Sunday Story – From Beyond The Stars Part Four

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Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Amy collapsed back into the sofa her mind racing at the snippet she had just learnt, River had met the Doctor before he was her Doctor.  She tried to imagine River interacting with the Doctor as she was imagining him from the manuscript, River certainly would have had something to say about the Doctor who thought he was a god.  She felt the anger rising again at the idea of the Doctor deciding who should live and die, oh she had seen have have to make that choice before but never like this.  This woman, this…  well whatever she was, she hadn’t hurt anyone she had sent them away to save them before they had been harmed there must have been another way.  She reached for the manuscript and resumed her reading.

I stood facing him trying to find the words that would somehow convince him that things did not have to be this way, but deep inside a voice told me we had always know this time would come. Tears flowed down my cheeks as my eyes met his searching for a glimpse of something that would allow me to convince him that I was no threat to anyone.

I don’t want to do this but I have no choice, you are changing history, people come here and meet you, then never go on to fulfil their destinies, medicines are not created that will save lives in the future, books never written that are supposed to change the thoughts of civilisations.  And I know, I really do know you never intended any of this but you can’t change it. You’re the flame to which they are drawn and the only way to stop them is to tale away the light.”

I knew he was right, I knew in that very minute the very destiny of this planet, of these people I had grown to love was in danger just from my presence, he was talking still talking of the possibility of taking me to another planet, somewhere I could live out my days where my influence could do no harm.  I knew that was not realistic, my union with this body was too fragile so adjust to another gravity and the link between the two of us mentally was too far progressed now for either of us to continue alone.  I would not make the man stood before me responsible for my death.  Marietta agreed the course of action we determined to take and urged we act quickly lest either of us lose the courage required to act.  I took my leave, requesting that we have an hour to prepare ourselves and put our affairs in order before we depart.  I confess I felt guilt at the deception of allowing him to believe we were going to accompany him in his ship and when he looked in our eyes I felt sure he knew or suspected what we intended, however he made no objection.

We sit here now in our boudoir, writing this letter that I hope will allow anyone who reads it to look back at our lives and understand that we never intended harm and that they may forgive the Doctor as we have done for his part in what will happen now.  Marietta and I have shared our final thoughts, we have chosen that she shall sit by the window when I depart so that thought physically separated we may witness and give comfort to each other in our final moments.

We bid you farewell and go now to our rest.

A tear dropped onto the paper, Amy’s hand trembling as she imagined what the entity had done.  How had the ended it? Had Marietta survived the separation?  It couldn’t just end like that she need to know how it finished, she jumped up intent on demanding the final chapter of the story from the Doctor, as she did so a single sheet fell from the manuscript clutched in her hand.  She bent and retrieved it, in a different hand were the answers she wanted.  The writing was familiar, it resembled the Doctor’s but the flourishes varied from those with which she was acquainted.  She realised it belonged to the previous incarnation of the Doctor he had finished the story.

Postscript

If I am honest I knew what they were intending. I could have stopped them, I should have stopped them, I thought I had more time.

After they left me I wandered round the garden trying to work out the best way to transport them and think of a new home for them where they could live together, and no one else would be at risk from their spell.  I had even felt myself succumbing at times, she or should that be they were so beautiful and truly captivating, that smile and those eyes like lakes you could have dived into and drowned for eternity.  Infact that was not so far from the truth of what had happened to those who had come into close contact with them.  I thought I had it all worked out, it was then as I turned towards the house that I saw what they had planned.

Marietta sat at the window, I was just close enough to make out the smile on her lips, then from her a light appeared.  It surrounded her wrapping her in its glow before expanding and stretching out into the open air.  It seemed to whole sky was filled with a warm glow, tinged the palest of pinks.  The like an explosion in reverse it shrunk.  The colour intensified and the area covered diminished until it a red star burned in the sky then with a blinding intensity burst like a firework, thousands of sparkling cinders falling to the Earth and a feeling of terrible sadness over came me.  I looked back at the window and noticed Marietta slumped against the panes of glass.

I raced into the house taking the steps two at a time as I ascended to her chamber.  when I reached her she was barely breathing I lifted her and placed her carefully upon the bed. I knew, even as I frantically called for assistance it was too late to save her.  For one last time, at great effort to her, she opened her eyes and looked up at me smiling, I strained to make out her words as she asked,

“We were magnificent, were we not?”

“Oh yes! You were magnificent, you dazzled them all and they loved you.” I answered

I felt her go limp and knew she had gone.  I closed her eyes and smoothed her hair back.  Standing to leave the room I found this manuscript.  After I finished reading it seemed fitting I record the final actions of these remarkable women, I can’t accept the forgiveness they offer nor the shame of allowing others to know my actions which led to this and shall place these words in a place they shall not be found again.

The Doctor was still fixing the controls when she returned to the console room, he looked up at her his eyes moist as he awaited her verdict.  She tried to smile but it died on her lips.

“You couldn’t have saved her, even if you tried she would have died, she said so herself.  As soon as they separated they would both die there was no other way.”

“I could have taken her somewhere, them, together as one, somewhere they could have both lived on.”

“And then what Doctor left them to live in solitude not coming into contact with anyone else, ever.  You would have saved them yes but they wouldn’t have had a life they would only have had an existence.  In the end they made the choice, it was theirs to make and I don’t think for one minute either of them would want you to feel sad over it.”

“Maybe not, but that doesn’t make it right.”

The Doctor connected the final two wires there was a flash of light that filled the room, and caused him to jump to his feet anxiously checking the console.

“Strange it’s never done that before.  Enough moping I know what lets go to Paris, I love Paris, Paris is cool.  Did I ever tell you Madame De Pompadour kissed me…”

“Now is that supposed to make me jealous?” River Song stepped out from behind the far side of the console adjusting her Vortex Manipulator “Hello Sweetie, don’t worry I’ll forgive you, I kissed the king.”

River leaned over and punched in co-ordinates, she looked up at the Doctor and smiled.  “Looks like I arrived at just the right time.”

Where did all the time go

I am still posting from my phone so this post is more of a prequel to a couple I will post once adding pictures is an option.

In between writing I have been editing some old photos stored on the computer, some taken by me, some of me and a slew of old slides that belonged to my grandad. In doing so I have reached several conclusions both personal and writing related.

Firstly health and safety officials would burst blood vessels at some of the pictures from my grandads slides. The show visits to both a zoo and a safari park both of which include pictures that common sense tells us are not the most sensible situations to be in, including a picture of me sticking fingers through a fence at some penguins. I think looking at the pictures the fact I still have all my fingers intact to type with is a miracle.

Secondly I realise that I wasted so much time when I was younger worrying about appearance and hating the way I looked when now I would be thrilled to look that way again. But as well as the vanity side of it with yet another year passing I look back and remember the hopes and dreams of the person in the photos and reflect on how different she is to me now. Some dreams remain the same but many life has crushed and reality has stamped its mark upon them.

The final thought is that old photos are a brilliant source of inspiration. Even ones that are seemingly mundane. My grandad was a gardener and worked for the council, at one point the was in charge of planting up roundabouts, so in the slides there are pictures of huge greenhouses full of geraniums and hydrangeas. Just from those alone so many possibilities come to mind, parks, big houses, garden centres even scientists searching for the perfect clone and that was just for starters.

Right back to writing only a couple more days and I shall be back properly and promise to stay better organised in future lol

Writing and Reducing yourself to tears

I am posting this from my phone. I have no home internet for a few day – my own fault too busy enjoying myself to worry about bills and how much I was spending but it is actually a blessing.

I have just finished the revised draft on the second story and have managed to avoid tears with this one. The original story Bluebell Woods was going to be the opening story in Voices however this final draft took me much deeper into the story than I had intended venturing leaving me sat sobbing into my coffee. I decided therefore it should be moved to the penultimate story position then the readers will not be so upset they stop reading.

Once the internet is back up the revamped story will be heading to a couple of beta readers to reassure me it has not gone too far down a very distressing road.

Hopefully this will send and I shall be back reading blogs and posting daily by the end of the week.

Lizzie Bennet Diaries Episodes 17-20

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Its Saturday and time to once more delve into the world of the modern Lizzie Bennet, I have to say this is becoming a high light of my week in terms of pleasure see you at the other side…

I had wondered how they were going to replace the army and the swim meet fits the criteria perfectly, although here in the UK am not sure it would equate quite as well maybe a music festival would be closer, but a swim team works for me as anyone who was following this blog during the Olympics may remember *sighs.

Any way before I start daydreaming and get distracted we should move on but staying with the swim team discuss Mr George Wickham hmmm the bounder has been introduced though only by name at this point.  I will be interested to see how they introduce these other characters because although so far this format has worked you would think at some point the other characters would need to appear in person.  Before we move on I should just mention I have the introduction of Kitty as Lydia’s cat it is a witty way of adding in another character from Austen’s novel without it being a person as Kitty certainly fits the kitten analogy.

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Both look smug and arrogant you would spot their character flaws a mile off

Back to Wickham and an issue I have with him as seen on TV or film, I always got the feeling from reading Pride & Prejudice that Wickham is drop dead gorgeous, looking angelic though of course we discover he is far from it, but I have noticed often the casting of the character reflects elements of his true character rather than the one Austen suggests which fools every one,pride_wickham

Time will tell how they cast the male characters, they have certainly done well with the female ones so fingers crossed.

Glossybox – The London Edition

Okay this will be a monthly feature when each new box arrives partly because I am like a big kid in toy shop opening these boxes. I recognised that having got to a certain age and coming out of a long term relationship I have got a little stuck in my ways.  My make-up is normally the same two style one for day and one for night which I can actually apply in 10 – 15 minutes and without even really needing a mirror, I was stuck in the proverbial rut.  So inspired by a fellow blogger I decided to try one of the many subscription boxes available, this one from Glossybox costs a tenner a month plus postage and you receive 5 travel/trial size items per month.  Now there are so many products out there today that make the most amazing claims and cost the earth finding the right one can be a nightmare so for me this seems like a good way to try things and you never know I may find some new beauty tips along the way, as you will see the first box had me trying something new.  I thought you would enjoy taking a peek and watching me experiment, gents I apologise now but you never know you might decide to try the hair products or skin care stuff…

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So I open up the outer packaging and see…..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first thing I am struck by is the packaging, it looks expensive, in a card shop you would probably pay about £5 just for a similar quality gift box, so time to open it up…

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Inside the quality continues with the packing the tissue paper not only colour co-ordinates but also features images reflecting the them of the box and has a matching ribbon.  Also included was a magazine telling you a little about the people choosing and influencing the choices for the month plus a card giving you full product and price details for each item included.

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My five products all arrived intact only the lid had come off the hair product but as it was one where you twist to allow the pump action to function it made no difference.  First impression was I was really happy with what I saw so then it was time to look a little closer and over the next couple of days to try them out.

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First up the perfume Untold by Elizabeth Arden.  Not one I would have picked up to try normally in a shop knowing how expensive these fragrances are but I loved it.  The one they sent is a 5ml sample bottle and will last a while as the smell lasts quite well.  Normal retail price is £48 for 50ml and £69 for 100ml not the most expensive perfume but certainly not the cheapest.  I guess the real question is would I buy this and based on the smell the answer is yes but based on price although I might buy it I would certainly not wear it on a daily basis it would be saved for special occasions.

Next up Nipple Balm for Lips by Dr Lipp…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay this sounds a very strange product if you read the description of the product the mind boggles even more…

A cult make-up kit essential! A true 100% natural SOS balm with multipurpose properties for use on dry, sensitive skin, eczema, cuticles, burns and abrasions, sore nipples and even baby’s bottoms!

As you can see it makes lots of claims now as my nipples are fine and I had no intention of burning myself of grazing my knees just to test it, there were only two testing options left the lips and dry skin so first to get it out of the tube…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is incredibly thick and quite hard to squeeze out, I was given a 3ml tube but I doubt it would be much easier on the full size one.  A little goes a very long way and it is like incredibly thick Vaseline.  Both I and a friend tried it on lips and dry skin and found it did match its claims, on lips it stays put when drinking though I would not recommend eating directly after applying or you will have crumbs stuck to your lips, The dry skin test worked very well though for me where I have dry flakes on my nose despite the skin being quite oily it was something I would only apply weekly and over night.  The full size retails at £11.50 for 15ml and as I say a little goes a long way, would I buy it no, I don;t really suffer enough with chapped lips to justify the expense but if you do then it is worth the money.

Next up…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABe a Bombshell Cosmetics Onyx Eye Liner when you open the box you find what looks like a magic marker and can be used pretty much the same way but on your eyes obviously

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course the real test is putting it on your eyes…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnow as you can see one eye lovely and perfect the other is the reason you should never put on make up with small children and animals running round you.  The plus side is it allows me to tell you that this eyeliner is very unforgiving, if you go wrong it is quite difficult to clear up the smudge without needing to remove the lot. The full size product is $14 for 3g and would need to be bought on line I would definitely buy this if I could get it in a shop but it would depend on postage charges to whether I would buy it online.

So next up was…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay confession time I was a lash virgin I have always had nice long thick lashes and never bothered with fake ones.  Don’t get me wrong I had been tempted just never enough to take the plunge so I was totally in experienced to handle these lol.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see from the outer corners of my eyes the first attempt was rather unsuccessful they were incredibly sticky and positioning them was hard, and I have to say at first I blamed the edges coming unstuck on my having to reposition it numerous times, the second one went on a little easier with the aid of a hoof stick from my manicure set.  I stuck down the loose corner with some eye lash glue I had bought to go with the purple lashes I had bought for Halloween but not used yet, after about and hour and a half the other started coming loose and needed extra glue to secure it.  I would say once you get the hang of them these are great they look fairly natural still…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAonce you notice them you do of course know they are false but they are not silly ones and once you are confident they are secure you forget you are wearing them as they are so light.  The self adhesive bit I think it fails on but you can pick up lash glue cheaply enough to compensate for that.  The lashes cost £5.06 and are on sale on line I don’t think I would buy these if there was postage to pay on top of the price as there are many other options in the shops.

The final item for this first box is…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnow I have to confess this one probably hasn’t had the testing it fully requires but so far it is looking good.  I smoothed some over my hair before tying it up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you first apply it it feels quite greasy, my daughter claimed it was like putting baby oil on your hair but it quickly dries out leaving the hair feeling incredibly soft and smooth with a nice shine.  I did not use it with any other products though in this test so how much shine remains then remains to be seen,  I received a 30ml full size bottle which retails at £7.19 which will probably last me quite a while as I don’t need to do my hair much at the minute as I am between styles but if I choose to keep my hair longer i can certainly see myself buying this.

So that’s this months box and it has been good enough for me to decide to keep the subscription roll on October’s box.

500 Posts and An Amazing Stately Home

500 hundred posts I can;t believe I have reached that mile stone already and that so many of you are still here sharing my journey, some of you have been here since the first post, you are such gluttons for torture lol.  I just want to say….thank_you

Now I actually did something a little different while I was at Castle Howard in that I took a note book and scribbled a few thoughts down during my visit to share with you rather than just sharing a few pictures.

The first lines are scrawled as we take our seats on the mini bus…

Before we even set off the whingers are off ‘it is a minibus it’s supposed to be a coach’, ‘it looks like an ambulance’. ‘it smells’  The irony is at their age if they were so concerned with comfort then at their age they should have taken the train, it would actually have probably worked out cheaper for them.

Not a brilliant start to the day but determined not to listen to their moaning I put on the headphones and turn up the music my next entry is as we let the first group off in York centre,

As we pass through York I am reminded just how much I love this place and that I really must bring the monster again now he is older.  I am tempted to try out the new big wheel thought when the time comes am not so sure my resolve will hold though the monster would love it and want to go on so who knows.

image courtesy of Google

image courtesy of Google

We then depart for Castle Howard and I am gutted as we fly past a garage that has Daleks and a Cyberman on top but I couldn’t get my camera out in time (I thought I could snap it coming back but we take a different route) then we turn onto the longest approach to any house i have ever visited the ‘drive’ or road leading up to it is 5 miles long this is what I wrote about it,

We pass beneath two arches about a mile apart, both of them part of spectacular walls built to mirror those of York itself before taking a right at the recreation of Cleopatra’s Needle now sat in the middle of a round about and enter the grounds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI passed through the courtyard or as it says on the map the stable block paid my money and am now sat on a bench taking a minute by the walled gardens before I plunge in just to savour the total splendour.  You can sense the wealth, the awe which the buildings and grounds must have inspired and to just jot down these few lines before I begin exploring.  The real difficulty is deciding where to begin.

My first glimpse of the house

My first glimpse of the house

One of the entrances to the walled gardens

One of the entrances to the walled gardens

How the hide something this big behind trees is beyond me

How the hide something this big behind trees is beyond me

First real idea of the scale of the house

First real idea of the scale of the house

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Obligatory Wild Boar all good homes should have one

I decided that I would explore the house first so I will post a few pictures from the house then the lines I wrote after I had walked round it.

Selfie just in case you were mad enough to want to see me

Selfie just in case you were mad enough to want to see me

My bed - or it would be if I could fit it in my handbag

My bed – or it would be if I could fit it in my handbag

Perfect writing space, the window next to it looked out onto the lawns and fountain

Perfect writing space, the window next to it looked out onto the lawns and fountain

Time to beautify oneself for dinner?

Time to beautify oneself for dinner?

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Freaky sculptures - when I visited Chatsworth I noticed how beautiful and elegant all the sculptures were but here a lot of them gave me the creeps

Freaky sculptures – when I visited Chatsworth I noticed how beautiful and elegant all the sculptures were but here a lot of them gave me the creeps

the cupola in the great hall

the cupola in the great hall

I loved this room all the panels were exquisitely painted

I loved this room all the panels were exquisitely painted

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Not the most impressive dining room I have seen but this one does feel more inviting and not so intimidating in terms of place settings

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Possibly my favourite room I loved this colour although Lord David Prosser may argue about the use of bright colours in confined spaces

So much to see around the house, I took hundred of pictures as always (I will provide a link to the full album on Facebook at the end) it was sad to see the damage done by the fire, so many paintings on the walls still in need of restoring and I cannot help but wonder if Brideshead had not been shot here how little would have been restored at all if anything. There are definitely ideas for a story lurking in my mind now.  The sculptures were very different from Chatsworth Rather than the Classic beauty and elegant lines many appeared sinister, then again lots of story potential there.  Why would someone live in a house of evil statues? 

I then decided to wander down towards the lake knowing there was a coffee there where I could have lunch.

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I also had a slice of Bakewell hidden behind the coffee

Cake porn especially for Vikki xx

Cake porn especially for Vikki xx

At the minute I am sat by a lake and could happily never leave.  The food was pricey but good ( thinking about it later is wasn’t really that expensive the whole lot come to just under a tenner) and worth it for the view alone.

the view from my seat out on the deck where I had lunch

the view from my seat out on the deck where I had lunch

Lunch was shared with several ducks who decided it should be share and share alike, one was also kind enough to ensure there were no crumbs n my bag.

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Duck bag inspector

On the little map it shows boat trips but in reality there is no sign of them, whether that is a holiday time option only I don’t know it would be interesting to find out.  The adventure playground is okay, more like a playground than anything special but the monster would still love it.

I think rather than live in the big house I would build a cabin down here near the water and spend most of my time living here.

There is rain in the air and I have two hours left to explore the grounds and there at least two areas I really want to look at, the Atlas fountain and the walled rose garden.  I fear it will take another visit to find all the hidden gemsand I am sure the monster would love to come and take a look round the woods with me.

I then walked round to the other side of the house exploring an exhibition about the Mistresses and Maids in the house down the years and also the on going building and restoration that continues, I strolled around the fountain, spotted a pyramid on the horizon (no I was not hallucinating there is proff in the full album) then sat by the other lake.

One of my favourite views

One of my favourite views

The spectacular Atlas Fountain

The spectacular Atlas Fountain

Attempted panorama of the lake

Attempted panorama of the lake

I am sat by the other lake now it is so wonderfully peaceful and less ducks as there is no cafe here but you do get an idea of all the other places to explore, structures and statues peep out from amongst the trees in the distance.  I have just seen the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen it must have been at least four inches long.

I am thinking that the views I have seen in the grounds will form the basis for  a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction when I feel brave enough to take that challenge on,

I then moved on to the walled gardens, I have to confess I get very giddy at the thought of a walled garden one of my favourite books as a child was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few more lines scribbled from within the walled garden, the smell is astounding Lily and Lavender, and fresh cut grass, though many of the flowers are past their prime the place is still enchanted, I had expected peacocks but not seen any though there is still plenty of gardens to explore.  Every time I go somewhere I seem to fall in love with it and this is no exception, it might be worth me looking into the lakeland accommodation as it also appears dogs are welcome in the grounds, a weekend here with or even without the monster would be lovely and I think very productive creatively.

Well that’s it for my notebook if you wish to see more picture click here to be taken to my Facebook album with hundreds of pictures and I have to say I am really thrilled with some of them.

Please let me know as well if you like this style of post if so I promise to take my notebook on my next day out

Part Six Review Volume 2 Chapter I

the-mysteries-of-udolpho-1-480x480-75 Just the one chapter this week and a fairly short review.

This chapter sees the journey to Italy begin and really very little in the way of character or plot development.

Emily is relegated to a second carriage rather than travelling with her Aunt in order to make room for Cavigni to ride with his friend.  This does enable Valencourt to leap into the road and thrust a letter at her completely unseen, totally ridiculous of course to believe the maid travelling with her would not have noticed or the driver but we must suspend reality at times like this.

The only real character development we see if on a stop in the Italian Alps when Montoni and Cavigni discuss Hannibal, this gives us the opportunity to see that the two male characters do have a degree of learning between them although their discussion is purely academic.  Emily also considers the same subject but from a more emotional angle imagining the feelings of the soldiers as the faced the perilous peaks.  Finally Madame Cheron now Madame Montoni whose thoughts are engaged planning events to rival any of the courts of Europe believing now she has the title of wife she no longer need fear Montoni’s wandering eyes and believe his frugality displayed previously will be overcome by his desire to impress in his home town.

One rather impressive element of this chapter is the way in which Radcliffe avoids repetition, having through herself thoroughly into the Sublime and Picaresque during the previous trip through a mountain landscape she touches on it only briefly using Emily daydreaming of Valencourt superimposed from one landscape to the other, them moves on to briefly describe the Pastoral.  She then hits upon the perfect way to describe these things without long descriptive passages by having Emily write poetry which she then interjects into the text.

For this week I leave them in the Alps and you with a taster of Emily’s poetic exploits

THE PIEDMONTESE

 Ah, merry swain, who laugh'd along the vales,
 And with your gay pipe made the mountains ring,
 Why leave your cot, your woods, and thymy gales,
 And friends belov'd, for aught that wealth can bring?
 He goes to wake o'er moon-light seas the string,
 Venetian gold his untaught fancy hails!
 Yet oft of home his simple carols sing,
 And his steps pause, as the last Alp he scales.
 Once more he turns to view his native scene--
 Far, far below, as roll the clouds away,
 He spies his cabin 'mid the pine-tops green,
 The well-known woods, clear brook, and pastures gay;
 And thinks of friends and parents left behind,
 Of sylvan revels, dance, and festive song;
 And hears the faint reed swelling in the wind;
 And his sad sighs the distant notes prolong!
 Thus went the swain, till mountain-shadows fell,
 And dimm'd the landscape to his aching sight;
 And must he leave the vales he loves so well!
 Can foreign wealth, and shows, his heart delight?
 No, happy vales! your wild rocks still shall hear
 His pipe, light sounding on the morning breeze;
 Still shall he lead the flocks to streamlet clear,
 And watch at eve beneath the western trees.
 Away, Venetian gold--your charm is o'er!
 And now his swift step seeks the lowland bow'rs,
 Where, through the leaves, his cottage light ONCE MORE
 Guides him to happy friends, and jocund hours.
 Ah, merry swain! that laugh along the vales,
 And with your gay pipe make the mountains ring,
 Your cot, your woods, your thymy-scented gales--
 And friends belov'd--more joy than wealth can bring!

Book Review – The Murder Book By Jonathan Kellerman

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Okay so trying to get back on track and Monday means a book review

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They say when you are writing you have to find your voice and this book has a very distinctive narrative voice.  Unfortunately it was one that made me want to throw it out of the window.  However, I persisted with the book because I was fascinated by the story line an eventually the main character became more tolerable.

I think I have to be honest and say that most of the characters were just that tolerable, I did not feel a bond towards any of them except perhaps the murder victim who had been dead for decades.  I am fully willing to accept it may just be me that felt an apathy towards them but I don’t think it is, the two man characters are a LA psychologist-detective and a homicide detective who happens to be gay and living with a surgeon.  The lifestyles portrayed by both of the characters is totally unrealistic for most people to relate to, one is having his heart broken due to his own reckless behaviour and the others career threatened because of his sexuality and to be honest I really didn’t care.  The only person you really have any empathy for at all as I mentioned previously is the victim and as the story develops you feel more and more for her as it is revealed the extent to which her whole short tragic existence was one example of being a victim after another.  There are other characters who should elicit some degree of sympathy and understanding but something is always lacking to give you a real connection to them.

I know I sound really negative towards this book but actually after persevering and getting a few chapters in I did start to enjoy it, what is lacking in the characters is compensated for in the plot.  The book begins with the arrival of a book, the murder book of the title, sparking interest in a case which the homicide detective had sought to erase from his memory after being forced from the case, it is of course a case of things being far from what they seem and the pair find themselves caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and cover ups.

Now the hard bit would I recommend this book well even despite my initial reservations I still would because the plot lines twist and turn, in that respect it is one of the best stories I have read in a long time, and others out there may warm to the characters where I am left feeling neutral towards them.

In all I am going to give this 4 out of 5 because the plot and the portrayal of the victim really appealed to me.

Sunday Story – From Beyond the Stars – Part Three

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In case you need to play catch up you can find the first two parts….

Part One

Part Two

Amy watched as the Doctor left the room, she had read nothing yet to really explain his strange reaction to the manuscript.  Her initial curiosity about it had not been from its content as the Doctor had supposed but from the very fact he had it, she had wondered if it had belonged to one of the other who had come before her but he avoided mentioning unless necessary.  It would always be some item she found or a question that led to a single sentence reply which was a dismissal from the subject far more than it was an answer.  She thought of the time she had emerged from the wardrobe room wearing what she had thought a rather jaunty straw hat, his face had frozen before he had walked over whisked it off her head and stood looking at it in his hand as if it were something alive.  Then with a half smile he had told her it was Romana’s and that he had never liked it declaring ‘straw hats are not cool, wear the stetson if you want to wear a hat. Stetsons are cool or a fez.’  He had thrown the hat to one side and grabbed her hand dragging her off to an adventure, she had thought no more of it at the time but when she looked for the hat later it was gone and he could not be persuaded to discuss the matter any more.

As she sat here now she wondered whether in time her name would join the ranks of the unspoken.  Was that what was hidden in these pages, another ghost from the Doctors past, who had walked these corridors before her?  She resumed reading determined now to discover what was hidden within the pages.

I looked at the strange man stood before me, there was something unusual about him, I could not hear his thoughts as I normally could but I invited him into my home and bid him welcome.  Given the lateness of the hour I arranged he should be fed and shown to one of the guest rooms.  Excusing myself I retired to my room and slept.  Little did I know how many changes the morning would bring.

It was at breakfast the next morning I had the opportunity to pay closer attention to the traveller who had arrived the previous evening.  As was normal in my home every place at the table was laid, the side tables were laden with everything any of my guest could desire for each meal and already ten or more had wandered into the room and settled at the table with laden plates.  I took my seat at the head of the table and watched as the Doctor as he had introduced himself sat at the opposite end. 

Though I could not read his thoughts the others with whom he conversed provided me with a running commentary of their conversations.  I knew immediately from his line of questioning that he was not the normal traveller he claimed to be. I also knew that he viewed my existence very differently to the way I did.

As I have mentioned before I quickly realised that those who spent any extended period of time n our presence fell ill and though they recovered once they were removed from our direct vicinity there were those who never recovered fully.  It was in the early days when Marietta had more control over our flesh, she did not understand the way we drained the life from those we loved, and we did love.  Oh and how we loved, our capacity for passion and affection was limitless, and we drew them near us like moths attracted to a flame.  In those early days some like her husband were simply not strong enough us and their own life force, and yes I confess we fed upon the energy, it was like a drug that we could not live without.  After her husband passed we took lovers before we learned that by exercising restraint and that by merely surrounding ourselves with these beautiful creatures we could live without damaging their fragile lives.

The lovers tending to fade quickly, the union of the flesh draining them far quicker than simple everyday exposure and others, those more sensitive had seen something in our eyes that had led to madness.  I regretted this, I had mourned for each of those whose wings I had burnt but the look I received from the man at the far end of the table told me that my regrets would mean nothing to him.

I could no longer bear the scrutiny of his gaze and rose leaving the food on my plate untouched.  I passed through the open doors to the terrace and headed towards to rose garden.  I walked trying to compose my thoughts, to prepare myself for the confrontation that I knew was coming.

I turned a corner intending to head back towards the house and there he stood, in his strange clothes he was every bit as alien as I was, I opened my mouth to speak but my words failed me and then he spoke.

“You can’t stay in that body, you can’t keep draining all these people, it’s not right.  You know you can’t stay here.”

“You make it sound like I have hurt people deliberately that is not fair, I never wanted anyone to hurt for me I have done everything in my power to save them I send them away when I know they are weakening.  You know that you condemn me to death, both of us, we share this body now neither of us can live without the other?”

“I know and I am sorry but you have hurt people, you might not have intended to but just by being round you they are changed, they can never see life the same way again.  You have had your time in this body it is time to let her go, she could never have known what she was agreeing to or she never would have done it.  It’s time to end it and if you won’t end it then I will have to.

She sat staring at the words she had just read trying to imagine the Doctor she knew ever acting that way. Would he make the same choices?  She was not sure and that bothered her, part of her could not imagine him being so cold and unfeeling but then even with different feelings towards it would he not still make the same choices?  Would it be better if he at least showed remorse over the situation she was in?

She flung the manuscript down and stormed to the console room, the Doctor had disappeared beneath it once more, his bottom half protruding from underneath and it was this half of him which she addressed.

“Doctor I just want you to know I wouldn’t have liked you if I had met you before.  You were not nice, you were a bully.”

She turned to leave but just as she reached the door she heard a muttered reply “River didn’t didn’t think much of me then either.”

She waited half expecting him to continue but he remained silent

 

 

Lizzie Bennet Diaries Episodes 13-16

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Another week has passed and yet again I have restrained myself from watching ahead so as always see you on the other side of the clips…

Okay it is getting harder and harder to switch off after the fourth episode each week.  I am loving the way this is going in fact it even makes me feel like dusting off the camera and starting up my own Vlogs again except the are nowhere near as funny as these.  Lydia really reminds me of one of my own sisters, portrayal of the sibling bond really is well acted.  I love the idea of introducing modern elements such as the video games and that the pub has replaced the ballroom though a little part of me is rather disappointed about that in real life.  I do think there was something special about the idea of those formal dances where everyone got dressed to impress and actually danced in a civilised fashion without looking like they are being tasered repeatedly while in the process of getting dressed and left the house in their underwear.  Don’t get me wrong I am not a prude but very few people look as good as they believe they do and even fewer have friends worthy of the title who will tell them they look stupid, Miley is an example of that no genuine friend would have told her the ‘nude’ pvc bikini thing looked good.

Back on subject the pared down cast is still working really well I like they kept Caroline Bingley yet seem to have ditched Mrs Hurst and her husband and Aunt Phillips also appears to have been dismissed though unless we were going to actually see Mrs Bennet she would have served no purpose.

Roll on next week and the next installment