Many thanks to CHITRA for the Happy 101, Sweet Friends award and BETTY for the Beautiful Blogger award. Always a pleasure and an honour to receive, I was especially delighted with them given that I was feeling so poorly at the time.
You know apart from missing all of you, I had expected to really miss posting my book reviews but, strangely enough, it was my newspaper feature that I really missed doing - browsing through the papers I'd often see an article and think "Oh that's a great story for my blog" and Husband dearest admitted to feeling the same so here is a selection of what 'tickled my fancy'.
Remember way back in September of last year I reported on TESCO BANNING JEDI KNIGHTS from its stores. Well they've been at it again but this time its women doing their shopping in their pyjamas that has gotten them all annoyed.
Elaine Carmody, who happened to be pottering around in her PJ's in the Cardiff branch when the sign went up - "Footwear must be worn and no nightwear is permitted" - is outraged. She has, she says, "lovely pairs of pyjamas". They've got "bears and penquins on them". But they weren't considered good enough for the superstore that is our new flagship of respectability, and she was promptly shown the door - GILL HORNBY, THE TIMES.
Having particularly good transport links where we live combined with the fact that we are a household of non-drivers, I totally endorse the use of public transport. HOWEVER I do recognise that it is not everyone who has the luxury of such good links and so was pleased to read of bus company Stagecoach who, last month, introduced Britain's first amphibious bus service though, sadly, its maiden voyage was not without problems.
The bright yellow vehicle is part coach and part boat. It has the conventional chassis of a passenger bus but with the addition of a hull. It has four wheels for the road and two air jets for the water - SEVERIN CARRELL, GUARDIAN.
Not a huge fan of modern art, this piece of so-called art did nothing to persuade me otherwise.
Fine art student (Joseph Steele) has created his most recent project using three kilogrammes of explosives, 35 litres of paint and 80 condoms in his back garden to make six pieces of art - KATIE DAVIES, SUNDAY SUN.
Talk about taking your work too seriously!
Cast fall off tables, chairs - and stage - during "experimental" bender at Schauspielhaus in Frankfurt - KATE CONNOLLY, GUARDIAN.
And last but by no means least, something for all you animal lovers - a story that is sad because it has become necessary to go to such lengths in order to protect these beautiful animals and yet, at the same time, inspiring in that people care enough to want to protect them.
Rare giraffes under threat in west Africa from drought, habitat loss and conflict with humans have been equipped with satellite collars by conservationists - ADAM VAUGHAN, GUARDIAN.
FOOTNOTE: I endeavour to post the whole article wherever possible, in order to view today's stories in full simply click on the relevant links.