Wordsworth art

Here is a picture for Frank, of Jenny (left), Cathy (right) and their friend Louisa (middle), taken last summer in the Lake District. We were at Grasmere, and after walking round the lake it began to rain. We went to the Wordsworth museum at Dove cottage (but not into it), and found this lovely little stone house in which there were lots of Wordsworth-related art activities. All completely free. This kept the girls happy for hours, painting daffodils and so on.

The picture is not very good as they did not want it taken. I have two others with the younger two sticking out their tougues and Cathy with her head even further down than it is in this example, so I am afraid this is the best I can do. If you look closely at Jenny’s work, you may be able to make out the wild flowers that Wordsworth wrote about on occasion.

Tagging part 94

Apologies to anyone receiving this blog by rss, if you have recently received a large number of apparently new posts. I have been putting keywords onto February’s postings. So the new posts are apparent not real.

I clearly have not got this thing to work properly, as I have used Technorati tags for the keywords, but the keywords don’t seem to be recognised by Technorati. But I’ve made a start. This is all very time-consuming so will continue another day.

Mary’s Prayer

I finished "Mary’s Prayer" by Martyn Waites the other night. It isn’t a new book: I read it becuase his latest is out in paperback, and has received good reviews. Being neurotic about series, I read MW’s first book first (out of print, but obtained from a typically lovely seller via Amazon) , but I now believe that it is not part of the same series as his latest.

Mary’s Prayer is designed to be read at a single sitting. Pulp fiction pure and simple. Almost entirely plot-based, with clunky, cliched prose, and unlikely coincidences to move it all along. In a nutshell, a jaded (natch) journalist, whose family has been killed becuase of previous investigations, has gone to the dogs, is sent by chain-smoking (natch) editor to Newcastle upon Tyne to cover funeral of old schoolmate-turned-gangster. The story: "chance" meeting with old girlfriend (OK will stop writing "natch") leads to hero being caught up in web of politics, drugs, murder, corrupt local magnate, etc. Gratuitous violence; brief interlude of sex (this is the worst written part of the book); previously hostile police inspector now goes along with everything hero says; denoument; coda.

Waites does not keep all the plotlines together well, the murder being investigated gets lost in the confusion, and towards the end there is a risible page where the previously laconic hero blurts out a page-long speech without preamble, putting everything together far and away beyond anything the reader could have known about (the unmasking is also full of holes and almost everyone is revealed to have had no motivation for previous actions). It was very easy to read, though, one of those books you realise you have read without really noticing that you have read it.

I guess I will give Waites’ latest book (whose name I temporarily forget) a go, partly because I have bought it, and partly because four or five books come between Mary’s Prayer and the latest, so he may have found his own stride rather than writing derivative pastiche. But it will be his last chance with me.