I’m sure this is the kind of post that you’d write at the end of the year but it’s taken me this long to get my head around blogging again given how unproductive December was!
Favourite Songs (in no particular order):
I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons
I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance by The Black Kids
We Are Young by Fun
Shake It Out by Glee Cast
That’s How You Know (from Disney’s Enchanted)
The Best of Both Worlds (from Hannah Montana)
Just The Way You Are by Glee
I Won’t Say (I’m In Love) (from Disney’s Hercules)
The Cave by Mumford and Sons
Twenty Seven Million by Matt Redman & LZ7
Escape by Chantilly
Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons
Theses Words by Natasha Bedingfield
Heaven by Emeli Sande
Set Fire to The Third Bar by Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright
Favourite Concerts / Live Events:
Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation (Cambridge)
Hairy Bikers (Cambridge)
Phantom of The Opera (Milton Keynes Theatre)
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Love, Wedding, Marriage
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Like last year I am attempting to read 30 books before 2013 finishes like I attempted in 2012. Last year I got as far as 27 books in comparison Claire at Pipe Dreams and Professions read over 200 (how she managed that I have no idea!)
I’m currently on Book Four – technically it’s kinda book two as two of the books were flash fiction so I finished them in one night. Anyway I’m currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. (You can read her website here)
Hence some of crazy posts I’ve been sending to Facebook and Twitter.
I think part of The Happiness Project is to write your own targets and do what suits your life style. Well I got started with some prompts from the book – I’ve been stepping around piles of clothes for weeks. When I was ill before Christmas they were stacked up to make sure that the exit of the bedroom was clear but then it all merged again.
I got drastic. I mean I got REALLY drastic.
After work, I popped to the supermarket to grab some bin bags (we didn’t have any at home – they must have been eaten or something lol), I also grabbed some resealable sandwich bags for job number 2.
When I got home it didn’t quite go to plan to start with but I got it sorted. Job Number One – Clear out my wardrobe.
I spent most of the evening sorting out the clothes that I haven’t worn in ages or that are too small.
I had some how ended up with six pairs of jeans, some aren’t wearable as they have worn out in places so I couldn’t put them in a charity bag but at the same time I didn’t want to throw them out as it would be a waste of the useable fabric. I posted on Facebook to see if anyone could suggest a use for them – most of the suggestions involved making the jeans into something else which I would normally do but I think three of the pairs of jeans have been in my cupboard for that purpose and I’ve never got round to doing anything with them. So rather than keep them I needed something else to do with them.
In my case, it turns out a friend of a friend makes amazing goodies from old pieces of fabric. Caroline is a friend of a friend and she creates goodies that she sells to raise money for schools in Utange which is near Mombasa in Kenya. You can find out further information here on Caroline’s Blog.
Job Number 2 was back down in the kitchen – technically I did it first before going upstairs and starting on the wardrobe but I was more excited about the wardrobe that I had to tell you. We have a drawer in our kitchen that we call “The Man Drawer” it’s where the odd birthday candles, the old electricity meter card and the allen key set are. But it all gets in a muddle so I used the resealable sandwich bags to group everything together – I imagine that the system will probably not work in the long run but it’s a way to start.
Each year people make resolutions. They decide to quit smoking, to stop biting their nails, to drink less alcohol (usually while under the influence of a NYE hangover) or they decide to loose those stubborn ten pounds that won’t go away.
But what about me? Well I don’t make resolutions. I hated that first post-Christmas English lesson when the teacher decides that it’s a great idea to get people to write resolutions, mainly because I broke them within the first week. Give up chocolate – well I think my upper school diet consisted of chocolate and cheese toastie pizza things from the canteen or the interesting attempt at a chicken burger. (Probably explains the start of my current waistline lol).
I imagine that if I had someone to physically drag me to the gym and refuse to let me out until I’d achieved that days goal then I’d be skinnier – no guarantee I’d be happier but we can put the idea out there – could I be skinnier and happier? Yes more than likely I could but id have to quit eating junk, chocolate and cake.
Last January I kind of gave in and set a goal rather than a resolution. I love reading but needed a goal or a deadline to achieve something other wise I end up with 20 books on the go and none completely read. I challenge myself to read a classic and get bored and go back to other “newer” writers.
Well it’s the 29th December. I’m on book 27 of 30 and I’m writing this blog post rather than getting on reading. I know I know. I won’t achieve a goal by procrastinating doing something else but I seem to have become the worst person at achieving goals and the best at procrastination. Why focus on a task 100% when I can multitask and have no focus.
So yeah I am kicking myself in the butt I scheduling this for a Saturday which is uncharacteristic of me in the hope that you my lovely reader will come out of the woodwork and tell me that I can do it. I just have to focus and maybe you can tell me about the goal that I can kick you in the butt about. We can be butt kicking buddies together. So lets do it. Bring on book 27 – it’s The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien by the way. Let me know if you’ve read it too.
Sometimes an idea starts one way and transforms into something else and this is that idea. I asked Sally-Jayne via Twitter “Which five books would you take with you to a desert island”, I don’t listen to BBC Radio 4 but there is a whole show based on the premise which records would you take with you to a desert island (Can I just take my iPod and a generator?) so I thought about books – I love reading, I know quite a lot of people who also like reading so let’s do this thing.
Which five books would I take to a desert island?
Tough one! I’m not really one for reading books again – there are so many books in the world that I haven’t read yet, that I never want to waste time reading books for a second time. So….I’d need to take five books I’ve never read that I know I would read. With only five there is no room for anything that might turn out to be a bit of a turkey.
The first one I would take is Révélation, which is the 4th book in the Twilight series (in French). It took me a long way to plough my way through the first three because I kept putting them on one side to read something faster paced. If I took it to a desert island I would have no excuse not to get on with it!
I think my second book would be Stephen King’s 11.22.63. I’m a big fan of Stephen King, and although some of his books have turned out to be disappointing, he has written some great ones and I have been told that this is one of his best. It’s on my TBR pile and it looks quite a chunky one so it should last me a while.
I’m going to cheat with my 3rd one and claim all of The Vampire Diaries as one book. Well, my biggest fear is having nothing to read, and you don’t want me having a panic attack now do you? I have Las Crónicas Vampiricas (in Spanish) on my shelf and I’m guessing they will be as slow-paced as Twilight so I’d need to be away from other reading material to stop myself putting them off.
After that I’d need something fast-paced again, so I’d pick up a Harlan Coben maybe. I have Miracle Cure on my TBR pile so that would do just fine.
For my last book I’d want something I could be confident would last me until I got rescued, so I think I would have to go with the OED.
To see what else I like to read, and for recommendations for books for all the family why not pay a visit to my blog?
On Saturday I couldn’t go to Bedford Park Run as Chris had the car and I hadn’t woken up in time to walk there (or catch the bus via town). I caught up with blog reading and found this on Kellypuff’s blog. She posted this list (found here).
I didn’t discover The Gilmore Girls until recently when repeats of episodes appeared in the schedules on the TV Guide – so I’ve only seen a couple of episodes but really lilke it. Someone has compiled a list of all book/movie references Rory makes and issued a reading challenge.
So here we go – the bolded ones I’ve already read. Where applicable the ones in italic are in progress. (I got to the bottom of the list and was surprised at how few I’d actually read!)
1984 by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin Babe by Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Don Quijote by Cervantes
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (TBR) – read
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – started and not finished
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (TBR)
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry (TBR)
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (Lpr)
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Love Story by Erich Segal Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Old School by Tobias Wolff
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Fever by Edith Wharton Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (started Not Finished)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Started Not Finished)
We Can’t Go Home Again by Max Dubinsky (Started Not Finished)
I keep starting books this month but haven’t finished any – that’s really bad!
Men In Black 3
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax
Bath (briefly on the way to Stonehenge)
Avebury (long enough to see the stones similar to Stonehenge)
Month in Bullets
When to the Open Mic as normal at The White Horse at the beginning of the month had planned on playing Price Tag and Next To Me if there was time. In the end I played bass while my friend Bex sang Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and then got asked to play acoustic while one of the guys sang. I have no idea where I pulled it from but only made like one mistake and it was because I wasn’t sure where the chord change came. Eep!
Bex and I were asked at the last minute to play a short set at the Oxfam store in Bedford High Street as part of the River Festival. The Oxfam store were advertising the Oxjam Festival that is on later this year. We started early and so when our friends showed we were almost finished. In the end, we ended up playing Call Me Maybe (as it’s kind of become our party piece!) and Price Tag by Jessie J (it was just as easy as it looked!)
We had our first proper “family” holiday. We stayed in Bristol and explored the local area, we went to Bridgend in Wales and I met Freya and ate fudge. (The Scottish Tablet was my favourite. Can’t find a link to it but this is to the main online store). We also went to Stonehenge, Bristol Zoo, Cardiff Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park and Clifton Suspension Bridge – Although not in that order!
My friend Hels asked me to organise games for her baby shower – I’m super excited but have also realised how few games there are for baby showers that don’t involve dummies (special request from the Mum to Be!)
I’ve spent a bunch of time trying to redesign my blog. I’m not sure it’s completely right and I’ll probably end up tweaking it some more but this is what it looks like for now – what do you think?
Also I’ve either gone down with a cold or I’ve succumb to hay fever – preferably the first!!
Blogging seems to be a little past me at the moment but I have been snapping away like mad with my phone – mainly via Instagram. So I thought I’d share some and explain a bit more of what happens in the pictures.
My friends tied the knot this weekend. At the end of April it’ll be a year since I helped Dave (the groom) move up to live closer to his fiancée.
I don’t really do dresses – I go through stages where I think about being more girlie and dressing up more and then through my own laziness most of the time (or I can’t find a dress that fits right) I stick with trousers and get on with the day. I think if I worked in a job where I was meeting with people on a day to day basis (rather than the people I work with I’d probably make more of an effort). While we were filing time between the ceremony and the evening reception do, we grabbed some food and then went for a walk around a local park. I managed to snap this photo while walking along a wall.
On the way back to the motorway we took the pretty way – I snapped away taking a bunch of photos to occupy myself. Thankfully the sun came out and light up the hills amazingly. There are a bunch more pictures of our journey home on my Flickr Photostream.
Look what arrived on Monday – as part of the Kickstarter project that kicked off Chantilly’s project to record her EP I got an envelope of goodies including a CD copy of the EP, a CD copy of her older EP and a postcard – it was very exciting especially given that I got home in a bit of a mood and the minute I saw the post on my doorstep I was so excited!
A while back my friend Adam told me about The Fault in Our Stars being released by John Green and if it was pre-ordered then it would be signed. Well I pre-ordered. The day the books were due to arrive there were rumbles (or shoutings) around the internet that copies were being delivered but they weren’t signed. The following day my copy arrived and thankfully it was signed. Well I finally read it and it’s sad and happy and memorable. I opened the first few pages and read the dedication – it was to Esther Earl. Esther was a fab girlie who was taken way before her time. She had cancer and she passed away from it last summer. I hadn’t ever met her in person but I’d seen her YouTube videos and somehow that made her more real to me (I mean like not just random YouTuber who I’d never meet in person etc etc – I make sense to me!). Some of the plot is set in Amsterdam and me and Chris went to Amsterdam for our honeymoon – almost five years ago!
I like writing with a fountain pen. I have a posh nice Parker pen at home but I tend to use these disposable ones on the go so that if they get lost or misplaced it’s not too expensive to replace them (we’re talking £2-3 rather than £10-20). I have been using this blue one at work for about three weeks and it died on me yesterday.
HUGStronger is about helping college girlies find their place – amongst other things. Kaleigh and her team hosted a similar project to Kickstarter via a website called Indiegogo. I was able to donate to this and received a bumper sticker – well I didn’t want to stick it to the bumper of my car but I decided to stick it to the front of my MacBook.
I think this makes it Book 7 of 2012 – I have caught up need to keep reading to stay on track to read 25 books this year (that’s about 1 a fortnight). I’m now reading Divergent by Veronica Roth after my friend Cat suggested it to me. So far it’s good – I think I’m about a quarter through it. (Actually according to GoodReads it’s 13%).
I grabbed this CD from my post pile this morning and stuck it on in the car this morning – I needed some sunshine giving how gloomy and rubbish it was outside. My favourite track is “Just The Way You Are” although “Escape” is replaying in my head as I write this post. (You can find Chantilly’s blog here).
And to finish, it’s my birthday in 8 days – and yes I am probably going to tweet about it every day between now and then lol. I found out earlier today that I am birthday buddies with Ellefie (which I did already know) and ClareBot (which I didn’t know!). I’m a year older than ClareBot and a year younger than Ellefie.
My blog turned 5! The celebrations didn’t go quite to plan but I still had two fab guest posts from Rickie and Mrs GLW – it’s a starting point anyway! Maybe I have a month long blog birthday or something as the other posts appear.
My first birthday present arrived – and I did a little dance. I’ve been watching Hairy Bikers latest series and after every episode I’m like “I want to make that! NOW!” I’d added the cookery book (that accompanies the series) and it arrived on Friday 30th. I finished work early and there it was waiting for me in the porch.
Me, Mum and her BFF are going to see the Hairy Bikers on tour when they are in Cambridge in November – I’m so excited and it’s not even my birthday yet lol.
We’ve been living and breathing The Fountain in our house. We were working towards the opening which happens today. I blogged about the opening at a very late/early hour this morning when I should have been sleeping (it was like Christmas – it was too exciting to sleep!)
I’ve got a new notebook that I am hoping will keep me more organised and will keep my blog posts up to date and things like that. Let’s see how it goes.
Lent is almost over and Easter is coming – I keep meaning to catch up with 40Acts as well.
In fifteen-year-old author Rachel Coker’s young adult debut, young Allie Everly’s life is changed forever by the illness and death of her beloved mother and subsequent adoption by an older woman in Maine. Bitter and feeling unloved, Allie rejects her new mother and her new mother’s faith and throws herself into her poetry, until Sam Carroll, her best friend from the past, arrives. With Sam comes a host of confusing emotions, and Allie finds she must overcome her past in order to find forgiveness.
This is a young adult book that is aimed at 15-18 year olds – I’m 25 and loved it!
It was so sad when Allie’s Mum dies especially as it leaves Allie so alone in the world. The book is set around World War 2. It’s referred to more in the second “half” than in the first and even then the war isn’t really happening in a way – it’s kind of over there in the distance rather than here and happening to us. I think the time it becomes a bit more real is when Allie and her friend’s discuss the Normandy landings in 1945 and whether the husband/boyfriends of the girls will return safely.
The story kicks off in Tennessee where Allie lives with her mother. Her mum has what’s referred to as “the sickness” – I don’t think it’s ever actually given a name but the way her memory lapses and she gets confused and agitated made me think of Alzheimers.
Some of the language was a bit modern for the time it was set but ultimately it didn’t matter the story was awesome all the same.
Although Allie is quite mean to Sam for a chunk of the story. You can tell that his love never stops for her and he wants to help her through losing her Mum even if Allie thinks shutting the world out is a better option. I love the way that Beatrice and Irene adopt her like she’s always been part of the family, even when Allie doesn’t want their love and care it’s still there working it’s way into her live.
I found this – it’s the book trailer for Rachel’s book – it’s so exciting! (Almost makes me want there to be a film version of it?!)
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter
4 out of 5
Amish widow Emma Yoder’s first quilt class brings the most unlikely people together. There’s Star, a young woman yearning for stability; Pam and Stuart Johnston, a struggling couple at odds in their marriage; Paul Ramirez, a widower hoping to find solace in finishing a quilt; Jan Sweet, a rough and tough biker doing some creative community service; and Ruby Lee Williams, a preacher’s wife looking for relaxation when parish problems mount. But as these beginning quilters learn to transform scraps of material into beauty, their fragmented lives begin to take new shape with the helping hands of each other and the healing hand of God.
I really liked this story – at first it was a little hard to get into but around half way through it picked up and I couldn’t put it down. The point of view of the story flicks between the seven main characters (I think it comes from an eighth person at one point but I’m not entirely sure). I found this was good because it mean that you go two or more peoples view of one conversation – at one point it’s a husband and wife’s (Pam and Stuart) opinion on an argument that they have.
Emma is such a lovely character and reminds me so much of my Grandma – this probably helps me relate to Star as well as Star loses her Grandma before the story starts and I lost my Grandma back in 2008 and also I was a bit of a rock chick when I was at school and university (Although I’ve mellowed out lots now!) Emma has the idea of the quilt class and when the people come together she begins to question if that’s what she’s supposed to be doing. When that fear comes to her she looks for the plan God has for her and the bigger picture – she gets over her fear to serve God. This can be one of the hardest things when we hand over our lives to God and give him the reins! (Don’t we just know it at the moment!) I wanted to be part of Emma’s quilting class – I can imagine learning to make quilts by being taught by the Amish people must be seriously amazing.
I loved the way in which all the ends were tied up at the end of the story – I’d tell you all about them but that would ruin the story! (Spoilers sweetie!)
You can find the paperback edition on Amazon UK here or the Kindle version here.
Hi! I’m Hannah. I'm a twenty something blogger from Bedford. I'm married to Chris, foster Mum to Our Sidekick and Momma to be to Blueberry. When I'm not blogging, I love knitting and crocheting. I talk lots about life and the adventures that we have as a family.