cherrypie

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About cherrypie

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  • Birthday 14/11/61

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
  • Interests
    Reading!!! Spectator sport (esp. tennis and cricket), gardening, travelling when possible, getting together with friends & family
  • Current Book
    Still Life by Louise Penny

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  1. Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and words of support. They are much appreciated. The pictures look lovely Luna. The bluebells seem to have been especially prolific this year. Maybe they like a mild dry winter and spring!!
  2. Glad you are feeling a bit brighter today Luna. Hopefully you will continue to sleep a bit better now that you have hoovered up your room a bit. Household dust is one of the worst things for allergies. I have had a bit of an unplanned day today. I went for my daily walk early this morning before going to midweek communion at church. After communion I turned my phone back on to find a text from my SIL asking me to go over to be with my daughter and go with her to the drop in clinic to see the midwife. I am very glad I did. Her eczema has not been so bad in years unfortunately. The midwife and health visitor were marvelous. As she was getting distressed her blood pressure had gone up too. The midwife made her an emergency doctors appointment suggesting that she be urgently referred to a dermatologist. I went the the GP with her, he has referred her and said she should see someone next week. She has been told to take the rest of the week off and has to go back to the clinic on Friday to have her blood pressure taken again. She is having a bit of a rough time so far I am just glad that she seems to be in such good hands!
  3. Julian Barnes

    I finished this book this morning and have just read the comments of other readers. Boy are they a mixed bag! Some I agree with, some not as would be expected. I really did think that the characters were well drawn and unlike some other readers I did care about the outcome for George. All the way through the book it was him I cared about the most rather than ACD. I suspect that if I had met ACD I may well not have liked him too much. He was so very sure of himself. I know that he was a great man and apart from being a great author involved himself in many other things including righting some great wrongs but I think that he would just have been to forceful for my liking. You do not have to like a person or even a character to admire them. I too found no need for the last section of the book which included the seance. Too be honest once the section of the book reviewing the court case was over I lost interest a bit. Once the characters had been revealed, the first part of the book, the court case described and ACD's campaign complete and results arrived at I am not sure why most of the rest of the book was necessary. Surely a little summary of the lives of the two men after their meetings was all that was needed! A real shame for me that such an engaging read was rather spoilt by unnecessary padding at the end. Over all a really good read but not a great one. I too have read The Sea by John Banville which won The Booker Prize the year that Arthur and George was short listed. For me the right book won.
  4. Actually the itching is the main problem now. She has to wear gloves at night again now as she did as a child as she scratches so much in her sleep. Thank you Luna and MM I will pass on the advice. I just hope that she does not end up with cellulitise as she has in the past! With any luck the new medication will eventually help.
  5. Sounds as if you are really getting organised for the summer Momac. Today we have a mixture os sunshine and heavy showers. I can almost see the garden growing and getting more and more out of hand. I just hope the weather is good enough on RG's days off to at least make a start! Our daughter phoned earlier for a bit of a catch up. Although the sickness has now stopped because she is unable to take her usual medication while pregnant her eczema has got a lot worse again. It seems that it is now worse than it has been in years. She has now been given a milder medication which now that she is beyond twelve weeks she is safe to take. I just pray that it helps, another six months as she is now would be miserable.
  6. It has finally stopped raining!! The sun is shinning at last. The only problem is the garden is going to grow like made. Maybe the idea of the grass reaching the windows is not so mad!!
  7. Oh that is lovely Meg. I hope that means that his health is much better. I remember you saying that you could not visit for a while for fear of carrying infection. Hopefully he is less frail now.
  8. Thanks for the advice Momac. I will have to see what I can manage! Some days are better than others thank goodness but gardening does seem to affect it more than anything else. As I have always loved gardening and done the majority of the work in the past I am finding it a little frustrating to say the least. Unfortunately it seems that the chances of me ever getting back to the way I was are slim, it is simply finding the best way of managing the condition! Now that RG has reduced his hours things should be a little easier. Hopefully the gout will not resurface too often!! At least you have bought your plants Momac. We have a couple more pots to empty and need to re-home a few of the things in them. They are simply too big for the pots they are in now. Instead of annuals I think that we will put some slow growing flowering evergreens in the tubs to try to cut back on the work in the future. We find doing this that the pots only need doing once a year instead of twice!
  9. Julian Barnes

    I am about two thirds of the way through this book and am finding it difficult to put down. Arthur is now playing a much bigger part and the the two have finally met. I love the view that the reader gets of the the thought processes of the two characters. It feels as if I can see into their minds. The book deals with many issues that are as real now as they were when the book was written. The one aspect of the book that I find the most intriguing is that of racism. I tend to think of racism in The UK as a more modern problem so was quite surprised to find it playing such a part in this book. I find it very interesting to view the way that both men view the racism and the way in which they deal with it. The two characters involved in the book are the real joy of this book for me. Seeing the ways in which they develop from children into grown men, how they deal with what life throws at them and the choices that they make is quite fascinating.
  10. It is pretty miserable here today. It started raining late yesterday afternoon and literally has not stopped! Although it is exactly what the garden needs I do wish we had been able to sort the garden out before it started. RG has gone back to work today after his leave. Unfortunately most of his time off was taken up with his bout of gout so we were unable to do all the things we had planned. At least now he can get a shoe on and walk so is mobile again. Hopefully one of his two days off next week will be fair so that we can get out into our overgrown garden!! As the weather is so poor today and my back not great I am preparing meals for the freezer. It was defrosted a few weeks ago as we were struggling to open the draws it was so frozen up! I always find it very calming just pottering about in the kitchen. I tend to clean as I go so two jobs get done at once. It is also rewarding to fill the freezer with prepared meals. The tennis is on all day too so I dare say I will watch a bit of that. If the weather ever clears up I will try to get out to do my daily walk later but I am not holding out too much hope. It looks pretty black out there!!
  11. Why is everything so difficult these days? I thought that computerisation was supposed to make everything easier! We had problems recently when RG changed our car insurers for both of our cars. We were involved in an accident last year in my car while I was driving which was not our fault and for which I did not lose my no-claims bonus. All should have been easy but because RG was a named driver on the policy he then had problems with his insurance even though he was not even driving and it was my car!! It took a fair few weeks, many phone calls and many scanned documents to sort it out. Poor RG nearly tore his hair out!! It is the last day of RG's leave today and he has finally been able to go out after his bout of gout. A nice trip to Tesco! Unfortunately now that he is out of pain and can get a shoe on he is back to work tomorrow! We really do not seem to be having much luck with holidays these days and our poor garden is beginning to look like a jungle. In previous years I have always done most of the gardening but unfortunately my back will just not allow me to do it this year so with RG out of action for the last week it has just had to be left. The rain here was pretty torrential yesterday and promises to be pretty heavy tomorrow so the garden is growing like mad! It will just have to wait for RG's next day off I am afraid. I just hope the weather is good or we may have problems looking out of the windows!!
  12. Julian Barnes

    I am getting on for half way through this book and am really enjoying it. Although I knew before I started the book that it was based partly on the life of Arthur Conan Doyle I did not really know much about it apart from that. I certainly did not know that it was about an old court case. I decided to read it following my reading of A Sense of an Ending by the same author recently and the advice of other BGO readers not because I had read the back of the book and liked the idea of the story. I am glad so far that I did. The book is very easy to read and the two main characters well drawn. So far I especially like George and already feel that I care about the outcome for him. I do like to care about my characters so this is always an added bonus for me. At the moment I have no real idea how the story is going to unfold which again is a bonus as it keeps me interested. It is very different from A Sense of an Ending although I did enjoy that too. If it carries on as it has started I suspect that I will be ordering other books by the same author. I will be interested to read the comments of other readers when I have finished.
  13. This is another of those books that I bought a while ago and cannot remember where. Like many others it has been sitting on the book shelf waiting to be read but repeatedly ignored for ages. As RG has been moaning about me keep ordering books when I already have so many to read I have been trying to plod through sone of the older one. I read many books by Anita Shreve most of which I have really enjoyed but then I read one or two which I liked a little less and so have tended to give her a miss in recent years. I suspect that this book was bought on a whim because of my past enjoyment. The book starts in a field hospital in France in 1916 and tells the story of an injured women with memory loss. After coming to the only things that she can remember are that she can drive an ambulance, she can draw and that her name is Stella Bain although she soon comes to suspect that the name is not her real one. Once she recovers from her physical injuries she acts as a medical aid as she discovers that she has some skill in nursing and eventually is asked to stand in as a relief ambulance driver. For some reason she is convinced that the Admiralty in London holds the key to her memory loss and when she is given leave from the hospital she makes her way to England. The book is about her regaining her memory and her gradual reconstruction of her life. To continue her life she has first to face her past and then deal with it. I have always found Anita Sherve easy to read although with all her books I find her to be a bit of a remote writer. By this I mean that she seems to write from a distance from her characters. Because of this I find her characters a little distant and unemotional. It is almost as if the writer is simply recording facts but leaving out a huge chunk of the feeling so as much as I enjoy her books and the stories she tells I cannot say that I love them as I never really feel involved. The Lives of Stella Bain is no exception to this. Considering the course that the book follows I feel as if I should have been able to care about Stella and some if the characters involved far more than I did. As much as I wanted a good outcome for Stella and even for a few of the other characters I did not feel as if I cared as much as I could have done. I like to become engrossed by a book and feel unable to put it down for fear of missing something. With this book I just did not feel like that. The story is certainly an interesting one starting as it does in WW1 France, moving to wartime London then on to Hampshire New England. It tells a little of the conditions and horrors of the war, tells a little about the beginning of talking therapy for the treatment of shell shock and then involves a courtroom battle and the beginning of women's suffrage. Because the book travels so far and covers so much in a relatively short book, less than three hundred pages, it never really concentrates on any aspect for that long so again the reader feels slightly detached. I would say that I enjoyed this book but that it is a book that I liked rather than loved. As I have said I had no burning desire to keep picking it up and although I was never bored by it I never felt completely engaged either. Not her best I would suggest.
  14. It sounds as if everyone is having a really busy time in the garden at the moment. Until we went away RG and I were doing pretty well, RG has to do all the heavy work now because of my back while I just potter and instruct where needed! However now that we have come back a fair amount needs doing with neither of us really up to doing it!! RG has been to the doctors today and been given the same medication for gout that he has had before so hopefully he will be on the mend pretty soon. The walking while we were away was really beginning to help my back which made it doubly disappointing to have to come home early. I walk for about an hour every day but although it does ease the pain a bit it is not the same as a relaxing day out ambling around with company. Somehow I just relax more that way. Ruby was very pleased to see us when we got home and spent a great deal of yesterday evening asleep on my lap. Our neighbour and her son were less pleased to see us as they had been looking after her for us and were getting all the cuddles! Considering it was the first time that we had left her apart from for the day she coped very well.
  15. RG and I are home from The Lakes this evening after a less than comfortable drive home for RG. We were meant to stay until Saturday but unfortunately RG has a return of his gout in his foot. He had been feeling it a bit for the last two days but he woke up this morning in a fair bit of pain so we decided to call time on our trip so that he can make it to the doctors tomorrow. It is a real shame as the weather today was beautiful and we had a full day planned. The Lakes looked stunning as we left! Just hope he gets some relief soon.