Reading, Watching, Listening


Two charity shop finds have entertained me this week. The first was my lover’s lover by Maggie O’Farrell.  We did The Vanishing Act of Esmee Lennox at the book group and enjoyed it so was happy to pick up another of hers. I actually loved the premise of this story – a woman seeing the ghost of her lover’s former lover all over the place. It was a book about emotions and jealousy and insecurity and half-truths with some exceptional writing.  The one thing that spoiled it for me was the ending so am reluctant to recommend it. No, that’s not fair – the rest of it is really good so go for it if you can bear a poor ending. Just make up your own like I did.

The second book was The Miracles of Santo Fico by D L Smith. This is a book about love and miracles and forgiveness set in a forgotten village in Tuscany.  Father Elio is having a spiritual crisis and Leo orchestrates a miracle to set things right. There is humour and a light touch to what would be great holiday reading.


This week I have watched the first series of Black Books, the comedy series with Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig co-written with Graham Linehan (Father Ted). I had forgotten quite how funny this is so there has been much clutching of stitches. (And it was only £9.88 for the boxed set of 3 series so not to be missed.)

My sister loaned me a boxed set of The Lakes which was a series on BBC1 in the late 90s by Jimmy McGovern. I couldn’t understand why I had never even heard of this until I remembered that I didn’t watch TV from 1996-2000 which were my University years. Us oldies needed to study, study, study into the wee small hours. The series was set in the Lake District so beautiful views and back-drops but was very dark.  Murder, mayhem, sex and more sex, rape – it was all there by the bucketload. Good though.

Son #1 persuaded me to get The World’s Fastest Indian and we watched that one night. It stars Anthony Hopkins as a New Zealander (bad accent Anthony) who wants to enter the world speed record on a motorcycle – the Indian of the title. This is such a feel-good movie and really heartwarming. (Film group will see it soon!)

Also have watched the 1st series of Life on Mars which also passed me by. I was more than a little disappointed to find that I now have to watch the second series to find out if he gets back or not.  However, it was mildly amusing and passed an hour or so.


Oh such joy since I discovered Spotify.  I’m sure it was one of the young people in the SEC who mentioned it in a blog or on Facebook and I’m so glad they did. Now I get to listen to all my favourite music on my computer without changing cds etc.  Found lots of my old vinyl on it which is probably unplayable now, having moved house a dozen times and they are still living in the garage. The ads are short and fairly unobtrusive too so bearable. Download it now! You won’t regret it.

And who have I been listening to?  Well since you ask… Bach, Dr Hook, Nick Drake, Faure, Barbra Streisand and Craig Armstrong.


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