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Search tags: lets-forget-about-the-c-word-buddy-read
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text 2020-05-09 12:43
Reading progress update: I've read 34%.
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

‘These days is right,’ said Briggs. ‘But I’m lucky I am. I’ve got a strong young fellow to work for me. A couple of boys, too, but they’re not much good. Most of these boys and young men won’t come and do this sort of work. All for going into factories, they are, or white collars and working in an office. Don’t like to get their hands soiled with a bit of honest earth. But I’m lucky, as I say. I’ve got a good man working for me as come and offered himself.’

‘Recently?’ said Inspector Kelsey.

‘Beginning of the term,’ said Briggs. ‘Adam, his name is. Adam Goodman.’

I bet Christie had fun with the names in this book.

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text 2020-05-09 12:02
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie

‘New staff is always upsetting,’ said Miss Bulstrode.

‘Yes,’ agreed Miss Chadwick eagerly. ‘I’m sure it’s nothing more than that. By the way, that new gardener is quite young. So unusual nowadays. No gardeners seem to be young. A pity he’s so good-looking. We shall have to keep a sharp eye open.’


The two ladies nodded their heads in agreement. They knew, none better, the havoc caused by a good-looking young man to the hearts of adolescent girls.

Ah, Christie and her mockery of gardeners. This is the second mention in this book alone.


Anyway, it is interesting what a re-read, even a repeated re-read of this particular book brings to light: 


This is not a favourite Christie for me by any stretch. It's full of snobishness, an implausible plot, and comments that really make me suck my teeth. 

But then there are elements that cancel out all of that. Miss Bulstrode is one of them, but there are others.

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text 2020-05-03 10:48
Daviot (Tey) - Dickon - Act I, Scene 5
Plays I: The Little Dry Thorn / Valerius / Dickon - Josephine Tey,Gordon Daviot


Oh, come! Why should four distinguished members of the Council—(He enumerates them with a wave of his hand)— The Archbishop of York, Lord Hastings, Lord Stanley, and the Bishop of Ely, be held to require supervision?

You fret, Hastings, you fret.

We should be thankful that things go so smoothly.



You think so? When you have campaigned as long as I have, you can smell trouble.

Many a time I have looked at a countryside where not a leaf was stirring, and smelt the ambush in it.

LoL. In my head, I may have read Moreton's lines, and especially the line "You fret, Hastings, you fret." in a Belgian accent. 

That's very inappropriate of course, but I guess some books have left an impact.

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text 2020-05-02 18:59
Reading progress update: I've read 188 out of 224 pages.
The Daughter Of Time - Josephine Tey

Dr Gairdner acknowledged with no apparent sense of incongruity Richard’s great wisdom, his generosity, his courage, his ability, his charm, his popularity, and the trust that he inspired even in his beaten enemies; and in the same breath reported his vile slander of his mother and his slaughter of two helpless children. Tradition says, said the worthy Doctor; and solemnly reported the horrible tradition and subscribed to it. There was nothing mean or paltry in his character, according to the Doctor—but he was a murderer of innocent children. Even his enemies had confidence in his justice—but he murdered his own nephews. His integrity was remarkable—but he killed for gain.

As a contortionist Dr Gairdner was the original boneless wonder. More than ever Grant wondered with what part of their brains historians reasoned. It was certainly by no process of reasoning known to ordinary mortals that they arrived at their conclusions. Nowhere in the pages of fiction or fact, and certainly nowhere in life, had he met any human being remotely resembling either Dr Gairdner’s Richard or Oliphant’s Elizabeth Woodville.


Perhaps there was something in Laura’s theory that human nature found it difficult to give up preconceived beliefs. That there was some vague inward opposition to, and resentment of, a reversal of accepted fact. Certainly Dr Gairdner dragged like a frightened child on the hand that was pulling him towards the inevitable.

I loved this passage. It's still very true, which unfortunately is very apparent in the current circumstances.

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text 2020-05-02 15:21
Reading progress update: I've read 116 out of 224 pages.
The Daughter Of Time - Josephine Tey

Pat sends what would be his love if he were a little older or just a little younger. Being nine, he says: ‘Tell Alan I was asking for him’, and has a fly of his own invention waiting to be presented to you when you come on sick-leave. He is a little in disgrace at the moment in school, having learned for the first time that the Scots sold Charles the First to the English and having decided that he can no longer belong to such a nation. He is therefore, I understand, conducting a one-man protest strike against all things Scottish, and will learn no history, sing no song, nor memorise any geography pertaining to so deplorable a country. He announced going to bed last night that he has decided to apply for Norwegian citizenship.



"Pat" is Grant's cousin's son, and he appears again in The Singing Sands, which follows The Daughter of Time.

This scene also shares the same rebellion by Tey against the rise in Scottish nationalism at her time. She was not a fan. Tho, I wonder if she would have changed her mind had she lived on.

I sometimes wonder what she would have made of other aspects of our time that she also specifically calls out in her books. 


Anyway, in her (excellent) biography of Tey, Jennifer Morag Henderson also mentions that "Pat" as a beloved recurring character is based on a very close friend of Tey's, who was a budding writer and whose early death had a profound impact on her. From what I've read about Tey and within her work, it seems a plausible theory. Unfortunately, she was such a private person that we know very little about her. 

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