2 min read
03 Mar

Socially, this week was a repeat of the last one, but with a few exciting extras thrown in - such as an afternoon birthday party held at Casa Grande, a beautiful beach home only one block away.  We went by car - to transport the food and drinks, not the people!     

Wednesday, Lynda Crittall dropped by to introduce her friend, Roxana Spicer, an award-winning Canadian journalist and author, who is visiting from Calgary.  Roxana has been working tirelessly for seven exhausting years on a book about her beloved, charismatic, volatile mother who had dark secrets.  

To quote her publisher, “It is the masterful narration of a daughter’s decades-long quest to understand her extraordinary mother, who was born in Lenin’s Soviet Union, served as a combat soldier in the Red Army, and endured three years of Nazi captivity – but never revealed her darkest secrets.  

“‘The Traitor’s Daughter” is intimate and exhaustively researched, vividly conversational, and shot through with her mother’s irrepressible, fiery personality.  A loving triumph of blending personal biography with sweeping history.”  

The book will be published by Penguin Random House on August 27th this year.  I purchased a pre-order copy through Amazon and wait, with eager anticipation, to read it.   

After meeting the petite, charming Roxana, who comes at my invitation to swim laps in our 35- meter-long pool at Eureka, I am even more eager. She is a woman to whom I felt an instant chemistry. I hope to get to know her better before she returns to Calgary.  I believe we could become good friends.

The Traitor's Daughter

Captured by Nazis, Pursued by the KGB, My Mother's Odyssey to Freedom from Her Secret Past

Author Roxana Spicer


I hope I've whetted your reading appetite so you, too, may want to get your own copy and support Roxanne, an interesting person in her own right.

Here is the link to her book!  


My Friday Gala Dinner debriefing meeting with Azucena was cancelled at the last minute.  She texted shortly before the meeting to say she couldn’t make it - she was with a patient in trouble with a root canal.  

I had declined an earlier invitation because of my Gala meeting, and now, here I was, all dressed with nowhere to go.  

I decided to make a drink and walk to the concrete benches overlooking the beach to watch the setting sun brilliantly colour the sky and ocean.   This is where I met Judith and Mimsie a year ago, so, I thought, who knows who I may meet there this evening?  The answer?  No one!   But I enjoyed my drink and the gorgeous view.  

Walking home, just before darkness chased away the daylight, I ran into three friends coming back from Oasis Happy Hour.  Glenys, who had, only hours before, returned from a short trip back to Canada, asked if I had dinner plans, which I didn’t, so we linked arms and went to Restaurante Portofino up the street.  

That spur-of-the-moment decision turned out to be the right one.   We were taken to a small table, tucked into a corner surrounded by a garden of greenery, separated from the main, elevated part of the restaurant but from where we saw everything, including the sparkling waters of the pool, and could hear the talented musician entertaining the diners with his ancient instrument, the pan flute.

Our conversation was interesting.  We now know each other a little better than we had.   A brief walk home took us to our respective villas in Eureka by 10 p.m.   A “nothing to do” lonesome evening was transformed into a memorable, enjoyable one.

Saturday I concentrated on the continuation of my work on Royce’s portrait.  After a few more hours this week spent painting the finely detailed grisaille under coat, the flat, two-dimensional red pencil sketch was transformed into a three dimensional ‘person’.   Royce is now smiling at me from the canvas and I find I’m smiling back as I work.  It’s the same phenomenon I had experienced when painting his sister ten years ago. 

In the photo I’m working from, Royce is a handsome two-year-old, whose countenance exhibits character, wit and intelligence.   My hope is to convey these qualities in the finished piece.  His grandmother wants to display his portrait alongside the one I painted of his sister, Ava.  I cannot disappoint her.

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