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Archive Entries for April 2013

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Tuesday April 30, 2013

Books in April

I know! Six books.... [Well, I was on holiday, and they were exciting....]

  • In the Dark by Mark Billingham [read by Adjoa Andoh] BOM-InTheDark.jpg
    As I promised myself, I went back to read the stand-alone novel with Thorne as "a peripheral character". It was excellent, and I engaged with our new heroine "Helen" right away. I think she is an excellent addition to Thorne's friends and I hope we see much more of her. Much better than the colourless Louise - I guess Mark likes her better.
    Prepare to get your hankies out though... it's not all happy endings.

  • Sovereign by C J Sansom BOM-Sovereign.jpg
    I like to read books in the "right" order but unfortunately this is the 3rd novel in the Shardlake series and I have not read the 2nd yet. However, apart from offending my anally retentive nature, this made not a jot of difference to my enjoyment of the book.
    It dwells to an eye-watering degree on medieval methods of torture, and the high possibility and extreme fear of being wrongly accused. Some criticism has been made of Sansom's overly detailed writing style - but I find what he says interesting enough not to notice.

  • The Black House by Peter MayBOM-TheBlackHouse.jpg
    Such a great read that I immediately shelled out for book 2 of what is apparently a trilogy. (Not the norm you will notice - most of my books are gifts or loans). After the high drama of this one, it's hard to see how there could be 2 more plots.
    I did find that at the start the flavour of the book affected me at a rather fundamental level - the hero's general discontent with his marriage struck some kind of chord - I really found it almost too depressing as it seemed weirdly true to life. However, much to my relief, all was explained at the end in a manner with which I most certainly cannot empathise - even weirdly - so I do not have to come to terms with quite such a bleak world view.
    I am optimistic that he will continue with 3 books with "happy" endings....

  • Swing Brother Swing by Ngaio Marsh [read by James Saxon] BOM-SwingBrotherSwing.jpg
    This book, also entitled "A Wreath for Riviera" in the US edition, is from 1949 and the 15th in the series - so we are back to a time when Alleyn and Troy's son Ricky. is a mere baby. It's a delightful period piece and the plot is completely preposterous as befits a traditional murder mystery of this era (effectively a locked-room mystery). Have to confess I was pretty sure who dunnit, though, astonishingly, the police were a lot slower to catch on - they probably didn't realise they were in a novel.

  • There Goes the Bride by M C Beaton [read by Penelope Keith] BOM-Sovereign.jpg
    Time to catch up on Agatha's rural life - though this one sees her on a few foreign trips to kick off the novel. No surprises as to what happens to James Lacey's new fiance. (How does James manage to fall for such appalling women? I think MC has men pretty well summed up in their unfailing weakness for good looks and youth - and when they come in the same package.... irresistable).

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 9:32 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday April 27, 2013

3D split-ply


Above my efforts at making a bowl shape - unfinished needless to say! I really do like this form of braiding, but I can't see myself ever being able to make up my own patterns, and instructions are not quite as simple to find as those for, say, knitting....
I did go as far as purchasing my own gripfyd this time.

Maybe ... an octopus... sea anemone...

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.

Sunday April 14, 2013



This is vicarious travel.
George went to Dallas (conference).
He went sight-seeing, and took this photo, texting me as he stood there.


Posted on April 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM. Category: Days Out.

Saturday April 6, 2013

Sheep .... in the garden

Our final day in France - and a small flock of sheep came trotting down the drive with a shepherdess in hot pursuit. The were quite purposeful - as well as charming - but I was only able to catch a photo when they had panicked and escaped into the adjacent field. I'm not sure how the adventure ended......

Posted on April 6, 2013 at 1:28 PM. Category: France.

Wednesday April 3, 2013

Big Friendly Giants



Today we went on a little tour in the car. Very 1960s. Very "My Mother".

The planned invasion of the lignes tres haute tension with pylons stomping along the edge of our property (like the community waste dump before it) is now complete. So to celebrate (obviously) our tour was based around following the lines, which actually - if you had no sat nav - do provide an excellent set of landmarks for finding your way home.


Above we have the lines stretching forth into the distance - sometimes following the road, and sometime not - while we zig-zag back and forth under them - never quite losing sight. Below we have come to the end of the tour, reaching our own road, and the closest pylon to it.


The obligatory anarchistic graffiti (someone has to do it) says "LA THT NE PASSERA PAS!" - but I'm afraid it did, (and it's female.....?).
Our house is across the fields to the right so we have wonderful views of this pylon - framed by the bedroom window - and the one in the distance behind it - framed by the bakehouse French windows at the back (and from the planned conservatory).
You can see the bedroom view of the pylon in the snow picture - along with a buzzard, out hunting early, who was presumably as mystified by the weather as we were.


I can quite candidly say that I definitely wish the pylon thing had not happened, and there really are no compensating factors* - except perhaps for the Spanish (recipients) and EDF (profiteers). However, there is some element of these constructions that is quite majestic, and rather jolly - in some cases, the insulator "arms" are set at different angles which give them a sense of movement and a definite jaunty air.
But.... I am not living here permanently or bringing up small children to be concerned about purported negative effects of "waves" - but even if I were I don't think I would be feeling the need to construct bacofoil hats.

[* at least with the land fill there is some vague suggestion that it is planned for a finite time and then will be filled back in.... I am fully expecting a wind farm project to be next on the list of environmental tragedies for this property]

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM. Category: France.

Monday April 1, 2013

Beating the Bounds


By Saturday afternoon the snow had vanished - despite laying moderately thickly, the temperatures were quite high enough to cause an immediate thaw to set in.
We did a tour of the boundary checking up on the horse chestnut tree, which seems to be showing signs of being a real tree now, growing strong and straight since it was released from its pot. Only 40 years until it flowers - though I have had it since 1997, so - not long to go! [George obligingly providing scale].
Perhaps when it reaches maturity it will obscure the splendid view of the newly erected electricity pylons - more of this later.


The rhubarb seems to have survived the winter, though the spring seems to be pretty challenging. Every time the plants give it a go, there is a sudden frost.


The latest addition to the Bakehouse - shutters to stop the rain pouring in the "French" windows. Here it is in the sunshine - looking like butter wouldn't melt in it's mouth.

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 4:41 PM. Category: France.