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Archive Entries for August 2017

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Wednesday August 23, 2017

Books in August

  • French Leave by P G Wodehouse
    BOM-FrenchLeave.jpg George passed this book on to me - a very old edition hardback with no date. I spent the first few chapters wondering when Wooster was going to appear.
    Anyway despite the lack of Bertie, it was hilarious - if you like Wodehouse (presumably not if you don't).
    George was taken by an umberella exchange business model suggested in the book - which apparently was recently tried out by a Chinese start-up Sharing E Umbrella - with Wodehouse-like consequences!

  • Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie
    BOM-SC&TheShadowOfDeath.jpg The first book of short stories in the Grantchester mysteries written in 2012 , set in 1953/4 - and swiftly adapted for the small screen in the shape of "Grantchester".
    I feel Runcie's clergyman is not quite as portrayed by James Norton - he is a little more theological and a a lot less worldly - as you might expect since James is the son of Robert Runcie on whom the character is based. A rather gentle read - despite the crimes. I did not find Sidney wholly sympathetic - he seems a bit wet and undecided about everything in general - not least his love life.
  • Strange Tide by Christopher Fowler [read by Tim Goodman]
    BOM-B&MStrangeTide.jpg It took me a long time to realise this but ... reports of Arthur's demise were exaggerated and there are after all some new books. As a "loyal obsessive" I am delighted but - please don't do this again Christopher.
    One of the things that delights me about this plot reversal is the sheer aplomb with which it is carried off. The explanation - and the cure - of Arthur's condition are totally in keeping with the style of the books and their combination of the scientific and the supernatural - and it even refers back to some previous events we already know about from other books. Also as with most good comedy, it is supported by the "straight man" (or men) (or women) whose reaction to Bryant's cure from apparent dementia is much as you might think in real life - except that he would not have been allowed back to work - but then how many 80-year-olds are there working in the police? (o - ok Dixon of Dock Green ... got me there).
    So well done Mr Fowler - or - hang on... did you plan it all along?!

Posted on August 23, 2017 at 7:37 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Thursday August 17, 2017

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion


I went to this exhibition at the V&A (with my new friend Elaine - from Canada). The only bad thing was that we did not really leave ourselves enough time to see the other exhibits (jewellery) that I think Elaine would have been more interested in. But there is so much to see...! And she had only the one chance to go .. well.. for this trip anyway.

I'm not really very knowledgeable about fashion and it was very interesting to get to understand the shapes he was known for and how he subsequently influenced later designers. I took away the "make your own" leaflet, but can't see my following it through somehow!



In the evening we went to see the RSC's Queen Anne at the Haymarket with my particular favourite Romola Garai as Sarah Churchill, and Emma Cunniffe as Anne. It was excellently done, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be a very popular play - a lot of historical detail which can always seem a bit stodgy - especially for tourists I fear.


Posted on August 17, 2017 at 11:08 AM. Category: Art and Culture.

Saturday August 12, 2017

Craft room update


Here is a "before" picture.
And here is a "after" picture.


I worked on the tiles throughout July - which despite being only 6 in number were harder than they appear - in fact I should have chosen the absolute reverse (mosaics) in order to better cater for the direction of the wall! Anyway they are done now - even though George is deeply upset at the way I chose to join them (ie wrongly...) but I am hoping he never has to look at them.
Now, as mentioned previously, we get to the even less appealing clearing out part.

Posted on August 12, 2017 at 7:43 PM. Category: Crafts.

Friday August 11, 2017

Quilt show at the NEC


Here is my hero Kaffe at the NEC signing copies of his latest book Quilts in Ireland - hot off the press it seems. Fabulous colourful quilts, beautifully photographed on location.

I made the spontaneous decision to join my new friend Elaine at the Quilt show. She was all booked up well in advance with a train trip to get there (probably the best way) and also with a short workshop in the morning. So I joined her at lunchtime and we mooched through the exhibits together in the afternoon. I have not been to the quilt show since it ceased to be part of the Knitting and Stitching show - and it was pretty wonderful as usual. I would probably take issue with some of the awards - but then how do you judge when everything is so fantastic in its own right?

Anyway - I had a great day in good company - and I just hope I didn't distract Elaine too much from the serious business of viewing the quilts.


Above is Oriental Thoughts by Kim Ranns - my sort of design - one day I might try something like it (but smaller!).
And below is the winner of the category for Secondary Schools & Groups of Young Quilters. The theme is "free" and the quilters were from the Burgess Hill Girls school, where the girls attended a 30 minute lunchtime club each week to create the chickens.


Posted on August 11, 2017 at 11:07 AM. Category: Days Out.