Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Gallery - A very pink member of our household

This week's theme for Tara Cain's Gallery is Portrait.

According to The Free Online Dictionary a portrait is a verbal picture or description, especially of a person.

I took 'especially of a person' to mean that it didn't actually have to be a person! And so here is a very important member of our household.

Meet Ellie the Pink Elephant - She belongs to Violet, our youngest daughter and was a present from a friend when she was 5 months old. I have to admit when I saw her for the first time I thought 'oh great another dust collector' but isn't it strange how some things just click?

Ellie has been everywhere with us in the past three years - She is somewhat paler than she used to be, has had many washes after being vomitted upon, been lost a few times (last found under the shelving at Tesco after a hellish fortnight for us - which shows how often they clean under their shelves!) and has recently had a restuffing courtesy of my mother!

Have you got any unusual members of your household that just seem to have always been there?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

My Lovely Dad MBE - The Gallery Week 7 - Joy

I have even dispensed with the TV Theme titles for this week's Gallery (Had anyone even noticed?)

This week's Gallery subject is Joy.

This is my lovely Dad - He became a Master of the British Empire in 2001 for services to the Employment Service. This is a true case of the right person receiving credit where credit is due. My Dad was a quiet, gentle and wonderful person who never craved attention and appreciated everything he had.

The couple of days we spent in London when Dad met the Queen were simply joyful. 6 of us went down (Mum, Dad, the 3 daughters and my husband). We were only allocated 3 tickets into Buckingham Palace which my Mum amazingly gave to us 3 daughters. I have never felt as nervous as when Dad's 'turn' was coming up - I really didn't want him to trip or break any of the millions of rules - He didn't - it was just wonderful! (I broke a rule by taking a piece of Buckingham Palace toilet roll home but we won't say anymore about how classy I am!) I have probably committed treason or similar by copying the official photo too!

An added bonus was always going to be which celebrity received their honours during the same ceremony - We got Jeremy Beadle MBE! Oh well!

After Buckingham Palace, we met up with Mum and my husband and had a trip on the then new London Eye and a sightseeing tour around London followed by a show.

The next day was Dad's 60th and the day he officially retired and time for home - We were upgraded to 1st class when the driver heard about what we were celebrating.

All in all, a wonderful time to be together and see the most wonderful man get some of the attention he deserved.

My Dad passed away a year ago next week - We are all still devastated and will always miss and love you. x

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Ugly Betty - The Gallery - Week 6

Wow, what a challenge this week was! There has been loads of talk on Twitter about this week's Gallery subject ...UGLY! I can't even think about the word without singing u.g.l.y, you ain't got no alibi ....Can you? No then, perhaps that's just my music taste!

Anywhoo, back to the task. My immediate thoughts were self-deprecation and posting a picture of me - but I haven't spent all my 21 years (cough!) building up my self-estemm to blow it in one fell swoop - Can you imagine how many comments I would receive though?!

Other items I thought of posting:

* Husband's feet (But they are never still enough and might break the camera)
* The Bottom of the wheely bin (too distressing to go near!)
* The cat sick underneath the trampoline that I am trying to pretend I haven't seen
* Most areas of St Helens

I really don't do UGLY - I even work with pretty things for a living (making cakes in case anyone has been living in a cave for the past 4 years)

So I thought, where am I going during the week that I might encounter ugliness...The Lake District!!! Bloody hell, its one of the lovliest places on earth!

So here is what I came up with - A Sheep! From afar they are cute little white dots on the landscape but nearby? Not so pretty and wooly are you now? This isn't the ugliest sheep we saw but the real minger was so grumpy she did a runner before the camera came out - She really has broken a lens or two in her time.

So Ewe ...Ewe are my ugly post for the week - balanced out by a gratuitous country shot of my children (who are definately not ugly - although this was one of my fears when they were in the womb - but thats a post for another day!)

For other, far better Gallery Posts, visit Tara Cain's Sticky Fingers and laugh or weep with the best of them!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Roulette Nation - Carbon Diaries 2015 - Saci Lloyd - Book Review

Another book Review and I have to admit this book took me longer to read than I anticipated. I really wanted to read this book as I hear so much about our Carbon Footprint and wonder if my thoughts are the same as others.

I'm sure it will come as no surprise that this book is set in 2015 when Climate Change is so dramatic that Carbon Rationing has been introduced in the UK. The book folows the story of teenage Laura as she and her family struggle to deal with the effects that Carbon Rationing have on their lives.

This book is billed as a Young Adult category but sadly I didn't enjoy it quite as much as some other YA books I have read. I felt sometimes the story was a little slapstick and far-fetched but loved other parts.

There were moments that really made me stop and think about the effect on daily life of carbon Rationing such as the impact on Travel & Tourism and consequently people's livelihoods - I thought it was clever that Laura's Dad was a travel & Tourism lecturer rather than something more obvious like a pilot.

All in all, I found the book mainly enjoyable but was glad when I finished as there are others I am desperate to read!

I would give this book a 3 out of 5 star rating.

Would it be made into a film/tv programme - Perhaps it needs to be to make us think about the consequences our actions are having on the planet!

Coming up soon ... Zoe Heller - The Believers