Friday, 30 November 2012

christmas treasure hunt - queen's speech

This is a christmas treasure hunt post for my family and friends.

The Queen's Speech is broadcast every year on Christmas Day at 3pm.  Complete this history test:

1. The first royal broadcast was delivered live from Sandringham in 1932, by which monarch?

2. Which famous children's author composed the first christmas speech?

3. Why was 3pm chosen?

4. Which monarch delivered the speech in 1939?

5. Which actor played this monarch in the film 'The King's Speech'.

6. What year did the Queen make her first christmas broadcast, and in what year was it first broadcast on television?

7. In 1969 there was no broadcast, instead a written address was issued. Why?

8. How many takes does it usually take for the Queen to get her speech right?

9. In 1992 the Queen used the phrase 'annus horribilis'. What disasters had befallen the royal family that year?

10. What is the name of the radio dj who was sacked in 2009 for interrupting the broadcast with the comment 'Two words; bor-ring' and switching to a Wham! track.

And that is the end of the quiz.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

christmas treasure hunt post

This is a christmas treasure hunt post for my friends and family, but if you want to answer the questions for fun go ahead, just leave your answers in the comments.

My favourite film is 'In Which We Serve', made in 1942.  Watch from 32:23 to 39:52 to see the flashback christmas scenes, and then answer the questions below.

1. Who and what are toasted? (There are six toasts).

    (bonus question: why don't they stand up for the first toast of the third scene?)

2. Which actor plays 'Shorty'?

3. What is Freda referred to as?

4.  How is 'betrothed' defined?

5. Which christmas carol do the children sing in the street?

6. What drink does Shorty's mother ask for?

7. What word does Cath object to, which has been used in the navy since times immemorial?

8. How many crackers can you hear crack in the final scene?

And that is the end of the quiz.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

books, books, books

No posts for a while, my life has been turned upside down and no books have been read in a while.  

Its been difficult to concentrate on reading, so I've just concentrated on necessary textbooks recently, but after all those Sharpe books and all those Aubrey-Maturin books I'm very excited about my newest one: 'The Napoleonic Phenomenon', and it's set book: Stendhal's 'Life of Napoleon'.

In the summer I read a few more Sharpe books, I've read 'Sharpe's Sword' and 'Sharpe's Enemy', and I'm now up to 'Sharpe's Honour'.  They have begun to reissue the books with new covers, so I must get the last few to complete my collection as soon as possible.

What else? I've also left my job as a children's bookseller, after four years working for a large bookshop in Bath.  Before I left I got Herve Tullet's 'Press Here'.  Its a very imaginative book, as all of his are, I love it.

A few weeks ago I was in Paris, and sought out several children's bookshops.  The differences between French and English bookshops are fascinating, for me the biggest difference is the picture books.  In England we have lots of full size, paperback picture books, and only a few hardbacks as these tend not to sell, being more expensive.  In France they have strict laws governing book prices, so they have lots of full size hardback picture books, and very few paperback ones.  However they do have quite a good range of A5 size picture books, which are unheard of in England.  These are very cheap, though well produced.  I bought 'The Hungry Caterpillar' in french as a present for two friends who still work in that children's department in Bath, and to my utter delight stumbled upon a childhood favourite of mine in french, Peter Spier's brilliant 'People'.

Two books that I haven't started yet, well, I'm only a few chapters in, are Ford Madox Ford's 'Parade's End' - I loved the recent television adaptation with Benedict Cumberbatch and make no apology for buying this edition - and Elisabeth Kehoe's 'Fortune's Daughters' which I bought in the giftshop of Blenheim Palace.  Blenheim was a beautiful day trip, and especially fascinating as the former home of Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, who's autobiography 'The Glitter and the Gold' I read earlier in the year.