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.

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