中的城堡般浪漫..,在廊道上更能欣賞多瑙河的夜景,難怪即使是夜晚,仍然見到絡繹不絕的遊客來訪..

 

Austria

Vienna

荷夫堡 Hofburg

莫札特紀念像 Mounment of Wolfgang

國立歌劇院 Opera House

Maria Lenin紀念像

(途經:國會大廈市政廳維也納大學)

環城大道 The Ring

市政廳

       Gothic

        

 

Posted by: jowanderer | September 7, 2008

http://www.helpx.net/

http://www.idealist.org/

http://www.globalvisas.com/uk_immigration/uk_working_holiday_maker_visa.html

http://www.wwoof.org.uk/uk.html

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf15workingholidaymakers

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/workingholidaymakers/

http://ukinhongkong.fco.gov.uk/en/visas/contact-us/

http://www.yiklung.net/blog/whs/#comment-108417

Posted by: jowanderer | August 31, 2008

to be print

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article4397238.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197758559

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article4628377.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197360604

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/eating_out/a_a_gill/article4386368.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197640001

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/eating_out/a_a_gill/article4401332.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197637109

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/eating_out/a_a_gill/article4531997.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197634711

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/eating_out/a_a_gill/article4632986.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197346522

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article4639751.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197338535

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/france/article2690911.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197471425

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/france/article4627376.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220197299358

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article4633659.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220198470427

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/italy/article4588064.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220198447916

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article4480195.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220198449592

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/italy/article4465152.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220198418239

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/relationships/article4472827.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220198409244

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article4485219.ece?print=yes&randnum=1220198359788

Posted by: jowanderer | August 19, 2008

曼谷新機場貼士

有黃金大地之稱的全新曼谷新機場Suvarnabhumi Airport 經歷了46年終於啟用落成, 客運大樓有563000平方米大, 大過香港機場的10000平方米, 甚有Cyber feel 尤其一到晚上有藍光照射, 更為有型。

機場客運大樓分了七層


1st Floor 是的士站及巴士站的地方。 兩邊盡頭各有一餐廳, 一邊是Magic food point, 一個如商場food court的地方, 地方較為迫夾, 但食物總類較舊機場food court的多, 另一盡頭是staff飯堂, 暫時並無英文menu 而兩邊外圍更有兩個不同型式的大公園。

按此看大地圖

2nd Floor 是國際機及內陸機的arrival hall 當中也有租Limosine的公司counter 又有找換店, 上網機器和一些小店舖。 在這層也有間便利店Family mart 大家可在這裡買sim卡。

按此看大地圖

3rd Floor 是餐廳店舖的所在, Boots在此也有分店, S&P Blue Cup 也有分店, 還有Starbucks 旅遊警察的Office 也在此。

按此看大地圖

4th Floor departure hall所在, 有兩間family mart便利店, 一間Boots和其他小店, 國際, 內陸機counter全部在此, 而退稅辦事處就在E行附近。

按此看大地圖

5th Floor 航空公司職員辦事處。

6th Floor 是餐廳當中的Roof seafood bar 更可邊食邊看飛機升降。

7th Floor 是瞭望層, 值得一提的是6 7樓高高在上有玻璃圍著, 角落位望到客運大樓Top shot 是影相取景最佳位置。

地底還有一層全是接通地鐵站, 但仍未啟用, 值得一提是人客出鏡過了移民局便是一個長達900米的大型商場, 一頭行到一尾起碼20分鐘, 當中有不少名店, 餐廳, 而退稅counter就在CE閘旁, A行到G也要最起碼20分鐘, 要小心看清楚指示。

除了D閘口, 其餘的都分別在左右兩極端位。

 

如果你有幸在CE閘上機, 就更可在登機前拍一張無敵靚景照, 全機場最靚位就在這裡。

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB是內陸機閘位, 其餘的均為國際機閘口。

在這900米的Shopping mall 內, 遲下更會有電影院, 保齡球場及卡拉OK供駛用。
麥當奴, 家鄉雞, 7-11及傳說中的Spa仍未見有。

胡慧沖

曼谷的士好路數


到曼谷旅行,遊客通常只會要搭兩種交通工具,一是BTS空鐵、另一則是的士。

很久以前,曼谷的士是沒有咪錶的,上車要講價,但約七、八年前咪錶的士開始出現。那時出現了兩間有規模之的士公司。分別用了藍紅、黃綠二色來化表不同單位。之後咪錶的士大多是以這兩種色為主。最近的士公司又出現了多間,故便出現了淨藍色、淨橙色和淨綠色(淨綠色之的士車廂座位更有白色布套把座位套著,很乾淨)

甚麼公司之的士都是收費劃一,起錶35銖,兩銖兩銖跳,跳得很慢,很抵搭。而車種方面有三菱車、有Toyota車、萬事得車也有、Sunny 車也有。

在街上的曼谷的士就是同種也有不同款,很怕坐到一些長方型的舊車。車允舊之餘冷氣亦不太大。相反新款的例如ToyotaCorolla系列。肥大寬闊,冷氣又夠凍。同一價錢,寧願坐新車,舒服得多。

可能因為新車,故很多時車內都會有一種新膠味。加上泰國男人大多會有體味(但不是臭弧或汗味,故令車廂內有種特別的味道。

與香港的司機不同,大多數車都有些無線電對講機,但他們甚少用。有些更不懂用,也好,起碼耳根清淨。不會像部份香港司機用對講機來傾計。

至於兜路,不用咪錶的情況。真的看你彩數,很難避免。

只能說,在大酒店外停泊及晚上Surawongse Road上的的士盡量不要搭。雖然部份的士司機黑黑實實,粗眉大眼,好似好惡,但大多善良的。起碼不會車你去賣,放心!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

曼谷地鐵的第一天

興建多年,本打算在今年八月泰后生日才通車的曼谷地鐵,因工程提前完成,多番試車之後巳於今日七月三日提早通車。

雖說是首日通車,但其實是要待傍晚泰王泰后聯手進行儀式後才通車,結果在下午六時多才正式開放給市民駛用,而在各站,在下午四時起巳有不少市民在等候。可能因為現在正有 promotion 10 銖一程,加上是新事物,故駛用的市民亦十分多,地鐵站亦有膠扇、間尺等紀念品送給乘客。至於這個 10 銖一程的 promotion 會一直至八月中。

曼谷地鐵全線共有 18 個站,由翟道翟那邊一直去到近唐人街之前,途經夜泡區 「甩拆 der 」,中間有三個站會連接 BTS 站,每個站地方都很大。車廂亦較香港的寬大。

想知多些一間曼谷地鐵沿線吃喝玩樂的資料,可留意下週蘋果日報、再下週的經濟日報、七月中的飲食男女,與及即將推出的「曼谷地鐵好路數」吧。

 

泰遊忌諱

泰國人民熱情好客,但各個民族也有不同的禁忌。正所謂「入屋叫人,入廟拜神」,禮多人不怪。大家到泰國旅遊之前,不妨先參考以下的泰人禁忌,以免不必要的誤會。

1. 切忌以腳代手踼門或指人。因「腳」在泰國的文化中有不潔或不尊敬的意思。
2.
忌摸別人的頭,因有侮辱之意。
3.
右手代表高貴,有尊敬的意思,所以把東西傳給人的時候,不妨以右手送上。
4.
僧侶是不可以接觸女性的,若女性有東西要交給他們,最好找男士代勞。
5.
廟寺的神聖的地方,入廟切忌著短褲、背心、迷你裙、拖鞋等。
6.
入廟前要先除鞋,腳不可以踏門檻。
7.
不可爬上佛像拍照。
8.
泰國人不喜歡在公眾場合接吻或擁抱的,情侶們要注意了。

有了以上的資料,希望大家可以盡興而回,下次再為大家介紹泰國的其他禮儀。

曼谷的交通

 

 

 

應承了沖哥寫這個欄,但寫了一期又因自己太懶停了一段時間。現在沖哥把我的欄目放到目錄的最頂端,真是萬分感謝。

未想到什麼特別的題材,不如就談一下曼谷的交通吧。我現在基本上每天上班都不用坐車,可以坐兩銖的船過河然後步行。因為過河的沙吞橋每天都十分塞車。

一般人都認為曼谷十分塞車。無錯,曼谷的街道的確是十分車多,但有一些街道還是較清靜的。尤其在週末的早上,車子稀少,是開車旅遊或踏單車的好時間。

由於我是一個人住在曼谷,而且每逢週末便不用上班,所以我最近添置了一部單車。每晚在家附近做運動,而週末則可以騎車到處遊覽。在大皇宮附近的道路我覺得是較為適合騎車的,因為路上的車不多,而且風景優美,而且在路旁還有不少小販售賣各種東西。這樣,我就可以隨時停車瀏覽攤子,極有歐洲的優閒FEEL

泰國的單車用品比香港便宜,我買了一部6段變速的城市車(即介乎爬山車與跑車之間的一種車),是泰國牌子L.A.Shimano波箱和迫力,才2500銖。如你購買在超市出售那種便宜代步車,則不到一千銖也有交易了。在曼谷,單車鋪不多,集中地位於近唐人街的Thannon Luang,中央醫院對面,主要賣爬山車和代步車,跑車不多,但也有一間賣進口(較高檔)的爬山車和零件專門店。附近還有汽車和電單車配件市場,喜歡的朋友可以到此一遊。

由於泰國一般公司的辦公時間是早上八時到下午四時,所以上午六至八時和下午四至六時是最塞車的,所有主要路口如世貿外面,Siam Square,MBK等都會十分塞車。在早上的繁忙時間,高速公路的出入口和主要交?處,如Din Deang?處等更需由警察指揮交通以令車輛可順利進出高速公路。但在其他時間,塞車的原因主要是路口和U-Turn位。通常只要等一兩分鐘就可以通行了。但舊區如唐人街和Sukhumvit等因道路未能加闊,所以很多道路都是單程行車的,所以在那裡開車較麻煩。

但是到外省如芭提雅或北部,自己開車是最方便的選擇,因可免去要司機等和在當地找車的麻煩事。曼谷有很多國際級的租車公司如BudgetAvis等,可在網上先Book車然後在曼谷機場取車,十分方便。但泰國本地的租車公司則較便宜和選擇較多,較適合一些在泰較長時間的旅遊和公幹人士。此外,泰國旅遊局現在推廣旅遊人士Long Stay,初期對象是日本與歐洲遊客。由漂亮兼擁有碩士學位的泰國小姐每天在電視上推介。

如要Long Stay,大家可先向泰國旅遊局查詢有關詳情。可慢慢遊覽泰國各大小省份和風土人情,並且享受泰式Lifestyle的樂趣!

 

 

Funmanager

03/10/2002

全泰最大書店 B2S

B2S是泰國Central 公司屬下的另一投資, 是一間大型文具圖書店在所有Central Roloison 百貨內都有分店。

而當中最大的則是在Central World之內的這間, 樓高3層地下有True Cafe可上網亦有CD, DVD賣, 原子筆, 記事薄都多不勝數。

他們的弧形雜誌架一望無際, 是全泰最大的雜誌架, 外國本地雜誌任睇唔嬲, 每日都有不少泰人在打書釘! 喜歡看書的在此任睇任揭一個下午都可以, 旁邊就是Starbuck 而這層亦有True 的上網店。

有必買文房用品及看書的這間最大的B2S都不會令人失望。

B2S Book Store
Central World

10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m

 

曼谷唯一 Book Outlet Book Lounge Zone


大家認識Amarin Plaza,因為它是舊Sogo,也因為他上面有林真香。
這個舊商場不斷翻新改革,最近更加入了一全新元素,其他商場也沒有,這是一個outlet,不是時裝outlet,是書本outlet,在林真香的同一層於5月底新開了個Book Lounge Zone,內有Asia Book shopoutlet,大量書本outlet價發售,而入面亦有S & P管理的Blue Cup 咖啡店,方便大家有得飲有得睇,而顧客們只要光顧買書或買飲品便得到免費WiFi上網半小時基本上是蝕本生意,但甚有誠意且有文化特式。
想掃平書的不妨到此一看,但所有書本是英文書,沒有胡慧沖的書。


Book Lounge Zone
4th Floor
Amarin Plaza
7am – 8:30pm
02-715 9000

胡慧沖 2008/06/25

 

芭堤雅最新Shopping熱點

農曆年前剛有一段空檔假期,趁出外旅遊人仕暫時不多,走一趟泰國充一充電。此行去芭堤雅為主,回程才停留曼谷一天。


出發當天香港天氣頗冷,但當到達曼谷機場,一步出機艙門口,一陣溫暖的空氣迎面撲來,感到說不出的舒服,之前在港凍到心都震的感覺一掃而空。

現在曼谷機場去芭堤雅,除了有一條收費架空公路外,還新開了一係收費公路,車程只是用了一個半小時就到達芭堤雅,快捷方便。

以前去芭堤雅一定會去比較遠一點的Tesco Lotus商場買日常用品和食品,雖然地點遠了一點,但係個超級市場十分巨型,幾乎什麼東西都有得買,又有餐廳和美食廣場醫肚,十分不錯。但現在不用走去那遠了,因為Tesco Lotus在芭堤雅開了第二間分店。地點在North Pattaya Road,就在Pattaya City Hall對面,個商場一樣很大,有大型廣告牌,十分容易抓到。商場內除有巨型Supermarket外,還有很多餐廳,例如M K
Restaurants
SWENSENS雪糕屋、THE PIZZE COMPANYBAR.B.Q.PLAZAHACHIBAN-RAMEN8番拉面店(在曼谷Siam Centre也有分店)BLACK CANYON COFFEE、還有小弟至愛吃的海南雞飯、手飯、肉丸米粉都有得供應的美食廣場,Shopping或醫肚一站過。


但是不要以為不用再去舊Tesco Lotus買東西,因為在它旁邊新開了一間購物中心,叫Outlet Mall。它的外觀十分漂亮,內有數十間衣服、精品商店,有Levis、有NikeConversePuma等等賣的運動舖。叫得做Outlet,當然大部份店舖都會有Discount。但是不知是否地點太新而商舖還沒開齊,定是折扣不夠吸引,參觀當日商場內只有數十位顧客,場面冷清。

Jaffe

 

泰國Best Buy

喜歡shopping的我,一有短假期就會去泰國shopping,貪其可以shopping之餘,又可以relax一下。

泰國有什麼Best Buy可以買呢?相信到過泰國的女士也會認同,泰國的名牌bra是送給自己最好的手信。雖然,在泰國的名牌bra款式不多,但是勝在價廉物美。平日在香港三、四百蚊才有交易的貨品,在這裡一百蚊有找,的確係抵!

其次,就當然是他們的化妝品、護膚品。我沒有特別去考究價錢上分別,但友人告知BiothermH2Oproduct在泰國平均都平15%30%。有興趣的姊妹不妨看看。

但我最看都是在泰國賣Converse鞋和牛仔褲。

讓我下次去泰國再做一點資料搜集,再詳細告訴大家這些貨品的價錢吧!

Shopping Lady

15/1/2002

 

 

Posted by: jowanderer | August 19, 2008

Siam Paragon

Spice Story
Siam Paragon Ground Floor

五星級豪華Food Center- Orangery
又是Siam Paragon!在5樓Loft店對出有個十分大型的food center, 有不同地區甚至落地玻璃區供選擇,地區雖然不同,但吃的都是同一menu。 雖則是同一menu,但卻有不同選擇。想吃Chine Chine提供的中菜、Blue Elephane 提供的泰菜、Giusto提供的意大利菜,甚至一些地中海菜、日菜都可以。
原來各大名牌餐廳都在此掛勾,與一般Food Court不同。這裡不用買coupon,亦不用自己邊行邊揀,有侍應服侍,讓你坐得舒服,吃得寫意。環境尤如五星酒店的大餐廳。
與地下一層的food court完全不能同日而語。當然價錢亦不同,但放心,基本上也是合理的。
Orangery
Siam Paragon 5th Floor
Siam

於Siam Paragon地下一層全層以食為主,有平民化的food court,食客可望著大缸魚食物,又有中檔food hall,新起的名牌食點在food hall內作快餐式服務。
此外,又有高檔或名牌餐廳,如MK的Gold版本、Fuji、文華東方餅店、homework等,各式其式全部共有2000座位招待食客,亦有不同總類食身榚點檔,一切以食為主。

Bug & Bee  (芒果菜及西茶甜品)
Siam Paragon內的 Food Hall Gallery
Bug & Bee Siam Paragon Branch, Food Hall Gallery, G Floor, Siam Paragon
Hay Cafe
Siam Paragon Ground Floor

Manna
G/F Siam Paragon

Siam Paragam 樓上5樓有個叫Exotique Thai 的部份全都所賣的都是泰式產品由衣服杯碟至家品都是100%泰, 尤其是一些用咸水草製成的家品, 更是坊間少有, 至於曾在JJ Market搵到的泰式花紙

Q Concept
Siam Paragon
4th Floor

Converse shop
Siam Centre 4th floor.

 
Central World

Bread Talk
3rd Floor, CentralWorld

Fondue
7th Floor,Zone B,CentralWorld

Flavour
Central Food Hall
7th Floor Central World

7樓的Central Food Hall之內名叫Flavour, 是Food loft 及Food For Fun 的混合體。
人客入場就會被派上一張值1000銖的代用卡

泰版許留山Mango Tango
CentralWorld 6th
Food Loft
ZEN
7th Floor
CentralWorld

Central Food Hall
CentralWorld 7th Floor
10:00am-10:00pm
________________
Mae Varee Fruits shop
1 soi Thong Lo, Sukhumvit 55

 

不妨叫佢: 「Cow料乜芒拗喔nong」, 即: 芒果糯米飯要喔nong

這裡所賣的芒果有3種:
「橋掃妹」的青BB芒果, 泰人喜歡爽口地點糖食。
「腩毒賣」是最常見亦是最大個的芒果, 長年有售, 一盒盒包好的, 入面所用的芒果便是「腩毒賣」
「喔nong」個子較細, 但原來最甜是他, 一年只有11月至2月才有。
但店中所賣60銖一盒連飯連芒果的是「腩毒賣」, 要吃「喔nong」要另外買, 價錢會貴些少。
———————–

懷舊老媽店Ban Khun Mae
Ban Khun Mae直接解釋是亞媽的家,在我早期的作品曾介紹過。闊別多年,再次介紹,因為在Siam Square始終找不到一間比她更好的泰國餐廳。
環境﹕泰古式木屋設計,每層都有古舊感覺。
食品﹕傳統泰菜,種類十分多。Menu內有英文又有相片不會不懂叫菜。
價錢﹕只屬中下價,絕不豪華也不扮高檔,目的不是要斬遊客,而是希望遊客下次返轉頭。
與當年一樣,情懷、質素都沒變。價錢只變了少許,但也是值得的。
Ban Khun Mae
Thai Cuisine
Siam Square
Novotel酒店對面
http://www.bankhunmae.com/

———————–
Relax Restaurant
Suan Lum Night Bazzar

 

———————–
Food Loft
Central Department Sotr, 7th Floor
Chilom Station

入場後有人帶位,環境很高雅,更有小橋流水,是五星級酒店的格局。而吃的有中式、日式、泰式、意大利式等,自助式,但有服務員會替你捧餐,想得週到。

———————–

其實一般超市如Big C、Lotus 及 Tops 都已有很生果比你揀,但如果係真的勁想任食的話,最近在Baiyoke Sky Hotel的18樓Fruit Court 之中就有生果自助餐,150銖任食90分鐘,生果種類有20 多種,連榴槤都有。  

朝10晚12全日供應。

———————–
泰式人字拖

泰國一間拖製造商的名牌Adda找來王敏德來拍一輯Eva系列的廣告
各大Big C 百貨有售
———————–
On Nut BTS站旁的Lotus

在曼谷世貿World Trade Centre對面的Big C。入面照例是一個名店林立的Mall。主角就是入面兩層高的Big C Superstore。從T-shirt,化妝品,食物至電器,鞋襪一一俱備。可行足大半天。地點亦方便。遊客更可享有退稅優惠。易搵、易去,就Aroma Hotel旁,值得一行。

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