Wednesday, 31 August 2011

DIY: pom pom garland

The hardcore, long term readers out there may vaguely be able to dredge up from the recesses of your mind that I spent a long time making pompoms a year or so back, in the hope of one day making them into a garland for christmas time. Today was that day. Never say I dont finish a project...

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bookcase: A spot of bother

(image from amazon)
I've got the reading bug badly at the moment. I was holding off reading this one until I had read his first offering (finally) on holiday. I liked this one even more than A Curious Incident... both are excellent but this one is properly laugh out loud funny, while also being very dark.
Each chapter is written from the point of view of one of 4 members of a family, parents, daughter and son, in the run up to the daughters second wedding. each of them concerned with their own problems, they dont notice each others - the fathers impending nervous breakdown, the sons relationship failing while the mother continues an affair. Its all very everyday, mundane, but very very funny.
I ploughed through half of this on a train journey, and the other half one night when James went out - as the chapters are short - some of them only a page - its very easy to keep reading!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Moving on

So thats my wedding done, finally! I'm glad to have it out of the way, it was a struggle to write the last post, as its so long since I was there I can only remember bits of it all now. Its just not what I'm thinking about now, obviously. What I am thinking about, amongst other things, is our house, the garden, cooking nice things, sorting my life out, and so on. you know, normal, boring things. (And pinterest, but who doesn't think about pinterest constantly...right? RIGHT?) The things that life is made of. So if you dont mind, thats what I think I'll write about from now on.

I hope now, that I will blog more frequently. (haha!) Perhaps with smaller posts (If I can stop myself rabbiting on), perhaps some better organisation, and better tags. (I've actually managed to sort the tags before posting this!) I envy other blogs where there is some semblance of order running through it, either with the titles, or the quality of the pictures. So that's what I'm aiming for, when it happens is another matter!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Holiday: France

I won't say too much about the holiday, as it's the same place we went to for the first half of our honeymoon (yup, we liked it that much). We spent two weeks out there, the first week was overcast and on some days downright rainy, which meant that I read a lot of books, and sat around doing not much. Which at the time was annoying, but meant that the holiday actually felt like more than two weeks! In the second week another couple came out to join us, so it became more of a whirlwind tour then, and the sun came out and we basked in it.

I ate a lot of croissants, rhubarb jam, cheese, and managed to cobble together a respectable potatoes boulanger.

We went on a 'velo rail' (platform mounted bikes on a disused railway high over viaducts and through tunnels) saw amazing butterflies, and several vultures.

We drove the tarn gorge, where many moons ago my mother studied geology on a field trip from uni.

(there are 5 vultures flying in this photo if you blow it up super big, promise!)

We found a campsite by the river, surrounded by mountains, where you could hire canoes, and so we spent happy hours with the men on the water, and the ladies with their feet blissfully cool in the river, reading books lying on the riverbank.

I found out that I quite enjoyed being in the canoe myself, and James and I spent an hour paddling off, going under a waterfall on beautiful aquamarine water, and came back to find a friendly face swimming out towards us in the river.

I discovered that when pressed I can hold a simple conversation en francais (turns out I've not forgotten all of my French a-level), and that I really want to move there. We ogled vegetable gardens, immaculate and so productive.

We drank homemade walnut wine and pastis, and played scrabble by jam-jar candlelight on the terrace til late. James is now obsessed with scrabble.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Bookcase: holiday reading

14 days, 7 books. Even I can do the maths there, although there was one very rainy day where I read the fellwalker in 5 hours.

A year in the village of eternity.
I think this was newly released, the only one in the pile which is. I'm not sure where you'd find this in a bookshop as it's not fiction, more a cookery diary of a year in the hilltop village of Campodimele In Italy. Apparently the residents have a longer life expectancy there than anywhere else in Italy, and it's all put down to their food and way of life. Lawson lived there for several years, and this is her account, each chapter being finished by a few recipes relevant to it. A lovely book that will make you want to jump on a plane to Italy, even if you're already in France.

The fell walker
James requested this for the holidays, and it's not often he asks for a book. Set in the lakes, it was easy for us to picture, almost too close for comfort! I really enjoyed this thriller, as you can probably tell from the length of time it took to read it.

An Englishman in Paris.
Again lent by a friend, a book about a year spent eating, drinking and loving in paris. Funny.

The island
I've been recommended this so many times I've lost count, but it's taken me a long time to get round to reading, I'm not often one for 'chick lit', which I assume this would fall into. It was nice to read about a country I've been to, and I enjoyed the whole thing much more than I was expecting to.

The curious incident...
It's taken me a long time to get round to reading it, but it was great. Funny and sad at the same time, But viewed through the eyes of someone who finds it hard to understand emotion. I've got his follow up book waiting to read now.

Doors open.
The Ian Rankin books are where I ran out of my own store and had to start borrowing from the house. Not a Rebus, but still set in Edinburgh, an art heist that goes wrong. Good book.

The Hanging Garden
(I only managed one half of this double bill before we left) this one a Rebus although I found it hard to picture Ken Stott. I've never read a Rebus before, I enjoyed it as detective books go, but there were a lot of plots going on and a lot of history, which made it hard work. I also spent a lot of time comparing it to the tv series, as we watch them a lot, and he seems a much more rounded person in the books than on screen. No bad thing, but I wasn't expecting so many musical references.

I'm considering a kindle. (don't say I told you so, R and Gaynor!)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Absence makes the heart...

(flying across the White cliffs)

We're back. Not that you'll have noticed I was away, since my blog silences go on for longer than 2 weeks often, but we went to France. To the house we used on honeymoon.
I'd nearly give anything to be back there now.

We looked for the care bears on the way there and back, elusive little buggers. I say we, I mean me.