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Archive Entries for March 2018

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Saturday March 31, 2018

Books in March

  • Rather Be the Devil by Ian Rankin [Read by James ] BOM-RatherBeTheDevil.jpg
    Another great read from Ian Rankin. Personally I am less keen on plots involving Big Ger - and probably gangsters in general. Maybe I don't like the idea of the one great adversary or nemesis (Moriarty) - more of the "murder in a country house" girl me. But I do like the new character Malcolm Fox - in fact, I think I understand or empathise with him a bit more than with Rebus himself. This book has Rebus (retired...) working with both Siobhan and Fox; I guess Rankin can't do that too often ("the gang's all here") but it works well.

  • The Seagull by Ann Cleeves [read by Janine Birkett] BOM-TheSeagull.jpg
    Apparently only the 8th book about Vera - she seems so alive I imagined there were more. Here we have some of her back story catching up with her. Excellent plotting and writing leaves me quite inclined to read it again.
    The Seagull itself is a night club on the shore - and quite inappropriately, it reminds me of a ... cafe I suppose... on the sea shore where I was brought up called the Mermaid - although comparatively innocent ie not full of drug dealers and murderers, it seemed a very daring place and one which I longed to go to ("going down the Mer"). Once I was old enough to do so, of course, it's flame had dimmed somewhat.
    Note: these faded memories led me on a search on the web looking at old photos of my village in the 1950s and 60s. The Mermaid "Bathing Cafe" was finally demolished about 10 years ago or so - someone provided a picture:


  • Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler [read by Tim Goodman]
    BOM-B&MWildChamber.jpg Another wonderful story featuring my favourite detectives. It's a sad tale from beginning to end - and perhaps that's only right when dealing with a murder story; I tend to forget this when steeped in the Golden Age Locked Room mystery genre. The title of the book refers to the 17th century name for city parks and gardens, which Arthur explains - to my delight and his colleagues usual degree of exasperation. I actually love CF's use of Arthur as a device to inform on all sorts of fascinating titbits about London - relevant or irrelevant - which clearly interest the author himself (and me), and which he has a need to tell us all about.

  • Dream of Darkness by Reginald Hill writing as Patrick Ruell [read by Sean Barrett]
    BOM-DreamOfDarkness.jpg Although written in 1989, I found it had a rather brittle tone - more 1950s or even earlier. This may have been intentional as the story is about Idi Amin's Uganda - mostly in flashbacks of a kind - so the characters are rather in the vein of old colonials - and "posh" it has to be said. I thought the story was firmly centred on the politics but it turned out to be quite a (albeit melodramatic) thriller. In fact I found the political angle quite interesting as Uganda and Idi were very high focus in my teenage years in the 1970s.

Posted on March 31, 2018 at 9:07 AM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Saturday March 24, 2018

Polesden Lacey


Alison and I met up at Polesden Lacey for a "nice day out" - it was a bit wet in fact but that in no way dampened our enjoyment of baked potatoes with tuna mayonnaise and coleslaw, (trip down memory lane from when we first met) followed by cream teas (always a highlight of a National Trust tea room). Not quite as pictured but just as refined....

Posted on March 24, 2018 at 5:54 PM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)

Friday March 23, 2018

Darkest Hour


I wanted to see this film and George wasn't keen - but he spotted that it was showing in a local village hall thanks to Curzon Country Cinema. We must have lowered the average age by some degree - but we are practising for retirement - and how nice to walk to a local cinema (with a real projectionist!) just like in "the old days".

Posted on March 23, 2018 at 11:28 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Monday March 19, 2018

Impressionists in London


We all went to Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904), and I think my sister was slightly put out that it wasn't more "impressionistic" in the way we know and love. [Scenes of regattas fringed with bunting as painted by Alfred Sisley and James Tissot in "The Ball on Shipboard" c.1874 are also displayed, demonstrating how British social codes and traditions captured the imagination of the Impressionists at the time] But I really enjoyed the works and the explanations of the apparently slightly risque implications in some of them.


Posted on March 19, 2018 at 11:23 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Sunday March 18, 2018



I'm in Edinburgh for the Yarn Festival. Dorothy, Helen, and I spent a lovely day wallowing in wool. I didn't buy much other than some wool (obviously) from Jamiesons and Jamison and Smith to make the Shetland Baable Hat; the double purchase was my error in - after all this time - not realising they were 2 distinct companies! So I am now committed to making one hat in each colourway. I also bought a couple of skeins to give to Alison (a shawl).


The weather has been pretty bad - blizzard and freezing winds - but we managed to stay snug, eating a step away from the hotel every night in Fishers.

Posted on March 18, 2018 at 11:19 PM. Category: Knitting. | Comments (0)