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Archive Entries for October 2019

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Thursday October 31, 2019

Books in October

  • Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah [read by Julian Rhind-Tutt] BOM-ClosedCasket.jpg
    This is the second of Sophie's Poirot novels, which I could not wait to get into - especially with Rhind-Tutt as the reader again. She is very clever in humorously bringing out all of those leetel Poirot foibles and short comings by viewing them through the thoughts of the narrator ("why the blazes didn't he tell us about that before?") - as well as those more common themes in Agatha Christie's writing. I especially enjoyed the following extract:
    "...you and I are not the only guests, mon ami, altogether including Lady Playford, there are 11 of us; if one counts the servants as well there are three more... the question is ought we to count the servants?"
    [I believe it's a well-known Christie trope that the servants are never the murderer - unless they are nice middle/upper class folk disguised as a servant. So the butler never dunnit].

  • The King's Evil by Andrew Taylor [Read by Leighton Pugh]
    BOM-TheKingsEvil.jpg The next in the Ashes of London series for which I've been impatiently waiting to be released in audio format. The Firecourt (second in the series) was a recommendation by a Guardian reviewer, and since 3 books were available by the time I read the review, I downloaded them and listened to them in order. I find the historical descriptions very absorbing and I am very taken with the protagonists Cat Lovett and James Marwood - who are no "Dempsey and Makepeace" despite the abrasive nature of their interactions. It's all a bit Mills and Boon (no real insult in saying that as they are truly the doyennes of the romantic novel) but I do especially like the realism depicted in their relationship. Neither lovers nor even close friends in a way, the bond between them sustains, despite their being apart from one another for many fairly lengthy periods over which the stories unfold. There is, of course, clearly "something going on" between them but.... [Get a room?].

  • Grey Souls by Philippe Claudel BOM-GreySouls.jpg
    Due to the Crime Vault listing various author's Desert Island books I have ventured into some novels outside that which would normally come to my attention or attract me.
    Written in 2003 (but not read by me in the original French), about a murder in 1917, the narrator is a nameless police officer in a small town in France 20 years later, telling the story in flashback and finally "solving" the mystery.
    However this is much more than just a murder mystery, giving the reader a lot to ponder on, about love, war, and justice.

  • Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear [read by Julie Teal]
    BOM-JourneyToMunich.jpg It's early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs finally returns to England from war-torn Spain. Although she does not feel up to resuming anything like her former life, she is swiftly set upon by the British secret service, who apparently need her "undercover" to impersonate a woman to whom she bears a strong resemblance, thus undertaking the eponymous "journey to Munich". The German government will release an important British subject from prison, but only if his daughter is there to meet him. Unfortunately the daughter is gravely ill and cannot travel herself. While in Munich, Maisie takes on a potential rescue mission of a more personal nature - all set against a very sinister and threatening political background not to mention imminent state of war.
    I think this is an excellent depiction of time and place. Everyone is living a relatively normal life - but it's essentially a police state with everyone under observation - how much you are affected by the restrictions very much depends on who you are.

Posted on October 31, 2019 at 4:47 PM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Saturday October 26, 2019

Lewes WSD Open Day

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Kate accompanied me on a trip to the East Sussex biennial open day this year. It was a pleasant sunny day - and - worth a mention as it can make such a difference - we were lucky enough to find a space in a tiny but very handy car park.
We had a fun look round - a nice lunch - and just made it back to the car before it poured down with rain. All very satisfactory. [Though still no luck in the raffle!]

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Posted on October 26, 2019 at 9:03 AM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)

Saturday October 12, 2019

Knitting and Stitching at Alexandra Palace

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For the very first time since first attending this show - we had rain. And not just any old rain - it threw it down! We had both opted for light jackets so we did not have to carry big coats all day (and the venue is very warm inside) - so we were totally unprotected - and no umberellas - hence grabbing all we could find in the way of headgear available in the car... No false vanity when needs must... [We then discovered that there is actually a cloakroom facility at the venue... so we'll know better next time...]
I especially love this photo as it seems almost from a different era - a couple of girls (women) on a day out "having a laugh". The need to dress for any weather and so on - all very retro.

Posted on October 12, 2019 at 1:34 PM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)

Thursday October 3, 2019

Local Cinema - Souvenir

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This is the film that Alison turned down - so I had to coerce George into coming with me.

I think it's fair to say that this is a girlie art film so not G's cup of tea one bit. Actually I was pretty lucky to find it being able to catch it locally at all (at the Leatherhead theatre which now shows films - local theatre venues always in a position of trying to keep the wolf from the door). In fact, I think in the end George was quite taken with it, and gratified (as was I) that the heroine - however emotionally broken - was not ultimately dragged down to the gutter by her passion for a no-good chap*

* Excellently portrayed by the lovely Tom Burke - in fact the cast was stellar including Tilda Swinton, acting with her daughter Honor Swinton Byrne who took the lead role.

Posted on October 3, 2019 at 5:50 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Wednesday October 2, 2019

Local Cinema - Downton

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There are two films I want to see but Alison only agreed to see this one with me (Phillistine). However, it was a perfect choice for both of us - never mind the moaning about accuracy, plot, general cheesiness etc - I'm sure everyone who went to see it got exactly what they expected and wanted (except the critics I guess).

Also I was able to hand over the completed rucksack that I had constructed for Alison as a kit for last Christmas (with a commitment to finish off the leather work once she had done the crochet). The latter took her about 5 minutes - the leather work took me a bit longer.

I also handed over her Orkney, which I had completed on the knitting machine (it really is a big piece of work by hand); in this case she is doing the finishing - sewing up and sewing in ends. We looked for trims and buttons in John Lewis before dashing off to see the film. Alison had taken the train down to Kingston after working in London all day, so timing was all a bit tight.

Posted on October 2, 2019 at 1:36 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)