Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Barblue

  1. I know I have not been here often in the recent past, but I have been a member for so long I would really miss it not being here. I do hope that it continues and will try and support it more often.
  2. I still think of David often. He always had such wise words to impart and some of them have stayed with me and probably always will.
  3. I have been looking forward to reading this for weeks, and finally got round to it this weekend. Bottom line; I loved this book. The only down side is that it goes too quickly and was impossible to put down, keeping me awake until 1 and 2 in the morning because I just had to read another chapter. It is a crime book; there are a few murders; you would expect that from the title. But it is more than that in as much as it is set in a retirement complex and the characters living in that retirement village are beautifully written with all the old eccentricities you would expect of the elderly, but also with hidden pasts and expertise that lift them off the page. Other characters are written with the same light hand that does not diminish their acts or duties, but moves the story along at an amazing pace.. There are many twists and turns that leave the reader both laughing, amazed, distraught, frustrated and bewildered, right to the end. It is a book of delights. I laughed out loud often and was sorry when the book came to an end. True escapism. Can't wait for book 2.
  4. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, my bedtime book Let's do it: the Authorised Biography of Victoria Wood by Jasper Rees, which is my daytime book.
  5. I have just re-read these posts because I am half-way through re-reading this book. It is many years since I first read it and to be honest I didn't really like the book. My son did and I thought I must have missed something so have wanted to re-read for that reason. One of the things that has hit home with me is the way disease was dispersed across the world by the scientific companies to boost their profits with a cure. In the year of Covid19, this was so very chilling. I am looking forward to finishing the book, most of which I do not remember reading before. Probably old age accounts for that.
  6. As you may remember Momac, I live in the North West of England and we are suffering a resurgence of infections. At the moment we have been stopped visiting neighbours either in house or garden. They still keep the pubs and restaurants open though, but it is very carefully controlled. We have eaten out recently, and are impressed with all the precautions. In fact I had my eyes tested today and it was very carefully controlled there too. Sadly though we cannot travel out of our area to meet family, so we cannot visit our son in Manchester now, who is under the same laws of restriction, or stay with our son in Hampshire. Who knows how long this will be the case, but somehow we have to soldier on. Trust you are keeping well. You seem to be from your posts.
  7. When I think how quickly the time has gone since the start of this pandemic - and for us it has even if we are fed up with all the difficulties - then the C time is not that far off. In fact I was only talking to Mr.B at the weekend about it.
  8. This book is set in Blackburn, Lancashire, an old mill town, where I live. Because of this I can relate to a lot of the geography that is noted in the book so perhaps that adds to my understanding of the locations. It is the first of a trilogy. The book begins with Jennet and Titus having to move into the town from the surrounding countryside because the mills were becoming mechanized and taking work away from the home spinners and weavers. I found the characters believable and enjoyed the pace of the writing. It was a page-turner, which I found a real pleasure to read as during this pandemic period reading has not been easy for me. Having related the above, I have to tell you that I know the author. She has been writing for years and published other books, but I believe this is the first works that have been picked up by the publishers. I was worried that I would not like this book and wondered how I would be able to comment on it not just here, but to her too. I really enjoyed this absorbing read.
  9. Having read a few of the recent posts here, I have to say that first of all I envy those who have been able to bury themselves in books. I did read The Mirror and the Light, the last in the Mantel trilogy, but the weight prevented me from reading huge chunks, so it became a long and laborious affair. I'm glad I have read it though because I enjoyed the whole trilogy and seeing history through Mantel's interpretation of Cromwell's eyes. Unusual and unique. Apart from that, I have hardly read anything. I just don't be able to concentrate for long. I have, however, become a jigsaw addict. Apart from all the de-cluttering in our house over the first 4 to 6 weeks of lockdown, life has settled into another kind of routine. We are lucky, because we have a dance floor in our little barn and so have the facility to practice our steps. In fact we have not done that much. Once we had finished throwing out all our unwanted stuff, we did go back to dancing to find that we had forgotten an awful lot of steps. Since then we have tried to practice as least once a week, but things are still a little rusty. Also, it is so sad that we cannot have friends over to share our dancing and until that is possible, the joy of dancing is only half there. Yesterday, we decided we had enough of isolating and went out for lunch at our favourite fish and chip restaurant. Staff were masked and tables set apart and it was really lovely. Even though the numbers of infections in my area are high, we felt we had to do something 'normal' for once.
  10. Well, I finally finished reading this third book in the trilogy, but to be honest, I could have done with some severe editing of the narrative. Yes, it was informative. Yes, it did make the mores of the time graphic, but I think there was a little too much emphasis on Cromwell's past, which we all knew very well from the first two books, and some excessive descriptions of everyday events that became very repetitious. Perhaps some of this negativity is due to the size of the book, which made it difficult for me because it is so heavy. As a consequenc3e I was not able to hold it for long. Because of this fact also, I could not read huge chunks of the book as I might have done otherwise. However, it was a great ending to the trilogy in terms of winding down Cromwell's popularity and influence as he aged and so did King Henry. As a whole, the trilogy is a masterpiece in terms of viewing a version of history through the eyes of Cromwell and for that reason I loved it.
  11. I loved reading Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, but I am finding The Mirror and the Light far harder going than the first two. I regret the fact that we are now told when Cromwell is speaking, which we were not in Wolf Hall. It was not easy to pick this up at first, but once I did, I felt more 'with' Cromwell. In this book, I find the indication of Cromwell speaking slows the read, which in turn makes my reading of the novel much slower than the other two. In fact I have been reading it almost since the start of the pandemic and still have a little way to go. Having said all that, I have really enjoyed seeing the world through Cromwell's eyes. I have loved the dialogue because it brings it down to the every-day more often than not and through the dialogue the other characters have shone and evolved. I will finish it, but it may take another week or so.
  12. Thanks Meg. Its great to see so many familiar 'faces'. Sad to say we do not go to football matches now. Long story, but we have moved on and our main passion now is dancing. Sadly too, that has been curtailed and we wonder whether we will every get back to the wonderful social dancing scene we once had. Trust you are well and still enjoying life to the full.
  13. Just saying hello to all my old friends and new members of BGO, since I have not been here for some time now. I really don't know why, but that's the way life has gone. I have been using Amazon through this site even though I have not contributed to the site generally and I suppose as I was here again today, I decided to take a browse through. It has been wonderful to see so many lovely names I remember so well. I do hope to keep in touch again now I have taken this plunge.
  14. Oops! I should be more patient. After 5 minutes the .co.uk banner has appeared. Sorry to be a nuisance.
  15. I know I haven't been here for ages, but I'm always using the Amazon banner .co.uk for all purchases there, ;but today it is not to be seen - only the .com banner at the bottom of the page. Have we lost Amazon.co.uk on here for ever? Or, like the comments above, is it likely to come back again in due course?
  16. Nothing like grandchildren to bring new spice to your life. We have only the two but they are a constant joy. This last week has been glorious up North, Yes, it's been very windy at times but tonday that has calmed down and it's like a real summers day. I do hope it stays good for you Cp. We had visitors last week and they went up there and said it looked wonderful. Our visitors have now gone home after a two week stay so today so I have been doing masses of laundry. Back to normal next week.
  17. Anyone else imagining the meeting between Mm and Luna in the very near future?
  18. Very many congratulations to both Cherrypie and Ragamuffin Gunner. Becoming Grandparents is yet another life-changing event, but one of the most joyous. We could spend a fortune on our granddaughters but were told from the start that we had to restrict ourselves to lots of love giving and only a few treats from time to time. I have to say, I'm pleased my son and his wife said that because we would have been showering them with so much. Apart from that the joy we get from being with our girls is worth all the money in the world to us. This weekend they came to stay and we have had such a great time with them. We went to a play barn/American diner for one day and they played amongst bales of hay, swing ropes and slides as well a conventional climbing playground equipment. Then we took them ice skating. Sadly our ice skating days are over (although we were never any good) and it was wonderful to see them adjust to being on ice and skating with support toys. Then we had a big family lunch with our other son and his family. So good to be together again, even if for only a few hours. Sadly, we also had bad news from a great-nephew, who is only 30 and has just got engaged. He is a tree surgeon and had a bad accident at work last week, when a tree he was working on fell and he with it. He has been on life-support over the Easter holiday following 7 hours of surgery on his spine. He is now breathing unsupported, but he also has broken several ribs and damage some other organs. He is now talking, but at the moment has no movement below his waist. We are hoping and praying time will heal him. Reading has been at a minimum over the Easter weekend.
  19. What fabulous weather we have had in the UK this weekend. We have been away to Harrogate (only about an hour's drive from us) for a dance weekend. We only spent an hour on Saturday in a dance class, and then spent the rest of the day just exploring the town on foot. Although we live so close to Harogate, we have only been a few times and then only for a quick look round. When you have so much more time you can walk every nook and cranny and we found some lovely shops in the back streets as well as some fabulous buildings. We had two nights in Harrogate with a group of 80 dancers, most of whom we have known a few years now. Both nights had a theme. Friday was a 60s theme and Saturday was a 20s theme. It was wonderful how many people had taken so much trouble with their attire. It was all great fun and we came home this morning exhausted - but managed a bit of gardening in the sun!!
  20. My copy of this novella comes with The Courage Consort in one book and they are both quick reads. Gram's splendid review just about sums up my feelings about this work too. I'm not sure I found this as satisfying a read as some of Faber's other work, but it was an intriguing read if a little trite in places.
  21. Stewart's review of this novella sums up the work well. I love Faber's work and this is no exception. There are small nuances throughout that engage the reader and round out the characters a little more. Catherine, for me, is the centre of the whole piece and you slowly see her emerging from a cocoon of drug induced miasma like a butterfly. The title is, of course, the name of the singing group, but Catherine epitomises both words. It is her surname and she is married to Roger, the nominal leader of the group. But Catherine also has courage of her own that she slowly discovers. Through the minutiae of the literature we begin to understand why Catherine has become so insular and afraid and almost suicidal. The word 'consort' seems to be used in so many ways here for Catherine as a daughter, wife and even the archaic meaning of being in harmony, as she is within the group. However, that is not how we see her at the end of the novella. Like Stewart, you almost wish for more of the story, but being open-ended, to a degree, as it is, the reader is left with all kinds of imaginings as to how Catherine will fare in the future.
  22. Wow! Glad someone else is having trouble. Just returned from a few days away on a dancing holiday and wondered if I had problems with my computer because I could not get on in the usual way. I have had to Google the site to get this far. Those spammers are a scourge of the internet!!!
  23. Reporting back on our trip to York - we had a great day. No rain, not really cold, the wind dropped, the pub lunch was great and we enjoyed our visit to the Treasurer's House. As we came back over the Penine hills, the weather changed dramtically and we lot the sun, were enveloped in cloud and surrounded by rain. It had rained at home all day!! Meg, I love the idea of gardening in the prone position - really must try this when the weather is better!
  24. I listened to tributes on Radio 5 last night about Chuck Berry. What a prolific and poetic writer of songs he was. I had no idea his work was quite so influential and wide ranging. A huge talent and a great loss, but how wonderful to have had him in our lives.
  • Create New...