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Ting Mikyunyu

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Everything posted by Ting Mikyunyu

  1. How lovely to hear from you, Meg. I am delighted BGO is still going strong, and to suddenly see some familiar names gives me the impetus/impulse to come back. As I have a book I would love to discuss with sensible people, maybe I should reorganise my life and return to BGO. In the meantime - re Aubrey-Maturin novels, it so happens that I am in the process of re-reading 'A Sea of Words' by Dean King, searching in vain for words or phrases describing utensils used at mealtimes below decks. Many people believe, or are told, that the phrase 'square meal' comes from the square shape of the wooden plates called 'trenchers' - designed by the navy to fit sailors' plates securely together on the table. I often wondered about this because O'Brian never used either the word or the phrase in his novels, I cannot recall reading a description either, and King's lexicon confirms this. Yet, in the film Master & Commander there is a scene at a mealtime below decks where food is being put onto square wooden plates. It seems a bit odd, given O'Brian's meticulous and detailed accounts of almost everything, we get nothing of this in the novels. Of course, I may be wrong ...😕 In the meantime the actual origins of 'a square meal' seem to predate this era and are inconclusive.
  2. Tay, I have come out of 'retirement' to tell you how delighted I am with your reaction. It has been many years since I read the series (the books were not mine) and wish I could read them again. All I have to hold on to now is the film 'Master & Commander, the far side of the world'.
  3. I think this will be a lean year. In ascending order: The Fireship, C. Northcote Parkinson Colours Aloft, Alexander Kent Form Line of Battle, Alexander Kent Remember the African Skies, Chilufya Chilangwa (rough, I think she didn't have a beta reader) Life on Air, David Attenborough A Mixture of Frailties, Robertson Davies, Salterton Trilogy, Book 3 Leaven of Malice, Robertson Davies, Salterton Trilogy, Book 2 Tempest-Tost, Robertson Davies, Salterton Trilogy, Book 1
  4. Life on Air by David Attenborough. Great writer, easy read. The origins of Zoo Quest and the collection of wildlife for London Zoo is very well reported, such that it's not too difficult to read. I hope I get past that period soon, though.
  5. Sorry for that momac. Hope you recover soon. I had a similar experience recently, even though I have non-slip mats in the bath. I have returned to using soap* rather than gel and it makes life somewhat more slippery! *Soap is packed in paper, gel comes in a plastic bottle and therefore is banned in my house now.
  6. The Salterton Trilogy brings together Davies' first three novels. Set in a small town in Ontario, Canada, Book One is "Tempest-tost" (1951), a story about an am-dram group putting on Shakespeare's The Tempest, and the setting for the play, the characters, their dramatic interactions are a mirror of the play itself. Two of the amateur actors from this novel move quietly into the second one, "Leaven of Malice" (1954), along with a few more and the setting of this is the local newspaper office where there are a number of interlocking crises. Getting to the end of the second novel, the reader can predict what is going to happen - and it does, but it's not a disappointment. So Book Three, "A Mixture of Frailties" (1958) is about that, as well as introducing the character who will eventually bring everything to conclusion. There are many characters in this trilogy, all extremely interesting in their own right, but also fitting so well together to generate the feel of a small town. I found them very identifiable. The humour? There is supposed to be humour: "hilarious, satirical, witty and clever", Edmonton Journal. Maybe I would have spotted it if I was a wee bit more intellectual (I think it was Meg, way back, who commented on Davies' novels falling into that vague category.) The symbolism; there is symbolism, apparently - it's bondage to freedom. Okay, so I'm not a great one for spotting symbolism ... My overall impression was one of light to dark, with the first novel being the lightest, moving to the darkness of the third novel, but I think that could be my imagination. I'm glad I read it/them, but maybe I would have been content with the first of the three. (It was Tay who said something similar about another of the trilogies.)
  7. A period of intense activity is now over, for a while. I have a book to post on, so will try to remember what it is all about. It has taken me a few months to read!
  8. I completely agree Dan. (Pause to take action) Having realised I'll never read the others for a second time, I've pulled them out of the bookcase. They'll be going back to the secondhand books shop next Saturday.
  9. Great find Dan. That's a remarkable amount of work on the saints. No doubt, given time, GGs will honor Saint Atwood, too.
  10. I agree with both your observations, Dan. My first reading of this was about five years after Oryx and Crake, so the character reminders were quite helpful. As to God's Gardeners - well, sometimes I just wanted to pick 'em up and shake 'em! I hope you enjoy MaddAddam.
  11. I saw that, too, Viccie. Because of the volume they play films at here, I always have to put in earplugs. Even so I found the dialogue difficult - particularly the American actors. Redmayne was a lot clearer. I wonder ... I'm going to be more conscious of accents now and see if some are clearer than others. Loved the movie, loved the story, loved getting lost in the land of magical creatures. I also loved the darker side of the story - typical Rowling.
  12. Sorry,I've been away a bit and keep trying to catch up with things. I'm so glad there are new fans. As Binker says, every time these books are mentioned you want to start all over again. Tay, those are both reference books, so I won't be posting on them. They are extremely well researched and just add a little bit more info to each story. I really wish I'd had them as I was reading the first time around - which means there is going to have to be a second time around! As soon as everything in my life is 'atanto' (at the moment everything is 'ahoo' ) Round 2 will begin!
  13. I'm not gone - just sooo busy, and the electricity load shedding is a nightmare. But as an environmental person, I can't complain at saving the planet, albeit involuntarily. Reading is nearly out of the question. And I have a couple of big jobs on, so not much time to read anyway. The radio works okay, and through the BBC World Service I know Andy Murray made it. I am so happy for you, Cp.
  14. "Where were you when Donald Trump became president?" I think this in one of those days we will all remember.
  15. I have four pairs currently, Luna: for reading in bed, reading & general (bifocal), computer, driving
  16. I had to lend my "The Water Diviner" (Russell Crowe) DVD to someone last week, so watched it again, maybe for the fourth time? I am still in awe of the approach it takes to the Gallipoli campaign. Beautiful scene in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
  17. I should be busy preparing for my new assignment in Malawi, but a pair of Black-collared Barbets have decided to build a nest hole in the underside of a dead branch on a nearby tree. Usually, I can be found seated on the ground under a flowering hibiscus bush, camera aimed upward at a very uncomfortable angle, watching the parents fly in and out as they bring food for their young. I think they will probably fledge before I get back. The song of mated Black-collared Barbets is a duet. The male sings a single note and the female responds with two short notes. They can keep this up for many seconds - and talking of seconds, I have recently learned that the female response time is .146 of a second. If that's not great timing, I don't know what is!
  18. Yes, it was great Cp and you are right. I was chatting with some other UK types yesterday and they agreed that in general things are so much better now from 10 years ago. But I was only in the southern end. And I have to admit that by the middle of the third week I was yearning for 'home' - and Kous-kous of course.
  19. Recently received: "A Sea of Words, a lexicon and companion to the complete seafaring tales of Patrick O'Brian" and "Harbors and High Seas, an atlas and geographical guide to the complete Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian" both by Dean King. Also "Life on Air, memoirs of a broadcaster", David Attenborough.
  20. Seeing many older couples holding hands as they promenaded on a sunny Sunday at Sidmouth.
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