Saturday, August 09, 2008

Scrapbook Saturday 4: Celebrating Elvis!

Haven't had much time to do a scrap page this week as I joined Entrecard at the beginning of the week and have been busy dropping cards hither and yon. Plus I am preparing a Family History for a friend. She wanted one done for her Father in Law's 80th birthday so that has kept me busy and we also have my stepdaughter, partner, baby & stepson staying with us for the weekend so I think thats enough excuses to absolve me from a pathetic attempt this week!

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Friday, August 08, 2008

A Great Book Meme

A great fun meme found at Trisha's @ Obsessed Reader

Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE
4) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.

(Ok, Ok, I know I'm not American, but what the heck, it was fun doing it anyway :-). I was amazed to see how many I have read. I used to read a lot of fiction in days gone by, but these days I tend to stick to non fiction.

Here's my list...

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – I've read some but not the complete works.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War & Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime & Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert - started but never finished
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt.
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie.
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flauber
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo.

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Friday Funny!

A Green Pepsi after rolling in the new mown grass (cropped)

Pepsi doing his Martian impression!

Lots of very funny cats having a bath pics over at NEWS, VIEWS, THRILLS & SPILLS!

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wordless Wednesday 4: Julian Beever 'Pavement Picasso' video

Visit Julian Beever's Website for more great pavement art.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

This super image of Pepsi was created at This is my first entry for Ruby Tuesday. I found this great idea at MimiWrites. This weekly participation game/meme/whatever is run by The Teach at Work of the Poet.

The idea is to post a photo containing Red every Tuesday. The only restriction is that it must be one of your own. Your photo can contain as much or as little red as you like as long as it has some. Visit the Ruby Tuesday HQ (click on the link above) to get yourself added and join in.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Charmaine plays the Needs Meme!

I got this meme from Diane at Much of a Muchness. She found it at Kim’s @ Laketrees who in turn borrowed it from Sandee @ Comedy Plus who was tagged by Mimi of Mimi Writes. Mimi was tagged by Shannon’s Moments of Introspection who was tagged by Dawn’s Daily Life ……

This one is pretty simple and looks pretty silly.
The rules: All you have to do is Google your first name with the word needs behind it and post the results.

It sounded fun so I decided to play along too. I googled ‘Charmaine’ followed by ‘needs’ and these are 12 of the 379,000 results I got. (Not a lot compared to the 17+ Million Diane got!)

1) Charmaine needs a home.
2) Charmaine needs to look this thin. (I wish!!)
3) Charmaine needs to realize that shes old. (!)
4) Charmaine needs our help raising funds.
5) Charmaine needs a place to hide out. (I kid you not!)
6) Charmaine needs one now!
7) Charmaine needs a ride!
8) Charmaine needs help. (ain't that the truth!)
9) Charmaine needs a miracle right now! (Amen!)
10) Charmaine needs an exclusive buddy.
11) Charmaine needs someone to take over.
12) Charmaine needs round- the-clock care. (Oh dear!)

Well that was a bit of fun- mind you it's harder than it looks, especially if you have an unusual name, but I got there in the end! Thanks Diane :-)

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Of Bling & Blogs, Peacocks & Weddings!

I hope you like the new look of the Blog.I've had it cream for a while which I was bored with and was playing around with new looks over the weekend. I had put together what I thought was an elegant and restrained colour scheme involving beige and cream diagonal stripes. At the precise moment I finished, Hubby walked past. "What do you think?" I asked.

"That is just so boring, I really hate it, it's just not you, you should have more bling!" was his reply. Needless to say I wasn't best pleased. I had spent several hours assembling all the components and adjusting the html.But it got me to thinking - and I realised he was right. Restrained is not really me:-) So I decided to go with it and pull out all the stops. The obvious answer that came to mind was peacock feathers - you cant get much more blingy than that. Besides peacock has always been my favourite colour. I got married in a velvet outfit that colour, and even the Rolls Royce wedding car I hired was that colour! Most of the carpets in our previous house were also a lovely rich peacock/turquoise colour.

So I knuckled down and this is the result after several more hours searching for the right background pic, the right shades and combos of colours and making all the relevant changes to the html code, testing & retesting until I was happy with the finished effect. Very bling, very me :-) I hope you all like it.

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A Garden Story of Ponds, Patios & Oak Trees!

We've had an absolutely smashing weekend. The weather was great, really hot (78C) by our standards, so we were able to get out in the garden and actually do some work. Hubby managed to cut the privet hedge and mow the lawn and I cleared a lot of the weeds from a couple of the flower beds, so the garden looks a lot more respectable now.

It was so hot and humid we spent the rest of the time lounging on the patio under the parasol admiring the fruits of our labors, and planning all the things we want to do with the garden in the future. This includes digging a pond in front of the patio which will eventually have a waterfall and fountain and be lit up at night.

We did dig a hole for a pond last year at the bottom of the garden, but unfortunately have now changed our minds as to where we actually want a pond! (Actually to be more accurate Hubby dug the hole, I just supervised!) Needless to say he is not impressed at the thought of having to dig another one. The reason is because there is a large oak tree in the adjoining garden, only a few feet away from the boundary wall of the patio. Until last year this monster overhung the patio quite a lot, blocking a lot of light, particularly during the late afternoon & evening. We had been trying to get the neighbour to trim it back for a couple of years with no luck, so we thought this would be an ongoing problem.

This is why we decided to encamp to the other end of the garden where there was more sun. Unfortunately ( or fortunately), just as hubby finished digging the pond out the neighbour informed us that he had arranged to have the tree trimmed back on our side. This was great if a little badly timed. And what a difference it made. We went to work as usual that day with dark overhanging tree branches ( you could watch the squirrels running around just outside the bathroom window!) and on our return found a bright light airy patio with sun streaming on to it. WOW! and now whenever we get the chance (given the vagaries of the British weather!) we are often out on it until midnight. Hubby lights his cast iron chimenea for when it gets chilly and we have a BBQ and candles all over the place and we sit and chat for hours - lovely.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kick Ass Blogger Award!

Kick Ass Blogger Award

I've been nominated by MammaDawg for the Kick Ass Blogger Award - thanks Mamma!

Do you know any bloggers that kick ass you'd like to nominate?

Maybe they've got incredible, original content. Or they're overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a bloggy friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it's someone who simply inspires you to be a better person... or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off.

Whatever the reason may be, I'm sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well... why not tell 'em so?

Here's how to send them some love:-

* Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"
* Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award
* Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to
* Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!

To get codes click on the button above which will take you to KABC HQ - don't forget to link up the person who nominated you for the Kick Ass Blogger Club.

My nominations are:-

1. Midlife Misfit

2. The Balancing Pole

3. The Midlife Gals

4. Mom's Crazy Life

5. Much of a Muchness

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