Wednesday, 27 October 2010

A Note on Murder

I have procrastinated long enough. It is time for me to say something about books, authors, fiction, fact or fantasy. What has glavanised me is one of the Grand Designs programmes, in which a young couple, and the presenter, were saying how much they enjoyed seeing books on display as part of the décor of a room. I agree. I harbour a suspicion, possibly erroneously, that many of us hope that the books we display will illicite admiration in others. Do they say something about our taste or lack thereof, our intelligence or ignorance? I suspect that like the art and artifacts that are on show in our homes, what we preceive about others’ choice in books influence our preceptions about that person. Book clubs are a good insight into the sensitivities we harbour about ourselves. You only have to hear a glowing report on some book you thought was diabolical to look askance at your friend and wonder about them. Or is this just my reaction?

Still onto books read and enjoyed over the last six months. I have come across the author Mark Billington, whose detective novels have Thorne his irascible ‘hero’ fighting his own personality as much as that of the ‘villians’. My reservations such as they are is of an over reliance on “serial killers” and making his closest “mate” (the pathologist) unbelieveably eccentric. Otherwise enjoyable reads.

Another writer I have liked, is Kate Grenville introduced to me by my good friend, Sue Irving (we are always swapping names of recently discovered authors) and thoroughly enjoyed her The Lieutenant, and also The Secret River . Books I probably would never have picked up in the library from just reading the blurb on the back.

Have bought Hare with Amber Eyes on the recommendation of sister Katie, who raved about it and am looking forward to spending a few happy hours engrossed in a world far removed from my own.

Gosh so many books to read and not enough time. I find as I grow older that night time is not the right time for reading but early daylight is. A chapter or two first thing in the morning really sets one up for the day. As a card I found in Canada said “You’re never alone with a book”. Happy reading. Susie

Saturday, 23 October 2010

For Those Items you Simply Can't Make Yourself

Have just come across a seriously fab website that all you style-concious ladies should visit to keep au fait and current. It's full of entertaining observations as well so check it out.....

What do you say to a Briancon catwalk next year?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Not Quite But Almost......

In case you wondered what we got up to at Briançon during those long wintery months when we aren't running workshops, take a look at our sister blog:

where you will find a video of our latest event, i.e Jive/Rock'n'Roll lessons!

We had an absolute hoot of a time with great teachers Simon and Elliot from Jive Nation UK who came over specifically for the weekend workshops. Work on insulating the barn will start after the second duo of lessons in the middle of November, after which we hope to run the classes and freestyle as a regular event.

If you haven't tried the Jive, then I seriously suggest you find classes close to home to keep you warm and super-fit over the cold season - beats jogging any day AND it's social!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Space for Thought

It been a long time coming, but at last another blog! We all lead such busy lives so no excuses - however I have been waiting for photographs of the new workshop space, l'Espace, that show it off properly and here at last they are.

Giles Stokoe, a remarkable young photographer who just happens to be living not far from Les Soeurs Anglaises (and whom we are delighted to say will be leading a DSLR photographic workshop with us next September) took the photographs one sultry afternoon last week and we are delighted that finally there is some indication of the amazing workshop space which, of course, doubles up in the summer when the huge doors are open onto the terrace.

We are organising a set of four Rock'n'Roll evenings in l'Espace over the next couple of months and will be posting photographs to keep you amused.

Because of the magnificent and prolonged Indian Summer that we are experiencing here in South West France (sorry folks), we have had a bumper late crop of vegetables. Apart from the discovery of a new variety of small, sweet, yellow tomatoes we have been experimenting with radicchios and the fabulous Italian aubergines (a form of Violetta Di Firenze grown from seed from the Italian Seed Company) to find the best flavours for next year's workshop menus.

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Check out the sort of negative effect at the top of the aubergines where the sun hasn't reached the plant to turn it.... well, aubergine. Wonder if Giles could do something with the plant's photo-sensitivity.... They are absolutely delicious, by the way, and we have quite a few new recipes for Les Soeurs Anglaises cookbook which should be available for discerning cooks by the time of our first workshop in May 2011.