Monday, 28 July 2008

Six quirky things!

Alice from Hello, my name is Alice has tagged me!! I have also been tagged with the same meme by Edie from Rich Gifts and as they have both tagged me for different blogs, I am going to do the meme twice, once on this blog and once on my Journey through Faith blog, so you should consider yourself very lucky to get twelve quirky/random facts about me (if I can even think up twelve!!)

Here are the rules as posted on Alice's blog...

1)Link to the person who tagged me
2)Mention the rules
3)Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself
4)Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them
5)Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged

Six things? Here goes....

I don't like vegetables!! I will eat carrots (they taste much better steamed!) and will have any kind of vegetable soup as long as it is very well blended, no lumps please! Occasionally I will taste other vegetables like marrow (at Mum and Dad's last weekend - it was okay) and don't mind parsnips.

I seem to find it impossible to put things away! This is going to make my family roll their eyes, but that suitcase that I took to Australia back in March? It is quite empty, but still in my bedroom as it hasn't got as far as the attic yet!

I am very definitely not a morning person, I have blogged about this before, so many of you will know that I have three alarms for getting up - a timer on my bedside light, a Lumie clock, a vibrating alarm that goes under my pillow...but the best thing to wake me up is a hungry Phoebe cat!!

I rarely wear socks in the summer and find it weird to put them on again in the autumn.

I say I don't like coffee but I do like a latte! Although I suppose that it more like coffee flavoured milk than coffee with a dash of milk.

I have my Nana's engagement ring on my finger and I love the fact that I am wearing a ring that is over fifty years old and it will always be 'Nana's ring' and never mine.

And I think that I will tag the following bloggers:

Mrs Spit Spouts Off
At My Own Pace
Cupcakes and Conundrums
The Hairy Farmer Family
The View From the Hill

All of whom I read regularly and goes to show just how varied my fellow bloggers are!!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Summer Sunshine

Once again it's show and tell time, I just love this weekly thread as it makes me put photographs on my blog, which is far more interesting than just a bunch of text, it makes me go and look at other people's photos and read their stories. Sometimes a bunch of bloggers will hit on the same theme for some really weird coincidental reason and sometimes the stories are sad, fascinating, funny, simple, amazing, and interesting, but above all, they are personal.

Anyway, on with my show and tell! It is an absolutely gorgeous weekend, weather-wise, here in the United Kingdom, the sky is clear, the sun is shining and invites us all to go and sit outside and soak up some much needed vitamin D and simply lie in the deckchair, close our eyes and get all mellow.

That's what I did yesterday and quite likely what I shall do today. However, it does get too hot if I stay outside too long, so for about an hour I abandoned the deckchair for the cool of the house and when I went back outside for another hit of sunshine, my chair was occupied....

Yes, Phoebe cat had decided that the patio flagstones weren't soft enough and had decided to borrow my chair!!

She has one eye open here because I am taking photographs and disturbing her precious comfort!! I didn't push her off because I am a softy, but she didn't stay there long so I could reclaim my spot in the sun!

Saturday, 26 July 2008


..but this time it's not mine! If you pop over to the SITS website - which stands for Secret Is in The Sauce then you will find out that they are giving away a....

wait for it....

drumroll please....

a silver 4G iPod nano!!

Now isn't that a good prize!

I wish I didn't have to tell you all about it cos then there'd be more chance for me to win! But hey - we all deserve a chance to win!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

The Thirteenth Tale

A few days ago I read a post that mentioned the Thirteenth Tale written by Diane Setterfield, and despite searching for the blogger that wrote it, I just can't find it! My point was that she didn't like the book and I did and I just wanted to show her post as an alternative to mine!

Fortunately I had just started the book when I came across her review and I liked what I had read so far and so wasn't put off by the review. It does seem to be that you either love or hate this book and I certainly loved it.

It is certainly not a chick lit book all light and fluffy! It is a rather strange book where the reader doesn't quite know who or what to believe and the story weaves between the present day and the past - quite effectively I thought, but not everybody likes a story that doesn't stick to one timeline.

Basically, an amateur biographer is invited to chronicle the story of a very reclusive author who is renowned for never quite telling the truth about her background. There are weaves and twists and turns and I enjoyed reading this book, although I did wish that the ending was a little bit stronger rather than the nebulous ending that didn't feel right to me, but then again I have a strong preference for knowing EXACTLY what happens at the end of a book.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Curriculum Vitae

I was just updating my CV yesterday so that I could add it to the application form for the course that my boss suggested I do and it suddenly occurred to me that along with my list of hobbies and non-work qualifications and interests I should list my blogging as a hobby.

I did feel a bit strange about that, but it is something that I definitely consider a hobby and so if can put down "reading and walking" along with "am a qualified Brownie Guider" then I should most definitely let them know that I am a keen blogger! Quite what they may make of that information I do not know, but perhaps it will be a conversation starter in a way that "reading and walking" just can't be.

Have any of you guys listed blogging as a hobby on your resume, do you even want do, or do you prefer to keep that part of your life quite separate? Naturally you may have reasons for not putting it in your CV, particularly if you blog about something extremely personal like infertility or something quite frivolous like cupcakes!! I can't actually remember the exact wording of that sentence on my CV but I didn't give the URL of blog as I think that that would be a step too far - I think that it is enough that blogging is noted as a major hobby of mine and if anyone wanted to ask a question about it they could.

Incidentally, if you are interested, the course that I have applied to do is a MSc in Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care. Perhaps not something that I would have paid for myself, but it is being paid for through the regional health authority and I do feel that it would be good to do. It's a three year course and the first year is the Certificate, the second the Diploma, and the third the Masters - the dissertation stage. So, if I was happy with the Certificate after one year then I could stop, but there is a little academic inside of me that is going "a Masters, it's a Masters, yes we'll do this one!" There is also a little imp inside of me that is saying "My brothers haven't got a Masters, I can get one first!", which is all very funny but both little voices are quite the motivators!!

Sunday, 20 July 2008


This week's Show and Tell is a strange one - how many of you get to see fake babies and torsos littering the hall in your place of work!!?

There was an advanced paediatric life saving course running at the hospital last week and when I saw the above bodies lining up in the hallway, I was so glad I had my camera in my handbag - so I went back to my locker, grabbed it and snapped this photograph.

These rather lifelike faces have come a long way from the original Resusi-Annie that definitely looked fake and plastic! Despite the oddity of seeing such things in the hallway, I am glad that someone had the idea of creating fake bodies so that paramedics, nurses and other healthcare staff could practice as it's the old catch-22 isn't it - how can you get experience without practice and of course, this is one sort of experience that you really would rather not obtain via a real life experience so the fake people come in handy here!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Vive Le Weekend!

Especially weekends with the parents where I get tea in bed and a cooked breakfast!! I very rarely have a cooked breakfast these days, but when I go to Mum and Dad's for the weekend Dad nearly always cooks up a breakfast on Saturday and this morning it was very much appreciated - sausage, chipped potatoes and fried bread - it doesn't sound like much, but it was very tasty, especially the marmite on the potatoes!

I know that many people wouldn't call that a proper cooked breakfast because it doesn't include all the other bits and pieces, but I am a fussy eater (as many people will tell you) and that little cooked breakfast was just right. And the best thing was that I didn't cook it myself, food is always best when someone else slaves away in the kitchen. (thanks Dad!)

A weekend at my childhood home is always a relaxing one, I usually sleep better...whether that's because I am surrounded by people (and dog!) that can listen out for me, or whether I am simply back in my childhood home and so I relax more, I simply do not know. Whatever the cause I nearly always unwind very well in this house that Mum and Dad have lived in for thirty years and I know every nook and cranny even if I am no longer quite so certain where the biscuit tin is ever since Dad reorganised the kitchen!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Sweet Tea

I never have sugar in my tea since I went cold turkey about 12 years ago, but this morning I needed a spoonful of sugar to steady my nerves........

I came very close to being involved in an accident on the motorway on the way to work this morning. The car in front of me started to pull out into the middle lane and then changed his mind (probably saw another car in the way!) and swerved hard back into our lane, but in doing so immediately lost control and started spinning across the road until the car ended up crashing against the central divide and facing oncoming traffic.

I don't actually remember exactly what went through my mind as I saw it all happen, but there was a feeling that he'd lost control and I had no idea what was going to happen and all I could do was slow right down, put my hazard lights on to warn drivers behind me, and watch it all unfold in front of me. It was all over in a matter of seconds, I don't even remember the path that the car took, except that it did cross three lanes of traffic and it was such a miracle that the car didn't flip over or hit any other cars. The worse thing is that you know that there is absolutely nothing you can do except watch and pray, it's not like you can catch someone who has just tripped, there is just nothing you can do except hope that it's not too bad.

Fortunately, although it looked bad, it did not appear that anyone was hurt, aside from the driver's credit card which will be needed to realign the steering and straighten the bodywork! I have seen the aftermath of many accidents but have never actually had one happen right before my eyes and so I was rather shocked, in fact much to my surprise I started shaking and crying a little bit once I realised that I was safe.

Anyway, I got to work without further incident where Bridget made me a cup of sweet tea, which was just right for the shock even though I never have sugar in my tea! We contacted the police a little while later and found out that it was definitely just one car involved and the driver had no injuries although I expect that he or she is pretty shocked; and the police now know that I am happy to be a witness if necessary but at present they don't believe that to be necessary.

What a start to the day eh!? (exclamation mark definitely warranted there I think!)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Called to heel

I have been called to heel, not individually, but as one of those people who use exclamation marks for absolutely no reason!! (two escaped there did you notice?)

Chandra wrote a great little post all about the overuse of exclamation marks and if I am guilty of anything, it's using far far too many exclamation marks. I certainly hope that I don't actually sound like a high school cheerleader as Chandra puts it (I was going to put an exclamation mark there!)

And I just can't seem to stop using them, they just spring quite readily off my fingers as I hold down the shift key and hit number 1 - hey presto - ! - an exclamation mark! Whoohoo! As you can see, it is just too easy to let one escape, actually never mind one, I usually let three or four escape all at once.

So....I hereby resolve to corral my exclamation marks and only let them out when truly suitable.

Monday, 14 July 2008

God bless the internet!

There are some days when I just have to thank whomever it was that invented the internet!!

Last night, Mum and I were watching The Royal and then Midsomer Murders and all the way through them both, we were making comments about the programmes and making each other laugh, we took it in turns to dash off and make the tea during the advert breaks and despite all the conversation, neither of us guessed who the murderer was in Midsomer Murders.

And the best thing about it all - we were 150 miles apart!!! I was on my big comfy armchair and Mum was on her low backed sofa (Dad prefers that high backed sofa!) and we both had laptops and Gmail chat!! I love the internet, it really was as though Mum and I were curled up on the same sofa making silly comments to each other; and even if I could use the telephone, it wouldn't have been the same trying to talk over the phone whilst listening to the television so in this case the laptop was definitely better even though I sometimes moan about not being able to hear people over the phone.

It was great fun, particularly now that Mum types a heck of a lot faster than she used to!! ha ha!

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Do you all remember back in May, I announced that me and my little library team had been nominated for and won a Special Achievement Award (team category)? Well, I have finally managed to drag the photographs out of the public relations officer so that I can use them for show and tell!!

I feel compelled to point out that the photographs are not brilliant, but I suppose as she (PR Officer) had to take several photos in the space of about an hour, she didn't feel that she could take the time to arrange everything as she would have wanted, or perhaps I am just being a perfectionist!! Naturally I have covered the faces of the other people in the photos as they don't want to be plastered all over the net!!
What was nice is that we all got to see the nomination that led to us winning, said nomination is now pinned up on my noticeboard in the office and the plaque that I am holding is now on the wall behind the main service counter in the library! I did feel a bit silly about putting that up on the wall, but libraries need to be able to blow their own trumpet some times!!

By the way - if you want to read other show and tells this Sunday - go visit Mel's Show and Tell!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Blogiversary Winner!!

Thank you to everybody who entered my Blogiversary Giveaway featuring CHOCOLATE!!! Thank you even to the person who entered but put her comment on the wrong post - don't worry, I included you too! ;-)

I had thirty-seven of you enter, so you all had far better odds than winning the lottery, and I had such fun reading all of your comments. Some of you summed up my feelings perfectly by saying "Chocolate IS my favourite flavour" or "Who doesn't love chocolate!", others were rather more specific and at a rough glance it would appear that the spicy flavours are a big hit amongst you all.

Anyway, I am quite sure that you are all waiting impatiently for me to announce the winner! Hold your horses, I am getting there! I have to say, though, that I have since discovered that Montezuma's no longer has a shop near me (perhaps they were only open for the Christmas season or something, I don't know), but don't panic! All it means is that I wont be able to actually go and browse the shop, smell all that lovely chocolate and buy it myself tomorrow.

But, never fear, this is the reason that the internet was invented!!! However, it does mean that the winner will have to wait a little while longer while the delicious chocolate gets delivered to me and then I post it on as Montezuma does not send such gorgeous chocolate outside of Europe (that's a clue for you!!), perhaps they are worried that the chocolate will have melted by the time it gets there!!

And so, drum roll please.......the winner is......

Oh, is that too small to read?! Sorry - try this one instead!!

And if that's still not clear enough because you need glasses or have to hold the laptop at arms length, here's another one!

Mrs Spit has just been sent an email telling her of her wonderful luck in winning such fabulous chocolate, may be if you ask politely, she may share it with you!! ;-)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Blogiversary give-away!!

**sticky post until the 10th July - scroll down for more reading!!**

Well, can you believe it!? That time has come around, this week is the first anniversary of my blog! Yes, I wrote/posted my first post on the 10th July 2007, okay - today is clearly not my actual blogiversary day as it is the 3rd July, but I wanted to give you all a week's notice of this auspicious date so that you can all have the chance to win my first solo give-away!

For those of you that took part in One World One Heart - I took part in that too, but that was a collective effort, this is purely a solo give-away that is connected to nothing else but the date of my very first post on my very first blog!

So, what am I giving away? Well, I am seriously addicted to Montezuma's chocolate, a British company that makes extremely good chocolate, in fact, I am so addicted that I don't allow myself to buy any!! Naturally my thoughts turn to Montezuma's when it comes to celebrating and will be buying some for myself and one other lucky person!

All you have to do is have a look at the Montezuma's website and leave me a comment letting me know your favourite flavour and then after the closing date of midnight BST on Thursday 10th July I will select one lucky person to receive an as yet unknown quantity of chocolate from Montezuma's!

By the way - this is open to all bloggers and non-bloggers, just make sure that you leave me some way of getting in touch with you!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Positive Post Tuesday

I found an interesting blog a few weeks ago written by a guy called Brody, he has lots of interesting posts including one called Stats Suck Sunday, but the one that I want to talk about is his Positive Post Tuesday as I think that I could do with highlighting some of the great people in my life and saying a few nice things about them! (particularly as I don't always appreciate what I have around me!)

Because she made me laugh today with her suggestion of having us (Ann, Trish and myself) attend a pole dancing course, I am going to tell you all about Ann and how she makes me feel at work!

There are many times when Ann manages to confuse me with the mere mention of having to work out her leave allocation (don't ask!). But that's not all she manages to do...she supports me in the decisions I make, encourages me to think about different ways of working, prods me to come up with new books titles for the library and then orders and catalogues all those books!

Although I am the so-called manager of the library, Ann is the oil in the wheels and makes me feel capable of running the library because I know that she will support me in what I do or let me know that perhaps that is not a good idea! She is not afraid to let me know that I am wrong, but tells me so with a laugh and a joke and then we fall to discussing the issue.

All in all, I am glad that she is on my team and I am glad that we can laugh together, as if you can't laugh at work then you've got problems!! Ann....this one's for you!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Future Test Cricketer!?

This week's show and tell is up at the Stirrup Queen's blog, so if you want to see who is still at "school" this Independence Day Weekend, you can have a look at all those swots' show and tell!

My own show and tell is all about this future Test Cricketer!! (it's very hard to find a picture that doesn't show his face, but I found one!)

This was the weekend of one of the May Bank holidays and we all spent the weekend together, the weather was far nicer than it is today (today it's raining and doesn't feel much like summer!). This little cricketer was given a plastic cricket set for his fourth birthday and he loved it!! Tom started to play with it immediately, but as we were indoors it was promptly suggested that we move outside before anything got broken!!

I think that we must have played cricket all weekend! After the bowler had appropriately applied the "magic shine" to the ball, Tom attempted to hit it out of the garden! I think that he missed a few times, but when he did hit it he hit pretty good! Hence my title of Future Test Cricketer as I am wondering whether we'll see him at Lords in about 15 years time, but then again, he is very good at kicking a rugby ball or dribbling a football around the garden.

Clearly he is a natural athlete, and of course, I am not just saying that because I am a besotted Aunt! No matter what Tom decides to do in the future, it is so lovely to see all that promise in the way he moves, the way he thinks, and simply the way that he is.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Random Thoughts

Yes, I know, it's not Thursday, which is when my usual Random Thought Bubble appears!

Alice has actually tagged me for another meme (thanks Alice!), but as I did one yesterday, I didn't think that it would be fair to inflict another one on you all, so I will leave that for another day! Instead, I will subject you all to utterly random thoughts!

  • Firstly, I did something silly at work the other day! It was at my evening job where I am on duty with one other colleague from 5:30pm to 10pm and it was just about ten o'clock so I started turning all the lights off upstairs.....only I didn't realise that there was someone left upstairs and it was a bit dark up there!! Then to add insult to injury I didn't hear him calling for someone to turn the lights on again - a wee bit deaf in the ears you see!! ;-) It was quite embarrassing - it still makes me laugh today!!

  • I had an enlightening trip to the supermarket today!! I was at the checkout and the couple in front of me had a lot of shopping, I think that the bill came to about 190-something pounds! It was quite a surprise to me to see someone spend that much on what looked like food and few extra bits and pieces, I just hope that they manage to eat it all, perhaps they are having a party. Perhaps that is their usual weekly spend, who knows - they may have a whole houseful of children to feed! It does make me curious to see what other people are buying (I am incurably nosy!) and wonder what their plans for the week are!

  • I got into trouble with the parents this week! Actually, that's not true, my youngest brother got me in trouble with Mum and Dad!! What happened was that I had arranged to visit M&D in a few weeks time and so I emailed little bro and asked him if he would like to come and visit the Olds with me as I could swing by and pick him up! The little tattle tale promptly forwarded on the email in which I referred to M&D as the Olds!! Of course, I am now in all kinds of trouble! ;-)

And that seems to be it for today, aside from wishing all American bloggers a very happy Independence Day, I wish we had as many holidays as you seem to!!

    Thursday, 3 July 2008

    Book Meme

    I have been tagged by Alice to do a meme about books and reading and all things bookish!

    Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

    Nope, it would appear from all recollection that I was born with a book in my hand! I really cannot remember a time when I didn't read!

    What are some books you read as a child?

    The Famous Five definitely made an appearance and although I did read others, it's these that immediately come to mind when I think of my childhood reading, as does The Magic Faraway Tree - also by Enid Blyton!

    What is your favourite genre?

    Romance! I do have a soft spot for Fantasy, but my feet will always take me to the Romance section of Borders before allowing me to go anywhere else!

    Do you have a favourite novel?

    Heck, I have too many favourites to pick out one!

    Where do you usually read?

    Anywhere I possibly can, but at weekends you can usually find me ensconced in my red oversized armchair with a cup of tea and some biscuits, often with the cat sitting alongside me!

    When do you usually read?

    When do I not read!! I always read before I turn the light off last thing at night, I used to read during lunch hours at work, but now I still read, only I am reading the umpteen blogs that updated since yesterday! (thank goodness for Bloglines! Except when it messes up and tries to give me hundreds to read that I have already read!! Get that bug sorted out Bloglines!!)

    More to the point, if there's anything like housework to be done - that's when I read most!! ;-)

    Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

    Not usually no, but it does happen!

    Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

    Not a difference place no, but a different way yes - I tend to read fiction all in one go, whereas I read nonfiction much more slowly as by the nature of the reading I can't just whiz through a book!!

    Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

    It varies, at the moment I am buying books (either from the usual places or from charity shops), I used to use the library a lot, but they think that I have a large fine and have kept a book (so not true) so I am avoiding them at the moment!!

    Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

    If I have bought them from a charity shop then they usually go back to the shop when I am done with them, otherwise I may pass them on to Mum or a friend if I don't particularly want to keep it myself, otherwise yet another book gets added to my ever-groaning bookshelves!! (must show you all a photo one day!!)

    If you have children, what are some of the favourite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?

    Don't have children, but would be very likely to get them reading things The Magic Faraway Tree or The Enormous Turnip - apparently I really liked this book when I was very little!

    What are you reading now?

    Surprisingly enough I am reading two books (when I said that I don't usually have more than one book on the go, but these are all nonfiction) - The Gospel according to Harry Potter by Connie Neal and Reaching for the invisible God by Philip Yancey. I do have some other unfinished books, but can't really count those as I am not reading them at this moment.

    Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?

    No, I do have a TBR pile (or scatter) in the house, but don't actually record them to remind myself to read them later!!

    What's next?

    Don't know, would have to go and have a look at the scatter! I do have a book about the history of the Union Jack (British flag in case you didn't know!) that I picked up on sale from Borders a few weeks ago - that is probably next.

    What books would you like to reread?

    Heck, I reread most of my books eventually!! I could not possibly pick a set of books that I would like to reread, but my most reread books are my Nora Roberts ones.

    Who are your favourite authors?

    Nora Roberts is my number one and then there are several other romance novelists that I keep an eye out for, like Debbie Macomber, Lisa Kleypas, Sherilyn Kenyon or Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

    And there you have it - it's too late for me to think of who I want to tag for this, so if you fancy telling me all about your reading habits, now's the time!!

    Tuesday, 1 July 2008

    Bloggie trends!

    If, like me, you have a squillion blogs coming into your feed reader, you get to see what the trends are! At the moment, it would appear that a number of people are talking about how to be a good blogger!

    The Cowboy's Wife on Commenting, Big Mama on bloggie etiquette, Rocks in my Dryer on getting more traffic to your blog, BooMama on finding your blog identity and the opinion of Stamping when I can ...there are others, but I just can't seem to find them now!

    I never seem to remember which blog I have JUST visited or if I hopped through several blogs to get there - how I managed to get there in the first place!! (and there was one that I particularly wanted to show you all, but dammit, I can't find it!! It offered five tips and mentioned how to create your own buttons and put a scroll window with the related html in your side bar and mentioned how to learn to strike through - if you recognise this, do let me know - I want to read it again!! Although I realise that that's probably not enough information to go on!)

    And then the light would appear that many of these people writing about blogging have attended SheSpeaks, a Christian women conference in America, where some of the conference sessions talked about blogging! Now I am not saying that all of the people above attended that conference as I can't specifically recall if they mentioned it or not.

    But either it's a reflection of the type of bloggers I read, or we are all so connected that once someone starts the ball rolling everybody decides that they want to chip in their own tuppen'orth (should that be two cents worth!!?), which just goes to show that sometimes a particular topic just takes on a life of it's own!!

    Anyway, I am not going to throw in my own thoughts because there are enough people out there doing that that you don't need another one!! The only thing that I would say though, is that if you are going to blog at all, you've got to enjoy it, as there's no point having a hobby if you don't have fun with it!

    P.S. I have to say that the fact that I never remember which blog I have just visited is absolutely no reflection on the quality of the blogs!! (You're all great!) It is just that I read so many that my brain only looks for what I am going to read next!

    P.P.S. I found it!!! Yay!! That post that I was looking's at 5 minutes for Mom!!