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Sunday, 30 September 2007

Dick Francis ' Second Wind '

When Perry Stuart, a BBC weather forecaster, travels to Florida to make a once-in-a-lifetime flight into the eye of a hurricane, he meets with hair-raising airborne adventure. Before long, he is struggling to survive on a deserted Caribbean island and investigating the murky, secretive affairs of a close-knit circle of ruthless entrepreneurs.

I read this as part of a 'Readers Digest' book, and as always, it leaves me only partically satisfied, I feel like I'm missing out on the full reading experience, but nevertheless, it's a book I probably would not have picked up, the good thing is it does introduces me to writers I would not normally chose.
Here, a lot goes into this action adventure - horses, atomic chemicals, cows to mention just a few. My favourite character is Perry's grandmother, he is the 'feisty and wise voice' in the background.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Back from a. crazy cross stitch weekend in Langenzenn. I left London on Thursday and came back on Monday. I can't even try to put into words the wonderful time I had. Kimmy and Hansi open their house to us crazy needle witches (Nadelhexen). We visited the cross stitch exhibition in Dietenhofen's Museum, the topic was 'Traditional Samplers' . I enclose a few of my favorite pieces and will try to open one of those online Photo Albums to download all the pictures. I am still exhausted today - we talked, laughed and stitches right until the small hours every night.

And I can feel that my cross-stitch taste is slowly changing towards the German and French designers!

Monday, 17 September 2007

Here's an update on the Spring Queen from last week. didn't do a lot. unfortunately, I still don't get the pictures with the Digicam right - I'm no whizz with technical stuff etc. well, I just put the camera on 'AUTO' setting, but this it what it produces...

and here is the heart I did from a booklet by 'Sticken und Staunen' (German designer). Well, I've run out of thread (Caron Waterlilies), isn't it annoying!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Koontz, Dean ' Midnight '

Mad scientist meets small town America.

What is the dark and fearful secret that haunts Moonlight Cove? A string of inexplicable deaths has occurred in this idyllic, picturesque town; sinister shadowy figures stalk the streets in the dead of night; and four people are down together by fight the evil: Tessa, a young women determined to find the truth aobut her sister's strange suicide; Sam, an undercover federal agent; Chrissie, a child on the run from her parents; and Harry, a wheelchair bound Vietnam veteran.
I didn't quite understand the scientific background (it doesn't matter), and hey, it seems rather far-fetched at times. The description of the 'change' in people is quite harrowing, especially when cop Loman sees his son Danny becoming 'one' with the computer.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Here's a little 'quickie' I started today. It's stitched with Caron Waterlilies. I've never used this thread before, and never worked with varigated thread. Took a bit of getting used to finishing every single cross off before going on to the next, but I can see already that the effect is going to be stunning! .

The weather is still very nice, we had around 20 degreeC. I was too lazy to go swimming, I'm getting a bit worried 'cause I seem to forget all about my 'getting fit' regime. Problem is, 2 days off at the weekends are never enough to do everything I want to fit in. Today I went to Hobbycraft in Crayford, mainly to get myself a Clover Cutter for the airplane on Thursday. Gosh, I am so looking forward to Langenzenn. For 5 days, only cross stitch and natter - nothing else - bliss!

And what is it with cats and boxes? Candy here:

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Great news - Candy has come back, after 1 week. Imran called me in the morning when I was on my way to the station. She was wet (? no rain in the past 2 weeks) but otherwise absolutely fine, she does not even look particularly thin. I don't believe in keeping cats indoors, and it wouldn't be practicable here anyway - in the summer I always have the backgarden door open when I'm at home. So I can only hope that whenever she goes out, she will come back again in the morning. As I'm sitting on my bedroom window, Raja, Candy and Honeyare out. I called already, but Peckham sisters didn't make an appearance so far. I'm convinced they are going over the motorway bridge into the wasteland which is opposite our house. The area is currently being developed, is used to be a meeting ground for bunches of teenagers drinking and messing around.

1 more day and it's weekend. I will definitely have to start making a revision plan for the exams - 10th October is getting ever closer. I have good ideas what to revise, but don't have the energy during the week. And next weekend I'm at Kimmy's already - boy, I can't wait! I'm going to meet up with my cross-stiching friends in Germany.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Thiesler, Sabine ' Der Kindersammler '

Sigi gave me this book when we met in Berlin last months. I don't think it has been published in English yet. The title means ' the child-collector'. I finished it in 2 weeks, all526 pages of it.
Coincidently this is extremely topical... Anna and her husband go on a holiday to the Toscana in Italy, and during this holiday, her son vanishes without a trace. 10 years later, her marriage in tatters, Anna returns to the Toscana to build a new life, to have 'a fresh look and try to find out what's happend. She gets very close to the child-collector.
this is not a 'who done it' story, the reader knows from the begining who the child-collector is. In the first part of the book, we get slowly introducted to the weird world of Alfred. Lots of flashbacks gives us a look into his childhood without being too 'forceful' (e.g. this is why he is the way he is....), as a reader you have to make up your own mind. Especially at the beginning, I had to stop reading, I couldn't continue, my throat was choked up. he 'captures' a little boy, and all the little boy could think in his final minutes 'it will be christmas soon'...
We get to know the police who is on his trail (less or more), Carla, his girlfriend whom he treats worse than a doormat but who stays with him and endures all of his odd behaviour (are there really girls out there like her? I'm afraid there are) and finally Anna will provide the clue. the end was satisfiying.
I couldn't put it down, but be warned - it is not for the faint-hearted.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Here's an update on the cat picture. I am very very tempted to put it far far away and never to set sight on it again.... what's happened - well, when I firsted started it said 'stitch black in 3 strands'. As the cloth is 14ct Aida, I didn't do 3 strands, cause I thought that would look really bulky. Hm, now, that the cat is finished, the white aida shines through and it really does not look covered! I now started to go over the black again with another strand. What a lot of work just because I couldn't make my mind up at the beginning and didn't see the obvious. But I'm determined not to let it become a UFO.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Yesterday was OU dayschool - exam preparation. I'm so glad I went, the tutor was 1st class and now I'm clear on what to revise and how to get started. So next week I can start in the evenings to put some summery sheets together. I will revise 4 topics: what is crime, crime/statistics/media, cause of crime theories, Braithwaite/Matza. With this, I will be covered to answer the 3 questions.

I don't know what's going on. Our cat Moonlight has been missing since middle of July now. No clue whatsoever. And now Candy is missing as well, since about Wednesday. I can't believe it. Now Moonlight has been missing before, a few years back, but never so long. And Candy has never been missing, she goes out at night but is always back in the morning. I have a very bad feeling and start to get desperate.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Manby, Chris ' Girl Meets Ape '

Chicklit-time. I don't mind a bit of light entertainment in between more serious stuff.
The book's heroine, Dr. Jennifer Niederhauser, is a young zoologist who buries herself into her work after a failed relationship with a fellow student zoologist, Timothy, who cheats on her. At a friends hen party, she has a slightly annoying encounter with an Ape-strippogram. And when she takes on a new job at a ape sanctuary, her colleague is - the very strippogram called Guy, who is of course a very nice bloke. Then her old sanctuary is in financial dire straits, and when they accept a TV fly-on-the-wall in the sanctuary, Jennifers old flame Timothy turns up as the TV-presenter. It's a 'Which one will she choose?' story. A lot of facts on ape conservation, plenty of research has gone into the book. The characters are a bit 'OTT' and the end is predictable, but hey...

Thursday, 6 September 2007

I had 3 call-outs last night and feel really tired today. I don't actually have to go to the scene, but deal with most stuff on the phone, but once you get called 2am, it's not that easy going back to sleep.
Imran lost his new phone yesterday... I told him I will definitely not buy him another one - £50 down the drain. But my new routine seems to work. I do a weekly 'eating' plan,and we have a tight schedule now every evening for the kids to keep to - 7pm food, 8pm homework, 9pm bed. So far, it works really well and everyone is keeping to it.

And today, I finally started to pick up my cross stitch again. I found it difficult to arrange my new 'stitching area' in the living room since we've got the new settee and my big old armchair is gone. I picked up the Glasgow Rose cat again, will show an update after the weekend.
Here's 1 part of the new settee (and Thomas caliming his seat)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Anna Funder ' Stasiland '

A story about the GDR and those who survived (or not). Anna Funder is a journalist in East Germany (after the wall came down) and seeks out stories about the old regime, and of course, those persecuted by the Stasi, the feared Secret Service of East Germany. We learn about Miriam, who attempted the cross the wall and ended up in prison, or the dreadful story of the woman who's child had to go to a hospital in West Berlin for treatment, and she remained in East Berlin - they tried to flee via a tunnel but were set up. There are many stories like this in the book, it is well written and I found her descriptions of people and situations absolutely lifelike (I could see the people she descriped). she often gives us her personal opinion For me, the translations of many 'inside' GDR words into English are helpful.
For someone who has been brought up in the GDR - well, I appreciate that this is what most people want to know about (and I don't deny those dreadful things did happen). But, especially in the English speaking world, those are the ONLY stories about the GDR, which leaves the impression that absoulutely everyone suffered dreadfully all the time. Well, most people can't believe it here, but I had a very nice childhood, and I didn't know anyone who had anything to do with Stasi. Of course, lots of the heavy stuff only started to emerge for me after the wall came down. , neither me, my parents, family, friends etc were ever interviewed/intorregated etc -But I knew, if I were an open rebel against the government or attempting stuff which was illegal for us (e.g. trying to cross the border) - I would have suffered the consequences. OK, of my soapbox for the day.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Here is Imran in his new school uniform. I'm really impressed by him, and I think he is quite happy with Secondary School. He seems really relaxed and I don't get any of the 'I hate school' which we had ever so often in the past year. Looks like he feels all grown up and happy to be in the 'big boys gang' now. Hope it will last.

And here are Ruby and Casey in Legoland

Monday, 3 September 2007

Phinn, Gervase ' The Other Side of the Dale '

A delightful story of romantic England. In this fictional account of his early years as school inspector, Gervase Phinn vividly describes the classrooms of the Yorkshire Dales, where children are often wiser than their teachers, and where many a lesson provokes laughter as well as learning. And back in the office, his colleagues are an unforgettable bunch: Julie, the office chatterbox, the irrepressible Sidney Clamp, and Connie, the caretaker from hell. Not to mention
the formidable Mrs. Savage, scourge of the inspector's office. Nothing controversial here, easy reading, pleasant language.

Imran had his first day in Secondary School today, and I couldn't be there... I am an call, and after a weekend on call, there is no way I can take Mondays off. And Ruby went to Leogland Windsor today with Casey, lucky Ruby! I'm still waiting for them to return, they are somewhere on the M25 now!

Worked the whole weekend to get TMA06 ready. It's done now, just have to reduce the wordcount a bit. good thing is that now that I don't have OU reading to do, I can read for pleasure in the train.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

And here is the picture I stitched for Sigi. I stitched like a woman possessed in the first week of my holiday - I'd already missed Sigi's birthday, and we met up at Barbara's house during my holiday - finally another opportunity for a stitcher's meeting! Glad you liked it Sigi!

©2009 The Pegster | by TNB