Holiday Photos- Canon Ixus and APS Film

My little Canon Ixus has been something of an undertaking to get up and running. It’s a film camera but it’s also electronic. It has to have special film called APS or Advanced Photo System film, and a special battery which cost £8.

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The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie- Book Review

I think I’ve seen all the Poirot’s on TV at some point, including The Murder on the Links, although some of the finer details of the plot had drifted from my mind slightly.  It was sort of a shame that I knew ‘who dunnit’ but, at the same time, it was quite handy as the explanation at the end was a little hard to follow.

Anyway, they’re all from the perspective of Captain Hasting’s, Poirot’s very English and earnest bestie.  It’s slightly hard to believe Hastings was ever in an actually war given how dipsy he is at times, although I think much of that element is played up in the TV programmes.  He actually only appears in 8 out of 30 Poirot books.

Anyway, Poirot has received a letter asking him to travel to France as a man believes his life is in danger, so he and Hasting’s hot foot it over there.  Ironically, before frequent and low cost flights it seems that it was pretty easy for them to cross the channel and they’re dashing about all over the place. They arrive, Hasting’s manages to meet a few sexy ladies en route, but they’re too late and a body has been discovered on the golf course (that’s the ‘links’ in the title btw).

Poirot battles with an arrogant French detective who thinks searching for physical evidence like matches and hairs is useful while Poirot prefers to just think about things.  I have to say that in the real world I think I would be on the side of the detective who is actually doing stuff. So does Hastings, who gets a bit annoyed by Poirot’s seeming inaction.

I was vexed.  Poirot’s incurable habit of making a mystery out of nothing never failed to irritate me.

But obviously Poirot will save the day.

It’s not literary genius.  For one thing, well the dialogue is peppered with random French words and phrases, everyone sounds very English.  At one point the French detective, Monsieur Giraud exclaims,

A fig for the examining magistrate!

This is an easy read, a good one for the summer hols.  Apart from a chapter near the end where Poirot and Hastings discuss the complicated plot while Christie tries not to give too much away and therefore makes it really hard to understand what they’re on about.  It’s all explained in the end but I’m not sure this is one of Christie’s best.



Sweet Potato (Oven) Fries

For those of you who shun the raw vegan paleo shenanigans for whom spiralising is some awful way of replacing proper spaghetti with strings of courgette, I give you sweet potato curly fries.  Ok, they’re a work in progress and they are designed to be healthier than normal fries but still they were quite yummy. 

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Slade House by David Mitchell- Book Review

P1030872OMG David Mitchell wrote a short book!  I shunned the hard back version of Slade House, but was very excited by the paperback version when the slim tome slipped out of the Amazon cardboard box thingy.

Anyway, I enjoyed this book.  It’s like a creepy ghost story as people are drawn to Slade House, a house which somehow mysteriously stands in a tiny alley, and then disappear. I quite like that you can pick up little clues as to what’s going on as the story progresses.  You get a good feel for what’s happening in each chapter and then their reality starts to shift, and collapse.  As usual with Mitchell each chapter is the internal monologue of a different character in a different time period.  And he’s great at getting into the head of different characters, and clearly loves referencing popular culture throughout the decades.

It can also be seen as a sequel or companion piece to The Bone Clocks which has a lot more fantasy exposition.  I was quite pleased that the confusing explanations of horology, banjax, and thingamy doodle was kept to a minimum with fantasy replaced with a little gothic horror instead.  But Mitchell likes to reference his previous work by dropping in characters from his other books, I assume for his own amusement but maybe he is trying to create a universe here?  You do have to be careful with self-references though, as it can be a bit annoying. You don’t need to have read The Bone Clocks first (in fact this would be a more accessible entry to this world) but as soon as a certain character popped up I knew who they were and what would happen next.

The book is quite short, I finished it in a day which is pretty good for me!  I was enjoying it and it felt a little like it ended before it had really got going. I’m also getting a little tired of this structure because so many of his books are like this.  My favourite book of his was The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet which is a much more straight forward narrative structure and apparently took him four years to write.   This felt like he had written it in an afternoon.  Still fun though.

Rio Olympics

So…the Olympic Games opened in Rio today and it seems unlikely that I’ll be going…seeing as though I am in the UK, and without any money (and also not an athlete of any kind).  I do love sports, and the Olympics always gets me excited.  I know it’s a beast costing ludicrous amounts of money, pissing off local people, and has various environmental and political impacts.   Which is a shame because the amazing physical feats of the athletes (requiring more mental strength then anything else), Continue reading

Photo A Day July 25th to 31st

I did this ages ago, last October when I took a photo every day for October and I actually really liked the result.  So I thought I would resurrect it for July, I’m guaranteed to get some good pictures on my summer jolidays.  The rules are that I use my phone, and only use one photo from each day. Continue reading