HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Archive for August, 2007

Book Review: Joan Smith – Regency Masquerade

Posted by HelenEdith on August 26, 2007

I’ve read books by Joan Smith before and enjoyed them, but I don’t think this was one of her better efforts.

Moira is posing as Lady Crieff, a young widow with a fortune of jewellery to sell. However, Moira’s “jewels” are all paste. She is intending to sell them to the man who swindled her family out of their fortune, and has tracked him down to an inn near the coast.

There are other guests arriving as well, and Moira suspects them of being accomplices of the man she is seeking restitution from. It actually turns out that they are on a similar mission to Moira, although their preferred method of recouping their losses involves selling a smuggling business which isn’t theirs to sell.

Things got a bit more interesting once the smuggling theme got going, but even the end of the book was a bit of a damp squid, although the Lord posing as a plain Mr did get his girl, namely Moira, in the end.

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Book Review: Clive Cussler – Treasure

Posted by HelenEdith on August 26, 2007

I hadn’t read a Clive Cussler thriller for years, but Stephen recently brought a stack of them home from the charity shop when I said that I liked Clive Cussler.

I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Dirk Pitt, Al Giordino and the rest of them, and found this book a good read, despite it’s futuristic early 1990s setting now being well in the past.

The premise of the book is that the treasures from the library at Alexandria were spirited away prior to the library’s destruction, but those who did the spiriting away didn’t make it back to their part of the World to let anybody know.

When Roman coins start turning up where no Romans were ever supposed to have been, Dirk Pitt, who is conveniently handy, gets interested and pulls in resources from NUMA to try and locate the hidden treasures. As the US government are interested in the ancient maps of mineral deposits which may be stored with the treasure, they are behind Dirk’s use of NUMA resources.

Meanwhile, there’s a second thread to the story, which concerns a terrorist plot to crash a plane full of UN delegates. Very conveniently, the crash happens quite close to the Roman coins, where Dirk already happens to be, so Dirk gets well involved in the skullduggery which ensues from the air crash.

Dirk manages to come out on top of both problems, and although the book was 600 pages long, I think I got through it rather faster than the preceding book I read, which was only about a third the length.

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Book Review: Barbara Gale – Down from the Mountain

Posted by HelenEdith on August 26, 2007

This is another Silhouette offering, this time from their Special Edition series.

I’ve read a couple more books since reading this one, but seem to recall that it took a lot of getting through, so it can’t have been the most interesting of reads.

It is about Ellen Candler, who is blind, and David Hartwell, whose face is scarred from a car accident years earlier. David’s father manages to throw them together by writing a will which forces them to work together.

Ellen has surgery to restore her eyesight and David is convinced that when she actually sees him, she will not be interested in him any more. (Yes, this pair do turn out to be interested in one another!) Ellen, on her hand, has already worked out that David has scars because she’s touched his face while she’s still blind.

They do get together in the end. It’s not an entirely “happy ending”, and it probably wasn’t the most convincing book in this genre I’ve read lately. No wonder this one turned up in a charity shop!

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Book Review: Cassie Miles – Rule Breaker

Posted by HelenEdith on August 26, 2007

This is a Silhouette offering from their Intrigue series, and it was quite a good one.

The romantic interest is between Bailey Fielding, a commerical pilot, and Joe Rivers, the widower of a pilot killed in an air crash which Bailey survived. Jo has vowed to find out why the plane went down, and naturally he is suspicious of Bailey.

Just for good measure, Bailey has a real character of a grandfather, whose preferred mode of transportation is a WWII Spitfire.

When Bailey finds that a plane she is about to take off in has been tampered with, things hot up, and the real possibility that the crashed aircraft was sabotaged is considered.

There are various adventures along the way before the whole mystery is unravelled, and as it’s Silhouette, the boy gets his girl in the end, too.

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Website update: Elmstead Woods Station Snow Pictures, February 25th, 2005

Posted by HelenEdith on August 25, 2007

I’ve moved an album of snow pictures from a couple of years ago out of Yahoo! Photos. I’ve added in a few extra pictures for good measure, as I got snow pictures on two different days, but apparently only ever showed people one lot.

Click here to view the pictures.

The picture I’ve displayed here shows one of the station staff shovelling snow while commuters wait on the next platform. It’s black and white, which seems to suit the subject.

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Website update: Swiss Re (Gherkin) window cleaning

Posted by HelenEdith on August 25, 2007

I’ve moved another album out of Yahoo! Photos.

This one contains some pictures of the Swiss Re Building (a.k.a. “The Gherkin”) in The City of London, photographed on a day when the window cleaners were working on the building.

Click here to view the pictures.

The picture above shows the arm used for cleaning the domed top of the building.

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Website update: East Sussex pictures

Posted by HelenEdith on August 19, 2007

I’ve moved another album out of Yahoo! Photos.

This one contains pictures taken one day when we drove down to East Sussex and then drove along the coast, stopping to look at the scenery at Bexhill and Beachy Head; and having a look at the Harbour at Newhaven.

This time I’ve added some fresh material to what was previously online. I even found a series of pictures taken with a tripod which show a piece of heavy machinery moving rocks back from the water’s edge, and have put six of them together as an animation. You might want to press the “faster” button so that the animation moves a bit quicker, but that’s up to you.

Click here to view the pictures.

The picture I’ve chosen to display above is a chalk cliff at the entrance to Newhaven Harbour.

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Website update: Interior of St Margaret’s Church, Lee

Posted by HelenEdith on August 19, 2007

I’ve moved some more pictures from Yahoo! Photos to my own website.

These pictures were taken in a few minutes before a Blackheath Choir concert in St Margaret’s Church, Lee. (I was there as part of the orchestra.)

I used a 35mm manual focus prime lens on my digital SLR and pushed the ISO up to 1600 for these pictures. I didn’t have time to mess about with a tripod!

I would like to go back to St Margaret’s when I’ve got more time and take some better pictures of the interior of this church. The exterior is also well worth a picture, too, particularly at twilight, when it is floodlit.

Click here to view the pictures taken on 2nd April last year.

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Website update: Woolwich Ferry Annual River Trip 2006

Posted by HelenEdith on August 18, 2007

I\’ve moved a few more pictures from Yahoo! Photos to my own website. (They\’re bigger on my own site, too.)

These ones were taken last year when the Woolwich Ferry made its annual charity river trip to the Upper Pool with its car deck full of people enjoying the ride up the river and their own special lift of Tower Bridge.

Click here to view them.

The picture I\’ve included above shows John Burns (one of three boats which form the Woolwich Ferry service) passing in front of City Hall on the way upriver.

I’ve moved a few more pictures from Yahoo! Photos to my own website. (They’re bigger on my own site, too.)

These ones were taken last year when the Woolwich Ferry made its annual charity river trip to the Upper Pool with its car deck full of people enjoying the ride up the river and their own special lift of Tower Bridge.

Click here to view them.

The picture I’ve included above shows John Burns (one of three boats which form the Woolwich Ferry service) passing in front of City Hall on the way upriver.

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Entry for August 16, 2007 – Climate change protest comes to Biggin Hill

Posted by HelenEdith on August 16, 2007

It isn’t often that a demonstration that makes the national news takes place within the London Borough of Bromley, but such was the case today when climate change protestors chained themselves to the railings at Biggin Hill Airport and lay on the entrance road to prevent people from getting to the passenger terminal.

Apparently they targetted Biggin Hill because it is used by executive jets owned by the super-rich, and the group who demonstrated wanted to make the point that this group of people are not doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint.

You can read the BBC’s article here: Chained airport protesters held

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