February

Saturday, 28 February 2015






I think we're getting there springwise, don't you? It certainly was a beautiful day yesterday allowing me to rush around with my camera taking pictures for February's sampler.

Number of books read from my reading list - 2 halves
I finished the second half of Housebound by Winifred Peck and found it to be about far more than housework. Well worth reading but if I'm honest I would have preferred it to have been all about housework.
I am now half way through Bird in the Tree the first of Elizabeth Goudge's trilogy The Eliots of Damerosehay which I am enjoying. I have cast Tom Hiddleston and Judi Dench as the main characters. Does anyone else do that? I expect I watch too much tv and have lost the ability to use my imagination.

Number of decent tv programmes watched  -2
Speaking of tv, Wolf Hall is still the best thing I have watched for a long time. I watched the first episode of Indian Summers which I quite liked but then found I couldn't be bothered to watch the second episode but I am enjoying Dr Janina Ramirez' programme about monasticism on BBC4 Saints and Sinners. I like a good history programme. Of all the current historians on tv she is the least irritating and doesn't talk about historical events in the present tense, at least not too much. Why do they do that? It drives me mad.

Number of special dates - 2
Tom celebrated his 18th birthday by going to the pub and Charlie and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by visiting this.

Number of sporting events enjoyed - 1
I am greatly enjoying the Rugby Six Nations as always. Such a good idea to have something like this to cheer up February.
I was hoping to be able to enjoy the cricket world cup too but as England are playing so badly I am not. But if you are from New Zealand feel free to enjoy it as much as possible.

Number of books donated to Oxfam -more than can be counted.


37 comments:

  1. On historians speaking in the present tense, DB says well done. It irritates the heck out of him as well!

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  2. Anonymous10:46 am GMT

    Have just watched Australia being defeated by NZ in what was an extremely exciting game!!! If you have seen this you will understand. I have retired at long last (age 70) and have happily spent the first four weeks reading. Bliss.
    Perhaps England and Aust might play off for the booby prize - *sigh*.
    Sheridan in Queensland.

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  3. I was really enjoying Wolf Hall, but haven't had time to see most of the episodes. Think today may be the day to catch up! I love all your pretty, sunny pictures that do indeed make me feel spring is well on the way!

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  4. I borrowed the Elizabeth Goudge as in your pic but found it a bit too wordy. It didn't help having all three in one fat book - very heavy!

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    1. I'm finding it a bit wordy too Sue.

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  5. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Houge is one of my favourite books, I might investigate the trilogy you mentioned. Spring os springing here too, lots of snowdrops and crocuses X

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  6. Oh the light in your photographs has brought cheer here. It's that special, pre-Spring, getting ever stronger light. I especially love the image of the teatowel x

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  7. I love Elizabeth Goudge and reread her trilogy frequently. You have cast it well. And yes, I frequently cast books as I read them.

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  8. So much bright colour in a winter's month mosaic!
    I've just read two Persephone books from the library : The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher and The New House by Lettice Cooper. Loved both, especially the last one which takes place in one day. Your comment about casting characters made me laugh. I don't think I've done that though I do like reading a book before seeing it on film, because I want to imagine how people look in my head and not see an actor..

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  9. Anonymous3:19 pm GMT

    I really like Dr Janina Ramirez and will readily watch any programme that she presents. She always has a genuine interest and enthusiasm for her subject, from castles to cathedrals or people. I am enjoying the monastery programme too. I am always interested to hear what monks have to say and unfortunately we don't hear enough. The little snippets we do hear make me avid for more. I always get the feeling that they know something we don't. I avoid anything with Lucy Worsley as I cannot get on with her at all. She seems to make an awful lot of programmes though.

    Elizabeth Goudge is a lovely writer, I have a wonderful trilogy of hers which I got in the 10p book box at The Salvation Army shop. It lacked its cover and I daresay didn't look very interesting. I really enjoy her books but I have not read very many.

    Wolf Hall has annoyed me from the start with it's historical inaccuracies, while I have loved the sumptuousness of costume and scenery (with candle lighting, very expensive I believe) and historical houses, I ebb and flow with the acting and story-lines. I thoroughly enjoyed the first three episodes, thought the 4th was pretty good stuff and then didn't like the last two episodes at all. I don't like the characterisation of Cromwell which lacks depth and largely lets him off the hook considering just what a horrible and unpleasant person he actually was. All the nasty lines were given to Anne Boleyn and her character had no underlying strength and depth, she was just whinny, unpleasant and bitchy, with an undercurrent of no wonder her husband couldn't stand her thrown in. In reality she was so much more than that. That is just my opinion. My friend who studied history doesn't really agree with me and finds Anne Boleyn quite sensitively done.

    Cromwell did some truly terrible things, yet they are either glossed over, denied or done with a 'it hurts me more than it hurts you' attitude. Poor old Cromwell having to chop of people's heads. I came full circle with Mark Ryland, really liked him at first, but no longer appreciate his nothing behind the eyes acting. Of course it is fictional and you have free reign to fill in the gaps we don't know, it's the distortion of the well known that I find annoying. I fear that Mantel's version of history is going to be one that is remembered. I saw a programme with about 4 or 5 historians talking about Henry, Cromwell and Anne, and there was little they agreed on, with the novelists, Mantel and Philippa Gregory having some very odd ideas indeed which were in the main hotly disputed by the historians. It was very interesting.

    In Wolf Hall there was certainly more than a hint that Anne was guilty of some of those trumpeted up charges (or that Cromwell thought she was), when they were largely invented by jealous and power hungry people for their own ends and although some historians think perhaps there is no smoke without fire, she is generally believed to have been sinned against rather than just being the unpleasant sinner we saw portrayed here. I watched the last episode feeling particularly rather cross. I am reading the book, to see how much the interpretation is Hilary Mantel's. So far it's pretty accurate.

    Indian Summer is a bit soapy but it looks very sumptuous and I did quite enjoy the two episodes I have seen. There is something very modern about its interpretation though and lots of hindsight I think.

    Sometimes I do cast the characters I read about in my books, but not often.
    Faye

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    1. Just found your comment in my spam box Faye -why it was there I have no idea, a comment from my mum was also in there if that's any consolation. Thanks though for taking the time to write.

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  10. You have had a busy month. As always, you photographs are so lovely. A feast for the eyes.

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  11. Such cheerful colourful pictures, and what a lovely month you have had! I like the idea of casting actors in books, though I think I would always pick the same few people (judi drench being one of them!)

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  12. Obviously I mean judi dench - autocorrect being over helpful!

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  13. Washing on the line. My heart is singing! Ax

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  14. Your sampler proves that February isn't all dun coloured! Gorgeous.

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  15. Lovely photos, especially the sunny light ones. We have snow / sleet / heavy rain and wind here, at least spring is almost here :)

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  16. Quite agree on Wolf Hall, it was riveting and Mark Rylance just brilliant. Indian Summers had such promise but was a bit of a let down. Jane x

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  17. I missed an episode of WH so that threw me. But I lost the story as I couldn’t take my eyes of Mark Rylance’s eyebrows.

    I am with you on the present tense thing. What is the point of having past tense if we don’t use it. Rant over.

    I am enjoying the rugby, too. But wish Scotland could just win one game. Sigh!

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  18. I just love your laundry photo. I'm also in awe of your ability to cull your cook book collection. I, too, have 100s of cookbooks, many of which were wonderful recommendations from you. I just don't have the heart to get rid of them.

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    1. Now that's a bit embarrassing Deb. Please be assured that I got rid of books because I didn't need them and not because they were bad cookbooks. Any recommendation I've made here is certainly genuine.

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  19. I, too, love a good history program. Can't wait till Saints and Sinners comes our way. And I do find lots of the presenters irritating. Not for talking in the present tense, but for making the program more about themselves than about their subject.

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  20. thanks for the reminder about the Damerosehay books. I will dust off my Elizabeth Goudge books today and re read them. The cricket yesterday between NZ and Aus was very very exciting and noisy in our house with so many ups and downs. You could be a kiwi for the duration of the world up! We could always do with a few more. Supporting Afghanistan is also a good idea. Their first win this week was thrilling. IAND it was played in my city and for once the sun was shining! I have tried to post this 2x already but something goes awry, so fingers crossed i don't end up with 3 posts here. ugh

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  21. Yes, I definitely felt a breath of spring on Friday. I hope Tom had a brilliant birthday and that you had a good anniversary trip. CJ xx

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  22. Anonymous3:05 am GMT

    I'm aching to see Spring flowers. I've been staring at snow for months, Mid-Atlantic on the other side of the pond. We've weeks to go before we see flowers, so I do appreciate your sharing yours. And rhubarb, sigh. I do enjoy hearing about your tv programs, as they eventually wind up here. I listened to Wolf Hall on tape and absolutely fell in love with the man who read it. I must admit to getting a bit lost in all the historical details, since I'm not all that familiar with these people, well, other than in the most superficial way. Looking forward to seeing what I heard. So glad you mentioned the issue of speaking of historical events in the present tense, because it really irritates me, too. Continuing to enjoy hearing your opinions of books you're reading. I have bought some you recommended because I trust your tastes. Congrats on a long marriage and birthday milestones. Both are an accomplishment which no one much thinks to credit a mother and wife for, but I think you can take quiet pride in doing both well.

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  23. Hey Sue,
    I watched the first part of 'Suffragetes Forever!' this week and found it very enjoyable. I like Amanda Vickey, she's quite sassy. It's worth checking out if you like a history documentary.
    Leanne xx

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  24. Six Nation weekends are quite cheering - so much so that I find the "off" weekends a bit of a struggle.

    You were very brave having a February wedding, or were you already looking forward to cheering up future Februarys with anniversary celebrations!

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  25. Happy Anniversary Sue! Looks like a lovely spot to celebrate. I'm unimpressed by the behaviour of our lads in the cricket, they need to pull their heads in and their socks up! Spring is looking lovely in your part of the world :-)

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  26. I adore Wolf Hall. It is a pretty amazing historical drama. The "Saints and Sinners" show is right up my alley too. I love how she visited those monasteries out on the islands. I wonder if anyone can go there??
    www.queenbcreativeme.blogspot.com

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  27. Gorgeous pictures, as usual. February has seemed very sunny for me and I hope that March will be similar.

    Thank you for the recommendation of history programme, I don't have TV so am unaware of a lot of what goes on, so I will watch it online.

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  28. I am with you on Indian Summers. The episodes are queuing up to be watched. I doubt they will be. Ditto, the use of the historic present. I have had my rant about this on In Our Time. I can't watch Mark Rylance without going into a deep coma. Lovely mosaic. The birds are singing this morning and double figures are promised by the end of the week although we have to get past a Polar blast first.

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  29. Anonymous4:19 pm GMT

    Uffington Whit Horse Hill is one of my favourite places. If you hav'n't , read Rosemary Sutclif's book Sun Horse Moon horse. Goodness how twenty years have flown by. Love photos. ME.

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  30. Congratulations on wedding anniversary. And belated happy birthday to Tom.

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  31. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary! Such gorgeous sunny photos, love that bright blue sky through the tree branches. Yes, It really does feel quite Spring like now - yay! x

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  32. Hi - I enjoyed Wolf Hall too. Wonderful lighting, those interior scenes looking like oil paintings with the pools of candlelight. I hadn't noticed that business with history programmes, of referring to events in the present tense. My pet peeve with historical (and other) TV presenters is the way they'll look to the side of the screen, as if they're in conversation with someone unseen. I want to yell 'Hey! I'm the viewer, look at me. It's me you're talking to.'
    Best wishes
    Valerie

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  33. Nice to see your washing out there - I might gamble and hang mine out today. I've really enjoyed 'Saints and Sinners' and found Dr Janina very compelling about her subject, though I did keep worrying about her catching cold or breaking her ankle as she strode around windy abbey ruins in those high boots and that lace topped dress!

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