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Archive Entries for July 2013

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Wednesday July 31, 2013

Books in July

  • The Patience of the Spider and August Heat by Andrea Camilleri
    [translated by Stephen Sartarelli and read by Daniel Philpott]
    BOM-AugustHeat.jpg BOM-ThePatienceOfTheSpider.jpg Another two Montalbano mysteries as "easy listening" in the car. In fact they are so good that it got to the point that I was almost inventing car journeys just so I could listen to more of them. Both very poignant tales - the mysteries are satisfactorily revealed but owing to the nature of the stories (murders) the outcomes could never be described as satisfactory. In August Heat I truly felt for Salvo - he (like me) is of a certain age and not quite able to come to terms with getting older - hardly believing he could be attractive to a beautiful young woman - and yet at the same time - believing. He is still firmly tied to Livia (though she is "away" and blaming him for all kinds of things outside of his control) so there is just lots of guilt and real bitter sadness when realisation strikes.

  • Port Mortuary and Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell
    BOM-RedMist.jpg BOM-PortMortuary.jpg The plots of these books is strongly linked - almost a continuation of one another. I was not keen on Port Mortuary to start with - too much military and cloak and dagger - but it developed into the usual good story and exciting climax. I liked Red Mist a little better - it was more personal to "Kay" - and the "bad guy" was more your traditional run-of-the-mill lunatic and motivations did not involve some military conspiracy theory plot.

  • The Martin Beck Killings: The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö [Translated by Paul Britten and dramatised for Radio 4 by Katie Hims] BOM-LockedRoom.jpg
    Radio 4 has produced the entire Martin Beck series of 10 detective novels by Swedish husband and wife team Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö in the Saturday afternoon drama slot - and with an enviable cast of excellent British actors.
    The books about Martin Beck and his colleagues in the National Police Homicide Department in Stockholm were written between 1965-1975, (when Per died), and are police procedural novels.
    Unfortunately, I've only managed to catch one of them so far but I think I would quite like to read the books - as usual, it is a challenge to fit a full novel into a 1 hour play.

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 1:24 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday July 27, 2013

Model Engineers 2013


For commemorative reasons (how sad and clumsy that sounds) we went to the Fareham Model Engineers open day at "Railway Field". This is a picture of some family members, enjoying a ride on a model train - as you do.


As well as the trains, there is an exhibition of engineering scale models and some stalls selling bric a brac. I was delighted with this find - a little Rosebud doll - not the highest quality or value but in lovely condition.


Posted on July 27, 2013 at 3:19 PM. Category: Days Out.

Tuesday July 16, 2013

Kitchen Chairs

I bought four chairs in the 1980s which were very second hand even then. So... I've had them a mere 20 years (and we've been using - at least 3 of - them in their sad dilapidated state all that time) and I decided it was finally time to do the long-planned renovation.


Although they are bentwood chairs, they are modern - originally made with seats of plastic cane sheeting. cut and glued in across a frame. When I bought them, they had some water damage, and the cane had been cut away and replaced with thin ply-wood circles, first covered in a white sateen fabric and then covered again with a floral PVC fabric. About 10 years ago, I started work on one of the chairs - removing the seat, and sanding off varnish and re-staining it - but it was very hard and the result was not satisfactory. I checked out professional paint stripping - only to be assured that it does not work on modern "plastic" based varnishes - which explains why I had so many problems. Thus - a hiatus: I had trouble adjusting to the fact that they would have to be painted.

I realised what was stopping me "just getting on with it" was the unwillingness to abandon the natural wood, or settle on a paint colour, and finally having identified the issue, I overcame it. I spent some happy time rubbing down the wood, routing out a base for the seats (removing all the remnants of cane and glue), making new seat bases in MDF, and putting in dowl pegs to hold them in place. I chose Habitat paint (in Beetroot) and John Lewis fabric to match.


They look great.


I started out on this whole project by sanding and waxing/revarnishing the surface of my Habitat pine kitchen table (1970s) which was also in a pretty poor state - now lovely (and still natural wood). All that is left to think about now is that the chair fabric is not "wipe clean" and may not be up to kitchen wear and tear - I am planning to try out HeatnBond Iron-On Vinyl - if I can make it work!

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM. Category: Crafts.

Thursday July 11, 2013

Paul Weller at Kew


We were lucky enough to get tickets for this evening at Kew the Music.


A very civilised evening with our picnic and camping chairs....


Posted on July 11, 2013 at 11:59 AM. Category: Art and Culture.