Monthly Archives: May 2022

May books

Non-fiction 16 (YTD 45)Carnival of Monsters, by Ian PotterThursday’s Child, by Maralyn RittenourPigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd, by Mark BlakeQueens of the Crusades, by Alison WeirA Norman Legacy, by Sally Harpur O’DowdTower, by Nigel JonesThe Pilgrimage … Continue reading

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August 2016 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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The Hear Here exhibition in Leuven

There’s an exhibition on in Leuven at present featuring fifteen works involving sound in one way or another, in different historic locations around the city. F and I did it in two hours this afternoon; it is only on until … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentThe Monk, by Matthew Lewis (a chapter a week) Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card CBT Workbook, by Stephanie Fitzgerald A Modern Utopia, by H. G. Wells Last books finishedA Master of Djinn, by P. Djélì ClarkTerrorism In Asymmetric Conflict: … Continue reading

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Stardust: film and novel

Stardust won the 2008 Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, beating the first season of Heroes, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Enchanted and The Golden Compass. It was way ahead at nominations stage and while it … Continue reading

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Tower, by Nigel Jones

Second paragraph of third chapter: Blatantly ignoring the sacred rule of holy sanctuary, Henry [II] had Hubert [de Burgh] dragged from a chapel in Brentwood, Essex, where he had taken refuge. The fallen nobleman was placed on a ‘miserable jade’ … Continue reading

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A Norman Legacy, by Sally Harpur O’Dowd

Second paragraph of third chapter: There is a record of King John of England staying with Balthazar [Whyte] at Ballymorran Castle, one of the homes of the Whyte family, in July 1210 on his second expedition to Ireland. Sally is … Continue reading

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The Sun is Open (and Type Face), by Gail McConnell

Third page: I like to track the winners of the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize because of my own past association with it, and was really interested to see that earlier this month it went to a book of poetry, The … Continue reading

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July 2016 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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Queens of the Crusades, by Alison Weir

Second paragraph of third chapter: His [Henry II’s] father, Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, was a vassal of the King of France and had been nicknamed ‘Plantagenet’ after the sprig of broom — Planta genista — that he wore in his … Continue reading

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The Eighth of March 2: Protectors of Time

A set of three plays from Big Finish all starring women from the Whoniverse – in fact, all bringing women characters together from the TV shows who did not meet on screen, or only met once – produced for International … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentThe Monk, by Matthew Lewis (a chapter a week)Flicker, by Theodore RoszakDemons and Dreams: Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror v. 1, eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri WindlingA Master of Djinn, by P. Djélì Clark Last books finishedI am the Master, … Continue reading

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The brief cinematic career of Sally Seaver (1928-1963)

In my genealogical researches, the only relative on my father’s side to have made even a minimal impact in the entertainment industry who I’ve found is Sally Seaver, my third cousin, the second oldest of the great-great-grandchildren of William Charlton … Continue reading

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Unofficial Doctor Who Annual 1987, ed. Mark Worgan

Second paragraph of third section (“Rogues: The Battling Time Lords”, by Rob Levy): While planning Season 8, producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks decided to give Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor his own proper archenemy. Using the Sherlock Holmes/Professor … Continue reading

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Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd, by Mark Blake

Second paragraph of third chapter: The year of 1966 would be a causal one for rock music and popular culture as a whole. The Beatles released Revolver – an album filled with exotic sounds that reflected the group’s LSD experiences … Continue reading

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June 2016 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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My TV appearances this month (so far)

BBC Northern Ireland elections special, part 1: BBC elections special, part 2: Second bite: I was in the radio studio for Part 3. Here’s Part 4: And more: And Part 5 the next morning: And finally: And more: Al-Jazeera on … Continue reading

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Thursday’s Child: One Woman’s Journey to Seven Continents, by Maralyn Rittenour

Second paragraph of third chapter: When he married Hilda, she wanted everything for her two sons, and she exerted her all-powerful influence to detach my father from his family and his regimental friends, starting with his only child. She believed, … Continue reading

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Carnival of Monsters, by Ian Potter (and Robert Holmes, and Terrance Dicks)

Next in the series of Black Archive monographs on Doctor Who is the second story from Season 10, where the Doctor has been liberated by the Time Lords from his exile on Earth and is once again able to travel … Continue reading

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The Goddess Nehalennia

The goddess Nehalennia was worshipped in ancient Roman times by the people of the Schelde delta; what is now Zeeland in the Netherlands. She is always depicted with a basket of fruit and/or loaves, and a dog. Nobody knows why. … Continue reading

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Saturday reading (late)

CurrentThe Monk, by Matthew Lewis (a chapter a week)I am the Master, by Peter Anghelides et alFlicker, by Theodore RoszakThe Island of Missing Trees, by Elif Shafak Last books finishedQueens of the Crusades, by Alison WeirThe Galaxy, and the Ground … Continue reading

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The Northern Ireland Protocol: or, Now Look What You Made Me Do

It’s been a while since I have written at length about Brexit, but the most recent developments have driven me to put some electrons together on the topic. By way of introduction, I participated in a televised manel discussion on … Continue reading

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The Limbless Landlord, by Brian Igoe

Second paragraph of third chapter: Thence they had a long (over 200 miles) journey by road to Chalon-sur-Saône, whence they took a steamer down the River Rhone to Avignon, which should have been much more comfortable. The swift flowing Rhone … Continue reading

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May 2016 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and … Continue reading

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Full Circle, by John Toon (and Andrew Smith)

Gradually working through the excellent Black Archive series of short monographs on Doctor Who stories, I have reached another Old Who story which I watched on first broadcast. When I rewatched Full Circle in 2008, I wrote: Imagine if you … Continue reading

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Stucwerk, Hechtwerk van het Kasteel te Boxmeer, by W.V.J. Freling

Second paragraph of third chapter: Toch zijn er in het 18e eeuwse deel van na de verbouwing van 1782-1784 nog sporen van een eerdere verschijningsvorm te vinden. De vleugel waar de ridderzaal nog aanwezig is, stamt uit het begin van … Continue reading

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Best Novella Hugo, 2022

As with Best Short Story and Best Novelette, I’m not going to record my own preferences, just the fact that I’ve read this category. I will say that I thought these were all really good, and whoever it was that … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland Assembly: final results #AE22

SF 250388 29.0% +1.1% 27 ±0 DUP 184002 21.3% -6.7% 25 -3 Alliance 116681 13.5% +4.5% 17 +9 UUP 96390 11.2% -1.7% 9 -1 SDLP 78237 9.1% -2.9% 8 -4 TUV 65788 7.6% +5.1% 1 ±0 Green 16433 1.9% -0.4% … Continue reading

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Saturday reading

CurrentThe Monk, by Matthew Lewis (a chapter a week)Tower, by Nigel JonesQueens of the Crusades, by Alison WeirI am the Master, by Peter Anghelides et al Last books finishedCarnival of Monsters, by Ian PotterThursday’s Child, by Maralyn RittenourPigs Might Fly: … Continue reading

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The world in 2022

Back at the start of the year a number of people were citing an article by W.L. George published in the New York Herald in 1922, predicting what life would be like in the year 2022. Today is exactly the … Continue reading

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