Saturday, 26 May 2018

More about reading



I am 5/6ths of the way through Diane Setterfield’s novel “Bellman and Black”.  It has kept me reading long after my ‘lights out’ bedtime.  Like her first book, “The Thirteenth Tale”, it exemplifies the word (if there is one) unputdownable.  But now I have stopped and I have put it down.  Why this apparently strange change of behaviour?

A couple of days ago when I turned the last page of “The Thirteenth Tale” I felt quite bereft.  Have you ever felt like that upon finishing a book?  Even if the story itself has reached a satisfactory conclusion one wants the characters to live on, the writing style to be there for some more pages, the imagery to continue…   At least with “The Thirteenth Tale” I knew I had “Bellman and Black” on its way in the post (for a penny plus postage!) so I would be able to have more of the same writing style.  But Diane Setterfield hasn’t written a third novel yet. 

If you recognise the feeling of not wanting the book to ever end can you name a book that left you feeling that way?

(In my case another that springs to mind is “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” by David Mitchell). 



Friday, 25 May 2018

Street furniture - Bollards and stanchions

I have been looking through some of my old slides of Liverpool from the 1960s and came across these pictures of bollards and stanchions used to keep carriage and cart wheels from going over the pavement (i.e, for my American readers - the sidewalk) or hitting the corners of buildings.





And this one is my favourite - someone embedded cannons either side of this gateway on the Dock Road.


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Reading can be dangerous


I have just read “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield.  A most enjoyable book to begin my reading again.  The heroine’s father owns a bookshop and reading forms both the background and the foreground to her life.  Asked to write the biography of a reclusive author she finds it impossible to resist the request and becomes more and more absorbed in the author’s life and its remarkable revelations.  I thoroughly recommend it. 

“Still in my coat and hat, I sank onto the stair to read the letter.  (I never read without making sure I am in a secure position.  I have been liked this ever since the age of seven when, sitting on a high wall and reading The Water Babies, I was so seduced by the descriptions of underwater life that I unconsciously relaxed my muscles.  Instead of being held buoyant by the water that so vividly surrounded me in my mind, I plummeted to the ground and knocked myself out.  I can still feel the scar under my fringe now.  Reading can be dangerous.)”

“For me, to see is to read.  It has always been that way.”

Monday, 21 May 2018

The sun is out and so is the camera



“When you least expect it, you hear the dreadful click which is driving the world mad…  Wherever you be, on land or sea, you hear that awful click of the amateur photographer, Click, Click, Click.”

                                                     Musical comedy act of the 1890s

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Reading again


After months of being unable to read books I can read again and because of my cravings have already devoured half a dozen books.  According to the Christian Miscellany and Family Visitor (c1869) there is no hope for me....

“Novel reading tends to inflame the passions, pollute the imagination, and corrupt the heart.  It frequently becomes an inveterate habit, strong and fatal as that of a drunkard.  In this state of intoxication, great waywardness of conduct is always sure to follow.  Even when the habit is renounced, and genuine reformation takes place, the individual always suffers the cravings of former excitement.” 




Saturday, 19 May 2018

It's the Royal Wedding today....

Another Royal Wedding today - Harry and Meghan.  I hope it works out for them...


Friday, 18 May 2018

My mobile phone

Have you ever wondered what is inside your mobile phone?


It's lots of tiny men....


Thursday, 17 May 2018

How times change...


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

It's rude to point...

Katie's Dad:- "Excuse me, Toby, but it's rude to point."


Toby:- "Actually, Uncle,  Katie pointed first!"
Katie:- "Don't you go blaming me!"


Toby:- "And anyway, how's this spotting business meant to work without pointing?"



Monday, 14 May 2018

Your smile


Thursday, 10 May 2018

I'm Back


Dear All

I’m back!  On Tuesday my right eye had laser treatment and I can see out of it again.  The last five or six months have made me appreciate how important my sight is to me.  The only books I managed to read during that time were a couple of large print ones and they were almost read a word at a time.  I could just about read messages on my phone – I think the brightness helped.  Everything else relied on Son-who-cooks or Partner-who-loves-tea – even (or rather especially) cooking instructions on microwave meals which could not be printed smaller if they tried.  Because the damage was to the lens cover it wasn’t simply a case of magnifying things though that did help at first.  Outdoors I managed to cross roads with help but left unaided managed to walk into a few hedges and one signpost which gave me a lump as big as a pigeon’s egg on my forehead.  Fancy sticking a signpost in the middle of the pavement!  Next week my left eye will be done and I’ll have a pair of working eyes again though that brings its own problem with my double vision.  Talk about never being satisfied!!!!

I have been blown away by people’s kindness during this last few months.  One postcrosser friend said that if the treatment didn’t work she could make tapes of her news for me.  Others sent letters in large print or typed e-mails in big fonts.  And so many people sent me best wishes and prayers.

Hopefully during the next few weeks I’ll post a few old-fashioned Rambles articles about this, that and the other.  In the meantime I had better get the duster and vacuum cleaner out.  One advantage of being partially sighted is you don’t realise how much cleaning you should have been doing.



Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A long time

Hello Folk
Just the briefest of posts to let you all know I am alive and reasonably well but still very restricted in what I can do through being partially sighted.
I have an eyesight assessment with the NHS scheduled for 1st May.  Hopefully treatment will follow not too long thereafter.
In the meantime thank you for all the good wishes.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Very Big Print


Hello Folk.  You may be wondering why things have been quiet on Rambles lately, and on the sending of postcards and snail mail to my friends abroad.

The answer is that I have been unwell for much of the year so far and, of greater relevance, my eye muscles have gone on strike.  As a result I am presently only partially sighted and need everything to be in 


BIG PRINT.  

Or, rather, in 

I am anaging to read incoming postcards thanks to a 10x magnifying glass but it’s not easy to write while holding a magnifier and shining an extra bright light on the paper.  As for reading books – that is very difficult, incredibly slow and headache-making.  I’m really missing reading.   And I have my computer screen on x300 but that causes its own problems… 

I have a new round of opticians’ appointments beginning in March and hopefully they will help but because it is the muscles that are the problem the vision varies by the minute and a prescript[tion lens that may work at 9 a.m. may not work at 1 p.m.

I’ve been playing with speech to text apps and one or two of those are working fairly well though some of the attempts are hilarious.  The principal moral is ‘Don’t cough in the middle of dictation!.’

That is my moan for the month and my explsnation to those who are missing my communications.

On the more positive side I have a second granddaughter due in a month or so and a great neice or nephew later in the year – congratulations to Lucy and Jay.  Since October 2016 there have been babies popping up (or out) all over the place.  It’s wonderful
.
Meanwhile Son-who-supports-Liverpool-FC had his 30th birthday earlier this month.  They grow up quickly nowadays!

Partner-who-loves-tea and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with coffee and a teacake/crumpet at Isobelles (A great little coffee shop in Heswall which has everything one could want apart from an apostrophe}.  She then further celebrated.by catching flu and has consequently had to cut down her woking hours and is not leaving the house until 6 a.m. and getting back by 8.30 p.m.  She even had a day off at the weekend! 

What else has been happening?  I had lunch recently with a former work colleague I hadn’ seen for an unbelievable 28 years.  One of the three closest colleagues of my working career he kept my head above water by taking the strain when David died and by always being there for me.  It was wonderdful to meet up again and we are doing dinner with our partners soon.

Mac and Annabel have just had their third anniversary of being at The Willows.  Being rescue cats they are a lot older than that but still have the energy to race around the house chasing each other.  According to Partner-who-loves-tea Annabel attacks Mac. I think it’s the other way round.

I have at last started clearing the clutter in the loft and so far eight bags of books have gone to the charity shops and a further ten are awaiting transport.  It takes real courage to get rid of books.

Having now found a way of seeing what i’ve written  on the computer screen you may get more news again soon….

Monday, 12 February 2018

The Crocodile


If you should meet a crocodile,
Don’t take a stick and poke him;
Ignore the welcome in his smile,
Be careful not to stroke him.
For as he sleeps upon the Nile,He thinner gets and thinner;
And whene’er you meet a crocodile
He’s ready for his dinner.
                           Anon.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Just my luck..


Sunday, 4 February 2018

This little chap


This little chap, otherwise known as GB, became a grandfather over Christmas.  Congratulations to all concerned.  (I know I've shown this picture before - or a variation of it - but one can't have too much of a good thing.)

Monday, 8 January 2018

Brothel Token

Regular readers may recall the blog posting about The Willows house name and what the name might have meant in other parts of the world.

Shortly afterwards, Friend-uber-special gave me a rather special present.  A vintage token for the China Doll in Dodge City.



I haven't had a chance to redeem it yet.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Playing with photos

Playing with photos again.


The pelican

Toby


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

"The House that Jack Built"

Do you have a favourite nursery rhyme?  One of mine is undoubtedly "The House that Jack Built" and I was reminded of it the other day when Partner-who-loves-tea and I visited a local farm and met one of the longhorn cows.


This is perhaps the most common set of modern lyrics:

This is the house that Jack built.

This is the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat that killed the rat
That ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.


This is the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the horse and the hound and the horn
That belonged to the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Some versions use "cheese" instead of "malt", "priest" instead of "judge", "cock" instead of "rooster", the older past tense form "crew" instead of "crowed", or "chased" in place of "killed". Also in some versions the horse, the hound, and the horn are left out and the rhyme ends with the farmer.


It has been argued that the rhyme is derived from an Aramaic hymn Chad Gadya (lit., "One Young Goat") in Sepher Haggadah, first printed in 1590; but although this is an early cumulative tale that may have inspired the form, the lyrics bear little relationship. It was suggested by James Orchard Halliwell that the reference to the "priest all shaven and shorn" indicates that the English version is probably very old, presumably as far back as the mid-sixteenth century.


Blog Archive