Sunday 30 January 2011

Dombey And Son

I've just finished Dombey and Son - probably my favourite Dickens yet. I'm delighted that Helen re-introduced me to Dickens a few years ago. Having tried a couple when I was young I was not enamoured of him but having read quite a few in recent years I love his style and, of course, he fits in well with my mid-nineteenth century leanings of the moment.

I was quite amused by the Phiz illustrations of Dombey and Son. I love his works at the best of times but was particulalry amused by the fact that Captain Cuttle's hook accidentally swaps over from his left hand to his right hand on occasion.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

A real ramble

Tuesday already and I haven't even thought of a blog posting subject, so this really will be a ramble. I'm spending so much of my time in 1874 that it is hard to drag myself back to the present day. I'm working hard on my novel which is set that year so I'm living, eating and breathing Victorian England. Whilst I'm thoroughly enjoying the research and the writing I'm dreading the day when I have to show it to someone and get an opinion. I'm convinced it will be the best seller of 2013 but others may have different ideas on the subject. Seriously, all the fun is in the writing and researching and once that is done I tend to run out of steam (and interest). One consolation in setting the novel in 1874 is that it won't get out of date as my previous efforts at writing have done. So perhaps one of my greast-grandchildren may end up find a publisher for it...

Partner-who-loves-tea is working all the hours God sends (and a few more she's pinched from the devil) expanding her business which is no easy thing in these straightened times. She's seeking accreditation for her training courses (her Centre has just got accreditation from the exams awarding body), enrolled a new lot of students, preparing a new website, taken on admin help, and is panicking about the need to get her tax return in this week. As with the start of any new venture the outgoings are greater than the incomings so Jo has concluded if she's to meet all her bills this month I shall have to sell my body for scientific research and hope they'll give me the money up front.

Ah well, off to buy my lottery ticket before I return to 1874...

Friday 21 January 2011

Friday My Town Shoot-out

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is "All black and white" .  evry appropriate because that is how much of my town is at the moment -

Why not check out other people's my town shoot-outs this week.

Thursday 13 January 2011

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Weird

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is "Weird" .  I've gone for an animal theme!

A weird elephant in Chester Cathedral.  This bench end was carved by a medieval craftsman who obviously hadn't seen an elephant.

Simply weird - at Plas Newydd.

Half a lion - is that weird or what?

A Penguin in West Kirby

A Hippo in Chester Cathedral

And a Superlambanana - thanks for the suggestion, Monica.

Why not check out other people's my town shoot-outs this week.

Weird stuff

This week's Friday My Town Shoot-out is to be Weird things in one's town. Gosh. I have occasionally been a bit stumped by the weekly subject but never so much as I am now. Help! Anybody got any ideas what weird things I might photograph for tomorrow? (Excluding myself - the only weird thing I can think of!)

Monday 10 January 2011

Liverpool F C

Poor Roy Hodgson, Liverpool FC's manager for the last half season, was sacked on Saturday. Everyone had been expecting him to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. He didn't succeed!

Now King Kenny (Kenny Dalgleish - one of Liverpool's greatest heroes) has taken over until the send of the season (or until we lose a few more matches whichever is the sooner!)

There can be few more precarious jobs than that of manager of a football team. Roy was Manager of the Season at Fulham last year. Hero to zero in a few months. That's soccer.

Ironically, Kenny's first match had only been going for two minutes when Liverpool went a goal down (to Manchester United - our arch enemies) after a very dodgy penalty award. Then everyone's hero, skipper Steven Gerrard was sent off for a fairly minor challenge. Liverpool are now out of the F A Cup. It's a sad, sad season.

As one of my friends e-mailed me the other day - "What's the difference between a pyromaniac and Liverpool Footbal Club? Answer - a pyromaniac doesn't chuck away all his matches... "

I suspect this may be my last posting about soccer for some time...... Roll on the Grand Prix season.

Friday 7 January 2011

Friday My Town Shoot-out - Macro

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is "macro" chosen by JarieLyn

I think some of these should more properly be called close-ups rather than macro but I trust you'll forgive me. I'm also sorry that there is not much of a 'my town' flavour about them. My imagination was not up to scratch this week.

Why not check out other people's my town shoot-outs this week.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Live for Today

Two years ago my friend Julie died. At the time it very much put my life in perspective and I still think about her and how much she brightened people's lives. She was my age. Since then there have been few deaths that have affected me but now someone else has died whose death has made me put things in npersepctive again - Sue Johnson (née Archer). Her husband, Ken was a close colleague of mine at work and Sue also worked at Knowsley though I didn't have that much direct contact with her. Ten years younger than me she passed away 'suddenly but peacefully' the day before Christmas Eve. She leaves a young son, Matthew. Ten years younger than me. So unfair! My condolences to Ken and Matthew. In the meantime it reminds one how important it is to live life day by day and not worry about tomorrow.

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." ~ Cherokee Indian Proverb

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein

You had better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.” Harriet Martineau

"At the end of today, if it has been preoccupied with thoughts of enjoyment that might be coming, we will find that we have lost something valuable that will be gone forever. Today!" - Social Fix Blog

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could, some blunders and absurdities have crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy the sunlight today, mix good cheer with friends today, then enjoy it and bless God for it. Do not look back on happiness or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated of it." - Henry Ward Beecher

So, enjoy yourself today because it is not coming back and who knows if tomorrow will come...

Wednesday 5 January 2011

New Year Resolutions

It's a few years since I made any New Year Resolutions and many years since I actually kept any!

However, inspired by Ian's "Blog every Sunday" I have decided to make three this year

1. I propose to start each new month with a mini celebration.
2. I'm going to write one page of my book everday.
3. I'm going for a walk every day that I am well enough - even if it is only to the shops.
4. I am aiming to (but not forcing myself to) post a word a day on my word blog; post a photo a day on my photography blog.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Poor Jo has gone back to work so it's just me and my computer today. Richard being asleep in his den at the moment.

I was short of a blog topic this morning but I felt I really ought to let everyone know I'm still alive and kicking (at least today's heart scan says I'm alive and if I find who has taken the sellotape from its rightful place again there might be a kicking!). I had this bright idea. I thought I would put "blog ideas" into Google and see what came up.

How about the list which included "Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing", "If I Worked for a Venture Capital Firm","The Difference Between Fark and Truemors", "Ning Sites I Like and Why". Fark? Truemors?? Ning??? I'm obviously in a different world.

Tried another one...
"Use PLR Articles - PLR stands for Private Label Rights which means you buy a set of articles in your niche for a few dollars and then change that article to suit you writing style." You writing style??

And a third which gave me - "Create a post that incorporates the words, 'desperate' and 'futile'." The answer - I don't think I'm desperate enough to continue with this futile exercise!!!

So what can I tell you about the first few days of the New Year? I have mainly been reading, sitting by the fire watching episodes of 'Downton Abbey' and researching a book I am writing. It is set in 1874 so I am finding out all I can about life in those days. Great fun. The problem, as Canadian Chickadee will confirm, is not so much in the writing as in the effort of pushing it around to prospective agents / publishers. That is the difficult, boring and tiresome bit. In the meantime, I am happily doing the fun bit - writing it.

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