Thursday, 27 July 2017

27th July 2017,

Not sure if I remember how to do this, but I will try, and if sucessful, will make more of a effort than last time, where I decided to make an effort and it was a bloody crappy and futile one. So here goes .....

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

It's been soooo long

I thought I would look up my old blog, mainly.....well let's be honest almost exclussively for my own benefit. It's been 5 years since I last contributed, but now I'm determined to add more in 2015, and let you .....sorry me know where I am with my books and life.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

McDONALDS INCIDENT


It was just one of those things, or was it? Sometime last week, I can't remember exactly when, but Jayne and I picked Chelsey up from work, oh yes it was Wednesday. "Can I have a Mcdonalds please" Oh crap i thought, I knew that this meant "Drive through". Panic stations, anxiety and stress kicks in, ably unsupported by Jayne "Do you want me to do the drive through ?" Not the encouragement i was desperate for. Soldier on.Got to the order window and managed to place Chelseys order, fantastic, part one of Mission McDonalds accomplished. Now just go to the collection window and Bingo, success. So what went wrong ? Young chap opens the window and tells me that the order won't be long. "O.K. me duck" in my best leicestershire accent. Jayne and Chelsey start laughing, and mimicking, ridiculing and generally taking the piss. Reign in all the stress, anger, frustration and panic. Then hallelujah, the order arrives. Pass it to the back seat to Chelsey, who checks it as I start to pull away, " This is the wrong order, I wanted a plain quarter pounder with cheese, this has got relish"
Wonderful, (deep sigh) " Back up to the window" in staggered unison. I obey. The young man has gone. "Knock on the window" says Chelsey. Again I obey, nobody home. "Sound your horn" this time in perfect unison.
Enough !!!! This was a bridge too far, the final straw. "NO" but this is not a car that is driven and in the control of HMV. So whilst I refuse to sound the horn, an action that screams attention to me, something that I find abhorrent. Jayne takes the decision to do the task "for me". Thank the Lord, still no reply, so making a decision for myself, round to the car park and take the order inside to change. "I'll do it" Jayne barks, obviously upset at my inability to be assertive and obtain control. In she marches and about 5 minutes later, she emerges victoriously, brandishing the trophy "McDonalduss correcterous".
"Thanks Mom" Says the grateful daughter of my loins. Off we go home, in strained silence. When we arrive and get sorted, Jayne lets me know how she feels, " I have had enough of you, I am going bed !" So although Jayne goes to bed, she does not go alone, she takes the Moral High ground with her.
Before, during and after the McDonalds incident, my Aspergers played havoc with me, and here we are a week later and it still is on my mind. Jayne has a good understanding of my issues and is well within her rights to "Explode" every now and then, I know that i am not the easiest person to live with and Aspergers can be a complete pain in the Arse.
Books are very thin on the ground at the moment, I have bid and failed on a Margery Allingham, a Ngaio Marsh and tonight an Anthony Gilbert. Never mind, all good things come to those who wait. After all it's not as if I have nothing to read right now.


Gladys Mitchell, "The Crooking Raven" First U.K. edition, published by Michael Joseph, 1966, p214, jacket by Broom Lynne.





Gladys Mitchell "Skeleton Island" First U.K. edition, published by Michael Joseph, 1967, p213, jacket by Broom Lynne.


Ngaio Marsh "False Scent" First U.K. edition, published by Collins for the Crime Club. 1960, p254.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

WHERE TO START?

I look at my books and wonder to myself "Just what do I read next?" Almost inevitably there are plenty of Gladys Mitchell, but also I have accumulated several other books by various authors that also require serious attention. What makes matters worse is although skint I still find myself accruing even more titles, not just by my regular authors, (Mitchell, Christie, Marsh, Allingham, Roberts, Gilbert, Biggers, Beaton and Hare ) I even found myself buying a Sax Rohmer book recently. The problem is compounded by 2 things. #1, My inability to maintain concentration, focus and take in what I read, which means that about 4 pages is my maximum output. #2 Possibly down to the medication or my Aspergers I now find that I could possibly be re-reading a book. Either that or I am getting a weird sense of deja vu.

We have now hit the dark and dismal months of winter and for all people who suffer depression this can be a tricky to say the least. No U V light being the main contributor, also the stress of Christmas and New Year adding to any woes you may have. Me, personally always find this an uncomfortable and awkward time of the year and have to rely on family and friends more than ever to help me through these winter months.

One or two more recent additions and an oldie that contains one of Gladys finest works.


Sax Rohmer, " The Golden Scorpion " First U.K. edition 1919, edition shown 13th impression 1936, published by Methuen & Co LTD, London P250, Cover (I believe) is Frank Wright.


Magery Allingham "More Work for the Undertaker" First U.K. edition published by William Heinemann, 1948, p320.

Gladys Mitchell "The Rising of the Moon" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1945, p223, Jacket A.E. Barlow

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW.

Into the dying throes of 2008, and it's been a strange and in many regards quite a life changing year. People often remark that they are glad that the year is over because all they recall are the bad things that have happened. This is almost certainly down to bad things having a lasting and usually more serious impact than good things. Take the most extreme of both, birth and death, most people remember the death of a close relative more so than the birth of a baby. True? Well you decide.

My year has had its share of ups and down, being diagnosed with a form of Autism, IE. Aspergers. Being suspended from work for 5 months, worrying about possibly losing my job, livelihood and the consequences that this entails. The down times with the depression, the perpetual moments of self doubt/loathing and insecurity. The pain and anxiety I have put others through. The Sleep Apnea and constantly feeling tired.

I look at the other side of the coin and find new people have entered and enriched my life, Shelley who we met in Ireland and have kept in touch with over the Internet, a lovely lady and someone who we hope to meet again sooner rather than later. Carol, the lady from LEAT, which is the charity that supports me both at work and home, she has proven instrumental at keeping my job. Everyone at the Mind group who don't judge their peers, just accept you warts and all for exactly who you are. Bob, the gentleman who I visit every Thursday for an hour as part of the befriender programme I am on. Michelle, a member of the Mind group who I seem to have struck a chord with, a troubled lady with a kind, gentle disposition. Lastly and by no means least Kay from Australia, this lady has meant so much to me, words cannot express my gratitude, admiration and fondness I hold for her. She is a fantastic lady with great taste in books, she has been both a comfort and friend.

So what out weighs what? Possibly this is a question for each and everyone of us, that only ourselves can answer. I would like to wish everybody a happy and healthy New Year, especially those named above, those poor people in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq. But most of all to my wife Jayne. Covers to end the year on.



Gladys Mitchell "My Bones Will Keep" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1962, p254, jacket by Kennith Farnhill.

Gladys Mitchell "The Dancing Druids" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1948, p239.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

REVIEW

Marion Babson, The Twelve Deaths of Christmas, delivered everything expected of it. A good old fashioned who-dunnit involving a Psychopath who goes around bumping victims off for causing almost every conceivable inconvenience known to man. Oh how liberating to be able to do what the murderer in this book does. Where Babson does fail is in the characterisation and in depth description found in other books of similar ilk, particularly Margery Allingham's books. Having said this , Babson more than makes up for it with the page turner ability rarely found in a lot of authors, and I sadly have to say that Gladys Mitchell often fails in this aspect. All in all a high 7 out of 10.


Christmas has now come and gone and Santa bought me a wonderful present this year, that was a new Margery Allingham first edition whose cover will adorn this Blog shortly. In the meantime and as a special treat for Kay.



Charlotte Armstrong, "The Case of the Weird Sisters" First U.K. edition published by John Gifford Ltd, 1943, p191.

FORWARD:_When wealthy James Whitlock decides to marry his secretary, he did not take into consideration the reaction of his three sisters, all of whom are suffering from some sort of affliction. His amazing escapades and the ultimate entrance of MacDougal Duff, one time school teacher, but now solver of murder cases, will hold the readers attention absolutely to the end.

Gladys Mitchell "Noonday and Night" First U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1977, p191.

FORWARD:_Called upon to probe the mysterious disappearance of two touring motor coach drivers, Dame Beatrice, Lestrange Bradley uncovers a racket which involves stolen antiques, smuggling and murder.

Later a third driver is missing, but reappears to tell a tale which Dame Beatrice suspects is only partly true. The story moves from a stately home in Derbyshire to a Cathedral town in West Wales and finishes in a loch-side hamlet not far from Fort William. One slender clue leads to another until the drama is played out and the murderer named.

Coach-party addicts may be able to recognise the various locations and those who contemplate their first coach tour may be reassured by the fact that, according to the story, only the driver-couriers get murdered, never do the passengers.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

TAR....BRUSH.....ALL...

I feel compelled to post an entry concerning the recent trial and committal of Robert Napper. He is regarded as a serial rapist and murderer. Most infamously guilty of the Rachel Nickell murder on Wimbledon Common on July 15 1992, witnessed by her 35 month old son. He is to be detained in Broadmoor high security mental hospital indefinitely. Which in his case means life.

So why do I feel so compelled as to make this entry? Well at his trial 2 eminent psychiatrists both pronounced Napper to be a Paranoid Schizophrenic and also suffering from Asperger's. This is not the sort of publicity that this already misunderstood and hidden disability requires or needs. Napper is an exceptional case and no association with his practices and those of us who also have Aspergers should be made... on any grounds.

Having got that off my chest I have become acutely aware that the Gladys covers I have posted has almost left me with hardly any left, well still a few perhaps.



Gladys Mitchell, "Lovers Make Moan" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph, 1981, p192, jacket Graham Rogers.

Gladys Mitchell, "Death of a Burrowing Mole" first U.K. edition published by Michael Joseph 1982, p204, jacket Graham Rogers.




Anthony Gilbert, "Riddle of a lady" first U.K. edition published for the Crime Club by Collins, 1956, p192.