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Showing posts from August, 2011

It's Friday, and this is Matthew Rhys

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“That was a dinosaur? THAT’S A DINOSAUR!”
This cute little clip is taken from series 1 of Brothers&Sisters where Matthew's character Kevin is getting a little stressed over losing a game of charades. If you don't watch Brothers&Sisters then seriously, why the hell not? You need to start because not only does it have Matthew - be still my beating heart - it's just all round general fabulousness on a plate. Every single episode makes me laugh and every single episode makes me cry and it is chock full of beautiful people.
This however is not a post about Brothers&Sisters. It's a post about Matthew Rhys because he's cute and does an amazing dinosaur impression.
Happy Friday.

busy doing nothing

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The bank holiday weekend is almost upon us.
Hurrah I hear you shout. There’s something about a bank holiday that has me dancing round the office like a loon. The three day weekend. A chance to relax and regroup and recharge my batteries; 3 days worth of lie-ins and chilled out evenings and reading. I imagine myself as a lady of leisure when I think about a bank holiday. I imagine in the days preceding it that this long weekend is going to change my life for a while and I shall be for it’s duration one of those people that smiles from morning til evening, that is never hurried or frazzled, that lunches with friends and then goes home to a spotlessly clean house and lies in a hammock reading high brow literature (don’t ask me how my house becomes spotless because at no point in this fantasy do I see myself doing the chores to make it so. The key word here is fantasy. Nobody - unless you have some kind of fetish and this is not that kind of blog – cleans in a fantasy. Clean in this …

Around the world in a week and a half....

Sadly, my brain is currently too fried to give Michael Palin's 'Around the World in 80 Days' the credit it probably deserves; I think it probably deserves more than the 3 stars I gave it on my Goodreads account. The problem is, that I read this book over the last week and a half when my job has been so high pressure that I've been coming home, collapsing on the sofa and resembling somebody who has recently undergone a full frontal lobotomy. I haven't been able to concentrate for more than 2 minutes at a time because the second I get home and am no longer been paid to think my brain has been going into shutdown and refusing to do anything until the next day. I think I read days 25-30 of Palin's journey three times because the words just weren't sinking in and I can't remember enough about it to be able to tell you much about what happened other than Palin travelled the world in 80 days. Insightful, right?

That said, it was probably the perfect book to …

It's Friday. Spread the Dumbledore love.

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I am so so glad that this week is over, so very glad. Problem is that I'm not entirely sure that next week will be any better. Oh well. I have two days of fun stuff to look forward to before I have to think about work and real life again. Until then I leave you with Professor Dumbledore.

Day 20 - Book that makes you laugh out loud:

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The James Herriot series.
I’d all but forgotten about these books really, until I unearthed them on an enforced clear out of my parents attic. You know the type, the old “you moved out 11 years ago, get your stuff out of our house” type clear out. Mum and I sat on the attic floor surrounded by books whilst Ian tore out his hair downstairs, occasionally yelling up a ‘please Jo….no more books….’ We had two piles: a ‘send to the mobile library’ and a ‘take home with me’ and much to Ian’s despair the take home pile was winning. It was Mum’s fault “ooohhhh looooooook, it’s Stig of the Dump. You used to love that….*gasp* the family from one end street! *chuckle* pardon me your stepping on my eyeball, remember how much you loved that. Oh no love, you can’t throw away your Enid Blytons….’ And, in the back of the cupboard were my charity shop copies of the James Herriot books. I read them about 14 years ago, when I was I my mid teens and I just remember points where I laughed so hard I could …
I'm sensing a personal life here. Stop it, immediately. I need your giant head in the game.
- Wilhelmina Slater
So far this week has been nothing short of terrible. It's been one of those weeks where you wake up in the morning and even the light sneaking in through the gap in your curtains is grey and everything seems to go downhill from there. I'd quite like to take my cat and a patchwork quilt and some jelly beans and go and curl up somewhere with a good book and not come out again til I can be guaranteed that things will be better. Sadly, that is not an option. I must solider on. I need to suck it up. Fact.
How rubbish is that though? How utterly mind-numbingly depressing is it that when I am VERY tired and VERY busy and VERY short-staffed and therefore exceedingly grumpy I cannot just go and hide. I am like the Mr Kipling cake of grumpiness and I don't want to suck it up, thanks. I don't want to solider on. I want to go home and I want to wallow in the pile …

Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie:

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This question is open to interpretation a little I think…does it refer to the book you’ve most enjoyed that’s been adapted, or the best adaptation of a book?

Am I even making sense?

I think the obvious answer is Harry Potter on both counts. It would be so easy to sit here and slate the films, so so easy. "They changed this and they missed this and I LOVE GARY AS SIRIUS and this never happened and I LOVE GARY AS SIRIUS and why did they cut this and I LOVE GARY AS SIRIUS and how dare they not explain this and it's all not the same as the book" *angry face* but you know I'll be the first in line for tickets on release dates, you know I'll actually get a kick out of dissecting it, you know I'll go back to watch it three or four times, you know I'll buy the dvd, you know that I'll love it.

However! I do not wish to be obvious and I am well aware that I am at risk of looking a little bit Potter-mad, so, taking Harry Potter out of the equation, the book …

It's Friday. Have some little Ron:

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This clip makes me happy on so many levels. Ron is such a darling in Philosopher's Stone. Ron is a darling anyway (I have a bit of a Rupert crush, truth be told) but little Ron is so cute and the way he kicks serious ass at Wizard's Chess shows you just who he is: he might be the comic relief; he might not be as clever as Hermione or as heroic as Harry; he might have a major inferiority complex but he's solid and he's loyal and he's dependable and he's brave and he is very good at chess.
Everybody should have a pal like Ron Weasley.

Day 18: First “chapter book” you can remember reading as a child:

Dinner Ladies Don’t Count by Bernard Ashley.

"Jason comes to school in a foul temper. His teacher Miss Smith tries to deflect his anger onto the plasticine, but he isn't having it. He had come to school 'with a smack instead of breakfast' and all because mum has said he can't have a dog for his birthday. Mum has developed an allergy to dogs, but Jason is beyond understanding. He progresses to vandalising Donna's plasticine model, and then is accused of a crime he hasn't committed. Hauled off to the headmistress, he refuses to explain the real problem. An understanding dinner lady talks him round and back in the classroom he discovers what has really happened to the missing birthday cards. Succinct, but manages to get in all the right detail." - from healthybooks.org

There’s a photo of me somewhere reading this. I got it in an early Christmas book parcel and spent Christmas Day r…
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I watched Ugly Betty with Helen last night. I love that programme: it's so absolutely insane but somehow still so relevant and relatable too. It makes me laugh and Helen has a massive crush on Daniel Meade and Wilhelmina is always so orange and Betty is always so fabulously quirky.

Anyway, we're about halfway through the final season now, which mkaes me sad. What will we do when it's all over? I wonder if I'll be able to convince Helen to watch The Vampire Diaries. Yum . Anyway, Betty is all stressed about wanting to be taken seriously as a writer, about wanting to make a difference and live the dream and it just really made me think: where is my ambition? I used to want things. I wanted to write and I wanted a bookshop and I wanted to be successful and now, well it's not that I don't want those things anymore it's just that they feel massively out of reach and unlikely to ever be a reality; they're the things that might have happened to me in a differe…

Day 17: favourite quote

they’ve come here to dance, drawn sideways from their route home by the music and by bravado, and now they are hesitating, unsure of how to begin, unfamiliar with the steps, embarrassed...they dance, and he smiles and nods and thinks of his wife sleeping at home, and thinks of when they were young and might still have done something like this... but here, as the dawn sneaks up on the last day of summer, and as a man with tired hands watches a young couple dance in the carpark of his restaurant, there are only these: sparkling eyes, smudged lipstick, fading starlight, the crunching of feet on gravel, laughter, and a slow walk home……
My favourite quote is from a book called ‘if nobody speaks of remarkable things’ by Jon Mcgregor and gives me goosebumps every single time. 'If nobody speaks…' is one of the most beautiful books I have read. I could probably just quote it from start to finish in this post but I won’t because that would be a very long post. I shall try t…

Day 16 – Favourite female character:

I'd have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I'd write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie's music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream.

I think every girl that ever read Little Women wanted to be Jo: creative, strong-minded and independent, how could you not? I certainly did, in fact, I actually thought I was her – after all we had the same name.

Even now, around 20 years after the first time I read Little Women (and the other books in the series) I still have a soft spot for Jo March. I spent a long long time admiring her, and still find her one of the characters I relate to the most today, maybe because the lines b…

meanwhile, back in the real world...

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Lifewise, not a lot has been happening. Aside from y'know, the premiere. Ha. I still can't get over that.

Ian and I disappeared to Cornwall for a week in the middle of last month. That was nice. We stopped in a gorgeous little beach hut just outside of St Ives and spent our days mooching around little fishing villages and eating seafood and cuddling up in bed reading (me) and playing on the iPad (Ian), it was very nice. We also took in a production of Madam Butterfly at the Minack Theatre.
Seriously, if you're ever in Cornwall, you have to do this. It's amazing. The Minack, if you don't know, is an open air theatre carved out of a cliff and it has the most spectacular views. The seats are basically just stone, some have a bit of grass growing out of them (if you're lucky) and you sit, or perch, on your little bit of stone with legs behind you and legs in front of you and if you're short like me then your legs don't quite touch the ground so by the inter…

Day 15: your favourite male character:

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Black was sprawled at the bottom of the wall. His thin chest rose and fell rapidly as he watched Harry walking slowly nearer, his wand pointing straight at Black's heart.
"Going to kill me, Harry?" he whispered.Harry stopped right above him, his wand still pointing at Black's chest, looking down at him. A livid bruise was rising around Black's left eye and his nose was bleeding."You killed my parents," said Harry, his voice shaking slightly but his wand quite steady.
Black stared up at him out of those sunken eyes.
"I don’t deny it," he said very quietly. "But if you knew the whole story..”I swear, I fell in love with Sirius from his very first page and I have loved him ever since. Warner Bros did such a good job of casting him in the movies because he looks just like Gary Oldman in my head.
I love how JK Rowling managed to develop Sirius's character in so few words - if you think about it, comparatively, he doesn't get much page…

I wonder if Ian would let me do this to our attic...

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Day 14 –book from your favorite writer:

The Blind Assassin.
The last time she'd seen him, when they'd gone back to his room - it was like drowning: everything darkened and roared, but at the same time it was very silvery, and slow, and clear.
This is what it means, to be in thrall.”