Thursday 30 December 2010

Random Thought #18 - A Change of Scenery

As you may have noticed I have changed my is still very purple :-) if not even more purple!

Monday 27 December 2010

Random Quote #11

*calling from opposite sides of the river*

Beni: Hey O'Connell! Looks to me like I got all the horses.

O'Connell: Hey Beni, looks to me like you're on the wrong side of the river!

The Mummy (1999)

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Tis the season to be jolly! So I hope that everyone has a great Christmas [and, as long as you are old enough to drink, make sure you get at least a little merry! ;-)].

[image is from]

Wednesday 22 December 2010

A Challenge for the New Year

I have decided to set myself a challenge for next year. But before you get too excited it isn't anything particularly exciting...nor do I know if it will really be a challenge.

I decided the other day to set myself a weekly writing challenge on my other blog - The Life of Writing [do feel free to head over there for more information]. Anyway as I was saying before I started advertising myself I then thought I could do a challenge on this blog.

But what to do, what to do? Trying to search for challenges to do is fairly difficult without seeming like you are copying people. So there I am searching and I came across a challenge that quite a few people have done before me and no doubt other people will accept the challenge at the same time as me and after I have [hopefully] completed it.

So the challenge is to read 52 books in one year, luckily for me I looked in to it as the New Year is fast approaching so 1st January 2011 will be the start date.

Now I have no idea whether this will be a difficult challenge or not. When I first thought about it I realised that I know that I have read quite a few books this year...but I have absolutely no idea how many. I could go and count the ones I have read...they are dotted all over the place. But I won't get a true figure, as my head will be filled with random thoughts as ever.

Did I read that book this year? Ooh what was that one I read? With the thing? And the people? Where did I put it? Have I ever read this book?

Now the only difficult part on 1st January will be deciding which book to start with. I have a stack of about fifteen books next to my bed right now. And when I have been asked what I wanted for Christmas at least five of the suggestions were books.

So I am now frantically trying to make sure I get the anthology that I am currently reading finished so I can start afresh in the New Year.

Other people who have taken on this challenge before me have suggested reading whilst you wherever it is you are going. Now I will find that if I try reading whilst travelling in a road vehicle I start to feel sick. I don't know why that is but if I try reading a book,  a newspaper, a magazine or whatever I start to feel nauseous. It is a shame that I can't get the train to work as I like reading on the train.

So the plan would be to read one book a week. But some books I will no doubt read faster than others. And they could be from any genre, fiction or non-fiction, although I don't think I'm going to count any books that I read for research in this...unless I sit down and read the entire thing in one go, rather than dipping in and out as I see fit...well we'll have to see.

So tune in on 1st January 2011 [where did the year go?!?!] and I will let you know what book number 1 is.

And by all means take on the challenge yourself if you want to...

Monday 20 December 2010

Random Quote #10

Nancy Holbrook: I didn't take you for the religious type.

Quentin Smith: Yeah, well, you gotta believe in something, you know.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Monday 13 December 2010

Random Quote #9

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone

You'll Never Walk Alone, Carousel (1945)

Friday 10 December 2010

Random (Extended) Thought #17 - Giving Students a Bad Name

This random thought is going to be an extended random thought, actually it is a minor rant.

Yesterday the government decided that they would be raising tuition fees. Naturally most of the students were not pleased about this.
If it had happened when I was a student I wouldn't have been very happy either. Now for the peaceful protesters out there - well done for being peaceful and going about things in a civilised, intelligent manner.

As for the more violent student protesters out there well...they aren't going to really accomplish a lot are they? I would have thought that they are going to be unlikely to get a degree of any kind if they think attacking the car that belongs to the next in line to the throne would achieve anything other than them being arrested.

If they had used their brains - the things that they should use during their studies - they would have realised almost immediately that the tuition fees debate has nothing to do with Prince Charles or any of the Royal family. I could understand, although I wouldn't condone it, if it had been the car of an MP.

So the students out there that have been peacefully protesting will now be tarred with the same brush as the few who decided to turn violent, resorting to graffiti and vandalism.

And really the violent few ought to be more than a little ashamed of themselves for letting the side down.

I now declare this minor rant over!

Monday 6 December 2010

Random Quote #8

Stayne (Knave of Hearts): You're all mad.

March Hare: Thanks very much.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Saturday 4 December 2010


I got up on the 1st December 2010 to discover everywhere had turned in to a winter wonderland. Well more winter than wonder really.

I quickly found out that I would have to walk to work as all the buses in the area had been suspended. So on the 1st of December I set off just before eight in the morning and walked to work. The snow was so deep in places it almost came to the top of my wellies. And I measured them and my boots are 14 inches high.

It took me 45 minutes to walk to work in which time my feet had gone numb. Which was good in a way as it meant I couldn't really feel the two large blisters on my heels developing. However once I arrived at work and I began to heat up I soon knew that they were there.
And then I had to limp all the way home again a few hours later. My place of work closed at midday as there were few of us who had actually managed to get to work.

I awoke on 2nd December to find out that once again I would have to walk to work again. But my wellies didn't come with me this time. Oh no, not again. So this time I wore my shorter but more comfortable walking boots to work.
The previous night a snow plough had gone down our road and so there was now a thin strip of road that was more or less free of snow. As the pavement was still a foot deep with snow I decided to walk down the middle of the road.
And so there I was before eight in the morning. Walking down the middle of the road, with not a single person in sight. I felt like I was in a disaster movie of some sort. It was ten minutes later when I hit the main road before I saw another person.
And then as I got closer to the town centre the more 'survivors' appeared as we all seemed to drift towards where the last of the population was gathering.

Now I have told you about my encounter with near apocalypse I have two things I wish to mention.

1) Compeed blister plasters are fantastic - the regular plasters I was using did nothing to help, I might as well not have bothered. But the Compeed ones are great - they do exactly as they say on the tin...and I haven't been paid or given anything to say that it is just my opinion.

2) Now this is just a minor rant at how stupid some people can be. The snow may have been dispersed a little so it isn't quite as deep on the pavement however it is still almost impossible to walk on the pavement so you have to risk your life walking down the road now that there is more traffic about again.
Some of my neighbours have decided to clear their driveways to get their cars out. What is wrong with that I hear you say?
Well they have cleared the snow by shovelling the snow to the sides. So you walk along the pavement and then suddenly you are faced with a wall of snow that is almost two feet high!
So you manage to navigate your way around that one...and then you come across another one, and another.
Some people have no common sense whatsoever. Just as long as they are OK everyone else can go to hell. Now I saw some people who cleared their drives who were putting the snow behind the driveway gates - that is a good idea as you have cleared the drive but not built an obstacle course in the process.

End of rant!

Friday 3 December 2010

Reading, Writing...Err, Can We Forget the Arithmatic?

So I heard about this challenge via Sandra's Blog. Below is the list of books of which the BBC reckons most people have only read 6 out of the hundred. If you want to accept the challenge it is simple - copy and paste this list on to your blog and link back to here...please?

Instructions are as follows:

• Copy the list of books below.
• Those books you’ve read in their entirety put in bold.
• The ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt put in italics.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The King James Bible - (yes, really!)
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984) – George Orwell
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Complete Works of Shakespeare
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
Emma - Jane Austen

Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The DaVinci Code – Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Dune – Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
Germinal – Emile Zola
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession – AS Byatt
Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
Watership Down – Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

*Last book is missing so those who have gone before me have been suggesting number 100. Therefore my suggestion for the 100th book is: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole [the original Gothic novel!]

What book would you suggest?

So I appear to have fully read 16 of those, including my suggestion for number 100. Although I suppose you could count the Harry Potter books individually...but then it wouldn't be out of 100 would it?

And the following books are the ones that I want to read...once I've read the stack of books that is stood next to my bed. Actually a couple of them are already in the stack of books waiting to be read.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
The Inferno – Dante
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

Now it's your turn!