22 Sep 2014

FROM CUPCAKES YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO EAT TO THE COOKIE CATCHER VIA SKYDIVING OOMPA LOOMPAS.

Warning: Whilst I endeavour to post family friendly articles I have been asked to point out that some of the sites do link to other articles with a more adult content. TT

It was National Cupcake Week from the 15th to 21st of September and one newspaper celebrated with 12 cupcakes (including 'Marmite flavoured' and 'Maggot and Pus') you WOULDN'T want to eat. IMAGES & FULL ARTICLE

As Scotland prepared to vote on independence in one of the most intense referendums in the UK's history a BBC weatherman was left red-faced as he forgot the name of the country's capital city. VIDEO & FULL ARTICLE

Storybook fans dressed as Oompa Loompas celebrated the world's first ever Oompa Loompa Skydive raising £20,000 for sick children with a nurse whose job is funded by the Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity being the first to fall 13,000ft down to an airfield in Peterborough. IMAGES & FULL ARTICLE  

Backed by the UK government as part of the London Design Festival, The Global Design Forum has come up with Ooha! an edible water container made of gelatinous membranes that is designed to replace plastic water bottles. FULL ARTICLE

A skeleton that looks like the Alien from the classic horror series has been found trapped in a cocoon-type nest beneath a kitchen cupboard in Lancashire. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE

Large enough to make 250 onion bhajees, French Onion soup for 36 people or 50 portions of onion rings a green-fingered Brit has grown the world's largest onion. FULL ARTICLE  

 An entrepreneur from Herts has solved the age-old problem of how to dunk biscuits in your tea without being left with a sludgy mouthful in the bottom of the cup by designing the Cookie Catcher, a mesh pouch which is immersed inside a mug of tea. IMAGE & FULL ARTICLE 


 Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

20 Sep 2014

I DO: TWENTY EIGHT YEARS LATER.

 To the man who is the ...


Fred to my Wilma

the ...



Micky to my Minnie 

the ... 



Donald to my Daisy ...



Image courtesy of Mike A Atherford.

As has become tradition this year its Mr T's turn to post an anniversary message, click here to view.


 Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

18 Sep 2014

HIJACKED: THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS QUESTIONNAIRE.

Having seen this, 'The Seven Deadly Sins Questionnaire Tag', along with 'The To Be Read Tag', posted on Shooting Stars Mag site I simply had to join in the fun and complete the questionnaire as created by BookishlyMalyza and Aylee @ Recovering Potter Addict.



  • GREED: What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book? My most inexpensive book? As one of my favourite haunts is our local library's ex-stock trolley which sells paperbacks for 25p, hardbacks for 50p and children's books for 10p I can take my pick from several. As for my most expensive? That would probably be a 1968 (which incidentally is the year I was born) first edition copy of The Adventures Of Hadrian Hedgehog by Candida Lycett Green and Christopher Thynne bought for me by Mr T.
  • WRATH: Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with? Hmm, that would probably have to be Christian Jacq. Whilst I've loved most of his books there have also been several I've hated amongst which was The Great Magician. Part one in the Mozart series, though I also had books 2 and 3 I never read either of them.
  • GLUTTONY: Which book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever? Book as in one book? I've got to have at least two. The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett and The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom.
  • SLOTH: Which book have you neglected due to laziness? No doubt about it, that would have to be Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. In my defence its not quite all down to laziness. I'm not normally averse to long novels (The Pillows Of The Earth proves that) its just that I've heard so many bad things about this book that I can't bring myself to pick it up and as you know once I've started a book I have to finish it.
  • PRIDE: Which book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader? At last, a 'sin' I'm not guilty of. I think there is too much book snobbery around. Not a fan of the so-called classics, I can't take pride in having read many of them, and I've never touched Shakespeare or Chaucer since my school days but how about ..... The Oxford Illustrated Dickens Christmas Books? I was silently pleased with myself for having read and pretty much understood this collection of short stories when I read them last year.
  • LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters? Yeah! If we are talking about physical attributes and I'm pretty certain we are then this is another sin I'm not particularly guilty of. I'm not a big fan of the perfect physical specimen in either my male or female characters. In fact I'm positively put off books with covers that featured men with smooth naked chests or leather clad, stiletto heel wearing women. Give me a character with a good sense of humour any day.
  • ENVY: Which books would you must like to receive as a gift? Hmm, Hmm. A favourite of mine since I was a girl and a favourite of my mam's before that, I love The Family From One End Street by Eva Garnett and would really like a copy of the second book in the series, The Further Adventures Of The Family from One End Street.
TAG, what are your seven deadly book sins? ......


 Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

17 Sep 2014

PATIENT ZERO {JOE LEDGER #1}.

PATIENT ZERO {JOE LEDGER #1} by JONATHAN MABERRY.

SOURCE: Ex-library stock.

THE BOOK {According to the back cover}: Police officer Joe Ledger, martial expert, ex-army, self-confessed brutal warrior, is scared. The man he just killed is the same man he killed a week ago. The top secret government agency The Department of Military Sciences are also scared, they have word of a terrorist plot straight from a nightmare - a bid to spread a plague that kills its victims and turns them into zombies. Time is running out and Joe has shown he has the abilities they need to lead one of their field teams.

And so the race is one to find out who is responsible, destroy the terrorist cell and stop the coming apocalypse. But somehow the terrorists are always one step ahead and hell beckons.

FIRST SENTENCE {Part One:Walkers: Chapter One}: When you have killed the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 14}: He finished his cookie and took another vanilla wafer. I'm not sure I could trust a man who would bypass an Oreo in favour of vanilla wafers. It's a fundamental character flaw, possibly a sign of true evil.

MY THOUGHTS: Largely a hit but not completely. Whilst I essentially found it a great story I don't think the author did himself any favours by jumping between characters every chapter, by splitting the action between Afghanistan and pharmaceutical expert/philanthropist Sebastian Gault and Baltimore detective come special task force agent, Joe Ledger, in the way that he did.

As a post 9/11 apocalyptic/terrorist thriller about terrorists attacking America I may well not have given this a second glance but as a non-traditional zombie read I really quite enjoyed it. 

Yes, that's right, without giving too much away, Patient Zero does away with your typical supernatural zombies in favour of 'walkers' (zomble type beings) created by man as a bioweapon. All very scary given that the author makes references to the well documented Prion Diseases.

OK, so the body count was high - thankfully for me whilst the action could be brutal much of the violence had an almost computer game kind of feel to it - and then there's the love interest that, well, at best didn't do anything for the story and at worst felt positively awkward but with an opening chapter that began 

'When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world. 
And there's nothing wrong with my skills' 

you know chances are you are in for an interesting if perhaps tongue-in-cheek read.

What really made this novel for me though were the characters (after all who could resist names like Bunny Rabbit or 'Amazing' Grace?) and in particular, somewhat surprisingly, lead character, Joe Ledger, himself. Cocky and overly sure of himself, a bit of a misogynist perhaps but the kind who women love - James Bond and just about every other hero of that type you can think of rolled into one. I should have disliked him and yet there was something about him (his sense of humour?) that I found totally compelling.


Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.

16 Sep 2014

THE TRUTH ~ A NOVEL by MICHAEL PALIN.

THE TRUTH ~ A NOVEL by MICHAEL PALIN.

SOURCE: Bought for Mr T as a gift.

THE BOOK {According to the inner flap}: Keith Mabbut was a writer. Of that he was convinced. He lived in London on two floors of a red-brick, gabled house in Upper Holloway. Mabbut and his wife Krystyna, who was Polish, were separated. Though he had made a career out of the written word, and indeed had a British Gas Award to show for it, he had reached the age of fifty-six with nothing resembling the success of his great literary heroes, George Orwell and Albert Campus, both of whom had died in their forties. Setting aside the clear, if unpalatable correlation between genius and early death, he had formed the opinion that his best work was yet to come. And in a way he least expected, so it was .....

Keith Mabbut is at a crossroads in his life. When he is offered the opportunity of a lifetime - to write the biography of the elusive Hamish Melville, a highly influential activist and humanitarian - he seizes the chance to write something meaningful.

His search to find out the real story behind the legend takes Mabbut to the lush landscapes and the environmental hotspots of India. The more he discovers about Melville, the more he admires him - and the more he connects with the man he once was, an idealist who wanted to make a difference. But is his quarry really who he claims to be? As Keith discovers, the truth can be whatever we make it ....
  
FIRST SENTENCE {Part 1: The Problem}: Keith Mabbut was a writer.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 26}: In his tiny study, off the landing at the top of the stairs, Mabbut drew up the blind and welcomed in the chilly morning light. He settled himself at the computer, interlocked the fingers of both hands, then sipped the remains of his coffee, cleaned his glasses, blew his nose, eased a blackberry pip from between his two front teeth, sighed heavily and began.

MY THOUGHTS: Presuming he had drawn on his experience as a travel writer and television presenter I would have thought The Truth would have a great sense of people and place about it, that Michael Palin would have done just as good a job telling us as his TV persona does showing us. Alas not so, I'm afraid I found both the plot and characters weak.

Sadly not at all to my taste. With too many threads (battling big business, the publishing industry, being middle aged, etc, etc), none of them really going away, I feel this would have been a far better novel if only the author had either stuck to one or two of the strands or fleshed the story out a bit and thus created a longer book.




Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.