Pretty Girl in Crimson Rose (8) by Sandy Balfour

Cover of

This book is listed as “a memoir of love, exile and crosswords”. I came for the crosswords but I stayed for the love and the exile. This caught my eye when it was heavily reviewed when it came out a few months ago, I put it on my list of “books to look for when they turn up in paperback” but recently decided to reserve it at the library instead.

It’s pretty good stuff, not my usual fare, but I do enjoy biography and especially autobiography so long as it’s not coupled with celebrity. Balfour tells his life story from the point where he leaves South Africa aged twenty one to avoid having to join the army up to his fortieth birthday last year. Crosswords bind the whole tale together and make what might have been an interesting read anyway into an absorbing one.

Balfour refers to his girlfriend all the way through the book as just that “my girlfriend” – a little odd but quite endearing in the end. I did wonder whether the lack of a first name was because the name changed over the years but I really don’t think it did, I think the girlfriend who leaves South Africa with him is the same one he’s still with twenty years later.

I should really read more “cover-to-cover” non fiction.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

medium sized tubular bridegrooms

i don’t agree with everything on this which pasta goes with which sauce list. and besides it’s completely lacking in tagliatelle, the best form of pasta there is, especially if it’s fresh out of my pasta maker (or yours i expect). though it does have fettucine which is pretty similar i think.

i’m delighted to find out what some of the italian names mean in english. why on earth are “medium-sized, tubular pasta” known as bridegrooms (ziti)? i feel that there’s a joke in there somewhere but i’m not going to be the one to make it.

[found via not martha]


misspellings galore

this morning i laughed out loud at finding a misspelling in a banner ad. “competetive motor bike insurance”. this afternoon i reloaded a page and found two versions of the advert side by side. the second version was offering “competative motor bike insurance”. how i laughed.

these ads are serving on my own damned web site.



mostly it’s too hot to think.

i keep having to check the radiators in the house are really really off despite knowing the heating has been off entirely since april. i’m not convinced that they aren’t coming on when i’m not looking. either that or our constant barbecue is heating up the air more than you’d think it would. this morning it looks grey and cool but it’s actually misty, humid and just as warm as ever. it’s lovely providing you have nothing more urgent to do than simply remembering how to breathe.

no complaints though, it’ll be back to endless icy rain and bundling up in woolly jumpers soon enough.

Hunter’s Moon by Dana Stabenow

Cover of

For me this series is definitely on a downhill fall. I haven’t yet looked up what the next book in the series is, I probably will eventually but it’s not a priority.

I don’t want to give away the main part of the ongoing series storyline – will it surfice to say that I hated what Stabenow did to the characters in this book. It’s something that authors with strong female characters seem compelled to do to their leads and I really think they’d be better writers if they found other ways to keep their characters on the bleeding edge of life. Maybe these characters are written to be so good at so many things that their authors have to give them something to be crap at and [spoiler whited out, highlight to read!] keeping boyfriends alive is something that they feel it’s reasonable to be bad at? I much prefer my characters to have realistic love lives – to be fair Kate’s never had one of those, but this was just a tedious step too far for me.

The plot of this individual series entry is almost a secondary concern, but I thought that was pretty lousy too. I still like Kate and her Alaskan setting and I’ll probably want to find out what happens next but I’m in no hurry to do so.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 13th February 2003.

how many things?

urgh. the 26 things challenge has finished. i’ll get my photos sorted out over the weekend and hope that i don’t have only 20 things or something…. i’m very impressed with other people’s galleries so far.