Virginia Woolf, Better Late Than Never

January 25th was the 136th anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s birth, I’m late in coming to the party.  Although I have never read any of her books I am somewhat fascinated with her life. I read a fictional ‘diary’ of her sister’s, Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, in 2016. One day I’ll get around to trying one of her books.  Here are a few things I found concerning her online…

A recording of her voice, reading an essay on a BBC radio program from 1937…

Visit her and Leonard’s home, Monk’s House. It’s run by The National Trust and open to the public.

View a few of her personal photos from her photo albums.

Her suicide letter to Leonard…

My husband suffers from bi-polar, but we are lucky his is not as severe as her’s was. What a shame there was no medications back then for her.

Visit the Virginia Woolf Blog

This year I am making a point to read Virginia Woolf! Which book should I start with?


The Rising of the Moon

by Gladys Mitchell    first published in 1945

Every full moon a Ripper runs amok on the streets of Brentford. Masters Simon and Keith Innes set out to catch the killer under the disturbing guidance of the repellently delightful and now immortal sleuth, Mrs. Bradley. full of the very British eccentric goings-on that mark the popular tales of Gladys Mitchell, this shows her at her mordant and morbid best.

This was my first Mrs. Bradley mystery, can you believe it!?  I watched an episode of the BBC Mrs. Bradley Mysteries with Diana Rigg and didn’t care for it, I think that put me off the books. But I loved this book. Mrs. Bradley didn’t even figure greatly in it, almost half way through before she arrived and she came across as a minor character. Two young boys, Simon, thirteen years old and his younger brother Keith were the main sleuths.

Simon and Keith live with their brother, Jack and his wife June and their little toddler, Tom. Their parents died and left them orphans. There is also a boarder living with the household to bring in a little extra money, Christina. The boys are crazy about her and she is the one who shows them affection and fun. June is good to them, but not affectionate. The boys are excited about the circus coming to town and have scouted out the layout and made their plans to sneak in under the tent on opening night. But a murdered woman is found. She’s one of the circus people. That puts the kibosh on the circus! What will the boys do for fun now? Hanging around the eccentric old Mrs. Cockerton’s antique shop is their favorite pastime. They know every inch of that store and old item in it.

There are several more murders, all during a full moon and the village is in a panic. Suspicion is on everyone, even the boys brother, Jack. Where did he go that night, why were his coat sleeves wet, like he had washed his hands in the river, and where did his leather knife go? The boys are pretty sure they saw the murderer down by the river with the knife in his hands that night of the first murder. When an old leather knife, just like Jack’s, mysteriously shows up among the items in Mrs. Cockerton’s shop window, the hunt is on!

I liked the boys. They were good boys with a routine around the village. You could visualize the paths along the river and the town. I liked their relationships with Christina and Mrs. Cockerton. She was just eccentric enough to make her interesting. Christina is single so there is a hint of romance with her and wondering who she will end up with. June is jealous of her and there is tension at home. A good solid read.

This fulfills the “Time in Title” category under “When” in the gold era Just the Facts Notebook @My Reader’s Block.  The murders always happened at the time of the full moon! Also counts for Cloak and Dagger.

DuckDuckGo New Web Browser

Got this announcement in my inbox this morning and immediately downloaded it on my iPad. Fantastic browser! Incredibly user friendly, attractive and secure. You can check the grade of each website you visit for tracking and see the list of trackers that they block. Not surprising everyone I tried this morning playing around had Google tracking! This browser is available for Apple and Android and has an extension for your desktop. I would highly recommend you follow the links in this announcement and get this browser. Click the link to receive their privacy newsletter and get tips in your inbox. I’m off to install it on my phone and desktop!

Blogger Commenting Woes

Still having trouble commenting on your Blogger blogs. I cannot sign into my Google account. When I click on it to sign in it does nothing. I try to sign in with my WordPress account when it is available, but it won’t let me do that either. If you have ‘Name and URL’ as an option I can sign in with that. If I go to my old Blogger blog and sign in and go to your blog from a link there it works.  I did a little research and read it was a browser issue so I installed Firefox on my devices and tried. I’m not using Google Chrome! Same thing. Did more digging. It seems it is a glitch with Blogger, which they know about and won’t fix. If you have ’embedded’ comments it is a problem. If you have ‘pop-out’ comments I can sign in no problem. I’ve paid attention and it is true, I have no problem signing in and commenting on your blogs that have ‘pop-outs’ or ‘full page’ comments. I looked on my old blog in the settings to see why some have ‘Name and URL’ and some don’t, if you have anyone can comment then ‘Name and URL’ is available, if you have registered users only it is not. So if you haven’t seen me around in a while, thats why. I’m still visiting, I’m just on mute 🙂

Google, Bah!

Google is a creeping monster, sending tentacles out all over in our online lives. They data mine, which means: the practice of searching through large amounts of computerized data to find useful patterns or trends. They track what you search for, which websites you visit and use all your data for ads that follow you around the internet. Their trackers have been found on 75% of the top million websites. Your personal data can be subpoenaed by lawyers. They scan your gmail emails and contacts to find names similar to those on social sites you use and request to connect all your accounts through them.  There is an obscure checkbox, checked by default, on a buried Google’s account preferences pane, which reads, “use my Google contact information to suggest accounts from other sites.” If by some miracle you found this option, you can disable it. You can read this decent article about their nefarious workings HERE.

They own Youtube and are famously known for restricting and even removing anything that doesn’t line up with their liberal views and agendas. Last time I looked we were still in America, the land of the free and not a communist state. They fired an employee for a research memo he did (a common practice there) that questions some of their practices. How dare he not blindly follow the lead!

I got tired of all the ads in my email and the idea that I have to put up with all this tracking and bias and censorship just for the convenience that goes with having a Google account online. I switched from Google as my search engine and started using Duck Duck Go. They are completely private and do not track in any way or store information about you or your habits. They have a great ‘Privacy Newsletter‘ that gives great information and tips. After reading all those articles I decided I was taking back control of my online life and disengaging from Google. It hasn’t been easy! I changed to a WordPress blog, much nicer than the Blogger blog. Not as many bugs either. I stopped using Hangouts to chat and message. I dropped my gmail account and signed up with Tutanota, it is completely encrypted and they do not even store your password! There’s that convenience thing again, if you lose it you are locked out! You can’t use the email client app on your device with Tutanota, but they do have an app of their own.  How important is your privacy to you? To me it’s worth the little inconveniences.

Youtube is hard to cut out completely. A lot of things I follow are only on it. I try to use Vimeo and Vevo as much as possible. Signing into something is difficult if you don’t use your Google ID, like Blogger blogs! I can’t seem to sign in to most of those with it anyway! But I am determined to eradicate it from my life. HERE is a page on how to live without Google if your interested.


Death in Springtime

by Magdalen Nabb       first published in 1983 – Third in a series

1866632March 1st brought a freak snowstorm – and a bizarre kidnapping – to Florence

Commuters queuing up for the bus in Florence’s Piazza San Felice turned up their collars and looked anxiously at the sky, amazed by the wet snowflakes falling all around them. And then, right before the distracted eyes of Marshal Guarnaccia of the carabinieri, two young women are kidnapped…one of them Deborah Maxwell, the daughter of a rich American businessman.
When the other victim shows up bleeding and hysterical, Captain Maestrangelo joins Marshal Guarnaccia in a search through the Tuscan hills. With unerring investigative instincts, Captain Maestrangelo probes into the victim’s background and Guarnaccia’s memory in a desperate attempt to save Deborah’s life before the suspected Sardinian shepherds make a deadly mistake.

My first Magdalen Nabb book. A new locale for me, Italy. It started off good and I really wanted to like it. There were just too many characters, Marshals, Brigadiers, Captains and Substitute Prosecutors. I couldn’t keep everyone straight! The descriptions of the countryside, town and Sardinian way of life was grand. The story though seemed to wind around and then fall flat at the end. I see these books have good reviews on Goodreads so it might just be I don’t understand the legal system in Italy and I might have liked it more if I knew all these positions and legal ins and outs. Probably not though, it still fell flat at the end.

This fulfills the “An author you’ve never tried” category under “Why” in the Silver Just the Facts Notebook @My Reader’s Block. Also counts for Cloak and Dagger.