It’s Halloween! That time of the year when the veil between the physical world and the plane inhabited by ghosts and demons thins, and sometimes spirits slip through to our world. So, if tonight you hear a soft tap on the door, or a whispering sound at the window, just move in closer to the fire. And do take care – we know for a fact that these spooky guys are in the village right now!
Book Club Review
The book reviewed in October was ‘Women of the Dunes’ by Sarah Maine. It was the Waterstones Scottish book of the month In March 2019.
This was considered an easy, gentle read, both a mystery and a love story, which was enjoyed by all. A few of the group, who aren’t too keen on a picaresque style, did however enjoy this one. It was very similar to her previous book ‘The House between Two Tides’ which many of the group had read previously (or subsequently) and in both stories, the author links the eras, centuries and characters together with plausible historical detail.
Some readers enjoyed the archaeological aspect and some would have preferred more of the Pagan story rather than the other two timelines, which were considered predictable with melodramatic overtures. The way Sarah Maine mirrored the Victorian saga with the Pagan one, and with a similar unhappy ending was clever. The atmospheric setting around a headland on Scotland’s west coast, which held many of the secrets, was beautifully portrayed.
The characters were engaging and the story, though at times predictable, held our readers‘ interest. One of the group described the women as fragile, but independent and the men dark, damaged and sexy, reminiscent of Mills and Boon style!
Our next read has been very aptly chosen to be read around Halloween. Continuing on the theme of “spirits of the past”, the choice for next month is the House on Cold Hill by Peter James. The book is described as a chilling and suspenseful ghost story about a family who move from the city to the Sussex countryside to a dilapidated Georgian mansion. Within a short time, it becomes apparent that they aren’t the only residents in the house!
More Halloween Reading
If, dear reader, you fancy some other scary reading or watching, there’s always The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and The Signal Man by Charles Dickens. Or you could watch Stanley Kubrick’s unnerving The Shining, or The Blair Witch Project by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. Alternatively, you could just take a walk down to the lochside after dark and just check that the characters in Doug Law’s spooky sand sculpture are still where he put them and they haven’t gone walk-abouts ……….
Arrangements for Remembrance Sunday
This year, the arrangements for Remembrance Sunday have been adapted to allow for the restrictions placed on outdoor gatherings and the need for social distancing.
A video recording of a service at Fearnan War Memorial is to be made ahead of time and put on YouTube so people can access it in their own home at 11.00 on Sunday 8th.
We will put more info and a link to the service on the Blog once it is available.
In normal times, the FVA offers tea and coffee in the hall after the service and makes a collection on behalf of Help for Heroes – and people have always been very generous with their donations. If you would like to make a contribution this year, you can do so through the Help for Heroes website https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk
Charities have seen a huge drop in their incomes in recent months as the pandemic has put a stop to most of their fundraising activities, and they will be particularly appreciative of any help you can give.
Recent research has shown that watching nature films greatly reduces feelings of stress and anxiety and increases the viewer’s sense of well being. So, in these troubled times, what better excuse to take a little time out and watch this RSPB film about ospreys and other Scottish wildlife? Produced by the RSPB Film Unit in 1979 the film provides a glimpse of Scotland 4 decades ago.
Beautifully filmed and directed by Hugh Miles, with music by Carl Davis and commentary by Robert Powell, “Osprey” shows a year in the life of the Osprey; its hatching in the Scottish Highlands and its migration to Africa.