Author Topic: Time to break the silence.  (Read 96 times)

Online Roger Kettle

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Time to break the silence.
« on: September 09, 2020, 08:44:34 PM »
For the last week or so, my wife and I have been suffering from colds. Common, run-of-the-mill colds. No persistent coughs, no fevers and no loss of smell or taste so no need to panic. Apparently, because of lockdown, the common cold took a break. Now that people are moving around again, it's back and we've been snuffling around, feeling sorry for ourselves. We're now well on the way to recovery. (I know this because we've started insulting each other again. Always a good sign).
One thing that has been a huge plus during these strange times is the number of books I have managed to read. Here's a brief summary...
I re-read all the Adrian Mole books plus a collection of magazine articles by Sue Townshend. She really was a very funny writer.
East of Eden. I finally got into John Steinbeck and I'm ashamed it took me so long. Wonderful book.
Comanche Moon. Just brilliant. Many of you will know that "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry is my favourite book of all time.(I keep banging on about it).This is a prequel and it's stunning. McMurtry is one of THE great American writers.
Empire of the Summer Moon. The biography of a Comanche chief called Quanah. Okay, I know I'm obsessed with all things Native American but this is a fabulous read. Really gripping.
Diary of a Nobody. This is another book that has taken me far too long to open. Written in 1892, it's a lovely satire about life in Victorian England. It stands the test of time and is a beautifully written, tongue-in-cheek account of the times. Great stuff.
Oh, and what else. Some Scandinavian thrillers and a couple of Jack Reacher books. (Don't knock Lee Child---the man writes gripping stories).
That's about it. I've probably missed out at least half-a-dozen other books that I got through in the last six months but those are part of the eclectic bunch I have enjoyed. Let me know if you share my love for any of them.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 12:05:40 AM »
I love audio books, it is so nice to have books read to you. I read a short story to my 21 year old daughter just today. I got a new gadget a few months ago (Kindle Fire) that works really well. I borrow books from two library sources - so free :-)

Been listening to the slow but charming tales from the #1 Ladies Detective agency and discovered the 150 year old writings of Anthony Trollope - I love how he understands human nature and takes a break from the story to talk directly to his reader - he is a hoot. 

I will have to check out your titles and see if any are available on audio books :-)
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 11:49:06 AM »
I don't read books. I can read them...obviously, and used to devour them when I was a kid, but I've only read a handful of books in my entire adult life. My attention span with books is the problem. I get stuck like a scratched record, and end up reading the same paragraph a dozen times before it actually sinks in and I can move on...until the next time. The problem is, unlike the books I loved as a kid, the ‘grown up’ books don’t have pictures.

I'm told, especially considering my own job, I should have the imagination to make up my own pictures. But that is actually the problem - I spend way too long doing just that, and my mind wanders far from where it should be in the book. It was actually a lot easier when you saw pictures of Mrs Pepperpot, or the Famous Five, and you then knew what they looked like. It's fixed…job done – you know what they look like, and there's less visualising work to do. I had a Kindle for a while, and enjoyed reading short stories on it, but anything more than about ten pages was a test of endurance I failed every time.

Of that handful of books that I have managed to finish, two of them I've actually read twice! 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' was one – saw the movie first (brilliant!), then read the book (even better!). And a book called 'Illusions - The Adventures Of A Reluctant Messiah' by Richard Bach (who also wrote Jonathan Livingstone Seagull...which I've not read). It was a book that convinced me I could fly when I first read it several decades ago as a young man (I never succeeded, oddly enough), but was a bit of a disappointment when I reread it a few years back. I think that obviously says more about my encroaching cynicism through advancing years than the author's inspirational skills.

I still hope to fly some day, though I’ll settle for a little levitation.
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 03:51:25 PM »
I bought 2 Kindle books yesterday - read about six chapters of James Acaster's Classic Scrapes (only $0.99 for Kindle, $17.81 for paperback) and the first chapter about dogs of Graham Norton's The Life and Times of A He-Devil. Both of those are pick up and read a stand alone chapter.

Tarqs, that happens to me when I read too, I couldn't read until I was nine and I too have a hard time concentrating with the written word, I am better with screen reading than paper printed reading - audio books are a great way to keep you going for novels - like cruise control on a car. 
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Online Roger Kettle

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 09:18:24 PM »
Diane, I haven't read any of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency books but I hear they're excellent. I DID read one of his other books (It may have been "44 Scotland Street" and I thoroughly enjoyed it).
Steve, I understand where you're coming from regarding books. There are times when I simply don't have the patience, energy or interest to commit myself to the entire story. On the other hand, there are times when I am completely captivated and can't wait to lose myself in the story-telling---the sign of great writing. For me, finding a wonderful book is one of the great joys in life.
I'm a Dundee United supporter. I need escapism.

Offline Mince

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 01:47:59 PM »
It was a book that convinced me I could fly when I first read it several decades ago as a young man (I never succeeded, oddly enough)

But wasn't there that misty morning . . .

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2020, 07:16:45 PM »
But wasn't there that misty morning . . .

Indeed there was, but I failed at that attempt also. What Mincey is referring to was a particularly vivid dream I had in my late teens, in which I was levitating several inches above the grass, propelling myself gently forward on the first fairway of my local golf course in the park just across the road from the house where I grew up (or didn't, as the case may be). It was an extraordinarily wonderful and peaceful dream, and I was deeply disappointed to wake up from it. I tried to fall back into it, but to no avail, so I got dressed in the early hours as dawn was breaking, sneaked out of the house, and made my way across the park to that first tee. It was misty, just like in the dream.

I concentrated with all my might, but my feet never left the ground, as I walked the full length of the fairway, hoping that at any second I'd be walking in the air...floating in the moonlit sky. Nada. Zilch!

I just didn't believe enough. Mincey has no soul.  :\
I apologise, in advance.

Offline Diane CBPFC

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2020, 07:51:37 PM »
Deep down, I still believe I can fly. But it's not the sort of thing one goes around telling people.
People will come from strange lands to hear me speak my words of wisdom. They will ask me the secret of life and I will tell them. Then maybe I'll finish off with a song. The Nomad

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2020, 07:53:11 PM »
Now she tells me!  ..0
I apologise, in advance.

Online Roger Kettle

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2020, 06:42:30 PM »
Steve, I've had that identical dream many times. It's almost as though I take off gently for a long jump and then just keep on going, a few inches above the ground. By raising my knees a little, I can prolong the flight indefinitely. It's a great dream---must be a cartoonist thing!

Offline Tarquin Thunderthighs lll

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 09:19:19 PM »
Great to know I’m not alone, Roger. Your take-off sounds different to mine. I’ll have to give yours a try. 

I bet you have that other dream too, don’t you? You know - the one where you’re proper flying, armed to the teeth with swords, knives, and other assorted metalwork, and battling against hordes of vicious winged, bearded Vikings high in the air between the Forth Road and Rail Bridges, just you against hundreds of them, until you’re the only one left standing...I mean flying. It’s a bit less peaceful than the other one, but still a cracker, eh? Wouldn’t you say?....Roger?
I apologise, in advance.

Online Roger Kettle

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2020, 10:24:11 PM »
There's only one Viking in my dream. And it's the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Apart from that...

Offline Mince

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2020, 11:00:24 AM »
There's only one Viking in my dream. And it's the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I didn't know the bridge was a Viking.

Also, the image of Roger pulling up his knees and performing a horizontal cannon ball is hilarious. Are there any other dreams you both want to make public? I have popcorn ready.  ;D

Online Roger Kettle

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Re: Time to break the silence.
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2020, 08:11:41 PM »
Well, there was one about four haddock, a knitting machine and Penny from The Big Bang Theory....