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Member: John_Vaughan

CollectionsYour library (1,759), Currently reading (3), To read (3), History (884), British Empire (74), Travel (427), Sailing and Ships (219), Read but from son's Libraries (7), Cook Books (37), Reference (66), Wife's Collection (95), Deaccessioned - to charity (187), All collections (2,065)

Reviews283 reviews

TagsHistory (892), Travel (498), (Auto)biography (294), English (193), America (155), Humour (131), Classic Literature (124), Sail (122), Cruising (121), Food and Wine (107) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations3,260 recommendations

About meFormer Brit, ex-seaman and retired International Contracts & Projects Director.
No more airplanes, airports, business trips.
Lots of time for reading!

... Oh all the places I have been, and the all things that I have seen!

About my libraryBorges:"It is not the reading that matters, but the re-reading."

Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose,
And age, and then the only end of age.

Just "Larkin (Phillip) about" although it is very apt at my age.

(But then, I dislike puzzles!)

GroupsBoard for Extreme Thing Advances, Librarything Railroad (The LTR), The Diogenes Club, The Green Dragon

Favorite authorsRobert Byron, Bruce Chatwin, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Graham Greene, Tony Horwitz, Mark Kurlansky, W. Somerset Maugham, Jan Morris, H. V. Morton, Eric Newby, George Orwell, Jonathan Raban, Mort Rosenblum, John Steinbeck, Paul Theroux, Mark Twain, Evelyn Waugh, Simon Winchester, Gavin Young (Shared favorites)


Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationFlorida, USA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/John_Vaughan (profile)
/catalog/John_Vaughan (library)

Member sinceMar 14, 2011

Currently readingTo the Frontier by Geoffrey Moorhouse
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum
A BOOK OF AIR JOURNEYS. by Ludovic. Kennedy

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Thanks, John. I am so going to use that as I am more than just "a bit Mutt and Jeff".
Thanks for asking about my dad. He is physically strong, he's happy, and he still has a great appetite so I think overall he's doing pretty well.

Yup, during my school years in my small town, I worked my way shelf by shelf through a lot of the library. Small but at least we had a library.
lol John! I'm the exception to the rule: I don't listen (hearing-impaired) but I can read maps.
~jenni :-)
Thanks John, that's a great clip.
Thank you. We just love her to pieces! ♥
I just noticed your photos. You have some beauts, yourself.
Yes, River Horse was a complete chance find - something very rare for me these days. Sad, too, because it was the last time in the "old" Donner shop in Rotterdam (not that old, I remember it being built). The Smeetons I'd vaguely heard of before, but it was Jonathan Raban going on about them in Passage to Juneau that made me seek them out. I'm sure I'm going to read more of theirs. Seeing the introduction to Once is Enough by Neville Shute, I did wonder if he was thinking of the Smeetons when he wrote Trustee from the Toolroom.

I'm sure River Horse must have been very good for the makers of that boat - I wonder if he got a commission on sales...
You may never know for sure.
Hi John!

I really enjoyed reading your reviews. I noticed we have some books in common, although my travel-library is not as extensive as yours.

Thank you and have a nice day!
BTW what an interesting set of books we have in common.
I'm quite silly about limericks and I find them floating around my brain with absolutely no encouragement from the conscious me. Here's one for you:

The inestimable Mr. John Vaughan
surprised me when he wrote upon
my profile which shines
with the light of his lines
You're too kind, sir. Best wishes. Rock on!
265159Image flag on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Duplicate and the other one has better resolution).
Nice sunny autumn weather, thanks John. We had a nice day walking around Hyde Park and St James's Park yesterday after my son ran a half-marathon. Had lunch in a new Zaha Hadid building attached to a splendid former ammunition store beside the Serpentine (built 1802 - I'm not quite sure why they needed so much gunpowder in Hyde Park then, maybe to suppress the proletariat?)

We are FaceTime, rather than Skype, grandparents so our grand-daughter can only see us on her mum's iPhone. We might need to buy her her own iPad so she can get to know us better ;-)

Hope you had a good call
I did enjoy your recent TPBM posting, John. Those were the days, pre -Thatcher, when the shop-stewards had real power and influence before she emasculated the unions. I hope you are getting down to your memoirs.
Best wishes, at.
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Umm...isn't this a photo of Rebecca Skloot? Or were she and Molly Caldwell Crosby separated at birth?
Hi John! Great review of Tuning the Rig - I just thumbed it and am adding it to the wishlist. I've seen some of your very good reviews across LT, and I've just clicked on your profile I think for the first time. I definitely have to add you to my Interesting Libraries list - and MY how many countries you've visited is astonishing! I suppose it's true what they say - 'Join the Navy and see the World!'


Will do!


Hahaha. You're even older than me! I remember the Indian restaurants of the 70s, where every curry was the same brown sludge, only the heat varied according to what you ordered. Things have got a LOT better since then!

Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Love the Hello Kitty motif.
And in MY day we had to make do with Vesta curries! Just thank your lucky stars you're too young to remember those..

Cheers John, you may simply be watching me collect books that you already have! Great collection and setup by the way. I hope you don't mind that I've stolen your idea for the Amazon Wish List on my profile page. I've really enjoyed some of your reviews by the way.
...and...I'll certainly look out for the Ludovic Kennedy autobiography in the charity shops. It was interesting to reflect on current bookselling practice on Amazon where a new copy was offered for over £100 and a s/h copy for £0.01.

Do you recognise the building? The Painted Hall of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich - the buildings are much used for backdrops in period dramas needing grand governmental buildings in Georgian or Victorian London but I don't know if anyone has actually placed Mycroft there.

Am I really a curmudgeon? John, I'm in Lisbon, Portugal and China keeping the world safe for debauchery the first two weeks of June, barring a documented spread of H7N9 to Chengdu. In that case I'll be here the last few days you'll be in town and would be happy to buy the first round. I do want pictures, though, and what is your favorite hotel on the hill? Is it that white one that used to be a house across from the Library of Congress, or is that a club? I lived on the hill for 15 years and still don't know the place all that well.
Oops - Travel is no fun at all with the wrong case!
I'd forgotten all about Penelope Betjeman - you motivated me to order a copy of Imogen Lycett Green's book about her, although I have a feeling the reviews I read at the time were not favourable.

It's finally spring here - hoping to do a bit of sailing this weekend. (And no, I'm not planning to go to see the inauguration of the new king on Tuesday...)

Hello, this will seem random, but did you happen to meet Maurice Ewing?
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You, bet! Just like Paris (maybe). Nice photo, were you on the great Chicago River architectural tour?

Have fun with Boswell. You'll find that there's even a little bit of canal interest, as he travels between Utrecht and The Hague by trekschuit once or twice...

Wow, I have no idea what my first post was. That's got to be one of the first, though, because the date is close to my join date. Congrats on the grandkid!
Thanks for adding my library as "interesting." I have done likewise to yours in my different style.

Your map of countries visited is really impressive. Greenland would add quite a bit of red in one slug; just a thought for a January trip. :) I have always been drawn to the Great American (back) Road Trip (Blue Highways, which I note that we share, is a very favorite, I think that I gave it 27 stars. Only once did I get in semi-trouble on such a trip; in back woods West Virginia.

It would be a good thing if we in the USA didn't shoot each other so often and freely (not you and me, of course). It doesn't look like our politicians are going to help much in that regard. They must need their jobs; they consistently vote for what they perceive as improving their own reelection chances versus what is right and sensible. What ever happened to Jimmy Stewart in Congress?

As long as I'm on a free association roll here... One of my all time favorite movies and, a very good book, is a Jimmy Stewart gem.
I just stumbled upon your review of Executioner Pierrepoint. Your review is quite interesting and thought provoking. I must admit that I have been quite wishy-washy on the subject of capital punishment. Although some crimes seem to cry out for the ultimate penalty, our state, Illinois, and other states and countries have executed some innocent people. Unfortunately, of course, it can't be undone.

Some folks at Northwestern University in Chicago have been on a tear about freeing people they deem innocent; contradictory evidence, changes in science since the trial, etc that indicate evidence of innocence. How does someone sentenced to, say, a life sentence and having served 30 years get their life back in order? And then, there is sometimes the complicating issue that they weren't fine, upstanding, law abiding people in general in any event.

Complicated issues...

I just finished The Secretary (Ghattas), and Twelve Cities (Gunther). My wife is English.
Have you tried Book Depository? Free shipping everywhere, even Australia.

Always best to give snakes right-of-way!
My interest in mountaineering is strictly vicarious, John. Brisbane has some rock climbing opportunities, but this is a notoriously flat continent! (which I suppose goes some way to explaining my fascination with altitude)
John, Artemis Cooper's biography of Fermor was excellent. She also mentions a blog which has updated info on Fermor which you might find interesting:
I don't have The Broken Road yet, John. Sorry to mislead! It's on my Watchlist and I've tagged it "to be published". Looking forward to it though. Will shortly be embarking on Artemis Cooper's bio of Fermor.
Thanks for your good wishes, John. I hope you and yours stay healthy and prosper. At least you've avoided the the 'fiscal cliff' - for the time being, anyway ;-)
Thank you, sweet man. Happy New Year to you and SWMBO from me and my Marine! ♥

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This picture os of the actor, not the historian.
LOL. I loooove snakes, they're fabulous! :D
And Belgian fries are pretty good too, though personally I'm not crazy about the whole mayo thing (yeah, that probably outs me as not a real Belgian ;) haha), I prefer to stick with good ol' ketchup. :P
Had to be you, John - if anyone - who knew what I was on about. I don't think that I've smelled it for fifty years but apparently it is still produced -

How do you think a few tablespoonsful in the tank of my Fiat Punto diesel would go down?

3533768Image flag on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Duplicate image.
No vodka, just puzzle books on the brain. It's raining, I already can't wait for today to be over. How you doin'?
Thanks for the comment - yes, I finally worked out that Profile is where Comments are (the only forum anywhere that puts PMs in your Profile, where you'd normally put your personal details, signature, avatar, etc??).

However, my main gripe is still true. All that's in my Profile is Comments TO me, not FROM me. For example, I'm typing this reply and all I can see is YOUR Comments, on your page. And that's plain silly, I think. When you reply to a Comment, you should still be able to see the original!

Thanks anyway, Tid.
Thanks for asking! I put a tiny amount of powder, in this case cornflour (probably corn starch in your area), inside the balloon before I inflated it. This sticks to the inside of the balloon and is left behind briefly as it explodes.

If you care to see more such shots, mine and others', you can click through from the one in the thread to Flickr and go to the "Triggertrap" group using the link on the right hand side of the page. There you will see shots of balloons giving up the ghost for the cause, both with and without powder in them. Oh, and one memorable shot with way, way too much powder!

Thanks for taking the time to look and to ask the question.
Hi, John

Your note on the order of dressing in TPBM reminded me of the opening words of The Summer of a Dormouse by John Mortimer -
"The time will come in your life, it will almost certainly come, when the voice of God will thunder at you from a cloud, 'From this day forth thou shall not be able to put on thine own socks.'"

Mortimer doesn't feature in your author cloud - he can't, surely, have passed you by? Not everyone likes Rumpole of the Bailey (although I can't imagine why not) but his autobiographies are worth a look if you haven't read them. The S of a D is about him in his seventies.

Best wishes

Hi John! Thanks for your nice comments on my review. I love it when I find someone else's that expresses what I wanted to say but wasn't able to articulate... so it's good to know that I might occasionally provide that for someone else. I hope you enjoyed it.

Hi John!

Saw you'd added My Name Escapes Me to your library -- looks most interesting! Will be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Speaking of Sir Alec, I've borrowed the miniseries of Tinker Tailor from my parents and will be rounding up my friends to watch it sometime soon.

A while back I read The Russia House and think I'm going to have to read it again. When will I ever learn that le Carré is meant to be enjoyed at home with a cup of tea, and not on the bus in 20-minute increments?! I also want to see the movie, if only because I find it extremely difficult to picture Sean Connery as Barley. Have you seen it?

Have a good evening!

Re: Your grand menues.

I'm a pensioner myself, and I enjoy your posts. Since I live in the middle of the continent, seafood is not readily available, so your latest meal sounded divine to me!
Here in central North Carolina I see Darwin fish all the time on bumpers of cars. I also see the Christian/Jesus fish. The ratio changes the further I get away from Chapel Hill - Darwin/Jesus changes to Jesus/Darwin. It's amusing.

Good old WHL trumped my instigator-ish goal with his Gefilte fish. I wish people could talk about religion and politics without being so nasty and vicious about it - now everybody's afraid to say anything at all.

Except in special threads, of course. But you have to enter those at your own peril, I find.

Anyway, have a super day and get the appropriate fish sticker for your bumper!

Good morning, John!

Here's from my infallible fallible source, Wikipedia: "The Darwin fish is an ichthys symbol with "evolved" legs and feet attached and often with the word Darwin inside (like the ΙΧΘΥΣ or Jesus found in some Christian versions). It symbolizes the scientific theory of evolution, for which Charles Darwin laid the foundation, in contrast with Creationism, which is often associated with Christianity. The Darwin fish bears a stylized resemblance to Ichthyostega, which is a major example of a transitional fossil."

Being something of a low-key instigator, I thought I'd put the scientific cat among the religious pigeons and see either the fur or the feathers fly. I haven't had time to look back at the thread - home computer has crapped out and work got busy yesterday - but will zoom over there now to check it out.

I enjoy your comments on the TPBM thread, by the way, and look forward to seeing more.

Thanks for the pointer, John. Hume is new to me although The Mystery of a Hansom Cab rings vague bells. I see that 10+ of his extensive oeuvre are available for £0.00 as Kindle down-loads so I'll have a go.
Best wishes
No, but they are invasive, and so new ones may not be planted. Pretoria national Botanical Garden has an avenue of (indigenous) Tree-wisteria which is even more attractive, and flowers about 3 weeks earlier. Now that *really* has to be seen!
Does it? Dammit. I'm not going to do anything about it now. I've downloaded Adobe CS5 and it keeps messing with my controls. As soon as I learn me to steer tha damn thing I'll redo the site. Right now I'm up to my eyebrows in things I have to do.
You may know about it already, but in case you don't: while digging around on last night, I came across yet another Ludwigskanal book, Negley Farson's Sailing across Europe (1926) . Looks quite entertaining on the strength of the first 50 pages or so.

When he registers with the canal superintendent in Bamberg and asks if any other pleasure boats have been through lately, he's told that there was one in 1905 - obviously Donald Maxwell.
Thanks for the tip - the Maxwell book looks interesting. I think I've read something else about the Ludwigskanal in the past: I can't remember where.

I enjoy sailing when I do it a few weekends a year, but I know I'd never be prepared to commit the time that it needs to become really good at it, still less to look after a maintenance-hungry traditional boat, beautiful though they are when you see them on the IJsselmeer. It's a good job there are so many opportunities to pursue hobbies vicariously in books!
Yes, I was sort of working backwards towards A thousand miles...": from The cruise of the Kate to The voyage alone... and thence to Stevenson. Not very logical, but A thousand miles..." was the only one of the group I'd read before, a very long time ago.

I did find myself spending some time browsing folding-canoe builders on the internet on Sunday afternoon—MacGregor would not have approved! I should probably switch to a less dangerous line of reading.
Thanks for your comment. I've never read any of those three - I think I really should, especially Captain Cook. For their times, a lack of prejudice in modern eyes would be most interesting to see.
(4 dogs)

Au contraire: unless I'm mistaken, the only dog in the book survives its owner, which probably means Waugh earns a negative KADDS point. :-)

After years of having only Men at Arms and Officers and Gentlemen on my shelves, I gave in and bought myself the ebook of the revised single-volume edition; Unconditional surrender never seems to turn up by itself.
Hope you enjoy the Bruce Chatwin Photographs. I am certainly a great fan of all his writings and photographs,however odd his work (and life) was.
All the best
Thanks, yes it had a directness and economy of words that made it seem like a modern writer. That painting poses many questions but I won't spoil it with the answer, such as why there is a leaping man without clothes, the smiling man on the ladder is holding a knife at his foot, the woman is laughing and the nuns are kneeling in prayer. Looks absurd, but has a logical answer, might figure out. From a 19th century book that is a translation of an Italian Renaissance book of Boccaccio-like stories.
Um, that's just one. lol
I am not at Cornell. That is just where I collect my mail.

Thanks for the insight. If I am tempted to buy any H.V. Morton 'London' works, it obviously should be "H.V. Morton's London".

I appreciate you keeping me in the loop.

Interesting building, Minster Abbey (new to me.) It doesn't look to me as if it should be in Kent - Languedoc maybe?
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Good; you've also exceeded the adorableness quota in one go.
Thank you. 'Distressing' is too weak a term.
Depends what fruit juice I have currently spilled all over it!
Can't pass up a challenge!
He was in the Marines and is a retired OTR truck driver.

He's now Sammy Homemaker. lol
Thank you for the recipe. It does sound good. My grandmother used to do something like that, but I don't remember which blossom she used. It's been a very long time, and I was a child.

I know a lot of people who have eaten dandelions. I have a bunch of those in my yard. Maybe I'll try something with them one day. By the way, I know dandelions are "weeds," but I think they're pretty.


Thanks for the welcome back - I was in Paris!

You've got it in one!

Hahaha! ("Icky").

Thanks for the definition!
I really liked your review of Road to Wigan Pier.
No, no snow at present - we had 5cm or so on the 3rd of February, which was enough to bring the country to a halt for a week, but it's been very mild now for a couple of weeks. It'll probably snow again next time I book a flight. Any snow in Florida? :-)

There should be more on de Ruyter and the Medway somewhere, or even on the Nore mutiny, but they most often seem to come up in more general history books.
I'll think about it...
HoD is Africa, but it has a frame story where the narrator and various other people are on a yacht anchored in the Thames. Or was that another Conrad novel? - suddenly I'm in doubt. Probably better wait for Tim to add comments, otherwise it will just look like a random error...
I was all set to add Great Expectations and Heart of Darkness to your Thames Estuary list, but I don't want to swap your sailing books with a tide of fiction: what do you think?
I wish the problem was the dishes. Dishes have a machine. No effort at all. Toys? Books? Dust? No machine! :)

There have been a bunch of duplications of travel for some reason. My was one of the earliest and gets lost at the bottom. I thought yours was much more comprehensive and I hope it gets more attention than mine did.

Right now there's no way to combine them (or to search them well to be sure you aren't making a duplicate), so don't sweat it.
Thank you so much for stopping by my Secret Santa page and leaving some suggestions! They are fine ones. One I have read, another is on my TBR shelf and the cookbook looks wonderful. :) It's always a bit dicey for me to participate in Secret Santa because my LT library needs so much updating. Hope your new year is delightful.
Thanks for pointing out s/olidus and ea/sterling origins--will have to refresh my memories on these areas!
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