Posts from 19th February 2004

Feb 04

Alexander McCall Smith ‘ The Precious Ramotswe books

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 246 views

Alexander McCall Smith ‘ The Precious Ramotswe books
It was the colourful book covers that first drew me in. I’m not sure if they come free with the purchase of a travelcard, but everyone on the tube seemed to be reading Alexander McCall Smith.

The stories revolve around Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s first and only private lady detective. Plots weave in and out and are ultimately solved by Mma Ramotswe’s shrewd judge of human behaviour. Magic and charms bubble just below the surface and enticing descriptions of Africa fill the gaps.

Change is the underlying theme throughout the series with characters looking back through rose tints to more innocent days. Menace hovers in the background in the form of AIDS, but never casts too long a shadow over the storylines.

The author is based in Edinburgh but was born in colonial southern Africa and has worked throughout the sub-continent. He is also a lecturer and if you didn’t know that, you’d certainly guess it from his photograph.

There are currently four books in the series, although success will undoubtedly ensure many more. This isn’t challenging fiction but the fun is all in the characterisation of a small community and the interplay of adulterers and adulterees under a baking sun.

Most of all, the books made me want to visit Botswana and when you’re squashed in some fat bloke’s armpit on the Northern Line, Botswana sounds ideal.

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
The Kalahari Typing School for Men


Do You SeePost a comment • 493 views

Right, before that crappy bit about adverts on page 3 of the Snide in saturday’s Grauniad devotes an whole hil-aaaar-ious page to this, YES we have spotted that Royal Carribean Cruises are using “There She Goes” by the Las on their current advert and YES we know it’s about smack and isn’t it funny that they’re advertising CRUISES with it, i mean WHAT COULD BE LESS LIKE SMACK etcetc…

I now leave the floor open to others to contest the meaning of the song ;)

and don’t no one be going mentioning p*rfect effing d*y and ch*ldren in n*ed neither.

A truly heart-warming story

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 259 views

A truly heart-warming story from grauniad education, combining my two best things LIFELONG LEARNING and BEER here at the beer academy. No dates for when their next courses are unfortunately, but I think this is something the publog should be relatively pro, they don’t seem overly obsessed with cask over everything else, although looking at their gold sponsors perhaps this isn’t too surprising…

Also, ph34r the FLAVOUR WHEEL!!

Television highlight of the week

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,231 views

Television highlight of the week: Richard Madeley stings a woman with a bee live on Channel Four.

This is a demonstration to show how bee stings can relieve arthritis. After pointing out that there is no evidence to support such a claim, that the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society does not condone it, and that ‘the pain of the bee sting is actually worse than the pain of the arthritis’ they got the bee out of a jam jar and stung the woman on the knuckle.

‘How does that feel?’ asked Richard. ‘Well, Richard,’ came the reply, ‘it stings a bit.’