Near and Far

Now that the data cable has arrived, A2 has been trying out the £2 camera’s 1 cm macro
and 26x zoom on a mistifying morning.

It’s not bad for £2 + £4 cable and various bits of salvage (luckily A1 found some unused metal hydride batteries and charger lying around so we have everything we need now). Thank you Salvation Army.
A2 is rereading Sovereign by CJ Sansom.

Carrot Cake

Something everybody could eat, unlike A2’s kedgeree for which the vegetarian and fish-refuser had to have substitutes of cauliflower cheese.
We did this week’s and last week’s GSQs and scored 11.5 on one and 8.5 on t’other, keeping our average a bit over 10.
A1 is rereading Mr Mercedes by Stephen King. A2 is reading Reykjavik* by Ragnar Jonasson and Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, which is more like an Agatha Christie, to whom this book is dedicated, than Ragnar’s usual helping of doom and gloom. Not bad though.


Props to A1 for fixing the broken battery latch on our £2 camera with 2 mending plates and a tripod screw. Now all we need is a data cable and to come to terms with the fact that the batteries are already exhausted. £2 becomes £20.
A1 is reading Longstone by LJ Ross. These three crime novels — 8, 9 and 10 in a series — were all readable, but otherwise unremarkable. Good on atmospheric and interesting locations (Northumberland and environs) but unconvincing on characterisation and plot.
A2 tried The Last House on Needless Street* by Catriona Ward but couldn’t get into it and is now reading Outside* by Ragnar Jonasson; four friends with secrets and scores to settle trapped in a mountain hut in a blizzard.

Autumn Crocus

Hello October
September featured the hottest day this year and was the second warmest month of the year. Sunshine was about average and next better than last September and rain was on the high side but next lower than September last year. All to see on our weather and solar panel records.
We were still suffering from the aftereffects of our vaccinations so no family meal or quiz today.
A1 is reading The Body under the Bridge by Nick Louth, which started off OK (uninspiring if competently written), but quickly descended into ludicrousness and implausibility.
A2 is reading The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith; a lone female infiltrates a cult run by a charismatic couple on a remote fortified farm (yes, it’s the same picture as Wolf Pack* but on a much bigger canvas).

One Love, Two Jabs

A1 and A2 went for our latest covid boosters and received an unexpected flu jab in the other arm as well. Scott Hall Road looked unappealing in the drizzle, but murals are also a feature of our perigrinations to the health centre so here is a work in progress celebrating the carnival (which we missed this time round — thanks to covid).
On our way home we went to the traditional Salvation Army charity shop and bought 6 books, 2 pie tins, a bag of ribbons and a camera which works perfectly except the battery compartment doesn’t shut.

Gourds Help Us

Some seasonal vegetables.
A1 is reading The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith which hit the shops today and was sold out in Waterstones by early afternoon. A2 bought the last copy in Smiths. A1 enjoyed this well-plotted and involving novel immensely, but has been struck by the distressing tendency of some reviewers — perhaps with LBGTQ/trans/fat-shaming axes to grind — to attribute opinions expressed by characters in RG’s books to their author. Who is, of course, JK Rowling. Other criticisms are perhaps more apposite: too long, too much phonetic transcription of speech. Though neither bothered A1 at all.
A2 is reading Black Thorn* by Sarah Hilary: death stalks a jerry-built new housing estate.

Chinese Banquet

Just a selection of our early celebration of the Mid-autumn Moon Festival today. In addition to the fried rice, tea eggs, nuts, har kow and fish balls shown, we also had chow mein, siu mai, jiaozi, rainbow chicken, gins in tins and beer in a bottle and still only scored 9.5 on the GSQ.
A2 is reading The Detective by Ajay Chowdhury (thx A1). At last the protagonist of The Waiter and The Cook has joined the Metropolitan Police and has four murders of tech entrepreneurs to solve while his erstwhile co-worker in the restaurant is investigating century-old skeletons and has found an unexpected descendant.

Sitting on the Fence

One of many Red Admirals that, along with flocks of bees and hoverflies, were enjoying the flowers on the ivy this afternoon. Stand next to it and feel the buzz.
A1 is reading The Secret Hours by Mick Herron, who just gets better and better. Though described as a “stand-alone” novel, this is set in the same world as his Slough House stories and features a number of the same characters — though under different identities. Full of biting humour, on-the-nose political and social comments and, not least, a terrific plot, this is the yummiest read in the recent run of (mostly excellent) new books.
A2 is reading Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry (thx A1). The Victorian Scottish medics in a world of crooks, cranks, quacks, mountebanks and murderers.

Second Spring

The warm weather has filled our garden with a second showing of poppies, cornflowers, magnolias, rhododendrons and millions of passion flowers but the cool and rainy days (25.5 mm yesterday) have returned.
A1 is reading Holly by Stephen King. This is SK’s COVID novel, featuring his well-drawn private eye heroine Holly Gibney. Full of ire about Trump, COVID conspiracy theories and medical pseudoscience — “She didn’t die of COVID, she died of stupidity” — it’s an enthralling look at how the US citizenry reacted to the pandemic.
A2 is reading Death of a Lesser God by Vaseem Khan (thx A1).

Kebabs, Rice Salad and Cheesecake

A2’s delicious birthday dinner as cooked by A1 with advice from Shahid. B, G, D and F brought special coffees to the feast and we tackled two quizzes, getting 7.5 for the first and 9.5 for the second. Oh well; our average is still over 10, just.
Admin1 is reading The Misper by Kate London. Admin2 is reading The Cook by Ajay Chowdhury.