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Archive Entries for November 2016

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Wednesday November 30, 2016

Books in November

  • The China Thrillers by Peter May [read by Peter Forbes]
    Peter May wrote these 6 books in the 1990s based on his experiences living in China during a period of great change for that country. Extraordinarily he was given access to their police department for research and subsequently received awards for the books within China.*
    I have had The Firemaker as a talking book for some time and never got into reading (listening to) it, but once started it was totally compelling (like all his books) and I was able to borrow the next two (The Fourth Sacrifice and The Killing Room), from the library.
    The books were recently rereleased in paperback so May has been giving interviews and generally chatting about them to increase publicity.
    * For a long time this was the only thing I knew about Peter May - it makes for an excellent Quiz question "who is the only writer to have...." etc

    BOM-TheFiremaker.jpg BOM-TheFourthSacrifice.jpg BOM-TheKillingRoom.jpg

  • The Case of the Imaginary Detective by Karen Joy Fowler
    BOM-TheCaseOfTheImaginaryDetective.jpg I found this in a charity shop and went for it as I was so impressed with We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - and how could such a title not appeal to me?. It continues with certain familiar themes of loss and adjustment. I found the overall plot a tad confusing but I took great delight in the main character's not infrequent philosophical mental "asides" - which could have been part of any book (as in Cat Out of Hell - recognisable scenes from everyday life which can be side splitting funny when well written). So despite not really empathising with the main character - lucky for me given her situation - I still found it to be an excellent read.
    [Noting that I did also pass it on to Rob but he did not get on so well with it].

  • The Hanging Club by Tony Parsons [read by Colin Mace]
    BOM-TheHangingClub.jpg Tony Parsons has produced a great series here and I can only hope he is not going to get tired of his Max Wolfe any time soon. This story offered a very interesting thread around "old London" in the history of the Law Courts combined with locations discussed in the plot. I was driven to look up information on abandoned Underground stations as what he wrote did not quite gel with what I thought I knew - but this was explained later in the story. I did not previously realise that there was a station British Museum (though I always thought that public transport for the Museum was strangely out of the way); it was permanently closed in 1933 as Holborn station was so close by.
    I would say again though - I find these books are rather sickeningly graphic - but clearly, although it goes against the grain, this must have some appeal as I am also so keen on Mark Billingham who uses much the same approach.

  • GideonFell2.jpg Gideon Fell - The Blind Barber
    There is only one clue to a brutal killing on an ocean liner - the engraving on the murder weapon.
    Stars Donald Sinden as Doctor Gideon Fell, John Hartley as Supt. Hadley, and Patrick Allen as Lord Sturton.
    Dr Gideon Fell is an archetypal English eccentric and amateur sleuth created by John Dickson Carr. Dramatised by Peter Ling, directed by Enyd Williams, and first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1997.

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 4:23 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Thursday November 24, 2016



Through some administrative error I seem to have unintentionally signed myself up for the Felted Art workshop with Mo Jackson. As it turned out, it was fun, and I quite liked what I produced - this little Santa, and a cushion cover intended for the red sofa in France.


At the end of the class we made "felted soaps" - which are a bit of an eccentric idea. However I was sufficiently smitten that I made entire sets of them for everyone for Christmas. I thought they would be of practical use and "consumables" - so you don't have to keep them forever - however I have noticed that they only really work if you use them every day and do not leave them to dry out.


Group photo of our fluffy creations:


Posted on November 24, 2016 at 4:03 PM. Category: Crafts.

Wednesday November 16, 2016

Anais Mitchell at Kings Place

Another great evening at Kings Place.

Last time we saw Anaïs Mitchell at Cecil Sharp House she sang with Jefferson Hamer, but this time it was a much more folksy experience - just her and a guitar. I can't believe it was 3 years ago we saw her - but it surely was. Jefferson had told us that Anaïs was expecting a baby - and sure enough there was her little girl - a large as life 2 year old - sitting next to us on the balcony.
Anaïs herself was still reeling from the result of the presidential election and sang a very heartfelt "Why we build a wall" along with other older and new songs - including an innovative "make a request" interlude....

The "support act" was Jarlath Henderson - singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer. He was great - my only suggestion might be that he could afford to add a few more (any?) cheerful numbers to his repertoire. However he was very impressive as he joked that his "band had abandoned" him so he had not given up the idea of touring but had multitracked all the other parts himself. This sounds like it could be a problem but he made it work really well.

Posted on November 16, 2016 at 10:23 AM. Category: Art and Culture.

Sunday November 13, 2016

Small person gansey


I delivered the completed sweater to Penelope who obligingly seems to fit into it quite well.

It's a fishing smock from the vintage Debbie Bliss book "Nautical Knits for Kids" . Originally designed for Rowan Denim, I used some vintage Sirdar Tropicana "cotton effect" 4 ply - which is acrylic, and much finer than Denim but I wanted the result to be smaller, and luckily it seems to have kept its proportions and looks right.

Posted on November 13, 2016 at 5:10 PM. Category: Knitting.