July 14th, 2011

View from study (sunny)

A few random things from around the web

Mostly from links posted on Twitter and also from Google+, some things...

Having just read and enjoyed The Penderwicks, I found this blog post about different plot structures really interesting.

Also on the topic of writing, this is a very thoughtful article that neatly encapsulates many of my thoughts about the type of women that we currently see in fantasy. But N K Jemisin writes it so much better.

Tying in nicely with this is Kate Elliott's rant about how girls become accustomed to seeing male as the default and femaleness as an unusual distinguishing trait.

And finally (I said the links were random) a delightful crocheted Discworld! :)
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Bedtime reading

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (The Penderwicks, #1)The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this story of four sisters, their botany professor dad and Hound, the exuberant dog. Strangely, I don't think I would have enjoyed it half as much if I'd read it as a child because nothing much happens. The sisters have a really enjoyable three-week summer holiday and make new friends, but there is no big adventure.

Or perhaps I would have liked it, who knows? It might have been different enough from my life at that time to appeal to me, despite the fact that not much happens in the story. After all, I did enjoy Little Women and The Secret Garden and there are faint echoes of both in this book with the close relationship between the sisters and the fact there is a boy in a big house who needs rescuing. In addition, Jeanne Birdsall captures the atmosphere of a long summer holiday in a beautiful place wonderfully and the girls all have very distinct personalities and they're all likeable. Collapse )

Anyway, I hope the quibble doesn't seem negative. It wasn't meant to be and it was a delightful summer read. Finally, I'm not sure what age group this book is aimed at, but the story is gentle enough for quite young children, say from 5 upwards if it is read aloud to them. In fact I can see myself buying a copy for my granddaughter in the very near future!

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View from study (sunny)

What I did on my mini-holiday #2

Rather belatedly, here are the photos from Day 2 of my mini-break to Llandudno, which was over a week ago now.

After dropping G off at the college where he had meetings all day, I first went back to the motel and worked for a bit. Then I packed everything into the car, checked out and headed to Llandudno for some shopping and wandering about looking at things. Purchases were totally boring, including new shirts for G and new undies for me.

Shopping accomplished, I went for walk to the pier, then up through Happy Valley to the Orme.

Llandudno pier

I'm sure I've been to Happy Valley before, but I didn't recognise any of it. However, continuing upwards in pursuit of the T-shaped cable car supports, I came across the ski centre where there is a dry ski slope and a sort of luge run, presumably on rollers or wheels. (I couldn't see exactly how it worked, because it was in concrete channel.)

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I don't remember ever seeing the Kashmir goats when I used to come here as a child and made our annual pilgrimage up the Great Orme. However, they have, apparently, been here for over 100 years.

Perhaps they were shyer in those days? Perhaps the herd has expanded and it's easier to see them?

Anyway, this is not a good shot at all because I didn't have the camera with the zoom lens and had to crop right down to make them look more than tiny white dots!

Kashmir goats, Great Orme

There are actually three ways to get to the top of the Great Orme. You can walk, you can take the cable car, but much older than the cable car is the tramway.

Great Orme tramway, Llandudno

Here a tram has just passed me and is climbing up the steep road out of the town to start the long climb up to the top of the Orme.

The cable car only goes part way, then passengers have to change to a rack and pinion tram for the final stretch. Collapse )
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