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About megustaleer

  • Rank
  • Birthday 31/07/1945


  • Location
    Sussex UK
  • Interests
    Reading, Gardening, Grandchildren
  • How did you hear about this site?
    via bookgroup.info

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  • Location
    Sussex by the Sea

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  1. Currently Reading

    About to start The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally
  2. The Ladder of Years

    I bought this book 8 or 9 years ago, but didn't start it because I'd just finished another of Anne Tyler's books and I liked to space them out. I didn't mean it to be quite so long - but I have finally read it! I had read the "Missing Person" report that acts as a prologue to the story before I put it away. The descriptions of Delia are vague and confused - it is clear that none of her family ever actually looked at her. At that time I was pretty sure that my family would be similarly pushed to describe me, so that may be why it stayed at the bottom of the TBR pile for so long. Anne Tyler has been one of my favourite authors for years, but I did find it a bit hard to re-connect with her way of writing about family relationships. I was a bit worried that I had 'gone off' her. But no! Once Delia makes her unintentional break for freedom I quickly became fully engaged. For someone of her background, married young to her doctor father's partner, never leaving the family home and only ever working as her father, and then her husband's clerical assistant she shows remarkable initiative and fortitude in finding herself accommodation, a job, a new wardrobe and a completely different way of relating to the world. The characters she meets and connects with are very typical of Tyler, and give a warm friendly picture of very small-town America in the '90s. A couple of family members trace her, but she feels no desire to return to Baltimore, and so more than a year passes. She changes her job, and becomes housekeeper and childminder to a man separated from his wife and becomes involved with their wider family. Then she gets an invitation to her daughter's wedding. She tells her employer that she will be away for a day or two, but the wedding doesn't exactly go according to plan, and she is drawn back into being the mother who fixes everything. In the meantime she is getting phone calls from her employer and his son asking when she is going 'home' to them... So, after a bit of a rocky start with this book, Anne Tyler is back as one of my favourite authors
  3. I read The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, and posted a review, back in 2008 but, like many threads from back then, it was wiped out in one of the Crashes we experienced around that time.I can only recall the barest details, so I hope that others who have read this book will come along and fill in more details and correct anything that i have misremembered. Jimmy Blacksmith was half Australian Aboriginal and half white European. Because of his light skin he had greater access to European life than most, and came under the care of a Methodist minister and under his influence developed hopes of a future as a farmer married to a white girl. He did marry a white girl, but the realisation that his children would only be 1/2 aboriginal, and his grandchildren 1/8 , and that he was not really accepted by either race led to embitterment and a final horrific act of violence. A grim, but worthwhile, read, and I was so sad for Jimmy, who was swept away by the strength of his despair. I understand that this story was based on the life of a real person.
  4. what is everyone doing?

    British robins are very hardy little creatures - they are about in all sorts of weather, including snow. That's why we have so many of them on our Christmas cards - usually in snowy scenes, even though Christmas snow is a rarity, especially down here in the south-east. So pleased for you, and for Conlan, that he was able to give you a hug - all the more special since such demonstrations are rare. My autistic grandson has become a regular visitor since the New Year. He is now at an FE college, but has no classes on a Wednesday, so he has to have a different routine for that day. His mother was taking him swimming during the autumn, but he didn't want to do that when the January term started so, in order to get him out of the house and away from the games console it was suggested that he walk down and visit his old Granny. So, he turns up at some time every wednesday morning (unless it is raining). If I have a little job for him, he does that, then I get us a a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits. We sit and chat until his tea is finished, then he returns home. It takes 30-45 minutes usually. Until these visits I didn't have much chance to spend undisturbed time, or hold any kind of a conversation, with him, so it has been very interesting to see how his social skills have developed as he has grown.
  5. what is everyone doing?

    Spoke too soon about the aches and pains - usually they are at their worst the following morning, but this time they gradually got worse throughout the following day. OK now. I am still having problems with the mobile phone. Yesterday it only worked between 8am and 4pm. It is working now, but wasn't at 09:30.
  6. Any Human Heart

    Not sure if that was Bill's original intention, but I've always considered it one of the more important functions of BGO. Wiliam Boyd is one of my favourite authors.
  7. what is everyone doing?

    My back may not have suffered after my brief gardening session yesterday, but my hamstrings and glutes are now protesting. I was OK this morning, but have been getting stiffer all day. Hope a night's rest helps, as there is plenty more to do tomorrow.
  8. what is everyone doing?

    In spite of which I managed to spend £30 Bought 4 trays of violas, mainly for the tubs at the front, a few pots of herbs and a lovely hellebore (a named variety, so a bit pricey). The hellebore was the reason for my gardening activity yesterday, as I had to rearrange the positions of 3 other hellebores to put this one where I wanted it to go. Moblle phone all sorted - I have both made and received a call since I got home. The new router for the broadband change has arrived, so just hoping that it all works first time!! Nothing needed doing at the dentists this time
  9. what is everyone doing?

    I had my first visit of the year to a garden centre yesterday. Today I managed an hour or so's weeding and planting without my back suffering too much. Very satisfying. Tomorrow's excitement is a dental check up, followed by a third visit to the EE store to find out why they keep messing up my mobile phone change from Orange to EE EE take over my Broadband and my Landline on Saturday - If I disappear from the internet you will be able to have a good guess at the reason
  10. what is everyone doing?

    Well done, Luna. I must get back on the wagon - there may not have been many leftovers from the family get-together on Sunday, but they were mostly not the sort of things I should be eating! I don't know what my actual blood sugar measurement is, but it is high enough to be given a warning about it.
  11. what is everyone doing?

    My word, that trumps even The Children's War (2.103 lb)! Of course, you know what remedy I would suggest for the sore shoulder, don't you? (unless it's a library book)
  12. what is everyone doing?

    We had a lovely day with our visitors yesterday. After days of wind and rain the sun shone - showing our sea view at its best, and in the morning it was warm enough to sit in the garden with a cuppa. For once I didn't over-cater. There was enough for all and enough left over to feed us today, and there is some chocolate Guinness cake still in the cake tin. Scrabble was played by those not indulging in reminiscences, and we all looked through an album of photos from a holiday we had in Spain with our parents and all 7 of their grandchildren, when niece was about 4 - she said that parts of that holiday were her earliest memories. Memories she enjoyed sharing with her fiancé. Elder Son, who lives fairly locally, managed to pop in for an hour - he hasn't seen his uncle for nearly six years (and who knows when/if he will get another chance) so I was particularly pleased to see them together. They arrived a bit early, and as they left a bit later than intended for their long drive home*, they must have been having an enjoyable time, too. I just hope they will be able to come again on future occasions * My brother had to drive a further 2 or 3 hours to get home after they reached their daughter's house
  13. Have a Rant!

    Oh dear! Maybe he (and you) has found everyday life a bit frustrating after your happy time with family visiting. I hope you find yourselves in a calmer state soon.
  14. what is everyone doing?

    Lovely 'placemat', Luna. I've never managed to get on with crochet - mainly because, having knitted all my life i find it easier and quicker (even though I know it isn't really). So pleased you had a good visit from family, Momac, I think you needed cheering up. How is Mr mac at the moment? Behaving himself now, with his eating and his meds? We have visitors coming for lunch tomorrow. My niece and her fiancé, who live about an hour away, are also bringing my brother and sister-in-law who are staying with them for a few days. This is the first time my brother and SiL have visited here, so it has been a week of tidying and cleaning. It all needed doing, anyway, as I haven't done much houseworl in recent months due to being a bit under par. It's a good job I've been feeling bit better for the last couple of weeks. . SiL is Irish, and their kids are proud of their Irish roots, and it dawned on me a few days ago that tomorrow will be St Patrick's Day, so I am adding a few Irish elements to the lunch in honour of St Pat. It's a buffet, as I can't accommodate six for a sit-down knife-and-fork dinner, and I have bought some soda bread (I would have made some, but decided that would cause me too much anxiety).However, I have made a boiled fruit cake, and a chocolate Guinness cake with a cream cheese frosting to simulate the foam on the top of a glass of stout. Absolutely nothing will be dyed green.
  15. How to be good. Nick Hornby

    Moved to C21 Fiction. There does not seem to be any other thread on this book. It has been mentioned in other threads but, unfortunately, not with great enthusiasm.