A Market for Murder by Rebecca Tope

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I think I should have waited to get this series read in order rather than grabbing what I found in the library because two series seem to have joined into one and I need to go back and find out how that happened now. That didn’t confuse me as much as a couple of details of the plot did though, everything seemed fine when I finished the book but then things came to pieces while I was thinking about it and I need to go back and reread some of the details. Good stuff all the same though. I hope there is plenty more to read about this lot.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

power heavy

the killer piece of technical kit that i currently require to be invented is a universal charger cable.

in my ‘things to take on holiday’ pile on the floor i have a laptop, a palm, a mobile phone and a digital camera. each of which requires it’s own power charging cable. i’m almost tempted to leave the lot at home. the devices are good, the cables feel like a burden. surely it doesn’t have to be like this?

back next week probably. don’t stay up too late and remember to feed the cats.

spam and gmail

i’ve been using knowspam to filter spam out of my email for nearly a year and lately it feels like it’s been causing me more grief than it’s been saving by filtering real mail out with the spam in a non-retrievable fashion. it also seems to have no active development going on, the same bugs have been around for a year, and i’m not happy enough with it to renew my subscription. so i’m after an alternative.

i’ve spent the last week trying out google’s new gmail service which was rumoured to be good at filtering out spam. i’ve done this by channelling all my regular email to arrive at gmail and seeing how it gets on.

i’m impressed with the neat message management at gmail, it’s simple but effective. labelling, filtering and archiving your gmail work much the same as sticking your incoming mail in folders but with more flexibility. starring email i need to do something about works much better than the labelling system i use in mozilla mail, simplicity helps here. spam filtering is pretty good: of the 6093 messages in my spam folder this morning i estimate that only about 200 or so have appeared in my mailbox. so far so good.

on the negative side google are marketing this as a service where you don’t need to delete any of your messages. there’s nothing wrong with that other than they’ve made it really difficult to delete messages! i have those 6093 messages in my spam folder but trying to delete them is giving me a headache. not deleting them isn’t an option. i’ve used 56Mb of stoage space up in a week and estimate that i’d reach the gigabyte limit in about four months.

i can only view the messages in my spam folder in groups of 100, so that’s 61 pages of spam a week to check through and delete. if i want to take more care and only delete things from my spam folder that i’m 100% certain are spam it gets even tougher. when i search for messages by subject line i can only see 20 at a time to delete! and it’s impossible to delete things straight from a search, you have to put them in the trash and then delete the trash 100 items at a time. i deleted 10% of my spam folder and i know i didn’t throw any vital email out with it but it took me about 20 minutes. not good enough.

i think it’s pretty good for a free mail service and it is still in beta and i expect it to get better and i like having my mail on the web and … and .. and … but for me it’s selling point (no need to delete things) is also proving to be it’s achilles heel (very hard to delete things). i like it but it’s not doing the one thing i really wanted it to do which is making spam painless to deal with.

[thanks to kris for the gmail invite.]


i just want to comment that i’m really pleased to see things like this happening – it really is about time there was some innovation in women’s toilets!

Shattered by Dick Francis

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Interesting to have more about glass blowing than horse racing in this book but still it didn’t really set my imagination alight. Back to back with Reginald Hill makes me realise how weak Francis’s writing is. I was looking for something unchallenging to read though so I can’t really complain!

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

Fell of Dark by Reginald Hill

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Reginald Hill’s first book, slighter than some of the later offerings but no shorter on compelling story or good writing. I’m pretty impressed! This tale comes from the opposite viewpoint than the later Dalziel and Pascoe books as Harry Bentink is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and goes on the run across the Lake District. Early and standalone books from some writers never match up to the standards of their well loved series but this is well worth a read.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

Holy Fools by Joanne Harris

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I kept putting off reading this book because it didn’t fit into the right spot: I wanted it to be a fairly light and untaxing read but the 17th century setting loomed in my mind as something heavy and oppressive. Lots of fun once I got going with it though, it’s nicely weighted – neither very light or very heavy, gives you plenty to think about without forcing you to think about it.

Despite being set in 1610 it’s got quite a bit in common with Joanne Harris’s earlier books, the central character reminded me of the central character in Chocolat whose name escapes me now, they have the same kind of shadowy past though we find out more about Juliette in this book. The setting is very close to the setting of Coastliners in everything but time.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 26th December 2003.

mobile history

a new service for the kind of person who runs headlong across several carriageways of traffic on spotting blue plaques and then wants to know more about the places and people on the plaque than fits into the two lines of text on the plaque (that’ll be me then) (also hello mum!):

Over the summer, HandHeld History is launching a new service with English Heritage bringing on the spot information about London’s Blue Plaques direct to your mobile phone.

glad to see it’s wap as well as text messages and voice. not so glad to see it just seems to be just london at the moment. also it looks a bit on the expensive side. it’s £1.50 a day or if you join up now as a ‘founder member’ you get full access for £6 until the end of the year but you still find yourself paying mobile phone charges on top of that. that’s ok for the wap stuff (which i already include in my mobile phone package) but the star offering looks to be the guided tours – i expect the charges for half an hour on an 0901 number would tot up a bit fast and a bit high.

Oxford Blue by Veronica Stallwood

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This took a long time to get off the ground – I don’t think that mysteries have to have bodies splashed across the first page but I did start to wonder if this was ever going to turn into a mystery. It took off eventually but never really set my imagination alight. Probably a series to go back to ignoring for a while I’m afraid.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

speed up

dear world,

please slow down. you are going too fast and the days keep speeding by me and i can’t keep up.


whilst my life was flashing before my eyes i finished another pair of groovy socks:

lollipop socks on