Before moving on to the main theme of this post there a couple of other issues I wish to touch on first.
Strictly Come Dancing is over for another year. Caroline Flack and Pasha Kovalev won the vote (in the final, judges scores are given for guidance only, the outcomes resting solely on the public vote) as they jolly well should having clocked up perfect 40s from the judges in each of their last four routines, including all three in the final. Besides these four the only other perfect score of the series was achieved by Simon Webbe and Kristina Rihanoff in the last couple dance of the series. Frankie Bridge and Kevin Clifton with two 39s and a 38 were third best on the night.
The second item on my agenda that England have finally acted over the One Day International captaincy, replacing Alastair Cook with Eoin Morgan. Cook is a magnificent test match cricketer but in limited overs matches, especially on good batting pitches, he does not score quickly enough. Not only do I think a change had to be made, I am certain that the selectors have made the right decision about the new captain.
I have decided to write about something that is important to me but which I have not often covered in this blog: books. I am going to focus my attention on an old favourite and two new discoveries.
Starting with the old favourite, Edward Marston’s “Railway Detective” series dovetails neatly with two of my areas of interest, detective fiction and railways, and as such was a sure fire winner. Even so, i never cease to be impressed by just how good the stories are and just how much I enjoy reading them. I do not know how long a period the series will eventually cover, but it has already spanned most of the 1850s. 1863 would be a significant year in this context, because of the opening of the world’s first underground railway.
My second port of call is another fictional series, Laurie King’s remarkable Mary Russell/ Sherlock Holmes series. I was originally very sceptical because in the original Holmes stories he is very much not the marrying kind. However, in spite of the implausibility of Holmes marrying, the series works spectacularly well, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
Finally, moving away from detective fiction and indeed from fiction we have Clifford Pickover’s “The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles & Stars”. This provided me with reading material for three bus journeys (unusual for a book to occupy me that long) and is of more specialised interest than my other two mentions, but the patterns contained within it are fascinating.
I have some photos to share with you – one thign you will notice if you look at the front cover shots of the books – all are library books, and I am happy to pay a tribute to Norfolk Libraries for continuing to provide a good service in difficult circumstances.