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Archive Entries for December 2015

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Thursday December 31, 2015

Books in December

  • Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin
    BOM-HideAndSeek.jpg Another early Rebus novel - the second in the series. Excellent of course, and I will just leave you with the blurb:
    "In a crumbling housing development, a junkie lies dead of an overdose, surrounded by signs of Satanic worship. John Rebus could call the death an accident--but won't."
    The dead man's last words seem to have been "Hide! Hide!" - thus as a nice touch the book is spattered with Jekyll and Hyde references.

  • We Are All completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
    BOM-WeAreAllCompletelyBesideOurselves.jpg I am very keen to write about and strongly recommend this book without giving away any of the plot. It's easy enough to find out what it's about if you want to, but the author has written it in a specific way so that you see things distinctly from one point of view before taking in the situation in a more objective way.
    I felt it was about family relationships and although in some respects this family shows all the normal parent/child tensions and conflicts, they are doubtless deeply screwed up. No-one seems to be easily to blame for this even though there's a lot of blame flying around.
    The Guardian review calls it a "moral comedy" and cites the Larkin poem about Mums and Dads. It is charming and heart breaking, and written in the first person, the narrator is both endearing and humorous - else it would be too bitter to read.
    All I can say is that it explores a subject that I have always been very interested in - and written about here in the past - but it has made me see it in a completely new light, and maybe I should not have been quite so blithely enthusiastic about scientific research with only human curiosity as its driver.

  • FifthPosition.jpg Death in the Fifth Position
    A murder mystery by Gore Vidal - how could I resist? Even when written under a pseudonym of Edgar Box.
    This was "Book at Bedtime" and read by Jamie Parker, and abridged and produced by Jill Waters.
    You can find the original book here.

  • MatchboxTheatre.jpg Matchbox Theatre
    Highly recommended by Robert (and now me) - a Martin Jarvis production of Michael Frayn's short comically philosophical dialogues and monologues, exploring how we attempt to communicate with one another.
    It's in four parts with an all-star cast: Joanna Lumley, Roger Allam, Charles Edwards, Sophie Winkleman, Lisa Dillon, Alex Jennings, Martin Jarvis himself, - and David Attenborough spoofing a wildlife commentary in person for a change.

  • TruthIsACave.jpg The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains
    Alison told me she was currently reading a Neil Gaiman book, so I was interested to listen to an abridged reading of this novelette.
    Inspired by a Hebridean myth, it's a tale of revenge for a terrible crime, although at first it seems to be a morality fable about greed for a pot of gold in a cave on the Misty Isle.
    Bill Patterson is the absolute perfect reader for this, with his soft Scottish accent making the story all the more chilling.
    [ Abridged and produced by Karen Rose.]

Posted on December 31, 2015 at 11:10 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Friday December 25, 2015


Here the final review of my "New Year list"
It may seem like the idea was a failure (ie they are not all ticked off) - but it works for me. They are all now, either not started or actually in progress/complete, as opposed to hibernating half done quietly in a bag.

  • Erika Knight's Aran chair cover - Completed two sections of base cover.
  • Bright blue man's guernsey (not started)
  • Turquoise Kim Hargreaves sweater for me (not started)
  • 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, bathing machine, baby hearts - all complete
  • noel letters for next Christmas (started and completed in January) - complete
  • It is with some relief that I can say I have seen off the last of my self-patterning sock yarns.
    All complete .

My <cough> completed unscheduled items are....
[There were babies .... what could I do but knit for them?]

Also - I did make a small commitment to myself to make more "things" and fewer sweaters this year and I think the list really reflects that in the blankets, Christmas baubles, and chair cover, so I feel quite satisfied that I seem to have carried that through.
And as for the coming year - I do hope to get on with (and finish) these projects just the same. However, I now have new diversions to play with - I was given a rigid heddle loom for Christmas.... need I say more?


[Yes, it is stash wool!]

Posted on December 25, 2015 at 9:09 AM. Category: Crafts.

Friday December 11, 2015



A delightful treat seeing the Unthanks at the Union Chapel, (preceded by a fish supper in Sea Fish). Perfect.

Posted on December 11, 2015 at 11:25 PM. Category: Art and Culture.

Sunday December 6, 2015

Sleeping Beauties


Another day out with Robert to see Matthew Bourne's Christmas offering at Sadler's Wells.
This time we combined it with an interesting visit to the Tate's vaults (by appointment) - which are nowhere near any of the galleries. It was reminiscent of Rankin's Open Doors and we felt we did not see enough paintings... (!) but actually it was pretty interesting in the discussion of how they treat and keep the art works. In fact I found the sculptures much more interesting than superficially they seemed - they were just huge crates with scribbled artist names on the outside of the boxes ("Rodin", "Hirst" etc - the latter with a "hazardous materials" label..), and for some reason seemed even more interesting for all that, imagining the contents....

The ballet was wonderful - the dancers are fabulous, and they had the added cuteness factor with a delightful piece of puppetry.


Posted on December 6, 2015 at 10:24 PM. Category: Art and Culture.