Saturday 23rd November 2013.

Sunny but icy cold this morning and with roads slippery outside an early bike-ride wasn’t on the cards. The pic was taken earlier in the week. As was pic two.
While the weather has, at times, been iffy for an old cyclist, there’s safety in an armchair and a good book. Or so I thought. Then I read : Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring (paperback). This is a fictitious yarn based-on the ‘ghost-hunting’ antics of the very real Harry Price whilst at, also real, Borley Rectory. It’s a kind of diary-story that’s written by a (fictitious) lady secretary of Harry Price and it does have some really good, scary moments. Much of it too is historical fact which does make it interesting as well as hair-raising. A good longish, well-written read for the dark nights of winter…
During the week a canal-path cycling mate was stuck for a few old-style brake-blocks.Luckily I had a few in stock. They were a bit shop-soiled and so given. A day or two later the mate called with a small Observers Book of Canals – revised 1996 Edition – as a ‘thanks’ for the blocks. A quick and easy ‘reference-guide’, the book lists all the main UK canals and explains many of the working-parts of the canals themselves – such as locks. Sadly, the local canal isn’t mentioned, but there are good photo’s and sketches of others far bigger. A great little read, by John Gagg, that was first published in the nineteen eighties and that’s invaluable for those so interested.
Nearly read, on Kindle, the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs. These are all like an American ‘James Bond’ but with attitude! The scenic back-drop is – anywhere in America – vividly described. The plots are reasonably original and the main character – ex-Army MP Jack Reacher – does actually detect while hobo-ing himself all over the place with just a folding toothbrush for luggage. One of the books ‘One Shot’, I think, has already been made into a film by and starring Tom Cruise as Jack. Not great casting as Jack is supposedly six feet five inches tall! But, so far, all of the books give a good read with some extremely violent bits spiced with some really funny written ‘gags’. Lee Childs is English and so the usual ‘American’ style narrative, that some of us need to decipher as we read, is kept to a minimum. Great ‘Baddies’. Up to date and topical. Mmm…Chris Hemsworth perhaps?
Mmm…Ghost-Hunting, Canals, Detection…there’s got to be a book or two in there somewhere!
There is, but sadly, actually writing one (or ten), is deemed more of a mental-aberration than a ‘job’ around here!

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