* bake bread
* finish canvases for bedroom
* do nanowrimo in november
* walk in the peaks
* watch films with hot choc
* read lots
* make and eat crumble
Sometimes I like to look back through my old posts, remind me of what inspired me when I started to blog; how often I wrote and what about. I’ve realised how the content of my blogs has changed, and how strange it is for me to have an ‘audience’ in my head when I write. I started just because I wanted to write stuff, and have somewhere to put it! Although I don’t have many followers or commenters most of the time, it’s strange how knowing who reads this can change the way I think about my blog; and how I can feel obliged to post stuff, instead of waiting for ‘inspiration’! Although I love documenting our everyday lives on here I’m hoping to do a little more writing just because, although I also anticipate a lot more photos coming this way soon! I’m working out where my love of images and words intersect, and where they complement each other.
Although I will continue to write about little things in life and where I’m at with everything, Phoebe, and what we’ve been doing, I’m hoping to feel less obliged to document every moment, every day and every good thing. Some lovely times in my life aren’t on here, and that’s ok- it doesn’t mean that my memories of them will spontaneously disappear, just like if I don’t take a photograph of a great moment or view it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen either. I’m currently trying to spend less time on technology related documenting and thought processes, more time with my new notebook, pens and ideas. I’ve got my paints out in the lounge all the time, I’ve been trying to make decisions on what colours to paint canvases for our bedroom wall, [I’m horrendously indecisive at times, it always comes down to too much choice]. I’m daydreaming about a possible novel writing nanowrimo adventure, rather than about what to instagram or anything [though I do love me some instagram!]
So, in short [!] forgive me for silences, things might be changing, or perhaps they will seem the same to you, I don’t know. Tell me your thoughts [comments, twitter, facebook and talking all work!] and we’ll enjoy this space together.
Dear Pyjamas, thanks for being so comfortable and making being at home with a sick baby that bit nicer.
Dear Rash, please go away and let my baby return to the happy, giggly baby she’s trying so hard to be.
Dear Sleep, I miss you. Don’t worry, I’ll be back.
Dear Food, you’ve been fabulous this week. Baguettes, birthday cakes, lamb kleftiko, meringues, parmesan pork, macaroni cheese and quesadillas come back soon.
Dear Student finance, I will not give up. You will eventually help us after the last seven months of fighting you.
Dear Weekend, thanks for being there. I can’t wait to spend some time with hubby and baby at the same time.
Dear Weather, I know you might think a grand total of two weeks of sunshine was enough to count as ‘summer’, but I’m not ready for it to be this cold, this soon.
Dear Husband, I loved your birthday, and spending quality time together. I’m looking forward to our third wedding anniversary!
Dear Kindle, you’re great. I love reading. Sorry tv, I know we don’t speak much any more.
PS cffffffffffffffffffffffsaqdeweccrqedsax love Phoebe
As a child, I loved reading. I still do, but I read somewhat obsessively. I read whilst walking to church (it is possible to maintain view of the pavement and the book at the same time), in the classroom under my desk, I read books in one sitting, in the middle of the night, by torchlight…
And so, as you can imagine I had quite a number of books. Lots I read were from the library, and most books I had were from the Red Cross bookshop (I’m still hoping they open one in Sheffield) or presents. Since I have moved room, houses, cities and generally grown up, some books have moved on to new lives, but some there have been no question about- they are keepers.
Some of the books I read as a child hold captivating stories, others characters I wanted to be. Some books hold memories about where and when I read them, or who gave them to me. I kept a number of my hardback, even younger childrens’ books because I wanted my children to be able to read them in future years. Now Phoebe is here, I am so glad I did this, and so glad that I am going to be able to share the books I loved with her.
Of course, I don’t want to force her to like reading, I want her to be her own person and not a mini-me- but I also want to be able to open up beautiful, magical worlds, stories which are enchanting, exciting, mysterious and challenging, let her see what I liked. After that very long preamble, here are some of the books I have kept (my Enid Blyton shelf is at my parents’ house still!).
1. Heidi and Heidi Grows Up by Joahanna Spyri-I have fond memories of reading these, of Heidi’s simple life and how she longs for the beauty of the mountains when she is away from them. Friendships and family are central.
2. Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome-I can’t remember how I first discovered these fabulous books, perhaps I got one as a present. I know that once I got attached to the characters, exploring in their sailing boat to unknown territories, I was hooked. I have never been able to stand the screen versions of these, they never did my imagination justice!
3. Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder- I got given one of these as a present from one of my older cousins ( I think! ), again, the characters and story kept me reading for as many more books as I could. Delightful tales of family in such a different lifestyle to ours.
4. E. S. Nesbit books- I have The Railway Children, The Would-be-goods, The Enchanted Castle, The Treasure Seekers, The Phoenix and the Carpet. Another favourite, which I saw recently in the new bbc film was The Five Children and It. Magical tales which truly take you into another imaginary world.
5. Milly-Molly-Mandy books by Joyce Lankster Brisley. I had these in a collection which was well thumbed over the years. To the point where I made my brother play make believe games with me in our bedroom which involved moving the beds around and him being another character in the books.
6. What Katy Did books by Susan M. Coolidge. I particularly liked these books since one of my closest friends is called Katie, so I had an affinity with the name!
7. Noel Streatfield books – classics such as Ballet Shoes. I also had Party Shoes, Tennis Shoes, White Boots, The Painted Garden, Gemma Alone and Curtain Up.
8. The Secret Garden and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Of course, The Secret Garden is a well-known classic. I saw the film of A Little Princess once whilst at primary school and for years afterwards always looked for the book in the bookshop as I didn’t know who it was by and wasn’t certain of what it was called, but was captivated by the tale (this was before I could just look it up on the internet!) I was very happy when I found it years later, and found it just as good a read as I had hoped.
9. Anne of Green Gables books by L. M. Montgomery. These I have read over and over, in recent years too. My cousin gave me the video tapes, which I watched one evening while sick on the sofa with a fever, Anne’s appreciation and zest for life contagious.
10. Enid Blyton books- Although only one book features on this shelf, I have a shelf as full as this at my parents’ house with all her other books that I have. The Faraway Tree stories were full of magic and wonder for me, with the rotating worlds at the top of the tree always providing surprise and captivation.
Others not on my shelf (but read frequently) and worth a mention are the Mary Poppins series, The Borrowers, Little Women, Beatrix Potter books and probably many many more!
Since I spend about a third of my life feeding now, I tend to spend a lot of this time reading, thanks to my Kindle. Here’s a few books I’ve read recently; all of which surprised or intrigued me due to the endings. Here they are, with a few thoughts, but hopefully not spoilers, if you haven’t read them already.
One Day – David Nichols
I had seen the trailers for the film adaptation of this and thought it looked interesting, and found the book a really nice read. I love the structure, with each chapter seeing the same characters on the same day, one year later. Tracking their lives like this was fascinating. Ending wise- I could see that flashing back in time to earlier parts of the novel was supposed to make it seem nicely rounded, and leave you feeling satisfied, not upset, but I just felt a little fobbed off at the end! A great read, one I shall definitely be going back to. (And maybe I will now watch the film!)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
This is a book I’ve meant to read for quite a while; I really liked the child’s focalisation and seeing Bruno’s view of WWII, and the prisoner of war camp he unknowingly lives next to. Naturally, this wasn’t the happiest book in the world given the subject matter of Auschwitz, or ‘Out- With’ but an original take on it. I, like the narrator, wasn’t expecting the ending, and perhaps that shows the effectiveness of the narrative style, as I was almost as oblivious as Bruno to his fate.
‘War Brides’ – Helen Bryan
I found this one by browsing the various sections on Amazon, and fancied the sound of it. It followed several different women from different backgrounds, shortly before and during the war. They all end up living in the same village for the majority of the war and become entwined in each others’ lives. The beginning and the end of the novel showed the women at the 50th anniversary. The ending added quite a twist to the tale, and I suppose had the purpose of leaving the characters feeling that justice had been served, although I just found it a little odd, and that there were other issues I would rather have had resolved.
Other books I’ve enjoyed reading are Pear Shaped by Stella Newman, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Paradise House by Erica James.
I got a Kindle for Christmas, from my lovely husband, and I love it. It’s amazing. But it doesn’t mean I love ‘real’ books any less either! For a while I was quite confused about whether I liked the idea of a Kindle/ e-reader or not- I could see the benefits of being able to have lots of books with you at once, without the weight, especially for travelling and commuting, but I didn’t know whether I would like reading on a screen.
Funnily enough, I’ve read so much more in the last few weeks than I would have done otherwise! I have Sherlock Holmes on it- a book I also have in ‘hard’ copy, but have struggled to make through more than a chapter or two. Now I’m whizzing through! It has taken a bit of adjusting since I’ve spent the best part of 21 years reading from books with two pages, not one, and having to physically turn the page, but I’m really getting used to it. I love being able to have hundreds of books and words at my fingertips without having to decide what to take with me. It’s very handy when going on journeys too!
However, I still LOVE ‘real’ books. It hasn’t made me think that we could do away with them and all just have e-readers. The feel of the paper, the strange beauty of a stack of books and the unexplored secrets which they hold. All the different sizes, shapes, colours, covers… books are really amazing. The video above reminded me of some of their joys!
So for me, I love my kindle, I love my books.
1. Hot chocolate and biscuits after a long day of essay writing are blissful. Particularly when your eyes and head feel like they’re going to stop working soon.
2. Feeling baby move around loads, although a little odd, is awesome when you can feel the head/ feet/ arms moving around!
3. Having a lovely husband who will go out and get the randomly requested bacon in the morning is amazing -(and then come back with pastries too!)
4. I’m excited for house viewings this afternoon, and hoping that maybe we’ll be able to move soon.
5. Looking forward to our church’s student day away tomorrow – bacon, God, Peaks, good food and fellowship will be a welcome break from uni work.
6. I finally think I’m getting there with the essay/presentation side of things. Trying not to think about all the reading I haven’t done yet for next week, however!
7. Loving spending time with friends, even when it’s just to eat, chat or study. So glad for everyone we have around us.
8. I have a tempting new stack of books which I’m looking forward to reading once my nasty week (next week) is over and done with.
9. Enjoying walking in the crisp autumn air, with the leaves actually starting to turn golden and float away…
10. The quiet of a peaceful library and some decent concentration.
I often get asked what I want to be, or what I want to do with my degree. ‘Do you want to be a teacher?’ they ask. I normally shrug, ‘maybe, I’m not sure. I’ll figure it out later.’
Really, I’m avoiding admitting what I would love to do.
When I was younger I wanted to be a hairstylist (not hairdresser!), a gymnastics coach and an author simultaneously. I also went through phases of wanting to own a shop (for the sole reason that I could get to use a till). Then all I wanted was to be a mum.
I’m blessed to know that the last one is happening, and imminently! But what of the rest?
Whether as a job, or on the side, or for fun, I really want to write. I love reading, love writing, love creativity. I know that making money as a writer has slim potential, but I know I’m already going to be busy with our family, and being a mother. I don’t really care about making money through it.
I don’t honestly have much confidence in whether I would be any ‘good’, I don’t know if I have a style or a niche, I don’t know what kind of books or things I can or would produce. The books I have done through Nanowrimo have been relatively short, and all quite different in their content.
I want to write things that matter, that affect people.
I love writing this blog, and I really want to keep on channelling creatively through it, but more than that I want it to be useful to God. I don’t know how he can use it, use me, and I probably never will, but that is my wish. To be a part of his plan, the way he plans it is the best thing.
I feel that I need to stop saying ‘I don’t know’ what I want to do, or that I’ll figure it out later. I want to be useful to God, and I want to be able to use the passions and talents he has given me to do that. I want to be a good wife, daughter, mother, and I want to use the creativeness that is within me, to write if that’s what I can do!
Getting my reading list from university, with some not-so-fun and expensive textbooks on there has reminded me of all the books I have got on my shelf still waiting to be read!
At the moment I am going through the Chronicles of Narnia – one on my coffee table– yesterday I finished The Magicians Nephew which was full of amazing imagery and metaphors which I recognised this time around. I’ve started The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe now.
Books on my to-read list (ones I already own!)
*The Life of Pi – Yann Martel
*Farewell to Arms – Ernst Hemingway
*Howard’s End – E.M Forster
*Jacob’s Room- Virginia Woolf
*The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
*The Jungle Book -Rudyard Kipling
*Paradise Lost – John Milton
*Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens
*Screwtape Letters- CS Lewis
I’m looking foward to our week in France- no TV, no computer, no internet, just sunshine and lots of reading opportunities!