Admin1 has been playing Assassin’s Creed Origins, a vast open-world game set in Egypt, circa 57BC. Some effort has gone into making it accurate, with consultant historians and linguists, and it’s undeniably impressive.
Here’s an eagle’s-eye view of Alexandria at sunset, taking in the Hippodrome, the museum, the famous library, the theatre, docks and ending up at the Ancient Wonder Pharos lighthouse, rediscovered in 1968.
There are also pyramids and the Sphinx…
…and, of course, cats:
Meanwhile, Admin1 is reading The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas and Admin2 is reading The Other Mother by Michel Bussi.
A very wet day: 25mm and counting. Nonetheless our dining companions turned up in their raincoats, enjoyed a lovely meal with us and scored 10 on the GWQ.
Admin1 is reading Vanished by Tim Weaver and Admin2 is rereading Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux.
A virus-shaped chestnut pod collected by Admin1 on the way to an unscheduled spot of work.
Admin1 is reading Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan, another horrible book with another annoying detective. Admin2 is reading The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas.
We put our fruit bowl outside to entice the fruit flies out of the kitchen and the tits went for the fruit instead. But here is a starling of sense eating the bird food.
Admin1 is reading The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading The Killing Kind by Jane Casey, a horrible book about horrible people.
Criss-cross clouds. We’ve also had the pleasure of seeing a couple of Perseid meteors this week.
Admin1 is reading Dog Will Have His Day by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading Providence by Max Barry.
We scored 12 – yay! – on the GWQ.
First one we’ve seen all year. Photo is a bit subdued because it was taken though the window at an angle.
Admin1 is reading This Night’s Foul Work by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading First Light by Peter Ackroyd: astronomers, archaeologists, Aldebaran and agriculturalists.
A (mostly) cold meal this evening: salad, cold meats, pigs in blankets, jacket potatoes, tuna, boiled eggs, freshly baked rolls and fruit salad with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries from our garden. We scored 10 on the GWQ thanks to Dave and thanks also for his heroic gardening efforts.
July gifted us 126mm of rain but was otherwise a pretty average month all things considered.
Admin1 is reading The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury. Admin2 is rereading One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson.
It hasn’t rained for two weeks but it bucketed down today, accompanied by thunder. It has only rained for 10 days so far this month, but we’ve had over 100mm of precipitation. Interesting, huh?
Admin1 is reading The Eight by Katherine Neville, an enjoyably daft conspiracy thriller about a mystical chess set, set mostly in revolutionary 1790s France and 1970s US/Algeria. KN is amusingly determined to shoehorn in absolutely everyone you’ve ever heard of to this barmy tale: various Bachs, Euler, Casanova, Diderot, Boswell, Robespierre, Newton, David (the painter), Wordsworth, the Freemasons/Rosicrucians, Talleyrand, Napoleon, Gadaffi, Catherine the Great, William Blake, Voltaire, Cardinal Richelieu, Marat, Frederick the Great, Rousseau … and many more. Not to mention myths of Ancient Egypt, Crete, Algeria, the Moors, Syria, Turkey and so on. Published in 1988, it’s a sort of mix of The Da Vinci Code, Tomb Raider, Mary Gentle’s Ash and Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle (in order of (very!) sharply rising quality). I didn’t believe a word of it 🙂
Admin2 is reading The Waiter by Ajay Chowdhury, a spicy snack of a story about a disgraced detective turned waiter who carries on detecting.
Admin1 is reading London Bridge Is Falling Down by Christopher Fowler. Admin2 is reading Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff Vandermeer.
We scored 10.5 on the GWQ, thanks to Dave and his lucky guesses unassailable erudition.
Hottest day of the year so far: 31.1°C.
Admin2 is rereading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, which is as tasty and comforting as a large box of chocolates despite being a selection box of senseless murders.
Pieris rapae feeding on our lavender.
Admin1 is reading Have Mercy on Us All by Fred Vargas. Admin2 has been reading The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo, which is like a fiendish logic problem, not helped by its old-fashioned style and Admin2’s ignorance of aristocratic Japanese culture in the 1930s.
Well that’s how it was billed, but nearly all the chalk was in one patch (exception for ELMO LOVES YOU next door to us) and Auds and Bobs preferred to draw all over our patio. Admin1 is reading Dark Memories by Liz Mistry, a confusingly overpopulated crime novel set in Bradford which belongs more in the misery-lit genre. Admin2 is reading The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig; a corny Cornish gothic romance overlaid with trendy topical talking points (and impossible to believe that a former advertising strategist dealing with a couple of public-facing characters would not have cleared everything up with an internet search). Yesterday was our warmest day this year: 30.7°C.
We scored 11.5 on the GWQ.
A bright blue band low in the sky. Probably the last noctilucents of the season.
Meanwhile, earlier tonight Admin1 looked up at the sky and saw a glorious golden fireball trailing sparks. Make a wish, everybody.
Also on display, by a lucky coincidence, was the International Space Station. Try Heavens Above if you’re interested in spotting the ISS (also excellent for many other events of astronomical interest).
Admin2 is reading Have Mercy on Us All by Fred Vargas,an early Adamsberg book in which we meet many characters in the subsequent novels, and in which Paris is threatened by Vargas’ research subject, bubonic plague. Admin1 is reading, very appropriately, Masked Prey by John Sandford.
A pillar of darkness between the werewolf on the left and the fine upstanding man on the right.
Admin1 is reading A Climate of Fear by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading The Trawlerman by William Shaw.
We scored 11.5 on the GWQ.
This pretty fruit is called Matisse.
We’ve had more rain in the last two days than in the whole of June.
Admin1 is reading The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox. Admin2 is reading The Hidden Man by Charles Cumming. He ain’t no Mick Herron or even John le Carre.
We scored 10 on the GWQ.
Hello, pretty patterned fly-by-day moth. We look forward to golden eggs and stripy caterpillars on the ragweed. Oh, and hello Fiona too. Long time since we’ve had a house guest.
Last month was the third sunniest June on our records: 252.4kWh.
Admin1 is reading The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor. Admin2 is reading Smoke Screen by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger.
Our new combined clock, thermometer and flowerpot.
Admin1 is reading Smoke Screen by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger. Admin2 is reading The Evidence by Christopher Priest; forgetting to return your hotel key can have consequences in a world where parameters can shift unexpectedly.
Somewhat late, we scored 9 on the GWQ.
Our trip to (occasionally) sunny Scarborough involved pirate ships:
Donkeys (go, Audrey!):
Many, many seagulls (and distant dolphins leaping above the waves but too far away to photograph):
Scrumptious fish and chips from Winking Willy’s famous emporium with its amusing signage:
And finally, let’s all go down the…
A wonderful 20th wedding anniversary trip was had by all! Well, apart from Dave and Bob, the latter of whom had his bubble burst at primary school and they have to isolate 🙁
We stayed again at the Green Gables hotel (great breakfasts, but it bears more than a passing resemblance to Hilbert’s Hotel), and again failed to photograph its magnificent but elusive cat. Next time…