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text 2018-12-14 09:40
24 Festive Tasks: Human Rights Day, Task #2 and 3
Grey Mask - Patricia Wentworth
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
Kaleidoscope - Dorothy Gilman

Task 2:  This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Find 3 books on your shelves with protagonists or other key characters who are -- or can reasonably be assumed to be -- 70 years or older.

 

The 3 books I found on my shelves that weren't Agatha Christie books (which is what I get for lagging behind on my tasks) that had characters over the age of 70 are purely speculative.  None of their ages could be verified for certain.  All are referred to as "senior".

 

Miss Maude Silver in the Patricia Wentworth series is a retired governess.  

 

Vida Winter is a reclusive famous author who is at the end of her life and dictating her authorised biography in The Thirteenth Tale

 

Madame Karitska is an older clairvoyant in Dorothy Gilman's lesser known, and shorter, mystery series.

 

Task 3:  The symbol of Human Rights Day is the dove, which in its incarnation as a homing pigeon is also renowned for its navigational skills. – Tell us: Did you ever get so thoroughly lost (either in the days before GPS or because GPS, for whatever reason, was of no use to you) that you wished you had a homing pigeon to guide you?

 

I've only been lost on the road one time that I can recall, when I worked at a job that required a lot of travel (pre map app days).  I arrived in Washington D.C. at Reagan National Airport and had to drive to Silver Springs, Maryland, which is roughly on the opposite side of D.C. from the airport.  No matter what I did, what route I took, I ended up in front of the Smithsonian Natural History museum. Every. Time.  Now, that's my favorite museum in D.C., but I was tired, and I just needed to check into the hotel - but it was as if that museum was a giant magnet that kept pulling my car back.  At one point I pulled over, (in front of the museum of course), called my boss nearly in tears of pure frustration, and told him I was never going to make it onto the project because I couldn't get away from the damn museum.  Eventually, I made it through, but it was the most frustrating driving experience I can remember.

 

On another project for the same company, in Montreal, a co-worker and I spent the weekend walking the city, and at one point explored the beautiful Notre-Dame-de-Neiges Cemetery - Canada's largest cemetery and the 3rd largest in North America (over 1 million occupants).  We got lost in it.  Totally, utterly, lost.  For a couple of hours, we could not find our way out; it started out hilarious and became a tiny bit worrying. Apparently, we're not the only ones; the cemetery now offers a computerised mapping service.  

 

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text 2018-12-10 21:54
Reading progress update: I've read 85%.
Have His Carcase - Dorothy L. Sayers

Cue the eye-roll. 

 

Oh well, at least the background to the victim's interest in Russia is entertaining.

 

As for Peter and Harriet, I gasped, seriously gasped at the following:

He went out. Harriet sat looking at the closed door. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘thank goodness he’s given up asking me to marry him. It’s much better he should put it out of his mind.’ She must have felt strongly about it, for she repeated the remark several times.

Noooooooooooo...!!! :(

 

Even tho I know how this will end, Sayers is seriously messing about with my poor nerves here.

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text 2018-12-09 23:34
Reading progress update: I've read 63%.
Have His Carcase - Dorothy L. Sayers

‘There you are,’ said Wimsey, ‘that’s the breed that made the Empire. When empire comes in at the door, logic goes out at the window.'

I may have a slight crush on Peter myself...

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text 2018-12-09 21:36
Reading progress update: I've read 47%.
Have His Carcase - Dorothy L. Sayers

Harriet was silent. She suddenly saw Wimsey in a new light. She knew him to be intelligent, clean, courteous, wealthy, well-read, amusing and enamoured, but he had not so far produced in her that crushing sense of utter inferiority which leads to prostration and hero-worship. But she now realised that there was, after all, something godlike about him. He could control a horse.

Um,....

 

 

This is brilliant. I love how much fun Sayers was having with her characters.

 

Even if she might have been serious about Harriet's epiphany, the scene just before where Peter and Harriet are scouring the beach for clues was hilarious (and was obviously meant to be funny by Sayers).

Harriet: (after a long and unproductive pause, meeting Peter with a sodden Gold Flake packet in one hand and half a Bible in the other): Dr Livingstone, I presume. Do murderers read the Bible?

Peter: Any book had served as well, Any book had stopped the bullet – that may be; I cannot tell.

Harriet (reading): ‘Last of all the woman died also’ – probably from backache.

Peter: My back aches, and a drowsy numbness stills My brain, as though of hemlock –

Harriet (suddenly practical): Look at the cigarette-card.

Peter: It belongs to the new series.

Harriet: Then it may be quite recent.

Peter (wearily): All right; keep it; we’ll call it a clue. How about the Holy Writ?

Harriet (in a marked manner): You can keep that; it might be good for you.

Peter: Very well. (In a still more marked manner) Shall we begin with the Song of Songs.

Harriet: Get on with your job.

Peter: I am. How far have we come?

Harriet: How many leagues to Babylon?

Peter: We have walked a mile and a half, and we are still in full view of the Flat-Iron.

(They separate.)

Peter: Oy!

Harriet: Hullo!

Peter: I just wanted to ask whether you’d given any further thought to that suggestion about marrying me.

Harriet (sarcastically): I suppose you were thinking how delightful it would be to go through life like this together?

Peter: Well, not quite like this. Hand in hand was more my idea.

Harriet: What is that in your hand?

Peter: A dead starfish.

Harriet: Poor fish!

Peter: No ill-feeling, I trust.

Harriet: Oh, dear no.

 

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text 2018-12-09 20:50
Reading progress update: I've read 39%.
Have His Carcase - Dorothy L. Sayers

‘Ass! Oh, it’s not fair. You always make me laugh. I can’t fight – I’m so tired. You don’t seem to know what being tired is. Stop. Let go. I won’t be bullied. Thank God! there’s the telephone.’

‘Damn the telephone!’

‘It’s probably something very important.’

She got up and went to the instrument, leaving Wimsey on his knees, looking, and feeling, sufficiently absurd.

Damn. That was one tense romantic crisis. More please!

 

Oh, and it is entirely impossible to picture Wimsey and Harriet as anyone else but the characters portrayed by Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter.

 

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