Monday, 8 December 2014

Dealing with various issues.

Several things were raised by people who visited my blog yesterday, so I thought I would answer them all for today's post.

First of all Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch', which I believe reached number 5 on the Best Seller list.   A friend, S, lent it to me and I must say I am finding it a struggle.   I think I rather agree with Rachel who says that Donna Tartt always seems to use one thousand words where any other writer would only use five hundred.  It is certainly not the best book I have read this year, but I shall soldier on.

The same friend, S, also lent me 'The Miniaturist' by Jessie Burton.   Now that I really did enjoy - so much so that I intend to read it again.  It is so well written and such a gripping story - if you get a chance to read it, please do.

The other issue raised by readers of my blog is the issue of mistletoe.   I love it - I love to see it growing on apple trees although it is a parasite and I presume that the growers in Hereford and Worcester are happy for the trees to die if they get a good crop of mistletoe at Christmas.  Certainly driving through the county there are many orchards which seem to be given over entirely to its growing.

Now to the weather, which has taken a decidedly wintry turn here, and I understand we are faring much better than those further North.   There is a strong, bitterly cold gale blowing and although the sun is shining in a pale, wintry sky, every now and then clouds rush in and we get a wintry squall.  There is a strong urge to keep warm on my part especially when Heather reminded me of the 'old days' when the inside of our bedroom windows used to freeze up each morning.

Finally to last night's snooker final, which was absolutely gripping.  It is a sport which usually leaves me cold, but when the underdog (Trump) comes from 9/4 down to level pegging (when the winner was the first to reach 10) I put my book down and watch.   The favourite (O'Sullivan) did finally triumph, but not before Trump gave him a scare (as he admitted in his victory speech).

17 comments:

Gwil W said...

Mistletoe used to be regarded with holy reverence in ancient times and it had to be cut down from an oak tree with a golden knife. From what you say there must be a multi-million pound industry devoted to growing the parasite. If it was an insect we be going mad with our chemical sprays. In Brazil where they don't grow mistletoe so far as I am aware they spray 5 kg (more than 11 pounds) of insecticide per head of the nation's population on the crops every year and it is increasing.

Elizabeth said...

Yup - back toThe Goldfinch!
My cousin - an excellent reader - loved it and recommended it highly. So I bought it.
My verdict: it's a 300 page book in 700 pages of padding.
Such promising themes - so it could have been SO MUCH better if better edited.Things that are plain awful one can toss aside. This one irritated me no end because it teetered on being good....


Never 'bought' the narrator - doesn't sound like a young boy to me. The email/games/ technology is off.

Philip said...

But what about glishy sun? Not to worry. Amazingly I came across a glossary of Swaledale Yorkshire dialect which you might find interesting:-

https://archive.org/stream/aglossarywordsu00harlgoog/aglossarywordsu00harlgoog_djvu.txt

Glishy = sparkling

MorningAJ said...

Apparently mistletoe will only grow on older apple trees so chances are that it provides an extra income for the grower after the trees have started to wane and need replacing. Not a bad thing for any farmer, as you well know!

Heather said...

Does mistletoe really kill the trees it grows on? Not far from us here in Gloucestershire there are several trees festooned with lovely big bunches of mistletoe each year and they are not apple trees. They are very mature but I am not sure what species, and the mistletoe has been growing on them for at least 30 years. It grows quite high up so probably deters any would-be mistletoe poachers.

Becca McCallum said...

I have never seen actual miseltoe! I don't think it grows in Scotland - too cold maybe?

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I always think of Yorkshire when I see mistletoe. I think James Herriot has something to do with that.

I really liked The Goldfinch, though some parts were a struggle, particularly the middle section set in Las Vegas. But I found every character interesting and worthy of their own back stories, a mark of an intriguing book to me.

Stay warm!
xoxo

Mac n' Janet said...

I liked The Goldfinch, but it was not the easiest book I've read this year.
Love mistletoe and have a hard time finding any here in the south.
It grows so high up here that when you find it you shoot it out of the tree with a pellet gun.

angryparsnip said...

I think the mistletoe where you are is pretty, In Tucson it is really ugly and even after it kills the tree it hang there like witches hair.
Because of your post I will try to get out soon with camera and take some photos to post.

cheers, parsnip

donna baker said...

I actually finished The Goldfinch, but wish I had my money back. That it took her ten years to write...

mrsnesbitt said...

We watched the final too Pat! Totally agree with what you said. Cold here too! Soup weather - oh and a new cooking tip over on my blog! You must try it!

Rachel said...

I drove through northern France in the winter time many many years ago and I have never seen so much mistletoe. We have mistletoe about here but I have never seen it like that day on that drive.

I finished the Goldfinch but by the end my interest was paling. Someone said to me that books have got much longer since the invention of Word Processors...

Terry and Linda said...

I'm glad to know that about Goldfinch...I shan't read it.

It's lovely weather here right now, which is good as I must clean out the fireplace...the sun is shining.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/?s=The+Adventures+of+Fuzzy+and+Boomer&submit=Search
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

John Gray said...

I enjoyed that
It' was like listening to a good programme on radio 4
X

Terra said...

There is a tradition in some places in the USA of shooting down the mistletoe from very tall trees. I have not seen that done. I have thus far avoided The Goldfinch, esp. after reading an article about its weaknesses (in Atlantic or Vanity Fair).

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I've seen boys out shooting mistletoe down from the oak trees with their guns - I think 22s. There isn't much market for it here in the US - it dies so quickly once picked. I've seen kids at the mall now and then trying to sell a little of it with a bit of red ribbon tied to it but very few people stop to buy, so it probably isn't worth the time to go hunting for it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for calling in everyone.