On a pouring wet Sunday night in December last year a special meeting was held at the House of the Sacred Flame in Knocklatchers Row…Nigel Bathgate, looking disconsolately out of his window in Chester Terrace, noticed its sign for the first time. It was a small hanging sign made of red glass and shaped to represent a flame rising from a cup. Its facets caught the light as a gust of wind blew the sign back. Nigel saw the red gleam…
An atmospheric opening to Ngaio Marsh’s “Death in Ecstasy”. Such clever writing; as well as setting a strong sense of atmosphere, all the psychological clues are already there. Marsh is so good at mood, whether it’s a tense evening party, a shabby artists’ colony or wet, dark night.
I’m finally reading this book, which my father gave to me a couple of years ago, and I’m reading it with my iPhone in my hand so I can google this:
and this (which is actually in Venice, but which bears the same name as a less famous church which Farrell discusses.)
images: Aci Castello, Chiesa San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi, Santa Maria dei Miracoli (all from Wikipedia), “St Jerome in his study” by Antonello da Messina (via Wikimedia)
A recent tube snap…
Whilst I have no complaints about my name, I do feel I could use Aszure Lopez Ochoa-Wang for added impact.
Things I won’t miss
The sound of the vacuum cleaner
Email. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
Panels on Women in Film
Taking off makeup every night
Things I will miss
The view out the window
Next year in Istanbul
The Christmas tree
Taking a bath
Pride and Prejudice
I love a good list.
With apologies to Nora Ephron, as adapted from two lists printed in “The Most of Nora Ephron”
A lovely French saying that could apply to the magic suspended time between Christmas and New Year.
What happened in 1585 – 95 that the French verb blandir (to soothe, caress, coax or flatter) around from the 1300s suddenly acquired an English noun, blandishments?
Possibly a rash of smooth-talkers down the local tavern or an outbreak of particularly wily politicians at court. Or maybe the English just started eating lots of this:
It does look quite nice for a sore throat.
No doubt the real answer involves Shakespeare having something to do with it.