Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Almost 20 years

It’s 19 years since Frank Zappa died. When I was clicking around on YouTube I came across this interview. Considering how ill he was at the time, he answered all of the questions with great patience. Well worth a watch.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Wind

I was looking for a version of Cat Stevens singing this live, but I thought it too fast.  I'm really pleased that I continued to look because I found this cover version, it's slow like I remember and  I love the violin...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Prayer for Owen Meany

For a long time now Dom has been telling me what a wonderful writer John Irving is. So for my birthday one of the books she gave to me was A Prayer for Owen Meany.

She’s right John Irving is a wonderful writer. Owen Meany is very small and has a strange voice which means when he speaks HE SPEAKS IN CAPITAL LETTERS! I have no problem imagining his voice because when the children were very small I used to be a child minder. I looked after a toddler who had the worse voice you can imagine. If a cheese grater could speak it would be with that voice.

Back to the book: There are quite a few Bible quotes and I’d forgotten how beautiful some of the Bible can be (King James version of course). There is quite a bit about Vietnam which I’m finding very useful as I remember that period but didn’t understand it all at the time. I haven’t finished it yet, but I have a feeling it will end in tears. Anyway, I recommend it if you haven’t read it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Messing about with my phone

I've never really taken many photos.  I always assumed that everyone knew more about it than I did.  I took these recently and I like them - so there!

Flowers from the garden; Cosmos and 'Queen Margaret'

The early morning train to Bordeaux, it was a beautiful misty sunrise.  Okay, now I know it is not as easy as it looks

As the sunflowers dry out the heads curl backwards so that the seeds pop out.  I was surprised at the clarity of this one

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Time Traveler's Wife

I’m really enjoying this book. Dom acquired it while in Edinburgh and is letting me read it before she does. The condition was that I don’t talk to her about it.

 I’ve always been interested in time travel and this one is different to most books on the subject.

I looked at reviews of the film and it seems it could be very confusing to those who aren’t in the know. Has anyone seen it? What did you think?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Punch September 6th 1884

Looks as if people were suffering the effects of hot weather back in 1884… 

Mamma: “With this frightful hot weather, I think I must have that child’s hair cut!”

Tommy: “Oh yes Ma! – and look here – I should like to have it done by the same hairdresser that cuts Uncle Benjamin’s”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just a thought

Do you think that Google get the numbers for their comment verification from the houses you see on Google Earth?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Punch July 12th 1884

It’s been a long time since I shared a cartoon from Punch’s Almanach for 1884. This one, entitled “Preventive Force” is from the July 12th edition:

“Hold hard! I’ve been vaccinated”

As a precautionary Measure, in some districts the Police have been Vaccinated

To see more cartoons click on the Punch label below

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eat Pray Love

Dom found me the book at a brocante/garage sale/boot sale. She only paid 1€ for it. I had asked for it for my birthday, so now I will be getting something else too!

Now that Rob doesn’t need therapy for his arm I’m not finding the time to read as much as I was. I’m still on the praying part. If you haven’t read it or seen the film, I recommend both.

Years ago I had a boyfriend who was seeking amongst many religions and a lot of what he taught me is coming back as I read. I’ve also decided that I’d like to learn Italian too.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Time for short stories

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories recently. As Rob spent about 15 hours having therapy for his fractured elbow and I had to drive him to his appointments for a while, I had a lot of time to sit and just read.

I got through The Penguin Book of English Short Stories which I really enjoyed. Then I was leant a copy of The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield. This was in French, but what was nice was that one of her Stories, The Voyage, was in the Penguin book too. I finished that one and then I moved onto The Second Book of English Short Stories. Rob has gone back to work so I’ve slowed down a lot.

Next up: Eat Pray Love. I asked Dom for it for my birthday in September, but she found one for me at a brocante/boot sale/garage sale for 1€. It’s a bit tatty, but as long as the words are all there I don’t care.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Town Mouse or Country Mouse?

I’ve lived in towns and the country, though the towns I lived in weren’t heavily populated and quite small in comparison to some. I prefer to live in the countryside with easy access to town if I feel the urge to go there.

During the long summer holidays when I was small, I spent time at both of my Grandmother’s houses, one in the country the other in the town.  I loved both.  My Grandmother in the country had an outside chemical toilet and if you wanted a bath it had to be dragged in, water heated in a boiler and the bath in front of the fire filled up.  Needless to say bath night was once a week.  You made do with a good wash everyday in between.  She cooked on a fire too, though she did have a stove for cooking the roast on a Sunday.  There were plenty of books or I went to play with the girls who lived on the farm across the road.  I later found out that they were my distant cousins.
Town Grandmother’s house was busier, there were more people to pop in for a cup of tea during the day and we went to the shops every day too, to buy groceries and bread.  There were also relatives nearby to visit.  On Friday we went on the bus to the market in the City to buy fish.  The buses seemed to run every ten minutes so you just went when you were ready.  Very strange for me coming from a place where there was a bus three times a week.  I played with the girl next door who took me to her friend’s houses so that there was quite a gang of us at times.  Sometimes I stayed and did huge jigsaw puzzles with my Grandmother; we used to cover the unfinished puzzle with a cloth at meal times.  My uncle, who was only 5 years older than me, read super hero comics, so I read them too.  I was also allowed to choose a couple of books from the library on the weekly visit.  I was also given something to do in the greenhouse.  I remember watering the passion flowers and learning what each part of the flower meant. 

The best part was bed time.  Every evening it was my Grandfather’s job to put me to bed.  First we would go into the dining room and talk about the picture that was hanging there.  It was a stage coach at an Inn collecting passengers.  Then I had a fireman’s lift up the stairs! Goodness knows how I settled down to sleep after all of the giggles that involved.

Probably the best part of being at either Grandparent’s house was that I was the only child; at home I had two sisters and a baby brother.  For a little while I got lots of attention.  I used to cry when I went home.

So which are you – Town Mouse or Country Mouse?

As a reward for reading this far you can now watch the theme song from Green Acres!

Here's part of the first episode too.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


At day break,
A Very Important person
Made a speech
From the Scene of the Crime.

 It was difficult to listen to:
The birds started singing.
A blue tit proclaimed
From a high branch.
Then the frogs joined in.

Perhaps the message should be,
Life goes on…

21st March at 7.30 am

Monday, March 19, 2012

Time for a bit of George

I was listening to George Harrison this afternoon and decided I'd like to share Run of the Mill here.  There was no sound on the first video I came across and then I found this accoustic version - much gentler.

Everyone has choice
 When to and not to raise their voices
 Its you that decides
Which way will you turn
While feeling that our loves not your concern
Its you that decides

No one around you
Will carry the blame for you
No one around you
Will love you today and throw it all away
Tomorrow when you rise
 Another day for you to realize me
 Or send me down again

 As the days stand up on end
Youve got me wondering how I lost your friendship
But I see it in your eyes

 Though Im beside you I cant carry the lame for you
I may decide to
Get out with your blessing
Where Ill carry on guessing

How high will you leap
Will you make enough for you to reap it?
Only you'll arrive
 At your own made end
With no one but yourself to be offended
Its you that decides

George Harrison

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More and more books

At the weekend Dom and J-M were staying so we all went over to our favourite Charity Shop, Emmaüs. We had some clothes and odds and ends that we didn’t sell at the last Brocante (boot/garage sale) in September and J-M’s old TV.

Having handed in our donations we then went to the shop and proceeded to stock up with more ‘junk’, mainly books. My pile consisted of:

The Penguin Book of English Short Stories
The Second Penguin Book of English Short Stories
Angel Pavement by J.B. Priestley
The Centaur by John Updike
A Fanatic Heart, selection of stories by Edna O’Brian
Selected Poems 1957-1981 by Ted Hughes
Marlene by Marlene Dietrich
The Client and Playing for Pizza, two books by John Grisham

 Average price 1€ (1$32/£0.83) for each.

 While I was looking through the books when we got home, I found a voucher for a free aperitif at a Chinese Restaurant in Bordeaux – wonder if it’s still valid?

The funniest part was that I recognized the name written in the front of the first Penguin book. I also knew that that person was living in the North of France back in the 70s. One of the retired ladies who come to the house for English conversation has an unusual name and I know that her daughter studied English. When she came to the house on Tuesday I showed her the book and yes, it was her daughter. It was the year she went to London as an au pair. What a strange coincidence!

I have started with Playing for Pizza. I know nothing about American football. Surprise, surprise, I’m really enjoying it

Friday, February 24, 2012

Waiting room reading

I had to wait a long time at the rheumatologist’s this morning. I can’t believe that people can just sit and squirm with boredom for half an hour. I’ve always got a book in my bag. At the moment it’s “Women’s Wicked Wit” compiled by Michelle Lovric. 300 pages of quotes - and yes, as usual, I did laugh out loud. I’m still in the men’s section:

 Annie Proulx said “Listen if it’s got four wheels or a dick you’re goin’ a have trouble with it, guaranteed” and of course lots from Mae West “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork”

There are so many that I wish I could memorise.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

ExposeYourBlog !: Contests !

I’m going to be boring and post this on all of my blogs. As we approach the second birthday of ExposeYourblog!, we’ve re-launched both the surfing and referral contests. All you need to do to win credits surfing is to be amongst the top five surfers of the day. Credits awarded are based on the percentage of blogs surfed, so the more you surf the more you can win – daily and weekly! The referral contest means that you can win credits for referring more members than anyone else daily and weekly. New members must activate their account by surfing and adding their blog. To get links, go to your “Tools” page and click on “My Downline”, scroll down and you’ll find banners and links that you can use to promote ExposeYourBlog!. Or you could write a post about why you enjoy surfing on EYB! and include a link in your post – just like I have.

Don and I are really proud of the blogs on EYB! There are blogs to suit all tastes and you’ll find excellent writing, art and pictures as well as members who interact with each other. We’re building a very special blogging community and hopefully members feel as if ExposeYourBlog! Is being run by real people who care about their members – which is true.

As always Don and I can be contacted via a PM in the forums (don = “Admin”, to contact me “Anji”), via a support ticket or email; forumadmin@exposeyourblog.com . We’d love to hear from you; feedback and ideas are always useful.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rabbi Blue revisited

I needed a reasonably slim paperback to fit into my bag for waiting room duty. I picked up my copy of 'A Backdoor to Heaven'. My mum must have sent it to me when it came out in paperback in 1985. She knew how much I was missing his 'Thought for the Day' slot on BBC Radio 4.

It turned out to be perfect for waiting rooms; nice bite-size chapters. I think people must have thought me mad when I laughed out loud. I’m so glad I picked it up to read again: I got it when I first read it and I get it even more today. Anyone who has had/is having a struggle with faith should get hold of a copy and read it.

I just looked him up on Wikipedia and he’s in his early 80s. How did that happen?

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

I recently found a copy of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark in a branch of the French Charity shop Emmaüs.  It was in English - as it happens they have quite a few books in English. 

Inside was a bookmark advertising James Thin Bookshops, a company which seem to have bookshops throughout Scotland.  I couldn't help wondering if Caroline had left it lying around somewhere on a visit to France.

I remember that it was dramatised on TV when I was quite young and I remember enjoying watching it, but would I enjoy the book?  Well dear reader, I couldn't put it down!  I was amused by the vision of life from the point of view of young girls on the edge of puberty.  They are troubled by the idea of sex and imagine all sorts of things, especally when they find out that their teacher (who is in her Prime!) had a lover who died during the First World War.  The book is only 126 pages long, which is much too short.