Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mutterings - December 30

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Princess :: Pea
  2. First kiss :: Long ago
  3. Humor :: Cracker (but not usually!)
  4. Campaign :: Tents
  5. Resolve :: Character
  6. Intrepid :: Fearless
  7. Rhythm :: Hangman (a useful word for that game)
  8. Grand :: Duchy
  9. Dirty :: Dozen
  10. Tooth :: Fairy

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mutterings - December 23rd

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Altercation :: Argument
  2. Spiffy :: Simply
  3. Mollify :: Curdle (I've no idea what's going on here, something to do with cooking eggs?!)
  4. Heroic :: Eroica (Beethoven)
  5. Rustle :: of Spring (Sinding)
  6. Bride :: Dowry
  7. Turbulence :: Fluid
  8. Thirty :: Years War
  9. Nonsense :: Rubbish
  10. Ordeal :: Trial

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Dec 18



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
A lad called Baker had been sent back a few weeks ago with a kind of cancerous seeping blob in his neck, a swelling with some kind of life of its own. He'd admitted injecting paraffin wax ten months before.
Life (or death) in the WWI trenches from Louisa Young's My Dear, I wanted to tell you a tale both of those who went to war and of those left behind. Our book group book of the month.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 news

Much of this has appeared here in some guise or other but the annual Christmas newsletter of our doings is here.

Mutterings - Dec 16

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Dragon :: Smaug
  2. Battery :: Acid
  3. Ziploc :: Huh?
  4. Shiny! :: Gold!
  5. 8 minutes :: 480 seconds
  6. Photograph :: Still!
  7. Future :: Perfect
  8. Tie :: Level
  9. Bangs :: Hair
  10. Appointment :: Dental

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cat burglar


Via IcanHazCheeseburger - I'd not been there for ages!

New kitchen

kitchen - looking back by rajmarshall
kitchen - looking back, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

As some readers may know, we went for sudden death last month and had both the kitchen and bathroom updated at once. The dust has now (mostly!) cleared and here's the kitchen (I'll spare you a bathroom picture!). It - the kitchen - still needs painting, tiling and flooring but it's a lot better environment to prepare food in and the sink now looks out onto the garden (view of that in the next flickr pic to this).

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Scargill

the best of the group by rajmarshall
the best of the group, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

We've been back to Scargill for an ex-community reunion. It was good to see folk I'd not seen for 30 years even if we didn't manage a trip to the pub! The full flickr album is here.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Mutterings - Dec 2

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Idiot :: Gibbering
  2. Starving :: Crust
  3. December :: Cold(-hearted - cold-hearted December is a quote from the Sitwell/Walton Facade)
  4. Choose :: Moose (word patterns!)
  5. Dreams :: Sweet
  6. Clash :: Clang
  7. White :: Snow
  8. Meticulous :: Care
  9. Bus :: Double-decker
  10. Insubordination :: Courage

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Nov 27



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
At the same time as I 'played' with what it meant to be Rachel (the experiments with clothing, make-up, voice, bodily movement) I felt like I was becoming more myself. In the midst of the creation, the theatre and the play, I was becoming a solid person rather than a set of masks.
From Rachel Mann's Dazzling Darkness her story of finding herself - I was at the book launch referred to in the link and hope to be able to post a little more of a review once the reading is complete.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mutterings - Nov 25

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Statement :: Programming
  2. Process :: Due
  3. Monday :: Happy
  4. Certain :: Sure
  5. Reflection :: dans l'Eau (Reflets dans l'Eau is a Debussy piano work)
  6. Ours :: Theirs
  7. Components :: Pluggable
  8. Engagement :: Ring
  9. Learn :: Teach
  10. Products :: Line

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Nov 20



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Only a day late!
He had gone into every late or early public-house where there was a light (they were not a few at that time, the road being then much frequented by drovers), and had got down to talk to the turnpike-keepers. I had heard him ordering drink, and clinking money, and making himself agreeable and merry everywhere; but whenever he took his seat upon the box again, his face resumed its watchful steady look, and he always said to the driver in the same business tone, 'Get on, my lad!'
In search of someone... I'm getting to the final straight of Dickens Bleak House!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mutterings - Nov 18

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. 32 :: feet/second squared
  2. Ignore :: Snub
  3. Wet :: Suit
  4. Apartment :: Luxury
  5. Translate :: Bishop
  6. YouTube :: Movie
  7. Stifle :: Burp
  8. Plus :: Point
  9. Thanks! :: for the Memory
  10. Fiction :: Lies

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Nov 13



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Alicia strides to the piano and begins the B minor Sonata. A shock wave wobbles through the room as the piano rings out, abruptly massive-toned. The American boy sits forward, chin on hands, watching her every move.
Adding another sentence to lead more than musicians in! Another teaser from our book group book of the month - Jessica Duchen's Alicia's Gift - the other teaser came two weeks ago, for me, a second read - an easy read after a few more involved novels!
And here's Gilels playing that movement:


I think the very start needs something less than a massive tone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mutterings - Nov 11

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Crunch :: Credit
  2. Resourceful :: Guide
  3. Experience :: Teacher
  4. One hour :: Lesson
  5. Happening :: Occurrence
  6. Mushroom :: Magic
  7. Humid :: Damp
  8. Mini :: Cooper
  9. Earth shattering :: Crash
  10. Mistake :: Slip

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Mutterings - Nov 4

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Throne :: Game of..
  2. Adorable :: Kitten
  3. Corner :: House
  4. Others :: Care (for)
  5. Chilling :: Fridge
  6. Spied :: I
  7. Limitless :: Space
  8. Passion :: Anger
  9. Hugely :: Valued
  10. Devious :: Snake

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Revenge!

The last film at Silkscreen was Susanne Bier's In a Better World, here's the trailer:

As the introducer said the Danish title is revenge and that's probably a better title as it is a study of revenge and bullying and the effect of violence on both sides. Very powerful and thought provoking with its two stories running alongside each other of family and school tensions and those in an African refugee camp. Not a comfortable watch but well worth it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Oct 30



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
She is the music and the music is her. The piano is an extension of her. As she plays the sustained unaccompanied start of the slow movement, the mesmerised atmosphere deepens.
I felt it needed the extra sentence! This is a re-read of our book group book of next month (jumping the gun slightly!) - Jessica Duchen's Alicia's Gift a study of the stress of young musical genius - I last read it back in 2008 - and that's the Ravel piano concerto she's playing and on cue my music player's random play facility provides the music! And here it is:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mutterings - Oct 28

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Crying :: Game
  2. Reluctant :: Unwilling
  3. Decade :: Last
  4. Mustache :: Beard
  5. Water :: Feature
  6. March :: April
  7. Stripes :: Stars (and)
  8. Friendship :: Committment
  9. Weirdo :: Oddball
  10. Contacts :: Lenses

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mutterings - Oct 21

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Authorize :: (d) Version (& licensed)
  2. Plunge :: Dive
  3. Work :: Opus
  4. Throttle :: Accelerator (& victim)
  5. Drill :: Bit
  6. Toot :: Horn
  7. Conference :: Audio
  8. Hodgepodge :: Mish-mash
  9. Bumble :: Mr (Oliver Twist!)
  10. Scandalous! :: Horrifying!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Oct 16



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
He had lostseveral of his regular columns due to missed deadlines. Other papers were fearful of publishing his articles after receiving anonymous threats.
A final teaser from Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind - it's our book group's book of the month - I borrowed the book from the library but I'm considering buying (or from a real bookshop...) as a re-read - having just finished it. Wheels within wheels and such a journey!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mutterings - Oct 14

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Textile :: Skip (for recycling)
  2. Ginger :: root (and hair!)
  3. Strength :: courage
  4. Keeping :: well
  5. Beard :: Hair
  6. Pregorative :: Rights
  7. Closing :: Speech
  8. Podium :: Lectern
  9. Rationale :: Logic
  10. Secondary :: School

Islamey

Balakirev's Islamey (arr Zhyltsov)

..on an acccordion (h/t Kip W on rmcr). Apart from the hair-raisingly fast parts I thought the arrangement was especially effective in the slow atmospheric parts of the work.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - October 9



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
He must go immediately to the Boquería market to buy twenty duros' worth of boiled chickpeas and take them without delay to Police Headquarters (in a taxi if necessary) - or he must prepare to present his balls to him on a plate. Would you like me to repeat it?
Getting rid of the naive policman set to follow you in Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind (again from the book group's book of the month).

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Church at Bourg Trégastel

Church at Bourg Trégastel by rajmarshall
Church at Bourg Trégastel, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

The intention for the last day was to take a boat around the Sept Îles unfortunately the tides meant there were no boats that day from Trégastel. If you're doing this walk look ahead the tides may be better from one of the earlier stops. Instead we walked to the Vallée des Traouïero a rocky wooded area inland and then walked along the coast in the afternoon. Both evenings we spent at Trégastel we ate out at local restaurants by the port watching the sun set. Unfortunately in Bourg we just missed a concert by the church fitters but we spotted a poster

Mutterings - Oct 7

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Exorcise :: Evil
  2. Theory :: Gravitational
  3. Possible :: Art of the
  4. 1600 :: Pennsylvania Ave (& Bernstein)
  5. Feeling :: Emotion
  6. Excuse :: Any
  7. Mortality :: Death
  8. Trivial :: Pursuit
  9. Pupil :: Eye
  10. Challenge :: Risk


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Blind Long Jumping

So this is how a world might
become small, coming down
to a clap, a beat, a voice
calling you on.

She’s heard it growing for years,
exploring where it goes, learning
its lead. Now she knows it well
enough. Who cares what has been
lost or found; there is only the beat
of hands clapping, a private rhythm
everyone understands .

If there was nothing else, it would
still be enough. She has faith.
She has it all. The silence, the breath,
the sound. She steps, she runs,
she leaps into dark, into light.
Into orbit at last.
(London Paralympics 2012 - Rachel Mann)

No doubt you've all seen this already - but having mentioned it at the quiet day, David Runcorn was talking about the trust and intensity of blind long jumping where the jumper uses a helper who stands in the track clapping while the watchers keep very quiet and the helper flings themself out of the way at the last minute! Let me quote it here - that quiet day was a fortnight ago now! - if you enjoy the poem keep a close eye on Rachel Mann's blog from which I've pasted it!

That link to David Runcorn's pages was tricky to find - there's lots of dead links to mac.com... let's hope citing it will improve its chances in google! My photos from the queit day at Cliff college are here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Oct 2



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
She kissed me shyly, and I planted a couple of noisy kisses on each cheek. She laughed. In her eyes I could see she was waiting for me to ask her about Clara, but I had decided not to.
A bonus sentence as the second is so short! From Carlos Ruiz Zafón's 'The Shadow of the Wind' our book group's current book for the month. A story of attempted book burning..

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Incendies

It's a little time ago now but the first showing of Macclesfield silk screen's 2012-2013 season was Denis Villeneuve's Incendies

Incendies Trailer HD by eOneFilms
Here's a review a film telling of a family caught up in civil war in a Lebanon like country, told partially in flashback partially as the children discover the history of their mother. Raw and emotionally gruelling but strongly recommended! At the quiet day we attended the weekend after, somone was saying from a reading of Lucy Winkett's Our Sound is our Wound that for humans singing may have predated speech this, for me gave an added edge to the character of 'The Woman who Sings' in the film.

Le Sentier des Douaniers

DSCF8874 by rajmarshall
DSCF8874, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

The next day of the holiday was walking Le Sentier des Douaniers and old smugglers path over to Trégastel. Spectacular rock formations next to the sea - and the weather behaved! Probably the most popular part of the coast but it was much enjoyed lots of little rocky harbours. The rocky outcrops reminded me of the Staffordshire Roaches with the tide in! Here's the link again to the flickr album.

Mutterings - Sept 30

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Desire :: Wish
  2. Paint :: Ball
  3. Sides :: Rectangle
  4. Gauze :: Muslin
  5. Telegraph :: Bush
  6. Slip :: Many a
  7. Recommend :: Reference
  8. Amused :: Laughed
  9. Sorted :: Bubble
  10. Canvas :: Tent

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Sept 25



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
The lagoon is full of secret currents, shoals, clinging water-weeds. Over most of its expanse, if you lie in the bows of your boat in the sunshine, with a hamper beside you and an arm around your waist, you can see the slithery foliage of its bottom scudding obliquely beneath your keel: until, rashly taking a short cut, you find yourselves soggily aground, your propellor churning the mud around you and your idylls indefinitely postponed.
A last lingering look at Jan Morris' Venice - a reminder of warmth and sunshine on this cold very wet day here in NW England!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Perros Guirec

Sundown by rajmarshall
Sundown, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

The next day was a rest day, we spent it wandering around Perros Guirec, a trip round a museum of local hostory, lunch at a creperie and a wander along the beach. Dinner again at the Manoir du Sphinx admiring the sunset.

Mutterings - Sept 23

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Familiar :: Spirit
  2. Style :: Magazine
  3. More than :: words can tell
  4. Glistening :: Treasure
  5. Obstruction :: Swallowing
  6. Orifice :: Hole
  7. Hugely :: Annoying
  8. Tempest :: Shakespeare
  9. Sauce :: HP
  10. Herbs :: Garden

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Sep 18



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
She closed the file, and for half an hour or more sat at the desk with her head in her hands, paralysed with shock and indecision. She could not reveal what she had found, and yet how could she live with the knowledge?
Approaching the end of The Thread - by Victoria Hislop - and a real teaser!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mutterings - Sept 16

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Social :: Media
  2. Fairy tale :: Cinderella
  3. 0 :: 1
  4. Football :: Match
  5. Action :: Man
  6. Setting :: Bone
  7. Boomers :: Baby
  8. Rough :: Smooth
  9. Words :: Speech
  10. Account :: Book-keeper

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Plage de Trestignel from the Manoir du Sphinx

Day three started with a taxi ride to Port Blanc and then we walked to Perros Guirec for a 2 night stay at the Manoir du Sphinx - a long walk by the shore. Route finding was sometimes tricky. The weather was much better and the port of Perros Guirec was a good resting place before the final hill up to the hotel! The photo was taken from our room and the hotel restaurant jutted out over the hotel lawn giving stunning views as we ate - we were lucky with our table - some tables were further away from the windows!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Sept 11



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
The four walls of her magnificent house were like a cage, within which she was safe. Food was brought to her, clothes were sewn for her, the hairdresser attended to her hair at home and now her son came and went without need for guidance or help.
Victoria Hislop's The Thread - our book group book for the month A pretty trailer but doesn't tell you much more than is on the back cover, The story of Greece (or maybe a story of Greece..) in the 20th century...

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Mutterings - 9th Sept

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Middle :: Earth (pig in the...)
  2. Runner :: Do a ... (bean)
  3. Umbrella :: Stand
  4. She :: Rider Haggard
  5. Album :: Stemp
  6. Speak :: Easy
  7. Completely :: Honest
  8. Underestimated :: Miscounted
  9. Self-esteem :: Worth
  10. Compartment :: Railway

Saturday, September 08, 2012

A quiet lane in Tréguier

A quiet lane in Tréguier by rajmarshall
A quiet lane in Tréguier, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

Day 2 of this year's holiday was a walk to Tréguier along the coast past Neolithic remains and the Jaudy estuary. This was the day it rained - cleared up once we got there and the hotel for the evening had a starred Michelin restaurant.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 4th Sept

Try not to laugh (too much) it's been a busy week!


Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
In the plushy cafés of St. Mark's (Regency stripes and spindly chairs) spruce listen with deference to the interminable reminiscences of immaculate uncles: and in the cafés on Christmas eve 20,000 families giggle before the television sets, drinking Cinzano and eating sticky cakes, while the favourite melody of the day is passed from shop to shop, from square to square, down one dark alley to another, like a cheerful watchword in the night. The Christmas services are warm, bright and glistening; the cribs are crude but touching; the choirs sing lustily; and Venice feels less like a grand duchess than a buxom landlady, enjoying a glass of stout when the customers have gone (except for the mysterious permutations of clergy, gold and crimson and misty with incense, that you may glimpse passing and repassing the open doors of the Basilica).
A wonderful extract from Jan Morris's Venice - in the off season (if it now has one) - irrestible and draws one back! Soak in the atmosphere - this is a re-read for me - but probably a little old as a guide book.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Mutterings - 2nd September

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Tenure :: Common (oh dear, church administration!
  2. Baptism :: Growth
  3. Holders :: Loo Roll (sorry! our church warden had an accident while drilling new holes for these a few days ago)
  4. Irritation :: Itch
  5. Academics :: Pale
  6. Mug :: Tree
  7. Charge :: Lightning
  8. Percent :: Point
  9. Clears :: the runway
  10. Selfless :: Loving


Troezel Vras

It's been rather a long time since we returned from our summer break - again an Inntravel tour, this time the Granite Coast of Brittany. So while I still remember it a few comments: we spent the first day on a circular walk around Troezel Vras, country lanes and coastal walks, we went past a large house which has some connection to the du Mauriers. Returned in time for a trip to a local wine merchant - this was one reason for going by car! The fish eater very much enjoyed the evening meal - we should have alerted them in advance that one member of the party isn't keen on oily fish! As you can see the accomodation came with a lovely courtyard. The complete set of photos from the holiday is here

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 28 Aug



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
When I noticed the first book missing, I thought I had simply misplaced it, but then I saw the outlines of some feet on the floor in certain patches of the light.
It made me smile.
Getting towards the end of my re-read of Markus Zusak's Book Thief.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mutterings - 26th August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Call :: Phone
  2. Instinct :: Gut
  3. Toffee :: Hammer
  4. Cleaner :: Joke
  5. Gut :: Digestion
  6. Leveled :: Scraped
  7. Discover :: Surprise
  8. Together :: Better
  9. Attack :: Bot
  10. String :: Puppet (Sandie Shaw....)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 21 August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Enter Mr Guppy, who nods to Mr Snagsby, and touches his hat with the chivalry of clerkship to the ladies on the stairs.
`I was strolling away from the office just now, when I found this row going on' says Mr Guppy to the law-stationer, 'and as your name was mentioned, I thought it was right the thing should be looked into.'
More from Dickens' Bleak House - I'm nearly half way through the 750 pages...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mutterings - 19th August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Course :: Golf
  2. Delusion :: Paranoid
  3. Silly :: Billy
  4. Intrepid :: Disaster
  5. Candle :: Both Ends
  6. Entrance :: Grand (of the Queen of Sheba)
  7. Voracious :: Hunger
  8. Taste :: Honey
  9. Bobble :: Hat
  10. Horror :: Story

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cocktail Music

In the evenings I'm currently slowly reading my way through an anthology of the poetry of Chase Twichell - I've quoted her before here - I found a large anthology of her poetry at the Oxfam in Alderley Edge a few months ago. This poem seemed especially appropriate as, the evening I read it, we'd just returned from an evening which started with contemplative prayer and ended with a cocktail party (at the same place!) - note the initials of both events! Twichell has made a close study of Zen Buddhism and her poems reflect that.
         Cocktail Music

All my life a brook of voices
has run in my ears,
many separate instruments
tuning and playing, tuning.
It's cocktail music,
the sound of my parents
in their thirties,
glass-lined ice bucket loaded
and reloaded but no one tending bar,
little paper napkins, cigarettes,
kids passing hors d'oeuvres.
It's drinking music,
riffle of water over stones,
ice in glasses, rise and fall
of many voices touching-
that music. Husbands grilling meat,
squirting the fire to keep it down,
a joke erupting, bird voices snipping
at something secret by the bar.
It's all the voices collapsed
into one voice,
urgent and muscled like a river
then lowered as in a drought,
but never gone. It's the background.
When I lift the shell to my ear
it's in there.
(from Dog Language)
And here she is reading Negligent Worldicide (from Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been)

Teaser Tuesday - 14th August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
He followed him over to the right and jabbed him once more and opened him up with a punch that reached into his ribs. The right hand that ended him landed on his chin.
Dramatic stuff! A re-read of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief - I teased this a few years ago it is now my book group's book for the month so I'm reading both this and continuing to progress slowly through Dicken's Bleak House!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lilies - i

Lilies - i by rajmarshall
Lilies - i, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

Even though it wasn't a sunny day, the lilies were out in the garden and I wandered out at lunchtime to see them.

Mutterings - 12th August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. View :: World (Room with a...)
  2. Yoga :: Position
  3. Giggle :: Fun
  4. Raider :: Dawn
  5. Summer :: (of) Love
  6. Debt :: Clearing
  7. Cleaning :: Party
  8. Sneakers :: Pumps
  9. Thwarted :: Scheme
  10. Recipes :: Book

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 7th August



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
In consequence of which she got into the habit of saying to me at meals, "Mr Snagsby, you haven't found Nimrod any work yet!" or "My Snagsby, why didn't you give that eight-and-thirty Chancery folio in Jarndyce, to Nimrod?" or suchlike. And that is the way he gradually fell into job-work at our place; and that is the most I know of him, except that he was a quick hand, and a hand not sparing of night-work; and that if you gave him, say five-and-forty folio on Wednesday night, you would have it brought in on the Thursday morning.
Sentences within sentences! Bleak House - Charles Dickens analysis of the intricacies of the 19th century English legal system. It's hard going - a very complex novel with lots of characters, I've never read it before and I dont think I saw any of the BBC adaptions - but it summons up an era. Look at that second sentence starting with 'And' together with a few more 'ands' in the rest of it - some of my English teachers would have had a seizure! The wikipedia plot summary may be helpful at the expense of a few spoilers!
(looks like I'm eventually back on the correct date for these postings!)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Mutterings - 5th August

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Rude :: Health
  2. Leather :: Chaps
  3. Headquarters :: General
  4. Good guys :: White hats
  5. Blowing :: Bubbles
  6. Doddering :: Stick
  7. Instructional :: Manual
  8. Standards :: Coding
  9. Eatery :: Winery
  10. Vampire :: Bats

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cloud Atlas

I seem to be on a run of David Mitchell at the moment, here's the trailer for the forthcoming Cloud Atlas movie:

.. to be released in October! (h/t bookriot and twitter's suzyklein)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mutterings - 29th July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Alcohol :: Swab
  2. Pocket :: Handkerchief
  3. Squeeze:: Friendly
  4. Football :: Goal
  5. Fourth :: July
  6. Snake :: Ladder
  7. Reduced :: Bonus
  8. Polka :: Dot
  9. Intrepid :: Traveller
  10. Paula :: Radcliffe (there's some Olympics consciousness there!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 24th July



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Late again! I hope things will get back to normal next week! Another teaser from a book read on holiday, I read this one on the boat on the way home..
Dad was telling Mum a funny story about how his boss Craig Salt'd let Dad's trainee Danny Lawlor drive Criag Salt's DeLorean sports car round a go-karting track on a team building weekend. So instead of sloping off upstairs I went into the living room to watch Tomorrow's World on TV.
As you may guess this is set in the 80s lots of loving period detail! David Mitchell's Black Swan Green I'm not sure whether you had to be there then to appreciate this book and its study of adolescence but I was and I did!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mutterings - 22nd July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Missing :: in action
  2. Crowded :: Room
  3. Questions :: Answers
  4. Flavored :: Sweets
  5. Need you :: Role
  6. Control :: Alt
  7. Restaurant :: Menu
  8. Scattered :: Ashes
  9. Family :: Gathering
  10. Regrets :: Sad

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 17th July



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
A little late but having just got back from holiday...
That is one of the many legacies left by your friend Dr. Eckman. I am sure there are more I have yet to come across. In the brief amout of time he was with us he managed to teach Easter the fundamentals of table manners as well as the alphabet, or most of the alphabet. I see the K is missing.
4 sentences I know! From Ann Patchett's State of Wonder. Here's Patchett talking about the book:I must read Conrad's Heart of Darkness, I was thinking of JG Ballard - someone she doesn't mention in that interview - and his Illuminated Man. Pay close attention to the opera visit and the Orpheus myth! I much enjoyed her Bel Canto but I think this is better. Very much recommended, we were about to head out for dinner (on holiday) and I decided I just had time to read the last chapter, I wasn't quite prepared for all that happens in those last few pages!

Faculties included?

The Churchfitters by rajmarshall
The Churchfitters, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

We spotted this poster in Bourg near Trégastel in Brittany. I see from their website they're originally a UK group which moved to Brittany in 1993

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Mutterings - 8 July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Purple :: Robe (argh - Graham Kendrick ;-))
  2. Staying power :: Determination
  3. Human :: Kind
  4. Garden :: Flowers
  5. Missing :: Link
  6. Sucked :: Blew
  7. Next door :: Neighbour
  8. Poker :: Dot.. bikini (yes I know it should be polka!)
  9. Strategy :: Plan
  10. Crushed :: Velvet

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 3rd July



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
We are suddenly awakening, much too late, to the fact that we have been gorging at Belteshazzar's table, that blind pursuit of greed has made us skeletons at the feast.
At some future point in time, tar balls from a warm-water spill -- if not from the Gulf of Mexico then from some other blow-out -- will show up in Alaska waters to mingle with the crud left from the Exxon Valdez
a mediation on the damage we are doing to our world also - as last week - from Maggie Ross's Writing the Icon of the Heart. She has spent much time over the years in the wilderness and silence of Alaska.
(blogger tells me this is my 2000th post on this weblog not as much appearing here as in the past)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Mutterings - 1st July

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Cycle :: Tyre
  2. Pimple :: Spot
  3. Tailspin :: Aircraft
  4. Contact :: First
  5. Prepaid :: Bill
  6. Tremors :: Earth
  7. Disgusting :: Allergy
  8. Instrumental :: Solo
  9. Taken :: Tablet
  10. Forward :: Roll

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer evening from Rainow

Sunset - ii by rajmarshall
Sunset - ii, a photo by rajmarshall on Flickr.

We seem to be fortunate in our walks from Rainow. Last year we caught a lovely sunset from the Robin Hood pub in Rainow and this year again the evening was beautiful

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 26th June



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Within this space are silence, stillness and waiting. Discretion is what Aristotle referred to as the space where virtue is found.
from Maggie Ross's Writing the Icon of the Heart - In Silence Beholding some good thoughts on discretion in that chapter - I read it last night and there was a lot of pausing for reflection. I heard Maggie Ross at the Manchester Theological Society last month - was a bit heavy - though the Q&A afterwards were far more helpful! I intended to blog on it but seem to have forgotten...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mutterings - 24th June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Salon :: Hair
  2. Tag :: HTML
  3. Hawk :: Buckler (I think 'hawk and buckler' is a phrase from an Ivor Gurney song)
  4. Continuous :: function
  5. Sparkly :: Effect
  6. Foam :: Kay-Metzeler - a company making foam products whose base I used to pass every day on the way to school.
  7. Lovely :: Day
  8. Jokes :: Humour
  9. Shenanigans :: Dishonest
  10. Bear :: Brown


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nat West!

The Nat West bank (in the UK ) has been having software problems and with apologies to the Pet Show Boys:

I do hope they don't get a take-down order! Lots of f-words in the above!
(h/t Jackschofield)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Greening the economy

Rowan Williams' message for the Rio+20 conference

If the world is a gift how to hand it on to future generations?

Teaser Tuesday - 19 June



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
As a matter of fact I do know a man who might fit the bill, but I'm not sure if he's available. I'll find out and give you a call back.
More from Jeffrey Archer's Only Time Will Tell.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mutterings - 17th June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Deep end :: Off the
  2. Complications :: Medical
  3. Silver :: Badge
  4. Bridge :: Club
  5. Delete :: Key
  6. Spying :: Covert
  7. Ripped :: Silk
  8. Tunnel :: Channel
  9. Pillow fight :: Children
  10. Useful :: Hint

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 12th June



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Should the pace prove to be too demanding, one or two of you may fall by the wayside,' he warned, staring down at the front three rows.' St Bede's is not a school for the faint heated. So be sure never to forget the words of the great Cecil Rhodes: If you are lucky enough to have been born an Englishman, you have won the first prize in the lottery of life.
A headmasters pep-talk for the new prep-school intake in Jeffrey Archer's Only Time will tell (by the international best selling author of that name) - I couldn't resist including that extra sentence! The latest BATS (book group) book - it has beenj an interesting transition moving from Emma Donoghue's The Room - told in the voice of a five year old to this through the eyes of a youngster and with also a pared down vocabulary - nothing to frighten the masses! Here's John Crace's digested read on the book. I went to a prep school where I boarded for a term...

The Church of England lies!

Or at least a committee drafting documents in its name does! From today's document about the same-sex marriage consultation:
We have supported various legal changes in recent years to remove unjustified discrimination and create greater legal rights for same sex couples and we welcome that fact that previous legal and material inequities between heterosexual and same-sex partnerships have now been satisfactorily
addressed.
So far and no further hey? But that statement is manifestly untrue - the majority of Bishops in the House of Lords voted against those changes - historical revisionism rules!
[Updated 13 June] The Church of England has now put up a document here giving the contributions made by the bishops in the Lords during the debates on the civil partnerships bill, it says:
The bishops, consistent with their place as independent and non-whipped members neither spoke nor voted as a bloc on these issues when they were before the House.
So some bishops spoke in favour and some opposed - that still means a line 'We have supported various legal changes..' is misleading - none of the bishops who voted 5-1 for the wrecking amendment eventually voted for the passing of the bill.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mutterings - 10th June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Stitches :: Hospital
  2. Reckless :: Behaviour
  3. Wealth :: Riches
  4. Tenant :: Sitting
  5. Recognize :: Features (as in face)
  6. Hospital :: Medicine
  7. Bangs :: Fireworks
  8. Hello :: Goodbye
  9. Folder :: Paper
  10. Glamour :: Puss

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 5th June



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
My favorite bit of Outside is the window. It's different every time. A bird goes right by zoom, I don't know what it was. The shadows are all long again now, mine waves right across our room on the green wall. I watch God's face falling slow slow, even orangier and the clouds are all colors, then after there's streaks and dark coming up so bit-at-a-time I don't see it till it's done.
Last week I wrote that this was a very dark book, maybe here with another extract redressing the balance! From Emma Donoghue's Room I'm cheating here as I wanted to quote this passage and it is far more than 2 sentences - here we have Jack seeing the world outside and a sunset (God's face is the sun) before there was only a skylight and getting used to the Outside, to freedom.

An African Elegy

We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.

There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear the poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things.

And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless the things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.

That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.

And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here

And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.

Ben Okri

A clipped out copy of this poem has been around my work room for a few years, I found an electronic copy here together with other examples of his work.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Mutterings - 3rd June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Model :: Aircraft
  2. Clash :: of Cultures
  3. Frightening :: Vision
  4. Instinct :: Animal
  5. Award show :: Crufts
  6. Editing :: Care
  7. Frumpy :: Baggy
  8. Everyone :: All
  9. Lifting :: Gear
  10. Agencies :: Government

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 29th May



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
After dinner Ma tells me Hansel and Gretel and How the Berlin Wall Fell Down and Rumpelstiltskin. I like when the queen has to guess the little man's name or else he'll take her baby away. "Are stories true?"
Ah, there's the question - what is real and who tells it! A very dark book - Emma Donoghue's Room - triggered by the Fritzl case, tells of a little boy and his mother and the boy's growing up in a strange isolation where the world is only seen through the TV and what his mother feels able to tell him. A hard but absorbing read.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Near Windmill Wood

The All Saints' Summer Walks are well underway! I'm keeping an album of the photos from walks I've been on here.

Last Thursday's walk was over Alderley Edge and ending at the Wizard. This photo was taken from a path over the fields across the road from the Edge.

Mutterings - 27th May

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Nervous :: Wreck
  2. Style :: Fashion (various IT usages nearly come to mind - if I could remember them..)
  3. Yarn :: Sailor's
  4. Bangs :: Hair
  5. Horoscope :: Bewildering (from Britten's Peter Grimes)
  6. Talkative :: Chatterbox
  7. Siren :: Rock (mainly Ulysses)
  8. Quilt :: Comfort
  9. Smudge :: Bootsy (I see it's actually Bootsie 'n' Snudge - a TV programme of the 60's - though I see there a few companies around called Bootsie 'n' Smudge)
  10. Clicking :: Connecting

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 22 May



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Walsingham followed up on this just 11 days later, on 29 March, with another note urging Grindal to respond quickly. He suggested thatm the queen herself was anxious to receive his official nod.
Again from David Ewing Duncan's book The Calendar - Grindal was Archbishop's of Canterbury during the reign of Elizabeth I and here the Church of England carries on the grand tradition of obstructing progress - I was unaware that England nearly moved to the Gregorian Calendar back then.
I've now finished this book and found it alternately fascinating and infuriating. It was sloppily edited, some things occurred twice in the same level of detail (the chronology of Orthodox countries moving to Gregorian is recounted twice), some glaring factual errors (follow the link) things which sound nice but are just wrong (
In 1750..a stodgy earl named George Parker (1697-1764) stood up to deliver to the Royal Society an address... the 56 year old Stanhope was for some reason fired up by the old earl's speech.
Anyone would think that Parker was older than Stanhope. He deals sometimes with the maths, often getting it wrong, but fails to go to any depth so you get glimpses but no real background. There seemed to be a determination to mention Roger Bacon in every chapter. I found much of the historical detail - shorn of the over flowery bits - interesting I'd not put the develpment of the calendar into its historical context before so, for that, it was worth the read.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mutterings - 20 May

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Vision :: Thing
  2. Throne :: Room
  3. Streaming :: Media (Cold)
  4. Framed :: Unjust
  5. Unrealistic :: Expectations
  6. Insecure :: Gateway
  7. Traffic :: Internet
  8. Punch :: Judy
  9. Pile :: Battery
  10. Movie :: Old

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 15 May



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
The most critical moment had come sometimes between 496 and 506 when King Clovis agreed to be baptized by a Catholic bishom at Reims. A shrewd politician, Clovis embraced Rome to gain the support of Gallo-Roman Catholics in his successful war against the Arian Goths in what is now central and northern France.
(sometimes?) Not Church history but the development of the calendar - from David Ewing Duncan's book The Calendar - I was given this book back in 1999 and it has just made its way to the top of the reading pile...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mutterings - 13th May

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Pet :: Food
  2. Show :: Reveal
  3. Annoying :: Habit
  4. Dare you! :: Why?
  5. Simplistic :: Method
  6. Thrilled :: Amazed
  7. Freeze :: Deep
  8. Instrument :: Stand
  9. Cold shoulder :: Ignore
  10. Adopt :: Child

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Herman!

A week ago I received a quantity of fermenting sourdough batter called Herman he's been sitting in our ktchen for a week quietly burbling, being fed accornding to the instructions (see link) and yesterday he was vivisected into quarters and today I cooked one of the quarters. The instructions I had said cook for 45 minutes, I mistakenly turned him out without testing at that point and he had to be hastily scraped off the surface and reassembled back in the tin - in the end he was cooked for 1 hour 45 minutes. It was a slightly adapted recipe as I couldn't find the cooking apples I thought I had, convinced myself I'd used them and found them just as I was removing Herman from the oven - a narrow escape.
There's still 3/4 of Herman left to pass on - so far I've found 2 recipients so unless I find another (anyone?), I'll just have to take care of another one - I gather he makes very nice hot cross buns (or whatever is the post-Easter equivalent!)

Teaser Tuesday - 8th May



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
We pulled out of the driveway with a spray of gravel at Maxwell's feet, and as we took off up the idyllic, twisty Mercer Island road, I couldn't help but notice that the white van had gone. And with it, Eve.
The current BATS (book group) book The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein a book told from the point of view of a dog, rather too much technical car-racing detail for me, and the themes are emotionally difficult which with the emotional manipulation in the book annoyed me!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Harvest moussaka

I was struggling to think of a recipe for tonight that wasn't too similar to something we'd already consumed this weekend and that would go with the remains of a bottle of red (a Naked Wines Malbec) and I remembered this recipe I'd copied out from the winner of a Guardian cookery competition many years ago (back in the early 80's!) I couldn't find the recipe on the internet so here it is.

A veggie recipe but if you don't know you may not be able to tell!
  • 4tsp veg oil
  • 225g shallots/onions
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 115g mushrooms
  • 115g cashews (1/2 milled 1/2 chopped)
  • 115g walnuts (1/2 milled 1/2 chopped)
  • 115g soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 tblsp tomato paste
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 tsp chervil chopped
  • veg stock to moisten
  • gr pepper and marmite to flavour
  • 2 large aubergines
  • wholemeal flour
  • oil for aubergine frying
  • 115g grated cheddar
  • 1/2 pt natural yogurt
  • salt to season

Method

  1. Chop & prick aubergines and set aside
  2. Cook shallots & garlic in oil until golden, add mushrooms & cook stirring until juices run
  3. Mix nuts & crumbs,stir into veg add tomato paste & chervil. Moisten mixture with stock, add pepper & marmite.
  4. Dry aubergines, dust with wh flour and fry.
  5. Place alternating layers of nut & aubergine in serving dish, finish with aubergine layer and sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Whisk eggs add yogurt and mix well, season with s&p and sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Bake in moderate oven c 40mins until top is golden

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Mutterings - 6th May

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Owner :: Villa (I've no idea what the connection is here apart from someone might own that property!)
  2. Impressive :: Vista
  3. Compute :: Does not...
  4. Choked :: with emotion
  5. Sarcastic :: response
  6. Wink :: confidence (as in a surreptitious one!)
  7. Sheer :: Lunacy
  8. Technical :: Manual
  9. Laundry :: Chinese
  10. Word game :: Scrabble

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 1 May



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
The Bible is Bunyan's sheet anchor, his defence against despair and atheism. He would have been lost if he had abandoned it.
Christopher Hill's wonderfully titled A Turbulent, Seditious, and Factious People and study of John Bunyan's writings and his response to his time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mutterings - 29th April

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Background :: Music
  2. Performance :: Art
  3. Husband :: Preserve
  4. Scaffolding :: Contractor
  5. Third :: Man
  6. Stirring :: Soup
  7. Slogan :: Shout
  8. Odor :: Eater
  9. Accent :: Foreign
  10. Suspicion :: Paranoia

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Evening light on the Liffey

Last weekend we spent in Dublin - the first visit over there for us. Two days were spent seeing the sights of Dublin fairly gently. Then on Sunday after a trip round the National Gallery we had a drive down towards Wicklow seeing the coast and the hills.
We ate twice (so the re-experience was welcome) at one of Wallace's Italian winebars close to the Liffey (the Taverna)and one evening at 101 Talbot - which had a good mix of meat and veggie on the menu. More pictures from the trip on flickr!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mutterings - 15th April

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Message :: Bottle
  2. Underground :: Magazine
  3. Hurting :: Working
  4. Glasses :: Passes
  5. Wholesome :: Food
  6. Garden :: Plants
  7. Plants :: Feet
  8. Windows :: Light
  9. Beard :: Fur
  10. Encryption :: Pass Phrase

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 10 April



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
She scanned the note that came with it. Rainer wondered, following on from their meeting at the Residency, whether Nerys might be free to visit him at home for a drink?
Following on from last week, another teaser from Rosie Thomas' The Kashmir Shawl - you'll just have to guess what 'it' is!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mutterings - 8th April

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Justice :: Court
  2. Catching :: Flies
  3. Date :: Easter
  4. Horoscope :: Bewlidering (this is a quote from Britten's PeterGrimes)
  5. Jerry :: Can! (definitely British news here)
  6. 21 :: Party
  7. Paper :: Scissors
  8. Holistic :: Therapy
  9. Ghostly :: Shape
  10. Movie :: Old

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

VAT and Listed buildings

The recent budget is proposing to remove the zero rating of VAT on alterations to listed buildings, this is going to cost some churches a lot of money, Wakefield cathedral is having to stump up another £200000 before their current work can proceed - enter the youtube above and Pamela Greener, the wife of the dean with a song - I posted this on facebook but if you don't know me there - here it is! For UK voters, there's a petition on the govenment website!
I kept expecting a hard-hatted chorus to enter from behind the singer....

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 3rd April



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
The tantrum abruptly faded as curiosity took over. As soon as she had the little girl's full attention Mair drew a breath, gathered herself up and executed a standing back-flip.
Our latest book group (BATS) book Rosie Thomas' The Kashmir Shawl - a tale of travel and family history. Here's a review and here's the author writing about a visit to the pashmina workshops in Kashmir.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Mutterings - 1st April

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Whispering :: Bob Harris
  2. Braided :: Hair
  3. Ruin :: Castle (and une ruine coquille vide (Eluard))
  4. Parasite :: Tick
  5. Mineral :: Water
  6. Engines :: Fearsome (no I see that should be Feersum - Iain Banks)
  7. Buddy :: Support
  8. Tic :: Twitch
  9. Small :: Empty
  10. Tackled :: Rugby


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - 27th March



Teaser Tuesday

The rules are:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title and author of the book that you’re getting your 'teaser' from .. that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you've given!
Yet infants hear tonal music almost from the moment of birth, and so have been conditioned to accept it as "natural". Moreover visual arts research demonstrates that children prefer representational images to abstract ones.
From The Bedside Guardian 2011 - an anthology of writing from the Guardian over the year - this is Alex Ross on modern classical music. And on that theme, here's an article also from the Guardian from last weekend on children and 'difficult' music.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Politics and the Family - ii

Last week I saw Mio Fratello è Figlio Unico (My Brother is an Only Child) at Macc College, like the week before's film a study of the effect of politics on childhood - though in this case the children are rather older though the period is identical (the early 1970's) but in this case the background is Italy where things became a lot more unpleasant. In this case most of the political pressure comes from outside the family but the fraternal struggle is involving.

The shadow of Mussolini still had a powerful effect on Italy as the brothers go their separate ways. A very moving film but earthed in what felt to be real family situations

Politics and the Family - i

Earlier this month we saw the last film of Silkscreen's season - Blame it on Fidel, here's the trailer:

A tale of children growing up in a left-wing activist household in 1970's France. It probably helps to be to some extent left-winged and have a sense of humour, otherwise it becomes a joyless exposé of the trauma that the children suffered. Here's the Guardian review - I loved the way the children felt their way into relationship with a variety of child-minders by the sharing of creation myths. We bought the copy of the dvd at the end of the Silkscreen evening so a re-watch is lined up!