Showing posts from January, 2011

Sunday Scribblings.

A meme where the prompt this week is SAFE.

As I trudge through the ice and snow,
My thoughts return to warmer times,
The Summer days of sun and sand seem oh so far away,
My path is hard on this December day,
Each step is hard to keep,
I long to be in my own sweet bed,
So warm and safe, to sleep.

More can be found here.

The Winter Garden Mystery.

The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn.

Set in Cheshire, England in the 1920's. A large country house occupied by a very respectable family are about to receive a visit by one of their offspring's school chums. No ordinary visitor , Daisy Dalrymple is a feisty flapper. A woman who is proud of her independance and always keen to help solve mysteries.
The family she visits are not all pleased to see her as the Mater of the house accuses Daisy of leading her daughter astray.
However,soon after her arrival the gardener discovers a body in the flower bed. This is identified as a missing maid. Consequently Daisy is flung into the limelight with her beau Alec Fletcher, a Scotland Yard officer much to annoyance of the Mater.
In probing the murder family secrets are disclosed and the life of this high born family will never be the same again.

A fairly good read, although a little slow in places.

Teaser Tuesdays

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

So here is my teaser -----

'Her employment had obviously reduced to vanishing point whatever status her title had given her in Dunnett's eyes. She remembered how Alec had dismissed her views while he thought her a mere society butterfly, but taken her seriously when he found out she was a working woman.'

page 56 'The Winter Garden Mystery' by Carola Dunn.

More lines can be found

This is a murder, mystery set in 1920's , it is written in a light hearted way, when reading I expect Bertie Wooster to pop out on the next line. A good read.

Dickens and the workhouse.

In today's Daily Telegraph a page is given to work of a researcher. Ruth Richardson an historian and author believes that she has located a building in central London that Charles Dickens used as a model for the workhouse in Oliver Twist.
The building in Cleveland Street is a short walk from where Dickens spent some of his childhood and early adult years. He probably walked past it often. Dickens was vehemently against such treatment of children and adults in these workhouses, hence the story of Oliver Twist.
Today the building is assessed for demolition and names from the theatre are opposing this . Would Dickens have agreed with the action proposed , we will never know, but pondering how his books all showed society in it's darkest and meanest sense perhaps he would have signed in favour.
The full story can be found here.
Photo courtesy of the above site.

Sister of the Angels.

Sister of the Angels by Elizabeth Goudge.

This novel focuses on Henrietta an 11 year old whose Mother died many years ago. She lives with Canon and Mrs Fordyce in Cathedral Close , Torminster. Her father Gabriel Ferranti is a poet and general 'arty' man who lives and works away.
Henrietta shares her home with an orphan boy called Hugh Anthony , another child the Canon and his wife have adopted.

It is near to Christmas and Henrietta's excitement knows no bounds --- her Father is coming to stay for Christmas. There is the cathedral to decorate and the old crypt has lost none of it's fascination. Here Henrietta finds a stranger deep in thought as he admires the partly finished mural in this dark and somewhat frightening place. Always been keen on Art herself she takes a particular interest in the scene.

Well, firstly I did not realise this was a children's story. I ordered the book from the library after reading a review on a blog 'somewhere'.
For children or not t…

Sniffy days.

Well these last few days have been very sniffy , to put it mildly .Both Hubby and myself have had foul colds, he is worse than me . Today we had tickets to go to the
Ballet, but I'm afraid we're not up to it. So my daughter and her fiance are going alone.

There is one consolation to this week though I have finished a couple of books.
Reviews to follow. Hope you all have a good weekend.

The Auschwitz Violin.

The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada.

A classical music concert in Krakow in the winter of 1991 begins this moving story. It is here that an elderly woman, Regina, breathes life into the strings of her violin. Her music is exquisite and after hearing her play another musician is keen to discuss the beautiful instrument.
The violin was made in a Nazi camp by the Regina's father.That in such a brutal place such a remarkable instrument was crafted is amazing . To find out the full story the musician engages Regina till 'the' story is told.

This is a short book , some 109 pages but what it lacks in pages it more that makes up for in prose. A moving, frightening and courageous tale unfolds, where the human spirit reigns supreme under the most appalling conditions.

'During the Spring Cleaning he had felt more concern for himself than pity for the condemned.But now suddenly, hearing in the distance the shouts directed at the newly arrived prisoners, he marvelled that his …

How I am spending my Sunday.

Today in Mogsville it is fairly quiet.All the animals are fed and watered and we are having a relaxing afternoon.
This morning was taken up with a Traditional Latin Mass at our local church. A very peaceful Mass. After which we arrived home for coffee and a look at the Sunday papers, which are not very inspiring!
Sunday lunch , courtesy of moi was a Turkey and Bacon risotto(using up the last turkey leg from the freezer) , it proved a substantial meal although I have tasted better.
This afternoon I have been completing my Advent and Christmas readings from the above book.In today's gospel the theme was the Marriage Feast of Cana and Saint Francis de Sales in the above book discusses this and the Last Supper, Jesus' first chronicled miracle --- changing water to wine and his Last Supper where wine became his blood.
Not an easy read in places but very thought provoking.
There are also books by Saint Francis de Sales on Lent, Our Lady and Prayer(all on my wishlist)-- roll on my birthda…

For Martha and me.

As you can see I've made another trip to the library, but now that Martha is passed the tiny baby stage and has reached the ripe old age(!) of 16 months I borrow books for her on my ticket. This has proved quite a hit when she comes to the farm for a few hours and as we always keep a toybox here she doesn't seem to get bored, although my kitchen cupboards are very interesting!!!

So here are the books ---- Martha's picture books proved quite hilarious to the librarian as she thought the cat on the front looked as though it was on 'speed' or somesuch substance.

'To kill or cure' by Susannah Gregory is following in the path of
this post.We are talking medieval murder and Susannah Gregory has never failed to capture my imagination in the books that I have read so far.

'England's Hour' by Vera Brittain, focuses on the Summer of 1940 and the dogfights over London skies. This one is for hubby , it is always a challenge to find a War book he hasn't read…

Are you a 'Jason' or 'James' fan?

There were three 'Bourne'... that gives you a clue to how I am spending a leisurely night. Jason Bourne and the Bourne Ultimatum. The first of the three films was shown on t.v. last night and we began to watch but the adverts did get in the way of our viewing. It was then that we remembered that the trio of movies were on the shelf upstairs. So without further ado we watched our own version and tonight we are continuing the trilogy.
Seeing these at the cinema years ago I was quite surprised at my enjoyment . I have never been keen on 'James Bond'type movies.But these are much better imho. Consequently 'Jason' has the edge over 'James'. A great nights' viewing.
Have any of you seen these films ?What are your views?

'The Killer of Pilgrims'.

'The Killer of Pilgrims' by Susannah Gregory.

A medieval murder set in the Winter of 1358. The place is Cambridge, England. Here the town is suffering under freezing temperatures and it is here that Matthew Bartholomew a doctor is drawn into the lives of both his patients and the colleges.
As pilgrims flock to the nearby shrine of Saint Simon Stock , many are keen to see and own relics of their beloved saint. In amidst this calm and serene atmosphere the body of one of the town's richest landlord is found in most unusual circumstances.Matthew is called to examine the body but his inquiry is hampered by the rising tension in the colleges.

This is the sixteenth chronicle of Matthew Bartholomew. A great read. Thoroughly recommended.

Mog's take on...

...Heston Blumenthal's Waitrose Christmas Pudding.
Now each year I cook my usual recipes for Christmas cakes and puddings. Last year was no different , the old recipes books were opened and so I began the 'bake in'. However when I saw the 'Heston' advert , and it was a much shorter version on t.v. than you see above , I was hooked. This could be different and all that orange was bound to give a great flavour.
I had already cooked my usual version and lacking in confidence I kept that as 'the best 'pud and set to make the 'orange' one. Using the same recipe but adding the orange I waited patiently (or impatiently really) for Christmas.
Christmas day I used the old version but on the 27th there were 8 for dinner and no other dessert, dare I try it , well yes I dare and it was delicious!!! A real winner!!
I did find out in the press a week after cooking that I should have used a candied orange(which wasn't shown in the advert I saw) and not just a rind…

Twelfth Night.

The Adoration of the Magi.

After a very long absence blogging has restarted on Mog's Blog. The weeks since my last post have flown and it is difficult to believe that we are in a New Year. The twelve days of Christmas have passed enjoyably here on the farm with visits from daughters, son in law and my dear grandaughter.
Today saw the crib, tree and all decorations removed and stored in their boxes for next year. The house looks so bare, but a New Year means a new beginning and I must be positive.
I close this post by wishing all readers God's blessings for this New Year.