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Archive Entries for June 2014

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Monday June 30, 2014

Books in June

  • Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin BOM-StandingInAnotherMansGrave.jpg
    I failed to read the "final" Rebus novel - partly intentionally, as it was widely advertised and I was concerned about what might make it "final" in the light of the <cite>Remorseful Day</cite>. (Why popular detectives have to have dramatic ends and cannot simply retire. I do not know - well I do know - their authors have had enough of them).
    Anyway - Rankin is up for more - and so are we.
    This was a good and interesting plot - nicely weaving in an appearance from Malcolm Fox (the "Complaints").
    I have to say I am no nearer understanding the character of Rebus - even after all this time.

  • The Drop by Michael Connelly [Read by Len Cariou] BOM-TheDrop.jpg
    The Drop of the title is a reference to Harry's final retirement date in police vernacular. The cold-case plot (as there are really 2 plots) is particularly interesting as it results from a blind hit in re-examining some old DNA evidence using the latest technology - this leads to an impossible and possibly contaminated result pointing at a suspect who is far too young to have committed the crime. In addition - due to his reputation for high integrity - Harry is pulled into a political nightmare of a case checking out a suspected suicide (or is it?).

  • Inspector Ghote's First Case by H R F Keating [Read by Sam Dastor] BOM-InSpectorGhotiFirstCase.jpg
    I started to listen to this on iPlayer but failed to keep up, so I borrowed the book from the library. It is utterly charming but I am slightly concerned that it is not very politically correct. I was driven to look into the author whom I only know of through this series, thinking he must be a relic of the British in India - but not a bit of it. He is the right kind of age (maybe) but in the same vein as Alexander McCall-Smith, Keating did not visit India until ten years after he started writing about it. I have no idea how it would seem to someone of Indian ethnicity, but it does seem to me it is written with affection and intelligence and hopefully is not seen as patronising or offensive.
    This is one of the last Inspector Ghote books (published in 2008) but revisits his early career.

  • Into theValley of Death by H R Keating writing as Evelyn Hervey [Read by Sheila Mitchell] BOM-ValleyOfDeath.jpg
    So I indiscriminately grabbed any talking books I could find to while away the journey to Woolfest. For me, this type of Victorian lady detective written by contemporary authors does not really hold much appeal (I say "this type" but clearly some types do appeal ...). Anyway it lived up to my every expectation and fortunately did not require too much attention while driving.
    I note that Keating wrote it under a pseudonym - to enhance the "type" I think.

  • False Scent by Ngaio Marsh [Read by James Saxon] BOM-FalseScent.jpg
    This Inspector Alleyn was delightfully dated with wonderful and improbably drawn, and rather arch characters.
    In keeping with all that, the appropriate person "dunnit", and they all lived happily ever after. (Except the murderer of course).
    It all centres around a prima donna, a bottle of scent and some paraquat (geddit?).

  • IanCarmichael.jpg Busmans Honeymoon
    Ian Carmichael stars as Lord Peter Wimsey with Sarah Badel as Harriet Vane.
    So - they tied the knot, and appear to make a comfortable couple. This recording features other great British stars with Peter Jones as Bunter, and Rosemary Leach (unmistakable) as "Miss Twitterton" - where the name says it all. Equally unmistakable is Peter Vaughan as the police inspector - who can forget the sinister Harry Grout in Porridge?

  • PeterCoke.jpgPaul Temple and the Vandyke Affair
    Another delightful piece from 1959, starring Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury.
    One wonders at these criminal masterminds who feel bound to telephone all the players involved in their mysterious plotting, leaving their (false) names as a tantalising lead for the police and amateur detectives alike.
    Can't remember who dunnit but charming nonetheless. [As I have said before, I love the depicted relationship between Paul and his wife - and I love the fact that she seems to have a proper job of her own - even if it is suitably ladylike.]

  • BeggarsBanquet.jpgBeggars Banquet

    Readings of a collection of short stories by Ian Rankin.

    • Face the Music read by James Macpherson
    • Herbert in Motion read by James Bryce
    • The Hanged Man read by James Bryce

  • TheRecallMan.jpgThe Recall Man
    A set of 7 episodes by David Napthine, which sprang from a stand-alone afternoon play. Jeremy Swift takes the title role in these first 4 episodes.

    • Doctor Joe Aston Investigates
    • Making Waves
    • Over the Border
    • Stepping Out

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 7:12 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday June 28, 2014

Woolfest 2014

Woolfest14-5.jpg

Back at Woolfest again this year - as ever, delighting in the rare breeds parade.
I saw a sheep that was new to me - the Grey-faced Dartmoor; not so clear in this photo but with all her fine ringlets, she reminded me of one of those regency ladies from a Georgette Heyer novel.

GreyFacedDartmoor.jpg

On Thursday evening when I arrived, I joined Carol and Pete (the Spindlers2) plus Margaret for a meal at the Bitter End again - to which I was able to walk this time. As last year, a very enjoyable time with a drink or two as I did not have to drive.

I stayed in a new hotel (The Manor House) which is right in the centre of Cockermouth, hence it very easy to walk out into the town to eat or shop. On Friday evening, though, I chose to eat in the hotel, (delicious - lamb shanks) - in fact the hotel really did offer a "warm welcome" as advertised, and I was very lucky to have stumbled across an available room there at such short notice.

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The weather was very pleasant, and I was easily able to walk to the venue - I did debate about this as I would not have the car if I bought anything substantial, but decided walking was too tempting to miss. I went to several demonstrations but was anxious to catch Rosemary Stow, a rag-rug maker, and Bapple and Jojo who were providing a demonstration of "Standing wool ('Quillie') rug making" - a technique new to me. It's a simple enough concept but like all things there is skill and knowledge required to achieve workable results.

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I also made a new friend, Lin, who was one of the vendors - Weaver's Bazaar - their stall was constantly mobbed as they seemed to provide continuous demos of tapestry weaving. They are located in East Grinstead so I hope to continue the acquaintance once we return home. [Not that I'm a weaver but I live in hope... I am very keen on what I now know to call Lateral Looms - a Guild member brought one in some years ago and I was very smitten with it - this is the first time I have seen one for sale commercially - I may try and construct one for myself... one day when I am at a loose end.]

Woolfest14-WeaversBazaar.jpg

Here are my purchases after day 1:

Some merino and silk fibre to spin and to knit Deborah a version of Stellaria (not only my favourite plant but also favourite pattern it seems). >>Here<< complete...

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Some lovely fibre ("My Precious") from Spindlers2, which attracted me as it looked so wonderful when knitted up - I plan to send to Alison.

Woolfest14-Swag2.jpg

Some perfect vintage wool to edge my Martin Storey Mystery blanket in mustard. Looks like it came from my attic - but did not.

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On Saturday morning I bought some Herdwick lamb to take home for us to eat, and, as I bought a 2 day ticket, I popped back to the Mitchell's venue again, with the car this time, and bought a few bags of bargain fluff on Saturday morning before heading out home.

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 3:58 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.

Thursday June 19, 2014

Sunny Cuves

Casualties.jpg

As George seems much better in health, we dashed over to France to deliver tiles for the new bathrrom and to try and tackle the garden a little. The weather was lovely, and Peter had cut a few paths through the mile high grass, and we were able to clear up some of the resulting hay.

Grass.jpg

I cleared the weeds from the raspberry bed, and planted up one of the island beds with a few plants that tolerate being left without water for long periods (!), plus some geraniums.

Geraniums.jpg

We ate raspberries every day - as you do - and froze some. The cherries were wonderful - I don't remember eating any from this tree before - the others are a red and yellow variety (equally delicious).

Produce.jpg

And finally - the progress in the kitchen - a window where the door used to be - plus the French doors are in, and there is a back door - and yes that is our washing up on the drainer.....

NewWindow.jpg

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM. Category: France.