Monday, July 30, 2007

Marriage of Niamh and Jonathan

A few pictures from 28th July in Silverton and Fursdon. All of these are available at high resolution so if anyone wants any let me know and I'll either mail (if one or two max) or put on CD and post.
Here is the church of Saint Mary the Virgin.

Followed by the bride, groom, best man and bridesmaids just outside the church. No pictures inside as the camera declined to steady my hand or focus properly, I blame the technology.

Here is Bill and Piers.

Happy Hulls

The new family, well parents and new children if you like.

After the church, we all went to Fursdon House for the reception. Here is a view from the front of Fursdon house - before it rained!

Next we have a bunch of cousins

Helen conversing with Richard's sister and brother in-law (yes, Iforgot the names...)

Fran snapping

Pensive Jon, are they memories leaking out of his head? (On their way to a pensieve? Just had to get an HP reference somewhere....)

After the photographs, and there was the obligatory bossy photographer, we went into a marquee. Here is Jon watching his memories being transferred via a cup (Stop it!)

Jon doing his speech:

Not to be outdone, Niamh did a speech

Boo enraptured by the speech, Ann and Helen watching it on a portable TV

Andy and Moira talking at each other

The throwing of the Bouquet. I have a brief video, so we know who caught it.

And finally, the cake. Made by Fran, hereafter to be known as superwoman. Fabulous wedding, brilliantly organised, and lovely to see such a happy couple. And no embarrasing drunks! Well done everyone.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm back...

...following Carl's tinkering with things he knows nothing about and breaking our laptop, it's now been mended so I'm back contributing posts again.

Diet updates will resume this week as I'm still plugging away with the weightloss.

I just wanted to a) exhort everybody to finish Harry asap so we can discuss! And b) post some piccies up of our trip to Marrakech which is now nearly 2 months ago. However, it's a wonderful place and one I'd thoroughly recommend - lots to see and do, bargains to be had in the souks and great food :)

Love Kate xxxxx

No spoilers please!!!

OK OK OK.....


how is it???

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Holes by Louis Sachar

Well at last I am ready to blog. I have been putting this off as it was becoming like and English essay. Anyway here goes. It is not an in depth analysis but if I don't post what I've got so far I never will!

Although this is obviously a children’s book I think it has appeal to all ages. I first heard of it when the BBC did a list of the top 100 most loved books as voted for by the public. It had all the usual suspects – Austen, Brontes etc. As well as some, like the Da Vinci Code, which will probably prove more passing popularity? This however was the only book I had never heard of. I decided I needed to see why so many had voted for it.
I suppose a lot of its popularity is down to the fact it is about an underdog becoming triumphant and a hero. However I think there are a lot of layers to the story which makes it stand out. It is written like a folk story. Sachar simply expects you to believe in ancient curses and bad luck. So it is like going to the opera where you have to suspend disbelief. That done you enter into Stanley’s world and can empathize with him more fully. Like many good folk stories it has horrible baddies, mythical beasts (the lizards) a lost civilization and magical food (the onions). Like a lot of children’s literature, such as Secret Garden, the Narnia books and of course Harry Potter, Stanley ditches his parents and all the trammels of his previous life which have been holding him back. This allows him to start from scratch and it means that everything is as new to him as it is to us. So we see this whole new rather alarming world through his eyes. On this new stage Stanley manages to make friends for the first time in his life and actually have some respect in his new community.
This is a book that I know is taught in schools so I looked on the Web for crib notes. And apparently the main themes in it are the benefits of friendship, fate reuniting people and the importance of history in every day life. There are also adult themes like racism. I think the power of fate could be an annoying theme (Ok, Helen – let’s not start the Thomas Hardy thing up again!) however the way it is handled just emphasises the folk story feel. So it becomes like Greek legends or even the Bible. However fate also means that Stanley and Zero meet again and make right ancient wrongs. I liked the way the history was introduced and made relevant to the current story being told. I suppose it could be argued that the coincidences were a bit hard to believe but this has not held back a lot of great literature – Oliver Twist for example.
Basically, sweeping themes or not I enjoyed this book because I rooted for Stanley and Zero and was glad that it ended happily. I think it was like a Shawshank Redemption for children and as that is in my top ten films ever what further compliment can I give it?