Final Part of Random Books & A Date For Your Diary

Posted on: 16th March 2014

A final few surprising gems from my collection of random books. I hope that some of you will re-visit the Library again on Friday March 21, the date all our books were stamped on ‘Love St Just Library Friday’. Take a friend or two and get a few random books for each other to take you places that will stretch your mind and surprise you! The more we use our local Library, the more difficult it will be to take any further hours out and the easier it will be for us to get more resources and grants.

Attention Seekers by Amanda Mansell

Under a heading of ‘Government’ the following appears:

“I’m getting tired of shouting at politicians on the box. Nowadays, I relocate my brain to something sensible and soothing, like washing up………..

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be Prime Minister but we all know the work leaves little time for family life, so to be hell-bent on the top job while wittering on about the importance of one’s family seems rather dishonest to me. ……

I have heard a retired foreign leader on the radio comment that, ‘Governments do not represent the people, they never have’. I did not agree. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, everything is cyclical and governments reflect the people. We have allowed our leaders to get away with some disgraceful behaviour in the last few years but then we have allowed ourselves to do much the same. Our leadership has mirrored back to us our own lax behaviour.”

Under the heading of ‘Success’ it offers the poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To laugh often and much; 
to win the respect of intelligent
people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation
of honest critics and endure the
betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better;
whether by a happy child,
a garden patch or a
redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has
breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

Magical Places by Sarah Foot & Michael Williams

“Inevitably Lands End means  different things to different people.
For many it is a pilgrimage – for many a lifelong ambition – for others it will be Lyonesse or Arthur or both. Outside and beyond these are the physical qualities: the granite boulders and the sea, the sky and, on the right kind of day, the brilliant Penwith light which has been such a factor in so many fine paintings. 

The Lands End Peninsula and the Isles of Scilly have been Britain’s first landfall for generations of homecoming seamen. Variously known as the Western Approaches or, to the old sea dogs, ‘Chops of the Channel’, this area has more recently been christened ‘the Celtic Sea’ – and maybe this modern title rings truest of all.”

I had to look at the year of publication and it was 1995. I cannot remember when the commercial development happened at Lands End although Wikipedia informs me that Peter de Savary bought it in 1987 and that paved the way to what is there today. I use to love going to Lands End but since that development it has lost its appeal. I know that if you go beyond the buildings, what is described in the book does still exist so perhaps I ought to make more effort to find its magic again.

Old Age and How to Survive It by Edward Enfield

I got this one for my dad, who lives with us in a little annex. A bit on DIY and a section about solicitors administering your estate, after death, seemed to resonate with me. I have just finished dealing with the rather complicated affairs of my cousin, after his death leaving no Will and no closer family and I did that myself. My cousins reckon I was more efficient than a solicitor as I got through it all and distributed the assets in 8 months, including dealing with some of his mothers’ estate, that he had not got around to!

“There are men, and I suppose in this enlightened age there may be women, to whom such things are as the breath of life. They delight in workshops with racks of shiny tools, they buy all the latest bits of equipment, and provide themselves with strange things such as trolley jacks. They tear their kitchens to pieces and put them together again in a new form. They grapple hand to hand with plumbing and are quite fearless in their approach to electricity. If this is their hobby, then by all means they must indulge in it, even into old age, but for those of us who would rather not, there are ample reasons why we shouldn’t.

I pass over the fact that such activities deprive decent tradesmen of sundry chances to earn an honest living, and go straight to the fact that this thing called DIY is dangerous. As long ago as the year 2000 I made a note that the government had discovered that seventy people were killed every year, and a quarter of a million injured, as a result of Doing It Themselves. Government statistics said so.”

“I learned of the dangers of having a solicitor as an executor from a friend whose aunt had appointed such a one. Cheating, shuffling, lying, over-charging, procrastinating and battening on the estate less like a leech than a vampire were the chief features of this man’s executorship.”

I’m sure the latter is a little harsh but my sister and cousin’s know of straightforward cases where, in the hands of solicitors, the estate has not been settled in over 2 years so were amazed with all the complications that I faced that it was dealt with in less than 1. Perhaps I should write a DIY guide to probate!