Posts filtered by tags: Offspringette[x]


 

Skybound - a Journey in Flight ~ Rebecca Loncraine

'The loveliest places of allare those that look as ifthere's nothing thereto those still learning to look' 'Deserts for Instance' - Brian Turner (Elemental - Central Otago Poems) Choosing another book from the shelf of Journeys that I plan to do from my armchair this year, and 'learning to look' at new places is becoming a real treat. I'd no sooner travelled back in deep time searching for Doggerland with Julia Blackburn and Time Song than I decided I was ready for a bit of vast open sky a...
Tags: Books, Wales, Rebecca, New Zealand, South Island, Picador, Tony, Kaikoura, Southern Alps, Aoraki Mt Cook, Trisha, Brian Turner, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Otago Rail Trail, 2019


Reckless Daughter - A Portrait of Joni Mitchell ~ David Yaffe

My love for all things Joni has been well-documented on here down the years so I couldn't think how on earth I had missed Reckless Daughter - A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe, published in October 2017,  And then I knew exactly how, because I had been here with my lovely and completely un-reckless but very adventurous daughter... I had spent October 2017 in New Zealand with Offspringette, and missed all the articles and publicity. By the time I arrived home it was all about Philip ...
Tags: Books, Jack Nicholson, Bob Dylan, New Zealand, Warren, Warren Beatty, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Jack, Joni Mitchell, Philip Pullman, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams, Joan Baez, Carly, BBC Radio


Couch to 50 yards...

It really was a mistake to whisper the words 'Couch to 5k' within earshot of Offspringette. Having added the Personal Trainer string to her bow whilst in New Zealand, she was on it in a flash and once I had downloaded the app there was no going back. In fairness I had been considering it for a while. Whilst I do a fair few summer miles up on Dartmoor, the regular winter miles are more elusive, and I could definitely feel the lack of fitness creeping up and the pounds creeping on...but running.....
Tags: Books, Nike, NHS, New Zealand, Coldplay, Chester, Country Life, Don, Laura, Michael Johnson, Gill, Betty, Ewell, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Viva La Vida


Ready....Steady...

Firstly here's wishing you all a belated but very happy and peaceful New Year; one that prospers where you need it too and is gentle where it needs to be too. I hope you have all had a restful mid-winter break too. We've had a splendid few family weeks covering Christmas, New Year and Bookhound's birthday, but now that Offspringette is flying home to New Zealand it's time to fire up the desktop, wake up the scribbles and get started on a new year of reading and other exciting projects. We bade ...
Tags: Books, US, Heathrow, New Zealand, Joni Mitchell, Anna Karenina, Joni, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Bookhound, Family and Friends, Robert Fagles, David Yaffe Offspringette, John Denver Peter Paul Mary Leaving


Wishing you all...

I thought I'd better get my Christmas good wishes to you all on here before the mayhem begins with Offspringette's arrival from New Zealand and the scribbles go to 'as and when'. I'll be popping in and out, and at some point on Christmas Day as usual (because I am always aware that not everyone has a houseful) just not in a very organised, scheduled, pre-written way, until January 8th-ish. I have some very exciting reading and other projects lined up for next year and can't wait to get started a...
Tags: Books, New Zealand, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette


A 'Pleasing' Stitch-Up

It's the only way I could think to describe this week's dovegreyretreat / hibernation with thread, needles, audiobooks and fire-lit. Bookhound was off on his pre-festive season travels across country to visit The Olds for a few days which left me home alone. Honestly, I try not to look excited at the prospect because I know there could come a time in life when being home alone becomes a reality for one or other of us, and that won't be exciting, but for now...well let's just say I treat it like...
Tags: Books, Bbc, New Zealand, Rob, Saturn, Country Life, Val Mcdermid, Rita Cook, Arthur, Pete, Cass, St Mary, Albert Hall, Robert Macfarlane, Edward Thomas, Dovegreyreader


Ngaio Marsh - Her Life in Crime ~ Joanne Drayton

I mentioned I'd had a birthday recently. It was one of 'those' birthdays, the one that is halfway between two big ones. I had a lovely day, spoke to all my chicks and had lovely gifts from them...birdfeeders and enough fat balls to feed the village from the Gamekeeper, a bright yellow notebook (for winter cheer) and pen holder from the Kayaker, and a parcel from Offspringette in New Zealand that included Ngaio Marsh Her Life in Crime by Joanne Drayton. I don't know about you but if someone gives...
Tags: Books, UK, 2018, New Zealand, Agatha Christie, Christchurch, Rhodes, Lyttleton, South Island, Christie, Henry, Henry Marsh, Ngaio Marsh, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Margery Allingham


Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice. Officially the first day of Summer, the Longest Day, when those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will have seventeen hours of daylight to enjoy. This year I expect we have had splendid dawns though I must confess I don't see many of those, but they have heralded long days of azure skies ending in heart-stopping sunsets which always see me imagining myself handing over the sun-baton to Offspringette in New Zealand. On one day a spectacular sun halo which the Kayaker took ful...
Tags: Books, New Zealand, Northern Hemisphere, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Alice Oswald, Tithonusand


Jonathan Raban

Books and authors various have sailed in and out of my radar recently, but one especially, Jonathan Raban.  I’m sure a lot of you will know this feeling. It’s quite odd but I love it when it happens; an author you have vaguely heard of, then a friend mentions that he/she has written the best book she has ever read about whatever (in her case Bad Land) and then you see him/her quoted in an article, maybe another mention on the radio, then the final nail... the publishers put some intriguing pict...
Tags: Books, Navy, Britain, United States, 2018, Cornwall, John, Plymouth, Buenos Aires, State, Southern Ocean, Newark NJ, Eland, Jonathan Raban, LONDON WASHINGTON, Barnaby


Pleasings...

This week's Pleasings are mostly of the floral variety with a new bag thrown in for good measure... It seems to be a good year for roses.. Lady Sylvia is looking bountiful... And Highgrove is looking plentiful... Susan Hill sent these along as gifts after the Tinker moved in here with us, and he doted on them with much fondness, so he would be delighted that they are flourishing. I did my usual of buying a dozen scarlet geraniums as small plants, a window-sill tradition surely, and they...
Tags: Books, New Zealand, Devon, Christchurch, Susan Hill, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Pleasings, Lady Sylvia, Tavistock Market


Midwinter Break ~ Bernard MacLaverty

It was Hilary Mantel who started this... 'Why is Bernard MacLaverty not celebrated as one of the wonders of the world? His new novel Midwinter Break will be my Christmas present to myself....' It was one of those end of the year reading round-ups offered on the literary pages by the great and good to give the rest of us ideas about what to read, and for many of them, I must confess, I sense a bit of back-scratching going on, my nepotism antennae are on full alert, and strike me down if it ...
Tags: Books, Ireland, Amsterdam, 2018, Dublin, Hilary Mantel, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Stella, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Don, HILARY, Bernard, Gerry, Joyce


The Bealey Spur Track - Tramping New Zealand-style

I have always been completely convinced that different words have different meanings in different countries, even when we speak the same language. My latest observation is that Kiwi for 'steep' is very different to Devon for 'steep.' and I made this discovery whilst walking climbing the Bealey Spur track. 'Just a bit of uphill...' Offspringette assured me as we set off on October 12th 2017, a glorious day to walk one of the classic trails along Arthur's Pass a few hours out of Christchurch. ...
Tags: Books, New Zealand, Devon, Christchurch, Arthur, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Waimakariri, Sheffield Pie Shop


Preserving the memories...the Christmas gift

Though I didn't visit Lake Hawea on this recent trip to New Zealand, it is a place that holds many memories of a special day on my last trip in 2016. Four days of wilderness camping and we trundled into a cabin at Lake Hawea for a bath and to do our washing. I had discovered that actually my hair dries perfectly well without a hair dryer which was a bit of a revelation, but the love hadn't died, I was still pleased to see one again. We swam in the lake, in water so blue I will never forget it  ...
Tags: Books, New Zealand, Devon, Shibori, Lake Hawea, Dovegreyreader, Arts & Crafts, Offspringette, Mostly Knitting, Some Quilting, Christmas An Organised Person, Lake Hawea Cue, Arashi Shibori, Injabulo


It was on the afternoon of the day of Christmas Eve...

....and I was in Mrs Prothero’s garden, waiting for cats, With her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my  memory, was as white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats." I bought a new copy of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and illustrated by Peter Bailey a few weeks ago. It was one of those serendipitous and unexpected finds because it was in a church and I was there for a funeral. Margaret Hele, the Nursing...
Tags: Books, Wales, New Zealand, Dylan Thomas, Lapland, Carol Ann Duffy, 2017, Christmas Crackers, Jim, Peter Bailey, Margaret, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Bookhound, Mrs Prothero, Margaret Hele


Lyttleton and the Book

Do you know that moment where you see something in a shop, in this case a book in a second-hand bookshop. It’s a book that you think you might want, but maybe not. You pick it up, peruse, talk yourself into wanting it, then talk yourself out of wanting it and put it back on the shelf and move along. But it haunts you madly afterwards and you can’t quite get it out of your mind, even visualising it sitting there in the shelf and GOD FORBID, someone else picking it up and buying it. The book ...
Tags: Books, London, New Zealand, Christchurch, 2017, Lyttleton, HILARY, Hanmer Springs, Lyttelton, Iris Robin, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Robin Hyde, Robin Hyde Offspringette, Queen Mary 's Hospital


New Zealand redux

I'm travelling at the end of this month, the day after I am unashamedly sixty-four... "Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty four?" etc Who'd have thought it back in 1967 when my thirteen-year-old self was singing those words. Preparations are well underway. The first thing I declared after fifty-four hours of flying last time was... "I'm not doing that again without a set of noise-cancelling head phone...
Tags: Books, John Lewis, Singapore, Los Angeles, Atlantic, New Zealand, Sony, Lenny Henry, Bose, Auckland, Air New Zealand, South Island, Kate Atkinson, Long White Cloud, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette


The Photographer...

I hope you will all forgive the self-indulgence of this post...but if I may have seemed a bit sparse and absent-minded in recent months here's why... You've all known him as the Kayaker on here for almost twelve years now (was he really only twenty-two when I started writing this), middle one of our three, and still a kayaker sometimes, but now he's a photographer too, and for someone who has travelled and worked around the world since he left school it was quite a challenge for him to decide t...
Tags: Books, New York, London, Africa, Uganda, Morocco, New Zealand, Plymouth, Skype, Aop, Tony, White Nile, Musa, Soul Foundation, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette


Four Fields & some big sky thinking with Tim Dee

Four Fields by Tim Dee, as I mentioned a while back, is a book that has had a bit of a history with me. I had invested in a paperback copy as soon as it was published having started my Beating the Bounds project around the fields that surround us here in the Tamar Valley and with a view to uncovering all the original field names. That project grew into a close look at everything I could find within a mile radius of home...at the time I compared it to that thing we used to do at school, you kno...
Tags: Books, Africa, New Zealand, Cambridgeshire, 2017, South Island, Tim, Kaikoura, Kathleen, Maud, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alice Oswald, Beating the Bounds, Kathleen Jamie


The Whale Rider ~ Witi Ihimaera

'Maori mythology is very rich. All the narratives are multi-layered, complex, extraordinary and transcendent. They occupy a place between the real and the unreal, the natural and the super-natural - the world you can believe in and the world you are told not to believe in...' Witi Ihimaera The Whale Rider ~ Extract from Author Notes   While I am on the subject of New Zealand I must share some thoughts on The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, a pioneer of Maori writing in English and this book...
Tags: Books, New Zealand, 2016, Lake District, Kiwi, South Island, Bay Of Islands, Orkney, Gisborne, Maori, Kahu, Koro, Koru, Hokitika, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette


It's that time of year again...

Autumn...Dartmoor...walking boots...rucksack...Fox Tor Cafe...hot chocolate... hope you are all ready and up for it again this year. But first I needed to sort out all my gear and this year my attention has turned to walking poles. Are any of you a fan of the walking pole? I have used them occasionally but have been suffering from the usual malaise of False Economy. They looked good enough in a sale a few years ago, £12 a pair. Bargain. Except they rattle and wobble at will, collapse on a whi...
Tags: Books, UK, New Zealand, London Bridge, Lake District, South Island, Country Life, Heather, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Dartmoor


A Reading Gallimaufry...

I have come home from our holiday feeling refreshed and renewed with my reading, and having filleted a strange urge to read anything and everything about whales ( except Moby Dick) out of my system. I can't remember what started this whale thing off now, but anyway I ordered a supposedly Very Good copy of Leviathan, or The Whale by Philip Hoare for 1p from You Know Where and got what I deserved. There are a couple of well-known sellers on there who have a very different interpretation of a book...
Tags: Books, London, Australia, NHS, New Zealand, West Africa, Greenpeace, Kent, Kensington, Waterstones, Helen, Zadie Smith, Inverness, Garner, Lenny, Tracey


Absolutely Fabulous

Please forgive a little madness today... The day was done, gone the sun from the sea, from the hills, from the sky and there we were sitting at the kitchen table the same evening, missing the cat for all she was worth (that first night is always the worst, along with the following morning) when I had this bright idea that we should go and see the AbFab movie the next day. 'In fact, let's be really daring,' I said. 'and go to the cinema in the morning.' So I booked the seats online, two VIP ...
Tags: Books, UK, Film, Kate Moss, Jerry Hall, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, Edina, Patsy, Kathy Burke, Harriet Walter, Marie Celeste, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette


Off the Shelf and on the road...

Nice things to look at on my desk as I start to write today. You all told me to add Evelyn to the dovegrey rose collection, so last year we did and this year it's a stunner.... Sheltering underneath the petals my little happy horses (a gift from Offspringette) and a dish of stones from some special places (to me) in New Zealand. And then a copy of Off the Shelf - A Celebration of Bookshops in Verse edited by Carol Ann Duffy and published any day now to coincide with Shore to Shore, the Poet ...
Tags: Books, Scotland, Poetry, Britain, New Zealand, Cornwall, Carol Ann Duffy, 2016, Jackie Kay, Clive James, Evelyn, St Andrews, Falmouth, Biggar, Gillian Clarke, Magnus


A Spring Bank Holiday Garden Gallimaufry

It is Spring Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK and we have had a fine and busy week in the garden and a couple of excursions to go and look at other people's too. And we've also had to bath a cat with fleas. Not Magnus, he's still AWOL and fast approaching his previous record of sixteen days. No it was the ancient Dowager who so rarely harbours the little critters but I suspect it might a 'bad' year. After a Frontline-all-over failure we braved the swim rather than more chemicals and can you...
Tags: Books, UK, New Zealand, Wolf Hall, Tate Lyle, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette


At the Edge of the Orchard ~ Tracy Chevalier

Of the many fabulous memories that I will cherish from Port Eliot Festival days, up there amongst the most exciting (and sometimes the most daunting) were the opportunities to sit and chat very informally with some wonderful authors as they talked about their books, their work and their lives, to an audience basking (usually) in the July sunshine... This is 2014 and photographer Martin Parr... And (thank you Kayaker) you end up with pictures like this for the album... In 2012 Tracy Chevalier...
Tags: America, New Zealand, Tracy, Ohio, 2016, Martin Parr, James, South Island, Robert, Sadie, Pearl Earring, Dovegreyreader, Arts & Crafts, Offspringette, Tracy Chevalier, Mostly Knitting


The Leaping of the Year...

I wonder if any of you are 'leaplings' and thus celebrating your birthday on the right day for the first time in four years...it's not really fair is it, but a very Happy Birthday if you are, it all has to make you very special people that's for sure. I love the paintings of James Lynch and I love hares, so his Leaping Hare seems to suit the day... Apart from the age-old folk tradition of women being able to propose marriage on this day, and having no immediate need of that, I did some reading ...
Tags: UK, New Zealand, Country Life, James Lynch, Cott, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Bookhound, Family and Friends, The Tinker, Leaping Hare, Robyn Cadwallader


Five years on... Christchurch

At 12.51pm local time, on February 22nd 2011, a shallow earthquake registering 6.2 on the Richter Scale, rocked the New Zealand city of Christchurch. 185 people died and the structural damage was devastating. It is thought this may have been an aftershock from the 7.1 earthquake in the previous September and those shakes continue. Offspringette was caught up in the June 2011 aftershocks in Lyttleton so we knew first hand how frightening this could all be, and there was a 4.2 while I was there, s...
Tags: New Zealand, Christchurch, Lyttleton, Botanical Gardens, Geonet, Dovegreyreader, Offspringette, Richter Scale, Transitional Cathedral


Safe and Sound...

Safely home after the uphill flight to the UK...we'll surely it is uphill, south to north, it certainly felt that way, especially the fourteen hour Singapore to London leg which seemed to go on for ever. Things got off to a hilarious start when my suitcase was pronounced over the weight limit at Christchurch. Didn't you always used to feel sorry and slightly embarrassed for those poor people you saw frantically unpacking, discarding and repacking on the airport floor. Please cont...
Tags: UK, London, Singapore, Heathrow, New Zealand, Moscow, Terry Wogan, Changi, Dovegreyreader, Christchurch Didn, Offspringette, Bookhound