HelenEdith's Blog

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

Archive for October, 2008

Website update: Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Dales, waterfalls and a floodlit church

Posted by HelenEdith on October 26, 2008

I’ve been busy editing my holiday pictures from last year and have now completed and uploaded the rest of the pictures of our Wednesday activities and all the pictures of our Thursday activities.

We visited a waterfall on each of those days: on Wednesday we saw Janet’s Foss near Malham, which falls into a crystal clear plunge pool; while on Thursday we went to Aysgarth, where the Falls are divided into Upper, Middle and Lower, with water coloured by peat descending over limestone pavements.

Along the way, we took in the scenery in the nearby dales; we saw vibrant red creeper putting on its autumn show on the walls of the pub in Malham; and we stopped to photograph a floodlit church at East Witton.

My pictures are spread out over three linked pages, but they can be individually visited from the following links:
Helen Stephenson’s Yorkshire Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Littondale and Malham
Helen Stephenson’s Yorkshire Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Wensleydale and Aysgarth
Helen Stephenson’s Yorkshire Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – East Witton

Here are some pictures of interest to be found within these pages:

Littondale, with its limestone outcroppings

Vibrant red creeper on the walls of the pub in Malham

The stream feeding Janet’s Foss races through mini rapids

Janet’s Foss waterfall, with its crystal clear plunge pool

Wensleydale barn with weather moving in on the hillside behind

The Upper Falls at Aysgarth, where the peat in the water has resulted in blonde cascades

The Middle Falls at Aysgarth, which cascade over a series of steep steps

The woodland trail linking the Middle and Lower Falls

The Lower Falls at Aysgarth, racing down over a series of widely spaced limestone stairs

The floodlit church at East Witton, caught at that twilight moment just before darkness becomes absolute

A stained glass panel from the east window

Posted in Website Update | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Entry for October 22, 2008 – “Extended” Marlowe orchestra evening

Posted by HelenEdith on October 22, 2008

This evening was the occasional meeting of the extended Marlowe Ensemble. We tackle larger works than are possible on a weekly basis, when the orchestra is more of a chamber orchestra.

This evening, we started with the Merry Wives of Windsor Overture to the Opera by Otto Nicolai.

We then progressed on to the first of two Fifth symphonies: this one being the Beethoven one. Of course, I’ve heard it plenty of times, but I’d never played it before. I got taken by surprised on a solo bassoon entry and came in a bar late, and it was deemed to be an important enough bit that we went back so that I could have another go at it.

After our refreshment break, we moved on to Dvorak’s fifth symphony. We didn’t get all the way through, stopping after the third movement. That movement is a navigational nightmare. It’s got a first-time set of bars which don’t lead up to a repeat, but jump over a second-time bar which is actually the fine. Then you play the trio portion of the movement, after which you jump back to the sign near the beginning of the movement, playing through and this time jumping over the first-time bars and going to the fine. We did not get it right in one go!

However, the aim of the evening isn’t to work these pieces up for performance, it’s simply to get them down off the shelf and read through them for our own pleasure, and that aim was certainly fulfilled this evening.

Posted in Marlowe Ensemble | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Website update: Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Nidderdale

Posted by HelenEdith on October 22, 2008

After emerging onto Masham Moor, our Wednesday drive while on holiday last year took us into Nidderdale and past the Gouthwaite Reservoir.

We passed the village of Lofthouse and ended up in the village of Wath, which I think is where we saw a water wheel. The picture on this blog entry is of a barn high up in Nidderdale.

The rest of my pictures can be seen here: Helen Stephenson’s Yorkshire Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Nidderdale.

Posted in Website Update | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Book Review: Heather Graham – Dead on the dance floor

Posted by HelenEdith on October 20, 2008

Heather Graham has written a couple of books using the characters Quinn O’Casey, a private investigator, and his younger brother Doug, who is a policeman. This one is set around a dance studio in Miami where Doug has been going for lessons. A star dancer associated with the studio (and with whom Doug had been having a relationship) drops dead on the dance floor in the middle of a competition and is found to have lethal levels of alcohol and prescription drugs in her body.

Doug thinks that there’s more to it than meets the eye, but the Police aren’t investigating further, so he asks his brother Quinn to take a look, and buys him some introductory dance lessons to give him a reason to be around the dance studio.

Quinn meets the studio manager, Shannon Mackay, and starts taking lessons with her. Shannon also thinks that there’s something suspicious about Lara’s death, and has become quite jumpy, both in the studio, where she starts hearing strange noises, and also at her home.

I found the movement of a couple of shadowy characters that you could never quite get an identity on a bit annoying in the plot. (It’s one of those books where the author knows slightly more than Quinn does.) However, it was a good enough story, and I didn’t work out who the bad guy was until the final pages.

Whether Quinn and Doug will feature in any more of Heather Graham’s books I don’t know, as they both have career changes in the final pages of the book. I don’t suppose that absolutely precludes them from popping up again though.

Posted in Book Review, Crime Fiction, Romantic Fiction | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Website update: Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Colsterdale

Posted by HelenEdith on October 19, 2008

On the Wednesday of our holiday last year, we went sight-seeing, starting with a drive from Grewelthorp to the nearby village of Masham, where we turned off up Colsterdale.

We worked our way up via Fearby and Healey and past the Leighton Reservoir and onto Masham Moor. The picture on this blog entry is of the bridge which carries the road across the tail of Leighton Reservoir, after which the road climbs up to Masham Moor.

The rest of my pictures can be seen here: Helen Stephenson’s Yorkshire Holiday Pictures – October, 2007 – Colsterdale.

Posted in Website Update | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Book Review: Anne McCaffrey – Restoree

Posted by HelenEdith on October 11, 2008

This is one of Anne McCaffrey’s earliest published full-length novels, although she had already published short stories prior to writing Restoree.

It is somewhat different from her later work, being less of a good yarn and more of an attempt at a gritty writing style which she very wisely abandoned in her later works. It is also written in the first person, which is unusual for McCaffrey. Having said all that, it was a book where I kept turning the pages, even though some of the characterisation was lacking. However, this could be said to be in line with the plot, which is of Sara, captured by the Mil, who winds up on Lothar, a planet inhabited by humanoids who fix her injuries at the hands of the Mil. She was actually in such poor shape when she fell into the hands of the Lotharians that they didn’t realise that she wasn’t one of them.

The book contains a lot of politics (not something that is foremost in McCaffrey’s later works, although it does crop up) and transports us from the mental facility where Sara winds up after being fixed up by the Lotharians, through her escape with Harlan, the world’s Regent until he was drugged, and on to the Royal palace, where Harlan sets in train events to depose the new Regent who had caused him to be drugged.

I’m glad I’ve finally found this book, for which I’ve been looking out for some years, but I think one reading will be enough.

Posted in Book Review, Science Fiction and Fantasy | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Book Review: Linda Howard – Cover of Night

Posted by HelenEdith on October 11, 2008

This book is categorised as “Crime” by my local library, but if they were to subdivide their Crime section, this would probably end up as a romantic thriller.

Cate Nightingale, a widow with young twin sons, owns and operates a guest house in an out-of-the-way community, and a guest brings trouble down upon her head when he departs rather suddenly, leaving his luggage behind.

There are bad guys after him, and they assume that Cate has what they want, and they come calling. Cate’s handyman, Cal, proves to have qualities that Cate never suspected and he sees the bad guys off.

Unfortunately, they don’t stay gone. This is where the book gets very far-fetched, as the bad guys decide to lay siege to the whole community until Cate gives them what they want. Even some of the bad guys think that it’s a stupid plan, but they do it anyway, which gives Cal even more chances to show that side of him which Cate has never seen before.

This was an interesting enough book to keep reading, even though parts of the plot simply weren’t believable.

Posted in Book Review, Crime Fiction, Romantic Fiction | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Entry for October 05, 2008 – Autumn

Posted by HelenEdith on October 5, 2008

I’ve been playing wind quintets with The Girls this morning at Sutton Valance School.

The weather was awful, so I didn’t bother to take my proper camera, but I did take a couple of pictures of the chapel on my phone, as the creeper on the walls has changed to its spectacular autumn colour.

The pictures are here: Photobucket: Sutton Valance Autumn 2008Oct05

Posted in General, Sutton Valence Wind Quintet | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »