Royal Mail Elastic bands harm hedgehogs. If my British followers could sign the below petition I'd be really grateful.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/413/275/845/discarded-elastic-bands-harm-hedgehogs/?z00m=21391524&redirectID=1441386407

Postards to hand to the postie and letterbox size stickers are also available by email from info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk
i.o


28 Feb 2010

I WOULD LIKE ........

It's Thursday and as the old concentration span is still not as it should be and the earth still occasionally spins I thought I'd schedule this post for today (Sunday) and then I could type a little as and when over the week-end.

A bit of a selfish post really, it was in part inspired by KELLY who wrote a post about her donkey, an animal I'd love to have if ever we were to win the lottery. Hardly likely I know but it got me to thinking about what else I'd really like.


Good health and mobility were pretty much at the top of the list (even less likely then us winning the lottery I know), closely followed by an evening of entertainment in the company of John Barrowman (pictured above as Captain Jack in TORCHWOOD). See, selfish when what I should have said was world peace or some such thing.

Anyway, quickly moving on, perhaps much more obtainable were these three things that I read about recently.

In no particular order ............

* TO PARTICIPATE IN SCRAP CLUB.

"It's Saturday night and in a warehouse, a load of old computers, CD stands, fridges and plastic toy cars sit in a pile. Behind a metal fence about 60 men and women from their mid-20's to early- 40's wait, apprehensive and excited, to smash them to pieces. This is Scrap Club, a burgeoning underground event set up by artists."

- reports Carlene Thomas-Bailey in the Guardian. (Click HERE for full report.)


**TO HAVE A COSY SUIT.

No! Not for myself. For Husband dearest, who hasn't expressed any desire whatsoever to wear one I hasten to add. I just think he'd look sooo cute, especially in the suit with ears.

"Inspiration from her offspring led Kate Dawson to make baby clothes for big brother ...........

"Kate set up business making adult-sized-baby-gros after a nanny commented on how comfortable her daughter Lilly's sleep suit looked and joked that she wanted one."

- says Kerry Wood writing in the Sunday Sun. (Full story HERE.)

*** INSTEAD OF A BAR OF CHOCOLATE TO BE GIVEN A CHOCOLATE DRESS. (As pictured below).

"Yes, this dress is good enough to eat - it's made of chocolate! Designed by German bakery Lambertz, it's chocolate heaven - just don't stand near a radiator ....."

- warns Full House magazine.

Just out of interest, what would you like?And/or who would you like to spend an evening of entertainment with?

25 Feb 2010

DEAR ALL,


At the moment I seem to be having my bad days and my not so bad days. Not to worry, today, being one of my not so bad days, I thought I'd attempt a post to thank you all so very much for all your best wishes. I've missed you all but, fingers crossed, hope to join you over the week-end. Who knows there may even be a longer post as, if 'push comes to shove', Husband dearest has offered to type if I dictate. My best wishes to you all, Petty. x

19 Feb 2010

SHEZ STILL BONNY 'N' BAD.

Herself has informed me that I should post an update.

The title above for those of you who have learned some of the Geordie vernacular will indicate that there is no improvement in her condition. She remains largely bed-ridden as her brain still can't tell where the floor or the ceiling are or locate herself in the space in between. That's why she has not been at the computer as moving/flickering images make this sensation much worse for her.

There seems to be nothing for it except wait and see with this one. she does appreciate all your messages which I have read out to her, and for the e-mails. Please don't be worried that she has not replied to e-mails, she simply can't face a screen at the moment.

I'll let you know as and when there is improvement.

11 Feb 2010

OH DEAR!


Sorry to report people that her Ladyship is having a relapse. Well worse than a relapse. Doctor visited home yesterday to see how she was doing and in addition to a resurgence of the inner-ear infection he has diagnosed Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Wikipedia will provide you with more detail should you feel so inclined.
So I am desperately sorry people but she can't get to the machine for now. I assure you that I will administer the best attentions to get her back to you as soon as possible...and today her Birthday too... all my plans!
The husband.

4 Feb 2010

AWARD OR NOT?

I've been thinking about awards these last few days, partly because of an award I was sent by Nina at J'ADOREHAPPYENDINGS and partly because of several blogs discussing the various merits (or otherwise) of them.

Personally, like 9 out of 10 other bloggers, I'm honoured to receive them as, though I've always maintained I blog largely for my own pleasure, it is nice to know that there are people out there who like what you have to say. AND .... they are a great way of discovering blogs that you may not have otherwise known about.

No, my only real concerns about awards are (A) just how many times people really want to hear 10 more things they didn't know about me and (B) should Pen And Paper ever become so popular that people are sending me awards left, right and centre (well I can dream), will I eventually run out of things not known about me?

However I can understand what other bloggers mean when they say that, though grateful for any awards received, there just aren't enough hours in the day to post whatever it is they blog about let alone post about the awards they receive.

Umm.

Not asking for 10 more things not known about me was Nina's award which instead asked me to answer the following questions using only one word answers. Oh dear! Not known for using only one word when I could use half a dozen, I'll give it a try.


YOUR CELL PHONE? - Mobile?
YOUR HAIR? - Natural
YOUR MOTHER? - Mam
YOUR FATHER? - Absent
YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD? - Laughs
YOUR DREAM LAST NIGHT? - Woodpecker
YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK? - Milkshake
YOUR DREAM/GOAL? - Mobility
WHAT ROOM ARE YOU IN? - Study
YOUR HOBBY? - Books
YOUR FEAR? - Surgery
WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 6 YEARS TIME? - Holidaying
WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT? - Bed
SOMETHING THAT YOU AREN'T - Thin
MUFFINS - Chocolate?
WISH LIST ITEM? (New) Leg
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? - Wardley
LAST THING YOU DID? - Phoned
WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? - Why?
YOUR TV? - Comedies
YOUR PETS? - Deceased
YOUR FRIENDS? - True
YOUR LIFE? - Contented
YOUR MOOD? - Sunny
MISSING SOMEONE? - Always
VEHICLE? - Wheelchair
SOMETHING YOU AREN'T WEARING? - Frown
YOUR FAVOURITE STORE? - Evans
YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR? - Yellow
LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED? - Minutes
BEST FRIEND? - Yes
ONE PLACE YOU GO TO AGAIN AND AGAIN? - Toilet
FACEBOOK? - Daily
FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT? - Simply Greek

Well that wasn't too difficult. Much harder is the fact that I've been asked to pass it onto 5 other bloggers - the one thing I dislike about awards.

Cowardly I know but I'm going to pass this onto any one who cares to have it on the condition that they answer the questions on their blog and leave a comment to let me know they have done so in my comment box in order that we have the opportunity to visit and, hopefully, learn a little bit more about each other. Oh and I'll periodically update the post linking to those who join in. Knowing how to use Mr Linky would be useful right now but, hey-ho, I'll cope.

Not meant for today, I had meant to schedule this post for tomorrow but (whoops!!!!) pressed the wrong button.


If you haven't already done so please see the post that was actually meant for today, a book review of The Good Thief which I know many of you have read - I'd love to know what you thought of it.

THE GOOD THIEF.

THE GOOD THIEF by HANNAH TINTI.

Twelve-year-old Ren, abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony's orphanage, is missing his left hand. He doesn't know why: in fact, the only thing of which he can be sure is that no one will ever adopt him.

Then a young named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren's long-lost brother. Soon Ren finds himself on a strange journey through nineteenth-century New England, entangled with grave-robbers, thieves and murderers, while Benjamin's stories become more outlandish and Ren's dreams of a family recede ever further. Should he stay and become one of the gang, or escape and be alone once more? And - if he survives Benjamin's riskiest scheme - will the truth about his parentage be something he really wants to know?

From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: The man arrived after morning prayers.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: To his right the cemetery gate stood open. To his left was the town common, the grass bending in the wind. I'm not afraid, Ren thought. Then he glanced into the back of the wagon. One of the bags was sitting up.

How best to describe this novel which, one of the best I have read in a while, is right up there in my top ten?

Unusual, engrossing, beautifully written and with characters that I quickly grew to love, The Good Thief really is storytelling at it's best.

Despite the fact that some of the characters were of rather dubious morals, you couldn't help but feel some affection for them. I particularly liked Dolly, the giant murderer who I found so endearing despite his crimes. Then there was the brother of the gruff yet motherly Mrs Sands who came as quite a shock. Actually such is the quirky nature of many of the characters, I could see this book becoming a film made by the likes of Monty Python member TERRY GILLAM who is well known for his quirky character led films such as TIME BANDITS which, strangely enough, puts me in mind of this book.

As one of the comments on the back cover pointed out this is a "A novel so marvelous and enchanting and rare that you wish everyone in the world would read it" - a statement I couldn't agree more with.

MY RATING: A definite 5 out of a possible 5. A book everyone should read.

3 Feb 2010

WAILKING IN BEAUTY OR IS SOMEBODY LYING?


Glad to be able to visit with you all over at CARA'S for another Freeverse.
As it's February and fast approaching the day that is designed:-
(A) To part us from our hard earned cash buying over-priced merchandise
OR
(B) With all us incurable romantics in mind
- Delete as applicable.
I thought I'd bring you not just one post to celebrate but at least 4 depending on how the mood takes me. Yes, I'll be posting a 'romantic' poem every Wednesday this month.
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY by LORD BYRON.
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face:
Were thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
And perhaps in complete contrast,
UNFORTUNATE COINCIDENCE by DOROTHY PARKER.
By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying -
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.

2 Feb 2010

ONI WA SO TO, FU KU WA UCHI.

Not what you could call religious, I am none-the-less extremely interested in the religious and cultural beliefs of the peoples of the world and, February is a great month in that it seems to have more that it's fair share of celebrations - including yours truly's birthday later this month.

Today, for example, if you are a Pagan living in the Northern Hemisphere* you may well celebrate the IMBOLC festival which is dedicated both to the Goddess and to the returning of light, a time of awakening of the Life Force often heralded by the appearance of snowdrops.
However if you are a Christian then today is CANDLEMAS (The Christian Festival Of Lights) which, largely connected to the Imbolic Festival, also celebrates the midpoint of winter as well as traditionally being a festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus.
Then, of course, there is tomorrow (the 3rd) when many people in Japan will celebrate with a BEAN THROWING FESTIVAL which, in a way, is connected to both of the above as it also celebrates the coming of spring. Traditionally this is a day when people will either throw roasted soy beans at home shouting "oni wa so to" (get out demons) and "fu ku wa uchi" (come in happiness) which it is believed will bring you health and happiness if you pick up and eat the same number of beans as equal your age OR visit a shrine or temple where it is common for people who were born under the same Chinese zodiac sign as that year to throw the beans.
*If you live below the equator you will celebrate this festival on the 1st of August. Unlike the solstice and equinox celebrations these dates DO NOT change from year to Year.
P.S. Going back to YESTERDAYS POST, for those of you keen to know what Husband dearest thought of Twilight, he had the following to say
"Husband is straining to be civil, much as he fought to be quiet during Twilight. I'm not sure that I've ever seen a film so reliant on it's own genre's cliches and formulae without actually selling itself as a spoof. I still can't believe this is a serious film. Rubbish from start to finish."

1 Feb 2010

WELL WORTH SLIDING DOWN THE STAIRS FOR?

I was going to be good and do a book review - I can't believe that, despite it now being February, I have only done one this year and that was a book I'd started before Christmas - but I feel compelled to tell you about the three DVD's Husband dearest and I watched over the week-end.
Feeling a lot more steady on my feet, I decided enough was enough and I was going to make it downstairs one way or another so, sitting on my bottom, I slid down the stairs hoping that I wouldn't suffer too greatly from any carpet burns on the way.
My reward? A week-end of DVD's and popcorn. Twilight followed by The Proposal on Saturday and Ice Age 3 - Dawn Of The Dinosaurs on Sunday.
Twilight. I have read the book (see my review by clicking HERE) and had wanted to see the film at the pictures but it just wasn't meant to be so I had waited until it was available to rent on DVD. As usual, when about to watch a book to film adaptation, I was a little worried as to whether the book would live up to my expectations and if the characters would be as I had imagined them in my mind's eye. And, even worse still, despite my expecting otherwise, Husband dearest had decided he wanted to watch it as well, if only to see what all the fuss was about. Now I knew it wasn't going to be his cup of tea but, as he promised to sit still and say not a single word until it was over, we sat down and pressed 'play'.
Did the film live up to my expectations and were the CHARACTERS as I had pictured them? Not really and certainly not.
I thought that as far as book to film adaptations went, on the whole, this film was quite true to the book HOWEVER I felt that many of the relationships weren't explored enough which was disappointing as some of these relationship details went a long way as to the viewer (and especially the non book reading viewer) understanding the 'whys and wherefores' of certain events. Also some of the scenes were a huge anti-climax. Take for example the speed with which we were told the vampires were able to move, I didn't really get a huge sense of this and as for the baseball scene? What a let down, how unspectacular was that? Though to be fair I'm sure this might have been a little more exciting on the big screen with surround sound and all of that - on the small screen it just wasn't anything special.
As for the characters being as I had pictured them. In this I was heartily disappointed. Now I know that this is a very personal thing and how I see a character in my mind will, no doubt, vary hugely from how the next person will see that same character in their mind, but almost none of these characters was how I imagined them.
Edward - I didn't like in the books and I certainly didn't in the film but for a totally different reason. I mean to say 'mean and moody' didn't come into it as far as this portrayal went, it was so over-the -top as to be funny. No, in my opinion the only character who I felt was realistic and true to the book was Carlisle Cullen played by Peter Facineli.
The second film film of choice THE PROPOSAL was much more to our taste but then I had expected that as (1) it was a comedy and (2) it starred Sandra Bullock doing what in my opinion she does best, playing a somewhat goofy character.
And so onto Sunday and the final DVD of the week-end which was probably my favourite. ICE AGE 3 - DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS. Truly funny, with amazing animation and the wonderful addition of new character Buck, I loved this film which was great all round family entertainment suitable for the little ones though it did contain some 'mild comic peril' whilst at the same time having enough subtle innuendo to keep us adults happy.
Click HERE to see Scrat in his quest for that all elusive acorn.
UMM, that's a new one on me, how did that happen? Despite it still being only the 31st of January here in England and my scheduling this post for the 1st of February it has been published now - strange. Still, I suppose by the time many of you read this it will be February making my comment pretty irrelevant so I'll shut up now, shall I?