“I see this as an important book… one high-risk, single woman’s view on how she, personally, coped with an unprecedented situation and who is not afraid to bare all… literally!! The fact that it also looks at the situation from political and other angles is integral to the overall read…”
This is the story of a solitary Lockdown… a story of bloody-minded self-preservation replete with moments of anxiety, resignation and sadness but also with joy, hilarity and above all dogged determination. Cassandra – sixty-five years old, single and somewhat immobile – struggles with myriad new challenges as she watches herself – and the world – change from within her self-imposed fortress.
In November 2019, she had a terrifying nightmare which warned of something very bad emerging from China. In early January 2020, she had a subsequent and similarly disturbing dream in which she found herself in an empty and deserted Italian castle, furnished solely with a single ventilator tent.
Forewarned by these dreams she threw herself into a frenzy of logistical planning, laboriously turning her spare bedroom into a store cupboard stuffed with many (rigorously disinfected) boxes of sensible, nutritious, long-life and probably disgusting dehydrated foods – ready for whatever The Fates had in store.
On the 3rd March 2020, notwithstanding the dithering of the UK government, Cassandra unequivocally shut herself away, refusing to open the door to anyone and using a newly acquired pink megaphone with which to communicate, through the closed window.
Have a listen to an excerpt, read by Cassandra:
Cauliflowers Through the Catflap was featured / reviewed…
A woman to be admired
“Super cat Felix, what a wonderful friend”, read why Georgia thinks this of Cassandra and Felix in her review as featured on Rosie Amber
“Full of amusing mental meanderings, ‘Cauliflowers through the cat-flap and other tales of a solitary lockdown’ will bring your own memories and experiences of the pandemic flooding back as a shared but separate experience. It is highly recommended!”
‘Cauliflowers’ was included on the Books for Christmas list by Candia McKormack, editor of Cotswold life. She gift-wraps her selection of books to buy and receive at Christmas… all with a Cotswold connection.
“Her joy of life and all its idiosyncrasies married with her love of language will take you on ride which alerts you to the sense of the ridiculous as she sees it”
Sir Gonzos’ review at Slap Magazine (supporting Local Artists & Performers) on Cauliflowers Through the Catflap.
Tales From The Hamlet: Memories of Italy: Atmospheric and entertaining
A brilliantly written and highly entertaining account of life in a hamlet in Italy and one woman's adventures. Easily on par with any of the other books in this genre and destined to be a hit.
Rock Chick Fee
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: Could not it it down, Brilliant Read
I really enjoyed the book, so funny insightful & true to what was happening during the Covid Pandemic. Laughed out loud on numerous occasions. Could not put my kindle down until I got to the end. Highly Recommended.
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: An uplifting snapshot of how the recent lockdown.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and devoured this particular cauliflower in one sitting, relaxing with a latte. It's one of the very few books I've seen about the COVID-19 lockdown, and left me thinking I could have done so much more while confined to my home. It is a truly uplifting story of family reconciliation, and seeing the funny side of lockdown.I definitely recommend this book and gave it five stars.
Tales From The Hamlet: Memories of Italy: Absolutely beautifully written. A must read!
This is an absolute gem of a book. Cassandra writes so beautifully that you can feel yourself in her shoes and sense the countryside she describes. It is very funny in parts and you feel that you personally know the characters she comes across. You also feel the various frustrations she comes across when moving abode. It is a lesson in history of this part of Italy and a fabulous distraction from current woes. Made all the better that this all really happened! I can't wait to see if there will be a follow-up. A
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: Not just for cat lovers!
This book came at a time when many of us could really do with more 'laugh out loud' moments. As an ex pat who adores the Cotswolds this book catapulted me into rural England and fed my hunger for British humour.
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: Amazing lady, with a tremendous outlook on life!!!
I had the privilege of meeting the author, as we both sat in hospital, pre cataract operations!Bearing in mind we were separated by the standard ward curtains, conversation flowed and the obvious terror of impending ops (I chickened out, Cassandra was ever stoic!!)We discussed the book, I didn't want to NOT read it!!A very inspiring lady, who has continued to be supportive throughout both our eyes needing surgery.I can't wait for the last part, whereupon I shall sit down and take this on board in greater detail.A true artist. Lockdown was merely a bump in the road for this character.ATBAlex
Tales From The Hamlet: Memories of Italy: The realities and pleasures of living in Verona & the Appenines
l loved this book. The author's misadventures and survival in challenging circumstances are combined with the pleasure of the delicious food of the Appenines and friendships, old and new. Stuck in the UK, reading Tales from the Hamlet was like going on an adventure with the author - sharing her downs and enjoying the felicities and new home she & Geisha the cat found. I can't wait for the next book to find out what happened next.
Alan Cobb alan cobb
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: Lockdown Diary
One personal account of the lockdown from her own perspective. It mirrored my own so it didn't offer me any more then I already knew so meant reliving the past 18 months best to forget
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: An entertaining perspective on Lockdown
An entertaining book based on personal experiences of lockdown. At times it really made you think how lucky you were. I enjoyed seeing what lockdown was like for someone else and that I wasn't alone in my thought processes!
Cauliflowers Through The Catflap and Other Tales from a Solitary Lockdown: I enjoyed reading this book
Writer Cassandra had two very strange different dreams.In the first week of January her second dream was the weirdest, that astonishingly was a link to the first reported Coronavirus death in Wuhan, on the 11th January 2020.Cassandra had another presentment in October 2019 with a strong feeling that she should stockpile food that she might need in case of times of hardship.Like many of us, Cassandra bought boxes of disposable gloves, mask, hand sanitiser, but I have learned something here from Cassandra, she bought collapsible straws for drinking to use on lift buttons, and cashpoint keypads.What I thought was the most nicest thing that Cassandra did was that she lent her car to her friend who was a key worker.The one thing people struggled with was for some , not being able to go to work or use the car to go and see friends. And there was the fact that we wasn’t allowed to use the car for a fair distance to go somewhere nice for a walk.I was one of the lucky ones who had so many books and films to watch I didn’t get bored. Cassandra had plenty to keep herself occupied, but as it was a challenging time anxiety sets in.It was really nice to read about Cassandra‘s memoir during being all alone in lockdown, she is a lady with a heart of gold, and a genius making her own experience a joyful one to read about.
Amazon rating score: 4.6 of 5, based on 10 reviews