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Archive Entries for January 2017

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Tuesday January 31, 2017

Books in January

  • The China Thrillers by Peter May [read by Simon Vance]
    There was a change of narrator for the next (and final) three books.
    There are many comments on line from readers constantly asking Peter May to write more books about Margaret and Li Yan, and I can see why. Since he was not expecting to end the series after 6 books, the characters remain with a story still to be told.
    He writes about how the books came about here, and in the comments he points out that these books were written over 10 years ago and summarises the situation:
    All these years later I have no appetite for going back to China and updating myself on the changes that have taken place since the series concluded. I was witness to an intense period of change in which the old and new Chinas were still doing battle with each other. I think the new China has won that particular scrap, and much that made the old China fascinating has gone. Like the country itself, I have moved on.
    For all that, a short story The Ghost Marriage written for a French magazine has recently been published in English, and follows the characters later on in their history.

    BOM-Snakehead.jpg BOM-TheRunner.jpg BOM-ChineseWhispers.jpg



  • Dr Finlay's Casebook by A J Cronin BOM-DrFinlaysCasebook.jpg
    A collection of the famous stories set in and around the fictional Scottish town of Levenford and village of Tannochbrae during the inter-war years. The stories are heart-warming, funny and touching, albeit obviously rather dated and non-PC.
    Dr Finlay's Casebook is an omnibus including Adventures of a Black Bag and Dr Finlay of Tannochbrae.
    One thing that I did notice was that some of the stories did not seem to be self-consistent, especially with respect to Finlay's love life. That may just be as it is (like Sherlock Holmes stories) or it may be that being collections of short stories they are not presented in the right chronological order.

  • Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery by Francis Durbridge BOM-SulivanMystery.jpg
    A thrilling case that takes Paul and Steve to exotic Egypt,
    This is a "new" (2006) eight-part BBC recording of a lost archive Paul Temple mystery, starring Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson.

    They inhabit a sophisticated, well-dressed world of chilled cocktails and fast cars, where the women are chic and the men still wear cravats. And where Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard always needs Paul’s help with a tricky case. [By Timothy!].

Posted on January 31, 2017 at 9:27 AM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Saturday January 28, 2017

Macrame

Macrame2.jpg

So this was a treat I booked for myself - an afternoon of craft learning macrame - which I have longed to try ever since 1976. It's actually much simpler than I thought - in so far as, like knitting, you only have to learn 2 stitches and you know the whole thing (in theory!).
The class was very friendly - run by the London Craft Club in a space provided at the Museum of London - and this was the result (a small thing but mine own.... YES it is supposed to look like that...):

Macrame1.jpg

This was the 1970s magazine article that inspired me all those years ago, but sadly I had very little imagination at that time so failed to just go ahead and "do it".

Macrame3.jpg

I finished my excellent day by going out with a team of 5 fellow quizzers to a fish and chip supper and charity quiz run by the Tadworth Children's Trust.
We did not win... :o(

Posted on January 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM. Category: Red Letter Days. | Comments (0)

Sunday January 22, 2017

Wetlands

wetlands1.jpg

It seems I am set fair for a week of birthday treats - and this is the first.

Rob has joined the Wetlands Trust and had such a great time he thought I needed to go too - I thought this was a trip to the Docklands area but in fact it is quite local in Barnes. One key thing was to go "while the Lego birds were still on display" which resulted in some photos that look at first glance to be very pixelated until you remember what they are.

wetlands2.jpg

I saw several life birds - and after being shown a Jack Snipe through a spotting scope from one hide, I proudly managed to find one (or "the same one") myself through my own glasses from another. We saw a couple of standard Snipe, which I have to admit is also a life bird. There were 2 bitterns but photos are of the "take my word for it that's a bittern" variety.

The Wetlands also boast a pair of otters from Asia which are a great attraction at feeding time (and being from warmer climes, really did not like putting their paws in the water!).

We had to co-ordinate the day out with the weather, and we were lucky to have a really fine day - cold but very sunny and most importantly without the bitter wind.

We rounded the day out by eating pasta at Jamie's in Richmond.

Posted on January 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)