Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My A - Z of books

Hello again!  Just under a month to go until World Book Night, I can't wait to pick up my books from my local library and start preparing for the big day (night)!

To continue my celebration of  becoming a book giver for World Book Night, and to celebrate all things books I continue my A-Z of books with the letter 'E'.  Enigma by Robert Harris:

I am a total book snob, I will be judgey about a book cover and I'm unlikely to ever read books like the Da Vinci Code because of the hype surrounding it and Dan Brown.  When I worked at Waterstones during my degree I was like this about Robert Harris, I don't really know why, I just was.  I had seen the film Engima (the one with Kate Winslet in) but just hadn't made the link to Harris' book, a friend recommended it to me.  Now I was a bit dubious but I trusted her taste in books so I gave it ago, I liked it a lot and I've re-read it at least once, possibly twice.  You're probably picking up on my slightly lukewarm review?  Usually I fill blog posts about books I've liked with far too many exclamation marks and I overuse the term 'awesome', so why am I including a book I 'liked' in my A - Z of books?  Because Engima represents a time when I got over my book snobbery (even if it was just a little bit) and decided to read books I wanted to read, rather than just read books I thought I should read or be seen reading.  I think that's quite grown-up really.

Here is a recap of my A-Z so far:

Friday, 21 March 2014


Halfway through!  With spring sneaking in more and more, and allotment time expanding I anticipate many more happy days moments.  Here are days 41 - 50:

41: Spring blossom is always good, even if it means everyone in the office is sneezing away with hayfever!

42: Booking flights and accommodation for our little holiday in San Diego.  I am so so so excited!

43: My continued love for netball just has to feature in my 100 happy days.  The last two sessions have been great with lots of game time :)

44: What would a 100 happy days post be without at least one reference to The Drowned Man?  I went with my brother in mid-March and it was the best performance yet!  I got some funny looks on the train back to my brother's house carrying this mask.  (Don't worry no one was harmed!)

45. Being a geek and photographing all the minerals on display at the Natural History Museum!

46: Seeing this painting at Tate Britain and being reminded of MozzyMr's work.

47: My daily obsession is checking on the progress of all our seeds, these tomatoes are doing well, perhaps a bit leggy at the moment but I will move them to prime windowsill space to thicken them up a bit.

48: I did say checking the seeds was a daily obsession!  Here is a little cucumber seedling poking it's head above the soil.

49: After a gorgeously long lie-in on Saturday morning I was greeted by these amazing reflections on the ceiling of our bedroom when I flung back the curtains.  How very geometric and now...

50. The first crop of the year and that is such a happy day.  Purple sprouting broccoli for tea was a real treat :)

#100happydays round up:

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Resolutions in review

Wow, March has been awesome so far.  Hectic for sure, but awesome.  I'm finding some of my resolutions easier to keep than others but that strikes me as pretty standard!

  1. Be in the moment.  I have been taking a slightly different approach to this resolution recently, I have been taking the time to evaluate what I already have and ensuring I use it.  For example, I love my Kindle and love how easy it is to just download a new book to it and to start reading straight away.  The thing is I have an ever growing pile of actual books that people give to me because they think I will like them, so my task recently has been to work my way through the real books and save the ones on my Kindle for when I am on my travels and need to pack light.
  2. Take every opportunity to exercise.  Well I bit the bullet and joined the gym.  I've been loving going to classes and netball every week and I'm finding the more rigid structure of class timetables more motivating than slotting exercise sessions into my week here and there.  Now the weather is getting better I have to admit I'm more inclined to walk to work as well, when I do I average 15,000 steps without even trying!
  3. Be organised about lunches.  Nooo I'm still struggling with this one, any suggestions folks?
  4. Reconnect with friends.  This month we went up to Birmingham to visit good friends Bon, Andy and their new (ish) baby Archie.  It was such a chilled weekend and perfectly sums up how awesome those pair are and how lucky we are to know them :)
  5. Allotment time.  I think this might just be my favourite time of year for the allotment.  Of course I love harvesting armfuls of crops, but when you first put the seeds in and check them everyday for progress, for me that is the most exciting time!
  6. Seek out culture.  Not a bad month for culture at all!  Two visits to The Drowned Man, an evening with comedian Jon Richardson, an afternoon at the Natural History Museum and a morning at Tate Britain.  I'm loving seeking out exhibitions, plays and films.  This month I want to visit the Gilbert and George retrospective exhibition at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter!
  7. Be more efficient with chores.  Whilst taking up classes at the gym has been great for me they definitely eat up my time in the evenings but I have managed to do the odd job here and there to reduce the amount of cleaning I have to do at the weekend.  My mornings have also become a ruthlessly efficient time for doing laundry, and tidying up.  That said there is room for improvement, I might draw up a rota to formalise what needs doing on which days, you never know it might help me focus my mind?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My A - Z of books

Hallo, welcome back!  This week my A - Z of books focuses on 'D' for Dictionaries.  When I was at University I was living in a shared house with MozzyMr and a bunch of super brainy folk.  When we couldn't afford to go out we'd play Scrabble, things were so competitive that one Christmas I asked MoMa and MoPa for the largest dictionary they were happy to buy me, because if I had the largest, most detailed dictionary then I had the best chance of winning with obscure words...

(I am aware this photo contains Thesauruses not Dictionaries, thank you bye)
Chez Moz has at least six dictionaries, we like words, and we're competitive when it comes to Scrabble and this is why I had to have Dictionaries within my A -Z of books.

Here is a recap of my A-Z so far:

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Life lately

  1. Buying daft robots that I would secretly like to own...
  2. Happily this little chap loved the robot! We got to hang out with him on our friends allotment in Birmingham on a sunny, warm spring day - lush.
  3. The new Birmingham Library exterior, pretty impressive.
  4. Graffiti next to the Birmingham Art Gallery where we saw the AMAZING Grayson Perry exhibition of tapestries.
  5. Monday saw me pegging it to London whilst MozzyMr drove home in the opposite direction.  Adventures abound in the capital, this one being the first creature I stumbled upon at the Natural History Museum.
  6. A very pop art display on lobster mites... lovely.
  7. DINOSAURS!!!  
  8. Heuheuheuh whilst in London I took the opportunity to see The Drowned Man again (fifth visit).  I know I say this of every single visit but it really was the best performance I had seen so far I can't wait to go back at the end of the month.
  9. I am loving netball at the moment.  I'm a bit too competitive and push myself too far, I've already had a twisted ankle, pulled a calf muscle and been called out for more penalties than I care to remember the most comedy one being where I pushed a player out of my way with my bum.  I was mocked with much twerking whilst I stood aside for the penalty.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Shiny pretty rocks and tings

Earlier this week I was in London for a conference, it was just a half day thing so I took the opportunity to meet up with my brother for lunch and an explore.  We headed over to the Natural History Museum, I hadn't visited since I was a kid and I wanted to see their beetle and taxidermy collections.  Sadly I couldn't find the beetles but we did come across the fossil and mineral displays in awesome original wooden and glass display cabinets *wibble*.  As you can see I got a little bit snap happy but then the minerals were amazing!  The taxidermy bird display was pretty impressive, sadly (for us at least) the museum was packed with school trips so I couldn't get very close to take photos.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My A - Z of books

Week three and we arrive at 'C' on my A - Z of books journey, and so to Caitlin Moran.

Author, journalist, feminist, and Sherlock lover, there is no better combination in my mind!  Her books; How To Be a Woman, Moranthology and The Chronicles of Narmo approach a broad range of topics including feminism, botox, shoes, Sherlock, kids, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, and Topshop with a sense of humour that resonates with me.  

Her books made me re-engage with feminism and acted as a launchpad for me reading a range of modern feminist articles and books.  I understand her humour isn't for everyone but I would urge you to read her books, in particular How To Be a Woman.

Here is a recap of my A-Z so far:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Wow I can't believe I'm 40 days in!  I'm really enjoying this challenge, it has me instagraming all the time, and really taking the time to notice those little nuggets of happy surrounding me.  So here are days 31-40:

31. What, what is this?  Sunlight?  I can't be sure I haven't seen it for so long...

32. Mewster has taken to hanging out on the back of the sofa whilst MozzyMr and I are sat on it, she also sleeps on the bed more these days.  She may well become a lap cat yet....

33. The weekend after MozzyMr's Birthday I arranged for an old Uni friend of ours to visit as a surprise for Moz.  The look on Moz's face when he answered the door was ace, an evening of catching up, playing Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit ensued.

34. So many weekends recently have been a wash out, so I've been forced to stay under the duvet drinking coffee and reading Ship of Theseus.  It's a real shame.

35. This little beast is so damn cute sometimes.  Whilst I shower in the morning she will hang out on the bathmat having a wash waiting for me to finish and lavish her with attention.

36. MoMa made this ragdoll for me when I was a very little girl, I can't remember her name unfortunately but I love her outfit and hair.  She sits on my chest of drawers so I get to see her everyday.

37. Meeting up with friends for a Friday lunchtime gossip, rounded off with epic ice creams on chilly days!

38.  MozzyMr is always drawing pen tattoos on me, this was Saturday's masterpiece.

39. Last burn on the allotment until October *sad face*.  It was a glorious day on Saturday, perfect burn weather, the whole process is so much easier with Bernie our incinerator.  We went a bit over board and burnt everything that we could get our hands on.

40. So, damn, exciting... I love this time of year!  Every windowsill in the house has collections of seedlings, I've had to bring some house plants to work just to make room.  Here we have some butternut squashes going in!

#100happydays round up:

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

My A - Z of books

Welcome back to my A - Z of books, these posts are to celebrate being chosen as a World Book Night 2014 book giver and to celebrate all things books!

A scan of my copy of the BFG.  You can see the remains of 'The Walt Disney Company' transfer stickers on the cover.  I applied those transfers to everything I owned!
And so to 'B' on my list....it had to be The BFG by Roald Dahl, this was the first book I bought with my own money and I adored it.  We were on holiday in York, I can't remember how old I was when I bought it but whilst curled up on my camp bed in the hotel room breathing in new book smell and feeling like a proper grown up for having bought a book I lapped the story up.  I plan to visit the Roald Dahl museum at some point, my nieces report that it is pretty good!

Standard practice, writing my name over everything, I've even gone with 'I like the BFG'.  Never one to exaggerate apparently.

Almost everyone I know adores Roald Dahl books, which did you first own and which is your favourite?

Here is a recap of my A-Z so far:

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Allotment Geekery

Well I haven't had the opportunity to write an Allotment Geekery post for a while, happily Saturday was sunny and warm.  It was also the last burn day on the plot until October so we burnt ALL THE THINGS!

Not long now until we get purple sprouting broccoli (which takes forever from planting to harvesting), we missed out last year because... well I forgot to plant any.  Awkward.  They're so tender and delicious, three plants provide more than enough for the two of us.

Check it!  Broad beans, planted in the autumn and finally peeking through the soil!  I didn't think these would work because it has been so wet, but 15 little seedlings are poking through with the weather slowly getting drier and warmer it shouldn't be too long before broad bean pesto again! 

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