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October 2017




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Apr. 27th, 2016


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Reviews Published

100 Book Reviews

Oct. 18th, 2017


Word of the day, 18th October: nappishness

nappishness (n.) sleepiness; a tendency to nap

My stop on the blog tour! Hop off the bus and read on.
Ever heard of nappishness? It first appeared in print in Hermann Melville’s Moby-Dick in 1851.
Moby-Dick is also credited with introducing a fairly niche set of words into the English language, including cetology, the study of whales, and plum-puddinger, naval slang for a voyage short enough to carry fresh fruit and other spoilable provisions. Among the more useful terms Moby-Dick introduced to the language, however, is nappishness - another word for sleepiness, or an inclination to nap.’
I like it! I also like naps and the book this quote is taken from.

A Yearbook of Forgotten Words
Publication date: 19 October 2017
£14.99 hardback/ebook Elliott & Thompson’

There’s an uncommon word for every day of the year. Did you know, for instance, that muggle, J K Rowling’s name for people without magical powers, is actually an old word for a fish’s tail (26 June)? Or that if you are equally clumsy with both hands (the opposite of ambidextrous), you are ambilaevus (3 September)? I’ve a mind to refer to this book constantly and bring out a mystifying word (on the given day), just to fox people.

From the publishers:
‘Paul Anthony Jones runs @HaggardHawks twitter feed, blog and YouTube channel, revealing daily word facts to 39,000 addicted followers, such as Jack Monroe, Rufus Sewell, Simon Blackwell, Robert Macfarlane, Sara Pascoe, Allegra Stratton and David Baddiel.’

Oct. 16th, 2017


The Great Storm?

‘Lindsey said, ‘Speaking of being bored – what weather! It’s just as hot as summer.’
‘Jim didn’t like it much when we saw him in the morning', Tamzin said.
‘Not like it? Do they have to have it rough for fishing?’
‘He said it wouldn’t last. Said it was the kind of calm that hatched a hurricane.’
‘What, here?’ Lindsey said disbelievingly.
From Storm Ahead by Monica Edwards.

Here in Dorset today it’s not that hot and there is total cloud cover but it feels eerie. It’s very dark, with a horrid yellowish light in the sky and not a puff of air. My weather app. tells me that we can expect wind strength 40+ this afternoon and I dread it. By way of battening down the hatches, I’ve put a lot of pots inside the greenhouse to stop them blowing away and have my Kindle and iPad fully charged so that I can still read if there’s a power cut. Last time we had a storm, some bins (weighted with bricks!) flew round or over the house and landed in a garden over the road. A complete pane of my greenhouse glass landed on the ground, unbroken. Eek. Stay safe, everyone.

More stormy books here

Oct. 13th, 2017


Coming soon

Oct. 11th, 2017


A Matter of Loyalty, Anselm Audley and Elizabeth Edmondson

I wrote here about how much I was looking forward to the next instalment in the Selchester series, which will be out on 19th October. Then I was lucky enough to get a preview copy from NetGalley.

Anselm Audley writes at the end of the book:
‘This will be the last Selchester book and the last book of (my mother’s) career. It was written to honour her valiant effort, and to ensure that one, at least, of all the stories she still wanted to tell would see the light of day.’
So, does this continuation of a series by another writer work? Yes, I’m pleased to say. This story progresses seamlessly from the one before and all the characters behave as one would expect them to. It begins with the disappearance of ‘an atomic scientist’ and the assumption that he has defected. Hugo Hawksworth (wonderful name), is not satisfied that the missing man was a traitor and yet again his investigations come up against an establishment all too ready to opt for the easy solution and hush things up as much as possible. I can’t say more without giving spoilers except that, towards the end, the book becomes a real page turner and I raced through it.

My only criticism (very personal) would be that the balance between Hugo/the Service/the police/murder investigations and life for the people living at the castle is rather tipped in favour of the former. I like as much as possible about the castle. If you’ve enjoyed the previous Selchester books, you have to have this one, too.

Oct. 7th, 2017

Autumn leaves

Here's one I made earlier

Today is World Cardmaking Day, apparently.

I like this one, tooCollapse )

Oct. 1st, 2017


September books

A Man of some Repute , Elizabeth Edmondson
Verdi The Man Revealed, John Suchet
Mrs Miniver , Jan Struther
A Youthful Indiscretion, Elizabeth Edmondson
A Question of Inheritance, Elizabeth Edmondson
Real Tigers , Mick Herron
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , John le Carré
Spook Street , Mick Herron
Anna and Her Daughters, D E Stevenson
Please, Mr Postman, Alan Johnson
The Long and Winding Road, Alan Johnson
The Cinderella Killer, Simon Brett
Victoria, Daisy Goodwin
thoughtsCollapse )

Sep. 30th, 2017

Piano playing

Musical Interlude

I’m trying to learn this piece and I’m *obsessed* with it.


Sep. 24th, 2017


In the garden: woe

Slugs have discovered the pansies I planted out just a couple of days ago.
Some other unknown pest dug three of the plants right out of the ground.
My lovely geranium 'Brookside' was on its second flowering. Yesterday I saw a clump of neatly chopped stalks. The deer had eaten every flower.
Sometimes I wonder why I garden.
Tags: ,

Sep. 22nd, 2017


In the garden: spaces

I’m still slowly digging out a lot of plants from the garden, which means spaces. Yesterday I went to the garden centre for Thrifty Thursday, when they have a nursery sale which is terrific value. In spite of the drizzle, there were crowds of people there, loading up their trolleys. Not me, alas. I didn’t see anything I wanted. So I contented myself with my Privilege offer of a tray of pansies, which I planted out this morning for some colour. I made just one impulse buy: this pot of violas. Such a gorgeous colour. I haven’t planted it out but used a spare terracotta pot as a cachepot and put it by the door with the succulents. Much the best way to enjoy the flowers.

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