Thursday, 4 April 2013

Curling and Puppies and Currently Reading...

This week in Victoria, B.C. one of the big happenings is the Men's World Curling Championships. And of course, I do mean the Winter sport of curling, nothing to do with hair styling.. ;0). Since it's right on our doorstep, Jo and I thought we should at least try to see some of the games, so we're off to see the finals weekend. We do enjoy the sport; I've played on and off all my life and Jo and I played in a mixed league with some friends back a few years ago. We always make sure to watch the Brier (Canadian Men's championships) and the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Canadian Women's Championships) and various other tournaments over the course of the year. We were fortunate to manage to go to Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics and see quite a few of the Olympic curling events. Definitely a highlight that year.

As well, we're combining this curling adventure with a side-trip to the mainland to pick up our new miniature schnauzer puppy, Bonnie. The photo isn't of her, but she may look like that when she's all grown up. We're very excited about getting her. With any luck we'll be back there in the summer to get a male, to be named Clyde (of course). It's been a couple of years now that we've been without a doggie companion(s) and we're ready to settle down and add a couple to our household.

Currently Reading

Of course, the main purpose of the Blog is to talk about books.. I do like to digress though; it is my Blog after all.. ;0) I'm currently enjoying one of my 12 + 2 Reading Group Challenge books for 2013, Stephen Fry's The Fry Chronicles. Stephen Fry is roughly my age (mid-50's) and is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, etc. Yes, you've got it, the classic underachiever. I bought this book for Jo for Xmas a couple of years ago, but also wanted to read it myself. I enjoy Fry in so many things; Blackadder, QI, his talk show (although we generally have to wait to watch it when we visit family in England) and especially, his TV legal drama, Kingdom, which we managed to catch on Vision TV when it was shown here. It was such an excellent series. So when I saw his autobiography, I wanted to see what he had to say. Basically, he writes like he speaks; he's educated, well-written, self-deprecating (to a fault) and just a pleasure to read. The book, so far anyway, highlights his university career (Cambridge) and his early acting / writing/ show business career, with many forays down other alley ways. I've really had difficulty putting it down, when I pick it up and must say it's been a pleasure to read so far.

My bed-time book is the first from my April Focus Author challenge (Jane Haddam) . I won't discuss it too much as I highlighted the books I hoped to read in my previous Blog. Suffice it to say, I'm enjoying getting back into the Gregor Demarkian mysteries. Jane Haddam has a unique story-telling style that is a pleasure to sink into. She develops her story at a nice pace and keeps ex-FBI profiler on the periphery while the story unfolds. Gregor is an interesting detective, who seems to wander through his mysteries absorbing information until it all sort of gels into a solution. It's been too long that I've read one of Haddam's mysteries and it'll be a pleasure to read 4 or 5 of them this month. In case I manage to finish both of my currently reading books this weekend on the road, I've brought along the second book from my Haddam list, Feast of Murder. However the next book I'll pick up will be -

Bridge on the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle. I found this edition, a Fontana / Collins 22nd impression published in Mar 1972, at the annual local Rotary Club Book Sale. The book was initially released in 1952. I first read it in High school and have seen the movie with Alec Guinness many times (one of my favourite war movies). So there's the preamble to say, I'm looking forward to reading the story again. Conveniently, my UK Book Club is featuring War / Revolution as the April genre, so it fits in quite nicely. It's an excellent story, set in World War II and uses the construction of the Burma railway as its theme. The story deals with British prisoners-of-war, forced by the Imperial Japanese army to build the railway. The story focuses on one camp, led by British Army Lt Colonel Nicholson and his conflict with the Japanese Camp commander, Colonel Saito. So many conflicts/ issues are covered; Nicholson's efforts to keep up the morale of his demoralised troops by giving them something positive and productive to work toward; that being the railroad, his efforts to get the Camp Commandant to respect his personnel; his struggles to deal with discipline and so many other issues, not the least his own internal struggles to deal with the conflict of his troop morale and the fact that as prisoners-of-war, should they be helping the Japanese war effort. I recall it being an excellent book and look forward to reading again.

Anyway, there you have it. I'm looking forward to our weekend adventure; and I didn't even mention our planned takeaway curry that we'll surely have from Da Tandoor (one of our favourite restaurants), while we're in Victoria, plus hopefully I'll squeeze in a couple of visits to Victoria bookshops when we're not at the curling events.. Should be great. I'll provide photos of Bonnie when we get her home.. So exciting!

Have a great weekend!

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