Spring 2006
Contents 7Mar2006

Commodore’s Report
Achieve Inner Peace
AGM, Prize Giving, Party
Annual Dinner
Boat Show 2006
Christmas and New Year
Ferry Meadows
Ice-Box Sunday
Last Working Party
Lunch & Frostbite Cruise
Mascheranda Menu
Masheranda Ball
Open Weekend
Place for Books
Start of Season Party
Thoughts for Today


A Place in Our Lives for Books
    When was the last time you curled up in front of the fire and read a good book, over Christmas perhaps? Houses used to come with fitted bookcases and there weren't so many other things to do and occupy our leisure time. At one time they were part of life; there was always time to loose oneself in a good book.
    Good fictional hard and soft backs are still out there. There's no lack of well established and contemporary authors to choose from. I read a fair bit but friends often say to me "why bother, I'll just wait for the film". That's such a shame because, with one or two exceptions, the film is never as good as the book. Characters and places are the Directors interpretation and not necessarily what a reader might visualise.
    One of the best recent film versions of a book was Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, but even that missed out characters and events that were in the books, and worse still changed certain events from one place to another compared with Tolkien's original story.
     Wilbur Smith's books are totally engrossing. He mainly writes about Africa and often weaves fictional stories around actual historical events. His latest book, albeit a year old now was Heat of the Sun and concerns the fall of Khartoum and the death of Gordon. The characters and events he describes are spell-binding; it is truly difficult to put down once started. His earlier books often use ancient Egypt as a backdrop and if you have never read "The River God" and "Warlock" you have a treat in store.
    Now days some books get hyped in much the same way films are. Who ever had heard of Dan Brown before "The Da Vinci Code", the film rights of which were snapped up before the book was even published. Interestingly the subject matter turned out to be pretty controversial and had the Catholic Church up in arms and a number of TV pundits discussing its contentious premise. Great for sales mind!
    Of recent books I suppose the "Harry Potter" series must be amongst the most successful. The right stories tapped into the right audience. However, I wonder how many of JK Rowling's adoring fans that rush to see the new film releases in their thousands ever read the books or even care that there are books.  
    Does a lack of reading contribute to the general deterioration of the English language? Does it affect the ability to use language correctly? Or should we just acquiesce to 'quick speak', typified by telephone texting. God, I hope not! So back to the beginning; when did you last read a book?
    Mike (Wilbur Smith fan) Baker