"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Recent Reading and This and That


Recent Reading

This is the second book in the Matthew Venn series set in North Devon and I really enjoyed it. Ann Cleeves is a very good writer and I loved her Shetland and Vera books although I never really liked either tv series.

This is book 10 in the Inspector Banks series set in Yorkshire. This book is one that I found hard to put down - again it is another series I really enjoy.

I haven't read a Cooper and Fry book for some time. In this one Cooper is off work on sick leave but still manages to have a hand in solving the crime!  I do like Ben Cooper as a character in the story although I must admit I really do not like Diane Fry!

I enjoyed this book far more than the first in the series. Sometimes I think it takes a while to get used to new characters.

I really loved Leif Bersweden's book called "The Orchid Hunter" and therefore when his new book was published I am afraid I was a little naughty and treated myself.  This is another delightful book which I highly recommend. Leif's love of plants, trees, flowers and mosses etc just shines out of every word he writes. The book tells of a year when he travelled round the UK on train and bike in search of flowers meeting many other naturalists and botanists on his journey. When you read this book it just makes you want to get out of doors and look for plants where ever you are which is what I think the author wants you to do.

Christmas Cactus flowering in the porch.

Angela Harding Advent Calendar - it is always a joy to open the windows on this and see her lovely illustrations.

We always have an advent candle too.

The Ring Necked Parakeet pair have re-appeared in the garden visiting the feeders and eating Silver Birch catkins.


We spent 3 nights in Herefordshire last week as we wanted to visit the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival.  We had planned to come back next weekend or the week after but then had to dash back yesterday  as very low overnight temperatures have been forecast so we have decided to close down the caravan for the winter. We did turn the water off last week but forgot to drain the water hence the rush to return. It will only be a stop of one night just to give the place a good clean, bring home fridge and freezer food, strip the beds and vacuum bag quilts and pillows and the clothes we leave there.  So sadly we won't have time for trips out. It is going to be a long 3 months before we can return.  At the moment with the building work next door I have come to rely on trips to Herefordshire as a way of escaping and a place of refuge.

I'll write about the Herefordshire trip last week in a few days.

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

The parakeet photo was taken by my son.


Rosie said...

Sad to close down your caravan hopefully the three months will pass quickly. I love your advent calendar I like Angela Harding's art work and illustrations. The wildflower book looks wonderful no wonder you treated yourself to it, it looks like one you would want to own. It was sad to learn that Peter Robinson had died a couple of months ago so no more Inspector Banks novels,I loved the books but didn't like the tv series very much. I do like Shetland and Vera on tv though and also the new detective Matthew Venn. I was listening to a podcast of a chat between Ann Cleeves and Elly Griffiths recently it was so interesting about how they both write about place and create their characters. Stephen Booth seems to have stopped writing the Cooper and Fry novels as his last one was set around Lichfield and the local canals. I wonder if he will write more? Take care:)

Rustic Pumpkin said...

The wild flower book looks really beautiful, something I would enjoy having in my own collection if I wasn't downsizing now. As you know I've got an Advent calendar going, well two actually because there is my e calendar on my laptop as well as my traditional paper one. I only ever had a candle one once and I really messed it up I kept for getting to blow it out! So sorry the years turned to the point where trips to the caravan and now only for shutting down and draining out the water hopefully the coming three months will go quickly and you'll be back there again before you know it. Are you going to give us a compilation of the Herefordshire oak again?

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I used to watch a lot of crime stuff on the bus when I had a two hour commute in total in my old job. When not falling asleep and dropping my book on the floor of the bus

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much. Shutting the caravan down this year seems worse I think because of next door as normally I know if things get bad I can escape there. Last year the closed period went quick so hopefully it will this year too. Christmas to occupy us now then looking forward to snowdrops and later primroses so will just have to go out more locally.

That is sad about Peter Robinson and I hadn't heard. I saw there was a tv series on Matthew Venn. Shetland I got confused as the programmes seemed to mix up the stories and Vera I never took to the character portrayed. I think you have your own ideas on characters and if tv series aren't the same for me it spoils it. A shame about Stephen Booth - I think I still have quite a few to read.

Take care and I hope your cold is better.

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much. Yes the book is good you would love it. Although not the same I think there is a kindle version. I certainly have The Orchid Hunter on the Kindle rather than the actual book. Loving that e Advent calendar - have caught up now so thank you. We have been known to forget to blow out the candle! Yes I will do a compilation but not a collage of photos as I don't think I have time to work out how to do it. Will see - will do early in January.

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks so much. A good way to pass the time on a long commute if you can stay awake :)

Midmarsh John said...

It is always interesting to see what other people find interesting reading. It gives me food for thought. I have just about given up trying to read due to eye strain but have started using audio books. I had a couple of audio book vouchers with Kobo and found they have a copy of Where The Wild Flowers Grow read by the author. Copy now downloaded and am looking forward to listening to it.

I read recently that Ring Necked Parakeets have been seen a bit north of my location so maybe I will get some visiting in the not to distant future.

Ragged Robin said...

Midmarsh John - Thanks so much. Sorry you aren't reading due to eye strain but pleased you are enjoying audio books. I hope you enjoy Where the Widlflowers Grow as much as I did - the author is so enthusiastic about plants that I am sure listening to him read it will add to the joys of the book.

Good luck with the Parakeets!

CherryPie said...

We too always have an advent candle and calendar.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you - it is such a lovely tradition.