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Archive Entries for July 2015

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Friday July 31, 2015

Books in July

  • Extraordinary People by Peter MayBOM-ExtraordinaryPeople.jpg
    I started reading "The Critic" then decided it was better to read these Enzo Files in order - as there is a planned sequence of books right from the start (he's still working on the last one).. It has a whole different flavour compared with the Lewis trilogy - and lacks the poignancy. As a murder mystery it's a high quality offering but it seems to me that the writing for the Lewis trilogy moved on with much more of an underlying emotional thread, and this went even further with Entry Island. When I am done with Enzo, I look forward to the China thrillers.

  • The Orion Book of Murder edited by Peter Haining BOM-TheOrionBookOfMurder.jpg
    This is an omnibus of short stories - written prior to 1996 which is when this collection was put together.
    The stories are collected in three genres: Crime, Detection, Punishment. Many well-known authors of the time are featured (Ruth Rendell, Graham Greene, Ngaio Marsh, Colin Dexter, Reginald Hill, Ellery Queen, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellis Peters and PD James) as well as some equally famous but from a much earlier era. Before each story the editor talks about the author, their era, and the detectives they created.
    Peter Haining has also done other similar books, one of which I mentioned in BOM May 2012.

  • The Woods by Harlen Coben [read by Carol Monda and David Chandler]BOM-TheWoods.jpg
    Relieved to find this did not follow the same theme I previously observed.... though we were revisiting history, and this was interesting to me as it was history from my youth as well as the characters portrayed.
    I like the narration by two voices, and in fact I felt a lot of empathy for the female character as it seemed to me the great sin she had committed - despite the dire consequences - was not in itself such a terrible thing. However I can understand the subsequent burden of guilt - and here Coben expressly states another of his underlying beliefs that you should face up to your "indiscretions of youth", and take the consequences however bad or unfair that may turn out for you - and it is what you do after that which shows what kind of a person you really are.

  • The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons [read by Colin Mace]BOM-TheMurderBag.jpg
    This was another random download from the library on the basis it sounded interesting (as it proved to be).
    However I had to do a double take, because, yes this is the Tony Parsons - he of About a Boy et al - apparently venturing into a detective novel. I thought it was all a bit touchy/feeley for a police procedural - but excellent nonetheless. Already looking forward to the next one... [The Slaughter Man out in May this year].

Posted on July 31, 2015 at 8:46 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Sunday July 19, 2015

Woolfest - spinning project


Thoroughly confused this year as I found no Wimbledon tennis to watch in the evenings at my hotel in Cockermouth.... After years of talking about it (40 or more?) they seemed to have moved it by a week. However Wimbledon is now well and truly over, and no - they have not moved Woolfest - I went as usual on the last Friday of June, but am posting now as I have just finished a little spinning project.

I managed, (at last!), to acquire one of Ian Tait's spindles. Every year I go and gawp at his stand but fail to choose one. This year however I was so smitten with the concept of the White Horse together with bog oak, that I overcame my prejudices and bought a square shaped one. Isn't it lovely?

Fresh with enthusiasm, I also bought some Jacob roving to try it out. The spindles is slightly heavier than my preferred weight so I though the Jacob might work well - and for a number of historical reasons dating from the 70s I have always wanted to spin Jacob - and it's fine, though in truth I think a little heavy until there are a few grams added in the cop. Subsequently at home I finished spinning and then also (first time) plied the result on the spindle - also worked well although probably not the best spinning I have ever done in my life.

And the square spindle experience?
As everyone told me all along - they are lovely to spin with. It's just that aesthetically I prefer the look of he round ones. This one is beautiful to look at though, and the design just would not have worked on a round shape.

Posted on July 19, 2015 at 8:05 AM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.

Saturday July 18, 2015

Crochet with beads


We were lucky enough to have Jane Crowfoot teaching a crochet workshop today. We were supplied with a pincushion project to teach techniques, and most of us managed to finish in the day. [I have put a stone inside mine to use as a paperweight - much too nice for a pincushion]



Posted on July 18, 2015 at 6:57 PM. Category: Crafts.

Clash of cultures


Interesting combination of activities today. We started with an afternoon a lecture at the British Museum followed by the actual exhibition on indigenous Australian art. It left me quite inspired to try some of the designs either woven or patchwork.

I have had it in mind to make a simple weaving frame (too much reading in Golden Hands Crafts) which is designed for tapestry weaving. I had intended to use it for making a piece of fabric but I was only against the idea of a tapestry as it was not a form of art that interested me. I am now rethinking this as I am inspired with designs I would like to make. Here is a wonderful depiction of Magpie Geese.


They also had pituri bags which looks perfect for a crochet project - in fact they looked like they were crocheted though I am fairly convinced without research that the technique is a kind of woven knotting as used in the basket weaving. Also - in terms of their function as a bag - I could not see any openings!


After a lengthy tea break in the member's room we spent about an hour looking at the Napoleon "prints and propaganda" exhibition and then went on to eat near Sadlers Wells before seeing Matthew Bourne's Car Man - which was utterly brilliant and fantastic as we have come to take for granted. Wonderful uplifting music from Bizet and amazing dancing.


I was actually a bit late meeting Rob [one might say "as usual"!] because I met a Pearly Queen on the underground and had to take pictures....


... then a man stepped backwards on to me as I was getting on the tube, causing me to step back while the doors closed, and swear violently - all of which "the man" seemed to find very amusing... observing me still on the platform from his position on the train....

... and did I mention the dog? ... it ate my homework...

Posted on July 18, 2015 at 7:25 AM. Category: Art and Culture.

Thursday July 2, 2015

Hampton Court RHS


Jennie and I went to Hampton Court - it was pleasant enough but seemed very hot and we did not get round to see all the gardens. The floral tent was really great though and we bought several plants. I got a clematis for Rob who has hacked back his front garden and could do with a less vigorous replacement climber. I chose Queen Mother which is summer flowering - though not showing itself yet.

I am wholly smitten with roses at the moment though, and this one, Hot Chocolate seemed to be everywhere. I will get one - but need to decide where to put it...


Posted on July 2, 2015 at 1:10 PM. Category: The Garden.