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Surprising

9 November, 2016 at 6:06 pm by belgianwaffle

2016 is the year that keeps on giving in this regard, is it not?

I was away last night for work so I woke in my hotel room to the news that Donald Trump is to be president of the US. It seems extraordinary that the people who gave us 8 years of Barack Obama have now given us Donald Trump.

In other current affairs news, the Princess, who confidently expected her teachers to be on strike for weeks, was gutted when we got a text message at 9.30 last night saying that the school was reopening today. She is still readjusting to the new reality. Aren’t we all?

Stereotyping

8 November, 2016 at 10:55 pm by belgianwaffle

My friend from Belfast was telling me about his friend also from Belfast who has moved into the top floor of an old Georgian house. His friend has loads of books and the movers found getting the stuff up to the top floor very trying. Towards the end of the day, the man who was moving house, found one of the movers lying on the floor saying, “I can’t take it anymore, don’t make me move another box.” “Typical Belfast labourer,” snorted my friend.

Somehow, if you’d asked me what a typical Belfast labourer was like, I would have said words like, tough and hardworking. I don’t think my expectation would be that they would lie down on the floor and give up. It just goes to show that stereotyping is misleading.

The Migraineur or a Victorian Afternoon

5 November, 2016 at 7:33 pm by belgianwaffle

I woke up this morning with a migraine and after a trip to the shops to buy bread this morning, gave up the effort and went back to bed and didn’t get up again until an hour ago. Alas. I feel alright now but not fantastic. The light of the screen is making my eyeballs a bit sore. Don’t say I’m not devoted to this NaBloPoMo. I trust that by tomorrow, I will be restored to full health. Something for all of us to look forward to.

NaBloPoMo

1 November, 2016 at 8:28 pm by belgianwaffle

Yes, indeed, it is November and National Blog Posting Month is upon us. I checked my archives and I have been doing this since 2006. Mr. Waffle who, among his other duties, is chair of the residents’ committee is, as I write, holding a meeting in the kitchen. This means I am kneeling while typing as they needed all the chairs. Truly, my dedication knows no bounds. Herself says I am typing like a meerkat. More to follow. All month long.

At A Time When It Was Neither Profitable Nor Popular

6 August, 2016 at 10:12 pm by belgianwaffle

I’ve been blogging for a long time. However, the only people I have ever met through blogging have been a couple of people who blogged on the platform I started on. It was called 20six and it has long since disappeared off the internet forever [actually, is that even possible?] but it was my first blogging community and it still has a place in my heart.

So, it was lovely when Heather, one of those 20sixers, contacted me to say that she and her husband would be in Ireland and could we meet again. I followed her blog for years. Sadly she has stopped blogging which is such a pity as she was a talented writer; moving, interesting and hilarious by turns. I say this here because when I met her, it was so exciting to talk about her life and what other bloggers were doing that I forgot entirely to say please go back to writing. Twitter is all very well in its way but it’s just not the same. I’ll say it when I see her next; she and her husband enjoyed the best weather of the summer in Ireland so I feel that we might be able to persuade them to come back.

Suspension of Disbelief

1 June, 2016 at 10:26 pm by belgianwaffle

We watch a lot of Dr. Who in this house. The children and I quite like it. Mr. Waffle does not. The other night we watched the episode where a hospital disappears on earth and reappears on the moon.

There is a an annoying consultant character (so far so typecast) and at one stage in the action, he hauls out his binoculars to have a closer look at the action all round. “That’s very unlikely,” I said, “who has binoculars at work?” Mr. Waffle looked at me and asked sardonically, “Really, that is your only difficulty?” There’s only so far one’s disbelief can be suspended, it turns out and I had found my limits.

Reading

7 May, 2016 at 6:38 pm by belgianwaffle

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)” by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow (Book 3 Part 1 of a Song of Ice and Fire)” by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold (Book 3 Part 2 of a Song of Ice and Fire)” by George R. R. Martin

A Feast for Crows” by George RR Martin

So, I’ve continued reading the Game of Thrones books. I’m enjoying them. Look, I’m not alone here. More blood and gore than I like and a bit long winded but I have always been a fan of the fantasy novel. I am making Mr. Waffle watch the telly series with me as well. He is not enjoying it. To be honest, I am not enjoying it hugely either but I feel strangely compelled to watch it. For my money, the books are better.

High Wages” by Dorothy Whipple

Young woman who works in a shop makes good through her own industry. Unfortunately, falls in love. I am really enjoying all the Dorothy Whipples that I can get my hands on. She’s terrific.

They were sisters” by Dorothy Whipple

A story of three sisters. One is beautiful and self-centred, one marries a bad lot and one is plain and responsible and ends up happiest. Another fantastic Dorothy Whipple novel.

Number 11” by Jonathan Coe

I am a big Jonathan Coe fan and I would read any of his books. I quite enjoyed this morality tale but it is not his strongest work and, in places, feels like a number of vignettes strung together rather than a coherent novel. If you were launching on an exploration of Jonathan Coe’s work, I would not recommend that you start from here.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie

I haven’t read this in years. My enjoyment on re-reading was somewhat marred by the knowledge of who the murderer was. But still surprisingly enjoyable.

Death of a Nurse” by MC Beaton

Another Hamish Macbeth mystery. Pity me.

Viper Wine” by Hermione Eyre

I should have loved this. Strong, interesting writing based on true historical events. But I did not. As a friend said to me, it felt more like an MA thesis than a novel. The author wears her learning very heavily and, at times, it felt like ploughing through a primer on England under the Stuarts. There was an artsy conceit of linking historical preoccupations with current ones (lead make-up/cosmetic surgery etc) which did not work for me. I did not enjoy this at all; it may not have been helped by the fact that I really expected to.

The Unknown Bridesmaid” by Margaret Forster

I read this immediately after “Viper Wine” and the sense of being in the hands of a competent novelist who knew how to engage readers was a huge relief. This is an engaging short novel about the relationships between mothers and daughters. Perhaps not particularly cheerful but interesting.

Bossypants” by Tina Fey

This largely left me cold. It’s a series of work done for other contexts strung together into a memoir. It’s not particularly good as a memoir but it is entertaining in parts.

Darkmouth: Chaos Descends” by Shane Hegarty

I have to stop reading these. I understand that they are not bad at all if you are a ten year old boy but I am not a ten year old boy and, frankly, this was tedious.

The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell

This is a really long book. You know when you are really enjoying a book and you don’t want it to end? Well this is what this book is like. I loved it. It’s literary fantasy which I think is a genre that David Mitchell pretty much has to himself. It’s about a group of immortals and humans interacting and fighting a war that most humans don’t know is going on. Fantastic. In every sense of the word.

I Heart London” by Lindsey Kelk

This kind of book wouldn’t normally be my cup of tea. I read it because I was curious about the author. Slightly tedious romantic comedy. Not for me, I fear.


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