Showing posts with the label humour

*Anne with an E*

We've been watching this loose adaptation of L M Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" series on Netflix and enjoying it very much. The Canadian scenery is extraordinary, so much space and cold winds and sunshine. Anne Shirley is an orphan, adopted by a childless brother and sister who live on a farm on Prince Edward Island in Canada in the early 1900s. The series follows the highs and lows of Anne's life, beginning with her trials in the village school and adapting to island life, and progressing through love affairs, education and work into her adult life. I read the series avidly as a ten year old, borrowing each in turn from the public library. To my astonishment, my husband is now reading them (ebook versions). Unsurprisingly, he didn't read them as a boy, but as a man over 60 he's plowing through them, laughing and reading out the good bits. Anne Shirley with Marilla Cuthbert in "Anne with an E" on Netflix Right now he's read

Reading journal: Baby Elephant’s Trunk by Sesyle Joslin and Leonard Weisgard

Genre: Children Published: 1961 Date read: April 2018 A book from my childhood. My mother was keen on teaching children languages, and I remember her reading it to me aloud. I did go on to learn French, although I wasn’t very good at it. This book introduces basic French vocabulary through a story. Baby elephant and his family are about to visit France, and his mother is teaching him some essential words. A charming little picture book with a fine touch of humour.

Reading journal: Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

Genre: Fantasy Published: 2015 Series: Penric and Desdemona Date read: April 2018 Penric is a young man whose life is transformed after an act of kindness. On the way to his betrothal ceremony he stops to help an old woman dying by the roadside. In return he receives a demon that gives him magical powers and knowledge that sets him on the path to becoming a sorcerer and temple divine. The twist is that the demon is not a single personality, but an aggregation of twelve assertive women. Quite a shock for a young man, to have twelve older sisters inside his head critiquing his every thought and action! Penric gifts them with the collective name of Desdemona. I love this book and this series. Whatever this author writes, I read it. Several times so far, in this case. Highly recommended for lovers of fantasy and humour.

Siri, diet saboteur

My sedentary lifestyle has a predictable price, so I’m working on dietary improvements. To help, I have a nifty little app on my phone for keeping track of what I’ve eaten. I was adding today's menus. They were sadly deficient in the four basic food groups (takeaway, chocolate, pastries, chips). Of course, most days’ menus should be so lacking, but it is a dispiriting sight. Imagine me sighing deeply, and saying, “I’m so hungry” in an affected tone, like Lydia in Pride and Prejudice.  * What I did not expect was a response from Siri. Siri is a phone app that you interact with verbally. For example, you say, “Hey, Siri, what’s the time?” and it tells you. So far my interactions with Siri have been a cause for hilarity. It’s so polite! I tried, “Siri, close Maps app”. Siri replied, “As much as I would like to, I can’t close apps.” I feel as if I should apologise for asking. I feel that I should say “please” and “thank you”. Anyway, my sighing and complaining of hung

Book review: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I have read this book a few times, and seen the movie, which was fun. Best word to describe it — funny. The author pokes fun at everything; English novels set in wild and horrible places, rustic people, the unsophisticated, the sophisticated, the County, the literary crowd, with a particular swipe at cinema tragics, and even herself. The writing style is fine, straightforward and readable, except for the bits she deliberately wrote in flowery literary style. You know the kind of thing, the bits you always skip over in The Lord of the Rings , long tedious descriptions of weather and landscape, aka purple prose. Gibbons helpfully marks these passages with asterisks like this ***, and says in the introduction that they are there to assist non-literary types in working out which parts of the text are the best, with an aside that this will also help reviewers. (My edition was published in 1950, other editions might not have that introduction). Plot summary: Flora, an orphan with ins