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.

Being a writer

I’m currently reading ‘Confessions of a Ghostwriter’ by Andrew Crofts, one of a handful of recent books from Dorking’s Oxfam Books. It’s prompted me to recall the time I sat in an office opposite Colin, who was a freelancer and had the job title of technical writer.

At the time I never understood how someone could write a technical document on a subject they had no knowledge or experience of. My view of Colin was probably also conditioned by the fact that he seemed to spend most of the working day on the phone discussing this, that and the other about cricket. Colin was either a cricketer or involved in the running of a local cricket club or league. I don’t recall seeing any technical documents Colin produced, so I’m not able to judge whether he was good at his job.

As part of the process of developing computer software, I always loved writing the necessary user documentation. I wrote documentation much as I wrote software. I dived in and after many re-writes and revisions I would arrive at what I regarded a pleasing end-product. This is probably not recommended or efficient but it was the way that suited my way of thinking and working.

Interestingly, when it comes to writing a blog post, I can often write something in my head but when it comes to entering it into the computer I somehow lose the words. Hence most of my posts are mainly images!

I predict…

  • A Tory overall majority ✅
  • A fall in the number of Labour seats ✅
  • A fall in the number of LibDem seats ✅
  • No seats for the Brexit party ✅
  • In 2020 the Tories will rip themselves to pieces over Brexit 𐄂
  • All 3 leaders will resign in 2020 or earlier ✅✅𐄂

So Long, My Son

We watched this highly rated film by streaming from Curzon Home Cinema. At over 3 hours, this slow-moving, subtitled, Chinese film tested our concentration and we ended up watching it over 3, or was it 4, sessions. This didn’t help our understanding of the story, particularly as there are random time jumps as well as there being two characters with the same name. Subsequently reading some reviews and synopses has helped, but without sitting through it again I suspect we’ll have pretty negative feelings about the film.

A trip to Oxfam Books in Dorking

Half way to the station my bus came up against a dickhead of a van driver who must have decided that the bus driver had overstepped the mark by not giving way when there was only room for one vehicle to proceed. So the van driver proceeded to block the road for over 5 minutes, nonchalantly making himself appear unconcerned by doing some paperwork. Meanwhile behind him the cars queued up, as presumably they also did behind the bus. It was an easy manoeuvre for the van driver to reverse into the adjacent side street, whereas reversing the bus was not an option. There was stalemate in the street until the van driver inevitably took action and drove onto the pavement allowing the bus through. Interestingly neither the bus driver nor the van driver demonstrated in any way, not even a horn toot! Road rage without the rage.

Continue reading “A trip to Oxfam Books in Dorking”

Airhead – Emily Maitlis

Subtitled “The Imperfect Art of Making News”, this is a fascinating look at the Newsnight presenter’s best interviews, showing how the news gets to our screens.

It’s an easy read and highly recommended.

The Reflection – Hugo Wilcken

90 pages in and I’m thinking this sounds familiar. A quick search of this blog confirmed this to be the case and that I’d felt somewhat disappointed by it on the first reading. So should I abandon this second reading or continue and try to get a better handle on the story? I decided to continue.

As on the first reading I raced through it over two days. And I’m still confused! It’s actually quite intriguing, but ultimately it’s a ‘what was that all about?’ book.

It’s disappointing that yet again I’ve bought a book that I’ve bought and read before – I’ve a shocking memory.

Here is the blog post from the first reading.

Not Amazon

I refuse to buy books from Amazon, so I’ve added menu links to three alternatives. In particular, Blackwell’s appear to be price comparable with the big A.

You may be lucky to have a local bookshop.

Game pie followed by a skate?

Game pie for me and bangers & mash for her, and a large Shiraz for me and a ginger beer for her (the driver). And afterwards the ice rink across the road at Hampton Court was empty and tempting but I can imagine the look of horror on my daughter’s face if I had been serious. #oldgeezerbreakslegonicerink

Dangerous Hero – Tom Bower

There’s not much chance of me ever rejoining the Labour Party after reading Tom Bower’s controversial hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party.

The prospect of another Tory government led by the vacuous Boris Johnson doesn’t seem so end-of-the-world when the alternative is the horrible bunch in the Labour Party.

Llanrhaeadr trip

I’ve had a lovely, relaxing 4 days away in the delightful village of Llanrhaeadr, just inside the Welsh border. This visit was primarily to attend my Aunt Isobel’s funeral, but I was overdue for and ready to come anyway.

This is my lovely Aunty May who I am always happy to spend so much time talking to, about family and things.

She used to make jars of marmalade and jam but now seems to concentrate on pickles!

There’s not much in the way of street lighting in the village, which makes for a slightly creepy but pleasurable night stroll to the pub. The smell of the smoke from the house fires adds to the atmosphere.

ME!
In front of the spectacular Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall, an almost 4-mile walk from the village of Llanrhaeadr.

A rare selfie!

Continue reading “Llanrhaeadr trip”

A bus to Oswestry

For my last day in Llanrhaeadr I’ve been on a bus trip to Oswestry. There’s only one bus out, at 10am, and one bus back, at 1:30pm, so I had three hours to fill. This is more than enough! An amble and a tea, cake and browse in the bookshop just about filled my time. A very interesting chat with a villager on the way back made it a worthwhile excursion.

View from the bus
View from the bus
Continue reading “A bus to Oswestry”

I would love to be up there

It was the day of my aunt’s funeral, the primary reason for my visit to Wales. My mum was one of twelve children, but now there is just one left, an uncle. The church was packed and the service was in Welsh and English, and on a bright, sunny day there was an emotional burial at a remote church surrounded by stunning hills. Whenever I see a hill or mountain I always want to be up there on the top.

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