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Archive for the ‘Music and Audiobooks’ Category

Despite my continuing to wrack the old brains, I still have not identified the floral feast from an also as yet unremembered childhood tale. Today’s post is nonetheless still redolent of flowers, albeit flowers put to a deadly purpose. May I present Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema‘s The Roses of Heliogabalus? (more…)

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I have been horribly behind on my Iggle activities in recent months, but logged in yesterday upon returning from Resonate. The July theme has been heroes and villains, and the playlist seemed like an interesting idea. As today is the last day of July, without further ado, here be my music of choice. (more…)

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After today’s news of the unexpected death of Alan Rickman, I think most people are agreed that the start of the year has been horrible in terms of the loss of some of the most talented and beloved actors and singers the world has known. In my previous post, I spoke of two men, David Bowie and Charles Perrault, who have made, and, despite their deaths (recent or long ago), will continue to make, my life, and the lives of so many others, magical. Alan Rickman is another such man, so creative and talented, as an actor and director,on the stage and in the cinema; I cannot deny, even at the risk of trivialising a post which I would like more than anything to be about his creativity and talent, that I have always found him attractive, because of those traits primarily, and because of something in his bearing and expressive face, but most of all because of his voice. I struggle to describe the beauty of his speaking voice without lapsing into horrible flowery language which he doesn’t deserve (and nor do you). (more…)

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Mistletoe from 'A Curious Herbal', 1782 (coloured engraving)

BAL28562 Mistletoe from ‘A Curious Herbal’, 1782 (coloured engraving) by Blackwell, Elizabeth (fl.1757-82); Private Collection; English, out of copyright

When I was looking up Christmas-related facts for today’s date, I found that it was on this day in 1988 that Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine went to number 1 in the UK. Never fear, dear readers; ever conscious of your delicate sensibilities (and my own), I have no intention of reproducing here the lyrics, or of posting a link to the song. If even the mention of same has scarred your soul, I prescribe the Mediaeval Baebes’ album Mistletoe and Wine (2003) as a rest cure. (more…)

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Today’s post is inspired by Blair Thornburgh’s incredibly funny discussion of what makes a real Christmas carol, The only Christmas carols that are any good, a decisive and absolute list, fight meI particularly enjoyed his summary of the Cherry Tree Carol (to summarise the summary: apocrypha stories are delightfully mad), which I hadn’t previously known; it does however bear a certain resemblance to the Date Palm Incident from the Gospel of the Pseudo-Matthew. This story takes place after Jesus has been born, when the family have left Bethlehem to avoid Herod’s massacre of the innocents (there’s also a bit with dragons, which I only found today). Mary craved the dates she saw on a tall tree, but Joseph, who was in any case more focused on getting water to drink, couldn’t reach them; Jesus commanded the tree to bow down to his mother that she may pick the dates. In the interests of harmonious family relationships, Jesus then had the tree open a spring from its roots, to provide the water Joseph sought. (more…)

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The Snowdrop Fairy, by Cicely M. Barker, 1923. Via flowerfairiesprints.com.

The Snowdrop Fairy, by Cicely M. Barker, 1923. Via flowerfairiesprints.com.

This post is brought to you by my realisation that not writing a review of a book within a week of finishing said book then creates an urgent need to reread the book in order to write said review. I finished The Colour of Magic rather quickly, but then wasn’t able to get to the computer to write anything about it. So now I’m rereading the book – which, let’s be honest, is absolutely not a chore – and rereading it more slowly, taking the time to appreciate the language and the knowledge behind the jokes. But the review is on its way, and I have the next three books borrowed from the library to begin immediately upon publishing said review. (more…)

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Girl and camel laughing - one of the happiest photos I have ever seen. But does anybody know who took it?

Girl and camel laughing – one of the happiest photos I have ever seen. But does anybody know who took it?

Working in a public library is very different to working in an art/academic library, but some of my tasks are very similar, if not fundamentally the same. One such task is the creation of eye-catching library displays; at Sotheby’s Institute of Art library, such displays were focused academic themes, for example on dissertation writing, and owing to the small size of the library, were noticeboard displays using 2-D images of book covers instead of the books themselves. In my current library, we have space set aside to display books and other library resources (such as films and audiobooks), and have a list of themes, chosen by library staff and in line with important dates such as Book Week Scotland, for these displays, to take us through the year.

Last week my boss asked me to set up the children’s display, showcasing the funny books and other media in our children’s section. I was given the theme, and, to my delight, given carte blanche on what to include. So what would I do? (more…)

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