Friday, 26 February 2016


About a month ago I ordered a couple of Ospreys for my WWI project. After a few days I was told that I'd have to wait a month because they were print on demand, which is in itself an interesting use of the English language. Anyway, they turned up today and in both cases only the odd pages are there; all the even pages are blank. Clearly the print on demand bit refers to the fact that if one doesn't explicitly demand that they be printed properly, then they won't be.

In other news, I've been to Sheffield. Nothing of any significance whatsoever to report except that I did have the by now traditional Greggs sausage roll.

In other, other news there has been music. The ever reliable Dr Bob and the Bluesmakers were as good as usual and I also saw Karin Grandal Park and Rosie Clegg, an excellent folkie type duo mainly playing Grandal Park's own compositions. As regular readers will know I have an aversion to the banjo, but if it is ever going to be acceptable anywhere it's in playing 'Wayfaring Stranger', and a very nice version they did. The original stuff was very good - if a tad depressing in tone - and sat well with covers of songs by such as Buffy St Marie, Richard and Linda Thompson, Mary Chapin Carpenter and a lovely take on Boo Hewerdine's 'Patience of Angels'.

In other, other, other news I went to see the National Theatre live broadcast of 'As You Like It'. The elder Miss Epictetus declared it even better than 'A Winters Tale', but I'm not sure whether the better play made up for the absence of Dame Judi. The conceit of hauling lots of office desks and chairs up into the air to create the Forest of Arden worked wonderfully well, but it was never explained what they were doing on stage in the first place. And a mention must go to the casting of Leon Annor as Charles the wrestler. When he bellyflopped onto Orlando, both audiences - in theatre and cinema - audibly winced. Not the sort of chap you want to sit next to on a plane though.


  1. I realise this is an old post now, but am interested in your print-on-demand Osprey book - as of this morning, I seem to be having exactly the same problem, and I wondered if, like me, you were a victim - sorry, customer - of The Wordery. This morning a lady (or a very exotically named man) wrote and told me that I should expect to receive my book within the originally forecast timescale (which means by Saturday). This is interesting - the original Amazon Marketplace order acknowledgement I have on file states all of the following (1) I should receive my ordered item by 24th Feb (2) I should receive my ordered item within 14-15 working days from the date of purchase (3) the item, though an Osprey, is Print-on-Demand.

    Today's update confirms that only promise (2) of the three listed has any truth - in particular the book is in stock at a source (hmmm, a source) and is not print on demand. I am far too stupid to understand any of this, but I shall take care to check for blank pages when the thing arrives.

    Thank you for posting this.

    1. No, this was Waterstones. They apologised for showing the incorrect delivery timescale on their website and I don't think it would be reasonable to ask them to check every book they dispatch to make sure it's printed properly. I'm placing the blame with Osprey. Osprey have of course placed the blame with their print-on-demand contractor.