Monthly Archives: October 2008

October Books 23) Edmund Spenser

23) Edmund Spenser, by Rosemary Freeman This is a very slim pamphlet of thirty pages, published around 1960 as part of a series on “Writers and Their Works” for the British Council and the National Book League. I realised a … Continue reading

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Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you’re in a non-same-sex marriage, and you don’t want it “protected” by those who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

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October Books 22) The Moving Toyshop

22) The Moving Toyshop, by Edmund Crispin Got this off Bookmooch, after reading ‘s review (in which she explores its literary antecedence of Doctor Who), and greatly enjoyed it. It is a murder mystery set in Oxford in 1938, solved … Continue reading

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More top tips for job hunters

Dear job hunter, Thanks for dropping in with your CV earlier. I have a couple of suggestions as to how you might improve it: in particular, it may not be a great idea to list “women” as one of your … Continue reading

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Small world

Professor Christine Bell of the University of Ulster is an old friend of mine. I knew her first when she was a clarinettist, and I played percussion, in the Belfast Youth Orchestra as teenagers; then we more or less overlapped … Continue reading

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New Who?

We went to bed early last night, and incredibly were not awakened by the collective sound of fandom exploding after the news broke. Well, I’m not surprised that Tennant is leaving. He will have played the part for longer than … Continue reading

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October Books 21) King John

21) The Life and Death of King John, by William Shakespeare I confess I knew nothing at all about this play before last week. It’s a somewhat weird meditation on the political process. There is a sort-of viewpoint character, “The … Continue reading

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Confucius descendant dies

Kung Te-Cheng, a 77th-generation descendant of the philosopher Confucius, died recently at the age of 88. Confucius lived 2500 years ago, so that allows an average of 32.5 years per generation, which I guess is reasonable if you are talking … Continue reading

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October Books 20) Sunrise Alley

20) Sunrise Alley This book was on my mind anyway, but popped up on my reading list the other day. Didn’t take long to read (300 pages, many of them blank, large print); not as awful as some of the … Continue reading

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Big Finish once more

I’m way out of date with my Big Finish updates. I had listened to a couple of dozen before the summer, but never got around to writing them up, and then they got displaced on my commute by the novelisations. … Continue reading

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October Books 19) A Midsummer Night’s Dream

19) A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare Of Shakespeare’s really famous plays, this is probably the one I knew least well before starting this project. It is brilliant. Somehow it all comes together, in terms of plot and language. … Continue reading

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LJ Maps

It’s an old ‘un but a good ‘un: I’m trying to get all my Livejournal friends’ locations plotted on a map – please add your location starting with this form.Username:(Then get your friends to!)

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“Let me fly into your airspace”

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October Books 18) Winner Takes All

18) Winner Takes All, by Jacqueline Rayner A Ninth Doctor novel, set in the Powell Estate and featuring one set of aliens using computer games to recruit humans to fight their war against another set of aliens. The Sarah Jane … Continue reading

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October Books 17) Jean Sibelius

17) Jean Sibelius, by Guy Rickards I was in the Hague for work yesterday, but happened to pick up this biography of my favourite composer during my lunch break (at Van Stockum, for those who know it); a handsomely illustrated … Continue reading

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October Books 16) Astra and Flondrix

16) Astra and Flondrix, by Seamus Cullen A rather bizarre and somewhat distasteful fantasy novel: Elvish genitals come in pairs, while Dwarves have a more complex spiral arrangement (on which the male Dwarves spring across the countryside). I read to … Continue reading

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October Books 15) The Duke and I

15) The Duke and I, by Julia Quinn Gosh, two books cast aside in one day! This was one of the freebie e-books I got with my Palm T|X years ago (in fact I have read all the others, and … Continue reading

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October Books 14) Richard II

14) Richard II, by William Shakespeare After a run of comedies and tragedies, we’re back with the history plays (though this one was in fact explicitly billed on first publication as The tragedie of King Richard the second). The plot … Continue reading

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October Books 13) The Sword of Shannara

13) The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks Got this as one of the few remaining books on this list, and gave up after page 100. It’s basically a Tolkien knock-off, with nothing much original or interesting that I could … Continue reading

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2008 Films 5) Time Flies

5) Time Flies (1944) I acquired this as part of one of my current Speshul Prodgekts; also because my father occasionally reminisced about seeing it as a teenager when it first came out. It is a very early example of … Continue reading

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Pete Fenelon, aka blue_condition

I’m desperately sorry to hear that Pete Fenelon, who the discerning livejournal reader will have known as , died a few days ago. I can’t say I knew him well, but I enjoyed our interactions immensely; we first made contact … Continue reading

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Primary source material leading towards a biography

This is an account of the death of Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, of dysentery while serving as Earl Marshal of Ireland in 1576, written a few days after the event and sent to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, who was … Continue reading

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October Books 12) Vanity Fair

12) Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero, by William Makepeace Thackeray I really enjoyed this. It’s essentially the story of Becky and Amelia, two girls of English high society of the Regency and reign of George IV, and what … Continue reading

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Comment spam

It’s happening again – spam comments from sock-puppet accounts to various old entries. Anyone else getting it? (Apart from those whose comments are being replied to.) I’m just deleting the messages and tagging them as spam. I wondered if last … Continue reading

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The Presidential ballot

I’ve seen a couple of other people post on how and why they are voting in the Lib Dems’ presidential election (including one rather amusing locked entry about why the whole lot is going into the recycling bin). I decided … Continue reading

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October Books 11) Doctor Who and the City of Death

11) Doctor Who and the City of Death, by David Lawrence When I was reading through the Doctor Who novelisations over the spring and summer, I bemoaned the fact that all were available, in print or electronically, apart from the … Continue reading

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October Books 10) All-Consuming Fire

10) All-Consuming Fire, by Andy Lane I enjoyed this tremendously. The Doctor, Ace, and Bernice Summerfield, in nineteenth-century London, get mixed up with Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson; and all five of them are then confronted with an invasion of … Continue reading

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October Books 9) The English

9) The English: A Portrait of a People, by Jeremy Paxman As you would hope from the author, this is a witty, erudite, but very readable book about the English. Anyone who has contact with English people on a regular … Continue reading

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Things I didn’t know existed but am glad to have found out about, #103

The 1991 EUROBATS Agreement. It is such a cool name for an international treaty. It would be a great question for a quiz – “What is the subject of the 1991 EUROBATS agreement, to which 30 European states have signed … Continue reading

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Memo to job applicants

Don’t lie on your CV. Really. I’m hiring for interns again. One of the candidates who I was about to shortlist had put as their most recent employment that they had worked for a friend of mine. I checked out … Continue reading

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