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Everything posted by Calliope

  1. Carl Williams His funeral was just yesterday as it happens. To the nearly audible sound of a city sighing it's relief - perhaps the Gangland Wars die with him. Classy gold plated coffin. Amusing newspaper reports of the funeral...
  2. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun, And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time we find them there.
  3. The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg
  4. I took this photo* from a hot air balloon floating around Luxor about 18 months ago... <a href=" " title="Ballooning in Egypt by Joleesa, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2749/4533583819_63ce53cd5f.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="Ballooning in Egypt" /></a> *shortly before motion sickness made me collapse to the bottom of the basket
  5. oh, sorry. I don't recognise the name Nick Griffen so I assumed the link was to something British! Amusing to speculate!
  6. Speaking of proof-reading, in the Australian news this weekend is a story about a new pasta book published by Penguin. One of the recipes was meant to call for Instead, in an auto-correct not picked up by proof-readers, it asks for .
  7. Your wish is granted. You are a termite in a flooded mound. I wish that MrHG hadn't eaten all his easter bilby.
  8. Your house does clean itself, then in a desire to stay pristine, it locks itself, and you can never get in again. I wish I owned a vineyard in the hills.
  9. Your wish is granted. Alcohol no longer causes liver disease, because it is now so toxic that anyone who even smells it dies instantly. I wish I had a yacht.
  10. I am packing up books. I doubt that anyone could appreciate the challenge this is quite as well as my fellow BGO-ers
  11. OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat; But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth! Kamal is out with twenty men to raise the Border side, And he has lifted the Colonel’s mare that is the Colonel’s pride: He has lifted her out of the stable-door between the dawn and the day, And turned the calkins upon her feet, and ridden her far away. Then up and spoke the Colonel’s son that led a troop of the Guides: “Is there never a man of all my men can say where Kamal hides?”
  12. Welcome, starrynight. Though I have to say I suspect it's your choice of nicknaes that has had me humming Don McLean's Vincent to myself ever since glancing at this thread this morning
  13. I really enjoyed this book, which I read after it was longlisted for this year's Orange Prize. I agree that there is no subtlty to its message but I do think it's interesting as an account of the way we live now. The characters are types almost in a Dickensian way - it's a big social, Dickensian novel. It's also a pretty good mystery, and I'd recommend it.
  14. I really enjoyed this book too. The worst criticism I have read of it is that it isn't McEwan's best and while I kind of agree with that, I also don't think it's a substantial criticism at all - McEwan is a brilliant writer who rarely has a word or a thought out of place and one of my few auto-buys. Solar is terrifically funny and it's a big satire. Tagesmann, I think the subject of that satire is just about everything, from the global warming industry to us, as readers. The human condition perhaps? It's the sort of book you want to use to bang over the head of naive readers who think a book is flawed if they can't 'identify' with the major character. Beard, from whose perspective we see almost everything, is fat, pretentious, libidinous, disloyal, dishonest and above all, greedy. He sees global warming - and the the concealed manslaughter of his wife's lover, whose work he cheerfully steals - as his big chance to make a lot of money, and he goes about making it whilst drinking, eating and ****ing his way into ever more serious trouble. He's so utterly appalling that the distance you feel from him has a compulsion of its own. Not McEwan's best - but he wrote Atonement, for god's sake. From almost any other writer this would be a masterpiece. ETA those coy asterisks are _not_ mine
  15. I'm intrigued. (BTW, David, I don't think it's odd that the best trailers come from the US. If there's one thing the US IS best at, it's promoting things and advertising!!)
  16. I know I go on about it like a basher with a bible, but I love books that give you the feeling like you get at the end of books like The Road. That, eh? shocked feeling that the story has gone somewhere that you didn't expect at all, without it being an O Henry type twist. It makes you mentally go back over the story and realise that the ending is perfectly suited after all, you just didn't understand it until you got there. A bit like life, really. Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go both have similar themes to the original poster's story idea. Neither has a particularly predictable ending although both have endings that fit the story (Like David and a couple of other posters, I fear this thread is going to be a bit less unpredictable.)
  17. I've been at IKEA and am getting splinters in my hands and hammering nails - not quite all of them on my fingers - as I put together sundry chairs and tables from flatpacks. I'm not exactly what you'd call a handyperson, so I'm feeling quite proud of the TV stand that I've put together so far. The TV doesn't even slide off!!!
  18. Time for a change, then Bollocks. Seriously, whose convention? I know many couples where the woman has kept her own name, and, without exception, the children have taken their father's.
  19. Don't be so quick to judge, MrH. Firstly the children and grandchildren can do what their parents did - make a choice. Secondly, I suspect you'd be surprised how many people don't even think about the upper class.
  20. I imagined her as one of those ladies of a certain age who are shown on soaps, usually serving behind bars. Hair in a big platinum bouffant lacquered to the texture of chicken wire, over-powdered face, lipstick bleeding into the rivulets of lines around her mouth. A bosom you could use as a sideboard, pushing a string of fat beads up against her chin. That sort of faux glamorous thing.
  21. I just watched "Lost in 8 1/2 minutes" courtesy of iTunes and gosh it made me laugh. I leerved this show when it first came out. That first episode in particular when Jack wakes in the field and makes his way back to the crash site. Fantastic stuff. And I didn't mind it being weird. Where I tuned out was somewhere in the third season when this model of suspense seemed to be compulsory: End of episode: Oh my God! What was that? or What does that mean? What happens to him? Who was that? Next episode: We're not going to tell you! But... what is this other thing? What does it mean? What happens to her? The 8 1/2 minute summary was fun but I'm glad I didn't bother watching my 'lost' episodes in full. I think this series is a prime example of a great idea not planned carefully enough.
  22. I saw Shutter Island a few days ago. Dennis Lehane wrote the books that both it and Mystic River (one of my favourite films ever) were based on so I was really looking forward to it. It's directed by Martin Scorcese and has Leonardo DiCaprio in it too, so many, many must-see features. It's not as good as Mystic River but that's not really a criticism. It's not Scorcese's best, but that's not really a criticism either. It's an interesting enough thriller, worth watching if only on DVD. And it has Leo in it
  23. I think there are cultural differences just in the English speaking world. When I first moved to the UK and went to see a GP, she said, "Hello Kimberley, I'm Dr Smith" and I was completely floored. For a moment or two I forgot why I had gone in there. I'm sure it was just what she did with everyone and don't know how common it is, but there was a very old-fashioned medical power play (doctor knows best) going on there.
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