Tags: weather

lewis furey

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A few wintery images from yesterday's lunch break. Normally I wouldn't dream of going out voluntarily in this weather, but I had brought food for the animals which otherwise I would have had to throw away, as I knew I'd not be able to go out today, plus I have the rest of the week off.


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Wishing everybody happy holidays!



thinking

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When I first saw the announcements for Carl's R.I.P. IV I thought, "Nooooo! Go away, I don't want to know about it yet! It's still summer here!" but barely a week later the weather has definitely changed. We have had more rain, the temperature has dropped several degrees (in my house too, finally!), and I'm slowly getting in the mood for autumn, and this book challenge.

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I have had a look at my bookshelves and decided to do Peril the Second; reading two books of any length between 1 September and 31 October that fit into one or more of these categories: mystery, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, gothic, horror, supernatural.


This is my provisional list:

Danielewski, Mark Z.: House of Leaves

Halbertsma, Joost Hiddes: Het heksershol ("the witches' den") - inherited from my mum; according to the introduction, this Frisian folktale is a mocking ghost story

Homes, A.M.: The End of Alice - from last year's list

Kafka, Franz: Het slot (The Castle)

Krabbé, Tim: De grot (The Cave) - from the same author as the chilling Het gouden ei, which was filmed as Spoorloos/The Vanishing (not to be confused with the awful American remake)

Laski, Marghanita: The Victorian Chaise-Longue - from last year's list

Verhoef, Esther: Erken mij ("acknowledge me") - a short thriller

and, depending on whether I can get my hands on them at the library (they are forever taken out):

Summerscale, Kate: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

Waters, Sarah: The Little Stranger


But first I have to make a start with The Progress of Love by Alice Munro. Back in May I agreed with Anna from Anna's leesreis that this September we would finally read Munro. We both have had a copy of one of her short story collections languishing on our respective shelves for far too long.


thinking

R.I.P. Challenge book #1


Yesterday I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I had wanted to finish The Fortnight in September before starting on the R.I.P. Challenge, but I was in the mood for something more exciting and even though the afternoon had been reasonably sunny, it was chilly enough that I had to turn the central heating on for the first time again, which helped create the necessary autumn feel.

So I picked Shirley Jackson's book to read first. I had expected it to be really scary, but it wasn't at all, probably because it was a thriller and not a horror story, as I had thought. It was full of suspense and creepy, but not in a "leaving me wanting to sleep with the lights on" kind of way. In fact, when I rolled into bed after finishing it at 1.30 a.m. I slept like a baby.

I did enjoy it. Jackson writes very well, she knows how to create an atmosphere and a sense of foreboding, and while reading I thought it must surely deserve 4 stars (out of 5), but in the end I was left feeling slightly disappointed. Yet another 3-star book. (But funnily enough, in some ways it reminded me of my favourite Ruth Rendell, Heartstones.)

It is true that I would have liked to know more of the "why", but I suspect it is not so much Jackson's fault as it is my own frame of mind at the moment. I'm starting to think I have lost the capacity for unbridled enthusiasm concerning the books I read. I gave The Dolls' House 4 stars recently, but that was a re-read and perhaps more for old times' sake, because I had loved it as a child and spent many years tracking it down. The last newly read book I gave 4 stars to was Sylvia Townsend Warner's Letters, and that was in May. Oh, well. It'll pass, I hope.

By the way, if you plan on reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle for the first time and come across it in the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition, be sure to do as I did and save the introduction until last, as Jonathan Lethem happily reveals way too much. Even while looking for the first page I couldn't help catching a word here and there which made me deduce a couple of things I'd rather found out about while reading the actual story. The less you know about it, the more you'll enjoy it.


lewis furey

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Summer has returned for the weekend, it was a beautiful ending to an otherwise grey and wet August. Back to cooler weather tomorrow.


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whine

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It's the height of summer and I've just turned the central heating on because I'm cold. It's only 15°C outside. Yet the weather forecast says it will be 26°C in a few days' time. Ridiculous.


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lewis furey

Last week's recap, part 2


When I came back from the doctor it was still quite early, and I decided to watch the second half of Angels in America, finally! I found it just as brilliant as I did last year, and I'm thinking of making it a tradition to watch it every autumn.

With the arrival of Marianne Faithfull the next day the angelfest was continued a little longer (her "Crazy love" will forever be linked to AiA in my mind). "Last song" is another favourite of mine on the album.

The latter half of the week the weather turned lovely, or heavenly, to keep in style, with temperatures of around 20°C. On Thursday I was even moved to tear myself away from the computer in my lunch break in order to go for a walk with J.

The weekend was the warmest last weekend of October ever recorded. It was also the end of daylight saving time, which meant an extra hour of sleep. Hurrah! My biological clock hates DST, and 7 months out of 12 is simply too long.

Oh yes, and on Wednesday I watched All the Queen's men. Rather disappointing on the whole, but Eddie Izzard was hilarious as the diva giving a performance for the Germans. He really seemed to be enjoying himself. :D


lewis furey

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Autumn is truly upon us, we have had continuous rain today, and it was quite dark. But I love this kind of weather, if it doesn't last too long.

Again, it took me a long time to fall asleep last night. As I have no trouble sleeping in the morning, I figured it was the time-released vitamin C tablets taken at dinner these past few days that have been keeping me awake. I took only one today and at a much earlier time. Tonight I'll find out if that was indeed the problem.


lewis furey

(no subject)


I guess I should update even though I don't really feel like it. If I had been woken up by lawnmowers again this morning, I could have simply recycled my entry of 28 July last year, but as it happens today's culprits were the construction workers who are renovating the church. In a way that was worse, because although they don't produce as much noise as the gardeners, they do start producing it a lot earlier. So hardly any catching up on sleep this morning.

It has been autumn since the end of July, with lots of grey days and some rain. Also occasional sunshine, but far too cold (around 18-19°C) for the time of year. Yesterday and today the weather was better, but after about half an hour in the garden today I was driven back inside by the wind, even though the Amsterdam weather forecast had said that there was hardly any. Very strange.

Work is fine. I do have to get used to my time not being entirely my own any more, but it feels good to have structure again and not to have Social Security on my back.

Starting this week I have begun to take the scenic route to work, i.e. by tram through a beautiful part of the city, instead of by metro. Now I can either just take the tram and then have a brisk 20-minute walk to work, or get off one stop earlier and catch a bus that will bring me within about 7 minutes' walking distance. And if the weather is really bad I can wait at the bus stop and haul the shuttle bus that runs between the train station and the office.

I thought with this new scheme I would have to get up at least half an hour earlier in order to be on time, but as it turns out 7 minutes and one tram earlier are all it takes. I never cared for the metro and these days I like it even less, so I'm very happy about this solution.


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