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Saturday October 1, 2016

Grand Stash Sale


This is our rather optimistic attempt at a stash sale. Unfortunately it was a really poor day from the perspective of the weather and we did not get many people through the doors. However I thought it went well enough and we all had fun - and we even sold some stuff. Even I - who went home with virtually all I came with (which you can see was quite some stash!) - managed to sell enough to cover the cost of my table.

Posted on October 1, 2016 at 3:33 PM. Category: Crafts.

Friday September 30, 2016

Books in September

Clearly I did nothing in September other than reading.
[In fact was quite busy trying to squash in two visits to France which even made me miss Rob's birthday - although I am not sure he was too fussed about that...]
Herewith ... the books:

  • BOM-UnpleasantnessInTheBallroom.jpg Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom
    by Catriona McPherson
    Another winning story about Dandy - and we have now reached 1932. The story is set in a dance-mad Glasgow in one among many dance halls. Dandy and Alec find Glasgow and Sauchiehall Street rather daunting, if not scary - which is not so unbelievable to me who visited as a stranger in the 1980s prior to its reinvention as a European City of Culture... [A title which so infuriated the character Taggart at the time].
    Rather like the Taggart TV series - funnily enough - it all starts with a murrderr....

  • BOM-DishingTheDirt.jpg Dishing the Dirt by MC Beaton

    Almost a direct sequel to the previous novel the Blood of an Englishman.
    Some characters Agatha has not get done with.
    She need closure...
    .....and what better than pinning a new murder on "the one that got away"...

  • Goldfinger, Trigger Mortis by Ian Fleming and Anthony Horowitz
    George got these books last Christmas - Goldfinger "the Trigger Mortis Edition" and Trigger Mortis itself. As you might gather Anthony Horowitz can do little wrong in my eyes and he has written Trigger Mortis from ideas sketched out by Fleming before his death. Some passages are (apparently) Fleming's writing.
    I read Goldfinger as it is the prequel, and found that it is very well covered in the film - much because there is, for example, one entire chapter describing an entire game of golf hole by hole, which is of course dealt with rather rapidly in an action movie.
    Horowitz continues this type of detail in describing the racing circuit in his book, and is generally faithful to the way Bond seems to be originally written.
    (I had listened to Rupert Penry-Jones reading a version abridged for radio - but still found the full book held my interest).

    BOM-Goldfinger.jpg BOM-TriggerMortis.jpg

  • Craven2.jpg Craven
    Another series of Craven with Maxine Peake.
    As impending cuts threaten the staff of the Greater Manchester Police MIT, a case involving dangerous dogs and legal drugs piques DCI Craven's interest.

    Produced by Justine Potter -a Red Production Company production for BBC Radio 4.

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 5:47 PM. Category: Books of the Month.

Wednesday August 31, 2016

Books in August

  • Dandy Gilver and A Bothersome Number of Corpses, A Deadly Measure of Brimstone, The Reek of Red Herrings, by Catriona McPherson
    I have to come to terms with the fact that they are not going to produce any more audio versions of these books - so I caught up with the next 3 as holiday reading.
    As wonderful (to me anyway) as ever, I particularly enjoyed Brimstone; the author writing in what I believe to be her best mode, brilliantly evoking not only time but also quite wonderfully exploring a (now) lost place.

    BOM-ABothersomeNumberOfCorpses.jpg BOM-ADeadlyMeasureOfBrimstone.jpg BOM-TheReekOfRedHerrings.jpg

  • A Gladiator Dies Only Once by Steven Saylor
    BOM-AGladiatorDiesOnlyOnce.jpg The second anthology of Gordianus short stories (2005).
    • The Consul's Wife - 77 BC
    • If a Cyclops Could Vanish in the Blink of an Eye -77 BC
    • The White Fawn - 76 BC
    • Something Fishy in Pompeii - 75 BC
    • Archimedes' Tomb - 75 BC
    • Death by Eros - 75 BC
    • A Gladiator Dies Only Once - 73 BC
    • Poppy and the Poisoned Cake - 70 BC
    • The Cherries of Lucullus - 64 BC

  • Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson [read by Simon
    BOM-WatchingtheDark.jpg As I mentioned last month - I took this as one of two books to occupy me while driving to Cambridge for my weaving course, but in fact the journey was not long enough for both and I listened to this on my return.
    It was excellent - quite a long way further into the series from my last reading and as I suspected Banks has moved on in his personal life so not miles away from TV-Banks now - although as conincidentally discussed with our weaving tutor - Stephen Tompkinson is a great actor but definitely not book-Banks. [In my normal way of recasting impossibly - I would choose a very young Martin Shaw for this role.]

  • GideonFell.jpg Gideon Fell - To Wake the Dead
    A 1997 two-part dramatisation of John Dickson Carr's 1938 thriller by Peter Ling: The Riddle of the Stone, and The Secret of the Stone. Charmingly dated, of course.
    Stars Donald Sinden as Doctor Gideon Fell, John Hartley as Supt. Hadley, Richard Johnson as Sir Giles Gray, Wendy Craig as Melita Reaper, John Rowe as Dan Reaper and Tracy-Ann Oberman as Francine Forbes. Directed by Enyd Williams.

  • Craven3.jpg Craven
    By contrast - not at all charming and dated.
    An excellent piece of radio drama - which I should not but do rather take for granted with Maxine Peake.

    Produced by Justine Potter -a Red Production Company production for BBC Radio 4.

Posted on August 31, 2016 at 6:43 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Sunday August 28, 2016

More partying


We are in France for the Bank Holiday weekend, and it was Lloyd's birthday. I seemed unable to take any decent photos (everyone would keep moving around!) so here he is sharing a joke with his Mother-in-Law while his sister brings a suitably large cake.


Later on Lisa and I set the world to rights by the pond - the reason for the looks of consternation is we were watching the kids ("young adults" - an in fact also some rather older adults) swimming and horsing around. Drowning seemed a real possibility....


And a couple of other views while we were there. The mackerel sky about sums up the weather we experienced - and I weeded, dug out, and replaced the edging around, what is left of the flower bed in front of the kitchen (where the door used to be).


Posted on August 28, 2016 at 7:21 PM. Category: France. | Comments (0)

Saturday August 20, 2016

Creative Fibres 25th Year

Another little lunch party to celebrate our 25th year - with our very own member's Ukulele band.


And though not so clear in the photo .... we all sang along... a very eclectic mix of musical eras....


Posted on August 20, 2016 at 3:27 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving. | Comments (0)

Friday August 19, 2016



An interesting evening out - and were the Mill at Sonning a bit closer to home I might venture there a little more often. As it is it's quite a way to go.
The evening included a pre-theatre meal and we met up with some old colleagues and friends whom I had not seen for ages which was fun.

The theatrical performance was interesting - rather larger than life and in truth projected slightly too much for the space - which was fairly intimate. I liked it for the set and staging which were meant to be a tongue in cheek look at Agatha Christie in theatre. I really liked this review in the Telegraph which rather said it all; it is I suppose a moderately negative review but emphasises that the play is staged as being "from a simpler time" - and the comment that it features "the least convincing death you'll see onstage this year" is not as damning as it sounds since I am absolutely certain it was meant to have everyone rolling in the aisles otherwise it could all easily have happened off-stage.

I suspect I have read the book but cannot remember it. What I do remember is the fairly excellent TV dramatisation which included Poirot (as written in the book), while Christie's stage play version excluded him. This stage version is apparently closer to the book than the TV version where the murderer is a very sympathetic character and the entire situation created by the victim around all the characters has great poignancy and almost the qualities of a theatrical "tragedy" about it.

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 6:02 PM. Category: Art and Culture.

Saturday August 13, 2016

Deep Blue Sea


I was dubious about seeing this play - I bought tickets as it is the National and with a great cast and reviews it seemed a good thing to do. However I thought that although it might be great art it would be too sad for me to really enjoy.
What I was forgetting was that this is Rattigan who achieved great popularity back in the day for a very good reason. The play was very accessible and stunningly acted. The characters had you with them through all the distress and poignancy (and even real humour) to what was a very uplifting ending without sacrificing any of the realism of the plot.
So really fantastic performances from all and I am so glad that I did not talk myself out of it.

Posted on August 13, 2016 at 5:50 PM. Category: Art and Culture.