Friday in Photos

It’s been a busy and tiring week, not to mention a very wordy one, so here are a few photos for want of anything more substantial.

birthday books It’s Mr Litlove’s birthday today and I thought you might like to see the books he got. He is one of the hardest people I’ve ever had to choose for (quite possibly I married him for the challenge) but this year he did pretty well. The Boys in the Boat is a narrative non-fiction account of the American team who won the mens eight rowing race at the 1936 Olympics in Germany (my parents found that one for him). The Farm is a thriller, The Monuments Men about the Allies’ attempts to rescue art stolen by the Nazis, and the one at the back is Mr Litlove’s birthday present to himself. He found it in one of the local charity shops, a boat-building book published in the 1970s and written by a man who was pretty elderly by then. He keeps reading bits of it out to me and chuckling over the old-fashioned prose (and an awful lot of ‘young men aren’t what they used to be’ sentiment). Each to his own.

henri Here’s something I’ve been meaning to show you for a while. You may recall that I am obsessed byΒ  interested in the videos of that Existential feline Henri. Well, his kind owner sent me the latest Henri spin-offs. A calender charting his ideological struggles with l’imbecile blanc, and a book of his bon mots. They are both charming.




henri 1 This is the calendar, to give you a taste of the contents.






henri 2 This is the book. Henri is as delightful and pithy and contemptuous as ever in both. Though they can’t really equal the videos which remain something special as far as I’m concerned. But I will happily take Henri in whatever medium he chooses to philosophise. I have held the book up to my own cat (closer to l’imbecile blanc in mindset) and said to him: ‘Why can’t you be more like Henri?’ He maintained a Sphinx-like silence in response.




fence You may have heard that we’ve been having a lot of stormy weather in the UK this winter. Well the gales on the weekend took out our fence, leaving us communing more closely with the neighbours than usual. That it blew out the fence panels was not a great surprise, but the fact it toppled the brick pillars was quite impressive. I never heard it go, just woke in the morning to find the fence spread over the back garden. A man has been around already, talking manly things like inserting steel rods and whatnot to hold it together. I’m trying not to bother my pretty little head about it. And yes, Mr Litlove took this photo for me through glass and you can just about make out his ghost. It turns out the only working camera we have about the place is the one on his phone.

I must apologise to you all as I am WAY behind in blog reading at the moment, but I’m hoping for a quiet weekend in which I can catch up. I’m looking forward to hearing all about your past week too.



42 thoughts on “Friday in Photos

  1. I would be hopeless at buying non-fiction for someone. I’m really bad at judging what is good, bad or indifferent once I move away from the fiction world. (Some would probably say I’m not that good there either, but those I buy for are too polite to tell me so.)
    You don’t realise how accustomed you are to fences until they go, do you. Our first panel went down in December and my neighbours and I decided not to replace it until the storms had finished. We didn’t expect that that would take us until the end of February though. However, it was a sensible idea because another went in January and it will probably be cheaper to replace them both at once.

    • One DOES tend to grow accustomed to fences! It was definitely a good idea to wait before mending it. There’s a proverb at the back of my mind that involves only shovelling snow when it’s stopped snowing that I can’t quite track down but you get what I mean. I would have been just like you when it came to non-fiction only the past few years I’ve read a lot of it and then it all becomes much clearer. I can remember working in a bookshop before I’d had a child and dreading being asked questions about the children’s section. A few years later and I could have run it!

    • It could all be so much worse! We’ve got off lightly compared to others, that’s for sure. I’m sure Mr Litlove will say thank you very much for the birthday wishes!

  2. Pauvre imbecile blanc! If you are a fan of Kinky Friedman’s detective stories then you will know that his cat “as usual said nothing”.

    The slightly talkative chat noir

  3. Loved The Boys in The Boat so much! Your husband may be hard to choose presents for, but imagine my distress with a beloved husband who doesn’t even read!

    We have similar storms, but no fence to start with, so our yard is like yours.

    Love Henri, le chat. And, no need to bother your pretty little head about visiting my blog; I’m woefully behinder than you. πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! He liked the start but has got caught up in other things since. You know, perhaps having no fence is the way to go…? In this country, this winter, living halfway up a hill has been about the only safe place to be! Oh can you really be behinder? I am SO behind. I need a secretary, or, even better, a clone!

  4. I do hope Mr Litlove enjoys his birthday books. We went to see The Monuments Men last weekend. Quite self-consciously old-fashioned with George Clooney channelling Clark Gable. Good fun but I’m sure the book will be better.

    Good luck with the steel rods!

    • I really like the thought of George Clooney channelling Clark Gable. Well, I never mind George Clooney no matter what he’s doing! πŸ™‚ And thank you – we need the luck.

    • Wow that is mild! It’s good that, unlike the past few years, it’s not freezing and snowing all the time, I suppose you can say that! And thank you for your kind wishes, Mr Litlove will be very happy to have them.

  5. I also liked The Monuments Men as a movie (“film” to you British people) but haven’t read the book. I like seeing the picture of your fence with the other houses so close by.

  6. Happy Birthday to Mr Litlove! I hope he enjoys his books, and that he stretches his woodworking skills to make a boat. Henri looks charming as always. I’m sorry about your fence.

    • He is often threatening to make a boat, though quite where he would put it while he did so is an interesting question! I’ll certainly post more photos of that. πŸ™‚

  7. Happy Birthday to Mr Litlove, The fence caper is a pain. Fitting a panel is not too bad, but a post to rebuild is a bit much. We have been so lucky here with the weather. A little soggy, but no real problems. Not like years ago when the back of my greenhouse shattered, overnight thankfully. i do feel sorry for those flooded out people in so many places, It must take years to recover.

    • Oh I do too! Flooding is awful. I look at my books and shudder every time a new report of flooding comes in. I’m glad you’ve escaped the worst – the poor old south has certainly borne the brunt of it this year. I’m very glad you weren’t in your greenhouse when it collapsed, but ouf, that must have been a pain to replace too!

  8. Happy happy birthday to Mr. Litlove! It looks like an excellent haul for him.

    I am hugely in sympathy about the fence. I hope it gets fixed with a minimum of fuss and bother. I’m having housey problems too, and am at a loss for what to do to fix them — my landlord’s being amazingly unhelpful (slash patronizing), and I’m trying to figure out if it’s something I can fix myself. Blaaah.

    • There is something particularly stressful about a house problem that one doesn’t know how to fix. I still have nightmares about the fact I don’t know where to shut the water off. I’ve asked, and been told, where the stopcocks are many a time, but the answers seem to be in a language I don’t quite understand. I send MUCH sympathy, particularly for the landlord (I cannot abide being patronised). Thank you too for the birthday wishes!

  9. A belated Happy Birthday to Mr. Litlove. He has some good gifts. I’m reading ‘The Monuments Men’. As for the movie, you can skip it, but do try to find the DVD for the documentary ‘The Rape of Europa’. You and Mr. Litlove will enjoy that one much more. I’ve heard about the flooding and bad weather in the UK. And we in N. Am, esp. my southern neighbours especially are having one of the worst winters in history. We’re in it together. πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you for the solidarity, as well as the birthday wishes! A d also for the good film advice – we will definitely look out for that documentary. I’d love to know what you think of the Monuments Men book – do hope you’ll review it!

  10. ‘The Monuments Men ‘is very interesting. The movie was very saccharine. I agree with @Arti there.

    I’m reading Charles Finch’s ‘The Last Enchantments’, which is excellent, especially if you have lived in or visited Oxford, which I have.

  11. I know days and posts like this are really sort of mindless–but I have to say I sort of really love them as they are peeks inside other people’s lives. Happy belated birthday to Mr. Litlove–let me know what he thinks of The Boys in the Boat–I had it out from the lirbrary when my own library ordered a copy. It looks really interesting but as is so often the case with me and library books–I didn’t get to it and had to return it unread. That’s wild about the fence–those were seriously gale force winds to take out brick! Now that’ll be a nice project for someone! Ever since you shared that video of Henri the cat I have been a fan, too, and that book is on my wishlist–I am envious and may have to splurge on a copy for myself–didn’t realize there was a calendar, too. He seems right up your alley! πŸ™‚ Hope all is well and you’ve had some time to yourself lately, too!

    • Oh bless you – it’s the sort of thing I write when I really want to reach out to blog friends but don’t have anything coherent or really sensible to say! It’s such a relief to think you might actually like it – thank you! And thank you for the birthday wishes too. I’ll let you know about The Boys in the Boat, and I’ll send my copy of Henri over if you’re interested. It’s a quick read!

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