His Mutti Loved Him

(Jane Ridley) If, like my mother-in-law, you don’t enjoy books about the  generation of British and European royals who were Queen Victoria’s children because Queen Victoria was so “beastly” to them, stay away from this biography of Prince Albert Edward/King Edward VII.  Victoria is a mother who – knowing that her letters could well be preserved  for posterity and made public – wrote to her daughter Vicky, Bertie’s sister, “The nose…is becoming the true Coburg nose, and begins to hang a little, but there remains unfortunately the want of chin which with that very large nose and very large lips is no…

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Under the Skin

(by Michel Faber) OK, OK, we get the message, Mr Faber. You have confirmed something we all know. Sigh. But you also confirmed something else for us here at TVC – that in no circumstances, whatsoever, is it a good idea to hitchhike. TVC had seen the film before reading the book (the two share little in common other than the name), and had read a spoiler somewhere explaining just why Isserley works so hard to pick up male hitchhikers; so there were no real surprises. It would be better to come to this book with little foreknowledge. The story…

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The Children’s Hospital

(C. Adrian) O you lovely book!  From the first, gasping, rolling hurtling minutes, through the green fire and the black death to the final sad biblical parade, I love all of your pages.

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The Lily of the Valley Doesn’t Know

According to those who know these things, Friday’s colour is green which is surprising.  I was sure it would be black. Green and I have a troubled relationship.  When I was a child I learned that it is bad luck to wear green, or at least too much green,  because the fairies consider it to be their colour.  No-one wants to upset the fairies.  Oh.  No.  You do NOT want to upset the fairies. So I don’t wear green (olive doesn’t count).  You think I go to far?  Consider – one of the regular customers of the  pharmacy in which I worked while at…

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Blue Collar & Cups

Hello again and thank you for joining me for this fourth edition of Lesley’s blog, “Annabel Lee”. The powers that be have declared that the colour of Thursday is blue.  Accordingly I shall show you a blue beaded, appliqued  and embroidered wristlet which I am working on.  I am deliberating on how to do the actual lacy cuff bit.  A detail of the wristlet-so-far is shown here with some beaded teapot & cup ornaments. I just cannot decide what to use for the actual lacy cuff bit of the wristlet.  My sewing assistant and I have hauled out the masses of…

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