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Archive Entries for February 2016

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Monday February 29, 2016

Books in February

  • A Study in Murder by Robert Ryan
    BOM-AStudyInMurder.jpg Another interesting dive into history, created with such imaginative realism you would feel the author had experienced it.
    This time it's built around the POW camps - a subject much explored in respect of WW2 but realised I knew little about the camps in WW1. In fact the descriptions of the deprivations (unrelenting cold and pathetically small rations - which may seem relatively mild in the context) as experienced by the elderly Watson were very affecting and made me much sadder than the more overt horrors of that war.
    The ending left me hoping that what unfolded was not really the case and that matters would be somehow reversed - akin to the resurrection by Doyle of Sherlock Holmes himself.

  • X by Sue Grafton
    BOM-X.jpg Nearly at the end of the sequence now, but Kinsey and her landlord are as fresh as ever. There were a couple of plots running side by side - and some of the side-story was a bit less obvious to a naive English person with UK council-funded rubbish collections (putting your rubbish in someone else's dustbin would be a little impolite but... a criminal offence?).
    However the main plot was pretty scary and the repercussions maybe... resurfacing in another story?

  • By Its Cover and Falling in Love by Donna Leon
    BOM-ByItsCover.jpg BOM-FallingInLove.jpg
    Surprised to find that it was well over six months ago I rediscovered the splendid writing of Donna Leon. These are the next 2 Brunetti novels, and just as wonderful as ever.

  • BOM-DeadGirlWalking.jpg Dead Girl Walking by Christopher Brookmyre
    [read by Angus King and Kate Bracken]
    More library dowloads. It's a Jack Parlabane novel - an old favourite so good to see what he's up to.
    This was a bit of a departure - the book is written in two voices hence two readers, and it's all about a rock group, (and a murder!). I am assuming that music is a love of the author's (often the case with writers) and he conveys a great sense of the magic of the performing arts.

  • Rumpole.jpg Rumpole
    These stories make perfect short radio plays. Rumpole (made flesh for me by Leo McKern on the TV) is Maurice Denham. I drifted into looking at Mrs Rumpole - there were 2 TV actresses, but Margot Boyd played opposite Maurice Denham - though she was probably more reknowned on radio for playing Mrs Antrobus on the Archers (in an era when I listened to it...).

  • WyrdSisters.jpg Wyrd Sisters
    Most enjoyable (mainly owing to Pratchet's humorous dialogue scrambling up Macbeth and Hamlet) radio dramatisation from 1995 - stars Lynda Baron, Deborah Berlin, Sheila Hancock, Andrew Branch, John Hartley, Ian Masters, Kristin Milward.

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 7:18 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday February 20, 2016

Unravel 2016


So time for Unravel again - the highlight of the day was seeing Susan Crawford talking about her Shetland Project - albeit via Skype as the poor woman has injured her back. It worked extremely well in fact and as always pretty fascinating.

I managed to pick up some token purchases, including some 4.5mm Karbonz interchangeable needles since the ones I got at Christmas are the shorter type (my mistake on Amazon wish list), and some additional wires (mine keep breaking). I also picked out a couple of patterns - one for the Jane Crowfoot Persian Tile Blanket which I much admired when she came to the Guild last year. I found it hard to find much I really wanted - which is a Good Thing. But then I did buy some dyed merino blended fibre in spice colours to maybe ultimately have a go at Martin Storeys latest KAL (in the distant future once I have spun it...!).

Later on I went to my sister's for tea before heading home. Flint (collie) is recovering from an emergency eye operation and is really peaky - seems he will end up pretty blind after all this - poor dog. So Lyn was a bit fed up on his behalf - but she did politely admire the spice coloured fluff.

Once again utterly mystified by the parking arrangements at Waggoners Yard. Last year I downloaded the Waverley phone app to pay for parking and due to what can fairly be described as a "user error" ended up getting a ticket. This year - app to hand - I found that the automatic parking reference number had been removed - so I used the same one as last year - which it recognised - then said I could not use it.... On further investigation it seems Waverley have "withdrawn the service". And I thought I was being so down with the kids.... Come to think of it there's no chance of that - I go to a show and spend half the blog entry discussing the parking arrangements - there is no hope for me...

Posted on February 20, 2016 at 7:49 PM. Category: Knitting.

Thursday February 11, 2016

Single Spies


It's my Dad's birthday - or would have been - so I thought this would be a fun day out - but overall it was a bit less fun than I hoped.

I have seen these plays before, both on TV and on the stage, and to be honest I wasn't very keen on this version. I didn't like the portrayal of Coral Brown or Guy Burgess - which has nothing to do with the skill of the actors. It all seemed a bit brash whereas I thought the characters should be a bit more thoughtful and awkward, and leave you with that deep sense of poignancy and loss.

I was also a bit cheesed off as we went all the way to Chichester only to find that it is touring to Richmond which would have been more convenient - plus the restaurant at Chichester theatre is undergoing a major refit so everything was "orf" for some time to come - and not a single reference on the printed tickets, which actually went as far as recommending eating at the (closed) restaurant.
Finally - the laugh being on us - admittedly we did go to a matinee, but the ENTIRE audience was elderly. I really have never been to a theatre before that was utterly packed wall to wall with the over 60s - if not over 70s. At one point Rob said something to imply there was no-one else like us in the audience whereupon I have to point out that we were in fact firmly in that demographic, clutching our "seniors" tickets as we spoke.

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 7:48 PM. Category: Art and Culture.