Taking a moment

15 02 2008

This seems to happen far too often.  So scary.  So sad.


Reading round-up

6 01 2008

I have just re-done my reading list page for the new year (books read last year are still listed) and I noticed a couple of books on which I didn’t comment so I thought I would put that right.

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I must admit now that I am a bit of a Bryson fan. I was really keen to read this book because I hate not knowing things and there is a hell of a lot about the world that I don’t know. Bryson was able to break down complex theories in a way that made me want to read on and on. He told the stories behind the men of science that made the all-important discoveries. In short, I loved it. I just wish I could remember all the very interesting facts that he shared. I suppose I need to read it again for it all to sink in. My poor little mind cannot cope with such big ideas as ‘what is an atom made of’.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. In my quest to read all the great children’s literature I missed (as well as revisiting the stuff I did read and love), I read this much-loved book. Initially, I felt it was a tiny bit of a let-down (probably am now going to hell for suggesting this), especially after my enjoyment of Anne of Green Gables. I did enjoy it though and I could imagine falling in love with these characters if I were 20 years younger. The BBC adaptation shown on Boxing Day, though, made me appreciate the book even more and after a rather luke-warm initial impression, I was pretty put out by the poetic license exercised by the screenwriters of the BBC. A manufactured romance in the form of a widowed Mr Simpson and some important speeches being given to the wrong characters meant that I felt quite protective towards Streatfeild’s book. Such a shame because the casting of the three girls and Sylvia was pretty spot on.

Goodbyes and chocolate

9 11 2007

Today was my last day at my temporary job. It was such a fantastic experience and it really opened my eyes to the realities for some sections of society that I just don’t normally have much to do with for the simple reason that I live where I live. I haven’t really talked much about what I have been doing and it is pretty irrelevant now I suppose but I will just give you a quick explanation. I have been working in a Children’s Centre which is a centre for under-5s which provides health services such as baby clinics and speech therapy, counselling services for parents, parenting courses, literacy and numeracy for parents, play activities for under 5s and their families, a disco, cookery demonstrations, toy and book libraries and story time. All for free. It is all part of an initiative to give kids a better start in life as research has shown what great disparity in opportunities there are for working class families compared to middle class families. The children are so much more likely to ‘succeed’ in life – whatever shape that success takes – if the child has these opportunities. The people who work at the centre are dedicated and battle with minimal budgets to provide a robust and effective service. I intend to carry on helping out on an ad hoc basis – for example with the staff blog I set up for them (coz, you know, I like blogs!) and also with other projects that I started and want to see through.

I will will not miss working in a child-centric environment (if that makes sense) – not because I don’t like children but because of the broody-factor. I will not miss the disorganisation of some of my ex-colleagues. But I will miss the many wonderful people who work everyday to bring change and improvement to the community. I hope I can stay in touch with some of the very special people who have been so much fun to work with. I am so tired after a hectic day of last-minute to-dos. TGIF.

We can be stronger than bombs

23 10 2007

This song makes me feel really hopeful and quite emotional for some reason. It called Oxygen and it’s by Willy Mason.

You might have to wait for the buffer depending on your connection speed.

Blog action day

15 10 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

The day is nearly over for me but I wanted to post something as this is such an important issue.  I don’t do enough to help the environment. I know this. But this post is about what I DO do:

  • I think about the environment everyday whether it is recycling a bottle or turning off a light switch
  • We have just switched to using reusable bags for our weekly/fortnightly grocery shop. This has taken far too long but at last we won’t have dozens of plastic bags every time we shop.
  • The standby button has been banished – TVs are turned off when they aren’t being watched as are all other electronic equipment.
  • Clothes that don’t fit are either donated, recycled or if the fabric is lovely, put in my fabric box ready to be made into a gift r some other crafty thing.
  • We recycle everything we can: glass, plastic, paper/card, tins
  • We have a compost bin to recycle suitable food waste into compost to feed our garden
  • I think about how beautiful the world is

It’s not much but it’s a step in the right direction.

6 years

11 09 2007

Seven hours after sitting glued to the TV watching CNN I had to get on a plane to go to Crete on holiday.  It is the only time I have ever been scared of flying.  I am glad I still went – it is where I met ricardo.  Our days were spent by the pool and our evenings in front of the bar’s huge widescreen TV watching CNN show those clips over and over.  We felt guilty for being on holiday and having a good time so we kept watching because it was all we could do.  That, and drink milkshakes with amaretto.  For all the horrible and stupid loss, I am still so surprised that the number of people killed was below 3,000.  It just didn’t seem possible that so many had managed to get out.  It all happened so quickly.  But the number that didn’t make it is still almost 3,000 too many.

I would like to know…

10 09 2007
  • Why do burns from an iron hurts so much?  The contact must have been mere milliseconds and yet layer upon layer of skin has been melted.  It really doesn’t make me like the chore any more…
  • Will I ever be able to watch a programme about 9/11 without crying?  Should I?
  • How many TV shows series-linked on Sky + is too many?
  • When will my good intentions vis a vis exercise and diet start to materialise into something a little less theoretical and a little more effective (perhaps this question needs to be answered in conjunction with the previous question)?
  • Why aren’t I in Italy with my parents enjoying the sun, the Alps and the fine cuisine?
  • Why do people who buy stuff on ebay complain about the postage cost?  Don’t bid if you don’t like it, fools.
  • Will England qualify for Euro 08?  If they carry on playing like they did on Saturday we have a chance…
  • How many more shows can I get my MIL addicted to?  Alias?  Check.  24?  Check.  I don’t think Buffy or Dawson’s Creek will be her thing, alas.
  • What will I make with the lovely Laura Ashley fabric in my stash?
  • Will I be good and do the ironing and housework after work tomorrow as planned or will I be distracted by my Real Simple magazine which I have managed to get ordered at the newsagents in town and will be picking up on my way home?
  • How can the weekend be over already?