John Le Carré died today aged 89. There was a lot of stuff about him on the World Service including comparisons between him and Ian Fleming. Smiley v Bond. While 007 gave spies glamour and flair, Smiley was all about the humdrum and mundane during the Cold War years.
Comparisons aside, he was an amazing writer. He also wrote The Night Manager, which is incredible. Well, the TV series was. I haven’t read the book.
Moving on from John’s demise…
Each year, the Talking Newspaper puts out a Christmas special edition. I’ve never been asked to read for it. This could be because I’m not normally around this time of year. Whatever the reason, Ann asked me if I’d read this year. I said I’d be happy to. That was a few weeks ago and today was the day of recording.
It wasn’t just Ann and me, we also had Clive joining us. As Ann said, this was the first time we’d tried with three people. Charles was keen to try with three readers, and thought the form taken by the special edition leant itself to an easier transition between pieces.
Charles was right. It worked really well.
And Ann did a marvellous job choosing pieces. It was jam packed with a full Santa sack of festive humour and joy. Overall it was possibly one of the most enjoyable Talking Newspapers I’ve been involved in.
There were times, when I wasn’t reading, that I was in stitches on the bed. Which was where I was recording. Clive, especially, has a lovely dry delivery sometimes that makes me laugh.
Of course, being a monthly magazine type edition, there was the usual hilarity between Ann and Charles when it came to working out the tracks. The combination of Ann’s sudden loss of any counting skills and Charles’ incredulity just has me cracking up.
It was all very enjoyable and I hope it comes across to the listeners.
Mirinda, in the meanwhilst, took the puppies for a lovely forest, lakeside walk. We then went up to Tyresö Centrum so she could pick up her new glasses.
I sat at Espresso House while she collected them. She’d called them and a chap said they were ready. It turned out only one pair of the two was actually ready but, I guess, that’s better than none. Anyway, she collected the pair that was ready and joined me for a coffee.
She quite liked Espresso House because they have cream. She does like her coffee with cream.
After buying some socks, we headed home to the girls, stopping long enough outside the centre to get a photo of the least appealing sounding restaurant I’ve seen.
We took the girls for our usual evening constitutional wander around the local streets before Mirinda Skyped with Amanda. Amanda has retired. Amanda is ridiculously happy.
Speaking of happy, Fi moved into her new house on Sunday. She moved during the worst weather in ages. Torrential rain, wild winds and Removalist problems. She had to make a few trips in her car as well. Then, finally in the house, the power went out.
The water to the house is controlled by an electric pump, so she had the ironic situation of torrential rain falling outside and no water available inside.
As bad as it was, I reckon she’s well chuffed to be in her new home. It sounds brilliant and, apart from the fact that it’s in cyclonic Queensland, Mirinda is a bit jealous.
It would be remiss of me not to include this number plate that I saw tonight. Which proves that I can be as puerile as the best of them.