Well that was interesting

So I get to Dorking station to find there’s a points failure and no trains in or out for an unknown period. A phone app tells me there’s a bus to Leatherhead which gets me part of the way home. On the bus a couple of lads with bright-coloured hair look worse for wear as I ease past the one with the sleepy head half across the corridor. Five minutes into the journey the lad falls out of his seat managing to fall flat on his back and looking dead to the world, whilst the other lad appears to be asleep across the seat. The bus driver pulls into the next bus stop and tries to wake the two lads, one who is still out of it on the floor. He has clearly met these two before and manages to get some alertness out of them and eventually to get them off the bus – coincidentally this is their stop. The driver repeatedly warns them to be careful crossing the dual carriageway, but they are so out of it they appear unaware of the warning. The bus drove off, leaving the two lads to their fate.

Playing with manual focus

The weather has deteriorated – I think it’s even worse in the West. Playing around with manual focus on my Sony RX100 I could get the raindrops on the window pane into focus. It’s just possible to make out the the reflection of the park in the raindrops (blown-up 2nd image).

Not just any Saturday

Looking after the little ones whilst their parents spent the day at a TEDx event, 5-year-old Chloe was as usual the last to finish her meal. We asked her if she was always the last to finish her packed lunch at school, and she said yes but explained it as follows. She has packed lunch with two boys who she says don’t stop talking! So why, we asked, was she the last to finish if they were always talking, to which she replied that she was constantly having to answer their questions! Sadly, when the two boys finish their lunch they go off to play leaving Chloe to continue eating, on her own. Does she mind being on her own, we asked, to which she said no because the dinner ladies would talk to her. How wonderful it would be to listen in on these conversations, between the children and with the dinner ladies!

When the parents returned in the evening we were in the middle of watching Mary Poppins Returns. One of the TEDx talks had been on the subject of maths, and as a way of thanking us for looking after the two girls, I was given the speaker’s book – with a personal inscription. What a way to finish a lovely day!

3 books for 75p

Not many books and not a great range to choose from, though I can usually find one or two on my infrequent visits, but these are ridiculous prices for books at the Princess Alice Hospice charity shop in East Molesey.

Stasi Child – David Young

Stasi Child is a crime / political thriller set in East Germany in the mid-seventies.

I’m not sure what to make of it. It comes across as a bit stilted, a bit clunky, and there are some far-fetched scenes. I’m reminded of the abridged adventure and war novels my dad used to get from a book club back in the early sixties. However it’s well plotted and I was involved enough to see it through to the slightly disappointing ending.

It comes across as a first novel, which it is, but maybe I’ve outgrown crime / thriller / adventure books….

Iris describes

One of the many joys of having the grand­children to stay overnight is when they wake up in the morning and drift into our bedroom for a chat. They’ve learnt to check that it’s not too early but that still means any time from 7am onwards.

At 7 o’clock on Boxing Day morning, 3-year-old Iris climbed into our bed and asked if we still had that square thing you put on your feet. Seeing our perplexity she added that it’s got numbers on, which had us even more baffled.

She then jumped out of the bed, said she knew where it was, and reaching under the wardrobe she pulled out the bathroom scales proclaiming ‘here it is’!

What an angel.

Let's Kill Uncle – Rohan O'Grady

Let’s Kill Uncle is an absolutely charming tale of two 10-year-olds as they holiday on a Canadian island. There’s a lot of child naughtiness, a lot of humour, and the possibility of a very serious crime.

Suitable for adults and children alike, I hope that in a few years’ time five-year-old, granddaughter Chloe will enjoy it too.

Delightful and highly recommended.

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