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  • Marion pays Christmas visit to Stobo Castle - the setting for the penultimate chapter of Eight of Cups

    Marion had a fine time at Stobo Castle just before Christmas, revisiting the fictitious 'Newton Castle Spa' - where near the end of Eight of Cups the six main characters are having a 30 years' reunion in a private suite. We won't give the game away if you haven't yet read the book about what happens at the gathering, but here's a few humorous paragraphs, narrated by 'Diane' to set the scene:

    Alix had brought champagne, Lesley some of her famous chocolate cake, Carys five copies of the book to accompany the television series (well, what did you expect?), Nancy some samples of herbal hangover cures and Patricia a pack of mediwipes for each of us. You can never be too confident that all the gym equipment has been cleaned after each use, apparently. I produced a couple of disposable cameras with instructions to 'keep snapping. But don't show my back view in a swimming costume please!'

    Over the course of the afternoon, with everyone in various stages of undress, swimming, lounging after treatments, sitting alone chilling out or engrossed in sharing news, I made a few idle observations which may or may not represent universal truths.

    One – if you’re too thin your face becomes very lined as you get older. So maybe it pays to carry a few extra pounds.

    Two – even those who stay fit experience the slide south of all movable body parts.

    Three – we all end up looking like our mothers.

    And four – old habits die hard.

    However, there were a few surprises.

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    You'll have to read the book to find out what these were and how it all ends!

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