January 26th, 2007


Car insurance time

Doh. For the last several years, I'd had my parents and sister as named drivers for the car, for whenever they flew in. However, I've just discovered that taking the parents off knocked £200 off the premium straight away as neither had full UK licenses. Have left my sister on but, it seems that while she does have a full UK license, she costs more to add on as a relative than if she had been a spouse as the first iteration of the schedule the brokers sent me had her listed!

So, overall, premium is much reduced from last year but still moderately painful though.

MCE PC developments: have put the Creative 5.1 speakers into the living room but cables are a bit on the short side. Have also ordered a Microsoft Media Centre Keyboard (along with a Saitek Eclipse II keyboard for the main PC). Resisted temptation to get a NAS enclosure though.

Have a vague concern that mild pain this morning in my lower back is connected with fencing last night as I've not had that problem before...

Amazon's on crack!

Just got an email recommendation from Amazon:

Greetings from Amazon.co.uk,

As someone who has expressed interest in books by Ruth Thomas, you might like to know that Things to Make and Mend will be released on 1 February 2007.  You can pre-order your copy for just £7.79 (40% off the RRP) by following the link below.

  Things to Make and Mend
Ruth Thomas
RRP: £12.99 
Price: £7.79
You Save: £5.20 (40%)

Release Date: 1 February 2007

"Things to Make and Mend" tells the story of Sally Tuttle and Rowena Cresswell, school friends whose lives were changed at the age of fifteen by a shocking event. Now in their late thirties, they are estranged, both single mothers, both haunted with memories of their intense friendship. Sally is an embroiderer, a needlewoman ('the homelier sister of Wonderwoman'), who works at In Stitches, a repairs shop in East Grinstead. When she wins an embroidery prize and is invited to a conference in Edinburgh to deliver an embroidery lecture, she has to leave her teenage daughter Pearl alone and step into a new role - lecturer, prize-winner. Rowena Cresswell is in Edinburgh too, helping her son move out of his student accommodation. This beautifully woven, perfectly pitched story of two women caught in the shadow of their teenage years will stay in the hearts of readers long after they put it down.

Needless to say, I was somewhat thrown by this. One quick check on Amazon, however, and much becomes clear - there's a Ruth Thomas who co-authored the Farscape season guides. Now, I have no idea if these Ruth Thomases are the same person but I suspect Amazon's recommendations engine needs some further refining...

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Elder sign

Occult books talk

Stolen from lapinenoireuk

I am *so* going to this! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu ftagn! Et in arcadia ego!


12 February 2007 (Monday)
Dangerous Books, Hidden Knowledge and Demons in Vellum
The Keepers of Occult Books in Libraries Today
Cecile Dubuis (University College London Library)
7.15 for 7.30pm start

The Blurb:
A book could be a spiritual landmine, for reading an occult text could ruin an innocent life… no? And are there not hidden secrets behind the vellum binding – think Da Vinci Code , think Rule of Four, think Name of the Rose. These are deep atavistic beliefs that operate consciously or subconsciously in the minds of both the occultists and the keepers of the books. Most occult texts are held in libraries, yet their keepers the librarians are rarely occultists, and some are actually afraid of the occult – and the doors are so often barred…

Tonight's speaker went on a mission to find out how much (and how) libraries hinder people's access to the occult texts in their possession. Her field research aimed to do a few things: first, to try to see how libraries reacted to an occultist trying to gain access to occult books. She also (wearing her scholar's hat) interviewed librarians about their attitudes to occult books and how they felt about being custodians of such material. Her findings were surprising at times, comforting at others and – once or twice – a bit horrifying. This is a talk for anyone who has ever been awestruck in a library, for anyone who has ever sought out the "occult section" of the stacks, or has dreamt of having a private book collection.

To book:
Email or phone: info@treadwells-london.com | Ph: 020 7240 8906
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