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Archive Entries for March 2015

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Tuesday March 31, 2015

Books in March

  • Bird in the House by Bronwen GriffithsBOM-ABirdInTheHouse.jpg
    This is basically a sad little story about coming to terms with loss - but in fact I would say - about loss.
    For me - not the sort of book I usually read at all (favouring retro escapist amateur detective novels). However, I did not feel tempted to abandon it - and the backdrop subject matter - Libya's (continuing) struggles for freedom - was all new to me and thus very interesting, despite the fact that to my discredit I take no more than a superficial interest in foreign politics.
    The book keeps its feet firmly in the realms of reality with no happy endings - at least no happy endings wrapped up with a bow for the reader. The characters "move on" and one is left with the strong indication that there might be more positive outcomes for both the characters and for Libya.

  • After Midnight by Robert Ryan [read by Steven Pacey]
    BOM-AfterMidnight.jpg
    This exactly my sort of book, chosen because I so liked the "Dr Watson" books by the same author, although more an adventure thriller than a detective novel.
    Set in the sixties and drawing on wartime experiences of the aviator hero, it provided a perfect accompaniment to painting the bathroom in France. (Probably how I came to spill the paint tray...).
  • House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz [read by Derek Jacobi]
    BOM-HouseOfSilk.jpg
    I had already read the book, and Rob gave me the audio book for Christmas (along with the newest book-book Moriarty).
    So this month I had the pleasure of listening to Sir Derek reading it to me - mainly in the car. A very suitable reader as this is supposed to be written as Watson's final narrative. [His Scottish accent leaves something to be desired, though luckily it was only called upon for one character!]

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 7:38 AM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 25, 2015

Lady Day

Here again my little New Year list - checking off progress on the quarter-day:

  • Erika Knight's Aran chair cover (I have already invested in the wool in pistachio green but not started)
  • Bright blue man's guernsey (wonderful yarn sitting waiting)
  • Turquoise Kim Hargreaves sweater for me (Rowan Calmer patiently waiting)
  • My own design for a tapestry picture to upholster a workbox (started in 2002)
  • Pin loom woven/crochet blanket for gifts (dipping into ever growing vintage collection of Sirdar Peru) - tudor roses - complete, bathing machine, baby hearts
  • noel letters for next Christmas (started a couple of days ago) - complete
  • Many many socks for my relatives (I have a lot of sock yarn.... some of it is even rather nice....)

I may have <cough> completed a couple of other unscheduled items along the way....

Posted on March 25, 2015 at 6:29 PM. Category: Crafts. | Comments (0)

Sunday March 22, 2015

Kempton Steam Museum

KemptonSteamPump1.jpg

Rob's Morris side danced at the museum. This entry is a bit of a cheat as I wasn't actually there (!) there but the pictures are so excellent I wanted to include them here. Seems like it's well worth a visit.

The waterworks at Kempton opened in 1897 and the pair of triple-expansion steam engines were at the cutting edge of water pumping technology when they were installed in 1927-28; they supplied 39 million gallons of water to North London. One of these Worthington-Simpson Triples has been restored to working order and the other is maintained as a static display for guided tours.

KemptonSteamPump2.jpg

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 11:50 PM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)

Thursday March 12, 2015

Mummies - eight lives

roman-mummy.jpg

We went for a day out to catch the exhibition "Eight mummies, eight lives". I'm not sure Rob was that keen but I (like the rest of the populus apparently) am always fascinated by mummies. Anyway - after a good lunch to make up for the fiasco involved after thinking I had lost my purse (always a good start to the day...) - I think he may have been converted.
The eponymous 8 mummies, dating from about 3500 BC to AD 700, and coming from a range of sites, were not simply displayed, but through the use of a CT scanner a lot of additional information was visible without having to damage (or one might say desecrate) them. There were excellent computer graphics showing "virtual" unwrapping, revealing sacred objects within the wrappings - and they were able to produce 3-D computer "print outs" of the objects - all of which added so much to the experience.

One thing that was true of more than one of the mummies is that they seemed to have been prepared seemingly in a hurry and used "off the peg" cartonnage cases - one being intended for a woman and used for a child of about 7 and another being crudely extended to accommodate a man's (probably unusual 5' 7") height.

The chap above is a later Roman mummy, unusual because he was wrapped as a living person, with arms and legs wrapped separately, and his face painted on the linen. There are several mummies like this in other museums in Europe and they all seem to have appeared from Egypt in the 1820s; however, sadly, although it seems likely they were found together, it's not known exactly where or if indeed that is the case.

8lives.jpg

Afterwards, we roamed the permanent exhibits, where I found the Ram sphinx of King Taharqo (1069 BC):

RamSphinx.jpg

The supreme god Amun, here represented as a ram, protects a figure of King Taharqo, The ruler's forehead bears two cobras instead of one, an assertion of sovereignty over both his native Kush and Egypt, which the Kushites had conquered. Taharqo built and enlarged temples for Amun across his enormous realm. This and other ram sphinxes lined a processional avenue leading up to the temple of Amun at Kawa.

I was also interested by this famous bronze cat, given by Major John Gayer-Anderson in 1939. Detailed examination with x-rays shows past damage and structural repairs, as well as indicating how it was originally cast.

GayerAndersonCat.jpg

Posted on March 12, 2015 at 9:28 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Sunday March 8, 2015

Knitting and Stitching at Olympia

KSSOlympia5.jpg

Jennie and I went to the show at Olympia. I think she was quite impressed with it in comparison to the shows at Sandown, as it is a lot bigger and there was a lot more choice of fabric. I bought a couple of pieces of fabric to line bags, and towards the end of the day, I discovered some budget yarn on offer so needless to say came home with a bumper sack full of acrylic fibre.

KSSOlympia6.jpg

KSSOlympia2.jpg

Posted on March 8, 2015 at 11:30 AM. Category: Knitting. | Comments (0)

Thursday March 5, 2015

Shard

Shard.jpg

Helen took me to the Shard Oblix as a special treat for a special year's birthday.
And it was wonderful!

HelenMeShard2.jpg

Not only the views but the food... mmmm.... I am (partly) ashamed to say we visited the buffet for appetisers 4 times... However, that may not be as bad as it sounds, since it was full of many appetising little morsels which gave one plenty of opportunity to have many tasters without being greedy. [But I was greedy... a bit... maybe.]

After all that excitement we managed to roll ourselves out of the restaurant and visit Borough Market. It's bursting with wonderful food choices and I finally decided to buy some rib-eye steak - so George would not feel too left out.

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 9:31 PM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)