Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About cherrypie

  • Rank
    Permanent Resident
  • Birthday 14/11/61

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
  • Interests
    Reading!!! Spectator sport (esp. tennis and cricket), gardening, travelling when possible, getting together with friends & family
  • Current Book
    The Sound and The Fury - William Faulkner

Recent Profile Visitors

368 profile views
  1. what is everyone doing?

    RG does all his mum's banking, bill paying and shopping for her online. She has never even used a debit card unfortunately. We just thank heavens for the internet as she lives 25 miles away from us.
  2. what is everyone doing?

    That is exactly the problem we have with RG's mum. She has been on her own for a couple of years now and is completely reliant on RG and I. When she was first on her own she could not even turn the telly on! We had so many phone calls about the telly and as it is her only outlet it was a big worry. In the end RG ordered her a new telly with a built in freeview box. At least now she can watch Drama and ITV 3 to her hearts content. We have given up trying to get her out now. She has not been out since our daughter's wedding last year. She refused to come to the baby shower. When we suggested a day centre or something similar she flatly refused!
  3. what is everyone doing?

    It is such a shame that gentlemen hold back from coming to these things. They miss out. RG and I took invitations out to certain people such as those who have been bereaved this year. Two gentlemen came one of which is not a church goer. RG already visits him every so often so he knew someone to start with and we all made sure that he was never on his own. He seemed to really enjoy it and said that he intended coming next month. Hopefully as word gets around the lunch will grow.
  4. The Shroud

    I have read a few other novels by this author in the last few months and had great hopes for this book. The novel is about an elderly academic named Axel Vander who is living in retirement on the west coast of America when he receives a letter from a young women named Cas Cleave. The letter suggests that the young women who is unknown to Axel has knowledge of secrets that Axel has been hiding for fifty years or more. The two arrange to meet in Turin. Cas is a very troubled young women who is finding her life a burden and is looking for a reason to remain. The meeting throws Axel into emotional turmoil and one would think that it can only end in disaster. Like the other novels that I have read by this author this book is beautifully written. The language used would alone encourage me to read more books by this author. However, unlike the others that I have read, I found this one a little difficult to follow at times. So much so that by yesterday evening when I finally finished it I wondered just how much of the in-depth meaning of the book I had actually understood. RG and I have been very busy over the last few weeks so this book has been read in fits and starts which probably did not help me. I suspect that it is a book which needs to be read when the reader can devote time and attention to it. Having said that it is still a book that I have enjoyed and would be happy to encourage others to read. Like his other books there is an atmosphere of deep pathos surrounding the characters. The author introduces subjects that others may shy away from and is not afraid to deal with the deepest of emotions. I always feel that such subjects and emotions are in safe hands when dealt with by Banville. He has no heavy handed style which could make such subjects difficult to read about and although I would not say that his books are easy reading, far from it in fact, they tend not to be heavy going either. Certainly an author that I would recommend.
  5. what is everyone doing?

    I am actually having a quiet afternoon and have my feet up in preparation for the second tennis semi-final from China. The last werk or so has been so busy that I am glad of a bit of catch up time! We decided to reintroduce a monthly lunch club at our church to give the elderly and isolated somewhere to go once a month to meet others for a chat and healthy lunch. Wednesday was our first lunch. I spent all of Tuesday afternoon making a large quantity of sweet potato and mixed vegetable soup with a bit of help from RG with the preparation and mashing. Wednesday saw us setting up, serving and clearing up in the chapter house attached to our church. RG was especially great at welcoming people and chatting to a few of the elderly men who came along. Whenever we have run such events in the past it has been mainly women who have come along. It seems that when men are left on their own they find it more difficult to join in with things than women. Wednesday seemed to be a great success so we are hoping for even bigger numbers next month.
  6. Kazuo Ishiguro wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

    I was a bit surprised when I saw the announcement on the news yesterday I must admit MM. Like you I loved Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go but apart from A Pale View of Hills I have found his other books a bit hit and miss. It seems to me that his great works are a little thin on the ground to win a Nobel Prize. Maybe I am expecting too much.
  7. what is everyone doing?

    Baby showers are becoming more and more common here it seems Meg. They also seem to be becoming more and more involved. It really was a bit of a headache to organise as I had never been to one myself so was flying by the seat of my pants a bit. Along with the help of Google of course. I am just glad that it is all over now I must admit. I think that it will take a little getting over as it does not seem to have done my back any favours. Just glad that the baby is not due for six weeks. At least I have the chance to recover properly before she arrives. I want to be able to really help our daughter on the final lead up and when the baby first arrives.
  8. what is everyone doing?

    Enjoy your time with your son's family Meg. Seeing family is is always special. Baby shower went off well. RG and I started at 7am yesterday morning and finally sat down about 8pm yesterday evening! Our daughter seemed to have a lovely time which was the aim but boy were we shattered by the end! I had spent all day Friday baking for the shower so my back was sore to start with. We were on coffee rota at church this morning so were able to get rid of all the leftover cake. It was Harvest Festival so the church was full of Brownies and Cubs! Luckily a friend helped with the washing up or I suspect that we would still be there now!! Our daughter finishes work in two weeks time as the baby is due in six weeks. We just cannot wait to meet her now!
  9. My Cousin Rachel

    I read a fair few books by this author while in my teens and early twenties, so some decades ago, but I cannot for the life of me remember whether I actually read this one or not or just remembered the title. I was reminded of the book recently while at the cinema when the new film based upon the novel was trailered. Upon the end of the film we were viewing I of course informed RG that I would be wanting to see the film when it started showing. I also informed him that I would want to read the book first so upon arriving home he promptly ordered it for me. Upon receiving my copy I read the book in about three or four days. Whenever I had the chance my nose was in the book. I really had forgotten just how good her books are. The book is well written in an easy to read style. It is as much about the characters involved as it is about the story. The main characters for me were very reaI as were the descriptions of the atmospheres in both Florence and Cornwall. While reading the descriptions of the two places I felt that I just wanted to be there. I for one loved the fact that the ending leaves the reader thinking and so fails to wind the story up completely. The way that the story unfolded I cannot think of a better way to finish the book than to leave the reader hanging. Any other ending may well have seemed just a bit too pat. I still cannot remember whether I have read the book before or not but I am glad that I read it now. Having read the book RG and I went to see the film on Tuesday. It did not disappoint. My only gripe would be that after following the story fairly closely throughout a couple of details that did not appear in the book were added to the ending thus affecting the viewers thinking a little. I suspect that the film makers did not want to leave the viewer hanging in quite the same way as the author did. I felt this to be a bit of a shame. However although I did find this annoying overall it was a pretty good dramatisation of the book and I did really enjoy the film. Having read this book I wonder if it is time that I took this author up again as there are still a number of her books which I have not read. I am tempted.
  10. This book is based in Kashmir in 1947. The partition has caused rioting and massacre and when he Pathans and Afridi of Northern India meet a small Catholic mission finds itself in the middle of the fighting. For ten days the inhabitants have to cope with being attacked and then occupied. Once occupied the mission finds itself under constant fire. Once again this book is very character driven. H E Bates had a very understated way of writing and although there are descriptions of some terrible happenings they are told in an almost matter of fact way. The description on the back of the book suggests that he writes without melodrama. I would suggest that it is slightly more than that. It is as if he wished to slip the descriptions of the happenings and the human suffering in almost without the reader noticing. This has the effect somehow of almost amplifying the suffering and tragedy. It also of course amplifies the heroism. I found this book a little more difficult to read than others by the same author. I suspect that this was as much the fact that I read it while RG and I were away as it was about the book itself. Although the content of the book made it an uncomfortable read this is not unusual for the author and having read a number of his books previously I was fully prepared for this. I suspect that if I had read the book at a time when I was able to have more of a run at it I would have found it less of a struggle. I would hate to put anyone off reading what is an extremely well written and gripping book. As usual H E Bates delivered.
  11. I had forgotten about this book Viccie and had not bothered to order the next one in the series. You have jogged my memory. Dead Cold, the next in the series, has been ordered this afternoon!
  12. what is everyone doing?

    Hi everyone. Sorry for the length of time since my last post but RG and I have been away. We are also having a very busy time helping our daughter and son in law with their garden. Now that our daughter has only six weeks left until her baby is due she is able to do very little. She finishes at school (she is an English teacher) in a couple of weeks time so is just plodding through! We are hosting her baby shower here on Saturday. I have spent the last couple of hours filling organzer bags with all sorts of tiny pink sweets and attaching baby cuddle tokens!! The cake boxes finally arrived through the post today for all the guests to take cake home with them but unfortunately they managed to send first birthday boxes instead of the pink and white gingham ones we ordered! The right ones should arrive tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be doing the last minute shopping then baking all day! I shall just be glad when it gets here now!! Hope all good with everyone on BGO. Hopefully after Saturday I will get the chance to catch up properly.
  13. RG bought me this book a few years ago when it came out in paperback knowing that I had read all the previous DI Lynley books. It has sat on our book shelves ever since. Like most detective series that I have ever read, and believe me there have been a few, I felt as if this one had simply run out of steam. Hence the time on the shelf! We were away in Norfolk last week and I thought that this would make a good holiday read. I have always loved the two main characters of the series, namely Lynley and his odd sidekick Barbara Havers, as well as a number of lesser characters who pop up from time to time and as I have not read one of these novels in a fair few years I felt that I stood the chance of coming to this one with a fresh view. The story concerns Hadiyyah Upman and her father Taymullah Azhar who are the neighbours of Barbara Havers. When Hadiyyah disappears from her father's home with her mother Angelina Barbara is as devastated as the little girl's father. She has lived next door to them for a number of years and has become very fond of them both. As Hadiyyah is known to be in the care of her mother and as Taymullah isn't even named on the little girl's birth certificate the police are not interested. Barbara takes Taymullah to see a private detective but when confusion regarding Hadiyyah's whereabouts deepens she decides to take matters into her own hands and force the hands of the Met. As in previous Lynley novels Barbara jumps in with both feet regardless of who she upsets along the way. Lynley tries to save her from herself but again as usual his advice falls on deaf ears. The novel started well and for the first two or three hundred pages held my interest with ease. However at this point, as with many of the other later novels in this series, at this point my interest began to wane. My interest picked up again during the last hundred pages or so although I was a bit disappointed with the climax of the story. The book was simply too long. The best thing about the book as far as I am concerned are the characters themselves. I was able to re-acquaint myself with a number of well loved characters and found that my love for them had not waned. I felt that the book made easy holiday reading and as such have even ordered the most up to date novel in the series in readiness for our next holiday!
  14. John Banville is an author that I have only recently discovered but am rapidly coming to love. This is the third novel of his that I have read and like the other two in my opinion it did not fail to deliver. His books tend to have a theme around which a slow story develops although it seems to me that the given theme is more the point of any of his books rather than any story so if you are looking for an action packed read I doubt that John Banville will be for you. Ancient light has two time lines, the 1950s when Alexander Cleave the main character of the book is 15 and Alexander's present day when he is in his mid fifties. The earlier time line is set in a small town in Ireland and describes Alex's illicit meetings with the 35 year old mother of his best friend. This is his first love although he has no idea why she has chosen him. He becomes totally obsessed with this woman. The second time line is set best part of a century later when Alex is grieving for the loss of his daughter. While trying to deal with his grief he recalls the affair and tries to make sense not just of the boy that he was then and the man that he has become but, as the back of the book describes, " the needs and frailties of the human heart." Once again this book is very character driven which is always a great bonus for me and in many places forces the reader to consider their own feelings as well as those of the main character. Once again the language used is superb. John Banville obviously loves words and has a wonderful ability to paint pictures using those words. In many places I felt almost as if I could feel the atmosphere in which Alex finds himself almost as well as Alex himself. This is a book I would highly recommend but as I have already said the story or stories themselves are pretty slow so if you crave action it is not for you. Once again a book that will remain with me for some time and may well be read again in the future.
  15. I finished this book last night having taken about a week to read it. The time taken to read it does not suggest that I loved the book, such books are rare and read in a couple of days if possible, but also did not suggest that I found it a struggle. Far from it. The book is easy to read although a little unsettling at times. From what I can understand the book is based on the author's own relationship with her younger sister who has a learning disability. At the beginning of the book Beth, the younger sister, is described as being mentally retarded. This is an expression which has long gone in these more enlightened days thank goodness. She is 39 and lives alone some distance from the rest of her family but does have a care team who monitor her progress fairly closely. She also has a long term boyfriend, Jesse, who lives alone too and suffers from a learning disability himself. She does not work to support herself although she has done for short periods in the past but spends her time riding the buses from early morning until early evening. She has friends amongst the drivers who look out for her but she is also disliked by other drivers and some passengers. At the beginning of the book she challenges her sister Rachel who has an extremely busy working life to spend a day a month riding the buses with her for a period of one year. Rachel agrees and begins to take more part in her sister's life learning as much about herself as she does about her sister. The book is written in two time lines, the present which is told in ordinary print and the sister's childhood which is told in italics. The book raises many issues concerning learning disability but also deals with life in general and what we all find important in life. It is described on the front of the book as being "an amazing book......it touched my soul.". I am not sure that I would describe it in quite such glowing terms although it is a good book. I felt that it started really well and held my interest until about half way through when I found that it began to drag a little. I expected the book to end in some sort of "light bulb" moment between the two sisters which never really came. In reality I was probably a little naive to expect this I now realise. We are all different with different needs, abilities and personalities. Having a learning disability does not negate this fact or fit a person into a certain box. The only conclusion that the book did come to if it came to one at all was that there are no real answers. With life in general as with learning disability we just have to deal with any situation in the best way that we can. An interesting read. Not quite the uplifting read I expected but maybe a bit more. If I had to describe it at all I think that I would have to say that it is thought provoking.