Monthly Archives: January 2014

“January 2014. Let’s hope for a good year for all “Old Bats”!!!!!

Having got a little bit ‘down’ after all the excitement and pleasure of being with the family at Christmas, I am now trying to cope as well as I can with normal life, my leg being still painful, so I decided that I was going to do all the things that I really enjoy this weekend. Yesterday, Saturday, having been to the chemist for more “pain patches’ I turned the central heating well up ( to heck with the gas bill) and sat in front of the T.V..practically all day!!! First of all I watched the ‘rolling news’ one of my main interests, then the cooking programme (for new ideas, calorie free of course!!!) and to get an international ‘view’on the world, “Dateline London. I spent the whole of the afternoon watching my favourite “sport’ horse racing, steeple chasing over the jumps. I do not gamble, in my youth I used to train race horses and just love to see them at their best, and follow my favourate riders, they are the very bravest of sportsmen.
In the evening, I watched two episodes of the “The Bridge. I have a weakness for these Scandinavian thrillers. Wales is not doing too badly either with the new T.V. crime thriller “Hinterland”, it seems to have captured that ‘bleak Scandinavian feeling’ even the music seems right. It is good to hear the local characters speaking Welsh ( English sub-titles ). Many of the cast live locally and their children go to school with my grandchildren, so it gives me an extra interest.
Today, Sunday, I am continuing to enjoy myself selfishly, I am reading “the Book Group’s choice the “Red House “by Mark Haddon. I am not going to say anything about it before the next meeting except try and get a copy if you can. During a break in my reading, I went out to my Yard/ Garden, I was very surprised to see two pots of yellow crocus in full bloom, previously I had seen a few shoots, I did not realize that the weather had been that mild. This certainly lifted my spirit, hooray!! Spring is not too far away!!!!!! I must sort out my seeds ready for planting next month. I was given a very good book about “Gardening in Pots” so I am looking forward to taking it’s advice and being more adventurous, growing several vegetables in the same large pot, e.g.peas in the centre with beetroot and lettuce surrounding them. Exciting, I will let you know.

Great night with the “Book Group” discussing Terry Pratchett’s Dodger

Having had a very enjoyable Christmas holiday which included having the family for Christmas lunch. I think that went well, the turkey was perfectly cooked and the ‘family stirred Christmas pudding’ duly set alight and consumed, we had a lovely day. I spent New Years Eve with a group of friends listening to music and arrived home at 4.45, happy!!!!
We are now into the New Year and have just had our first meeting of the Book Group. We had chosen “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett at the last meeting, we had had plenty of time to read it. A few years ago I ‘helped’ at a second hand books shop where the ‘fantasy’ books were placed in the shelves nearest the door so that the students could find them easily. I had watched the age group buying those by Terry Pratchett and decided that I was not in that group so avoided reading them until “Dodger” came up with the Group.
I wish that I could say that I had made the wrong decision but reading “Dodger” confirmed that I am certainly the wrong age to appreciate Terry Pratchett’s fantasy. The author had taken the main character for this book from Charles Dickens “Oliver Twist’, turning the ‘street wise’ young villain, “the Artful Dodger” into “Dodger” a Victorian hero. This story had “Dodger” involved with various famous and infamous characters of that age, Mr Dickens himself, Mr Disraeli, Sweeney Todd.and other famous people. After many heroic adventures, “Dodger” our hero, was knighted by Queen Victoria herself and ended up as a sort of Victorian Secret Service Agent.
I really did not like this book, I am quite surprised that the students enjoy it, to me it is a fairy story for children. I disliked it so much that during all his adventures, I perversely hoped that something would go drastically wrong, but no, like all good (or not so good) fairy stories everything always turned out perfectly!!!!!! I did appreciate the part of the story when the author describes lives harvesting the valuables that could be found in the sewers, coins and trinkets that are washed down the drains from the streets above.
Some of the Group liked the book others, not so much, but it did provide a very lively discussion in which every one including our new member had plenty to say. The host treated us to wonderful cakes and a warm welcome.
Our next book is “The Red House” by Mark Haddon.
I have read two books lately that I have enjoyed,”Stoner” by John Williams. A story about an American teacher and academic, sad and beautifully written, in contrast, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn a thriller,(I have a weakness for thrillers) this one keeps you thinking.