Orange and Pink: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

You have to look hard in a few of these, but they definitely all DO have Orange and Pink.

Thanks again to Cee Neuner for the Fun Foto Challenge!

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Redwood City, California: January 2019

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London: 3 December 2018

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Heffers, Trinity Street, Cambridge: 23 November 2018

Can you tell how much self loves Philip Pullman? She read all the books on this table in the first few months of 2018. She knew that when she got to Oxford, she would look for as many Philip Pullman-related sites as she could.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge: BLUE AND YELLOW

This week, Cee Neuner’s Fun Foto Challenge is BLUE AND YELLOW.

As it’s a grey and chilly morning where self is, the Blue and Yellow will come from her archives.

Here’s a picture she took in Heathrow, December 2018. Somewhat blue and yellow:

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The Oceania Exhibit at the Royal Academy of Art in London. The yellow is in the gilt frames on the wall.

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Finally, sign on a sidewalk in front of Blackwell’s bookstore in Cambridge, England. Blue and Yellow, upper right-hand corner:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Books for 2019 (After the 2018 Cambridge Literary Festival)

During the 2018 Cambridge Literary Festival, writers spoke and gave readings and fired up self’s imagination. Though the list below is heavy on British authors, their books are no doubt available here (in the U.S.)

  • Flights and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
  • Holding and A Keeper, by Graham Norton
  • Building and Dwelling, by Richard Sennett
  • In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin, by Lindsey Hilsum
  • The Stopping Places, by Damian LeBas
  • What a Carve Up! and The Rotters Club, by Jonathan Coe
  • Hello World: How To Be Human in the Age of the Machine, by Hannah Fry
  • The Merchant of Syria, by Diana Darke
  • Seven Types of Atheism, by John Gray
  • The Bastard of Istanbul, by Elif Shafak
  • We That Are Young, by Preti Taneja
  • Let Us Sing Anyway, by Leone Ross
  • Take Nothing With You, by Patrick Gale
  • On This Day in History, by Dan Snow
  • All Along the Barley, by Melissa Harrison
  • The Light in the Dark, by Horatio Clare
  • The Essex Serpent and Melmoth, by Sarah Perry
  • Ghost Wall, by Sarah Moss

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: COLD While Traveling

It seems apt, the theme of this week’s Fun Foto Challenge from Cee Neuner: COLD.

Self is in northern England. In Durham. It took self three hours by train from London, via Peterborough.

Her train pulled into Durham just after dark. She saw a large cathedral. She realized this must be her stop.

Since she hasn’t begun exploration of Durham yet (it’s a very bleak morning), the pictures she’s posting are from her previous stop, Cambridge.

Cambridge felt arctic.

This was Bridge Street when self left St. John’s Chapel after the Advent Choral Service:

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Bridge Street, Cambridge: Sunday, 25 November 2018

And note the bundled up tour guide. Self was on a Cambridge Highlights Walking Tour. We stopped in front of the most fabulous clock.

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Corpus Clock, Cambridge: Friday, 23 November 2018

And, finally, Blackfriars Station in London. The previous night, self stayed in a hotel on Fleet Street so she could attend the Journalists’ Service at St. Bride’s.

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Blackfriars Train Station, London: Thanksgiving, 22 November 2018

Thanks as usual to Cee Neuner for the fabulous prompt.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Angst in Dead Letters and Missing, Presumed

These two books are mysteries. And each has a ton of angst.

Actually, there’s angst as well in Tana French. But French’s angst doesn’t approach the level of angst in either Dead Letters or Missing, Presumed.

Of the two, self much prefers the hysterical, over-the-top angst in Dead Letters. In fact, now that she knows how Dead Letters end, she’s started re-reading, and it is simply delicious: Nadine, the matriarch, pitches wine glasses at her daughter’s head, the same  daughter who has just returned from Paris, leaving behind graduate studies and a nice French boyfriend, all for the sake of grieving for her twin sister, who stole her boyfriend.

In Missing, Presumed, the angst is due to the main character’s being almost 40 and suffering from a bad case of FOMO. The first half of the book gives almost as much attention to her blind dates as to the missing person case itself. Pardon self if she much prefers the angst in Dead Letters. At least, in Dead Letters, the angst is due to having a horrible, living mother and recently deceased sister (burned to a crisp in a raging barn fire — how can this not be the most delicious of set-ups?)

In Missing, Presumed, there is one really bad guy, and it’s not the perp. It’s that horrible, no-good systems analyst from Ely who hooks up with the main character and softens her up by leaving her eye drops (delivering them in person to the police station!) because she’s developed a raging case of conjunctivitis, which — take her word for it — looks horrible during televised press conferences

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

A Walk: Suggested by Missing, Presumed

A typical boy’s walk in Cambridge:

“. . . along Mill Lane to the news agent where he can buy pick-and-mix; to sit on the swings in Sumatra Road; to Fortune Green where friends from his school congregate in the park and scale the wire fence into the play centre. He is about to turn twelve, is well over five foot, and now walks to school alone.”

Sentence of the Day: Missing, Presumed

  • The more you don’t make contact, the more impossible contact becomes, as if silence can enlarge like a seep of blood.

The writing in Missing, Presumed got stronger, the voice more confident, after about the halfway mark.

Today, self was in Heffers and found yet more books she wishes she could have purchased. But — no, it’s too much. She’s hauling luggage to Durham next.

She had to content herself with taking pictures.

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Heffers, Trinity Street, Cambridge: Friday, 23 November 2018

When, oh when, is The Secret Commonwealth, Book 2 of the Book of Dust, coming out? Philip Pullman keeping very mum.

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Waterstones, Sidney Street, Cambridge: Friday, 23 November 2018

Can you imagine, Emily Wilson, whose translation of The Odyssey self bought in hardcover from Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino, earlier this year, is reading tonight in Cambridge?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Manon Bradshaw, Growing On You

Missing, Presumed starts out like some bad comedy.

Detective Manon Bradshaw, based in Cambridgeshire (Somewhere, maybe Huntingdon) goes on a blind date, engages in anonymous bad sex.

She will have two more dates.

In the meantime, a missing persons case unfolds purely by-the-book.

The point, self thinks, is not the case, but the characters around the police station. Characters like the lovely 26-year-old man with jug ears, Davey. Or their fierce, completely work-obsessed boss, Harriet. Envy is aroused by a workmate who has a brand new iPad. And so forth.

You want to know how Secret Santa is played by police in Cambridgeshire? Head to Missing, Presumed for answers!

Out of sheer luck (or author feeling generous with readers), Manon Bradshaw gets AN ADMIRER! Who is a systems engineer! Wears trainers but so what, he has “elegant hands”!

They have the same taste in movies, end up watching My Life As a Dog together. They spend the entire time snogging (Bradshaw is 39, the engineer 42. Self doesn’t know if these two spending an entire movie snogging is delightful or EEEUUUW)

After, they have coffee.

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He loops his maroon scarf over the back of the chair, saying, “I loved the stuff about the dog sent into orbit by the Russians. Think of him and nothing is that bad in comparison.”

Oh, she thinks, you were concentrating.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monochromatic 3: Costume Designer’s Sketch, Book Cover, a Weathervane in Cambridge, UK

Loved the delicacy of this page, depicting an iconic character:

Katniss, page from Costume Designer's Sketch Book for The Hunger Games

Katniss, page from Costume Designer’s Sketch Book for The Hunger Games

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Self purchased Lucifer Princeps at the Atlantis Bookstore in London’s Museum Way. The bookstore specializes in all manner of things related to the occult. Since self is writing a novel about an 18th century Spanish priest who is sent to the Philippines specifically to battle demons, she thought the book might come in handy.

Lucifer Princeps: Book Detail

Lucifer Princeps: Book Detail

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Self took the picture below while she was on a Jack-the-Ripper tour of Whitechapel and environs!

Cricket Player Weathervane, on top of a building on Whitechapel Road, near E. Aldgate, London

Cricket Player Weathervane, on top of a building in Cambridge, UK (Revised the location — I originally posted as a building in Whitechapel, London. Good thing I double-checked)

Other Monochromatic Takes:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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