Friday, 31 December 2010

Understanding Our Yesterdays

I love Christmas. I am glad I do as it must be such a nightmare time of year for people that don’t. All the people everywhere getting in your way – everything going up in price, things shutting down for the holidays………to me it’s a time to get away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life and spend long lazy days with my family.

D’s birthday is on Christmas Eve, so we all went out for a meal to his favourite restaurant in my parents next of the woods and a visit to two of my favourite people on this earth – they are related loosely but I pretend they are my grandparents. Christmas day was spent with lots of food and gifts and a lovely walk through the countryside. Boxing Day my one brother left to have his second Christmas with his girlfriend and my other brother came to see us with his girlfriend and his two children. That makes Christmas for me – seeing all the people I really love and having two young nephews puts all the excitement back into Christmas.

It’s easy to loose all this as the year ticks on and the daily issues over shadow all the wonderful things we have in life.

We sometimes reflect upon this when it’s a birthday or an anniversary or sorts. We don’t really bother for much of the year – we just moan and do little to put things right.

I don’t make New Years resolutions as I think life is for living as best you can all year round and we don’t need to impose any more restrictions on ourselves. Live your life well and then you won’t need any certain day to change things, or to tell someone you love them – they are just hallmark holidays and not the really important things in life.

I do say goodbye to 2010 with a mix of emotions and I will certainly be opening my arms to greet 2011. I hope that it’s a great year for all of us.

Happy New Year!

"I figure it's like in the Bible, the Adam and Eve deal?" the Captain said. "Adams first night on earth? When he lays down to sleep? He thinks it's all over, right? He doesn't know what sleep is.  His eyes are closing and he thinks he's leaving this world, right? Only he isn't. He wakes up the next morning and he has a fresh new world to work with, but he has something else, too. He has his yesterday." The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

Sunday, 19 December 2010


All I seem to do these days is write on here about books I've read lately - I think it's to do with me trying to work out which direction to take my writing in - so why break a new habit ay!

This book is aimed at mid teens - but quite often the young adult books are not that different to adult fiction - sometimes there is even a bit more work in them - you know those wondering attention spans have to be reigned in. 

Thing is - due to it being  young adult fiction it can mean that many miss an opportunity to read a good book.

At a charity store near me they sell many books for 25pence and they are not broken up into any genre or age group.

I found a book called The Next Big Thing by Judy Waite and I didn't know what market it was aimed at.

I liked the sound of it.  A young boy called Elliot is discovered singing and playing guitar outside one day.  The record company decides he is going to become the next big thing.  It's naturally not quite how he expected it to be.  They record company wants to make this boy a product and think and practically breathe for him.  The record company exec put in charge of Elliot probably failed in his own career so is hell bent on controlling Elliot....even stopping him from seeing the new girl in his life, or at least trying to.

It's a simple but pleasurably read and there are some good points made about thinking for yourself.  You do start to care about the characters and the twist at the end gave me chills!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas....

I woke up this morning to this view.........

I love when snow has just fallen and it's all so pure and clean and fresh.

Slowly I was turning into a human snowman......or maybe I should say I was turning into a snow queen - that's more me now isn't it.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Now and Then

Now and Then by Jacqueline Sheehan

The front of this books depicts a dog with a young ladies arms around it. It looks like it is going to be a light hearted read, possibly a romance.

There is romance, and there is a young lady and there is a dog but there is so much more between this pages, more than I could have ever guessed.

A young lady, Anna, is on her way back from a long flight abroad when she finds out her brother has been rushed to hospital in a coma. Whilst at the hospital she then finds out her nephew has been taken into custody. She has to travel off to pick up the troubled nephew.

Anna takes her nephew back to live with her, but that first night something happens and they are both transported back to 1844 but to two very different lives there, both filled with love and loss and struggles but in very different ways.

Jacqueline again uses her spirituality and open mindedness to create a riveting story that might be a little far fetched but how do we really know!

It’s a delightful read, the language easy making it easy to read and you will find yourself quickly absorbed into the plot.

So Much To Tell You

So Much To Tell You by John Marsden

What a wonderful book. I almost forgot that it was written by a man. It’s about a young girl that is at an all girls boarding school.

She isn’t feeling like she fits in and is keeping herself to herself, the big difference to just a shy child is this girl refuses to speak, or has lost the ability to speak after a tragic accident has disfigured her face.

The description in the book is beautiful. It’s a young person’s read but I would argue that any age group would find something in this book that would appeal to them.

John Marsden has managed to get into the head of a young girl growing up so well. The way she expresses herself without the use of words is very intriguing, and how, even though she is traumatised and unable to speak she is still effecting people and managing to forge some friendships.

This world is very dominated by looks and appearance so it’s nice to see that this eventually gets whipped away and people give her a chance. It’s not until the very end of the book that you fully understand what is going on.

A book for all to read, man, woman or child.

By The Time You Read This

Lola Jaye – By The Time You Read This

This is a very easy book to read. I don’t like the term ‘throw away’ book that I have heard be used for such reads. It seems dismissive and almost negative. But just like I have a varied music taste to meet different moods and emotions, I feel the same about the literature that I read. Sometimes I want really deep and meaningful and sometimes I want fluffy fun.

This book leans more into the fluffy fun side of things but it’s written from the point of view of a child who is having to grow up without her father. A father that knew he was dying and had the time to write a manual for her to read on her birthday each year. This helped her keep her father alive and to almost feel like he was still there to offer her advice. It’s interesting to be written from a Father rather than the more obvious mother angle. All the things that the main character Lois goes through is very typical to real life. Although her fathers ability to guess this from the grave is rather far fetched, I’d argue that is the beauty of fiction though, it is all about imagination so a little artistic license is ok in my eyes.
The advice is sound, to a point where you will find your self smiling and nodding in agreement with some of it, and almost wishing you had your own manual at other times.

This book won’t change your world but it’s a very pleasant way to while away some time and you will find the odd gem in here that really lifts your spirits.

Friday, 10 December 2010

It's snow cold!

D's photos from the train back from Newcastle - so lovely!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Coughton Court

Such a lovely building and then once inside I saw that their family crest/coat of arms contained an elephant - big thumbs up from me then.

I had to laugh - this poor boys forehead and the hair cut - I think I was meant to be marvelling at the amazing paintings - and they were - but this did make me giggle.
The lady got her own back later by  having a go at me for using my camera flash - then I accidentally stuck two fingers up by thinking I had turned my flash off and taking another picture whilst I was stood next to her with the flash blasting out - whoops!

Whilst standing underneath this - I heard a creak - it scared me just a little.

This lovely house has been with the Throckmorton family since 1409 and holds a place in the history books now just because of its beauty but also because Guy Fawkes is rumoured to have been here when the gunpowder plot happened.

If you are interested please do read the information in the link below.

Coughton Court the powder treason

I love this song and what it stands for lots and lots!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Detective work

Now, I love sparkly things, rainbow colours and all that but this picture? I actually have no clue what it is - other than maybe Unicorn sick?  What is it? Food? Icing? Sugar things? I'm confused.  It's easily done, I know. 

More random pictures of pretty can be found on my inspiration picture blog

Monday, 22 November 2010

Who knew that caves were so close to London!

So, making full use of having a vehicle at our disposal this weekend we went to Chislehurst Caves in Kent.  They are man made, so we knew they were never going to be quite as spectacular as natural caves, but even so it's lovely to have been.
The caves were used during the war to house about 15,000 people.  There was even a hospital set up down there.

People would work the mine's for flint.  And the points they would make out of the flints would be called Naps.  And they would have a little sack to put them in so they didn't lose them.  These poor people were working by candle light.  So now you know where the term Napsack comes from.

This isn't an old carving, a young lady did this in the caves as a thank you to the workers there whilst she was studying.  It represents good and evil.

This is a little pond/pool in the caves, it used to be a lot deeper but during the war when they had children staying there they blocked most of it off so that there wouldn't be any little accidents.  When they dredged it they found the skeleton of a lady, thought to be one of the workers wives.  They will never know if she jumped or if she was pushed.

But this adds to the mystery and the ghost stories about the caves.  Once upon a time a competition was open to anyone to spend 12 hours down there sat by the pool with just some candles and flask of tea for company.  Hardly anyone managed to stay down there. 

And this is the resident ghoul.  There was even a prison and a mini court set up in the caves.

We then stopped off at Epping Forest.