Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spring Book Challenge...

Found this on Goodreads.com - which I'm quickly getting addicted to... Tasks to be completed by May 31st (obviously some you can only do if you're on GR - this came from the The Next Best Book Club group)


1. Read a Science Fiction OR Fantasy Novel.

2. Read an epistolary novel OR a non-fiction collection of letters/journal etc.

3. Spring Cleaning: Follow these directions to find your book for this task...
- Go to your Goodreads bookshelf.
- Click on the All Books link
- Organize them by the Date Added (going from the earliest to the most recent)
- Go down the list and read the first book you come to that you HAVE NOT yet read.

4. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Task – Read or listen to a book while you are on a plane, on a train, or in a car (or other mode of transport like a bus/combinations of transportation)
- For this task you can’t, for example, start a book in the airport and finish it on the plane...the book must be read entirely while inside one of those modes of transportation.
- But the plane/train/car etc. does not have to be moving the entire time for it to count – exe. you can start reading the book once you board the plane before it takes off.
- DOES NOT have to be read in one sitting.

5. For Easter/Lent/Passover…
- Read a Christian Fiction novel,
- A book about sacrifice, OR
- A book about something you would or are planning to give up.

6. In Honor Of Women’s History Month…
- Read an autobiography/biography of a woman you admire OR
- A novel with one of the following in the title (woman, women, lady, ladies, female, feminine, girl, girls, maiden, madame).

7. For Arbor Day – Do your part to save some trees by…
- Reading an e-book OR
- Listening to an audiobook OR
- By reading a book and “recycling” it - giving it away to someone else like a friend or through an online book swap/trading site or by donating it to a local library or charity.

8. For April Fools Day…
- Read a humorous novel, a book of jokes, OR
- A biography/autobiography/memoir of a comedian.

9. Read a book with one of the following Spring animals in the title…
- Rabbit or Bunny
- Bird (the word bird or any type of bird)
- Butterfly/Bees
- Lion
- Lamb OR
- A term for a baby animal such as kitten, cub, calf etc.

10. April Showers Bring May Flowers…
- Read one book with a Rain related word (rain, thunder, storm, shower, lightning etc. but not water) in the title OR
- Read a book with the name of A TYPE of tree or flower in the title.

1. For St. Patrick’s Day – Read a book by an Irish author, set in Ireland, OR about Ireland.

2. For Cinco De Mayo – Read a book by a Mexican author, set in Mexico, OR about Mexico.

3. For ANZAC Day – Read a book by an Australian author, set in Australia, OR about Australia.

4. Read a book by an author who was born in March, April, or May.
- You can find a list that will help with this task at http://www.authdir.net/

5. March 24 is Harry Houdini’s Birthday – Read a book about magic, a magician etc.

6. In honor of Earth Day (April 22) read a book with the word Earth, Moon, Sun, World, Star or one of the other planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) in the title.
- Words such as earthly, sunset, lunar etc. are acceptable.

7. In Honor of Mother’s Day…
- Read a book where the author/main character shares the same FIRST name as your mother OR
- Read a book recommended by/given to you by your mother.

8. In Honor of Memorial and Armed Forces Day – Read a book about a veteran OR someone serving in the military (fiction or non-fiction).

9. Read a book from the TNBBC Top Books list…
- The book can not be your own contribution
- The number that corresponds to that book must only contain numbers that can be found in the year you were born…i.e. if you were born in 1982 (like me) you could read 1, 28, or 89 but not 93, 15, or 22 (because there is only one 2 in the date) etc.
- The list can be found under the TNBBC Top 10 Lists!! Subheading

10. Members of the TNBBC have great tastes in books - follow these directions to find your book for this task...
- Start by going to the club’s membership list.
- Sort the member list by the Date Joined and Find Yourself on that list. (I chose the date joined sorting option because the page you will find your name on for the other options will change more often)
- Read a book that earned a 5-Star rating by another member who is on the same page as you.

1. It’s Written In the Stars…read a book that corresponds to your astrological sign… (books can be fiction or non-fiction)...
- ARIES: Made me think of Ares the Greek God of War – Read a book about the Gods, Greek Mythology, Greece etc.
- TAURUS: The Bull – Read a western, a book about a cowboy, the rodeo etc.
- GEMINI: Read a book about twins.
- CANCER: Read a book about a cancer patient, cancer survivor, cancer doctor etc.
- LEO: The king of the jungle – read a book about royalty.
- VIRGO: Read a book about a virgin, virginity or loss of, abstinence etc.
- LIBRA: Read a book about a lawyer, the law, a judge etc.
- SCORPIO: The scorpion – read a book that takes place in the desert, a wasteland etc.
- SAGITARIUS: The archer – read a book about an athlete or sports.
- CAPRICORN: is a cardinal sign which is associated with creativity – read a book about an artist or art.
- AQUARIUS: Read a book that takes place at sea, about ships etc.
- PISCES: Read a book about a fisherman, fishing, sea life, marine biology etc.

2. April is National Poetry Month – Read a book of poetry OR about a famous poet.

3. Read a past OR present TNBBC group read that you haven’t read before

4. Read a novel that takes place in a location you plan to visit during this challenge OR have visited previously during spring break (does not have to be overly specific i.e. if you are visiting Paris this spring (LUCKY YOU) you could read a book that takes place anywhere in France).

5. Read a book written by an author who won a major literary prize (Nobel, Pulitzer etc.) in the year you were born (it does not have to be the book they won the award for).

6. Read a book that was has been translated from its original language (i.e. it could be from Swedish to English or English to Italian etc.).

7. In honor of both Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2) and Mother Goose Day (May 1) find and read two books with rhyming titles. By this I mean that there is a word in the title of one book that rhymes with a word in the other book’s title.
- Example: You could read The Scent of Sake AND The Red Tent

8. Get To Know The Author - Read a book by an author AND then either attend a reading by that author OR read/listen to an interview with that author.

9. Read a book with a color in the title AND eat a meal that includes at least 2 foods that are that color (you don’t have to cook it yourself).
- I.E. if you read Stephen King’s The Green Mile (you could have a mixed green salad and pasta with pesto sauce; or a kiwi and a bowl of mint ice cream for dessert).
- Feel free to share recipes with the group if you do make something yummy for this task.

10. March, April, and May are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th months of the year
- Read the third, fourth and fifth books of one series OR
- Read 3 books with the numbers 3/4/5- three/four/five - 3rd/4th/5th - third/fourth/fifth in the titles (books do not have to come from the same series in this instance)
- You can't mix and match these though...exe. 3/four/fifth is not acceptable

1. KAREN’S TASK - As we are all totally completely addicted to GR (Goodreads), let's read…
- A book which title starts with the letter G AND
- A book which title starts with the letter R.
- Books like The Gargoyle or A Raisin In the Sun – that have titles beginning with A OR THE followed by a G or R word are acceptable for this task.

2. EL’s TASK - Read a Non-Fiction book ABOUT OR A DIARY written by one of the noted diarists on This List http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dia... who lived prior to the 1900’s. NO FICTION BOOKS FOR THIS TASK!!

3. ANGELA’S TASK - Look for your first post in the Official Spring Challenge. Once you find it, look at the person below you and go to their profile and pick TWO books to read off of their shelves. If their profile is listed as private, go to the person below that person.

4. ROS’ TASK - Read a book that’s on the big reads list. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100...

5. BONNIE’S TASK - Read a book outside your normal genre(s). Example: Bonnie usually reads YA, fantasy, nonfiction and classics so she'd have to read short stories, plays, mysteries, etc.

6. JON’S TASK - H.M. Queen Elizabeth II is 83 on April 21st, read a Non-Fiction book of at least 400 pages relating in some way to the British Monarchy past or present. Write a short Goodreads review and post a copy on the Spring challenge thread.

7. DARLA'S TASK - Read a book you've either seen in a movie or heard referenced in a movie.

8. CASSIE'S TASK - For her friend Melissa (who told her about goodreads and is a YA Librarian): Read two young adult novels.

9. SARA'S TASK - Read a book that has a title of 12 or more words.

Monday, 30 March 2009

10 Cemeteries....

I browse the ListVerse Blog and found this one today... and I thought of V and her graveyard pics on her family tree odyssey...

10 Fascinating Graveyards You Must See

Of course I've got no excuse not to go visit Highgate Cemetery - maybe I need to incorporate some of these into my Dream Travel Plans

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Places to visit....

List of places in the world that I want to visit one day... Not in any particular order

Sikkim Province in India

Machu Picchu in Peru

Teotihuacan in Mexico

Mount Hua or Huashan in Shaanxi Province, China

I reserve the right to add to this list at any time :)


One more small step closer to completion of what has turned out to be a massive project. Look out for another update soon, maybe even tomorrow if I get into my stitching mojo again!

Friday, 27 March 2009


Almost a Fairy Garden, I'll try to get this one finished this weekend though I seem to have volunteered for a rather long walk around Aldermaston and surrounding countryside this weekend!!!

Feeling under the weather today hence sitting on my backside and stitching some :)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

All change....

Catherine's new look - bit of a change from the pic a couple of posts down!!! Five and half boxes of hair bleach later and she's almost blonde !!!

Not the best pic but I was trying to sneak a pic on my phone camera on the bus to school / work


No silly puns from me, but pics from a walk around some of the nearby countryside (7½ miles approx) on Sat 22nd March....

One very messy dog :)

Getting messier!!!

Almost there now...

Sitting on the wall in the picture above (marked 1 in the map below)

Part of the wall (which took 10 yrs to make) from the outside of the old town

And after walking around the outside of the walls, the Roman amphitheatre - it's believed they held gladiatorial fights here though no human remains were found. It used to have wooden tiered seats around the outside and two small chambers either side. (Marked 2 on the map below)

And for anyone who wants to follow in our footsteps here's the route we took (the red bits are detours when we got a bit creative LOL)

It's been a few years since I went to the walls at Silchester and I am always in awe that something still stands after 1700-1800 years. There was an archeological dig of part of the town a few years back which I visited and was fascinating.

More info can be found at these links:
University of Reading - Calleva Project
Roman Britain - Calleva Atrebatum
BBC History - Calleva Atrebatum
Wikipedia - Calleva Atrebatum
The Roman Town of Calleva

Latest updates in the world of stitching

St Reathams by Long Dog

To Thine Own Self Be True - Little House Needleworks

Sunflower Inn by Little House Needleworks

Update on Catherine :)

After doing an interview at the police video suite in the local hospital so she wouldn't have to appear in court regarding the assault on her by the older girl.. I received an update this morning.

The girl has been arrested, charged and bailed to appear in court in one month's time. She admitted the assault so hopefully the whole thing shouldn't be too traumatic for Catherine. Conditions of bail mean she cannot contact Catherine or attend the school except for her exams.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

And finally .... my baby girl is grown up now

She officially became a teenager at the end of last year... and this is how she decided to mark her first coming of age. I know some of you will think i'm an irresponsible parent, but once her dad gave permission for the below I knew I was fighting a losing battle and would much rather I was the responsible adult and not her father!



And this pic was taken on Friday 13th March 2009 - I love that she's an independent spirit and keeps me on my toes, doesn't want to conform to the norm and is happy being herself.

Some of the crap I've been dealing with...

my daughter was assaulted at her school, twice, by the same girl. These are pics of her face after the first incident.

The second incident she set about kicking my daughter and stamping on her!

The girl is to be charged with two counts of assault (she is 16) and has been permanently excluded from the school except to take her exams in May.

Close to my birthday...

The weather always gets really cold and this year was no exception. This is me going to work on Monday 2nd February. Lots of people opted to stay home and part of me doesn't blame them!!!

This last pic is taken from the 7th floor where I'm working, conditions were deteriorating all the time - I find it hard to believe that we almost ran out of road salt in this country!!!

Align Centre

Saturday, 14 March 2009

2009 Goodies...

Maybe I should have bought some of these for my birthday...

Pineapple Biscornus & Fob by Jeannette Douglas

Travelling Stitcher by Little House Needleworks

Quaker Seasons of Friendship by R & R Reproductions

Don't Bug Me by The Sweetheart Tree

Sirin Jaidee by The Sampler Cove

Gentle and Kind by Little House Needleworks

Tail end of 2008

I thought I would see if there was anything I'd missed in the world of stitching during the time when I lost my stitching mojo. Fortunately for me, there wasn't much that grabbed me that I hadn't seen, and nothing I couldn't live without.

Something Old - Something New by Little House Needleworks

Quaker Seasons Purse I - R & R Reproductions

Quaker Seasons Purse II - R & R Reproductions

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