Month: October 2011

The reading comes of age

Yep, I’ve hit 21.

I think it is a testament to my truly romantic nature that I’ve come away from reading my latest novel, Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, with a new romantic hero to add to my collection. And I laugh at myself when I acknowledge how much of a pushover I am when it comes to falling for a character in a book or film. A hint no, a whiff of a hero and I’m in hook line and sinker.

This hero was sort of an anti hero but I’m fairly sure I was supposed to like him. And I did. I liked that he was a has been rock star, failed parent and a neurotic. And the woman was good too.

This novel was a recommendation from Gav and I’m glad I added it to the list.

That recount, ahem.. needs recounting

Well would you believe it. I missed another book in the old recount.

And how did I forget this one?

This book had a huge affect on me so I’m cross with myself for fogetting it so fast. But yesterday I had a sudden flashback of it and wondered how I’d forgotten it. Then when I searched back in the blog archives I saw that I didn’t get a photo of the cover as I’d leant my copy of the book to my sister so that’s how I missed it. No photo! 

She loved the book too by the way and also borrowed my meditation for dummies book after finishing the book.

So it’s twenty books. Twenty. That sounds so much better and almost makes me thing I might get to the magical figure of 26.

Nineteen and a recount

I had to have a recount. Somewhere along the way I have miscounted the books I have read so far this year. So I thought I’d list them all so my pea sized brain doesn’t mix it up again.

Dead in the Family – Charlaine Harris

The Understudy – David Nichols

Down to earth – Melanie Rose

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

The Vanished Man – Jeffery Deaver

City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare

City of Glass – Cassandra Clare

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare

Tragedy at Law – Cyril Hare

Neuromancer – William Gibson

Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris

The Twelfth Card – Jeffery Deaver

P.S I love You – Cecilia Ahern

Up at the Villa – Somerset Maugham

Thirteen Problems – Agatha Christie

The Radleys – Matt Haigh

A Summer of Love – Katie Fford

The Cold Moon – Jeffery Deaver

Phew. Glad I’ve got that straightened out.

So it’s Nineteen down seven to go.

I know there are several repeated authors like Deaver but, what can I say, I have some affection for the characters in the Lincoln Rhyme novels. So I pick another up.

And as I said, last time I posted a book update, I like what I like and I gravitate back to those books time after time. I’m just glad I force myself to try different things occasionally so I don’t feel so guilty going back to romance.

Project Flowers

In a madcap dreamy moment I put it to Gav that instead of working in the craft shop I could bring in a few pennies by growing and selling flowers. I thought the appeal of organic, home grown, no airmile, locally produced flowers to the folk of Leeds would be a winner. (I still think this actually but…)

I wouldn’t say he laughed out loud. No okay I would say that. I’m not sure if his humour was at the thought of me actually getting off my butt and growing bucket loads of flowers or me trying to sell them but whatever vision he had it was apprently very amusing.

I mean it’s not like I’m a virgin flower grower. Over the last ten years I’ve sown many a seed and arranged lots of vases of flowers for the house.

So instead of getting grumpy with him I thought up a two phase attack for my flower selling plan.

If I can grow enough flowers to have them in abundance in our own home and a few bunches to give away to family too then I have the potential for phase two – taking it public.

Oh, I know there are so many pitfalls and problems with my phase two plan but let’s get phase one done so I can prove the giggling Gav I have commitment in me!

So phase one. Plan which flowers I will grow. See that’s easy.

I’ll be back with my plan.


When I was little I remember the harvest festival at school. I remember that we had to take something from home to put on the display table in the hall and that school parcelled the goods up and sent them somewhere worthy. Actually, I don’t quite remember the worthy part but I’m assuming all those tins of pears went to where they were needed.

Nearly 40 years later times have changed. I don’t know if schools still have harvest festivals I guess they would but I wonder if the produce mothers pack their kids off with is quite the same.

When I began writing this post all I had in my mind was the amount of apples we have harvested this year from the garden but as I typed I thought about what the word harvest meant to me now and as a child. My parents certainly did not grow veg, although my Gran had a greenhouse and grew tomatoes. The popularity of vegetable growing has increased in the last twenty years and our view of produce has changed along with this.

Well my view has changed. When I was growing up supermarkets as they are now didn’t exist. There were probably two big supermarkets in Leeds and we used to go, with our own bags, maybe once a month. Now you pop to the supermarket every two minutes. I’ve been just a big a culprit at this the next person but I hate it and am trying to not do it. Since growing our own veg and ordering from Riverford I have improved and a few months ago I decided I’d do one big shop a month and try and make it last. The jury is still out on whether that really works but I’ll keep trying.

For now I’ll content myself that apples are filling every corner, potatoes and onions stored and even few tomato sauces in the freezer. That has to be a good thing right?

Three Six Five

The number of days since I collected Buddy from the Dogs Trust.

A year.

It really doesn’t seem that long. And I can’t believe how hard it was in the beginning all the traumas and problems we had to start with. But now they are mostly ironed out and we have accepted that he’s a naughty, cheeky, cute, wild, friendly, crazy, adorable little fella.

Happy Anniversary Buds. x

Old photos

As a scrapbooker I like photographs. The love of photography came first. In fact I can’t remember not taking pictures.

If you extend the definition of scrapbooker to memory keeper and story teller, which sounds pretentious but I guess it’s true, then as a memory keeper and story teller I adore old photographs.

A couple of months ago I must have mentioned to my Mum that I wondered if there were any more photos around, at either my Uncles of my Aunt’s houses, of my Dad’s side of the family’s.  She must have asked my Aunt because when she visited my Mum the other day she brought two boxes of photos.

I had seen a few of the pictures before but lots of them were new to me and it was like finding treasure. And it’s not just the people in the pictures it’s the whole picture I love.

I have no idea where this was taken. I do know the subject, my Great Auntie Dot but I didn’t think she could drive. Maybe she was just posing for the picture and look at those great shoes.

Or this one. My Dad and Auntie Dot again. You can just make out Blackpool Tower in the background so they were strolling on the prom. I love the look on that mans face as he passes by them and their shoes. Well their entire outfits are just wonderful. And seeing my dearest Dad happy and young and full of fun. A glimpse at the past.


I have tons more to scan and I’ll post more and wax lyrical about the airline tickets I found from the 1940’s. But for now let’s celebrate the gifts of capturing a moment in time.

Frozen forever.

Winter pots

I mentioned the other week that Gav had bought lots of bulbs and plants to fill up winter pots for the patio. Well, he got round to planting up the pots the other week and they look great.

I’m always full of enthusiasm for planting bulbs but somehow never get round to it. It’s child in the sweetshop territory if I stumble upon any bulbs in the garden centre, I just must buy some but I usually have to hide the dried up remains of the never planted bulbs from Gav in the spring. I blame the weather. It turns all wintry and forces you to stay indoors.

But this year is going to be different.

So far I’ve planted two packets of tulips – go me – and that leaves three more to get in the ground or in pots and I will plant them. I will, I will……



It was like coming home.

Back in my comfort zone with a lovely, romantic, gentle, easy to read novel. These books do exactly what it says on the tin and I adore them for that.

So with that read I still have 9 to get through. I can’t believe that I’m going to fail in my goal this year. After reading 23 last year I didn’t think adding 3 more would be too hard but for some reason I am lagging behind.

I blame Neuromancer. Well, I blame Gav for taking so long to get through that book and as we were reading it together it took me 6 weeks too.

Yes. I blame Gav, just like always.

Canals and Locks

So as promised here are a few pics from our walk along the Trent and Mersey Canal.

I loved this little bridge which leads you over the canal. I have never seen such a narrow tunnel for the narrow boats to get through. Apparently all canals were originally this size but some were widened so that the locks would get two boats through at a time. This canal is one of the few where the locks were never widened. (Thanks wikipedia Gav!)

You can see how narrow the lock is. Cute.

I was so busy getting this shot that I dropped my sunglasses. I only discovered they were missing when we spotted them on the ground on the return journey.

Pretty houses.

One day we will chug our way along a canal. One day.