December 24th, 2010

christmas

It starts today

The kids were supposed to go to school today, even though it is Christmas Eve. But the roads were slippery enough yesterday evening, and more snow has fallen overnight, our back garden showing that the total depth is about 30cm:



U's school bus decided not to run, and although F's school is only 4km away we decided that the trip isn't worth it (he is still coughing nastily). So Christmas starts here. I doubt very much that we will get any more postal deliveries today, so we'll be a bit short on actual presents tomorrow, but at least I have started marinading the boar.

And it will go on through next week, as the presents trickle in and visitors arrive - rarely posting LJ-ers manjushra, scattyme and child, liberaliser and Mrs liberaliser, all will arrive in time for one of the bigger New Year celebrations we've had here.

And Doctor Who is on tomorrow!
tardis

December Books 10) Vanderdeken's Children, by Christopher Bulis

An intriguing tale of two space-faring civilisations who find themselves contesting possession of a Big Dumb Object, in this case a ship that appears to fade into another universe, with the Eighth Doctor and Sam arriving and getting mixed up in it. There's some good sfnal stuff about time paradoxes, though I was a bit sorry that Sam's character appeared to have lost all the development of the last couple of volumes in the series. Nice Doctory characterisation though, and generally clear writing.
earthsea

December Books 11) The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper

I was dismayed to realise last weekend that this is in fact the second book of Cooper's famous Dark Is Rising sequence, not the first; but the majority of my friends on LiveJournal, Facebook and Twitter reassured me that if anything it's better to start here rather than with the first volume, Over Sea Under Stone.

Well, it turned out to be pretty appropriate to be reading a novel set around Christmas time with unprecedentedly heavy snowfall. Eleven-year-old Will, the seventh son of a seventh son, discovers that he bears ancient powers, and is one of the Old Ones who are trying to prevent the Dark from, er, Rising. I think it's a great exposition of the desire that most children (and many adults) have of being the secret hero, tying in the magical otherworld with Will's family life (which is itself disrupted by events). I liked it a lot and will now look out for the other volumes. (And will see if my own eleven-year-old can be persuaded to take an interest.)