A dog jumping over a mountain range.
We had chicken curry and apple strudel for our family dinner and, thanks to incredibly skilled guesswork from a position of profound ignorance, we managed to score 9.5 on the GSQ for the third time in a row, continuing to keep our average just over 10.
The biggest cucumber in our garden was this bifurcated/conjoined specimen so it joined our homegrown radishes and shop lettuce and tomato to make a salad for our family meal of courgette and tomato gratin (recipe by ChatGPT), stuffed eggs and boiled potatoes, with trifle for afters. The cucumber slice has a cute little face.
Lena joined us for our meal and we had two weeks of quizzes to do. We scored 10.5 on the first (thanks to Lena’s knowledge of Italian desserts) and an impressive 12 on the second thanks to everybody.
Admin1 is rereading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Admin2 is rereading Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel; moon colonies, time travellers and three pandemics.
I looked out the window and what did I see
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching out to me
Happy birthday Chris xxx
Admin2 is appropriately rereading Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K Dick. Admin2 is rereading The Botanist by MW Craven.
A sublime cloud photo, taken in Sheffield Park (which seems to be in Sussex, not Yorkshire) by the inestimable Beth.
November was, on average, exactly the same as November 2021 by day, but slightly warmer by night and was one of our wettest months ever: 144.3 mm and the third least sunny November of all time.
Admin1 is reading One Way Out by AA Dhand. Admin2 is reading Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra, a rich and captivating book which requires rereading with a Hindi dictionary at hand.
A petrified pepper anticipates climate change in the cooking pot.
Admin1 is rereading Witches Abroad by Sir Terry Pratchett. Admin2 is reading Emergency by Daisy Hildyard; a childhood fascination with nature (but not the human kind) recollected in lockdown.
Somebody has had a bit of fun with this corroded junction box.
Admin1 is reading The Hiding Place by Simon Lelic, a compulsive investigation into bullying and a subsequent 22-year-old murder at a boarding school. As both Admins went to boarding schools, this rang very true 🙁 .
Admin2 is reading The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz, a disturbing pre-WWII novel in which a Jew trying to escape the Nazis travels round and round Germany by train, without ever finding a way out. (If only Europe had had open borders and tolerance of asylum seekers.)
We scored 9 on the GSQ.
A nice day, considering it’s October: 22.0 °C.
Admin1 is rereading The Outsider by Stephen King. Admin2 is reading The Guest List by Lucy Foley: a “Sunday Times bestseller”; a sure sign that a book is speedy, superficial and uses the word “adrenaline” as a substitute for conveying excitement through the text.
A red snapper escaping from an electric eel.
Admin2 is reading Redemption by Jussi Adler-Olsen.
We scored 10 on the GWQ.
But not a lot.
Admin2 is reading Mr Cadmus by Peter Ackroyd.
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.
Admin1 is reading An Uncertain Place by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor.
Well, you can see its eyes under its hood and its hand holding its e-cig and the massive plume of vapour it is expelling.
Admin1 is reading Stop Dead by Leigh Russell. Books 4 and 5 in this series have got gorier and even more misanthropic than before, especially towards the “lower orders”. Think I’ll give up on LR.
Admin2 is rereading Black Day at the Bosphorus Cafe by MH Baylis.
Admin1 is reading The Cabin by Jorn Lier Horst. Admin2 is rereading The New Confessions by William Boyd.
Strange faces staring up.
Admin1 is reading White Corridor by Christopher Fowler. Admin2 is reading Black Alice by Thomas M Disch.
The grinning idiot on the right should watch out for those sinister characters on the left.
Admin1 is reading Rune and Admin2 has been reading Bryant & May: London’s Glory, both by Christopher Fowler.
A cloud man wandering through the sky with his backpack and dog.
Admin1 is rereading A Song from Dead Lips by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson; an English governess experiences the liberating influence of the avant-garde amid the privations of war and the ferment of the Russian revolution.
Our blog is back after days of server errors and the weather is back to clouds and rain.
Admin2 is reading Machines Like Me by Ian Mc Ewan, a novel about a sentient robot in an alternative 1980s which apparently isn’t science fiction because nobody is wearing antigravity boots. It was an enjoyable read though, somewhat in the style of Adam Roberts. Admin1 has been watching Keeping Faith.
Admin1 tried reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch but abandoned it because it was rubbish. Admin2 is reading The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths.
Looks a bit like Europe minus UK…
Admin2 is reading The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves.
We watched Innocent and scored 9 on the GWQ.
A dinosaur rises up and waves its claws in a threatening manner.
Admin2 is reading Salt Lane by William Shaw. The offspring of the sixties characters in the last series arrives as a typical modern detective: divorced with a troublesome teenager.
This is actually a cloud of yesterday; today there were no clouds at all and the solar panels did 12.87 kWh: best day this year.
Admin1 is reading The White Road by Sarah Lotz — an interesting ghost story about potholing and mountain climbing, with an unlikeable but engaging protagonist; not a book for those worried by depths or heights. Or ghosts. Or cold. Or for claustrophobes or agoraphobes.
Admin2 is reading Before the Fall by Noah Hawley; a plane crash deconstructed.
Clouds of the day: A flying saucer releases a colourful ray.
And a herd of animals gallops towards a magical tree.
Admin2 is reading 1977 Red Riding by David Peace but is not enjoying the racism, sexism, gbh and constant fucking swearing.
Admin1 is reading New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, which was superb, something like Stand on Zanzibar as re-imagined by Ian McDonald … and Stan has discovered a sense of humour! Full of finely drawn characters who are better than they think they are, it’s the best book of the year so far. Guardian review by Adam Roberts.
Admin2 is rereading The Word of God by Thomas M Disch. Tom cobbles together a load of random stories, essays, poems and instructions and presents them as Holy Writ. Bit like the Bible in fact.