Saturday 15th July 2017…a jigsaw puzzle

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One benefit of being retired is the ability to do what you want when you want, and not feeling guilty! On reflection, half of one’s working life is spent feeling guilty….Very occasionally we start a jigsaw and here is one such – appropriately for us the theme is books. 1000 pieces is quite a lot, and it took us a few days to complete. On this occasion the honour of placing the last piece wasn’t mine. Great satisfaction resulted, as we were convinced as always that there were missing pieces…

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Friday 14th July……Agatha Christie, Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf…..

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This is one of the books I bought F. for her birthday (knowing I would like to read it after her!)……it really is poorly written if reasonably well researched. However it gives a good insight into how spending thirteen summers in a beautiful house in St Ives transformed the sisters’ childhoods, and led to an imaginative approach which would be adopted by Virginia Woolf in her books and Vanessa Bell in her paintings. Little old me was unaware that they were sisters or that they had such an intimate connection to Cornwall, but it was fascinating to read of their development, life story and work. I was also unaware of Vanessa’s paintings, remarkably forward for a female painter of the day, and as the book is beautifully illustrated it was a pleasure to see some of them. I am familiar with Virginia’s work of course but find it ‘difficult’. I was so looking forward to reading ‘To The Lighthouse’ knowing it was based on Godrevy lighthouse and the family life in St Ives, but had to admit defeat half way through. Stream of consciousness stuff like ‘Tristram Shandy’ isn’t for me I’m afraid.

Must have some light reading for bed, so what better than Poirot. I have always been Unknown-1.jpegattracted to Agatha Christie since we lived in Dartmouth and we visited and boated past her house on a few occasions. Lovely to see the Bath House on the Greenway Estate which featured in her 1956 book “Dead Man’s Folly” as the spot where the first murder victim is discovered…anyway, the trouble with reading books like Agatha Christie’s at night is remembering the convoluted plots from one night to another. unknown-11.jpeg‘Peril At End House’ is set in a large seaside villa in Cornwall which is pleasing. One of the more enjoyable Poirots. Lots of ‘incidents’, some bold characterisation, dramatic setting….however, ‘Mrs Mcginty’s Dead’ was quite frankly boring. Not a good idea to set aside Hastings and Jupp on whom so many of the novels depend for their internal working. Poirot on his own is just Poirot! Glad to finish it.