California Fire and Life by Don Winslow

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I was enjoying this for about a hundred pages. A different take from the usual on a mystery with a fire investigator looking into the death of a woman in a fire at her home in California. When I picked the book up I thought the title sounded more like an insurance company than a novel, that’ll be because the title is an insurance company (imaginary I presume). Then just as I was enjoying the story it goes all off on a KGB angle on me. In the end I think the Russian connections made reasonable sense but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought i was going to in the beginning, I just felt it was too big for it’s own good. And a week after reading it I’ve pretty much forgotten it all. Entertaining but nothing very special.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 21st September 2002.

Oxford Shadows by Veronica Stallwood

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Kate Ivory definitely didn’t get on my nerves like she’s done in previous books, in fact I’d forgotten that she did until I read what I’d written down about her before. This book has her researching into the history of her boyfriend’s house and finding out about the death of an evacuee to Oxford during the second world war. Good stuff.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

rounding off

how to make round cornered boxes in css.

file under: ‘it’s feeling like it’s about time for a bit of redesigning around here, or maybe it’s just the snowflakes that i need to throw out of the window, but it looks dull without the snowflakes, will come up wth something (some spare time maybe?) soon’.

[found via jill/txt]

Family Money by Nina Bawden

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I’ve got a soft spot for the author of Carrie’s War and still find it a bit odd (no idea why) that Nina Bawden writes adult fiction too. This story is all about Fanny getting older and meeting with disasters and how her two children, grown up with families of their own, see her and cope with her.

The book rather rambles from one storyline to another and some things never feel quite concluded but I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. It concentrates less on inheritance matters than the title and the beginning of the book would have you believe though I was amused by the bits about house prices as the book was written during the boom part of the UK’s last boom-and-bust housing cycle and people were saying the exact things you hear today. On the whole I found the story enjoyable and quite touching. Must reread Carrie’s War sometime and see if it’s as good as it was when I was a kid.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

my footprint

what’s your ecological footprint?

mine’s 3.7 global hectares compared with the uk average of 5.3, but if everyone lived like me we’d still need 2.1 planets to support us and we only have the one. guess i could still do a lot better. the quiz itself is a bit simplistic but there’s plenty of interesting stuff lurking in the faqs.

[found via web goddess]

panoramic scotland

i seem to have become incapable of taking standard 4×3 photos so here’s a round up of panoramas. some files are rather big (all less than half a meg, most a couple of hundred kilobytes) and many feature some rather dodgy joins but i like them that way.

we started off in fife where the only (panoramic) photo i took was a rather odd shot of the windmill and saltpans at st monans. the saltpans used to be filled full of sea water and boiled away to produce sea salt. the windmill was a pump to get the water up from the sea.

on the drive up to out next stop at ballater i took a couple of views from cairn o’ mount this one and another one. we went to see tomnaverie stone circle and watched the
river dee go by at ballater. the views at linn o’ dee near braemar are spectacular. this is a
vertical view with the snowy cairngorms in the background and this montage shows that when i ask darren
‘are you going to get out of my panorama or what?’ the answer is most likely to be ‘what’.

we looked around glenbuchat castle on the way up to the coast where we stayed at
this is the lossiemouth beach and the
view from prospect terrace. in elgin i found
maryhill house, formerly maryhill maternity hospital, my birth place. nice place to be born!

then we headed up to our last stop on the black isle. we saw rosemarkie beach then
the sun came out at cromarty and we walked up to south sutor point. my favourite of all these pictures is the view of
north sutor point from the path. this is the view from the top of south sutor point and this is the view looking back to cromarty on the way down (cromarty’s the tiny place on the peninsula between the foreground and the oil platform, it looks tiny, it’s not much bigger really).
we looked for dolphins at chanonry point but went home disappointed. i took
yet another view of cromarty, one in the evening and
another at sunset.
then i took a final shot to prove that even oil platforms are pretty by night.

[all images are archived on my panorama page.]

Little Knell by Catherine Aird

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I wasn’t as impressed with this as with the first Aird I read; this time around the short and sweetness seemed to be too economical with language and I found it hard to keep the story straight as it moved past me so quickly. (It seems a little ironic to say that about the book I read after the long winded Déjà Dead but never mind.)

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

It’s My Party and I’ll Knit If I Want To! by Sharon Aris

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A birthday prezzie from Darren that was a quick and fun read. Not quite as humourous as it looked like it might be from the cover and I found it all a little one sided in its outlook at modern young knitters but it is just a personal look from the author and not trying to be a balanced research document. What I found most incongruous was that after spending a couple of hundred pages going on about how we today don’t want to knit the same things as our grandmothers did in their day the end of the book was filled up with traditional looking patterns for tea cosies and hot water bottle covers. Not quite sure if that was irony or not.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs

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I’ve put off reading this for four years because although it looked quite good before I bought it all I heard about it after I bought it were comments in the negative to mediocre range.

Can’t say I enjoyed it too much myself, there’s a decent story there with a reasonable central character but other things annoyed me too much for me to be interested in trying any more of the series. Some of these other things were just silly plot devices that I thought were a bit too cliched but mostly I just found the writing long winded and the book overly long for what was in it.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 11th April 2000.

100 000 years old

i didn’t run into buffer overflow on reaching a seven bit age. i might turn out to be a denary being rather than a binary one after all.

also, it’s let someone else clean day which is very good timing on behalf of the day-deciders.

i still have another lifetime to wait until i can do a rendition of aa milne’s “now i’m 26 i’m as clever as clever, i think i’ll stay 26 for ever and ever.”. something to look forward to anyway! writing it down now as i’ll forget it otherwise. i’m 25 and just alive.