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Archive Entries for July 2011

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Sunday July 31, 2011

Books in July

There have been more audio books than usual this month as I work my way round painting the kitchen to show at least some progress in time for Alison's impending visit. (She claims it's not important.... but we know better...)

  • Wolf Hall Hilary Mantel
    BOM-WolfHall.jpg This won the Man Booker 2009 - when I thought the Sarah Waters The Little Stranger should have won - but that was before I read this. I borrowed it as an eBook from the library - all new experiences - and the choice is currently limited. However, what a great choice it turned out to be. A fantastic novel - almost not a novel of course. Had I not been so engrossed in the text I would have wondered where the title came from, but this became abundantly clear in the closing pages.
    Co-incidentally I have been since exposed to several other cultural experiences about the same historical period through TV, film, and country house exhibitions, and it is really fascinating.

  • BOM-BonestoAshes-DevilBones.jpgBones to Ashes and Devil Bones Kathy Reichs [read by Lorelei King]
    More library loans, which make good listening for long car journeys, or painting walls! Tony is a great Reichs enthusiast. However, Rob surprised me by saying he did not enjoy the book he read, finding it tedious in forensic detail - I wonder if they are better as spoken word.

  • The Private Patient P D James [read by Michael Jayston]
    BOM-PrivatePatient.jpg This is completely in the standard mould, confined in the setting of a private hospital for plastic surgery. The characters are a shade wooden and dated, but I think I have always felt that about James books. I think I am more of a "plot" person with less interest in the psychological depths of the characters - and the characters are not very warm or likeable. However, as far as I can tell James writing is as good as ever, and the actual plot (under all the psychology) is quite strong.
    PD James has recently been awarded the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to crime fiction - only the second author to receive it.

  • Bloodline Mark Billingham [read by the author] BOM-Bloodline.jpg
    Eighth in the series proved as interesting as ever. I am pleased to say that although he sticks with the serial killer theme, the books rely far more on the likeable character of Tom Thorne, than weird and wonderful ways people can be murdered. The writing encompasses Thorne's life and work to equal degree, without becoming boring about either. I find the characters very real, which is quite something when reading about murders which by sheer weight of numbers have to be pretty far from reality.

  • Lord Peter Views the Body Dorothy L. Sayers [read by Ian Carmichael] BOM-LordPeterViewstheBody.jpg
    An enormously entertaining short story collection:
    • "The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag"
    • "The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker"
    • "The Vindictive Story of the Footsteps That Ran"
    • "The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste"
    • "The Piscatorial Farce of the Stolen Stomach"
    • "The Unsolved Puzzle of the Man with No Face"
    • "The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba"
    • "The Abominable History of the Man with Copper Fingers"
    • "The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention"
    It seems the audio version omits some of the original stories which contained visual clues: "The Entertaining Episode of the Article in Question" ; "The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will" ; "The Learned Adventure of the Dragon's Head".

Posted on July 31, 2011 at 8:37 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday July 16, 2011



Felicity ran a workshop for making buttons from polymer clay and other wash-proof materials, suitable to embellish our hand-knitting. Everyone had an exceptionally good time - there was a big variety of activities and materials and we all rushed around like a kindergarten class. (You can see below that a few non-button items slipped into the mix, such was the enthusiasm).


Posted on July 16, 2011 at 6:18 PM. Category: Crafts.

Sunday July 3, 2011

Small Holders 2011


Another sunny day at the Smallholders show - all the usual mix of interests for a grand day out. I had to snap the van (one of a number of old vehicles in the parade) - our first family car in my lifetime was a tiny Austin A35 - almost a museum piece even then - beautiful, but not fully appreciated by me at the time!


My other favourite - I would have stayed and watched for longer, but my companion was not quite so interested - and together we considerably elevated the average age of the audience.

Posted on July 3, 2011 at 6:40 PM. Category: Days Out.