By Peter Kerr

ISBN-10: 1423756355

ISBN-13: 9781423756354

ISBN-10: 1840244402

ISBN-13: 9781840244403

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I’d once fooled him into ordering it in a restaurant by telling him the meat was chicken. ‘You’re the one who’s learning Spanish at school every day,’ I pointed out, ‘so you should be telling me what it means. ’ I jerked my head towards the inglenook’s open fire, which Charlie happened to have his back to. ‘Some size of a log that,’ I casually remarked. While he looked round to admire the blazing chunk of olivewood, I swiftly thumbed through the menu until I found the page with a little Union Flag in the top corner.

The inglenook, so characteristic of old Mallorcan country houses, wasn’t just a large, recessed fireplace, but rather a room within a room, big enough to accommodate an entire family within the enfolding shelter of its high-backed benches. As well as being the focal point of the farmhouse kitchen, such an inglenook, in the days before central heating, would have been a cosy winter haven in an otherwise cold and draughty house, especially when the icy Tramuntana gales blasted down from the north.

Charlie ventured hopefully. 43 A BASKETFUL OF SNOWFLAKES I gave my hip pocket a calming pat. ‘Try not to speak in that phoney mid-Atlantic accent, Charlie,’ I yawned. ’ ‘He can’t help it,’ Ellie said. ‘All the kids at his school talk that way. ’ Sandy probed. I took the roll from my pocket. ‘Yes, yes, don’t panic. ’ Charlie rubbed his hands. This gesture didn’t go unnoticed by his elder brother. ‘Don’t kid yourself, Charlie. There aren’t three halves to an orange, and the same goes for the French Andy money.

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A Basketful of Snowflakes by Peter Kerr

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