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About vodkafan

  • Rank
    TBR now out of control
  • Birthday 01/27/1961

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location:
    Deepest England
  • Interests
    Jack Vance, George Gissing, Sarah Waters, Victorian England, Old sailing ships, anything about Norway, anything about London, sci fi films, what makes women tick, going to the gym, swimming, walking, travelling, art galleries,drawing, buying something really good cheap from a charity shop, theatre, writing my first novel.
  1. The end of the era of personal car ownership

    Tell us what day you are coming, we will all stay indoors
  2. I'm an author and I'm new to the site. Hello to all!

    Welcome Tony, have you written many? What genre (s)?
  3. The end of the era of personal car ownership

    Raven has got my point exactly. But Claire makes many cogent points at the practical level. The majority of folks would need the transport at the same peak times every day. And many people do nowadays live considerable distances from where they work. This would be , as Raven says, a major mind shift and also a change in the way we live.
  4. I have not owned a car for about four years now, because living in a bedsit I have nowhere to park one. But I have had to hire cars quite a lot this year for essential family occasions. It was on the jam-packed motorway last week that I had a sudden lightning -bolt insight of what has to happen in the future. I believe that for the good of all, personal car ownership must end. I don't know how many cars there are in the UK, but I know that it is too many. The road infrastructure was not meant to hold this much traffic. And then of course there are all the pollution issues and the waste of precious resources. You can argue that electric cars will bring down the pollution problems, but the mining of lithium for the new generation of lightweight batteries (and disposal of same) will just bring another set of problems. My main bugbear is the huge waste: nobody drives their car for enough hours in a day to really justify personal ownership. Let's face it, even if you drive for an hour to get to work everyday, your car will sit idle in a car park for a third of the day before you drive it home and then it will sit on the street or on your drive another third of the day at night while you sleep. They really are just an awful expensive luxury most of the time. Imagine a world where streets were spacious tree lined avenues empty of parked cars. How would this be achieved? I would do away with 95% of the small cars on the roads. Instead, there would be a pool of vehicles buzzing around which you could apply in advance to have a car for a time. A bit like in the war maybe when only essential journeys were allowed. The cars would probably be highly robotized anyway, we are heading that way. If you needed one at short notice you would maybe just call for it with an app on your phone. So there would be far less cars on the roads, but they would be fully employed everyday. Imagine having your breakfast , getting the kids ready for school and then stepping out the house and a car would whisk you and them to school and drop you off. But then it would zip off somewhere else for another errand. I envision that only government officials would be authorized their own cars, or maybe private corporations would be allowed so many to distribute as needed to employees who needed to travel. I doubt that people would give up their cars without a fight. And insurance companies wouldn't like it, and the car companies.... What do people think? Could it work? If not , why not?
  5. The Last Film You Saw - 2017

    I saw Dunkirk just before my holiday. I thought it was pretty good. I like the way time was jumbled up and the individual stories overlapped each other. The air combats seemed just a little bit too slow and relaxed to me compared to the extremely fraught life or death tensions of the landings! The stress of the old man on the little boat was also well acted. When things started going wrong he was only just equal to it, he kept going but the sadness was crushing him. The scenes of how quickly boats sank were terrifying. Water = death in this film. I don't follow teen pop groups so I didn't know which one was Harry Styles. I think he was the one who joined them under the pier? I think it was good the way it concentrated on a few individual stories. The way it was done it is a very British film. If Hollywood had done it the finished result would have been very different. It would be like the difference between watching "Casualty" and "ER". Thumbs up from me. I might watch "Weekend a Zuydcoote" tonight to compare. It's a 1964 French film showing the French view of events.
  6. Glad you have discovered a new major line of interest, Angury! It will be interesting how philosophy and psychology may intersect and feed each other for you. (or maybe they won't at all?) So who is the next philosopher on your list?
  7. Hi Angury, I would certainly recommend the Isle Of Wight. If you have kids though you need a car to get around the island quickly. We tried to do 2 major things a day. On your own or in a couple it is great to cycle around. I am completely the opposite to you! I prefer the cheapest possible copy of a book as to me it's just the reading that's important. I don't mind if they are tatty. I am halfway through In Search Of Shrodinger's Cat but I have dipped into Up And Down Stairs and The Man From Maybe
  8. Just got back from a week's family holiday in (on?) the Isle Of Wight. Seen lots of nice Victorian history. Picked up a few second hand books: Inverted World Christopher Priest . The cover got smeared in Barbecue sauce (don't ask) but I managed to save it The Heroines Of SOE Beryl E. Escott The Time Traders (US 1958 copy) Andre Norton Now And Then William Corlett The Man From Maybe Leo P. Kelley (Been looking for this book 25 years couldn't remember the title!) The Railway Detective Edward Marston In Search Of Shrodinger's Cat John Gribbin Up And Down Stairs The History Of The Country House Servant Jeremy Musson
  9. Outliers - blow your mind away!!!

    I was born in January so I should be in the Olympics...
  10. Doctor Who Series 10 + New Doctor?

    Well a female doctor might confuse the Daleks for a little while. ....and it's a good thing perhaps that River Song is already dead because she might have been a bit perplexed... .OK sorry now I have got those thoughts out of the way I can be serious. I can't remember when they first started talking about that the Doctor possibly could/might/should regenerate into a female....I always thought that Doctor Who is a concept (ideas) show first and foremost, and I don't see anything wrong with the concept- I like the concept . It has always been the individual Doctors that I either liked or disliked. I never liked Capaldi. I agree with Madeleine that the series has been tired for a while now. It was binned before for several years and got resurrected, and they put much more into the relationships with his assistants into it. I got so so sick of Clara Oswald and her problems. I am very curious about what the new Doctor will turn out like personality wise. I am very sad that she seems to be getting so much negative feedback before she has even started
  11. From Outside In 3/5 edited by Nushin Arbabzadah This book is subtitled Refugees and British Society. It was quite interesting because it shows that historically Britain has always been a place that took in refugees and , much more than that, took a pride in doing so and giving them a safe haven. I am going to sidestep my review for a minute and digress: it is one advantage (and often a joy!) of reading widely that one will often be able to link or "back up" information from a book about a subject one may have thought was completely new by something one has read in another, quite unrelated, book. So it was with this one. Bill Bryson in one of his two books about the English language talked quite a lot about refugees learning English as a second language, giving statistics (very un-Bryson-like) to boot to prove his points. This actually primed me quite well for this book. From Outside In is a collection of essays, short stories, memoirs and poems about the experience of being a refugee in Britain from the refugee's point of view. (It is the nearest I am ever going to get to reading a book of poetry!) They could have actually made it four times as long and it would never have been boring. The book is actually almost apologetic in it's shortness, as if they worried that people might not pick it up and buy it if it went on too long. It's shortness means it never gets too preachy but on the other hand there was nothing really profound in it either. I admit most of the poems just went over my head. I recommend this if you are just interested in reading about people .
  12. Frankie reads 2017

    Ah that was several years back. I don't know what happened to him, I didn't talk with him online after that. When are you coming over again? I take it you won't bring a bladed weapon
  13. I haven't had that happen actually. Because when I am in a bad mood I probably wouldn't try to read. That's a new concept to think about for me, as books tend to disassociate me from my surroundings anyway and take me into another world, I doubt if I could stay in a sour mood if I had a good book...
  14. Frankie reads 2017

    So sorry, hope you don't mind me jumping in Frankie. I knew a Finnish guy once. There is definitely something different about Finnish people. We talked online for a few months and I met him by chance in London one day (at a wargaming show) I had two of my kids with me. He had only just moved to the UK with his wife. He was a a young guy but very confident , relaxed and warm. My kids were mesmerised by his personality. Then suddenly he pulled out this huge knife. I said " Thomas! This is England! You can't carry a thing like that about in the streets. You better put it away!" . He grinned and put it away sheepishly. He said everybody carried a knife like that in his village to skin rabbits and suchlike. We talked about Finland and he said that the Finns were behind everybody else, not in intelligence or anything but they had only recently got civilized in the last couple of hundred years. That was his theory. He said that's why the Russians didn't mess with them any more. Just a personal anecdote. Nothing whatsoever to do with your conversation!
  15. Beautiful 3/5 Katie Piper Katie Piper is of course the English TV presenter who has appeared in lots of documentaries and who helps people who have been disfigured. or who have mental problems about their own bodies. I never actually saw the first couple of documentaries that were about her own face and journey to rebuild it but I saw the ones where she helps others. I liked her in these, she is I think a very sincere and genuine person. So when I saw this on the charity shop shelf (another quick just-before-the-bus purchase) I thought I would give it a go. I didn't actually know her back story and how she came to be attacked and doused with acid. Those sections were very hard to read and I could only read them a bit at a time. Once past that though it is a very positive book about her rebuilding her life, coming to terms with stuff and realising what is important. I say positive, but it is by no means an easy read at times as what she went through can be upsetting. She is not a natural writer and it shows in some passages, but a book like this cannot be judged on the writing . I have read some books by famous people and actually disliked the person afterwards. I am happy to say this is not one of those books! I like Katie Piper more now I have read about her. And that's not because I feel sorry for her, but because she is a worthwhile person who adds something to the world.