Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis’s novels, The Marmalade Files, The Mandarin Code and The Shadow Game (Secret City)
I have been thinking that I should write something about cybersecurity and the slow moving tragedy of what is happening to the Internet. But there is so much, the task seems daunting and I know I’ll just keep tinkering about the edges.
It’s trying to navigate between Scylla and Charbydis — superficiality versus getting bogged in detail.
I’ve at least begun in The Last Days of Osama bin Laden 2 and even with some insight in William Gibson’s The Art of Prophecy. I’ll keep on trying to sneak up on the issue. Remember, also that this enormous task is about the Internet, which to my reckoning (i.e. becoming functional and useful) is barely 21 years old.
On the way back home from Spain (three days late, another story) I purchased Luke Harding The Snowden Files 2014 in Singapore. Finishing it stirred up my need to write about cybersecurity. Whilst in Spain, I also read the Secret City Trilogy: The Marmalade Files, The Mandarin Code and The Shadow Game by Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann, 2012, 2014 and 2016, on Denise’s ipad.
Trekking in the Everest Region in Spring 2013: Lukla to Gokyo
Most people who go trekking above Namche Bazaar (3440 m) want to go to Everest Base Camp (5380 m). This is despite base camp not being the most welcoming or lovely spot and that strings of trekkers are behind and in front of the whole way you, day-in-day-out. Teresa decided to take us to Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri or Peak (5357 m) on a left hand zig instead. Two of the fittest of the party went with three guide porters over the Cho La Pass (5420 m) from Gokyo, to base camp via Gorak Shep and also to Kala Patthar (5643 m above base camp). While the rest of us retraced our steps part way and then zigged right. We were going Dingboche (4410 m) the start of the walk to the Island Peak (6189 m) climb — the easiest small peak in Nepal. The weather was very windy and it was quite cold so a small group of us only made it to the teahouse at Bibre (close to 5000 m), which was sheltered and didn’t continue on to Chukkhung (4730 m) beyond Dingboche.
The two 500th year Bosch Exhibitions in the Netherlands and Spain
Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius, Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch, Netherlands from 13 February to 8 May 2016. Bosch: The 5th Centenary Exhibition, Museo del Prado, Madrid from 31 May to 11 September 2016.
Introduction, controversy and a little spite
We’ve got to take the rivalry of the Dutch and the Spanish exhibitions with a grain of salt. Both were masterly. The Prado had three more important pictures loaned by other galleries, plus its two disputed attribution pictures. The Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch (colloquial name for ’s-Hertogenbosch) did an amazing tour de force for a small galley. As the Guardian Review says: From all accounts the The Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch has put on one of the most important exhibitions of our century.
Denise and I only visited the Prado and managed to do that that just two days before the exhibition closed. Both exhibitions celebrated the 500th year since Hieronymus Bosch’s death and I suspect that we’ll never see the like again for a generation and perhaps forever. You will know of my interest as an artist in Bosch from the article Hieronymus Bosch painter, 1450-1516.
Food writing 3: More Articles I liked from Choice Cuts by Mark Kurlansky
Writing about food some fine writers and articles
In Food writing 1, I analysed Mark Kurlansky’s anthology Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History, 2002. The book contains 234 articles, which covers the range of food writing from 500 BC to roughly the last thirty years.
It is my task here to continue the descriptions and commenting articles in the book that I feel worthy of following up on.
The Continuing List
This is the continuing list of the remainder of the 32 articles I liked in Choice Cuts. They are in the order they appeared in the book.
I’ll also cover the 40 others I felt worthy of mention later.
The Chiltern Hills form a chalk escarpment in South East England. We were house-sitters in two locations here in Buckinghamshire during the summer of 2014. The first place we spent one week, had a short break, and then looked after the house for another two weeks. The property was in a relatively isolated location in the hills, above and not that far from the Thames River — a drive.
The house was large and modern with a solar heated swimming pool outside. The grounds were about two acres, a large garden and two horse paddocks bounded on one side by woods. Our task was to look after three dogs and three miniature ponies. The dogs Jack, Maggie and Henry (names changed to protect the innocent) could look after themselves during the day, but needed to be nurtured in the morning and at night.
Food writing 2: Articles I liked from Choice Cuts by Mark Kurlansky
Writing about food some fine writers and articles
In Food writing 1, I analysed Mark Kurlansky’s anthology Choice Cuts: A Savory Selection of Food Writing from Around the World and Throughout History, 2002. The book contains 234 articles, which covers the range of food writing from 500 BC to roughly the last thirty years. I said that I thought Kurlansky had done a good job of covering the breadth and depth of food writing. I then looked at the range of writers involved and gave a brief description of those who had four articles or more in the book.
My only qualms with Kurlansky’s range had to do with my wish to be entertained and informed through good writing. On these subjective criteria I chose 32 articles that I admired and another 40 I found of interest.
It is my task in this and the next article to give some descriptions and at least acknowledge articles in the book that I feel worthy of following up on. A somewhat daunting task I now realise.
Food Writing 1: Choice Cuts by Mark Kurlansky, a look at food writing across history
Writing about food an introductory excursion
I am a fan of Mark Kurlansky’s writing. I loved Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, 1997 and The Basque History of the World (1999). Although I found Salt: A World History, a bit hard going 2002. Those of you who have been following my What is History? series will not be surprised about my liking for Cod.
Without going deeper into Kurlansky’s biography two things emerge from his first two books above, particularly the second, which is his passion for and love of food.
I picked up Choice Cuts secondhand from Canty’s bookstore. It was one of those books that one feels one has to read. Although I admit it languished on my bookshelves for two years before I began to read it. I found it fascinating but rather hard going too. I suspect many people buy Choice Cuts and only dip into it casually. It is quite tome-like at 473 pages and easy to consider as a reference book, but unlike Larousse Gastronomique, which is a reference book, though a wonderful one, it is possible to read Choice Cuts the whole way through.