What I like…besides books: TV – Hamish Macbeth

I really like the Hamish Macbeth books by M.C. Beaton, so I thought it might be nice to watch the TV series which is based on the books.

There are three seasons and so far I am in the middle of season two and can compare books and TV series. Nothing could be further apart. As far as I can see, only the name of Hamish and the village Lochdubh, a few aspects of the plots and a very loose resemblance of some of the other characters remind us of the books.

Hamish Macbeth Title Screen

Most of the names have been changed, there are many characters who never turn up in the books and the personality of Hamish is quite different. However, the series is quite good and cozy in its own right, just do not expect to find the books in it. And, oh, the Scottish accent is to die for.

Hamish himself.

Hamish’s looks are not at all like in the book. No tall, lanky and red-haired Hamish here. But this is not the only difference. Yes, he is rather indulgent when it comes to not abiding by the law, but on the other hand he shows some traits that are definitely not nice, not to say disturbing.

Like in the books he is jealous, but here his jealousy manifests itself in deliberately damaging other potential suitors’ cars and generally harassing the guys in a petty way.

Then there is one episode where his dog (Wee Jock, not Towser) gets killed in a car accident. A dog, by the way, that is so used to being fed by John McIver that he won’t even take food from Hamish. What does Hamish do? He goes out, follows the two convicts who ran Wee Jock over, befriends them, lies to them and lures them to a certain spot to kill them. Only the arrival of his Lochdubh friends stop him. Now, don’t tell me that he would not have been able to shoot them! It doesn’t change a thing.
Apart from the fact that at the time of their rescue the two men were only holding on to a rope and could have easily allen into an abyss, resulting in their death with Hamish not even shooting them, the idea that he planned to go after them with a gun in his pocket, becoming their friend and leader through the rough Scottish landscape, pretending to wanting to help them only to take them to a safe spot to kill them shows a rather nasty and evil disposition. The fact that that man is a police officer makes it only worse. And to top this all, the two men only killed his DOG by accident! I find this side of his personality rather disturbing and from that episode on I am not sympathizing with him anymore.

The women

Priscilla is now called Alex and is not the beauty she is supposed to be. Also she is extremely jealous and behaves rather idiotic. Hamish and Alex are engaged by now (different situation but also rather awkward), but already one can see that this is not a match made in heaven.

Isobel is a new character that loves Hamish and that Hamish fancies in spite of his engagement with Alex. Tension everywhere.


There are many new characters that do not appear in the book.

  • TV John McIver is Hamish’s “housekeeper”, part Hamish’s counsellor, part helper, part stand in for the seer Angus MacDonald with his premonitions.
  • Rory, the shopkeeper, stand in for the Indian Patel. Obviously an Indian wouldn’t fit into the Scottish setting. Rory has an affair with
  • Esme, the teacher. They are quite an interesting couple, those two.
  • Barney and his wife Agnes are the pub/hotel owners.
  • My favourite characters: Father and son McCrae. Lachlan and Lachie jr., the local entrepreneurs. Those two are so funny and make sure the necessary comic relief is there.
  • Doc Brown, a young doctor instead of the old fellow, who is Hamish’s pot smoking buddie (yeah, really!)

I would recommend the series to everyone who likes cozy mysteries (not necessarily with murder) in an interesting setting. You don’t have to know the books, on the contrary, knowing the “real” characters you might even be disappointed a bit. But it is entertaining nevertheless. Do not forget to put on the subtitles on your DVD player, though!


My custom-made pocket planner

I almost like planners of any kind more than bags – almost! As much as I try to stick to one Filofax and simply change the calendar part each year, I can’t. I NEED a new calendar for variety. Some time ago I found this site where you can design your own calendar either with templates they provide or with your own design for front and back. The inside you can fill with modules that you need, choose your favourite color etc. It’s great. This is my very personal self made pocket planner:

Front Back


Both cover images I had already made previously, the front is part of a much larger poster that is hanging in our hall (the quote is by Seneca), the back is a smaller one I made for a scrapbooking challenge a long time ago (you had to use wings which were the rage back then. Instead of putting them on a cute kid I decided to put them on Mata Hari).

Want your own custom-made calendar? Go to Mein Taschenkalender!


An unequal fight

Unequal fight

I couldn’t really call this post “What I like…besides books” because playing with Playmobil is not really one of my hobbies, however, I do spend quite a bit of  time doing it.

As you can see a fierce battle is about to start. Needless to say the strong and well-equipped army of knights and soldiers in the temple belongs to my son whereas the motley crew of peasants, civilians without any weapons and poor sods without even a brain belongs to me… Some reading on asymmetric warfare is in order.


What I like…besides books: TV – Rome

As I said before, I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I love watching TV series on DVD. I am very interested in ancient Rome, so when my husband came along with the HBO series “Rome” I was excited. The series is by no means historically correct, but it is great entertainment nevertheless. I wish they would continue it. Just because the republic is dead it doesn’t mean the story is over, does it?

The following is a scene from season 2, a wonderful fight between Marcus Antonius and Octavian, taking place shortly after Caesar’s death.


This is the death of Cicero who gets killed by Pullo, one of the two main fictional characters. I chose this one specifically because Cicero is played by David Bamber you will all know from his wonderful performance as Mr. Collins.


Yeah, a lot of people end up dead, but look at the way they die! Here it is Servilia, Brutus’ mother. Marcus Antonius is right, what an exit!


What I like…besides books: Insensatez

I am a big fan of songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. You might know the song “Garota da Ipanema” (The girl from Ipanema – this is a great performance by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Jobim from 1967) which is probably their most famous one.

“Insensatez” is one of my favourite songs. This here is an absolutely stunning video and performance of Fernanda Takai, a Brasilian singer.

If you would like to see Antonio Jobim perform the song himself, you can do so here (there are tons of great videos of that song).


What I like…besides books: Digital scrapbooking

A couple of day ago I talked about a digital scrapbooking kit “Read and Relax” for the scrapbookers among us. My first Weekly Geeks post ever was about it as well. Even so my passion for it has somewhat decreased I still like to create digital art and collages, especially with poetry or quotes.

One book related page I created was for a contest that took place in 2008, The Amazing Digiscrapping Race. The requirement simply was to create an altered art page and this is what I came up with.



If you would like to have a look as to how to get from a blank white page to the end product, you can do so here. And if you would like to see more of my crafty side you can go to my (badly neglected) blog Rikki’s Teleidoscope. I really should resurrect that one again. It’s not that I’m not creating anything, I’m just not posting it.


Credits: Background book pages from an old German atlas, Vintage couple on ship:, Papers for ships, waves: Laura Ping – Slightly worn, Polka Dot Potato, Anchor: Saxon Holt, Corin’s library card, Edge overlay: Rikkiscraps’ 2 page inked edges, Stamp: Jani Crowley – Havana, Clock stamp: Rikkiscraps’ Trainspotting, Scale 1-0: Rikkiscraps’ Ocean Drive, Compass stamp: Yin designs, Fonts: Chancery Cursive, X-Files


What I like…besides books: TV – Lewis

I am not much of a TV person. Actually I never watch TV. If I watch something it’s always a movie or a TV series on DVD. I never remember what is on at what time, so having it on DVD is better for me.

I like watching English detective series and one of my favourites used to be Morse. Amazingly enough its spin-off Lewis is even better. The reason: the new sidekick. Morse’s sidekick was Lewis, which was nice, but Lewis’ sidekick is Hathaway. And Hathaway is gorgeous. Ah, his voice!

And then the beautiful Oxford location! And it’s not some action filled crap, but quiet and civilized (well, most of the time). Perfect! If you want to spend a cozy evening at home with an mystery, go and watch Lewis – and Hathaway!

This is a nice video with scenes with Lewis and Hathaway to “Ruby” by the Kaiser Chiefs.


And here is a trailer for an episode of season 2 with a Germany related plot. As an aside, a question: Why do they never cast Germans for playing Germans? As soon as the supposed Germans start to speak German it makes me cringe.


What I like…besides books: music videos – Stand inside your love

In order to bring a bit more diversity to my blog I decided to add a What I like…besides books feature. I’ll simply post an image or video of something I like and chat about it if I feel like it.

The idea occurred to me today in the car when I listened to the Smashing Pumpkins and thought about their absolutely awesome video clip to “Stand inside your love”. It’s a great song, but the video is something else. What can I say, I just love men in skirts.