And another week goes by…

Somehow it is already past the middle of January. How has that happened?! So far I think January, and 2013, is doing a pretty good job, I feel like I should give it a sticker or something.

This weekend I have two bits of exciting news – that are possibly only exciting to me, but seeing as this is my blog and I can write about whatever silly nonsense I like, I will share. You’re welcome.

1) I now have two bridesmaid’s dresses, since I am going to be a bridesmaid twice this year. I dunno, you go 23 1/2 years and aren’t a bridesmaid once and then two weddings come along at the same time. I love both my dresses and can’t wait for the wedding shindigs.

2) The other piece of exciting news is that I have dates to go the USA for what could now be called my Annual Trip. March 7th-21st I will be Oregon bound to visit my favourite bunch of Americans. I can’t wait. I’ve been checking out flights for the past week or so and trying to figure out the best route. I want to fly from Gatwick since it’s nearer, but that tends to result in needing to take 3 planes to get all the way across the states. Which could be fun on the way there since I don’t really get jetlagged flying West, but on the journey back it may not be so much fun. Apparently jetlag is always worst when flying Eastwards, but I don’t know why.

All I know is that I am for sure looking forward to this trip. Even though it’s been less than a year since I last went, it feels like forever and I enjoy every minute of my time there so much that it’s basically a highlight of the year.

Oh! I just remembered more exciting news. (Again, exciting to me, maybe not to you)
Book Club is starting again! A group of us met last summer with the intention of reading The Greener Grass Conspiracy greenergrass

But due to 6 very busy schedules we never got round to organising any times to meet. So we all have read it separately I think, but over the New Year I felt that this was the year to step out more and really be purposeful in getting to know people – and by people, I mean, young women around my age/in my demographic – in the church and I decided to propose starting Book Club again.

So I think there are 6 of us, which is a nice number, although more may join. To begin with we’re going to read a short-ish book called 9781842913574

and then we have another book lined up, for afterwards.

All in all, I’m pretty good right now. It’s a nice feeling. Long may it last!

-x-

Day 4: Favourite book

Hmm. After saying yesterday that I don’t “do” favourites, today is yet another shining example.

Oh books.

Where do I start?!

I absolutely, 100%, categorically adore books. I love reading, and have done since I was ever so little.

Check out my chubby cheeks!

I’m four months old in that picture, so if you want to be technical I wasn’t actually reading…but ever since I was old enough to hold onto a book, I’ve done it.

Growing up I’d have books everywhere…in the living room (to read whilst I simultaneously watched TV), at the computer (to read whilst waiting for things to load/avoid homework), in the bathroom. I even read at the dinner table, when my mum would allow me to.

It wasn’t just books that I read…I’d even read the backs of cereal boxes at breakfast, and have the subtitles up on the TV.

When I was little we would go to the library every few weeks, sometimes even once a week, to get new books. I completed the reading challenge when I was about 8 or 9, having read 100 books and done a little interview with the librarian after each one to get my stickers. My brother did it too and we both went to an awards evening where we got certificates and a free signed book from a poet called John Foster.

I thought I was so cool.

What I’m trying to say (in hundreds of words, when simple dozens would do) is that I am, at heart, a bibliophile. One of my goals this year is to read 50 books, and I’m keeping up with it on goodreads (I’ve read 12 so far…)

And so we approach the monumental task of considering my favourite book.

Oh help.

Below is a list of [some of] books that I plan on giving to/reading to/reading with my daughter when I have one.

Little Women
Peepo!
The House on Exeter Street
Anything by Jane Hughes – Alfie and Annie Rose books
Old Bear Stories
The House by Princes Park
The biographies of Helen Forrester (pen name)
Gone With The Wind
Pretty much anything by Jacqueline Wilson

There are just too many wonderful books in my memory…far more than are listed above. Books are just so special. I could never use a Kindle or read e-books, because to actually physically hold a book is just a great feeling. I love going to the library and pondering what I’m going to take home and try this time, what new favourite I might find.

Books are my delight.

What is your favourite book? Maybe I’ll try it and it’ll be my new favourite!

-x-

My ‘stay-cation’

This past week I have had the most blissfully peaceful ‘stay-cation’.

Stay-cation (also spelled stay-cation, stacation, or staykation) is a neologism for a period in which an individual or family stays and relaxes at home, possibly taking day trips to area attractions.    (thanks Wikipedia!)

I went to my Mum’s, in Devon, and had seven glorious days there. Possibly the best thing about it was that I was using up my TOIL, (“time off in lieu” of additional hours worked) so I feel like I really did earn the time off, and consequently it was justified to do absolutely nothing if that was how I felt.

Of course, most days I was up by eight and walking the dogs with Mum…but there was such a distinct lack of pressure or “must-do” attitude that I completely relaxed and now really don’t want to go back to work tomorrow!

Things I did:
– read four books, in completion, and started two more (including Stephen Fry’s “In America” which I love)
– made fabric flowers with Mum
– did lots of cooking with Mum (roast dinner, chicken pie, blueberry lemon drizzle cake and flapjack…for example)
– listened to the radio, and watched TV and movies
– took my two younger sisters (17 and 2 1/2) to the zoo for the day!   (photos to follow!)

Along with many dog walks (and cuddles) and probably close to a hundred cups of tea. I love tea at home.

It was just too lovely for words.

I definitely needed this time off. It’s not like I’m overworking myself…that much…but it has been pretty full-on since Christmas and as such I feel a little like life is just happening to me, passing me by, and that I’m not really involved in any significant way.

I think I needed a little perspective, and even though I didn’t consciously spend time praying (or reading my Bible…I have catch-up to do) I do feel closer to God as a result of taking work out of the equation, even for just a week.

It’s been nice, is what I’m trying to say!

-x-

p.s. I also spent a LOT of time on Pinterest, and found far too many gorgeous things. But one of my favourites was this absolutely amazing treehouse, which I have decided is possibly my dream holiday home. For when I’m rich and therefore am able to spend lots of time making it as pretty on the inside as on the outside:

 

Good Reads

There was an article in some magazine a while ago…I think I read it at the doctors, that great place of literature, and it was about books…why we love them etc.

Let’s just put it out there…I love books. I love reading. I love bookshops and libraries. I love borrowing books (though I never have enough bookmarks so sorry, lend to me and it’ll come back with corners turned down slightly) and lending books and talking about books.

Which is why I love this website, which was linked in the article: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6017696-sarah

Gradually I’m getting through my entire literary history…though I might draw the line at Katie Morag and The Old Bear Tales! I’ve also found a lot of new books to put on my “to read” list.

Check it out and have a go…

-x-