Saturday, 3 March 2012

A GIVE-AWAY - my first ever !

This was to have been entitled "A Saturday Stroll around My Life" but then I decided to 'sell myself' a bit better and have a give-away, about which more later.

On Wednesday night the sky was bright and clear and we had a quarter moon (we only see one side of the moon, of course, so a quarter moon appears to us as a perfect semi-circle). This is the first time since the 1930s and the only occasion in my lifetime when we will have a quarter moon on February 29th. I took Son-who-watches-films outside to look at it. The next one is due in 2088 and he was born in 1988 so I pointed out to him that if he lived to be a hundred he should get them to wheel him out so he can see it again!

Dr Seuss has never been as popular over here in the UK as in the States and I came across The Lorax for the first time recently, thanks to Kay's blog. I like it when children's stories have a moral as well as good storytelling. The Lorax is definitely in that category sand deserves to be better known to my generation.

My Laptop is back from hospital. It's had it's MLB replaced and its DMI updated and various other internal surgery. The human anatomy I know something about but where the MLB is or why the DMI needed updating I'll probably never know and so long as it works I couldn't really care.

I have been enjoying one of these every evening, at bedtime, with either a cup of tea or a little glass of limoncello. They were given to me by Friend-über-special. Yummmmm. Sadly Partner-who-drinks-tea doesn't really like them. (Did you hear the silent “Yippee, all the more for me,” in that sentence?)

Friday was so Spring-like that I forsook the various computers that I was trying to sort for partner's business and spent an hour gardening.

The bees were around, the ladybirds emerged and all in all it was a beautiful day.

It was truly delightful to be out in the fresh air and making a start on tidying the garden borders. And by Jove they need it! The Snowdrops have just begun to go over but still brighten the front garden enormously.

The miniature Daffodils were coming out on the patio. You can get some idea of their size by comparing them with my wedding ring.

There are a few frogs around the garden but no signs of mating as yet.

I've decided to do a 'Give Away' this week. All I have to do now is decide what to give! In the meantime the rules are simple. Drop a comment on any of this week's postings (Saturday 3rd to Saturday 10th inclusive) and I'll put the names of all those who have commented in a hat (assuming I can find one – it may have to be a saucepan or some other substitute) and draw out the winner on Sunday 11th. I decided to ask Google for ideas as to what I could offer as a prize. Nearly all the answers suggested using something associated with your blog topic. The only consistent topic on my blog is Me (and Partner-who-drinks-tea has said I can't give myself away) and over the years I've covered everything from Anderson's Salamander to Angry Penguins; Auctions to Blood Tests; e.e.cummings and Exeter Football Club. Grafitti in Pompeii, Hamlet and fur coats have all turned up – could there be a more diverse blog? Even the <i>Grimpoteuthis</i> or Dumbo Octopus made an appearance. I couldn't see this brief look through my blog helping me decide at all.

In the end I decided to offer the winner a choice of one of the following books - all of which scored 10/10 on my book blog last year.

Helen DUNMORE - “The Siege“ (2001)

Khaled HOSSEINI – “The Kite Runner” (2003)

Alice HOFFMAN – “The Ice Queen ” (2005)

Khaled HOSSEINI – “A Thousand Splendid Suns ” (2007)

Muriel BARBERY – “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” (2008)

Paul TORDAY - “The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce - a novel in four vintages" (2008)

David MITCHELL – “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet ” (2010)

Terry PRATCHETT - “Snuff“ (2011)

I look forward to all your comments.


  1. You already have daffodils!! We've only had about a week of snowdrops, and they are far from over. The first crocus (what's the plural?) are showing, but no daffodils yet, and I have yet to meet my first bee of this year.

  2. Do you see why I said you are a versatile blogger? This post proves it.
    I am pleased that you liked "The Lorax". I really love all of the books by Dr. Seuss but that is one of my favorites.
    The story of your son being wheeled out at 100 to see the quarter moon reminded me of Mark Twain coming in with Haley's Comet, and then dying the day after its return.
    Why are they called ladybirds in England but ladybugs in America?
    I always thought the yellow of a daffodil was my favorite yellow, but now the yellow of the jasmine on Arabia is running close to it!
    You really would have liked the fruitcake made by the monks, I think!
    A giveaway, hope you have as much fun with it as I do! I think you could draw something for your giveaway...just a thought!

  3. Too expensive to post to the States, but The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet has been on my wish list for quite some time.

  4. It will be some time before we see signs of spring here in northern New England. How lovely to have frogs and daffodils and ladybugs about!

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    -Dr Seuss

  5. Oh my, please sign me up for your give away. What a superior list of books; I'be be delighted with any one of them.

    PS...My miniature daffodils are about to 'go over' as you say, and I love that description, much nicer than about to die!

  6. How lovely the miniature daffodils look! We don't have any yet, but the tulips in the tubs by the front gate are beginning to sport leaves, though it will probably be a month before we have flowers.

    I'm so glad you got some chocolate-covered cherries. My uncle Ernie used to love them, but for some reason they don't seem to be as easy to find as they used to be. Can't think why; I think they're delicious.

    Yes, please, enter me in your book draw. How could a book nut (like me!) pass up a chance to get a book? If I win, I will send you my sister-in-law's address in Essex to save on the postage, and she can hold the book for me until we get over to your side of the pond again.

    In the meantime, hope you have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the flowers! Love, Carol

  7. No, I don't think there could be a more diverse blog, but books are as close to a common theme as anyone could find, I think. I think I have three frogs in my little pond but they never venture out on to the lawn. And it may well be only one frog that I see over and over and the other two have escaped. Mine are tiny little green native frogs.

  8. Well, you're quite perky today :) Must be all of that chocolate, and, yes, I did hear the happy in your tone. I want to tell you a special 'thank you' for the wonderful little surprise that greeted me in my mailbox! What a wonderful treat for me and that you remember my froggy love!

    {big huggy thank you}

    Oh...and I wanted to mention how I like your ring!!

  9. I haven't had a chocolate covered cherry in years. We would get a box of an assortment of chocolates when we were children. There would be four chocolate covered cherries and I would get one. I don't think I would be able to limit myself to one now!

  10. Librarian: I always have fun saying "crocii" even though it's probably all wrong. 8-)

    SS: I'd love to join the raffle ranks! Count me in! Off now to look at the synopses...

  11. Oh your spring is so much further along than ours. I'm glad the snow is gone though (not that we're on the safe side of having more of it yet). But I have not yet seen any spring flowers popping up their heads. I guess there could be some snowdrops along a sunny south wall somewhere, but none that I've laid eyes on so far.

    Your give-away is exciting and the only problem might be for the winner to decide which book one wants most!

    Btw I'm listening to 'Snuff' as audio book just now. Actually on some level I've already finished it because one night I forgot to set the timer on the player and when I woke up in the morning it was still reading! Somehow I felt I'd kind of lost grip of the story though ;) So I started over. In smaller portions!

  12. Oh surely you should hire yourself out for a day as a prize - like they do sometimes in charity auctions. You could of course specify a few things you WOULDN T do... Oh wait, I see you have offered a choice of books. Ah well :D

    I have also been considering a giveaway and am coming round to the idea of offering a choice. Good idea.

  13. Librarian - our first daffodil was out on 27th January this year. Ridiculously early - it's been so mild.

    Kay - "Why are they called ladybirds in England but ladybugs in America?" A good question but I don't have an answer!

    Mac n' Janet - I'll post it wherever - that's part of the giveaway.

    Jenny - Hiring myself out for the day might have problems with the postage costs and I'm afraid London is not my favourite place (though I enjoy reading about it) so your name might accidentally drop on the floor on the way to the saucepan... The only thing I can think of that I wouldn't do is ironing. You'd have to win GB for that.

  14. the frog is my favorite and the lady bug second. also really like the flower in your hand and the way your ring shows in it.

  15. Well there you have an idea for your NEXT giveaway (referring to your answer to Jenny's comment)! LOL

  16. Gosh. "Snuff" seems to be appearing everywhere. Monica aka Dawn Treader's listening to it, Pauline had it on her coffee table (it's not a coffee table book per se so the assumption has to be that it was being read (actually I know the answer to that 'cos I asked). I can't remember who the third person who's reading it is.

    I don't enjoy ironing that much.

    Marcheline and Meike (Librarian): I always say crocii but then people always wonder whether I'm talking about flowers or the game I play (croquet). The pronunciation isn't the same in the UK but come to NZ and the difference might be hard to spot.

  17. You hit the nail - Spring beginning to spring but the enormous amount of work showing too. Interesting group of titles. Three I have but do not know the rest.

  18. Such a wonderful giveaway!! I have read a few of those books with The Thousand Autums of Jacob DeZoet being my absolute favorite! I have rarely read a book as slowly as I read that one - savoring it from beginning to end. Such beautiful language and imagery!

    Well, spring here is in full swing and will be over and done with before we know it! The azaleas are in bloom, the flowering trees are loaded with blossoms and bursting open, daffodils and their likes are long gone. Spring happens so early here and then it seems the flow seamlessly into our eternal summer...

    Sending sunny greetings!! Silke


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