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Archive Entries for December 2014

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Wednesday December 31, 2014

Books in December

  • Died in the Wool by Ngaio Marsh [read by James Saxon] BOM-DiedInTheWool.jpg
    I don't know how long I've been listening to this on and off - add to which I have a suspicion I listened to it before, some long time ago. The reason it took me so long to complete it was that I was listening to it on a timer before going to sleep - and all that happened was I lasted about 2 minutes, so had to keep rerunning the same chapter over and over...!
    That's not a judgement on the book though - it's quite a good plot; the characters are dated and brittle but I find that attractive.

  • Dust by Patricia Cornwell [read by Lorelei King] BOM-Dust.jpg
    This by contrast was quite difficult to read. In fact I cannot really remember who actually dunnit. There seems to be a lot of conspiracy and paranoia coming out - and I look at reader comments (they can write better than I!) here and find the are all expressing exactly what I feel.
    I really don't like to be unpleasant to an author but like all these folk I have read the whole series and - like them - I "want to like them" but:
    ...really gotten obsessive...full of internal monologues...needs an editor and a plot...like wading through mud...could have been a lot shorter if she took out all the psychology of how everyone else felt... lost it's freshness and I find I don't care for the characters any more...just plain not very good...
    Which all leads me to this comment:
    "excellent book if she had left out all the self indulgent waffle about food and restaurants and dogs and places she has been to in the past. I have also grown to really dislike her characters"
    ...and makes me think that maybe Cornwell needs to find some new characters to inspire her - there really is nothing left to explore with these ones.
    [Like I find writing my blog - I do the same stuff every year (!) - but I am not a world reknowned author - that's my excuse.]

  • A Christmas Crumble by M C Beaton BOM-ChristmasCrumble.jpg
    Well I could say the same kind of stuff as above about this short story - however they are written to a formula but still excellent fun. I guess Agatha Raisin seems very real - I can relate to her childish emotions in late middle-age - so unlike the grown-up Kay Scarpetta.
    I think I can align Agatha to Enid Blyton's Noddy (I expect MC Beaton would be appalled) - Noddy is aimed at 3 year olds - it explores the world in a safe environment with Noddy doing "the wrong thing" and getting into trouble. Agatha is just the same - but aimed at the over 50s.

Posted on December 31, 2014 at 1:10 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Thursday December 25, 2014



A couple of photos of our decorations this year - much like the decorations every other year - the comfort and security of familiar objects.
Notable are the spanking new windows in the picture below and the tiny evidence of crafting in the bottom left-hand corner of the picture above.


Posted on December 25, 2014 at 7:10 PM. Category: Red Letter Days.

Saturday December 20, 2014

More Tweed


When I attended the conference in Dublin they gave me a free canvas bag. Although I don't need a bag and it was the quality you might expect of a freebie (functional but not lovely), I was very taken with it. It consisted of a slightly padded nylon zip cover for a laptop which fitted into a matching "half bag" with handles.

So then of course I got to thinking..... how nice it would be to make a "half bag" to match the tweed laptop cover I made for George last year. So I contacted "Tilly Tree Mouse" again to see if she had any of the same patterned tweed left and to my delight she was able to find and supply me with some remnants which, though small, I was able to use to piece the bag together due to its construction partially in leather. I was able to find the same lining fabric from the Quilt Room - and I bought some leather strapping from "leather4craft" having been such a helpful supplier during my travellers notebook enterprises.

The result is really pleasing. I was expecting it to be really difficult, based on how hard it was to make the laptop cover, and plus the fact that it involved sewing leather in difficult shapes. But it was much easier and the leather work was not so much of a problem. [Except when I tried to apply another monogram - sigh...]

Posted on December 20, 2014 at 3:30 PM. Category: Crafts.

Thursday December 18, 2014

Carnival Band


I went to see Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band at the Cadogan Hall - accompanied by a dutiful Robert because.... my sister (and her friend Jenny) were part of the "people's choir" that they include in their Christmas shows.

This was the best surreptitious photo I could get of her - well ... I know it was her.
She is the person-shaped blob behind the professional and his mike on the left.


Posted on December 18, 2014 at 11:36 AM. Category: Art and Culture.

Wednesday December 10, 2014

Edward Scissorhands


Matthew Bourne's dance production of Edward Scissorhands restaged at Sadlers Wells. Based, of course, on the touching and now classic film by Tim Burton and featuring the music of Danny Elfman and Terry Davies. I went with Robert (we've seen a lot of Dance in our time), and I was expecting it to be "Good" but I underestimated how delightfully enjoyable it would be. Perfectly lovely family/Christmassy thing.

I had to steal this publicity photo to show the great costume designed by one of Rob's long-time ex-students. Edward danced almost all the way through with those hands, and used them to great effect (dramatic effect - probably not for actually cutting).


Posted on December 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM. Category: Art and Culture.