Tag Archives: kindle

The Cheeriness Returns

I’ve just read Lavinia Ross’s latest post, which always leaves me feeling cheerful, with its big skies, cats and wine. She has music too, but despite the recent purchase of a new computer I still don’t have sound.

While I was reading it I ate porridge with bananas and blueberries. It’s not possible to eat that without feeling cheerful either.

So, all in all, it looks like I’m in a positive frame of mind. This might be, in truth, due to the mending of my Kindle performed by Number One Son while he was here. It had filled up and I couldn’t read my new books. It has been like this for a month and it slows me down, as it’s so much easier to read on Kindle than it is to find a book, a reading lamp and my glasses. It turns out that I’ve been downloading magazines instead opf just reading them. Once we cleared them everything is working again.

We had cheese with grated black truffle for lunch yesterday. I had never had truffle before and enjoyed the experience. It was garlicky and very intense. I just looked it up on the internet and found that it may have been nutty too, and that the nutrient profile of truffles is “impressive”.  So is the price, but it was a present so I won’t comment, though I will start saving up to buy some for next Christmas.

I thought pizza was exotic when I first had it, now I’m eating truffles. The world really is a wondrous place. Of course, the way things are going I may still be eating sparrows next year, so I won’t let my happiness get out of control.

With any luck Julia may relax her grip on the Christmas cake and let me have a slice this afternoon if I whine enough. She spent three months ensuring it was in peak condition, and it is an excellent cake. Unfortunately this also makes it too good to allow me unrestricted access as I’m not regarded as a man that can be trusted with cake.

Robin on a Fence Post

Book Review – “Pier Review”

Pier Review: A Road Trip in Search of the Great British Seaside by [Bounds, Jon, Smith,Danny]

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (11 Feb. 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1849538115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849538114

Again, with this being a Kindle book I’ve taken the book cover art from the Amazon website, so thank you Amazon.

It’s a good book, though one with quite a few rough edges. You can tell this before you pick the book up because the less enthusiastic reviews, and even some of the more favourable ones, refer to grammar, blokiness, bad language and beer. I’m not that bothered about grammar, as you can probably tell from reading the blog, and, in truth, I didn’t notice any bad language. That probably results from me being desensitised by having two sons and a background of working on farms and markets. Like so many of my contemporaries that year at Finishing School eluded me.

It’s a tale of two immature mates and their driver, Midge. The narrative is based on them travelling round 55 piers in two weeks. It is, unsurprisingly, a badly organised and under-funded trip. It’s a familiar model and it felt like I’d read books by this pair before. After looking at their previous books I discovered that I hadn’t. I’ve merely read other gimmicky travel books by similarly immature, badly organised blokes.

This isn’t a criticism, just an observation. It was interesting to spend time learning about different lives and their relationships with the seaside, each other, their laundry and their past. There’s even a bit about piers in places, though not a lot.

One of the things they discuss early on is a quote from someone – J G Ballard, I think – that travel books never mention the parking. I take this badly, as my post on Cromer, our first attempted pier visit, does feature parking quite heavily. Now it’s going to look like I’m copying them.

Apart from that, I have a sneaking feeling that they planned the book better than it looks on the surface. They meet people, they stay in various places (a B&B, camp sites, floors of friends) and they space out the reminiscences. It could be an accident, but it could, under all the casual chaos, be quite a well-planned book.

It can be a bit tedious reading about people drinking (even more tedious than actually having to listen to them whilst they are drunk) and about their constant bad planning, but they are likeable idiots and the time passes quite easily as you read.

It cost me £3.99 on Kindle, which is more than I normally pay for a Kindle book, but I was happy with it. However, it’s a book about mates on a road trip: if you want to learn about piers buy a different book. I’ll review that later.


Turning into Nero Wolfe

I think I’m turning into Nero Wolfe. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just seems to have happened. I’ve turned into a fat man who doesn’t leave the house. I have the waistline, the aversion to exercise and I even have a selection of orchids. I say a selection, but I’m actually 9,997 orchids short of Wolfe’s total.

OK, I’ll come clean – I’ve had the waistline for a while, but being confined to the house hasn’t helped.

The cost of Nero Wolfe books on Kindle starts around £4, which is higher than I want to pay for something with no physical presence. I’ve bought one for  a penny, though P&P is £2.80. It’s a tricky balancing act. £4 for a load of pixels, or £2.80 for stamps and a second-hand book I’ll give away.

I’m currently packing for hospital (just one more day left) though it’s unlikely I’ll get a lot of reading done while I’m in there. I’m making sure to pack Wodehouse this time, and a packet of sandwiches.  My previous experience shows I’m likely to need cheeriness and sustenance.

What I really need is an auriga to follow me round the hospital and  whisper in my ear how lucky I am. I tend to find that as I lie there in the operating theatre my good fortune isn’t always at the forefront of my mind.

You don’t always get what you want

It’s been a week for buying books and I’ve managed to buy some that weren’t quite what I was expecting.That’s the trouble with ordering from Amazon, you don’t always get what you want.

I ordered a book featuring 101 outdoor activities for kids – 101 Outdoor Activities for Kids: Ultimate Collection by T.J. Doherty. When I started to read I found that it wasn’t a book with 101 outdoor activities for kids but more of a book with 101 activities for kids that could be done outdoors. Activity Number One is – playing “Simon Says” – you don’t need to be outdoors to play that.

So although it is a well laid out book and full of good ideas it wasn’t quite the book of fire starting and den building I’d been expecting. But at £1.53 for the Kindle edition it’s still great value for money.

It’s probably proof of  what we’re already thinking – that kids don’t get outside enough. Same with adults: I can’t imagine any of my teachers needing a book on outdoor activities. When I stop and think about it I don’t know why I need it.

Box of matches, baler twine and a penknife. That’s all I need really.

And a risk assessment.

Fire, knives and nooses. What could possibly go wrong?