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Archive Entries for January 2014

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Friday January 31, 2014

Books in January

  • Revelation by C J Sansom BOM-Revelation.jpg
    I took this with me to France - these Shardlake books are sufficiently exciting that I easily complete one in the week, and am always confident of a thoroughly good read.
    This was no exception, providing lots of interesting period detail, and (particularly appreciated), notes at the end as to what is research and what is extrapolation. Here we have an element of the usual political intrigue but the nub of the plot overlaid on the Tudor background centres on a serial killer - a foreign concept in those times. This historical evidence for such crimes is thin - but one has to conjecture that it is because most of them would never have been caught - or if they were it was more along the lines of "he's a bit weird - he must have done it".

  • The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor BOM-TheSevenWonders.jpg
    This is a collection of short stories from Gordianus' early life. It is set around a "coming of age" trip to see the seven wonders. I liked it, but I note that there are some criticisms by others. It is true that if you treat each story separately, some of them are better than others, but as an overall themed volume, I was quite satisfied. This is not the first anthology of Gordianus short stories, and I can see why authors find a place for them when they write "puzzle" mysteries, and they have ideas that are simply not sufficient for a full novel - for example the first Sherlock Holmes mystery is actually a story within a story in order to manage a full scale novel, and he fairs much better in short story culture. However, I think short story writing is a skill of itself and maybe "quite satisfied" is not really sufficient praise for Steve Saylor, when his earlier Gordianus novels are "quite excellent". It seems clear that in many of his tales he is quite inspired by historical events and the recent offerings have been lacking; I hope he finds more and better inspiration in the future - either within Roman history, or with a new hero who can cover other historial periods.

  • PeterCoke.jpgSo... this is going to be a bit patronising.
    I recently listened to a vintage Paul Temple Mystery ("PT and the Lawrence Affair") from 1954, starring Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury. I was expecting to like it with that delightful whiff of nostalgia, as well as having fun at the expense of the dramatic offerings of the day (you know: limited technical support and no CGI). However - not a bit of it. I had forgotten that this was an era when radio programmes were the height of mainstream drama, and I cannot begin to describe how good it was and how high a quality they achieved. I was especially impressed by the relationship as written between Paul Temple and his wife - which was somehow weirdly modern as well as strictly within 1950s non PC limits. I'd strongly recommend it if you get the chance to hear it again. [I would say - they can't do anything about the basic plot though - you have to live with that].

  • IanCarmichael.jpg I listened to another of the Lord Peter Wimsey BBC dramatisations "Have His Carcass". I like the stories which involve Harriet Vane, and watched the TV adaptations with Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter, but I don't think I have actually read this one. It's interesting seeing or hearing different versions, as I think I was under the impression that at he end of this tale they got the culprit bang to rights and so on - but this rendition leaves it a little more open - which I am guessing probably follows the book more accurately.

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 2:42 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Monday January 13, 2014

Out with the old....

Rowan55.jpg Rowan have published their summer magazine - it's so lovely to see fresh summery things on cold dreary days. Not just the promise of new knitwear but of sunny summer days to look forward to as well.

For me, it's a bit of a disaster as they have a huge number of patterns with stripes - all of which I long, not just to knit, but to wear.....

They currently seem to be going with a format for the magazines of 3 "themes", which are all a bit pretentious I think, (though when you see the collections you can see what they are getting at). It amuses me that I (usually) clearly dismiss one or other of the themes out of hand without quite realising that is what I am doing - mostly, as in this case, either too weird or too wishy washy (neutrals don't suit me so well). However, the ones that I like in this magazine are just perfect in every way.... stripey....


Rowan55-1.jpg


...and arty....

Rowan55-2.jpg

So - as I seem to have carried 11 projects over from last year (an all-time record since I have been keeping track - though nothing quite beats "Foolish Virgins" - on the needles since 1992...) I have resolved to make some headway with project completion before buying any more wool. Or to be more precise, before starting any more projects - I'm afraid I have already purchased a good deal of sale wool in the past month or so - so much wonderful stuff at budget prices from Black Sheep Wools.
This resolution is not going too badly so far, as I have already completely two out of the 11, with 2 more soon to follow. Not sure how many have to be done and dusted before I can start on those summer stripes!

Boardwalk Wharf Sailor Promenade Alma Bliss Dia Madia

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 7:01 PM. Category: Knitting.