Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Miscellany : Read, White And Light Blue

READ : I tend to have two books on the go at any one time : a morning book (which is usually non-fiction) and a night book (usually fiction). Just why I tend to need non-fiction in the morning to wake me up and fiction at night to put me to sleep, I am not sure and I would be interested to know whether others share this peculiarity. I have just started a new morning book : "Family Britain" by David Kynaston. which is a social history of Britain in the early and mid 1950s. Kynaston has that invaluable trick of being able to judge the exact amount of detail that is necessary to make history informative, enlightening, and engrossing. The book starts with the 1951 Festival of Britain and much comment is made about one of the main features of the Festival site on the London South Bank : the Skylon Tower. The steel tower was held in place by thin, almost invisible, wires and the joke of the time was that, like the British economy, it had no visible means of support. After the Festival it was taken down, melted down and turned into steel ashtrays. With the current state of the economy, perhaps it's time to start constructing it again.

WHITE : The promised snow came down yesterday (and again - as my picture shows - this morning). In the main the weather forecasts have managed to get it just about right this time, but the surprise inherent in this outcome merely emphasises what an uncertain science weather forecasting is most of the time. Why this should be so I cannot imagine for I think I have discovered the secret of near foolproof weather forecasting for the UK. I am lucky enough to have a considerable number of blogging friends who live in the northern states of the USA and I have noticed that whatever weather they may be getting in Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio, we get here in Yorkshire about a week later. This discovery makes life much more certain, so keep that weather information flowing. 

LIGHT BLUE : Light blue is the traditional colour of Cambridge University, and Cambridge Blue  - unlike Oxford Blue - is an official shade of blue (Pantone 557, web colour #A3C1AD). I was lucky enough to spend the first part of the weekend in Cambridge, being treated to an extended pub and bookshop crawl as a delayed birthday present. Few things compare to that powerful combination of books and beer, especially when enjoyed in beautiful surroundings and charming company. My picture was taken on Saturday morning and shows King's College Chapel and the frost-covered Backs.


18 comments:

  1. I can have 2 books on the go simultaneously, but the decision on which to read depends on my mood, rather than the time of day.

    The 'before going to sleep' book invariably turns out to be the 'drop off to sleep by' book and reading it is a 3 steps forward and 2 steps back routine, as I forget what I've read just before Mrs Chairman removes it from my limp paws and switches off the light.

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  2. CB : The GLW provides a similar service. I find it almost impossible to get to sleep unless I fall asleep over a book. Otherwise I tend to think - which is never a good idea.

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  3. Sheesh! Everybody's getting snow but me. Life is so unfair!

    Speaking of blue, I watched Chelsea (blue uniforms) fall apart and lose to Sunderland last week; for some reason I stumbled across a cable channel that shows occasional English football matches. I know the Chelsea Blues by reputation, and I understood from the narrators that Chelsea never loses at home to Sunderland, but this time they did. So last week the Chelsea Blues were doubly blue!

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  4. nice...i usually have multiple books on the go as well...all depends on what is handy at the time...and jealous of the snow...hoping we get some soon!

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  5. Roy : I watched the same match myself - a great match. Chelsea didn't play particularly badly, but Sunderland were excellent. I keeping to a football Blue theme, my own team, Sheffield Wednesday (who play in blue and white stripes) were saved from going into bankruptcy today.
    Brian : You can have some of this, we have plenty to spare.

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  6. I also tend to read fiction in the evening, but cautiously. I once tried reading Dante's Inferno before bed and had terrible nightmares.

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  7. Alan, Put a coat on that rose!!! -J

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  8. I have four books running simultaneously and therefore barely read any! We've been seeing your snow on telly here, quite a fall, maybe you'll have a white Chrismas, how lovely

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  9. The joy of multiple books. I usually have a fiction and non-fiction book on the go at any time but for some reason am currently engrossed in 2 non-fiction ones at present. The first being the excellent 'Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music' by Rob Young, and also 'The Best Music You've Never Heard'. Both great reads, the only problem is they have both opened my eyes (well, ears actually) to more music than I ever stand a chance of listening to.

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  10. Most of the books I read have to be consumable in half hour chunks (lunch break at work)- v annoying if the chapters are the wrong length! Love your two photos today - the snow-embraced rose and the Cambridge one.

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  11. I read myself to sleep every night, and always have to go back three or four pages the next to remember where I was.
    Fall is leaving us here, not ready for snow yet!

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  12. Brrrr! Alan, stay warm. I believe we may have some of the white stuff heading south.

    Nice shot of King's.

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  13. When I try the two book thing, I usually end up finishing neither of them.I wish I could make it work, though. Just over half way through Middlemarch as I write. I think it would definitely fall by the wayside if it had to compete with another.

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  14. Re the Skylon. I was thinking only yesterday how architecture copies science fiction. We stopped at a motorway services on the M6 (somewhere near Kendal?). It boasted this extraordinary tower which looked like something out of Thunderbirds or Fireball XL5.

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  15. The most I read at once is two books, and right at the moment, I have none at the bedside, extremely rare for me. As I've not been able to train the cats to wrest tomes from me and turn out the light, they generally fall to the floor to be retrieved hours later.

    Like you, I read both fiction and non-fiction and fiction is better for bedtime.

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  16. I love the notion of your morning book and night book, Alan. Your white shot is just exquisite. I want some snow!!!

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  17. You didn't tell us the name of your night-time book.

    What a fantastic belated birthday present! Sounds like the perfect day!

    Speaking of pubs, I invite you Alan, to join us on The Poetry Bus this week. I'm driving and I think you'd like the prompt!

    Kat

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  18. I was waiting to hear the title of your night time book too. I've just started 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak. Enjoying it so far.

    I've punted along the Cambridge Backs. Great fun! But not at this time of year! BRRRRRR

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