Saturday, 28 April 2012

Happy Reading!

Hope you've all had a good week - ours has been very busy, as it included the birthday (on Thursday) of a certain The Tomboy, who has now reached double figures! :) Happy 10th birthday, darling xx


I was able to give out many copies of Pride and Prejudice locally, so it's reaching a new audience right here - yay! But as promised, I kept back a few copies for some of you. Reading through the comments, I note that Alison, Dogmatix and Nicole K/GothamGal have never read this book, so I'd love to send each of you one of my remaining copies :) Cheri, I also saved one for you, after your comment on an earlier post! Alison and Cheri, I definitely have your addresses; Dogmatix and Nicole K, I feel like I should have yours too but could you please email them to me to make sure?! You can reach me here: ispeakmelsh@hotmail.com. Thank you!

And now I need to go decorate a cake for a certain The Tomboy's birthday party this afternoon... Speak soon! xx

Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night

Yes, tonight is World Book Night - and once again, I've been lucky enough to be given some books to give away :)


I'll be handing some out in my local area, just as I did last year - wandering into local shops and businesses, offering copies to all and sundry - it's OK, I'm used to funny looks.... ;)


But I'd also love to send some out to any of you who haven't ever read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It's one of my favourite books, and I'd love to share it with you!

Would you like a copy? Just let me know in the comments that you've never read this book but would like to, and I'll see what I can do :) I can't promise to send you all a copy as it does depend on how many people respond, but I'll do my best! I'll let you know on Friday if I'll be sending one to you, and I'll request addresses as necessary then, too.

Happy World Book Night! :)

Friday, 20 April 2012

Project 366: 61-76

The first half of March:


1st March: World Book Day, and at school the children and staff were invited to dress up as a favourite book character. While not all the staff were keen to take up this opportunity, I decided to go as Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series - and oh boy, it was fun to stalk through school with my cape billowing behind me!! ;)


2nd March: As so often happens, we had some overripe bananas hanging around; as so often happens, I turned them into a banana loaf....


3rd March: We were still adding the finishing touches to The Boy's new bedroom. The curtains he wanted were too long, so I spent the best part of a whole weekend shortening them and the blackout linings to go with them.


4th March: It had been The Mother's birthday on the 2nd, so we took her out for lunch at a nearby carvery to belatedly celebrate with her :)


5th March: As part of the World Book Day activities, our library had run a quiz - and I won!! This was my prize :)


6th March: The chair we'd ordered from Ikea arrived, so I put it together and added it to The Boy's room - the final touch! Here it is, a much more grown-up space for him, with a workspace and storage for all his books, Lego and Warhammer stuff...


7th March: I swapped to the Wednesday photography class this week as I couldn't make the Friday; we were practising taking portraits using available light. I found the scenes around the room more interesting than the portrait subjects themselves (no offence to the subjects!!)


8thh March: The Tomboy took part in her first ever cross-country event, representing the school. She finished in the top half - I was so proud of her!


9th March: The reason I couldn't make my photography class was that it was our monthly meeting of Connect! We made a feature of it being Fairtrade Fortnight; we had samples of delicious Fairtrade goodies, and everyone had some chocolate to take home. We also had a special guest - The Mother just happens to have a part-time job at the moment promoting Fairtrade in our area, so she came to give us a talk and presentation and did a quiz with us (which, ahem, I won.... But I didn't take the prize!)

10th March: The church youth group were washing cars as a fundraiser - we were thrilled to support their cause, and our car was definitely in need of a wash...

11th March: It had taken a while because I could only upload and organise photos in small batches because of my eyes, but I got my Project 365 2011 photobook finished and ordered at last :)


12th March: The Tomboy made and decorated cupcakes in her cookery club - yum!


13th March: A day of rushing around - papercrafts class, meetings, getting The Children to their various clubs...


14th March: I'd managed to sell a fair amount of craft items belonging to a local woman (my unintentional attic clearance for her!) but there was some left that no-one in my papercrafts class wanted, so I boxed it up and returned it to her with the money the rest had brought in. It was good to clear the space in our garage!


15th March: My photography tutor ran a 'night walk' to talk about night photography, use of light etc. My attention was caught by these reflections, they look quite abstract :)


16th March: In a most welcome development, Graze boxes now occasionally include a slice of cake with a delicious blend of tea - yum! :)

Second half of March to follow, then details of our holiday in Greece over Easter - but before then, look out for Monday's special post to celebrate World Book Night ;)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Project 366: 47-60

The second half of February:

Imagine photo here
16th February: We might not have gone out on Valentine's Day, but we hadn't eaten out together for a while so The Doctor and I got a babysitter and had a meal at a Mexican restaurant. (It was the darkest restaurant we've ever seen!! I spilt candle wax all over the table trying to read the menu - I'm just glad I didn't set anything on fire!!) The photo shows the outside of the restaurant, with the name clearly visible.

17th February: Yay! I have indeed been selected to give away books again this year, as part of World Book Night (which this year is also happening in America and Germany, I believe?) I'll be giving away Pride and Prejudice :)

 18th February: A bookish kind of day! This varied selection kept me reading busily for a few days...

 19th February: I did the reading in church that day.

 20th February: The Boy's room was too big a job to get finished during half term - on this day we had the walls made good ready for papering.

 21st February: Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day! Yum :)

22nd February: More cookery by The Boy! We enjoyed vegetable curry for dinner :)

23rd February: The ceiling and woodwork now painted and the walls covered with lining paper, The Boy's bedroom was looking a lot better - and nearly there now...

24th February: Shh, don't tell Asda!! ;) I visited Sainsbury's to check out their range of Mexican food (we got a taste for it in LA last year).

25th February: We met friends for lunch at a nearby town. It was cold, but we had to have ice cream from this place! And my eye was caught by all the bikers outside...

26th February: Time for a second coat of paint on The Boy's bedroom walls!

27th February: As part of my photography course, we had the opportunity to go on some photo walks round the local area. Unfortunately most of them clashed with my work commitments, but I managed to join this one round a local park. Here you see the class teacher explaining some principle of photography to us!

28th February: We made paper flowers from book pages in my papercrafts class.

29th February: Leap Day! And what luck - The Fabulous One had a bit of free time which coincided with my own bit of free time that afternoon, so we met up for tea, cake, chat and plenty of laughter :)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Project 366: 32-46

Here's the first half of February:

1st February: In a welcome development, The Boy has been doing a bit of cookery at school - we enjoyed his apple pie for pudding on this day :)

Imagine photo here
2nd February: I took a photo of the (distinctive and identifiable) view from the staff carpark at school.

 3rd February: I tried out a new recipe - Mediterranean prawns with lemon and herb couscous - not bad, though rather heavy on the peas!

4th February: A chance to sort through some out-of-date paperwork, and have fun with the shredder :)

5th February: The Tomboy helped to hold up the memory verse during the children's talk at church. The idea was that a few balloons were popped each time to see if we could still remember it - but she protected her balloon from being popped and brought it home with her. Rather appropriate then that it carried the word 'save'!

6th February: My topic with Year 6 that day was checking calculations by using the inverse operation.

 7th February: Another day of needing to de-ice the car. *sigh!*

Imagine photo here
8th February: Yet another visit to see yet another doctor about my poor eyes :(

 9th February: We welcomed another new member into our family - meet The Axolotl :)

10th February: At last, at last! The Project Life supplies had arrived in the UK, cleared customs, and been dispatched - and my Christmas present from The Doctor had arrived, yay! :)

11th February: We'd intended to redecorate and refurnish The Boy's bedroom last summer, before he started secondary school, but our trip to LA made that impossible! We decided to get it done over half term - here's a pic of how it looked before (though we had emptied it of most of his possessions by this stage!)

12th February: Part of the job was to remove all the old, tatty wallpaper! The Tomboy enjoyed helping us with this :)

13th February: Coincidentally, this was also the week that we'd booked in to have our guttering replaced - a long overdue job, as it had been leaking since we moved into this house nearly 8 years ago!! This is the 'before' pic; the new guttering is much smarter, in glossy black.

14th February: Valentine's! We don't tend to go out for a Valentine's meal but we do like to have a special meal at home. I turned to one of our favourites - a Jamie Oliver - Monkfish, Pancetta and Ciabatta on Rosemary Skewers (yum!)

Imagine photo here
15th February: The Mother and I took The Children for a day out to a local city, spending a fair bit of time in the art gallery, shown in this photo (or rather - not shown, as its name is too clearly displayed!)

Monday, 2 April 2012

Project 366: 17-31

And here's the second half of January:

17th January: Pesky cold weather :(

Imagine photo here
 18th January: Workers at a factory near us were on strike. We could see the picket line from our bedroom window (and hear the horns, too!)

 19th January: Poorly sick, bleh! :(

20th January: I wasn't feeling much better, but managed to get along to Messy Church with the kids. The Tomboy had a go at the 'balance as many dice as you can on a lolly stick held in your mouth' challenge!

 21st January: We welcomed a new member of the family - meet The Newer Hamster :)

 22nd January: We took a trip to a nearby city to enjoy the celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

 23rd January: The school kitchens were also celebrating the Chinese New Year with a special meal. I gave it a go, but I really should have known better....

24th January: This week in papercrafts class we did some origami designs. My class particularly liked these little origami boats, set within the folds of an accordion fold card blank.

Imagine photo here
 25th January: I did my tax return online, taking a photo of the screen once I'd completed it all!

26th January: What a lovely surprise! Some time ago I'd won a competition and been asked to choose 4 colours of paint from a new PaperArtsy range. For various reasons there was a delay in sending my prize, but when it did arrive Leandra had sent me 15 bottles of paint instead of the promised 4!! Many thanks, Leandra - all is well and truly forgiven!!

Imagine photo here
 27th January: I went to see a photography exhibition at a local art gallery. The photo shows the outside of the gallery, with a distinctive and identifiable name!

Imagine photo here
 28th January: Church had a meeting to talk about the Rector's resignation. The photo shows the church hall with the name clearly displayed.

 29th January: I helped out at Sunday Club again.

 30th January: A hard day at work! We decided to have a Chinese takeway for dinner.

31st January: An experimental shot, inspired by the previous week's discussion of shutter speed during my photography class.