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Showing posts from October, 2008

Is it just me?

Or is Peggy Woolley THE most irritating character in The Archers? It must have been such fun though, for the scriptwriters, when it came to writing the scene where Lillian tells the hospital-bound Peggy that her Alzheimer's sufferer husband Jack has gone to a respite home.

I would have been rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of writing that scene. In all the years I've been listening to The Archers I've always found Peggy utterly infuriating though she has had a few moments of humanity every now and then with her grandchildren, and of course with Jack. However, half the fun of writing for a soap must be in hitting listeners round the face with the big wet slap that is a devastating return to teeth grindingly irritating form, after you've spent some time building up the character's more positive side. (And of course show the pantomime villain Matt in a rather better light at the same time.) Boy, did they do a good job.

In between wanting to throw something at t…

The magic of scrambled egg

Today, had a day off - not a book in sight. Well, that's not true, because at lunch I spotted a large bookcase full of books, which of course I had to inspect, and did see some Andrew Lang Fairy books as well as several paperback Pullein-Thompsons. But I digress.

I went to a cookery demonstration by Sophie Grigson today, thanks to a kind friend who couldn't go so gave me her ticket. SG is excellent value, and sitting watching someone else cook and then test the results is certainly my idea of a good time, so I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

One of the dishes SG cooked was lemon scrambled egg. During the demo, she described how she made this first for a boyfriend when she was about 19. "Now," she said. "If you are going to make scrambled eggs properly, though slowly, you will do it in a double boiler." This she said, she never actually did herself, save for on the first morning at said new boyfriend's flat, when she lovingly made him scrambled eggs…

That jab...

I don't tend to get The Times until rather late at night when OH returns home, and as it never occurs to me to look at the online version, as I like the good old fashioned feel of paper, I tend to be a bit late in commenting on the day's events. Actually I very rarely comment on them in this blog, not because I have nothing to say but because I think it is probably kinder not to expose you to the wide range of my opinions (my family would agree here.)

However, I am breaking ranks about the Cervical Cancer jab. My children go to a church school, and my daughter has just had the jab. She brought home screeds of paper, and I had to sign the usual paper giving permission. "Not everyone's parents, are," she told me. "Why not?" I asked (rather meanly, actually, as I had a pretty good idea.) "Not sure," she said. "Some people's parents don't approve but I'm not sure why." "Because they think you'll charge off an…

Peter Clover: The Sheltie Books

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Sheltie Leads the Way
Penguin
(not in print but easily available on Amazon)
and
Sheltie Finds a Friend
Penguin
(not in print but easily available on Amazon)

Peter Clover's website
There is very little out there for the very young pony fan starting to read for themselves. The Sheltie books are then a very rare animal: not only are they aimed at the younger reader; there’s more than one. Quite a lot more than one in fact: the series now numbers 24 (though not all by any means are still in print).

The series fulfils one of the key requirements for a young reader: it is set in a constant and easily understandable framework. Emma owns Sheltie, a Shetland pony. She lives with her younger brother Joshua, and her Mum and Dad. And they have adventures. And that is pretty much it: but Peter Clover has created a good and believable world. Unlike the Lauren Brooke ponies in Chestnut Hill, Sheltie is created with the right amount of credible detail. In the opening of Sheltie Finds a Friend , he …

Urghhh. Arghhh. Again.

Little blogging this week as I have been head down trying to wrest order from chaos and catalogue all the pony books I've bought recently, as well as do all the other things I'm supposed to. (Though at least, unlike my friend Charlotte, I am not wrestling with accounts). I've done the catalogue anyway, at last, and it'll be on line on Wednesday 15th October. I hope. Some computing blip or other always rears its head whenever I need to do a catalogue so I wait with interest to see what the current one will be.

Further to my post about the Booker, I have bought The Northern Clemency (described this week on R4 as a page turner) - well, I haven't turned the pages so fast I've finished it, but I'm chugging on. What I hadn't realised was that it was set in Sheffield; not quite the time I was there, but a little before, though I will get to where I was as I go on through the book, if you see what I mean. It's very odd to read about Broomhill and reme…

Flap, flap

flapperty flap. Flapperty flapperty flap.

Good grief.

You know those cutesome baby clothes with ears? This is what happens when they grow up.

Thanks Susanna for that (maybe having the same difficulty working on Friday pm as me?)

The Chestnut Hill Wordle

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You can tell I'm having a bit of difficulty getting down to work this afternoon can't you? Thanks to Juxtabook for the heads up on this. I did a wordle on part of my Chestnut Hill review, and here it is:
If you fancy a worldle, this is the link.

The Sorted Books Challenge

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Many thanks to Juliet over at Musings for letting me know about this one. What you need to do is pluck various books from your shelves and connect them. Here's the official thing, which I hope is written tongue in cheek as my interpretation of it is considerably less august:



'The Sorted Books project began in 1993 years ago and is ongoing. The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collections. The process is the same in every case: culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom. The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves, shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from. Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library's focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsisten…

Lauren Brooke: Chestnut Hill

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Chestnut Hill: Playing for Keeps
Scholastic, £4.99


A series of (so far) 8 books
Scholastic's Chestnut Hill website



Having tackled the emotional swirl that is Heartland, I thought I might as well do Chestnut Hill next. Chestnut Hill is a different series by "Lauren Brooke" based at a girls' boarding school in America. Its heroines are a quartet of girls: Lani, Malory, Dylan and Honey, and the series follows them through the school. In this story, Lani is under threat of having to leave the school as her poor report has made her parents think she's riding at the expense of her school work.


This new(ish) series is aimed at a younger readership than Heartland. The protagonists are in Year 8, which I imagine is the same as the English one, so are aged 12-13. Those few years make a huge difference, as the emotional tempests we get in Heartland seem pretty much absent.


Heartland meets teenage fantasies of struggling against the world; Chestnut Hill addresses fantasies of …