Image

How to Have a Happy Birthday

Birthdays have always been a bit tricky for me.  For a long time I believed that something bad would always happen on my special day (mostly because, for several years in a row, I had disastrous birthdays where loved ones became gravely ill, pets died, people got in car accidents and general chaos and doom reigned) and so I tended to try to just get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

As I got older and, particularly after surviving a life-threatening illness, I starting believing that having another birthday was actually pretty good.  Bad stuff could still happen, but then it could on any other day, so why worry about it?

Usually, I try and organise a dinner out, or a get-together of some description with friends or family or both.  This year, I just wanted time on my own.  I didn’t want to involve anyone else, which sounds really selfish and unsociable, but I just wanted to spend my day pottering about by myself, doing as I pleased and not having any schedule to follow.  I highly recommend it 🙂  I don’t get lonely and am quite happy with my own company.  I wanted a stress-free, restorative, recharging kind of day.

So, my idea of a good birthday goes something like this…..

1. Dress in a comfortable outfit, in your favourite colours.  
Makeup and hair done for no one else but yourself.

img_5222
I don’t feel blue wearing blue!

 

2. Take yourself out for a delicious, hearty breakfast…….

img_5203
Field Mushrooms on Sourdough, with Goat’s Cheese and Poached Eggs…

3…..and eat it all up.  Don’t feel guilty at all.

img_5207
All gone!

4.  Visit a favourite, gorgeous shop.  Wander around for an hour or so and don’t buy anything.  Feel good that you didn’t spend unnecessarily (even if it is because you’re a bit poor right now and couldn’t afford to even if you wanted to).

img_5204
Antidote in Mount Hawthorn
img_5208
Hammered and stamped recycled spoons at Antidote – Love them!

 

5. Make yourself a birthday cake and share it with loved ones at dinner time.   It doesn’t matter if the cake is a bit homely looking.  People will be polite and eat it anyway.

img_5213

6.  Drink vast quantities of tea, preferably out of pretty china so you feel like a lady.

img_5206
Tea for one!

 

7.  Go op-shopping.  Buy shoes for a ridiculously low price (in this case $4.25).

img_5219
New shoes! (well, 2nd hand new!)

 

So, for me, a perfect birthday is one in which I spend time doing things I enjoy, with no schedule or plan.  I ended the day with my brother and his family, which was lovely – I even had candles on my cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me.  Delightful. Maybe spending a day on your own isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was exactly what I needed and I’m so glad I did it.

So how do you spend your birthday?  Do you like to ignore it, go all out and spoil yourself, or plan a quiet day of solitude and reflection?  Whatever you do, I hope you always feel loved and appreciated on your special day.

Thanks for dropping by x

Image

Now I am Forty-Three

So, today is my 43rd birthday.  Forty-three.  Four decades-and-a-bit.  Where the hell did those years go?!  I’m sure time speeds up as you get older.  I know I am very aware of time passing and, more depressingly, time running out.

Last year, I wrote a post about being forty two, and what I knew to be true at that point.  Not much has changed since then.  I still don’t know what the heck I am doing half the time, but I guess that’s ok.  I hope so anyway.  Though there is still a tonne of stuff I don’t know, there are some things which I know to be true FOR SURE.

  1. After forty, the body basically gives up and tells you where you can stick your diets and exercise.  Things sag and bulge and lose the ability to look like they did when you  were twenty.  This is ok.  Horrible and annoying, but ok.  No one else will notice except for you, because they are all too busy worrying about their own saggy bits, so don’t focus on it too much.  If you do, you will become dull, depressing AND saggy.  And that’s just sad.
  2. Don’t worry too much about trying to figure out your face shape.  Whether it is a heart or an oval or a dodecahedron doesn’t really matter.  Just wear what you like and grow your hair in a way that causes you the least amount of stress.  No one is going to come up to you in the street and berate you for having a fringe with a round face.
  3. Now that you have given up on trying to understand boys,do not turn your attention to understanding men (who are, after all, just little boys with bigger and more expensive toys).  It’s even harder and will give you a migraine.
  4. Try new hair colours.  Blonde is inevitable, but these days so is pink, lilac and blue. Avoid doing that black-underneath-and-white-on-the-top style.  You WILL look like a back-to-front skunk.  Do not trust your friends who tell you you look “fabulous” with such a style.  “Fabulous” is code word for “We understand you are going through a phase and hope you grow out of it soon”.  Cover grey hair if you feel you must – don’t feel guilty or vain for doing so.  Similarly, don’t let people tell you you shouldn’t let yourself go grey.   Schnauzers are grey and they are awesome.  Do what you want and what you can afford . Unless it’s the skunk thing.
  5. Hang out with small children when you can.  It’s best if you ask their parents first. Don’t just pick up random children on the street – that is frowned upon.  And frowning causes wrinkles.
  6. Be kind.  Always.  To yourself and to others.  It is painless and gives you brownie points in heaven.  Maybe.  I’m not sure about that one.  At the very least, it makes you happier and will stop wars from happening.  Maybe, I’m not sure about that one either.
  7. Read all the books you can.  Do not waste time on books you “can’t get in to”.  Life is too short to be wasting it on books you don’t connect with.  They’re like people – some of them are just not your type and can be annoying and obnoxious, dull or long-winded.  Give them away and start a new book.  If one thing in life is guaranteed, it’s that you will NEVER run out of books.
  8. Don’t worry about getting married, or finding a boyfriend (or girlfriend) or being in a relationship at all.  You’re perfectly ok without that stuff.  Don’t settle for something just because everyone else is doing it.  You’re not everyone.  You’re you.  And you’re amazing.  If someone comes along who deserves a piece of that amazingness, by all means hold on to them for dear life.  But don’t wait for them.  They might be a little bit tardy, and you can waste a lot of time hanging around, hoping they show up.
  9. Don’t buy shoes you have trouble walking in.  You will look like a twit.
  10. At some point you will find yourself saying “Music today is RUBBISH!” and bemoaning the fact no one can write a decent song any more.  Face it, you have become your parents.  Don’t fight it.
  11. Try a nice bright lipstick.  And then immediately wipe it off because it looks ridiculous.  But yay you for trying new things!
    img_5058
    Bright pink lipstick – not convinced.

     

  12. Accept and embrace other people’s lifestyles.  There are billions of people on the Earth and every one of them is a bit weird.  We’re all weird so, technically, nothing is weird.  As long as you’re not hurting children, kicking puppies or mugging old ladies, you’re fine.  You don’t have to join in with someone else’s lifestyle, but you should allow them to get on with it, as they see fit.  Mind your own business.
  13. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.  It’s too hard and makes people think you’re a wanker.  Just be you.  Crazy, perfectly imperfect YOU.  People will like you or they won’t.  Better they decide based on the real you.
  14. Be silly.  As much as you can.  If no one wants to join you, do it by yourself.  Don’t grow up – it is tiresome and makes you forget all the wonderful things that still make up life on Earth.  Believe in fairies, delight in rainbows, and remember how big the world used to seem, and how many possibilities it contained.
  15. Do own and wear comfortable, sensible underwear.  If it itches, rides up, cuts in or just makes you angry, don’t wear it.  Do not buy into the tabloid horror that is “CELEBRITY CAUGHT WEARING GRANNY KNICKERS!!!”  You are not a celebrity and, even if you are, your undergarments are your own business.  I’m sure most road rage incidents are caused by people wearing too-tight knickers.  It just makes you cranky and unable to make rational decisions.
  16. Let it go.  Forgive.  Love.  Don’t hold grudges.  Build a bridge and get over it.  Life is too short to hold on to bitterness.  It will eat you up and make you unpleasant to be around.  You will probably not get invited to parties and people will do a lot of eye-rolling around you.   Don’t be that person.  Let it go, let it go, let it go.  If that doesn’t work, makes yourself a voodoo doll and have at it.
  17. Grow a garden.  Whether that means a tiny succulent in a teacup on your window sill, or an acre of vegetables, grow something.  Nurturing another living thing is good for your soul.  It tunes you in to the Earth and life and the nature of things.  But if the tiny succulent in a teacup on your window sill dies, for Goodness’ sake get rid of it.  A dead thing is unsettling and depressing and will make you feel like a failure.
  18. Cultivate friendships.  Make time for them.  Let your friends know you love and care for them.  Be soppy about it.  People might pretend to be embarrassed  but they secretly like it.  Just knowing someone is thinking about them can brighten a person’s day and make the world a little less lonely.  Add smiley faces to your emails, be cheeky to your boss, and bring cupcakes to work to share.  Life is hard, smiles are free – to combat one, give lots of the other.  Hug.  Listen to people’s stories and remember small details to talk about later (so they know you paid attention).  Notice when someone is sad or anxious or just struggling with the weight of the world.  Just being noticed can make a big difference.
  19. Being sensitive is a good thing.  Empathy is not weakness, it is very much a strength.  Don’t let others “toughen you up” or tell you how to feel.  The world has plenty of  tough, un-empathetic, un-feeling people in it, and look where that has gotten us.
  20. You can’t fix everybody.  This is something I have taken a long time to learn, and I am not done learning it.  Be a good listener, offer practical help where you can, and support the people you love.  But do not try and fix them.  That’s not your job and you are setting yourself (and them) up for failure.  Everyone is on their own journey and it is not your job to run ahead every few miles, filling in pot-holes and watching out for pedestrians, stray dogs and traffic jams.  You can give them directions and point out a few landmarks, but you can’t drive the car for them.

So, another year older and probably not much wiser.  But that’s ok – life is a learning process, right?  I’m glad to have reached the ripe old age of forty-three.  I wouldn’t like to be twenty-three again, although I wouldn’t mind having the extra twenty years up my sleeve to do some things over.

Hope you are happy today, whatever your age 🙂

Thank you for stopping by x

IMG_9762

Image

My Week in Pictures

It’s been a hectic week.  I have been madly making cards and other crafty goodies for my upcoming market stall.  I’ve been organising things to sell at a car boot sale this weekend (I have so much junk-that’s-not-really-junk to get rid of).  I’ve been organising quotes for air-conditioning in my rapidly heating up house.  I’ve had several birthday events to attend and catch-ups to arrange before Christmas.  It’s all happening.

I finally updated my phone and now have a much better one that doesn’t take blurry photos and doesn’t keep shutting down for no reason.  My old phone looks and behaves like something from the stone age.  Well, to be fair, it was about eight years old which, in phone terms these days, is practically a millennium.

I can take selfies now without having to guess if I am pointing the phone camera in the right direction.  And then edit the photos on the spot if I am not happy with them (ie don’t like the way I look in them).

img_4171

I also managed to fit in a spot of op-shopping.  I haven’t been for aaaaaaaaages, mostly due to lack of funds but also I just haven’t had time.  I broke my shoes this week so I actually did need to go and find a new pair.  Not wanting to spend a fortune, I of course when to the op-shop to check out what they had available.  I scored these lovely buckle-detail wedges.  I cannot walk in wedges, normally.  I fall down, a lot.  I wobble and am very unsteady because my ankle tends to turn in and I am a super klutz.  But these had a nice chunky heel and were very stable and comfortable.  And my perfect size! Better still, they were only $3.00!  I mean!  How could I not get them?  I wish they had been black as they would be more practical for work, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?

IMG_4233.JPG

My garden has gained a critter.  This VERY LARGE grasshopper.  Who only has one back leg.  He has been on the same tree for about a week now.  I am not sure if he is resting or waiting for a bus, preparing to die, or just hanging out.  I must admit to being a bit squeamish about crickets and grasshoppers but I wouldn’t hurt one and, as I have no garden to speak of, there is nothing for him to destroy, so he can stay.  I don’t know if he can get around on one back leg – I’m assuming they don’t grow back like a spider’s does.  He is quite magnificent though – he looks like he is wearing armour.  He was kind enough to let me get in his face and take his picture without leaping off and scaring the bejeezus out of me.  But I do fear he is not long for this world, which is a shame.

IMG_4221.JPG

I had a lovely afternoon of Lego and tea with my Mum, brother and his brood.  Playing with Lego is an age-old tradition in my family.  I don’t think we will ever tire of it, and I am so glad the littlies enjoy it (because it gives us an excuse to play too).  That’s my castle there in the middle of the table – it’s been demolished by Master Nine, despite my protests.  I used to love hanging out with my big bro’, back in the day, building all sorts of creations.  I’m lucky I even had a big brother who didn’t mind his little sister hanging around playing with his stuff and probably taking all the good bricks.

IMG_4222.JPG

I went walking with a friend and found this beautiful cockatoo feather (shortly after having a spectacular fall and landing on my face).  Isn’t it gorgeous?  The Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo is endangered and always having its habitat destroyed by various construction projects and deforestation.  They are lovely creatures and it would be a shame to lose them.  I have treated them when I was a vet nurse and, despite their large size and FEROCIOUSLY STRONG beak, they are quite a gentle bird and very intelligent.  I love this feather and it will have pride of place on my hall table.

IMG_4205.JPG

I have not been looking after my plants at all, but they continue to amaze me with their resilience and growth. My “Mother of Thousands” plant is doing so well and is producing so many babies I feel I should open a nursery.  It is doing so well despite my neglect and  inability to remember that plants like water occasionally.

IMG_4230.JPG

Even the “dead” leaves from my Kalanchoe Feldtschenkoi I threw into the garden have sprouted bubbies and they are so cute!  They’re like tiny little rose buds at this stage.  I love that they propagate like this.  This is why I never throw any part of a succulent away – it still has life in it even if it looks dead!

IMG_4229.JPG

I got glasses.  Proper ones.  Not over-the-counter-chemist ones.  Actual optometrist-prescribed ones.  I am still getting used to them.  I really only need them for fine, intricate work, particularly when crafting and drawing, so I keep forgetting I have them.  They are currently buried under a pile of card-making supplies.

IMG_4176.JPG

My cousin in England sent me this STUNNING photo of my Mum.  I have never seen it before.  She looks so beautiful.  She would have been about 18 years old, just engaged and living at home with my grandparents.  Check out those nails!!!  They’re her real nails – not some fake stuck on ones.  And her hair is amazing (although I know now where I get my split-fringe issue from!).  The photo would have been taken by my Grandad who loved to shoot very posed pictures – he would always have a prop and a theme going on, ha ha.  No candid happy snaps for him, oh no!

IMG_4209.JPG

Now I just have to concentrate on my market stall on the weekend and then I can relax or, at least, make sense of my house and maybe start decorating for Christmas before Christmas has actually been and gone.

Hope you have a wonderful week and accomplish everything you you have planned (even if your plans include lots of napping, day-dreaming and generally lounging about 🙂 )

Thanks for reading, as always x

Image

Things I Just Don’t Understand

There are many things I can comprehend.  Well, not many, but at least a few.  There are, however, lots of things I do not understand, such as :

  1. Rainfall : the measurement of – I do not understand when the weather people say we have had 13mm of rain.  I don’t get it.  13mm doesn’t sound like much.  Is it per square inch or square metre or something? I can’t wrap my brain around this. I know I could look it up but I can’t be bothered.  I prefer a little mystery in my life.
  2. Kim and Kanye – why are we still talking about them?  Why am I even talking about them?  What are they for?  What purpose do they serve?  I do, however, think they are the most perfect pairing in the Universe.  Never before have two human beings been so exquisitely matched.  They are the first people in history to marry their own selves.  That is quite an achievement, you have to admit.
  3. Aeroplanes – I know there is science and physics and stuff involved, but I can’t think about them up in there in the sky without hurting my brain.  How do they stay up there?  Aren’t they, y’know, heavy?  Sometimes I think it’s magic.  Yes, that’s it, it’s magic.  So, shhhh, clap your hands and believe.  Don’t break the spell.  Especially if I am flying somewhere at the time.
  4. I don’t deal well with flat-pack furniture.  I can’t understand the instructions (which, let’s face it, are generally in a foreign language, even if they’re technically written in English) and I always end up with extra bits and pieces.  I also swear a lot. Sometimes I cry whilst swearing and curse the fact this shelving unit/cabinet/bed frame has come straight from the devil and has obviously been sent to drive me insane.
  5. Putting on quilt covers – actually, I just figured this one out this week so, technically, it is now something I do understand.  Putting a quilt cover on has always been something I do not do well.  In fact, it is something that literally reduces me to tears in a very short space of time. So, generally, I just don’t do it at all.  However, after seeing this amazing video on Youtube, I am now able to change a quilt cover in mere minutes, seconds even if I practice lots.  It has been a revelation to me.  I am one step closer to being an adult.  I might have to make the bed more now though…
  6. Maths – pretty sure maths is some sort of devilry.  And algebra is like the high-priestess of evil.  As soon as you put letters and little tiny numbers next to bigger numbers and start asking why X = 5, you’ve lost me.  I literally  lose all sense of time and black out just a little bit.  Ask me how to work out 30% off in a sale and I am your girl, though.
  7. Sewing – My Mum recently showed me how to take up / hem my own pants.  It was a triumph (for me) but somewhat of a traumatic experience for my Mum.  I think she needed a lie-down afterwards.  Possibly something alcoholic.  Sewing is a very technical thing and requires precision.  I am not precise in anything I do, therefore failure in anything haberdashery-esque is guaranteed.  But I do have several pairs of pants I can walk around in now without treading on the hems.
  8. Tax – The Australian Taxation Office hates me.  I earn a very basic wage, not substantial by anyone’s definition.  I have enough and am grateful for that.  The ATO, however, considers my wages to be EXTRAVAGANT in the extreme, and taxes me accordingly.  Every. Year.  I get screwed.  I have been putting off doing this year’s tax return because I know it will result in a big bill and I can’t cope with that right now.  Next year will be different because I will have less savings (hello mortgage!) so maybe they will see me as less wealthy and take pity on me.  I am also easily confused by the tax return itself.  If you’ve ever seen that episode of Black Books, where Bernard is attempting to do his tax return, you will know what I mean.  Again, there is swearing and possibly tears.  It’s probably because there is maths involved.
  9. Water – I try to understand the chemical composition and how it makes water, but then I develop a migraine and have to go away and sit in a dark room.  Plus how is it clear?  Who made that a thing?  Every child in the history of the world, when they are colouring in a picture of a glass of water, colours it blue.  This is fact.  Then water falls from the sky and someone tries to measure it and then I get confused again.  It’s all too hard.  If it was cheese I would understand it.  Cheese doesn’t confuse me.
  10. Why people can’t fill the kettle at work – This is my ultimate frustration.  I fill the kettle about five or six times a day.  AT LEAST. Considering there are only a handful of us at work now (thank you, funding cuts!), I do not understand why this is happening.  I drink a lot of tea so I use the kettle a lot, but I always make sure I leave water in it for the next person.  I do not empty the kettle and then leave it like that.  It drives me bananas.  I have even written notes and put up posters that say “Please refill kettle after use!” but still, the kettle is always empty and sad.  It’s so rude!  I just want to slap people on a regular basis. Don’t get me started on the people who leave a teaspoon of milk in the carton and put it back in the fridge.  What is that about???  What kind of primitive society are we living in???

There are many, many other things in the world that confuse me (Donald Trump, I am talking to you!)  but I’m sure you don’t need to hear about them all.  I just needed something to write about while my craft output is lacking.  And, also, the kettle thing seriously drives me insane.  It might lead to a breakdown.  I’m not even kidding.

Hope your day is making sense to you.  Thanks for popping by 🙂

 

Pendant

Image

Blogging Challenge – Day Thirteen : What’s Inside My Fridge

30-day-blogging-challenge[1]

My fridge is not the world’s most exciting appliance.  It is usually half-empty and, at times, contains very little in the way of actual food items.  I tend to wait until I am almost entirely out of groceries before I buy any more so I don’t double up or have lots of wastage.  I HATE wasting food.  It annoys me and makes me feel bad.  I am one of those people who cuts up slightly withered and sad vegetables for soups.  I try not to over-buy in the first place because I am just one person, and even I can only eat so much.

At the moment, because I am soon to move into my new house, I am trying not to buy too much stuff, especially frozen items.  The less I have to take with me, the better!  So my fridge is a little bit empty – it just has the basics – and I shop a few times a week, which is not very cost-effective but, for the moment, will have to be the way it is.

So, what’s in my fridge? :

  1. Cheese.  I am planning on reducing my cheese intake by about a million percent once I have moved.  I eat way too much and I am not supposed to actually eat much of it at all.  Currently, I have feta, colby and parmesan.
  2. Tofu.  Another staple.  At the moment it is silken firm tofu, because I want to make tofu burgers but, at other times, it will be firm stir-fry or marinated.
  3. Soy milk.  For tea!
  4. Rice milk.  It’s kinda gross but I am trying not to have too much soy.  I use rice milk in my porridge.
  5. Baby beetroot.
  6. Carrots.
  7. Lettuce.
  8. Cucumber.
  9. Spring onions.  Which reminds me, I should throw those out – they’re a little bit stinky and I don’t think I can even salvage them in a soup.
  10. Chocolate – not mine.  It’s been there for a year or two.  I should probably chuck it.
  11. Apples.
  12. Half a lemon.
  13. Leftover risotto.
  14. Jar of minced garlic.
  15. Jar of minced garlic and ginger.
  16. Sauces. A variety!
  17. Olives.  Actually, more truthfully, it is a jar with two olives in it.  I don’t know why it is still there and why I didn’t just eat the two olives.
  18. Eggs.  Well, a carton with one lonely little egg in it.
  19. Tin of tuna.
  20. Probiotic tablets.
  21. Sundried tomatoes.
  22. Synthetic erythropoietin injections. It is used to treat anemia, which is a side effect of renal failure.  I haven’t had to have the injections for about two years now.  I should probably ditch them.  I keep forgetting.  And yes, I will dispose of them thoughtfully at my local pharmacists’s.  They are nasty looking things (the injections, not my pharmacists).  I didn’t enjoy having to have them.  They are quite big needles and I had to inject myself in the tummy.  Not pleasant, but you do what you have to do!
  23. Sesame dressing.  Because I am addicted to it.
  24. The freezer is full of frozen vegies and long-forgotten wedges of quiche or other things I have made and, um, forgotten about.  There’s also Lebanese bread and some icy poles I made in the Summer which didn’t taste very nice and I didn’t eat.  Disappointingly, there is no ice cream.  This makes me more sad than words can express. *sighs*

And that’s it, really.  I’d like to say it’s overflowing with fresh fruit and veg, but I find I can’t eat it quick enough before it goes off, so I tend to buy it as I need it, rather than wasting any.  I go to a nice local market that sells really good quality produce and it costs half as much as the normal supermarket.  I will have to find a different market once I move, or make the trek down to my usual one (it’s worth it).

Hopefully I will be able to report, in my new house, that my fridge is full of lots of healthy fruit and veg with nothing I should be ashamed of (or have to hide in the back so no one sees it).  My plan is to be “good” and leave me comfort-eating (read : cheating) behind me.  That’s what new starts are for, right?

May your fridge, your life, and your heart always be full and blessed with plenty!
Thanks for reading.

🙂

Image

Blogging Challenge – Day Twelve : Favourite Childhood Book

Howdy folks.  Yes, I am skipping challenges on the Blogging Challenge.  Just pretend you haven’t noticed ok?

30-day-blogging-challenge[1]

I was a big reader as a child.  From the age of six onwards, I always had my head stuck in a book.  I was the annoying kid in class who always finished the assigned reading way before schedule and had to be given other books to read while everyone else caught up.  Yeah, THAT kid.  I was like it in high school too.  It’s very possible I was the only one who actually READ the books we were assigned.  But I enjoyed them – everything from
Catch-22 to 1984, To Kill a Mockingbird and Animal Farm.  I loved them all.

My Mum always read to us when we were little and I suppose that’s why we always enjoyed books in general.  As a child, I loved stories with animals in them, but didn’t like anything scary or dark.  I remember one book I read gave me nightmares and actually made me physically ill so my Mum had to go to the school and asked for it to be removed from the library.  I don’t remember what it was called, but it was a book of so-called fairy tales, and it had one story in it where a witch rips the faces off pretty young girls so she could disguise herself as them and get up to mischief.  Kinda gross.   A less sensitive kid might not have been bothered by it, but it frightened me and my Mum took action ha ha.

I know I had a book about a dog called Barney, that my Mum used to read to me (until it fell to pieces) but I haven’t been able to find it since.  Another favourite was “The Golden Egg Book” by Margaret Wise Brown.  It too fell to pieces from being read to death.

When I was a bit older, I read voraciously on my own.  Enid Blyton was an early favourite, particularly the “Magic Faraway Tree” and “The Secret Seven” (my Mum won a set of these in an art competition when she was ten years old – I have them now 🙂 ).  I still secretly read Enid Blyton books, when I am needing some comfort or just to take some time out.  There’s a been a bit of a backlash about them in recent years, with regard to them not being very politically correct, but I love them.

Of course, Judy Blume was a HUGE favourite as I entered into that tricky pre-teen period.  My best friend and I loved her books and read all of them.  “Are you there God, it’s me, Margaret,” was probably devoured by more 10-12 year olds in the 80s than just about any other book ever written.

I also loved Ursula K. Le Guin and Paul Gallico, Beverly Cleary and Diana Wynne Jones.  I read all the classics – “Charlotte’s Web”, “Watership Down” (a little bit adult for me but I trudged through it when I was seven, not really understanding all of it I’m sure) and “Little Women”.

I read non-fiction too.  Mostly about animals and magic and art.  I Loved poetry and silly rhymes, and books about mysteries and fascinating facts.

I have a favourite children’s book now though.  It was given to me by a friend when I was in my twenties, and I dearly love it.  I would give it to my own children, if I had any, and have actually given it as a gift to friends and family (both children and adults).  My favourite children’s book is “A Little Bit of Winter” by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.  It’s just GORGEOUS.  The story of Rabbit and Hedgehog, best friends in the wood.  It’s Winter and Hedgehog has to go and hibernate.  Rabbit is worried that Hedgehog will forget about him during the long, cold months that Hedgehog is asleep.  Hedgehog himself does not know what Winter feels like and so they are both missing out on something.  It’s a story about friendship, mostly, but it is SO ADORABLE and the illustrations are the best.  I love it.  I have to do the voices when I read it, which is quite sad, but it’s just so darn cute.  There are other books in this series, but this one is my favourite.

Do you have a beloved children’s book that is dear to your heart?  There’s so many great ones out there, new and old, modern and classic.  Don’t let the kids have all the fun – try a few titles for yourself.  They’re comforting and calming and make you feel better about the world.  And, if you do have children of your own, get them in to reading early – it’s SO important.  My brother’s children all love to read and it makes my librarian heart proud. I’d be proud of them, whatever they did, but the fact that they love books and often can be found with their little heads buried in one is just icing on the cake.

Happy Reading Everyone x

9780862649982[1].jpg

(Picture : The Book Depository)

Image

Blogging Challenge – Day Nine : What’s in My Bag?

30-day-blogging-challenge[1]

My bag (or, rather, bags – I have too many of them) generally contains more than it should.  I am a hoarder in all areas of my life, why should the contents of my handbag be any different?  I am terrible at clearing it out regularly and it usually has about six months’ worth of receipts in it.  Also, about eight hundred tissues – used or not, who can tell? – and at least three pens, possibly leaking or not working at all.

So, today’s bag-hoard contains :

  1. A Pair of tongs –  This is because I cannot reach those stupid ticket machine thingies in the car parks (when you have to lean out your window).  Whose arms are that long?  Certainly not mine.  I usually end up putting my neck out.  So, I have tongs.  I will take them out of the bag and just leave them in the car today though.  Promise.
  2. Concert ticket – A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of my house-buying anxiety, I went to a concert with my cousin.  I had been looking forward to it for months but was so not in the mood to go that night.  In fact, an hour before hand, I was having a major meltdown and crying so hard I gave myself a massive nose bleed.  Over-dramatic much?  Anyway, the concert was AWESOME!!!  It was called “Totally 80s” and featured lots of one-hit wonders and some more successful musical acts of the 80s.  Wa Wa Nee, Martika, Berlin, Real Life, Men Without Hats and Paul Lekakis.  It was great.  They were all SO GOOD and sounded amazing.  It was a nice distraction for me and, predictably, I have held on to my ticket.  But it is going in the bin today. Really and truly. Pinky swear.
  3. Purse – Well, obviously my purse is gonna be in there.  It contains no money but does have lots of receipts and a tonne of other crap in it.
  4. House-buying documents and whatnot – I am currently carrying all my documents and forms and everything to do with my new house around with me like a pack horse.  I am paranoid something dramatic will happen and I will need the information immediately.  This is unlikely now, with settlement a week away.  But I am not very smart and apparently like to lug stuff around.
  5. Gloves – I feel the cold.  We all know this.  I have a pair of black knitted gloves that have skeleton bones printed on them.  They are children’s gloves.  I have tiny hands.
  6. Bandaids – my dermatillomania is kicking my butt at the moment so I am trying to keep it under control by keeping my fingers covered.  I keep bandaids on hand at all times.  I buy bazillions of them.
  7. Numerous set of keys – I have house keys, car keys, my Mum’s house keys,  friends’ house keys, lots of keys to work etc.  Basically I jangle when I walk.
  8. Phone – The dreaded mobile phone.  I am not one of those people who is constantly on their phone.  I forget to even look at it half the time and mostly use it as a clock.  I HATE talking on my mobile and I never answer it when I am driving.  Don’t text and drive, people!  I actually bought a new iPhone about 6 months ago.  I haven’t switched over to it yet (because I am a chronic procrastinator) and am still using my extremely ancient iPhone that has multiple issues.  Basically, it is dying, poor lamb.
  9. Teabags – Um, yes, I carry teabags around with me.  Mostly green tea and lemon ones.  Just in case I go somewhere – to someone’s house for instance – and they don’t have any tea.  Who would such a person be and why I would be friends with them, I do not know, but it’s just in case.
  10. Lip balm – I have a lippy in every bag I own.  Cruelty-free ones of course.  If they smell nice and taste a bit like fruit/chocolate/cookies, even better.

That’s pretty much it, except for the usual “lady” products and scraps of paper and general junk.  I should probably clean it out.  Today even.  Or tomorrow.  Or in three week’s time when I move.  That seems like a good idea.  Then I will have a new set of keys to put in it!

IMG_3322