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1st 12 – join cabinet
2nd 12 – given position (Minister of State)
3rd 12 – Undersecretary of State
4th 12 – Parliamentary Private Secretary to a Cabinet Minister

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Jeffrey Archer Books and Plays

When I browsed Jeffrey Archer’s First Among Equals for the first time since I read it last year, I noticed my own notes on the margins. It turned out I extracted them from the first paragraph of Chapter Six.

In most democratic countries a newly elected leader enjoys a transitional period during which he is able to announce the policies he intends to pursue and whom he has selected to implement them. In Britain MPs sit by their phones and wait for forty-eight hours immediately after the election result has been declared.  If a call comes in the first twelve hours they will be asked to join the cabinet, the second twelve given a position as a Minister of State, the third twelve made an Under-Secretary of State, and the last twelve a Parliamentary Private Secretary to a Cabinet minister.

downloadThe Sun

Looking around for more Jeffrey Archer quotes,  this –

“I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey

led me to wonder about the origin of EL James’s novel title –

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I read James’s Fifty Shades because the protagonist is my nicknamesake.

Just joking

… about the reading. (I didn’t even if in college I was actually nicknamed Anastasia by very close friends. Until now I am still Anastasia to one or two of them on their phones.)

I have an inkling Jeffrey Archer is not even the first one to have said “shades of grey.” Researching origins would be fun but maybe later for another J week. I may come up with something like Justly attributed…”

Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team

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Shakespeare’s omnipresence is  fun.  At least I think he’s everywhere, then and now, and I love that about him.  It’s amazing how he seems to have something to say about everything and everyone.

Old as wine yet fresh as a spring morning, this year marks the 450th anniversary of his birth.  The Shakespeare World is alive with celebrations.

shakespear 6~ Stratford ~

Truth is I used to resist Shakespeare in school until I went crazy about anything Jane Austen. Suddenly I chant Sonnet 116 ala Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken….

shakespear 4~ the wife’s abode ~

And for a thorough helping of insult, try this one from Henry IV. Nothing beats what Shakespeare fancies tickling. These are words only a Shakespeare can pull off.  Is the Bard cheeky or what?

“Away, you scullion! you rampallion! you fustilarian!
I’ll tickle your catastrophe.”
–Falstaff from “2 Henry IV” (2.1.68)

Thanks to our hosts: Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team * Our World

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Joy delights in joy

Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy. ~ (Sonnet VIII) William Shakespeare

butterfly pea, yellow potCommentaries on Shakespeare’s sonnet 8 (here and here) suggest a theme of joy in a family which is similar to harmony in music.

This photo captures several sources of joy for me. Most notably after the obvious is that post card from a bloggity friend  whom I am planning to take a European literary tour with in five years. We would of course begin the tour in England.

Just thinking about that is joy that keeps me looking at life positively.

Links: Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC TEAM * Sally’s Blues * Mellow Yellows

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Some time last year the Nelson Hays library, a place frequented by reading expats in Bangkok, put some books up for sale. As I happen to be there I was so happy to be going through the piles.

A woman was examining one book with the word “Discarded” conspicuously stamped on it. Curious, I watched her and hoped she would put it down. What luck she did! So I just found my kind of find – something oldish with pages brittle and yellowed with age. I didn’t let go of it until I had it purchased at the check out counter.

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If you haven’t come across this book, one reviewer says it describes how liberalism leads to inaction.

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Here’s how another rated it : “A brilliant and frequently hilarious satire on academic life and the difficulties of being a liberal professor in 1950s England…. It takes aim at the staff and students of a provincial university in a way that is biting, insightful and yet affectionate and poignant.”

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A comment by Bookthesp1: “… the daddy of the campus novel”

canvas61ventura‘I’m tired of this bar. It’s full of sociologists!’ 

“With sociology one can do anything and call it work.”

Yes, I am also wondering about the title. But Michael Flanders and Donald Swann were identified on the acknowledgments page as originators of the song The Reluctant Cannibal from which the title of the novel was taken. So there’s an idea.

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On the jacket is a peek inside:

Professor Treece liked to think of himself as a liberal humanist. It was his desire to implant in his pupils at the provincial university where he taught English a sense of civilized values…. Eating People is Wrong contains a wealth of supporting characters inhabiting the half-crazy, half serious world of poetry readings, tea parties... and minor orgies in Espresso bars.

Linked with ABC Wednesday & Mellow Yellows

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Coffee clock

Chaucer’s take on what we have on our clocks –

“For Tyme ylost may nought recovered be”

translated by chronomaster.com as –

“for time you lost, may nothing be recovered”

There is something charming about the way old English is spelt. Did I just lose time today?…. If I did I at least it was because I lingered with cozy thoughts around coffee.

coffee clock

ABC Wednesday * Ruby Tuesday Too

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When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an adventure is going to happen. ~ A.A. Milne

Britain’s baby boy has arrived.  Welcome to the world Little Prince of Cambridge!

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~ o ~

ABC WEDNESDAY

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1319_446843172081069_1055221706_n book riot Photo: Book Riot

According to outgoing Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King, ‘Austen may become the next figure to appear on the £10 note.’ He was heading off ‘a row over banknote sexism following the bank’s announcement to replace Elizabeth Fry on the £5 note with Sir Winston Churchill.’ (The Times)

As an Austen fan I am delighted about the news.  American Book Rioters share their nominations, like Alcott, Angelou, Hemingway, Poe, Twain. I fancy Dickens.

Any author you would like to nominate?

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