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text 2018-05-11 18:39
A little outing

Today we went on the outing we had planned for yesterday. We found a pretty good playground. There were swings, slides, a ship, a "jeep" and more. My daughter sat on a swing (and my son tried it for a while too) and my son went on a slide for the first time in his life. He didn't like it. However, it was a bit difficult for us lazy grownups to walk in the sand that covered the ground. Also, there was a woman with three boys and a pug. She let her pug do his business in the sand on the edge of the playground. That's not ok.

 

Playground

 

 

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/186635.html
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review 2017-12-23 00:00
A Christmas Outing
A Christmas Outing - Jonathan Hill A Christmas Outing - Jonathan Hill This story is cute and adorable... and thanks to David's parents hilarious and insane. David and Jamie are adorable as well. Not sure Christmas would have been my choice of the time to come out to my parents, though since I didn't get to choose when who knows. However, this short story of the lead-up to and him actually telling them is very well done. And the ending made me feel all warm and cuddly inside. It's on Kindle Unlimited for free... so give it a shot! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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text 2017-08-08 17:10
OT: A little outing

Today, we went on a little shopping trip to a bigger town. Even though this little town/village has surprisingly many shops it's nice to be able to get away to somewhere a little bigger. We took the twins and went to the pastry shop/cafe in the former town hall. They now have one vegan item on the menu - a delicious rye bread sandwich with fresh vegetables. Later we also bought some vegan ice cream in a shop. Unfortunately I spilt a tiny flake of chocolate on my dress so there was a stain. I hope it will wash out.

I took a few photos. It's an interesting town from the perspective of architecture, with lots of huge villas where I imagine doctors used to live (there's a hospital not far away). Outside a beautiful building that I wish was the town library, which we were looking for but didn't find, and might have been at one point, I found this cute lion.

White lion


This is a close up of an ornament adorning the fence around the same building:

Decoration

I'm hoping my sister, Minwynn, will post about this outing too, with more photos.

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/181330.html
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review 2016-10-29 00:00
The Bottle Factory Outing: A Novel
The Bottle Factory Outing: A Novel - Beryl Bainbridge Two young women somehow get together and get themselves a job in a factory that bottles wine. The factory is run by Italians and all the other workers are Italian.

Freda is 26 and is tall and "plump"—something like 5'10" and 225 lbs. She thinks of herself as an aspiring actress and carries herself as such. She never succeeds in any auditions, so needs some kind of other work to make ends meet. She's brash and bossy.

Brenda is about 35 and was once married to a brute who took her off to the country where they lived with his nasty mother. He spent his time out drinking with his buds. Eventually Brenda couldn't take it and ran away. She's very shy and will do almost anything to avoid open conflict.

Freda and Brenda join forces and take a bed-sit together. They need money, so they get a job working at a wine bottling factory run my an Italian, Mr. Paganotti. Virtually everyone else working at the factory is Italian, with the exception of Patrick, who is the van driver. Mr. Rossi, who is the factory manager, takes a shine to Brenda and keeps trying to get her into spaces where he can seduce her. Freda, on the other hand has decided she's in love with Vittorio, Mr. Paganotti's nephew (or cousin?), and who is nominally engaged to another cousin still living in Italy.

So, Freda conceives the idea that the workers in the factory should have an outing, where they visit a grand house and also a safari park. Her prime purpose is to give her a chance to seduce Vittorio. Things, naturally, do not go as planned.

On one level, this book is rather absurd, dark humor. But the ending is enigmatic and really makes little sense to me. It would seem that there are no attachments beyond lust or thralldom. I dunno, the first 70% of the book was mildly amusing, but the conclusion left me cold. Beryl Bainbridge was a well celebrated British author in her time, but based on this example, I'm not sure if I'll attempt another of her offerings or not.
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review 2016-09-27 18:37
The Bottle Factory Outing: A Novel - Beryl Bainbridge

Having the knowledge that Beryl Bainbridge’s novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the understanding that the novel was listed as one of the 100 greatest novels of all time by The Observer can consciously and unconsciously color the reader’s immediate expectations when approaching her novel for the first time. Such expectations would most likely be high. But having such high expectations beforehand might lead the reader to become overly critical in their reading, and thereby potentially lose the respect Bainbridge’s novel deserves.  

 

Bainbridge’s novel is best described as a madcap satire, not the kind of story one would immediately associate with such a lauded book. The pairing of British flatmates Freda and Brenda within the setting of a bottle factory during the 1970s has an American counterpart with the relationship between Laverne and Shirley. Like the many adventures Laverne and Shirley experience, the escapades involving Freda and Brenda are not meant to be taken seriously, often involving crazy solutions to the various problems they face. As a result, these situations are funny in the sense that they’re so fantastical and unrealistic. Bainbridge’s novel is meant to be read this way as well. 

 

Yet at times, Bainbridge can make this difficult, by actively playing with the reader’s sensibilities. When her novel transitions into a kind of murder mystery, something akin to Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry, she takes turns that could easily be read as excessive, at times even bordering on horrific, sentiments that are only heightened by the vividness of her writing. Part of her dark, comedic satire plays with readers’ preconceived notions of what’s real and unreal through her use of outrageous exaggeration. While the turn of events is not entirely unexpected given the imagery and tone associated with the novel’s opening scene, the contrast of melancholy tradition and its highly irregular variation at the novel’s close is not an image that’s easily forgotten. 

 

The novel’s dark humor is aided by the quick pace of Bainbridge’s storytelling. One scene flows readily into another, and she adroitly groups the characters in interesting ways. Yet despite the story’s speed, Bainbridge somehow manages to create lasting comedic images within the mind’s eye. This is in part due to her characterization of her novel’s cast of characters and the way she dispels information. She is clever in her use of detail, offering just enough to entice and even beguile the reader. The novel ends with a stated confession of guilt. However, Bainbridge offers enough details that can allow the reader to question the veracity of this potentially neat conclusion. In a way, Bainbridge seems to also be satirizing the traditional endings readers usually associate with British mysteries. She arguably allows the reader to assume the role of detective to more effectively determine what really happened during that outing. 

 

One might not expect much from a short madcap satirical novel, yet Bainbridge has provided readers with an interesting and solid work.

 

Copy provided by NetGalley

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