Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Cold Then Cosy!

We finally got our share of snow today and Evie had a day off from school, she spent a good few hours this morning building a snowman with her friends and running about in the snow.
Then later on just before sunset I went for a walk with her. First we went to look at her snowman but some mean spirited misery had knocked it down and put a cigarette out on it.
So we carried on up to the field at the top of the hill where we live and Evie had a good run about in lovely untouched snow!!




Later on Evie and Mica went sledging with some friends and came home looking like two snowmen as the snow was falling thick and fast again, I think We've had about 6 inches of it this evening!!


Whilst they were out sledging I got some good hooky time in and finished this big piece of snuggliness!!


Evie and Coco snuggled up together until bedtime!!


Keep cosy.
Em xxxxx

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bookworm - More Recent Reads.

I seem to have read loads recently, I think its the weather...theres nothing nicer than sitting snuggled under a blanket with a good book and a hot cup of coffee!!
Soooo I better get on with this latest list.
1.Jackie Collins 'Poor Little Bitch Girl'


 I think over the years I've read almost everything Jackie Collins has written and enjoyed most of it, I did feel her last few books were getting a bit formulaic but this most recent one seems to be a return to form.
If you're familiar with JC you'll know what I mean, if not her books are always a mixture of glamour, thrill seeking, murder, mystery and um..other things!!
I love her books because even though they are usually pretty predictable they're a decent easy read that dosen't tax my brain too much!!

2.  Emma Donoghue 'Room'

I think this was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, but what ever it was an amazing read.
Told in the words of a 5 year old boy who believes that the small room he and his mother live in is the whole world and that everything he see's on the television is make believe.
When his mother decides he is old enough to know the truth everything changes for both of them.
It is the story of the mental stresses placed on both the boy and his Mother after a series of traumatic events that change both their lives.
I read this book in a day I just couldn't put it down and after I'd finished it I felt I don't really know how to describe it...pretty emotionally drained though.
The ending of this book I thought was perfect, it just rounded off the story so beautifully.
The author says she took inspiration from a very famous criminal case that is similar to the scenario in the book but I wont say anymore and spoil it for anyone who wants to read it.




3. Karl Pilkington 'An Idiot Abroad'


I read this because I'd been told the TV series was very very funny and I missed it.
One of the great things about having a Kindle is that you can download previews of books you fancy reading and read the first couple of chapters before you decide whether or not to buy it, which is what I did with this.
Anyways...this really was a funny book and since reading it I've watched quite a few clips from the show on youtube.
Its basically the travel journal of a very reluctant traveller (Karl Pilkington) who has to visit various wonders of the world, meet with several interesting characters, and partake in a few strange activities.
He stays in some horrendous sounding hotels and eas all manner of weird and not-so wonderful food and all because Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais think it will be funny!!
It makes for very very funny reading but certainly didn't inspire me to visit any of the places he went to I just felt sorry for the poor guy but couldn't help but laugh at him too!!


4. Caroline Smailes 'In Search Of Adam'




I bought this book for my Kindle for 99p a while back and read it when I wanted something quite short to read.
I stayed awake until I'd finished it as it was another unputtdownable read and it just left me feeling shell shocked afterwards.
It is the story of a young girl whose mother commits suicide at the start of the book and the neglect, abuse and indifference she suffers throughout her childhood and young adulthood.
It is not one of those non fiction real life stories of suffering (sorry to sound cynical about those sort of books but I just can't enjoy them) but a very good work of fiction that explores the feelings of a young girl as she really struggles to cope with the endless amount of crap that life throws at her.
The ending is horrbly inevitable and I sat for ages after I put it down with tears running down my face.
I'd definitely reccomend it but I'd advise a box of tissues too!!

5. Philippa Gregory 'The Other Boleyn Girl'


If you know me at all you'll know I love my historical fiction and this one didn't disappoint!
It was yet another one that I just couldn't put down.
The story of Mary and Anne Bolelyn sisters at the court of Henry VIII, everyone knows the story of Anne Boleyn but her sister Mary is a relative unknown.
She was apparently mistress to the king before his head was turned by Anne.
Once Anne is in pursuit of the king and the chance of becoming queen Mary takes a step back and helps further Annes cause which in turn will further the fortunes of their family.
Anne comes across as a concieted, devious and thoroughly unpleasant woman in this story but I really couldn't help but feel for her as she approached her downfall.
If you are a fan of Philippa Gregory or historical fiction  you'll love this one...the only problem I have when I read historical fiction that is based on fact is that I end up spending hours browsing the internet for more information on the real life characters!

Happy reading.
Em xxxx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Birthday Bonanza.


 Another day...another stack of goodies!
This time birthday presents from my lovely family and friends...


A bagful of CK gooness, a beautiful hand knitted scarf,lime and bergamot perfume,notebooks and smellies,Yankee candles, a silk scarf decorating kit and a book about the 'Huskar Mine Tragedy' and children working in Victorian mines.


There were also some Thorntons chocolates but me and Evie scoffed the lot earlier in one go!

Lots of pretty cards including some lovely handmade ones.


 And this card which is my most special and the one that I'll put away and keep forever.





And still to come next week I'm getting this from Scott.


 Added to all that I had a million phonecalls and a billion messages on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday and a lovely sunday roast cooked for me by my sister Ruby.

Keep warm and cosy.
Em xxxx

Saturday, 27 November 2010

A Package All The Way From Canada.

I won the giveaway at Clara's Crochet Room and have been very excited to see what my prize was as Clara wasn't telling!!
Anyway yesterday afternoon it arrived and Woweeee it was full of all sorts of treasures...crafty bits and pieces, christmas decorations, a cute little book, some pretty wine glass charms, a cosy scarf and a very handy bag!!!!


 Thank you so much Clara, theres nothing like a parcel full of goodies to cheer you up!

We got a slight sprinkling of snow last night...but by this morning it had just about gone...we only have icy roads now.
Evie and Me had to go out and leave our footprints in it last night before anyone else did!


 Em xxxx

Friday, 26 November 2010

Snail Mail Swap.

I recently took part in the interesting 'Snail Mail ' swap arranged by Em at Mousy Brown's House. If you've never looked at this blog before I really recommend nipping over there now to check out Em's amazingly inspirational crafting and her beautiful photography.

Anyway back to the swap...Em requested a swap partner for each month of the year and an idea of what We would like to swap, I requested november as I knew I'd be away on holiday in october and I wanted to make the main part of my swap some treasures I'd found in Tunisia.

I tried hard to stay away from what I'd call 'touristy tat' for my swap parcel although as always I managed to bring plenty of it back to clutter up my house even more.
I bought bits and pieces in shops in the non touristy parts of town and the soap was sold 'under the counter' by a young man at our hotel handmade by his mother!




Em sent me one of her amazing papercuts...I think if you look closely you can see the absolutely incredible detail on it!




 I'm now trying desperately to find a frame that does it justice!!
After telling Em I liked to travel and hated to be cold she thought the warm welcoming sight of a fire would cheer me up!!!
There was also some beautiful crochet flowers which Evie appropriated to hang in her bedroom!


And a lovely lovely card with hydrangeas on the front which just happen to be one of my most favourite flowers.
What can I say but 'thank you' to Em for organising such a fun and unique swap.
Also I have to say thank you to her for sending me some photos of my parcel that I sent to her...in my hurry to get it sent (chaotic and dis-organised as ever) I forgot to take any pictures and I really can't take credit for such beautiful photography.


Have a nice weekend.
Em xxx


Thursday, 18 November 2010

Quiet and Cold.

Brrrr its chilly this week isn't it and I've just heard that the North and East of the country might be getting some snow next week! YUCK!!!
It looks pretty for about an hour, its fun to play in for about 20 minutes and thats it..I hate the cold wet white stuff after that!
So my week so far has been mostly uneventful, I've crocheted a lot but can't post pictures as its christmas present crochet and I've watched loads of TV...I am a bit of reality show addict and I V+ loads of them at night and catch up on them during the day...although I'm not liking this new ' Celebrity Coach Trip' Taz did warn me it was dire and she was right it is.
Our 'Stitch and Bitch' was more bitch than stitch this week as we all had a lot to gossip about!!
Definitely not alot of stitching going on here!!
Tonight there was a loud knock on our front door and a lovely delivery driver handed me a big box....when I opened it up it was full of beautifully wrapped presents all for MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
YAY it was my advent swap parcel from Lovely Lynda . I have had to tape the box back up and hide it as Evie was far too interested in the contents and told me that she knows for sure that one of the parcels contains hand sanitizing gel?????

I'm dreaming of a 'germ free' christmas apparently.
 Enjoy the rest of the week and wrap up warm!
Em xxx
 

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Nutjob?

I've been really busy recently with crochet mainly but as its for various swaps and christmas presents I thought I'd keep the pictures secret for now.
So...what else have I been doing?
Not a right lot because the weather has been so so cold I haven't wanted to venture out more than necessary.
But yesterday morning We had to go to Pinderfields Hospital (Scott had an appointment about a painful knee) and Evie and I thought We'd tag along and go walking in the park afterwards.
So whilst we were waiting in the car we spied these guys, there were four of them that we could see and they were absolutely fascinating to watch!!




The walk never materialised it was just far to cold so we went to Sainsburys and bought crusty bread, fancy ham and the nicest homous in the world!
Hope you've all had a nice 'n' toasty warm weekend.
Em xxx

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Bookworm 5 - Recent Reads.

What with feeling bleeeurghh last week I seem to have read a lot more than usual recently...
The first book here then is 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett.

The Help
 An absolutely brilliant story of three women in Jackson, Missippi in 1962 with the civil rights movement as a backdrop. I loved all three of the main characters, Aibilene and Minnie both black maids working for white families and Miss Skeeter a young aspiring writer. The baddie 'Miss Hilly' is pure evil and her come uppance is a truly sweet moment.
I know this is a very very popular book, and deservedly so, but if you haven't already read it I thoroughly recommend it! 

Next up is a Long 'short' story that my daughter Kia recommended to me 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by  Charlotte Perkins GIlman...


The Yellow Wallper
Based loosley on the authors personal experiences it is the story of a young womans descent into madness brought on by the 'cure' for her possible post-natal depression (the reader is never actually sure what the ailment is) recommended by her doctor husband.
The almost total 'rest' cure was a common cure for those of a 'nervous' disposition at the end of the 19th century and the author who suffered from depression for a number of years was given a 'rest cure' she had to 'live as domestic a life as possible' and have only 2 hours of stimulation per day, she was also forbidden to ever write, paint or draw ever again.
After 3 months of this treatment she decided to go against the diagnosis and wrote 'The Yellow Wallpaper' to prove that she had been mis-diagnosed.
This book is strange in that there are so many different interpretations of what the story is about, I'd love to discuss it with anyone who has read it.

Third on my list today is 'The Little House' by one of my favourite authors Philippa Gregory.
The Little House
 Now this is a strange coincidence that occured last week.
'The Little House' has just been shown as a mini-series on ITV last week and this week and it was my Mum who asked me if I was going to watch it..so I checked out the advert for it and it reminded me of a book I'd read well over 10 years ago, so of course I googled it, read the book synopsis and YES it was the same book!!
So I watched the first episode, enjoyed it and wished I could re-read the book but I'd lent my copy out and never got it back.
Then the next evening my good friend who works in a charity shop came round with a book for me..you'll never guess what it was..'The Little House' he'd picked it up because he knows I love Philippa Gregory (although until the day before I didn't even realise this was by her).
Anyway to get to the point I read this book from cover to cover in probably less than 24 hours...it was every bit as great as I remembered and loads better than the TV version, which was very good too.
A quick synopsis, its a tense psychological thriller about a reluctant mother and a very domineering mother-in-law,obviously I cant ruin it for you but the ending in the book is very very good!

And finally this book that I discovered by accident. 'Bonesetter' by Laurence Dahners.

Bonesetter
 This is a story set in pre-historic times about a teenage boy who struggles to be of any use to his tribe until he discovers he has a talent for mending dislocated bones,but because of his lowly status within his tribe nobody wants to acknowledge his help and he is cast out as useless.
He has to fend for himself and devises a new way of hunting as well as taking on the traditionally womens tasks of gathering grains and vegetables.
When his mother brings a wounded member of his former tribe for him to help his luck begins to change.
I loved this, it was well written and interesting and obviously well researched. I'm a huge fan of Jean .M. Auel and I think the never ending wait for her next book has made me hungry for some pre-history action!!
'Bonesetter' is I think classed as older childrens fiction,but dont let that put you off its still a great read.

I've just realised that this post is like a novella its so long!!
Does anybody actually bother reading these huge long blog posts?
See you soon.
Em xxxx

Monday, 8 November 2010

Rainy November...

My first November post and its a dull, dreary day with lots of freezing cold rain and icy wind.
This past week our whole household has taken it in turn to feel bleeeeuuurghh so none of us have felt much like doing anything.
I've spent most of the week reading (I'll post more on that in the next day or so).
Infact yesterday was the first time I picked up a crochet hook in over a week.


I hope everyone had a fun bonfire night, We all felt well enough to go to the bonfire and fireworks display in Penistone, where Mica was working in her capacity as a volunteer for 'Penistone FM' a local community radio station where she is a presenter.


Mica taking a few minutes off from her radio duties!


Who dosen't love fireworks?


Afterwards We nipped into Tesco and bought pie and peas and rocky road cheesecake for tea...mmmm yum!!


One last thing, I'm sorry but I'm having to re-enable the word security thingy again, but I am getting so many anonymous comments and some are rather distasteful so in an attempt to stop them I'm putting the security back on.

Em xxxx