Friday 21 May 2010

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

Well, I had my viva and I don't really know how it went... some positives, quite a few negatives - I suppose I'll find out a fortnight on Monday, and will keep you posted! But there's nothing I can do about it now... so let's think about the book, the blog post, & the link instead...

1.) The blog post - is, once again, an entire blog. Hey, I made the rules and I can break them if I want to (!) The blog in question is one I stumbled upon by accident when trying to find out when the French market is next coming to Gloucester Green. I didn't manage to find out that information (answers on a postcard, please) but I did find Oxford Daily Photo. It does what it says on the tin - for the last three or four years they've been posting daily photographs of Oxford and Oxfordshire, the latest being this rather lovely shot:

2.) The link - was emailed to me by Lauréne on behalf of the PR firm representing Munch Bunch. Don't worry, I'm not being paid to advertise them or anything - but I did want to share this link which is to a storytelling-for-children competition they're running. I.e. it's for adults who write children's stories, and will give them a chance to be published online or via podcast. All a bit of fun, and any company keen to promote reading to children gets a sticker on their sticker chart from me.

3.) The book - was sent to me by my lovely friend Epsie. Well, she's known as either Esther or Phoebe, so I just combined the two. In turn, she knows me as Bill - because of the beautiful name of my birthplace: Billinge. Sounds a bit like a disease, but I'm sure it's lovely - even if they have now knocked down the hospital where we were born. Typical. (Not sure of what)

The book, which she correctly assumed would be up my street, is called Joy Street: A Wartime Romance in Letters by Mirren Barford and Lieutenant John Lewes. I like to have a book of letters on the go, and this collection (discovered after Mirren's death by her son, and edited by him) seems touching as well as historically interesting. Joy Street was published back in 1995, so I'm going to assume that at least *one* of you has read it...?


  1. I haven't read Joy Street Simon but my library has it so I've just reserved it. Sounds like my kind of book.

  2. Is that Billinge in Lancashire? I used to live near there if so.
    Nice Oxford photos. Sorry about the long wait for the viva results -- ghastly.

  3. Lyn - Although I've not actually started it yet, I'm sure it would be your sort of thing too!

    Harriet - Billinge is actually just over the border into Merseyside (which is a shame, I'd have preferred to be born in Lancashire!) but you're thinking of the same one. My first seven years were spent in Parr, near St. Helens.

  4. Joy Street sounds like a book I'll need to track down and Oxford Daily Photo is doubtlessly going to become one of those sites that I check every day and which makes me more and more depressed by my current surroundings, leading to elaborate fantasies about moving back to England.

  5. Copies of Joy Street should come with a box of teabags and tissues. The makings of wonderful reading during a rainy afternoon.

  6. Beautiful photograph. Could you tell me what is growing in this field?

  7. Claire - oh dear, that reply quickly spiralled into disconsolation! But I hope you enjoy Joy Street... and then come visit us in Oxford.

    Darlene - thanks for the advice! It's currently blisteringly hot, so will have to wait...

    Mystica - isn't it beautiful? The crop is called oil seed rape.


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