Books: Charlaine Harris’ ‘Grave Sight’ – “I was profoundly glad I hadn’t been having an affair with her husband”

Charlaine Harris seems to have a thing for writing about young women who are socially isolated and have a power that is more of a curse than a blessing.

Sookie Stackhouse was a fairly accessible character and had some social skills. Harper Connelly is a pretty cold fish by comparison and it is probably a good thing that she only had four books in her series – ‘Grave Sight’, ‘Grave Surprise’, ‘An Ice Cold Grave’ and ‘Grave Secret’.

grave sight

It isn’t that they are bad books, they have a plot and wander along to a good enough ending each time. It is just that Harper is rather had to empathise with, I suppose finding dead people for a living  because being hit by lightening means that you “buzz” when you are near a corpse and then seeing their final moments would make you somewhat withdrawn and less than chatty.

Following the success of ‘True Blood’ there have been some interest in turning this into a TV show, it could work rather well with enough deviation from the books but it wouldn’t be as popular as ‘True Blood’ and would probably be cancelled by the end of the first season.

Part of this will be down to the total lack of sex appeal; Sookie was a bit of a slapper whereas Harper isn’t, however I wasn’t entirely sure why Harper felt the need to share with us that her step-brother’s penis was curved and that is going to be a longer lasting memory than the actual plots.

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Bletchley Park – Cyanide and candy

Given the recent D-Day anniversary it seemed a nice idea to finally make it to Bletchley Park – something which the husband has wanted to do for ages.

I went in expecting it to not be entirely my favourite thing but I expected it to be interesting and informative. What it transpired to be was a VERY long drive to see some badly laid out unventilated rooms which contained the ruins of some gadgets which looked concerning like every Craft Design Technology project that I ‘lost’ at school.

This automatically led me to detest Bletchley as at school CDT was compulsory and it sucked. From the half-explained projects, the unsupervised dangerous machinery, to the pervy handyman it was the worst subject that I wasn’t excused from attending.

Wrens operating the Colossus computer, 1943.

(Photo from BBC)

Bletchley Park had potential but bored me to tears, the highlight was when the poor slobs in the canteen couldn’t tell the difference between brownie and tiffin so undercharged me for the inedible slice of ick.

I am assured that the adjacent, but entirely separate, National Museum of Computing was better, but by this time I refused to give anyone money to bore me to tears, so I sat in the sun and listened to some crazy woman rant about how difficult the births of her children were several decades ago instead.

I want my damn day back.

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The end of the World depicted on coins

Apparently I am on the Royal Mint email list – I think I wanted to be on the stamp email list but there isn’t one.

I don’t recall ever having had an email from the Royal Mint before, but I got one today. They are trying to sell a set of four coins depicting a portrait of Britain. However they look more like the end of the world to me – a giant mutant lion, rising flood waters, tidal wave and glowing radioactive giant clock… but that might just be me…

scary coins £450

I certainly won’t be shelling out lots of money for them!

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Nails: Doctor Who – I only want you for your tardis

Having rather a lot of ‘fun’ right now trying to pack down the house so it looks clutter-free and sellable. This is massively aggravating for a number of reasons – and that is understating it somewhat.

It has actually reached the stage where I want a Tardis – or a storage unit that doesn’t mind accepting dead bodies…

doctor who mani

(Photo from danismanis.wordpress.com)

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Film: ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) – “Misery, that’s what you’ve chosen”

I have never really been sold on the idea of Spider-Man as a credible hero, he seems like a whiney little brat with a dodgy moral compass who guilt-trips himself into trying to be a better person.

As such I deny any and all knowledge of how the film of ‘Spider-man’ got into the house, but I definitely want it out. However in order to ditch it the rule is that it needs to be watched, so I gritted my teeth and took off the cellophane.

spider-man

Spidey himself was as annoying as I expected, MJ was a vacuous slut and William Dafoe ate the scenery very well (although not as well as in ‘Boondock Saints’

One thing that I did notice was how many possible references to masturbation the film contained – starting with the excessive webs… so this film is charity-shop bound! It is just a shame that we also seem to have the 2nd film!

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Book: Stacey Jay’s ‘Dead in the Delta’ – “Monsters come in every sex, color and creed, and hold a wide variety of jobs.”

It is refreshingly low pressure to pick up a book expecting to find it dire. I had heard awful things about the main character in ‘Dead in the Delta’ and had invested a whole 1 pence in purchasing the book (plus £2.80 postage).

Annabelle Lee is described on the back over as a “hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead”, what this means in real terms is that she is a functioning alcoholic, at times barely functioning but still doing way better than Chess in a similar urban fantasy series.

The background is that a terrorist blew up a chemical plant and it mutated fairies into human-flesh craving monsters. Once a human is bitten by a fairy they die, get put into a camp or, if they are immune they work for the government.

Annabelle is immune and works picking up samples from the swamp, but mostly she drinks and shags her cop boyfriend.  However booze transpires to be a pretty tame bad habit as the drug of choice in this post-fairy-mutation world is Breeze, which is a combination of fairy poo and bleach.

dead on the delta

At this point I did wonder about the sanity of Stacy Jay’s imagination, this idle pondering turned into outright disgust after details of cats being drowned and bunnies being killed with rocks. It didn’t seem necessary and if it hadn’t been for these I would have called the book surprisingly good – for cheap trash that features cheap trash, although ‘Game of Thrones’ has rather taken any surprise out of a blonde haired child being the product of incest.

As it is I’m cheerfully going to drop it at a charity shop and avoid Jay’s work in future.

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House Hunting: Gas releasing Budgies and Hells Angels = no sale

Went to see a house today, it looked rather cute in the photos and the floor plan was ok – although not perfect.

It has originally advertised as being three bedrooms and then it was suddenly pulled off the market and went back on as a two bedroom. It transpired that the top bedroom didn’t have planning permission and the estate agents even went as far as to pull the photos of the room from the internet!

Turned up to see it and the neighbourhood seemed ok… one side of the road was terraces which looked rather like student housing and the other side were old-style semis. We found the semi in question and it looked ok from the outside – directly opposite it was a Hell’s Angels establishment, completed with blacked out windows and bristling with security cameras.

Already it was a “hell no” to this house. As we had an appointment we went through the motions, although the house STANK of gas. I even mentioned this to the estate agent but he blamed the budgie that was sitting looking miserable in a corner of the living room – which was certainly a novel excuse.

The not-a-bedroom-really room is never ever going to pass building regulations. It is a narrow staircase with a low room and beams to get up there, even knowing it was a low room I nearly bopped my head on the way back down.

So that was fun 🙂

I don’t think that I am being fussy, I think that people keep trying to sell rubbish!

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