The book club

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  • #138834 Reply
    Brydo

    I must admit I am not a big reader of books but it’s clear that some on the forum are.

    I could of course be tempted and no better time than now when we have very little to do.

    So I thought it would be interesting to hear from members their recommendations.

Viewing 24 replies - 176 through 199 (of 199 total)
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  • #154325 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    My wait for neurologist was a mere two weeks (same bloke on NHS is 9 months). Cannot wait that long; brain and legs will explode. Need to see him about the criminally named “restless leg syndrome”. That is like calling A-bomb on Hiroshima a “small air-strike”. Drugs stopped working and have to sort out new ones. GP is out of depth. Symptoms are life-changing, if not life-destroying. No sleep; unable to sit and watch telly or eat sometimes. Having to have hot baths at 3am. It is like getting the worst withdrawal symptoms. Ever. But instantly. Within seconds, you become a crazed maniac; red-mist, unable to talk or think sense. Limbs flying everywhere, uncontrollable. Dangerous.

    Mrs T still waiting for MRI appt. She is adept at knowing when something is wrong.  Since her big op’s, her abdomen has been swelling and feels like there is a rock under the skin. Feels bloated and full all the time so cannot eat much – drawback when quacks are telling her to gain weight. It has taken countless e-mails, letters and phone calls but we hope that the consultant is finally doing something. Probably just something needs draining but someone has got to find out.

    Hmmm. Didn’t mean to blather on like that. Sorree, Guess I must have needed to have a rant-ette. Will get back to you about tyres and suspensions et al later. Right now a coq au vin is calling for my attention. Bloody French dishes, just like the people. Fussy and perfidious.

    #154352 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Suspensions and stuff… First of all, the BMW/Mini adaptive suspension is not very good. It has only two settings. On the hatch these amount to Bumpy and Really Bumpy. It is nowhere near the rather good VAG one (like on the Superb) which has a sliding scale of damper and steering settings that can be made individual in conjunction with the Sport, Medium etc driving settings. As before, the real bump-eliminators are the (high-profile) tyres.

    Like you, I went for the top-range (Exclusive) model because it was cheaper than getting the normal one and adding the bits I wanted. Since the smaller wheels were only available on the “cheap” one, I got stuck with the fat, bumpy rims.

    Front, and rear, parking sensors are not a girl thing. I really must have them, The rears because I cannot twist round to look properly and the fronts because, at least in the T-ROC and ID3, you cannot see the front of the car from driving seat. At all. Not even by setting seat high and craning forward. Totally invisible.

    #154414 Reply
    Georgie

    Never apologise for being disabled or unwell, Tharg.  This is possibly the one place where we can all off-load our various medical woes, problems, situations and frustrations and be accepted and understood by everyone else.  🙂

    Yes, it sounds like the mildly uncomfortable-sounding term ‘restless legs’ was dreamt up by the same people who use ‘discomfort’ rather than ‘extreme pain’ as a descriptor on DWP forms – the ones who say crap like “You can always just take pain-killers for pain” with no comprehension that the dosage needed would fell an elephant and put most humans six foot under.  I really hope your Neurologist gives you what you need and plenty of it, asap.  And that Mrs. T gets her tummy troubles sorted properly.  As you say, she’s supposed to be gaining weight and I’m sure you’ve been feeding her up (I so wish Tiramisu could be sent by email), but we know what Doctor’s can be like – if Mrs. T tells them she’s eating extra they might try fob her off with ‘just an effect of over-eating’ or ‘just a bit of gas retention’.

    very gentle {{{Tharg and Mrs. Tharg}}}

    #154421 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Thank, Georgie. Support greatly valued!!! Biggest challenge at moment is getting a printout of the CT or whatever-scan. Consultant has his copy; copy sent to GP. Both claim to have sent copy to us. Not received. GP (receptionist!!) will not let us collect copy from surgery. I wonder how many receptionists get murdered?

    Have taken plunge with the T-ROC. Ordered the SEL 2.0L 190bhp, auto 4X4. Unfortunately could not test drive the exact model but went in one with a harder suspension and it was fine. Spec’d the Chassis Adjustment anyway. Biggest problem was that test car was a convertible on a beautiful, warm sunny morning! Now neither of us will be 100% happy with hardtop. I WANT ONE!!!

    Also tested the GTi (for GTD). Very quick, pointy and enjoyable piece of kit. Bumpy, though.

    #154471 Reply
    Georgie

    T-Roc sounds great!  But you forgot to mention the most important bit – what colour?

    #154473 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Had to be Feckless Tart Red…

    …be rude not to choose it!

    #154479 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    And I would have had the contrasting black roof which looks very good. But £500 for a bit of paint? Yup, £500. Get real!

    #154481 Reply
    Georgie

    Oh, I didn’t realise the two-tone cost extra.  That’s a real shame.  Still, that F.T.R. looks pretty damn fine.

    #154539 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Just finished Grave Peril. Bit of a “Bang-Bang-Shoot-’em-up” as we used to term these things on a certain SciFi comic. All action, to the detriment of some really engaging characters. All you remember is likely to be to repeated dismemberment of vamp’s and the like. Too many characters clashing – two damsels in distress, three wicked stepmother types. Hope the next one improves. Shall start  it soon after Baking Bad: A Cozy Mystery with Dragons by Kim Watt. Couldn’t resist the title and it was a cheapy from Amazon.

    #154653 Reply
    Georgie

    Not to worry.  If you don’t fancy knocking around with Dresden there are always Falco and Brother Cadfael for company. 🙂

    #154660 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Yup, really must get the next Falco. Meantime, quite enjoying the very silly Dragon book. Daft as a cartload of typing monkeys but can’t resist.

    Off-topic and into music again. Have mentioned the Guatemalan Gaby Moreno here before. Probably not your cup of Earl Grey but one thing (other than the voice) I love about the recordings is that when she accompanies herself on acoustic guitar, you can actually hear her fingertips skritiching over the strings. (Not sure if that is even a word but you know what I mean.) Many artists edit out the sound but I find it very natural – it’s like being in the same room as the singer/player.

    #154912 Reply
    Georgie

    Just watcher her performing La Malagueña live on You Tube and she does have an interesting strumming technique that must be murder on her fingernails.  Mind you, fingernails seem to be the required sacrifice for guitar playing.  My lovely long nails, usually painted purple, have been reduced to . . . well, they’re now cut so short and then filed even closer that there are not even any white bits any more.  Not worth painting.  Still, (strikes a pose) – We must all suffer for our Art.

    :-p

    Books, books, books . . .   Well into The Great Game and nearly choked laughing at the maniacal Miss Marple blasting away at the enemies with a giant Gatling gun while screaming “Take that for the Kaiser!”

    What is there not to like?

    Took delivery of another 3 Bryant and Mays yesterday, along with Crispin’s The Case of the Gilded Fly and The Moving Toyshop.  I’ll have to go back for the second one next time, but I hit my Book Allowance buffer and especially wanted Toyshop.  Holy Disorders was (temporarily) ‘bumped’ in favour of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

    #154926 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Don’t know Ms Moreno’s Malaguena. Will check it out. Her voice has a super range and she has so many little vocal tricks, like the growl and rolled R’s and jumping up an octave or so to do an “Ooooh”. At the risk of being accused of sexism, it is just SO sexy.

    And, indeed, what’s not to like about the gun-toting Marple. Reminds me of Mrs T’s mum. A classic little old lady in her later years (and a dead ringer for Ingrid Bergmann), she spent some post-war years in Vienna. A dangerous place in late-40s. So she went about packing a .22 Berretta. Pistol-packing grandma – kids loved it! Sadly the Berretta has gone, along with the “broomhandle” Mauser which grandpa liberated during the war.

    Really enjoying Baking Bad, Dragons etc. As before, utterly bonkers. But how can one not be entertained by crime-solving, dog-sized dragons. Emailed the writer to say how much I’m enjoying her work. Got a personal reply! The age of courtesy and politeness is not dead!

     

    #154969 Reply
    Georgie

    After the war my mum worked as Nanny’s Assistant for an Important Family (he was political, she was rich Parisienne).  They were based in London (lived next door to Churchill, in fact) and she travelled to Paris with Madame and the children every Summer for about six years.  Even in the early 1950’s there were still active vendettas.  There was one time a man came to ‘court’ one of the housemaids and the (French equivalent of) Butler and one of the footman (Seriously that rich) knew him to have been a collaborator and not only did he never call again, but he was never seen again.  Local police not interested – they knew what he had been and didn’t care what happened to him.

    On a more cheerful note, mum did get to meet Sidney Poitier at a party, though before he was famous.  Why he was there she had no idea (Looking at the date I suspect he was filming Red Ball Express and everyone involved had been invited), but she says he was the most beautiful man she had ever met.

    She also almost mowed down Bing Crosby with her bicycle on the way back from buying bread.  The roads had been closed to traffic for filming (probably Little Boy Lost) but mother found a way through!  And the silly fools were standing in the middle of the road . . .

    #154973 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Your ma sounds like she had a good time in that eccentric position. Mrs T is dead jealous. Reckons Poitier is something-or-other on legs (missed the first word!).

    My pa also got to meet Crosby, during the war, just off of Regent Street. Guess he must have met another cyclist because he was flat out on the road and pa had to help him up. He thought the crooner was perhaps a little “tired and emotional”.

    #154996 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Couldn’t find Malagueña but did find Tiny Desk Concert on Utoob. Marvellous. It’s just Moreno and a bloke both playing acoustics. See what you mean about her guitar style. Looks really complex, and painful (?). Sadly the real dynamism and entertaining nature of the voice does not come over very well. I have been listening to the Spotify stuff on ear buds. They really do make it sound like you’re sitting next to her. Can’t help smiling – and even laughing out loud – some of the musical gags she works are like little funny set-pieces. One thing in the videos though, she is SO enjoying herself.

    BTW as you’ll see, found the Spanish accents. ¡Estoy un conejito muy contento!

    #155064 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Just finished Baking Bad… dragons… etc. Great fun. Ms Watt writes very well. Entertaining style with engaging characters. Utterly bonkers. Loved it. Got the rest now (special offer on Amazon, about a fiver for all four.)

    Off-topic for a moment. Mrs T has been extremely lucky with MRI: consultant ordered it on 27 May. Letter confirming this and another from radiology giving date did not arrive (along with others from NHS). Luckily she decided to check it yesterday to discover than appt is for today at 4pm-ish. Just because we’re paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get us!

    #155230 Reply
    Georgie

    “Guess he must have met another cyclist because he was flat out on the road and pa had to help him up. He thought the crooner was perhaps a little “tired and emotional”.”

    lol lol lol  😀    My mum claims she never went to London until after the war, so it wasn’t her fault.  Apparently Crosby wasn’t such a nice person, according to his son, Gary.

    Great to see Mrs. T. has her appointment – Good Luck to her for that!

    #155233 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Cheers, Georgie. She’s had the scan now. Quite a nasty thing – claustrophobic and involving very difficult breathing, or lack of it. Nearly 45 mins inside the damn thing. Waiting for results and hoping they can ID the problem.

    Back on topic, now well into the second Cosy Dragon book. Just as bonkers as the first. Great, lightweight nonsense. 🐉

    #155235 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Moreover, on the subject of Crosby, may I suggest taking a listen to Don’t Fence Me In by Bing and the Andrews Sisters. One version has backing by the composer Cole Porter. Mr Porter stretches the singers from jazz through blues to straight pop song. Fantastic variations going on all the time. Time signatures and key changes going everywhere. Utterly mad bit of music.

    #155288 Reply
    Georgie

    MRI’s certainly are claustrophobic.  I had to take sedatives before my first MRI, but after that I’ve been fine (lost count long ago).

    The secret is to close your eyes before going in and keep them closed until you come out.  And make darned sure the fan is running cool air through the machine.  The first time DH had an MRI they hadn’t turned on the fan and he kinda freaked.  Second time fan on and no problems.

    I used to recite poetry in my head to distract myself.  But now I rather like all the noises the machine makes.  It’s like being at a one person Rave. 🙂

    #155299 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Thanks, Georgie. Suggested the “close eyes” approach to herself. Met with no enthusiasm. Whenever I’ve been in one of the appliances I’ve expected Bones to say, “He’s tough, Jim. Gonna make it…” with Cmdr Scott in background shouting “That antimatter drive is muckle noisy today, Captain…”

    Off we go, then, To Scan where no Scanner has gone before…

    🎵 Da-da-DA, Da-da-da etc.🎵

    #155386 Reply
    Georgie

    I’ll have to remember the Star Trek analogy next time I go in for an MRI – “Loading futon torpedo, Captain . . . ”

    I’m sure they’ve only heard that one a few thousand times.

    #155389 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    “Futon torpedoes”? Ah. Make it sofa, Mr Sulu!

Viewing 24 replies - 176 through 199 (of 199 total)
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