Sunday, 27 October 2013

I can't believe it has been 2 months since my last post!  I am going to lay the blame for this firmly at the door of the day job.  So this post is going to be a mega update (using the word mega makes even the most mundane of words sound interesting!).

M and I are still looking for flats, we have even had some viewings but only one has caught our eye and sadly someone beat us to it.  We have decided that due to the current renting market we can't be too fussy so a garden is now a bonus, as is ground floor.
We are being realistic and we don't think we will move before Christmas, so in the mean time I am trying desperately to de-clutter to make extra space.  I have reluctantly given lots of my books to the charity shop, there is only so long a book can remain on the shelf with the vain hope that one day I will read it.
I hope to start concentrating on enjoying the cooler seasons, I want to make soups on a regular basis and I am watching River Cottage to get inspiration for winter comfort food.  
I have been ill recently and I had to change my diet to plain food (not easy for me) so cooking has not been as enjoyable as it usually is.

M and I went on a short break to Edinburgh. The first time I had been on a plane in 11 years, the last time being a family holiday to Spain when I was 18.
Yesterday we went to Comicon, it was a great day out and we even dressed up.  M went as Christopher Eccleston's Doctor Who and I went as Amy Pond (this did involve me colouring my hair red).  We saw all manor of costumes, most of which I had no idea who they were but it was an experience.

I am still reading Reaper Man and enjoying it.  I have been getting back into Bjork again and the Velvet Underground.
Well hopefully it will not be another 2 months before I write again.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Reading update

I finished The Last Continent and now I am reading Reaper Man. After this I have been advised by M to read Mort. I have discovered that I am reading the Death series backward. Sounds about right for me!

The search for a new home continues, September is nearly upon us so Autumn is not far away.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Long summer nights

Since my last post we have had a heat wave, which has some what made up for the long winter we had.  Despite my resolution to get out and enjoy the sunshine this year and try to get some of the tan back that I had when I was younger, the heat has proved to be just too much for me.  My tan was progressing nicely but I then developed prickly heat which has been a real pain in the neck.  This has been worse at night and on one occasion I was forced to sleep with an ice pack on my arm, the very same ice pack that is used to keep my lunch box cool!  
M and I are starting the long and stressful process of looking for a new home.  As much as we love our flat, it is just too small for us.  Plus we would also love a garden, outside space is something that I really long for. 

What am I listening to at the moment: Loreena Mckennit, the Mirror and the Mask album.
What am I reading: Terry Pratchett's The Last Continent.
What have I been watching: BBC documentary, Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve. 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Fire up the retros!

For over a year now I have being following the Youtube channel of Cherry Doll Face, an alternative module. She is very keen on retro styles from the 40's and 50's and even 60's. She makes a lot of hair and make up tutorials and she has recently started her own cosmetic line with an American company called Bomber Betty. I am very interested in these looks and I hope to recreate these on myself one day.
Here are some examples of her videos:

On this same topic I recently came across a line of cosmetic called Art Deco. They are being sold at Debenhams. They caught my eye firstly because of the name, Art Deco has always been a style that I have been interested in. Secondly their 'poster girl' was Dita Von Teese. Both proved to be irresistible combination. Of course with a name like that they are not your everyday cosmetic like Rimmel, to be honest looking at the price they aren't even going to be your every month cosmetic! But I think that any money that I am lucky enough to receive for my next birthday will be used to purchase some thing from their line. It will be my 30th so......I think I should splash out a bit!

Here is a link to the Art Deco site

Thursday, 30 May 2013

This month I have been......

Listening to: Coldplay's latest album
Watching: Springwatch 2013
Reading: Soul Music by Terry Pratchett

I am very proud of the roast dinner that I cooked for M's parents. I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness (very good film). I have been to the pub twice (which is more than I usually manage in 6 months). And bought most of my summer clothes (although judging by all the rain and the fact that this week I have gone back to wearing my winter coat, that may not have been such a good idea).

Well so has been the month of May 2013.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

This month I am mostly reading.....

Apologises for the unimaginative title, as boring as 'does exactly what it says on the tin' is, it can be helpful.  Well I finished Terry Pratchett's Hogfather and now to continue my exploration of Susan I am reading Soul Music (no I don't read books in order, I don't like the idea that something as great as reading has to be so regimented). I am really enjoying it, Susan's discovery of her heritage is a brilliant mixture of logical thought fighting against ingrained instinct and memory, I am not too sure where the musician storyline is heading but I looking forward to finding out.
A large amount of my reading takes place on the bus on the way to work, I am still having trouble reading at home during the day or early evening, but I have managed to focus and read in bed so that's an improvement.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fresh Air

Today I found this great little article on the BBC about children napping out doors in Nordic countries.

It is common place in these countries for children to nap out doors to get the best of the fresh air.  They are wrapped up like little parcels in wool and animal skins so no matter what the temperature they are nice and warm, but they get the benefit of breathing in cool, crisp air.
The reason for this tradition is a belief that children are healthier if they spend a lot of time breathing in the fresh air. It is thought that children who are kept in central heated houses with soaring temperatures while the out side temperature is in the minus' are more likely to become ill more often. The reason being that germs thrive in warm conditions not cold ones.

One of my former childcare colleagues visited Denmark to see their Forest Schools and children napping outside was common place at their nurseries. This usually produces gasps from most people when she recounted this fact, but the thing to remember is that the children are wrapped so much that they aren't cold at all, but they are breathing in crisp, fresh and mostly germ free air.

I have to say I fully agree with this theory and practice. I have always been angered by the common myth that exposure to cold weather caused colds and flu.  It is more likely to be caused by that the fact that most house holds turn up the artificial heat, jam the windows closed and stay indoors as soon as October begins, creating the perfect environment for all those cold and flu germs. Turning the central heating off and opening most of the windows would not only blow the germs away it would also make it very uncomfortable for the ones that remain.

I don't suffer from colds very often and I'm sure this comes from growing up in a house without central heating.  The drafts may have been cold but they meant the germs didn't want to stay around for long!

When I do suffer from a cold; stuffed up nose, soar throat, fuzzy head etc, all I want to do is open the window and get the breeze in.  As long as I wrap myself up warm, it doesn't matter how cold the room is. That always makes me feel better.  A blocked nose is always helped by going out in the fresh air.

You can see the article here, it is made up of some fantastic accounts of out door napping both modern and old.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Today I'm watching....

This video features a version of Kate Bush’s Running up that Hill. I have to say it goes against every bone in my body to even contemplate listening to covers of Kate Bush. She is without doubt a musical Goddess and I have never thought it was possible for any artist to successful make a cover of one of her songs.

However once you realise that Track & Field haven’t set out to cover a Kate Bush song but to cover a great song with some truly chilling lyrics then it is possible to just listen to it without comparing it to, in my opinion a Goddess. Let’s face it that comparison is never going to end well for the ‘mortal’ as it were.

Kate Bush has a very unique voice and that is an integral part of her songs. You may be thinking “well of course, that’s the same as all artists”, I have to say I disagree strongly. With some artists it is their voice that makes a song a success, with others it is the lyrics, Kate Bush uses her unique voice and groundbreaking lyrics to create some breathtaking songs. Track & Field’s version of this song doesn’t contain any remarkable vocals, there’s nothing bad about their voices but there’s nothing truly sensational about them either. Far from this being a disappointment it means the listener can focus fully on the lyrics.

Running up that Hill contains some of the best lyrics ever written, it really is poetry especially the line:

And if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places,

Now on to the visual. The video is made up of cleverly edited scenes from Warehouse 13. This is fantastic series about a Warehouse full of dangerous artefacts from throughout history. Each artefact contains powers, mostly bad and there is a team of people trying to recover, store and stop others from using them to destroy the world. If you haven’t seen it, then I strongly advise that you put it on your to do list for this year. Trust me the song is a perfect accompaniment to the scenes being used. The song was used in the show and it suited the storyline very well. Without giving too much away the line quoted above was very poignant to one scene if particular.

All in all a great video:

Footnote: this post has given my OH the idea that I should start searching and reviewing cover versions of Kate Bush songs, well this could either be really interesting or........well it could be very bad.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Quote of the Day

Bill Bailey, on his guide to the Orchestra:

Describing the stage version of Mama Mia,
'It's a bit like being hit over the head with a piece of Ikea furniture, it hurts but you have to admire the workmanship'


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year

So a new year is upon us.  I am going back to work tomorrow, it has been good to have a break but to be honest I won't feel relaxed until the end of January when our big deadline is behind us and I can focus on getting my life back to normal (by this I mean normal to me not 'normal'!). Over the last few months due to one thing and another I feel I have just been going through the motions some what.
Well no more, will I take this!  It sounds dramatic but to be honest it won't be.