Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Book of August/ September

Either late for August or early for September, the delightful and hilarious The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett.

The Queen wanders out of the back door of Buckingham Palace and discovers a library van parked outside. What will happen when she discovers her love of reading?

Monday, 26 August 2013

Patchwork Woodwork

The other place I work is the fabulous Leith Hall, by Huntly. Not as impressive as Fraser outside, it has gorgeous walled gardens, amazing views, stunning interiors and art and fascinating collections.

This year, the Hall re-opened after many years of closure. This fireplace was located in a store, restored and replaced, using old photographs of the interiors to find it's original home. It looks beautiful and, like much of the woodwork at Leith, is interesting in being 'upcycled' in the C19th from random old woodcarvings, sculptures, even church pews.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Classical Challenge

My friend Lola challenged me to do a Classical building, as I usually prefer the Gothic and Elizabethan. She actually wanted me to do the Edinburgh Art Gallery, but I did my favourite classical house instead, sorry.

This is Chiswick House in London (Leen, you will recognise this). It was built as a party house for Lord Burlington and modelled after an Italian villa. Inside it is all interconnecting rooms for eating, socialising and dancing. Originally, the larger house(for actually living in) stood alongside but sadly was demolished.

The house also has stunning landscape gardens. It is a great place to visit. The house belongs to English Heritage and there are details here.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Book of August

Where book of July was late, book of August is early.

It is the short, but powerful, engaging and darkly amusing Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. The story is of a student from Pakistan who finds himself torn between America and his own country, while struggling with his relationship with a damaged and sensitive girl. It is beautifully written and very gripping.

I believe it is about to be made into a film also, although it seems better as a book, being all in the first person.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Book of July

Sorry, I seem to be a bit late with book of July. And It's a weird one. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami. It's a very surreal and poetically written thriller about a missing man, a mysterious organisation and a photograph of a sheep.

I also loved his fantasy thriller Hard Boiled Wonderland and his book What I think about when I think about Running. My brother Tim would  like that one. It's about running.