11016

Currently Reading

Still Life
Louise Penny, Adam Sims
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee, Bob Reed
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Thomas McNamee
Still Life
Louise Penny
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry
The Woman In White
Wilkie Collins
Merlin Trilogy
Mary Stewart
Progress: 612/928 pages

Recently Added

Still Life - Louise Penny, Adam Sims
Murder by Matchlight - E.C.R. Lorac, Mark Elstob
Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Gladys Mitchell, Patience Tomlinson
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West


"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain


"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ― Robert A. Heinlein


"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." ― Judy Garland
Find me elsewhere:
My Leafmarks Profile
Project Hamlet

24 Festive Tasks: TA's Master Update Post

MARKERS:

Books: Candles

Tasks: Stars

 

 

 

DOOR 1: DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS

Book:  Ngaio Marsh: Death and the Dancing Footman (audio version, read by James Saxon)

Task 1: Miss Marple limerick

Task 2:

Task 3: Epitaph for The Disappearing Spoon.

Task 4: Gaby in Mexico (& Guatemala)

 

Points: 4

 

 

 

DOOR 2: JAPANESE CULTURE DAY

Book: Michael Innes: Death at the President's Lodging (audio version, read by Stephen Hogan)

Task 1: Beethoven Festival

Task 2: KitKat flavors

Task 3:

Task 4: Teriyaki Chicken

 

Points: 4

 

 

DOOR 3: MELBOURNE CUP DAY

Book: Ellis Peters: The Rose Rent (audio version, read by Nadia May)

Task 1: Pick your ponies.

Task 2: Ross are red, violets are blue: Shakespeare, Much Ado

Task 3: Cheshire Cat mug

Task 4:

 

Points: 4

 

 

DOOR 4: GUY FAWKES NIGHT

Book: Joy Ellis: The Stolen Boys

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4: Bookshelf ordering system

 

Points: 2

 

 

DOOR 5: BON OM TOUK

Book: Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None

Task 1: Favorite Rainy Day Books

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points: 2

 

 

DOOR 6: VETERANS' / ARMISTICE DAY

Book: E.C.R. Lorac: Murder by Matchlight

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points: 1

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

DOOR 17: WINTER SOLSTICE
(YULE / YALDĀ NIGHT / DONGZHI / SOYAL)

Book: Agatha Christie: Three Blind Mice and Other Stories

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points: 1

 

 

DOOR 18: HANUKKAH

Book:

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points:

 
 
DOOR 19: FESTIVUS

Book:

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points:

 

 

DOOR 20: CHRISTMAS

Book:

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points:

 

 

DOOR 21: KWANZAA

Book:

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points:

 

 

DOOR 22: NEW YEAR'S EVE / ST. SYLVESTER'S DAY

Book: Candace Robb: A Gift of Sanctuary

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points: 1

 

 

DOOR 23: HOGSWATCH

Book:

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points:

 

 

DOOR 24: EPIPHANY

Book:

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

 

Points:

 

 

 

BOOK JOKER

Used for:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUNNING TOTAL SCORE:

 

      19 points

 

 

 

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 - Bon Om Touk: Task 1

Task: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads.

 

Any- and everything that -- with or without a mug of hot tea and some chocolate or other snacks -- makes me feel all warm and comfortable (while still engaging my brain cells, at least on occasion):

 

* Golden Age mysteries, particularly my favorites by Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ngaio Marsh (as well as, more recently, Patricia Wentworth, Josephine Tey, John Dickson Carr -- and on the other side of the Pond, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series).

 

* P.D. James's Inspector Dalgliesh and Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse series.

 

* Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael series, C.J. Sansom's Shardlake books, and other historical fiction favorites. 

 

* Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

 

* J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

 

* Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

 

* Jane Austen's novels, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford and North and South, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and Barbara Pym's Excellent Women.

 

* Even some grittier stuff, as long as it mentally takes me to a place that -- literarily or in real life -- I consider "home" (looking at you, Inspector Rebus and Harry Bosch).

 

* And this time of the year, of course, most of the books on my Christmas Reading list!

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 - Veterans' / Armistice Day: Book

Murder by Matchlight - E.C.R. Lorac Murder by Matchlight - E.C.R. Lorac, Mark Elstob

This is set in 1945 London, and it turns out the ravages of WWII are making themselves felt quite a bit.  So I've decided to use it as my book for Veterans' / Armistice Day.

 

On a separate note, it's quite different in tone from Bats in the Belfry (the only other book by Lorac I've read so far), and I really, really like it.

 

(Task: Read a book involving a war, battle, or where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover, or honor the ‘unknown soldier’ of your TBR and read the book that’s been there the longest.)

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 17 - Winter Solstice: Book

Three Blind Mice and Other Stories - Agatha Christie, Hugh Fraser, Joan Hickson, David Suchet, Simon Vance

 

The core action of the main entry in this collection -- the novella Three Blind Mice (basis for the play The Mousetrap) -- all takes place in a single day, and it is also set in winter (even though not explicitly in December).  That's got to be good enough to make it qualify as my Winter Solstice book.

 

(Task: Read a book that takes place in December, with ice or snow on the cover, where all events take place in a single day or night, that revolves around the solstice, set in Persia / Iran, China or the American Southwest or prominently featuring Persian / Iranian, Chinese or Native American characters, or a collection of poetry.)

 

24 Festive Tasks, Door 6: November 11th Veterans' Day/Armistice Day



17
3 - Melbourne Cup Day
21
9
12
24
22
15
1 - dia de los Muertos
13
18
6 - Veterans / Armistice Day
5 - Bon Om Touk
14
7
20
11
23
10
2 - Japanese Culture Day
19
16
8
4 - Guy Fawkes Night

I requested to do today's door opening, as it is a holiday for many to reflect but more so for me and my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. My kids have school today, so I will be visiting both their classrooms to talk about the holiday (teachers asked if I would do this). Afterward, hubby and I are going out to eat and maybe head to Half Price Books to look around without being asked "are we leaving now?" twenty billion times. 

 

However you celebrate, I hope you have a great day!

 
Veterans / Armistice Day

Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day

 

Task 1: Sunrise services are a staple of this day: Take a picture of the sunrise where you live and share it with us.

 

Task 2: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.

 

Task 3: Rosemary is for remembrance, but it’s great for chasing away moths, silverfish and other bugs that can damage books (and linens). Make a sachet with some rosemary, lavender, dried basil, etc. to keep on your bookshelves – post a picture of the results and let us know what combinations of herbs you used. A list of possibilities can be found here: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/12-plants-that-repel-unwanted-insects

 

Task 4:The Forest of Compiègne, just outside Compiègne, France, is the site of the signing of the 1918 Armistice. It was also the site of the signing by the French of a truce with the Germans following the German invasion in 1940. – Find a green space in your local area (or favorite area) and go for a walk or bike ride of a mile (or 1.61 km) and post a picture or screenshot of the map of where you walked / biked.

 

Book: Read a book involving a war, battle, or where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover, or honor the ‘unknown soldier’ of your TBR and read the book that’s been there the longest.

 

 

NEW: Once you've completed a task or tasks, please use the handy form, located in the spoiler tags (to keep things tidy) to let us know. This will make tracking points MUCH easier for the 24 Tasks Team.

* Required

 


 


 


 


 


Book
T1
T2
T3
T4
BONUS

 


space

(show spoiler)

 

Previous door's tasks are "beneath the fold"

read more »
Reblogged from Mrs. Claus' Tea House

24 Festive Tasks: Stats for the First 10 Days

 

Well, the first 10 days of the game are in, and we're off to a great start yet again!  I hope everybody is enjoying the game -- both the tasks and holidays we've brought back and the new ones.

 

The most popular tasks so far have been Día de los Muertos task 3 (epitaph for your most disliked book) and, of course, Melbourne Cup Day "pick your ponies" -- even though we had fewer winners (and hence, bonus points collectors) this year than in previous years. 

 

More generally speaking, for the first four holidays every single task has been completed by one or more of the participants, and we're also beginning to see the first books being read for the final holidays of the game. 

 

Which is probably just as well ... we'll have another seven calendar door openings in November yet to come!  (Plus four in the first two weeks of December -- in addition to the remaining tasks for the final eight holidays, which we'll be revealing on December 1.)

 

Continue to have fun, everybody!

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 - Bon Om Touk: Book

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie, Dan Stevens And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

Can't think of a better choice for this holiday than to revisit this one, within days of its 80th publication anniversary.  Particularly with as much water on the cover as on the wonderful audio featuring Dan Stevens and my stand-alone print edition ...

 

(Task: Read a book by a Korean author or set in Korea, that takes place at sea or on a river, where the plot involves a festival, where the moon or rain plays a pivotal role in the plot, or with rain, water or the moon on the cover.)

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 - Bon Om Touk



17
3 - Melbourne Cup Day
21
9
12
24
22
15
1 - dia de los Muertos
13
18
6
5 - Bon Om Touk
14
7
20
11
23
10
2 - Japanese Culture Day
19
16
8
4 - Guy Fawkes Night
 
Bon Om Touk

Door 5:  Bon Om Touk

 

Task 1: List / tell us about your favorite rainy day reads.

 

Task 2: String up some fairy lights around your books / bookcase / kindle and share a picture of the results.

 

Task 3: Dragons and dragon-like serpents (imugi) are important to Korean mythology (as they are to that of other Asian peoples). So – which are your favorite literary dragons (fictional, mythological, whatever)?

 

Task 4:The South Korean flag features images of ying / yang (the blue and red circle in the center) and four sets of three black lines each representing heaven, sun, moon and earth and, in turn, the virtues humanity, justice, intelligence and courtesy. Compile a list or stack – 4 books minimum – composed of books that either have opposing words in their titles (e.g., war / peace; asleep / awake – not necessarily both words in the same title), or that feature the words “heaven,” “sun,” “moon,” “earth,” “humanity,” “justice,” intelligence,” and / or “courtesy.”

 

Book: Read a book by a Korean author or set in Korea, that takes place at sea or on a river, where the plot involves a festival, where the moon or rain plays a pivotal role in the plot, or with rain, water or the moon on the cover.

 

 

NEW: Once you've completed a task or tasks, please use the handy form, located in the spoiler tags (to keep things tidy) to let us know. This will make tracking points MUCH easier for the 24 Tasks Team.

* Required

 


 


 


 


 


Book
T1
T2
T3
T4
BONUS

 


 

(show spoiler)

 

Previous door's tasks are "beneath the fold"

read more »

24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 - Día de los Muertos / All Saints' Day: Task 3

 

 

(Task: Write an epitaph for the book you most disliked this year.)

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 - Melbourne Cup Day: Task 2

Much Ado About Nothing - Paul Werstine, Barbara A. Mowat, William Shakespeare

 

Roses are red, violets are blue;
Shakespeare nailed it without Much Ado.

 

 

 

(Well, OK, this is more of a tribute to all of the Bard's works, not just one, but among his comedies, Much Ado About Nothing really has emerged as my firm favorite in the past 20 years or so.)

 

Task: Write your own “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem for one of your favorite or most hated books of all time.

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 22 - New Year’s Eve / St. Sylvester’s Day: Book

A Gift Of Sanctuary - Candace Robb A Gift of Sanctuary - Candace Robb, Stephen Thorne

 

It's unlikely that Candace Robb's Owen Archer series will ever be able to replace Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael series in my estimation, but I liked book 1 (The Apothecary Rose) well enough to take a closer look, and this installment (book 6) is fully living up to my expectations so far.  It also seems a good one to read "out of order", as it is set in Wales and only features some of the usual cast of characters.

 

(Task: Read a book about an ending or a new start, where things go BOOM, with fireworks on the cover, set in medieval times, about the papacy, or where miracles of any sort are performed.)

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 - Guy Fawkes Night: Task 4

How do you order the books on your shelves?

 

Umm.  It's ... complicated.  Or at least, multi-layered.

 

 

1st sorting layer: Genre / Topic

* Classics and LitFic

* Mysteries and Suspense (everything from Golden Age and classic noir to contemporary, including spy fiction, except for historical mysteries)

* Historical Fiction (including historical mysteries)

* Supernatural & Speculative Fiction (fantasy / sci-fi, supernatural, horror)

* Mythology

* Nonfiction: History and Biography

* Nonfiction: (Popular) Science

* Nonfiction: Law and Economy

* Nofiction: Philosphy

* Nonfiction: Dictionaries

* Nonfiction: Travel and Geography

* Nonfiction: Artist Biographies (classic rock and movies / theatre)

* Nonfiction: General / Other

* All things Los Angeles / Southern California

* Cookbooks

* All things cats

* Coffee table books

 

2d sorting layer: Language and Origin / Setting

* North America (USA and Canada)

* UK (with a separate "Scotland" shelf)

* Ireland

* Germany

* France / French Literature

* Hispanic Literature (both European and Latin / South American)

* Portugal and Portuguese Literature (including Brazil)

* Italy

* Scandinavia / Nordic Literature

* Eastern Europe

* Russia

* Africa

* Caribbean (English and French language; Hispanic Caribbean see above)

* Asia

 

3d sorting layer, version (a): Alphabetical by Author

E.g., in the shelves for North American, Irish, Scottish, French, Hispanic, Portuguese, Italian, Eastern European, Russian, African, Caribbean and Asian literature; ditto some of the nonfiction shelves.

 

3d sorting layer, version (b): By Era / Topical Association

E.g., in the shelves for English and German literature (roughly, by historical era), nonfiction history (ditto) and most of the other nonfiction shelves, as well as all of my mystery, fantasy / sci-fi / supernatural / horror, and cookbook shelves (mystery: by sub-genre, e.g., British Golden Age, classic noir, etc.; speculative / supernatural fiction: by type (fantasy, etc.); cookbooks: by region and publisher).

This includes dedicated shelves for my favorite authors (e.g., Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, the Mann family, etc.). 

Even without having entire dedicated shelves to themselves, books by the same author are kept together; series are generally in publication order.

 

 

 

3d sorting layer, version (c), as well as a sub-layer by expedience to all of the above: As shelf space allows!

The more frequently this occurs, the more it is obviously a sure fire indicator that the acquisition of more shelf space is becoming a matter of urgency.  (Problem: There is only so much more shelf space that I can add -- read: not a whole lot.)  Currently most prevalent on my "Scandinavian literature" and speculative fiction and supernatural shelves ... as well as on the dedicated Shakespeare shelves.

 

 

(The photos in this post are, incidentally, from the time of my major shelf reorganization a year ago.  Since then, things have, alas, generally taken a ... decidedly less organized turn yet again.)

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 2 - Japanese Culture Day: Task 4

Task: If you like Japanese food, treat yourself to a favorite dish.

 

I'm not a major fan of sushi (because I'm not much of a fish eater generally), but I'm easily persuaded to have a bowl of teriyaki chicken:

 

 

In the interest of full disclosure, while this is freshly made, it isn't also homemade -- I was out all day yesterday and only returned home after store closing time, and today I was mostly busy catching up with what didn't get done yesterday ... so spending a lot of time in the kitchen wasn't much of an option.  But most of my area's supermarkets offer a very nice line of freshly made Asian food (different kinds), and I confess I've come to rely on them quite a bit of late.  So there we are!

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 - Melbourne Cup Day: Task 3

Task: Aussies shorten everything, so Melbourne Cup day is just called “Cup Day” – post a picture of your favorite cup or mug for your daily fix of coffee, tea or chocolate.

 

My Cheshire Cat heat changing mug has quickly established it as a firm favorite since I bought it a while ago ... so here it is in the company of the most recent additions to my mug collection, the two "big cat" entries of Whittard of Chelsea's "Wildlife" series:

 

 

And here is what I was going to call the "grin minus cat" version -- until Charlie decided to photobomb this presentation, so, um, let's now call it the "grin with bonus cat appearance" version:

 

 

(And yes, Charlie is a bit fuzzy in this picture because he's actually lying below the glass table on which the mug is sitting.)

 

Though, whenever the Cheshire Cat mug is sitting in my sink waiting to be cleaned, I still love to use my (even bigger) pink and gray cat mug ... and of course my fabulous gift from BT, the Lord Peter and Harriet mug!

 

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 - Guy Fawkes Night: Book

The Stolen Boys - Joy Ellis, Richard Armitage

 

Well, "set in the UK" may be the easiest way out for this one ... but it turns out nothing is beneath me as an excuse for reading the latest entry in Joy Ellis's Jackman & Evans series!

 

(Also, while this book doesn't precisely involve "fancy dress" in the sense of masqued balls and costumes, it does involve some pretty fancy clothing.)

 

(Task: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published.)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 1 - Día de los Muertos / All Saints' Day: Task 4

Task: Do you have any traditions or mementos of happy memories of a loved one that you feel like sharing?

 

OK -- I decided to keep it topical for this task and talk about a trip to Mexico and Guatemala that my mom, my BFF (Gaby), my "cousin in law once removed" (I'm pretty sure that's wrong; anyway, he's the brother of my eldest cousin's husband) and I took almost exactly 25 years ago.

 

There are many things I remember from that trip; not least, of course, the many amazing places we visited.  Of the "people memories", two things stand out in particular, and both of them have to do with Gaby.

 

She was born with several disabilities, which even in daily life fills me with constant awe at the way in which she not only manages situations that for the rest of us are perfectly normal but to her involve a challenge, but she also does more than her share of things that constitute a challenge to most people (e.g., her day job requires her to take trips to parts of the world that are politically unstable and / or infrastructurally challenged, and where travel requires quite a bit of organization even under the best of condititions, not even taking into account her special needs).  We've known each other since high school, so I know this sort of achievement did not always come easily to her but was hard-fought for; by dint of experience (not least, the experience of practically growing up with major surgery, sometimes yearly or even several times per year, from her earliest childhood on), the experience that sometimes surgery can fail and make things even worse than they have been before, as well as sheer stubbornness and learning how to balance a flat-out refusal of the notion "I can't do this" with situations that she just has to accept, even if she'd very much like to change them.

 

And I'd like to believe our trip to Mexico and Guatemala was a major step on that ladder of challenging herself to do things she previously might not have thought that she could do.

 

Not even the trip as such -- we had traveled together before (including visits to Monument Valley and other places in the Southwestern U.S.) and she had, by that time, also repeatedly traveled alone.  But quite apart from her other special needs, e.g. at airports, Mexican and Guatemalan national parks and historic sites aren't (or at the time, at least, weren't) exactly primed to be visited by wheelchair; and lest you say, well, that primarily sounds like a challenge to the person pushing, not the one being pushed (which undoubtedly it is, too), I'll invite you to sit down in a wheelchair for just a couple of minutes and have someone push you over rough, uneven ground made up of gravel, loose earth, spiky stones, grassy patches, puddles, potholes, and the like.  Gaby had to endure this for extended periods on a practically daily basis, and on that sort of ground there is only so much we could do to at least spare her the worst patches.  (Of course, her wheelchair was showing the effects after a while, too: We got to a point where airline employees started mumbling things like "no responsibility" at its mere sight, and we had to ensure them that "it's OK, we know what it looks like and how that came about -- we won't try to offload this one on you" to get them to even accept to load it.)

 

But, of course, one of the stand-out feature of Mexico's and Guatemala's historic sites are ... pyramids.  And while Gaby doesn't need her wheelchair to get around all the time, she does need crutches to walk -- and that, surely, would have limited her to admiring all those Aztec and Mayan pyramids from below, and put the notion of joining all us other visitors in climbing the pyramids quite beyond her, right?

 

Wrong.

 

 

 

After she had let herself be talked into trying one of the smaller pyramids in Teotihuacán on one of the first days of our trip (see above photo on the left -- incidentally one of my all-time favorite photos of the two of us together), she had her crowning moment of glory climbing about two thirds of the way up the Great Pyramid at Chichén-Itzá (the Temple of Kukulkán, aka El Castillo) later in our trip (see above photo on the right).  She didn't make it all the way to the top, and given how execrably steep those steps are, who knows what that was ultimately good for -- but it definitely was one of those "reset your personal boundaries" achievements that stay with you, and with everybody else who has witnessed it, forever after.

 

So -- Gaby and the pyramids.  That is one thing I will always remember about that trip.  (And of course, Gaby's wheelchair and its transformation into a cross country vehicle.)

 

The other incident (ultimately involving all four of us) occurred at the beginning of the final section of the trip, which we were spending in Cancún.  We had built the trip to Guatemala into the whole thing so as to fly to Flores (the closest town and airport to the Tikal Mayan site) from Cancún -- there used to be direct flights going both ways at the time *and* you were allowed to book one-way trips -- and to return to Cancún via Guatemala City and Mexico City at the end of the Guatemala leg of our tour. 

 

 
Tikal, Guatemala: On top of Pyramid IV, the national park's highest structure -- Gran Plaza (the photo in the upper row is taken from the top of the pyramid in the left photo below) -- and the four of us, on the steps of one of the pyramids in Gran Plaza

 

For some reason -- IIRC because she had made her own flight arrangements via a different travel agency -- Gaby ended up on different flights than the rest of us on the return trip to Cancún, so since this was a few years before the advent (or at least, the widespread use) of mobile phones, the rest of us spent the better part of the day worrying whether she had made it to Cancún alright after we had seen her off at Guatemala City airport.

 

As it turned out, Gaby had not only gotten to Cancún perfectly well, she'd also had had time to have dinner and a tequila aperitif by the time we got there at last, in turn.  Well, we sort of took our cue from her when we sat down for our own dinner later that evening -- with Gaby joining us of course ... and the rest of the evening took a turn which had the wait staff (amazingly the same people both that night and the next morning -- I wonder how many hours of sleep those poor people actually got) greeting us with wide grins when we came down for breakfast the next morning and inquire "Tequila?" ... instead of asking whether we wanted tea or coffee.

 

("Tequila?" has been a running joke with Gaby and me ever since.)

 

Unfortunately, no photos of that evening survive -- of course, in the days of mobile phones, such a thing could no longer possibly happen ... but here's us toasting the New Year earlier during the trip, while staying at an amazing place named Hacienda Cocoyoc near Puebla (which has been one of my all-time favorite hotels ever since that trip, and one I'd dearly love to return to one day):