Sunday, 13 September 2015

Summing up Sunday 13th September

What we've been up to:

  • A and E went on a hunt for more materials to weave into baskets from the hedgerows, after a lovely visit from E's 'good-father' and his wife. Both very successful, although A's basket is not quite finished...

  • A, E and supporter E went to Cadbury Garden Centre to look at fish for supporter E's new fish tank! Difficult decisions, but a radical rethink from cold to tropical fish! Back to the drawing board with new heater and filter. Had a quick look round the bunnies and squeaky-pigs, but the craft section has gone! Very disappointing.
  • Book Club discussing the Man Booker long list! Each person read one book and here are some choice comments.

The Chimes (JT): wonderfully enjoyable read, but possibly annoying if you don't have a background knowledge of musical terminology. Maybe not for the shortlist, as it reads a little like a young adult novel. Recommend to E and A particularly.
A Moor's Account (JC): retold story from a Moroccan slave character's point of view, reminded of 'Testament of Mary' from two years previous shortlist. Pretty good.
A Spool of Blue Thread (ET): regretting having never read Anne Tyler before! Beautifully formed novel, felt in very safe hands from the start. The kind of book where it isn't groundbreaking or dramatic, just an average family life, but you end up reading slowly - not wanting to read the end.
Satin Island (AJ): rather like the cover, this book was less interesting than watching paint dry. Didn't like the characters, plot or anything at all.
Sleeping on Jupiter (DW): set over a very short period of time (almost finished reading!) digging deep into the disparate protagonists. 
The Fishermen (CG): brilliant read, and a debut from a Nigerian author. It should make the short list! 
A Brief History of Seven Killings (ET... well, the first 50 pages): Not brief enough (700+ page book)
A Little Life (CG): found this a slog and too many characters to keep track of...
Did You Ever Have a Family (): 
The Green Road (AC): 
The Illuminations (AB): a good read, though not groundbreaking. The two interwoven stories came together slightly clunkily, and one story was more compelling than the other; maybe the extreme contrast improved it though. A not very believable ending soured the climax.
Lila (RA): hadn't read the two others in the trilogy, although it seemed okay to stand alone; Marianne Robinson is probably more established in the US? Stream of consciousness writing, would rather have had points to stop because you can't say 'I'll stop when I finish the chapter!' But a great read and should make the shortlist! 
The Year of the Runaways (CN): enjoyed, though not finished yet. Sometimes don't want to hear so much about suffering, seemed to be a very 'worthy' book. Seems similar to 'Five Star Billionaire' on the long list two years previously.

  • Not one, but two weddings! (or three if you count T and H at another in another part of the country). J and A to cousin J's wedding to T (very relaxed, family affair at a registry office), and E with two supporters (thank you J and M!) to an old school friend's. Very contrasting - church wedding, lovely tipis for the reception (though they didn't go), beautiful decorations, wedding car, amazing dress, the works! Moving ceremony and very grateful to be invited, and able to go.

  • The Winscombe Michaelmas Fair! For the first time in a long while, A wasn't there organising on the day! Quite nice to have a break, although she still missed it a bit. E entered photos, flowers and some craft things - and a good haul of certificates back, although disappointed at the photo compilations not being ranked. Still: two firsts, four seconds, one third and one highly commended. Just a shame about the photos.
(Winning collage of the sheep - a bday present for Alison, and each sheep is made from her own wool!)

(Losing photos on the theme of texture)

  • J stayed overnight in Devon after the wedding, and now A has left for a shibori dyeing course at West Dean until Thursday! Should be good fun.
  • 5/15 on Guardian Quiz. Did you know that Princess Anne was the first senior royal to commit a criminal offence? She had dangerous dogs. (We didn't).
Happy Sunday! If you're reading, give us a comment :)

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