Sunday, 3 February 2013


Since my retirement I have read quite a few books it seems that I now have the time and can focus on what I wish to read. When I was working I did a lot of reading but not what I wanted to read, it was mostly what I had to read for my work. A very different affair all together and not always interesting.

I also had work obligations which ate into my leisure time, you know the propaganda from the employer about balancing work and play or work and family or whatever, well its just propaganda, totally meaningless. My employer never intended to be serious about such issues or any other issues, their were just mouthing the words because they had to be perceived as caring. Always optics and perceptions in the Government not reality.

So since end of 2012 I have read 8 books some brought to my attention by friends and others I discovered by reading columns in literary sections of the newspaper or on the web. In the last couple of weeks I read books translated from Russian by Ludmila Ulitskaya, Ben MacIntyre and by Nigel Slater, a cook not a chef. All books I can get in seconds with KINDLE, beats going out to the bookstore in this awful weather. Since my fall on polished ice about 2 weeks ago, Winter and I are not talking, I do not know what people find so fascinating or attractive about living in a country where frostbite can happen in less than 10 minutes or unpleasantly bitter cold weather which despite the bright Sun is thoroughly inhospitable that nothing can be enjoyed unless you stay indoor and drink yourself senseless. That probably explains why about 5 million Canadians live in more warmer climes all year round. For a country of 35 million people that is a significant portion of the population.

So I have read the Funeral Party by Ludmila Ulitskaya. World War II espionage by Ben MacIntyre, AKA the story of Eddie Chapman,criminal of the London under-world, turned Master spy, double agent, who despite being brave did not charm me at all, too much of the lucky con artist double dealing everyone, his lovers, MI5 and the Nazis.

Just finished reading the bio of Nigel Slater, Toast: A boy's hunger. I first saw on BBC a video of Nigel Slater cooking and fell in love with his simple yet wonderful dishes. I have tried some and they are very good. His website at:

He has won many awards and written much about cooking and all is recipes are simple but beautiful and he has an herb & vegetable garden at his home in Highbury, North London. He is the sort of person I could get along with, witty, funny and down to earth about food and life. His life also has some strange similarities to mine. On the BBC site you can see the different videos on cooking. Well done. SEE:

The Funeral Party by Ludmila Ulitskaya is earthy in the sense that life is just like that, no fancy stories or fantasies, plain and ordinary but so touching and so human on so many levels. The people in her stories are very real and you can relate to them. The people she writes about are either her friends or people she knows or has known. They are very real, ex-pat Russians in the big Apple, immigrant community who long to return to mother Russia, but will not for multiple reasons. I was very much taken by this story.


  1. I'd love to do more reading for pleasure too but, as in your case, that will have to wait for blessed retirement.

  2. I am mad-jealous. If I have the fortune to retire (ha!) I want to do little else but read.