Life and Thyme!

Archive for March, 2013

Bad News from the Big Garden Bird Watch

The results are now in from the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch and the results show an alarming decline in bird numbers with Starlings faring the worst. Read all about it here and how we can all help wildlife in our own back gardens.

Award Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

And finally I was awarded this one

by the Red Headed Stitcher so long ago I expect she forgot all about it.

And here’s what to do

1.The Nominee of the Wonderful Team member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog.
2.The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little.
3.The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during 7 days.

So here are my 14 Nominees

The Snail of Happiness

The vibes

A little patch of heaven

winter owls

Ziggy Shortcrust

EA 1701

Cross Stitch your heart

The View Outside

I know I made you smile

Best of Crochet

Tooksberry

Knit read and click

J G Burdette

Handmade card blog

I hope some of these are new to you and you enjoy them as much as I do. I have enjoyed blowing a few trumpets for all the great blogs I follow.

Award- Liebster Blog Award

I was nominated for this award a while ago by Rainbow junkie corner, but lacked the skills to do what was necessary. Now I have those skills here I go.

First the Award

And all I have to do is post 11 random facts about myself, answer 11 questions from the person who nominated me and then nominate 11 people whose blogs I like.

11 RANDOM FACTS

1 My Favourite apples are Pink Ladies

2 The first place I went to abroad was Cannes in France, where I learned to swim.

3 My first job was a summer holiday job in a shop called Rowntrees in Scarborough- it’s now a Debenhams. I sold suits!

4 I prefer to drink Earl Grey tea to any other tea.

5 The first thing I knitted for myself was a purple jumper when I was at college, and I rather think my room mate knitted more of it than I did!

6 The first garment I sewed for myself was at school where I made some Red Baby Doll PJs. Who knows what I mean by Baby Doll PJs. Believe me they were quite the thing!

7 I was once a waitress- I left after three days, it was not me!

8 I HATE Beetroot.

9 My husband, then boyfriend and I once hitchhiked to London to see the Haywain!

10 I love the smell of freshly mown grass.

And now for the 11 Questions

  1. Why did you start a blog?- I started to blog nearly a year ago- I needed to prove to myself that I could learn new things!
  2. How many blogs do you follow It appears the answer to this is 107!
  3. What makes you happy? Being with all my children, partners and grandchildren at once
  4. What are you most grateful for? I suppose that I am fortunate enough to have been born as a Baby Boomer in the UK where  life by and large is good.
  5. What is your favourite food? Lemon meringue pie
  6. What sort of weather do you like best? A sunny and warm English summer day.
  7. Which famous person would you most like to meet? I would like to meet Germaine Greer, but I might not understand everything she said!
  8. Where would you most like to go for a holiday? New Zealand- the scenery looks stunning
  9. What sort of books do you like to read? I like many sorts of books but they need to be well written and to say something about life.
  10. What style of music do you prefer? Happy music -can be classical, pop, jazz or folk.
  11. What characteristic do you hope other people will most value in you?
    Kindness. The world would be a better place with more Kindness.

And now for 11 super blogs- do check them out. In no particular order

1 Doodlerainbow

2Crochet with Tamara

3Hannah Ackroyd

4 Stitch and Purl

5 chicenvelopements

6 Mrs M makes

7 Faith hope and charity shopping

8 the high note dot net

9 Ginx craft

10 Attic 24

11Red Headed Stitcher

Please check their blogs if they are new to you.

 

Awards- Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I have been nominated for some wonderful awards and my skills have now improved enough ..I hope to accept these in the spirit in which they were made. So here goes with the first one- if this works I’ll post the others soon!

Sisterhood of the world bloggers award

This has been awarded to me by Prague by Katy whose blog you can find here,

Thank you Katy

And these are the rules.

▪   Provide a link and thanks to the bloggers who nominated you.
▪   Answer 10 questions.
▪   Nominate 10 blogs that you find a joy to read.
▪   Provide links to the blogs and inform the recipients they have been nominated.
▪   Include the award logo within your post.

10 Questions to answer:

1. Your favourite color?  —  the turquoise colour of  the seas around the Greek islands
2. Your favourite animal?  —  Cocker Spaniels
3. Your favourite drink?  — Water
4. Facebook or Twitter?  — Facebook
5. Your favourite pattern?  – I don’t wear patterns much but I am sucker for children’s  fabrics – toys ,animals etc
6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?  – Giving  always.
7. Your favourite number?  – 3
8. Favourite day of the week?  – Sundays- family time
9. Favourite flower? – Daffodils
10. What is your passion? – My family ,my home, books and Yarn

10 Blogs which are a joy to read

1 Agujas

2 Pillows A La Mode

3 Buried Words and Bushwa

4 The Green Dragonfly

5Big House Little Prairie

6 Hi JK crochet

7 Marzipanmelloo

8 Rainbow Junkie

9 Creative Pixie

10 The Little Room of Rachell

I so hope this has worked!

 

 

 

 

Crochet Along. Blocks 86-88

Taken from 200 crochet blocks by Jan Eaton and organized by the Little Room of Rachel see her blog here, we have been crocheting all these blocks together. The colour theme is Cottage Garden. Here are this weeks blocks.

86 Sunray

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In the book this is all pink. As it’s called Sunray I decided to do yellow instead. I used a 3.5 hook and it turned out exactly 6″ square.

Next is 87 Peony

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I love Peonys so big and well full on, if you know what I mean. I used a 4.5 hook and had to omit the last 3 rounds as I had already reached the 6″ square. Don’t think it looses much by not having the extra pink rows on the end. In fact I like the way the flower dominates the square, just like  peony commands space in the garden.

And finally 88 Edwardian Fancy

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Done on a 3.5 hook and measuring exactly 6″ square. And if someone can tell me what is remotely Edwardian about this I would love to know.

Snow is predicted for this weekend so lots of crochet time. Yippee! But I would like to have some gardening time too….please

How’s everyone else doing. And if you fancy joining in people are joining the group all the time- hop over to Rachel’s little room.

Books Q&A

I try to catch up with my emails daily, and so that includes checking out my favourite blogs. And once in a while a post comes up which really catches my attention and sends me off blog hopping. Today this happened. The blog that started it was Hannah Ackroyd-Here is the post which started me off. And here is the post which got Hannah started. And here is Skye’s post which got Stephanie started. And what is it all about- why some Q&As about books and reading. Bliss!

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Oh have I had fun today.

Here come the Questions.

What are you reading right now?

Revelation by C.J. Sansom. The book is a mix of historical (Tudor times- Henry 8th) and detective story. I started it three days ago and have read 181 pages. This story is set in London and concerns the mysterious and violent deaths of two seemingly unconnected learned men and the strange case of a young man admitted to Bedlam for becoming to fervent in his prayers. What I love about this book and others in this series is that I get caught up in the atmosphere of the story, I feel tangible fear emanating from the court of the tyrant Henry Tudor.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read after you finished this book?

I usually have a pretty good idea what I am going to read next as I always have a huge pile of books waiting to be read. The one I’ll read next is The Warden by Anthony Trollope. I have no idea if I’ll like it, but Trollope is one of those authors I’ve always meant to read. It’s the first in the Chronicles of Barsetshire, and I have wanted to read them as they are set in a Cathedral city , based on Salisbury. Not that I have ever been to Salisbury but I just love Cathedral cities- eg Winchester. And I found this copy in a charity shop on Tuesday, so it was meant to be.

Five Books you’ve always wanted to read but have never got round to.

Oh my this is hard as there are so many books I want to read and re read and time is ticking by. Like all the Dickens I have not yet read. But to be more specific, here are 5 books in my pile which never quite get to the Next Book stage.

The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck- I have actually started this but not got far. It’s supposed to be the book that has the most of Steinbeck himself in it, but it’s all marine biology and fishing and boats.

The Sea Wolf by Jack London-I bought this in San Francisco nearly 5 years ago. I read The Call of the Wild and White Fang also by Jack London which I loved. I just never got round to this.

Cervantes by Don Quixote – I bought this a while ago too. I was given a book token for £10 and managed to buy ten books with it from our now most lamented  long gone book shop. It’s just so big….

The Romance of Tristan by Beroul- no excuses I just never read it

Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky- again no excuses – I have loved the Russian books I read before, I just never read this.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now.

No magazines as such in the bathroom, but there is a seed catalogue usually in the cloakroom on the window cill. And I’m embarrassed about those in the lounge- so many sewing and craft magazines it’s not true. The one I bought most recently was “Stitch”. I may incriminate myself to say any more!!!!!!!!!

What’s the worst book you ever read?

The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury. On which the film of the same name is based. I read this with my son Mr B when we got back from a holiday in New York. Both of us gave up on it. We both found the film fascinating but just got plain bored with the book. But both of us said we would go back and finish it one day, we just didn’t- it’s still on our shelves.

What book is really popular but you really hated?

There are two authors I really can’t stand – one is Barbara Cartland and the other is Catherine Cookson. Both popular and both oh YUK!

I will however plump for The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald- I just had no sympathy for the characters.

What’s the one book you recommend to everyone?

The BBC compiled a list of 100 Good Reads. Now to my mind a Good Read is not the same as a Good book. It needs to appeal to men and women and across lots of age groups. So the book I suggested is one I would recommend to everyone. It is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. If you’ve not read it or seen it on TV then read ASAP before a TV production spoils it for you. The book is MILES better than any film or TV production. It is a cracking good read.

What are your favourite three poems?

I love listening to poetry read out loud but loose concentration when reading poetry to myself. So top of my list is not very original but it has to be ..

If by Rudyard Kipling. Des Lyman recorded it following the world cup in which England exited  rather ignominiously. I’ve still not forgiven a certain football player for his stupid kick. He broke my sons’ heart… Anyway this poem still makes me cry when I hear it read.If

Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep- Anon– found on a soldier who died in Northern Ireland. It is just beautiful.here And I see it has been attributed to someone now according to this site

This be the Verse by Philip Larkin . Sorry this is still in copyright and I can’t give you a link. But I try to forgive my parents in the hope my sons will forgive me…. you probably know the one I mean!

Where do you usually get your books?

The answer has to be Everywhere. Presents, book shops, charity shops, our second hand bookshop, car boot sales,  borrowed from family and friends,the Library. The book I read a week or so ago was passed onto me by my son Mr J and my current book came from a charity shop. If somewhere has books than I go and usually buy!

Where do you usually read your books?

Always in bed, sometimes on the sofa- usually on a Saturday afternoon before I watch Final Score. Always on holiday and boats, airplanes and trains. Never on coaches or cars – I get sick! Oh and always when I have to make a phone call which is going to involve listening to Vivaldi- turns a nightmare to a joy!

When you were little did you have any reading habits?

“Cathy turn the light out!” “Yes Mum!”. Under the bedclothes with a torch.. didn’t we all

And I also read cereal packets at breakfast- it beat having to eat the contents!

I still read everything- On watching adverts on telly it’s always “How much %?!!!!!” Or “they asked 98 women and 35 said they would recommend it! Big Deal!”

What’s the last book you stayed up half the night to read?

Oh that was Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. After three months reading it I just had to get it finished and move onto something more agreeable. I don’t recommend it but I did read it to the bitter end. WHY?

Have you ever faked reading a book?

No, I don’t believe I did, why would I?

Have you ever bought a book just because you like the cover?

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Sorry I forgot to turn the picture. I just love William Morris designs and so had to have the book- never read it but it looks great on the shelf! One day…

What was your favourite book as a child?

It has to be The Treasure Seekers by Enid Blyton. I owe her such a debt of gratitude for writing books that led to a lifetime of enjoyment in reading. I took the trouble to learn off by heart the opening paragraphs so that when I finally turned out the torch to go to sleep I recited them as I fell asleep.

Which book changed your life?

The Women’s Room by Marilyn French . Described as a hugely popular and feminist book here Just read it please ladies. It made me stronger as a woman, and I went back to studying.

What is your favourite passage from a book?

Apart from the Treasure Seekers?

Now I love Jane Austin  ( Pride and Prejudice)so don’t get me wrong here , but I believe that Elizabeth Bennet was a gold digger of the worst order- I don’t blame her-  poverty beckoned but consider on her first sight of Pemberley she goes into raptures in her description and then “and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something” And from that moment Mr Darcy seems a lot nicer!

But my absolute favourite passage is from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. “I’ll think of it all tomorrow….After all tomorrow is another day” Good advice!

Who are your top five favourite authors?

John Steinbeck

Alexander McCall Smith- for the Number One Ladies Detective Agency

Kate Mosse

Leo Tolstoy

Maeve Bincy- my guilty pleasure

But that’s just today…

What is your favourite classic book?

Middlemarch by George Elliott- all of life is  here and so beautifully written

Five notable mentions?

 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- if you love books then read this for certain sure

Pompeii by Robert Harris– I felt as if I was there… wonderful descriptions of life in Pompeii

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey- and why Richard the 3rd did not kill those Princes in the Tower

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory- just a good read.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac- so evocative of the period and just made me want to travel in the States, and i have done

Narrowing that down to five was so hard

 

 

 

 

 

Say No to Cold Telephone Callers.

I have worked for many years with the elderly and other vulnerable people, I have supported them to use the Telephone Preference Service to stop cold callers but it doesn’t always work.

If I get a cold caller I get cross. Others may get really upset and confused, and it doesn’t matter how often you say stop it the calls keeping coming.

The time has come to fight back by reporting these calls to the Telephone Preference Service. At last something is being done about it.

This BBC report is the first case when a firm has been fined. And here is where you can find out how

Today I reported my first cold caller- Bring it on!

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