Posts Tagged ‘National Trust’

Past and present

Saturday, 22 January 2011

NaBloPoMo Jan2011I thought I might have a new book for the reading list and to discuss here already, but I haven’t quite finished it, so here’s another catch-up from 2010. Far less frustrating than that current novel, which I’m literally only reading the second half off to discuss here!

Cover of Frogspawn and Floor Polish

Cover of Frogspawn and Floor Polish

62. Frogspawn and Floor Polish by Mary Mackie

I assumed I must have discussed this book here before, but apparently I actually hadn’t reread it in the past three years. It’s part of a trilogy discussing the author’s experiences living at Felbrigg Hall, a National Trust property her husband Chris Mackie was working at and then managing.

Like the others it is both informative and amusing, with a few laugh-out-loud moments. As a former long-term National Trust member, it’s decidedly interesting to find out more of the behind-the-scenes action, and the lives still lived at these properties we mostly only see as day visitors, trying to get a taste of what went on there in the past.

Despite all my intentions I never did get out to Felbrigg itself, not having any other reason to go in that direction, but I much enjoyed the NT sites in and around London, and previously York, when I was living there. If we lived in the UK I’d probably be a member still.

But back to this book. While I believe all three of the series were written after the Mackies left Felbrigg, this third is the one that’s really set after they left, with much discussion of their later visits back, and reminiscences of their own time there. This makes it possibly more episodic than the others, although I don’t call that a fault.

Well recommended for anyone who enjoys gentle humour, background looks at public places, or National Trust members generally!



Tuesday, 13 May 2008

I thought I’d read another book last week, and tonight I found where I’d noted down the details.

117. Shoes and Slippers from Snowshill by Althea Mackenzie

Despite forgetting about it over the following days, I did actually enjoy it. It’s reasonably short, and does exactly what it says on the cover. This is one of a series of pretty volumes, each focussing on a different aspect of the Snowshill collection. I haven’t read the others yet, but this one is most informative, with clear well-annotated photos of a good selection of shoes from the 18th Century.

120. Wildlife Monographs: Cheetahs by Dr Tracey Rich and Andy Rouse

This is my first in another attractive series I’m looking forward to delving into further. The photographs really are the main point, and are stunning. The text gives a very good introduction to cheetahs, but is a little repetitive, especially if you read the captions too! I don’t much like anthropomorphising (wild) animals, but there’s one full page shot of a mother cheetah licking the face of a fairly young cub, who has exactly the same style of frustrated scrunched up look of any child whose mother insists on wiping his/her face for them in public!

It is a shame that the cover fell off the book just as I finished reading it, as I can see this small tome being very useful to other readers, presuming my rough repair works.

121. People on the Move: Economic Migrants by Dave Dalton

Yet another series, and if the rest of it are this good I’ll be very pleased. Economic migration as defined here mostly covers people seeking to improve the lifestyle of themselves (by moving to a more prosperous environment) and/or their families (by bringing them along or sending money home), but also those driven off the land from Famine and the like, as well as those brought along forcibly as slaves.