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Archive Entries for June 2011

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Thursday June 30, 2011

Books in June

  • Death du Jour Kathy Reichs [read by Bonnie Hurren] BOM-DeathduJour.jpg
    I guess I just like Kathy Reichs books; occasionally I find that they have some "cause" associated with them which I am a little ashamed to say I can find a bit tedious, but overall still good.
    This is only her second novel, and I really like the added historical notes and the interweaving of the plot. In the opening scenes (a sub-plot), Tempe is trying to exhume the bones of a nun within a known environment where all the graves are supposedly clearly documented and yet are not where they should be. This kind of "recent history" error really interests me - in the end a very elderly member of the order is able to confirm the actual location, but it is only the living memory that is useful in this instance. With that character the information would have been lost. So many instances of family connections and identification of photos are lost because you suddenly wake up ne morning and realise there's no-one left around to ask.

  • When Will There Be Good News? Kate Atkinson BOM-WhenWillThereBeGoodNews.jpg
    I read this book just as they were screenig the TV adaptations, so I watched the TV episode afterwards, and I have to say I thought they made quite a good job of it. Of course, there is much more in a book so much of the detail is left out, and they had to make some plot changes since they appear to have set all the TV series in Scotland which is not the case for the books.
    Anyway, as far as the books is concerned - excellent - can't wait to read the next one (which I observed lurking on Helen's bookshelf while I was staying there).

  • The Scarpetta Factor Patricia Cornwell [read by Lorelei King] BOM-ScarpettaFactor.jpg
    Another excellent book about Kay Scarpetta which continues to "humanize" the otherwise overly detached pathologist. I still find it hard to empathise wholly with her reactions to situations but I don't find her quite so irritating a character as I used to. I guess in that respect she is replaced by her niece, Lucy.
    There is one thing in the book that really struck a chord, and made me laugh. Scarpetta is let's say "about the same age" as me, and in the course of the plot she has a Blackberry foisted upon her (by Lucy), which she finds so frustrating that she removes her secure 8 digit password altogether - what bliss, and sadly not an option for me! Of course it leads to lots of interesting plot intrigues - whereas for me I doubt anyone would care except our company data security auditors.

Posted on June 30, 2011 at 2:52 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Wednesday June 29, 2011

The Bell - Morris and Clog

MorrisClog2.jpg

This evening we cycled over to the Bell (or the Rat as it also seems to call itself) at Withybed Corner, to see Rob's Morris side in action. In fact, they were guests of a clog side - truth to tell I somewhat prefer clog dancing - so it was quite a interesting departure from the norm.

MorrisClog1.jpg

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All the while we were there, the clouds threatened, and everyone was fearful for our getting wet on the way home (not realising that our house is in very easy walking distance from Walton, never mind cycling). However, the light was really eerie and on the way back we saw rainbow - weird in the twilight - which needed a rather better camera to capture properly.

rainbowoverwalton.jpg

Posted on June 29, 2011 at 6:18 PM. Category: Days Out.

Saturday June 25, 2011

Woolfest 2011

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As usual, the animals were the stars of the show - along with their good-humoured handlers. When we first entered the building, I thought we might have to immediately leave due to Helen's being prone to asthma, but luckily she seemed to recover (we spent minimal time in the "animal" section), and we caught the Rare Breeds Parade without having to rush Helen to hospital. We tried out the new area for tea and coffee, though actually I'm less keen on this - I liked the "sit down" area with music, as it was, in the middle of the venue, with the demonstrations in this area - old stick-in-the-mud that I am - and the dancers: nice touch but basically just in the way.

Woolfest2.jpg

I managed to avoid buying a fleece - it was not too hard since almost everything was sold, as it was the second day - and I learnt afterwards that they had sold more fleeces in the first 2 hours of the event than the total sold last year. (Indicative of the increasing numbers attending, which again, selfishly, I am not too cheerful about).
Surprisingly (to me) Helen bought herself a picture felting kit, and also surprisingly, I bought some felt figures rather then a kit (!). They were a chicken for my sister, and a Sylvester-style cat for myself. Jenny Barnett was in the middle of making the latter when I purchased it, and I had to wait while she finished it off.

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She subsequently made me a second chicken (to my specification as a Croad Langshan), so I had the 2 in time for Christmas gifts.

JennyBarnett1.jpg

In the evening, we went out to the Little Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, to see Noises Off by Michael Frayn, of which I had only ever seen the film production in the past. It was pretty funny and well-observed, (although we had to sacrifice a second gourmet outing to the pubs and restaurants near our hotel!).

Posted on June 25, 2011 at 11:56 AM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.

Friday June 24, 2011

Slockavullin

HelensKitchen.jpg

I'm visiting Helen in Slockavullin (that's a place...).
It's the first time I've been to her place, although she's been there some years now, and this is her wonderful newly fitted kitchen, with Helen herself - mistress of all she surveys.

Helen picked me up in Glasgow (early) and we spent the day there, eating and shopping. I was very keen to take lunch at the famous Willow Tea Rooms, and managed to get a photo of the more formal dining room (not available for lunch).

WillowTeaRooms.jpg

When I shared Helen's house for a short time in Kingston, we used to put together garden pots for the tiny patio, so on this visit, we did a reprise, though her garden is now much bigger. This pot is worthy of note as it's a departure from our tried and tested colour scheme.

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Her garden is on a slope and this is a picture of the summer house at the top of the garden, which is also home to a large family of house martins which Helen was able to watch at close quarters as they progressed and finally fledged.

HelensSummerHouse.jpg

The weather was not good for my sight-seeing day, but somehow the fantastic scenery and ancient standing stones are well-suited to the grey skies with a touch of rain in the air.

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As is often the case with British weather, a day later and we enjoying a final breakfast in the garden, before setting off south to the Lake District. If we look wild and somewhat hysterical in this photo, blame the automatic camera function, which involves my running round to take my position just in time.

Breakfast.jpg

... and by evening we were in Borrowdale at our delightful B&B with even more fantastic scenery - this a view from our bedroom window and...

Borrowdale.jpg

.... a nice cup of tea... what else?

ANiceCupofTea1.jpg

Posted on June 24, 2011 at 9:13 PM. Category: Days Out.

Friday June 10, 2011

New Technology

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I have a new toy: an electronic reader. The title says "New Technology" but almost before I can put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard, stylus to screen, etc) it is not longer new, nor unique in its function. This is hardly a surprise as I bought it "used" on eBay, although it is virtually new.
I chose to get the smaller version of the Sony eReader. for a number of reasons, some of which are no longer relevant. One of them is unchanging, which is, that it is light in weight and fits well into my bag, while at the same time feeling quite like holding a little book when reading. I first saw it when out with Helen (she was buying a Netbook), and was smitten, but reviews did not rate it as the best; a closer look however seemed to show that many reviewers did rate it as "the best" and their main objection was the price. My eBay purchase, of course, overcame that objection.

I think the eBay seller had bought some other device with a reading app making a specific reader device redundant. However, despite my now owning a Sony tablet - with Sony eReader and Kindle apps installed - I still find I have a very strong need for the eReader, which is just like putting a tiny light-weight book in my bag when travelling. It's very useful having the reader apps on my tablet, but I would not use the tablet as a replacement for the specialist device.

Posted on June 10, 2011 at 8:24 AM. Category: Art and Culture.