Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A librarian's blog and a castle in Spain

Also in today's blog

A comment from Sacramento on horses

This is an extract from a blog I discovered yesterday.

"Have just finished Matthew Parris's Castle in Spain, the story of how he found and restored, with his family, a ruined house in northern Spain. I enjoyed the articles in the Times about this venture, and it was good to catch up with the finished product, so to speak. I've also just started Sebastian Faulks Human Traces, which is proving gripping. As husband and I are going to France later this week, I'm also hunting out books to take with me So far I've collected Wild Mary, a biography of Mary Wesley by Patrick Marnham, Alexander Masters Stuart, a life backwards, Sarah Dunant's In the company of the Courtesan( I loved her Birth of Venus) Jed Rubenfeld's Interpretation of Murder and Manette Ansay's Blue Water. I tend to take too many books and end up not reading one or two, but cannot imagine being without a book to read or worse , having read all I've taken with me , and not wanting to re-read any. Two of these, the Jed Rubenfeld and the Alexander Masters are for the two reading groups I belong to. Last time we went to France, I finished the couple of books I took before we came home, so I've probably gone for overkill this time."

The reason I found this blog is because the blogger wrote a comment on my piece about Katharine Whitehorn on Monday. The comment was – "I learnt quite a lot of my basic cooking skills from Katherine Whitehorn's "Cooking in a bedsitter" when I left home to go and study in Manchester and share a flat with fellow students."

It was signed jaycee and, when I clicked on the name, I was whisked to a blog called written by a retired public librarian living in the south of England.

Like Omnireader, I read Matthew Parris's pieces about his property in Spain, but I hadn’t realised he had published a book about it.

The Amazon UK synopsis reads : "Walking in the Pyrenees, twenty years ago, Matthew Parris and his sister came upon a magnificent medieval house. It had crests and a date 1559 chiselled into the stone: its walls and foundations were intact but the ancient oak ridge timber supporting the roof had split and was ready to collapse into the rotten floors beneath. Renovation would be an epic undertaking a massive investment of time, money and emotion. And, the locals warned, nobody ever left L'Avenc with any money. A few years ago, Matthew (with his family's help) went back and bought the place. Astonishing and arguably idiot, his decision resulted in a phenomenal amount of hard work, and this hugely enjoyable book. Inspirational, instructional and utterly irresistible, this is the story of one man's dream to turn a forgotten ruin into his very own Castle in Spain."

A comment from Sacramento on horses

An American reader called Lorna very kindly posted the following comment.

"Anne, the reason that horses who break their leg have to be put down is because racing horses, in particular, are bred to run, not survive injuries. The Wikipedia entry on Barbaro has a really good explanation of what happens when a horse is injured, and the secondary injuries and infections they are subject to."


At 27 June, 2007, Blogger Liz Fielding said...

I really enjoy Matthew Parris on the radio, Anne. And I bought the dh Sebastian Faulk's latest in hardback for his birthday. He loved it. He also loved Winter in Madrid, sort of, but not quite, in the same style as SF.

At 27 June, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 28 June, 2007, Anonymous Treva said...

Thanks for the introduction to Omnireader, Anne. She looks like being a blog writer to keep in mind for the future

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