Daily Archives: Wednesday, 25th Dec 2013

Peril on the Royal Train – Edward Marston

The latest in the long-running Railway Detective series (the tenth, I was slightly surprised to note) was published in April, but I didn’t notice until November for some reason. I had a similar problem with the last Jim Stringer book, too. Anyway, it soon pushed its way to the top of my reading list.

The trouble starts when unknown saboteurs derail a goods train in Scotland. Inspector Colbeck believes this could be the beginning of something major and is determined to head north to investigate. As regular readers might expect, his boss, the short-tempered Superintendent Tallis is opposed to the idea, but is eventually persuaded…

Colbeck and his faithful sidekick Sergeant Leeming run into the usual kind of trouble. Trouble with local detectives, misdirection and the traditional bit of gratuitous violence. The reader is kept as much in the dark as Colbeck for most of the story, being shown a number of likely suspects before the real criminals are revealed. And there is indeed a major crime being planned – an attack on the Royal Train (as you might have guessed from the title) with the intention of killing Queen Victoria and her family.

It’s all good harmless fun, and worth a look if you like a bit of 19th century detective fiction, or indeed trains.

Doctor Who – The Time of the Doctor (no spoilers)

OK, I’m going to have to watch that again, quite possibly with judicious use of the pause button to make sure I didn’t miss too many of Steven Moffatt’s twists, turns and backward references.

But, as a first reaction, can I just say that Matt Smith did a wonderful job in his final episode. Lots of drama, some high quality silliness and a whole pile of loose ends tidied up in a manner that makes it quite believable that The Moff had a Cunning Plan all along.

And the first appearance of Peter Capaldi was suitably promising, with a great first line. And no, I’m not telling you want it is.

Another cool present

My brother presented me with this today:



What? A suspiciously Sinclair-styled keyboard? That would be a bit strange, wouldn’t it? The packaging makes it all much clearer:

So, not USB then?

So, not USB then?

Now that seems like a good idea. The tag is quite nice, too:


Invalid code

Invalid code?

Though I’m not sure if that would actually run…


Stuff Report – 25 December 2013

Well, the day’s gone quite well so far. Food has been eaten. A glass or two of wine may have been involved.  And of course, it’s not long to wait for Doctor Who  :tigger:

Here’s a not particularly seasonal view of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, with some more bridges in the background.



Camera: X-E2
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/220s
Focal length: 18mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 21 December, 2013