Strange day

30 07 2007

Thank you all for the birthday wishes.  I had a grand time and it was a lovely weekend.  I may have mentioned before that my birthday is immediately preceded by my brother’s and immediately proceeded by my husband’s so birthdays for me are like a mini-Christmas.   In fact, my parents felt quite left out when all three of us were tucking into our gifts!  We had lunch at Mum and Dad’s (with a delicious lasagne for which I MUST get the recipe) and then in the evening we went to Rich’s cousin’s wedding.  She looked beautiful in a golden gown.  Yesterday we had tea with Rich’s family.  Our niece Millie is just getting cuter and cuter – she is now at the babbling and walking stage.

Last night we rearranged our spare bedroom to make craft area for me – I am so excited!!  It looks fab already but will look even better when I have storage things and magazine holder and book shelves and drawers for all my bits and bobs.  Pictures will be posted when it is all done!

Anyway, although tomorrow is my last day at work, today is the last day I actually will be getting any work done so I better get on with it!





Pressie time!

27 07 2007

It’s is my 31st birthday tomorrow about which I am both excited and appalled!  I am now truly ‘in my thirties’ which makes me think I ought to be more grown up than I actually am.

On the plus side, I was bought a fab t-shirt by my colleagues (you may remember me telling you about it a while ago).  They want me to wear it on my last day in the office (which is Tueday – eek!).   I also got from work:

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Edward Monkton key purse

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Jelly Bellys.  Yum.

Now it’s my turn to give something (if you want it – it’s nothing that exciting!).

I have a spare copy of Martha Stewart’s fab Living Magazine June issue.  If you want it, leave me a comment and I will get in touch and send it over free of charge!   I would rather not have to throw it away.





Reading Corner

26 07 2007

I have finished a few books lately and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about them. I am not very good at in depth analysis (unlike the brilliant Litlove) so I will keep this fairly brief:

The Outsider by Albert Camus

I read the translated version (the book is actually called L’Etranger) because I tried the French version several times and found it was beyond me (although I may give it another go now I know the gist of the story). The Outsider is a fable-like story about a young man called Meursault who feels no great grief when he loses his mother. He commits a murder in a crime that is completely devoid of passion, cold-blooded murder in the truist sense but he not just judged for this act, he is judged for his lack of grief. His lawyer tries to prompt him to use his loss as mitigating circumstances which he refuses to do and as such, his honesty is his downfall. The protagonist is a difficult character for the reader to relate. His calm demeanour and his cool collection seem cold and heartless in the light of his actions. And yet since the story is told from his point of view, we can see that there is not real hatred or malice. His actions seems to be down to a detached state that he has put himself into. It is left to reader to decide whether we should pity him or revile him; whether he lacks a soul or just is suffering some deeper loss that he has not yet acknowledged.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Every now and then, you read a book that lingers. It dances around your mind for days, weeks, years even.  It makes you think hard.  It makes you feel hard.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was such a book for me.

Within the cold, sterile walls of the psychiatric ward, one of the patients, Chief Bromde, narrates from his own skewed perspective the story of what happened when Irish, loud, gambling fun-lover McMurphy crashed into ward life to change everyone’s lives forever.  There to avoid the workhouse but decidedly sane, McMurphy instantly starts to push the boundaries and the rules that have been imposed by Big Nurse, both terryfying and terrified in equal measure.  Sadistic and cruel, she also is desperate to maintain the hold over the patients lives, to be needed and in charge.  Chief is believed by the rest of the ward to be deaf and dumb but only because he was ignored for so long that he simply stopped talking.  But he hears all – more than he should since the staff think he is deaf – and eventually is encouraged to speak again by McMurphy.

Even thinking about the denouement of the novel makes my eyes prick.  Despite the hope and positivity that is brought into the patients live, there is still sadness.  I am, however, so happy to have finally read this book which I have been meaning to read for so long.  I have avoided seeing the Jack Nicholson film for the simple reason that I wanted to read the book for myself first and create my own pictures to go with Kesey’s words.  Of course, just knowing the Jack Nicholson plays McMurphy influenced how I thought about that character although I do think the casting was spot on for this character.  I definitely want to check out the film now.

Bareback by Kit Whitfield

In a world where werewolves – or lycos as they are called in this debut novel – are the norm and barebacks or ‘nons’ (in other words people that do not turn at the full moon) are considered disabled or crippled, born with a birth defect that means they come out headfirst and different, Lola May is a social outcast.  As a non, she is forced to work  as a dog-catcher for DORLA, the organisation responsible for policing the activity of lunes (lycos during full moon) for the two days of the month that they become wild animals who will attack and kill anything.  For the rest of the month, she is a lawyer dealing with, for the most part, tramps and homeless people who have not managed to get themselves locked away in time before changing.

This all sounds very sci-fi, very Buffy the Vampire Slayer but this book is so much more than that.  By turning the werewolf tale on its head, we are put into the shoes of the persecuted, the outcasts – a place where I, as a white, middle-class girl, am not usually placed.  It is well written, exciting, interesting, thrilling and you really care what happens.  It is intriguing and I would highly recommend it.





Smooth criminals

24 07 2007

This is most awesome and bizarre thing I have seen all week. 1,500 Philippine inmates dance to ‘Thriller’. Found at the superb Geekologie blog.





brand spanking new look

23 07 2007

I just changed my layout and I think it looks rather spiffy. I took the photo in the header in the courtyard of a coffee shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA in May.

I was working at home today because of the dreadful flooding. I didn’t want to get stuck in London. We are luckily dry but there is some terrible flooding in our area and in the surrounding counties. This is Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire:

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This is a couple of miles from us on Saturday in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire:

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The Royal Shakespeare Company poster is a bit soggy in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire:

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And in my auntie’s town, Alcester, Warwickshire:

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Photos from bbc.co.uk





Wii arm

20 07 2007

I am so very glad it is Friday! The weather has been pretty awful today which means that although the rain has finally stopped and the sun is shining, there is flooding on my trainline so I am not sure when I will get home.

On the plus side, we have some fun things planned for this weekend:

  • Visit a new quilting shop that has opened in Warwick (our home town) – how cute does this place look?!
  • Design a mini quilt for fenicle‘s friend
  • Go to a friend’s with our Wii for a Wii party (cue a sore arm on Sunday known as Wii arm and a sore head known as a hangover)
  • Finish the quilting (and maybe start binding) of my own quilt
  • Make a plan for our spare room to find a place for me to sew
  • SLEEP

Have a great weekend everyone!





Another blog!

19 07 2007

I have got a new phone which is very exciting! It is a sonyericsson K800i which has a fab camera on it and the ability to blog photos taken on the camera. Unfortunately, I can only blog to Blogger so my mobile photo blog is found here:

kate1976.blogspot.com

I love getting new gadgets!

My phone:

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