HelenEdith's Blog

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

Archive for February, 2008

Entry for February 18, 2008 – Gorgeous Sunset

Posted by HelenEdith on February 18, 2008

We had a gorgeous sunset this evening. It was real “shepherd’s delight” stuff with not a cloud in the sky – just lots of red. It will undoubtedly be cold tonight now that the sun has gone. It was cold last night. I saw a pigeon taking a drink from a water bowl we leave out for the birds and he was having to push the floating ice down to get liquid water.

I got to see the gorgeous sunset – and have a camera handy – because I switched my home-working day this week and worked from home today. I thought I heard Stephen come home and opened the door for him, and there was the sunset! No Stephen – he arrived a little later and remarked how nice the sunset still was.

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Entry for February 18, 2008 – Shopping and Cranes

Posted by HelenEdith on February 17, 2008

We had nice crisp sunny days here in London this weekend.

We took the bus into Bromley on Saturday afternoon and went shopping.

I returned my library books and borrowed two more – a crime novel by Jayne Krentz and a new Anne McCaffrey collaboration about Petaybee. It’s the first of three books. It seems that I’ve got behind on my Anne McCaffrey reading!

Then we did the biggie – we went into a mobile phone store and upgraded my old Ericsson T29S which I’ve had since 2001 to a brand new camera phone. The phone is bluetooth enabled and I got a headset to go with it so that next time I get stuck in a traffic jam I can let people know where I am so that they don’t worry when they know I’ve left home but haven’t arrived at work in a reasonable time as happened last Tuesday. I’ve moved my SIM card across and it’s making and receiving calls and texts. I still have to phone to get web’n’walk enabled. That’s a bit of an indulgence, but it will be very handy to check traffic reports when I’m on the go and I think that I’ll make use of the mobile internet facility. I need to get a micro SD card to hold my pictures, and then I’ll have a “handbag camera” again! 🙂

After that, we went into the “Pound Shop” where everything costs £1. We managed to spend only £3 in there. They didn’t have any photo albums, or we would have spent more.

We wanted to go into Jessops to look at photo paper, but the shop in The Glades was closed (possibly permanently) and we were too late for the one in Market Square.

I’ve been into two different health food shops and bought a variety of cereal bars and even got some vegan pesto. I’m sure I’ve got recipes that require pesto, so now I’ve got the pesto I hope I can find the recipes. LOL

I also made a quick trip into Boots for “female requisites” and decided to buy in bulk as they had a discount for buying 2 packs at a time and I came out with six packs. If buying up bulk supplies speeds menopause on its way and I end up with lots left over, then it was money well spent!

Stephen has been desperate for a Big Mac for at least a week, so we repaired to the establishment with the golden arches on the corner of Market Square and indulged, which took us nicely well past shop closing time, and although we didn’t get seats on the bus going home, at least you could get onto the bus, which may have been difficult at just after 6pm when everyone else had the same idea.

On Sunday we didn’t make it to Chatham for their second weekend of Chinese New Year celebrations, but Stephen did want to go out. We hummed and haaed a bit about whether to go and check out Hall Place for signs of spring, but decided to go to Orpington.

Stephen wanted to look at the cranes on a building site through a camera lens and I wanted to go to the asian supermarket. We ended up doing quite a High Street crawl and found a lot more stuff we wanted in Orpington than we’d found in Bromley the day before.

The asian supermarket had plain noodles and Wilkinsons had extra large tights and a photo album of the type I was looking for. Holland & Barratt had Cheesley in stock, and we found various other bits and pieces.

We parked the other side of the building site, which wasn’t too far from the High Street, and on a Sunday, was fortuitously free.

We had a look at the cranes after we finished shopping. There are two very new-looking green tower cranes with orange cabs and pulleys, and I think I’ve got a quite a good picture of one of them against the clear blue sky we enjoyed throughout the day. It’s at the top of this post.

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Book Review: Ben Bova – Titan

Posted by HelenEdith on February 16, 2008

It’s a while since I’ve picked up a Ben Bova book. The next one in his “Grand Tour of the Solar System” series which I wanted to read was “Return to Mars” but the library went and disposed of their only copy before I got to it! So I picked up “Titan”, which is about a habitat orbiting around Saturn. The Titan connection is that the scientists about habitat Goddard have sent a probe down to the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan, but the probe has gone silent on them.

As with the Tami Hoag book, the reader knows more than the scientists, as some parts of the book are written about the probe’s activities, although the reader doesn’t know what the primary restriction is which is causing Titan Alpha to abort the uplink of data.

We meet some familiar faces on Habitat Goddard: Kris Cardenas has a nanotechnology lab on board; and Pancho Lane, now retired (but still youthful) pops up as a visitor to the habitat. Her younger sister, brought back from cryogenic suspension and cured of the disease which was killing her, and now known as Holly, lives in the habitat, and is the reason for Pancho’s visit.

On board the habitat, we have politics, as the Chief Administrator must be elected each year. Holly throws her hat in the ring and opposes the current incumbent, who also happens to be her boss. We also have a second scientific thread, namely that one of the scientists believes that there are living creatures in Saturn’s rings. The current Chief Administrator wants to start mining the rings, something vehemently opposed by the scientists, but supported by many other habitat occupants.

There’s certainly a lot going on in this book, and Ben Bova pulls it all together with his usual flair.

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Book Review: Tami Hoag – Dead Sky

Posted by HelenEdith on February 16, 2008

This is a story about the trial of a man accused of the murder of a woman and her two foster children.

The guilt of the man being tried is assumed by everyone, including the detective who worked the case, and his other inmates in prison, and when the judge rules that evidence about the man’s past crimes is inadmissable, the reaction of the public is hostile.

Then someone attacks the judge and a prison fight leads to the suspect going on the run. A great many people had motives to attack the judge, including the detective who originally worked the case, who has also gone on the run.

In come detectives Kovac and Liska to try and sort out the mess!

The reader knows more than Kovac and Liska do, as the story is told from a number of viewpoints. However, all is revealed by the end of the book.

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