Monday, 15 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
7.Apply for TV quiz show Eggheads..because as much as I love this TV show I don't think I will ever get a team together (I don't know enough people with brains as huge as mine, haha)
So I am replacing it with this:
Take part in NaBloPoMo.. (National Blog Posting Month) and post every day in November.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
34.Clean & catalogue my Russian dolls..I cleaned them (needs done again), took photos so almost done
37.Knit wearable jumper for me..that particular knit is in hibernation for the moment!
66. Buy a new cooker..hopefully here in time for Christmas!
73.Research family tree..this is very time consuming but made a start..fascinating.
76. Knit 20 pairs of socks..11/20..bought some Opal Harry Potter wool to knit myself more socks
Sunday, 9 November 2008
I knitted a further 3 pairs of socks bringing my total since beginning this 101 list, to 11 pairs.
Two of the pairs recently knitted were childrens socks for my charity knit group Loving Hands. They were a very quick knit in chunky wool and didn't take too long. They will be sent along with many other knitted garments to the Linda MacDonald Foundation who then in turn takes them over to orphanages in Bulgaria.
The third pair took a bit longer and are a gift so I wont say too much about them here.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Monday, 20 October 2008
These are 3 recently purchased paperbacks I bought to keep myself going. The first, Ben Elton's 'High Society' cost me just 50p at the hospital bookstall and give him his dues, it was worth every penny! The story consists of 3 main characters whose very different lives come to overlap due to their connections with the world of illegal drugs. I found this written very much in the style of controversial Scottish writer Irvine Welsh but without the Scots dialect.
I would maybe read more of Ben Elton if his books were in the bargain bin but let's just say they aren't on my Christmas list. Enjoyable enough but nothing new.
'Distant Echo' fits into the genre that has become known as 'Tartan Noir'. It's a tale of murder and revenge by prolific Scots crime writer Val Mcdermid. Although I have never read any of her books previously I was familiar with her style through the TV series 'Wire In The Blood' which has been adapted from her 'Tony Hill' novels.
This particular book of hers is set in Fife (my home county as well as McDermids) and sees the reopening of a cold case murder which has remained unsolved for 25 years. The anniverary of the victims death raises emotions for all concerned with the initial inquiry. When witness's and assumed suspects of the time are fatally picked off one by one it seems a race against time for the surviving innocent suspects.
A good read, but still not sure if it's the writing itself or the familiar place names that drew me in. However, I would read more of her work and perhaps more Scottish crime by other authors.
'Forever Odd' by Dean Knootz is a what? A crime novel? a mystery? a thriller? All of these and more. The title character Odd Thomas is an unlikely hero. A troubled, lonely young man who has a gift he never asked for..the ability to communicate with the dead. When a childhood friend disappears Odd applies his unique talents to the task of finding his friend. He encounters evil personified in both the souls of the living and the dead.
Interesting read, although I probably would have never have picked this up if I'd realised the subject matter not being a great fan of paranormal. I did enjoy this and it has left me intrigued by Dean Knootz's other writings.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Monday, 15 September 2008
Today Gavin and I braved the Fife rain (its omni-present) and made the short journey to the town centre to visit Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery. For a town with so much history that includes ship building, cotton production, coal mining, the manufacture of linoleum, pottery mills, import and export from the harbour (the list goes on) the museum is a poor show. There was no mention of the fact that Kirkcaldy was affected by the Jacobite rebellion invading the town in the 18th century. The Jacobites being a key part of Scots history and a draw to tourists.
The art gallery was equally drab..though housed in a great space, desperately needing bought up to date. The two paintings that in these times are perhaps (my opinion not fact) the biggest draw are by contemporary Fife artist Jack Vettriano. The irony being these were in a small narrow hallway and unable to be viewed at their full potential.
However, the best part of our visit was the lovely homemade lentil soup served in the museum cafe.It might just be enough to lure me back..but only just!
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Monday, 8 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Most of you may know I have severe kypho scoliosis and had surgeries from 1981-88. You may be surprised to learn that there is no scoliosis consultant for adults in the whole of Scotland. Last week I attended a general orthapedic consultant to get my spine checked out after a few aches and pains. I am pleased to report all is well and x-rays show no dramatic changes have taken place with my spinal fusions or Harrington rod.
Friday, 22 August 2008
I pretty much think this is done. Bear with me lots of knitting photos ahead although not all my charity items are pictured. The haul includes 20 premature baby hats, 5 premature baby jackets, 1 gingerbread man toy, 1 pram star toy, 10 Teddies For Tragedy (which were sent to Africa via the singing children of Africa), 2 school jumpers, 3 pairs of fingerless gloves, 10 scarves. Okay that makes...52? Yup, thats that item complete..hooray!
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Although I prefer modern fiction I enjoyed this book. I was especially encaptured as part of the story is set at South Queensferry, not far from where I stay. The Hawes Inn mentioned is an actual pub which still stands today and to which I visited last year when Gavin did his abseil from the Forth Rail Bridge just opposite. Its strange to imagine both Forth bridges did not exist when this novel was written.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Pictured is my certificate to prove that I have successfully completed the 'Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme'. The course, based at my local hospital was 16 sessions of physio for people like me with 'crappy lungs'. The class consisted of a small group of people with C.O.P.D or some other form of lung function restriction. Guided and monitored by the physiotherapists I progressed throughout the weeks using hand weights, the bench press and treadmill. Pre-course and post course tests showed improvements in my breathing and stamina whilst exercising.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
I wasn't too sure if I could mark this one off but the Mister he say 'yeah'.
To be pernickity I haven't sorted out ALL the boxes that are in the attic but merely the unsealed boxes and all the other stuff that had been flung up there without much care.
It was a joint effort as I am too scared to physically climb the step ladder into the attic. Our last house was fab as it had an attic bedroom with a wee door into a vast attic space but this house has the more traditional overhead attic with entry via a hatch and so for me remains uncharted territory!!
We managed to get rid of a lot of stuff we had forgotten ever existed..so much for
"we might need it later",
and if we do..TOUGH!
After we packed up all the 'no longer required' goods we donated them to 'Blythswood Care'.
Now I have lots of attic space to fill with 'new junk'...hooray!!
And so with that being the 25th item I have marked off my list I can also mark off this one:
100.Have 25 items done in year 1** ..COMPLETED
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
20.Read & list 50 books....in progress 13/50
It's not that I have been slowing down on my reading, just that I have not listed them here lately. My reading material has really varied and I'm running short of things to read having caught up with all the books I had stacked by my bedside. An excuse to shop, me thinks?
The last book I read was 'Porno' by Irvine Welsh and is the sequel to his highly successful 'Trainspotting' (made into a movie starring Ewan MacGregor). Written in broad slang Edinburgh dialect, it follows the same characters eight years after Trainspotting. Its a gritty,crude and sometimes shocking tale of drugs, porn,deceit and violence. What makes it come to life for me is that I've lived in Edinburgh, been to many of the pubs and clubs mentioned and met people not unlike Welsh's characters. It's not glamourous but if you have spent any time in Leith you'll realise its not gratuitous either.
'The Rottweiller' by crime writer Ruth Rendell. All I will say is I liked it whilst reading but the ending was a bit flat. Not that memorable.
'Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins' by Rupert Everett was a great read, one really liked and was almost disappointed at the end because I enjoyed it so much I wanted it to go on. This actors biography was full of names, places and incidents but it didnt feel self centred like so many of the celeb biographies are. I enjoyed his stories from the time he lived in Paris and his unashamed admittance of his own naivity.
Saturday, 21 June 2008
The third item I have completed this week..oh baby, I'm on a roll!
This item is something to celebrate..I AM DEBT FREE! I have never been one to be extravagant with money but there was a short period of time when I got in the habit of just using my credit card and not paying it off in full at the end of the month. Now, I am living up to my Scottish sterotype and being as tight as a nut!
Today after a good year or so of regular payments and no spending I have paid off my credit card and I AM DEBT FREE..it feels good!!
My better half and I took the 2 1/2 hour train journey north to Inverness. Often referred to as the 'gateway to the Highlands' Inverness was only granted city status in 2001 and still has a quaint towny feel to its shopping streets. The highlight of our short vacation was our coach trip to Loch Ness, home of the infamous 'Loch Ness Monster'. The tour organised by Jacobite took us from the city centre to the Clansman Harbour on the banks of Loch Ness. There we climbed aboard the 'Jacobite Spirit' and sailed across the deepest part the vast waters to Urquart Castle. After exploring the castle ruins and visitor centre we were once again on the coach and taken to the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre before heading back to Inverness.
Me and the Handsome Lad on our Loch Ness Tour
The other day I went to purchase some naughty little panties for a trip away with my Mister..these are what I came back with....
Sean The Sheep briefs!!! Built for comfort rather than passion but in this Scottish climate it pays to keep yer bum warm!!
So, with them being pairs 9 & 10 that is this item done..hooray!
Friday, 13 June 2008
21.Make sure I have savings in high interest account has replaced
21.Open a Post Office account. This is simply because the Post office no longer offers the kind of account I was after and it is perhaps more beneficial to make sure the little money I have saved is earning me the maximum interest available.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Last Wednesday, the other half and myself took the short bus journey to nearby Dysart..a small harbour village which is now very much a suburb of Kirkcaldy (Fife,Scotland). This little place is steeped in history and was once buzzing with thriving industries of exporting coal, textiles and salt. These days however all these trades have gone leaving a picturesque,sleepy wee place with only a sprinkling of tiny sail boats bobbing in the harbour.
We enjoyed a really sunny afternoon and stopped for a light lunch at the cafe in the renovated Harbourmaster's House which is now a visitor centre.
Monday, 9 June 2008
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Okay I'm a slacker..although we religiously recycle our plastic, glass and paper I tend to leave it to the other half . The paper waste gets picked up fortnightly from the house but the other stuff requires a short trek across the park to the community centre. I am quick enough to preach to others about the benefits of separating your household rubbish but I sit back and let my mister lug the carrier bags to the recycle bank.
Even since putting it on this list I have never took my turn..that is until today. I took the mutt with me and we had a nice stroll through the park and back. I can see this is an easy item on my list to complete and it will encourage me pull my weight a bit with the more menial of household tasks.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Last week my other half and I took a trip out to our local theatre to see an adaption of Jim Cartwright's 'The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice'. Starring Scottish favourites Elaine.C.Smith and Andy Gray we knew it wouldn't be short of a laugh or two having seen the comic actors together last year in 'Two', by the same playwright.
This performance exceeded expectations, especially that of Debbie Saloman who portrayed the title character 'Little Voice'. Playing a shy young woman still grieving over the loss her mild mannered father, her only comfort is listening to the vinyl records of female chanteuses that he left behind. In the privacy of her bedroom she mimics the voices of Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe to perfection. Overheard by her overbearing lush of a mother and her shady sleazebag talent agent boyfriend Ray Say the timid 'L.V' is cajoled into a stage appearance. Against her better judgement she finally and reluctantly agrees to one performance in memory of her father.
It is here that Saloman stuns..especially her rendition of Piafs 'Non,Je Regrette non. Wow.
The story goes on, things go wrong..comedy turns to tradegy but I wont spoil the plot for those who may not know it.
The other half and myself came away knowing that we had got our moneys worth and really seen something special.
Monday, 5 May 2008
Although I haven't strictly started a knit meet-up I have recently joined one already formed so I am considering this complete. After all, I only wanted to get together with like-minded 'knit-wits' and I am now able to do that through 'Loving Hands'. Loving Hands is a crafting group who knit, crochet and sew items for various charities. Founded by Fife lady Lou Jaap they now have 200 members in the UK (and a couple overseas!). The weekly meetings for the handful of us here in Fife are a great opportunity to go on and on about patterns and wool whilst drinking tea and contributing to great worthwhile causes.
Saturday, 3 May 2008
I got some great biographies for my birthday and because I haven't been too well lately I have read them in double quick time. The first was 'All Of Me' by Patsy Palmer an actress who has recently returned to BBC soap Eastenders to revive her infamous character 'Bianca'. The book tells of her childhood days longing for stardom and of her cockney working class roots. She also divulges into her path of self-destruction through drink and drugs, single motherhood at 19 and nervous breakdowns. It took neaar death encounters and the almost total braekdown of relations with the troubled family she fought yet loved before Patsy found her own way to stop.
This is a typical coffee table biography of a soap celeb, a quick yet enjoyable read.
'A Young Man's Passage' by Julian Clary. Born and brought up in the suburbs to well grounded middle class family a young Julian fled to London for glamour and fame, where he developed his taste for shameless performance. Graduating when the alternative comedy revolution was just in its infancy Julian added his own brand of glitter and smut. Suddenly he was the most famous, uncomprimising queen in the country. This book tells of the highs of success while privately suffering the comprimises of celebrity and the life-altering pain of losing a lover to Aids.
Saturday, 19 April 2008
56.Get Patch health check & vaccinated...COMPLETED
My gorgeous little angel puppy/dog from Hell (depending on what day you ask me) , Patch the Jack Russell has been to the vets. He got his health check, 2 vaccinations and behaved not to badly. They were very pleased with him but we were told to maintain the healthy diet we have been giving him as he leaning towards middle age spread. He is now 6 yrs old and still gets mistaken for a puppy at times but he likes his naps, just like his human Mama!!
70.Place a bet on the Grand National...COMPLETED
The Grand National is the biggest horse race of the year and always worth a wee flutter. The other half and I placed a small £2 wager each online. My horse St.John's Castle (chosen because I favour the grey runners) came up from nowhere and took 2nd place. Needless to say the Mister backed 'Comply Or Die' which won..smug git, haha.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Thursday, 13 March 2008
2.Be debt free...doing well on this, hope to be completed by July 08.
3.Get married...happy as we are at the moment.
5.Arrange brother/sister day out..waiting til better weather for day out in Edinburgh.
6.See a real live panda...Berlin, Vienna or Madrid zoos only places in Europe..no plans to go yet.
7.Apply for TV quiz show Eggheads..improving my general knowledge, trying to recruit team.
8.Raise at least £250 for charity..nothing planned yet.
9.Buy an apple tree..once the gale force winds cease perhaps!
10.Obtain a x-ray of my spine..awaiting referral to Orthapedic Consultant.
11.Go to Barcelona with Gavin..not sure about this anymore, so many other places.
12.Get a photo/article printed in mag..I should have sent one in, haven't yet.
13.Learn Signalong, sign language..got the notes, must practise.
14.Photo taken with 10 statues of interest..not started yet.
16.Make Jo special baby gift..almost done, baby Milo born 7th Mar 08.
17.Visit my uncle Lindsay..trip to Wiltshire, not planned yet.
18.Visit my uncle Leslie..now also in Wiltshire so will plan both visits in one trip.
19.Start a knit meet-up..keep meaning to get this in action!
20.Read & list 50 books..steady progress, 8/50
21.Open a Post Office account..they no longer do savings account I need, so may edit item.
22.Spend a whole weekend with mum..soon, soon.
24.Go on the London Eye..maybe summer, need decent weather.
25.Paint the kitchen..I want green, another summer job?
26.Go see 5 theatre shows..1/5 done and have tickets for couple more in May.
27.Apply to Gok Wan for makeover!..have application form, not filled it in yet!
29.Knit patch coat/blanket..not started thinking more on blanket idea.
30.Fill at least 10 boxes for Shoebox Appeal..doing well, will box up in Oct/Nov 08
32.Get cheesy photo booth pics taken with Gavin..next time down town & I have make-up on!
33.Attend a book signing..Hope to attend Edinburgh book Festival in August 08
34.Clean & catalogue my Russian dolls..cleaned out & photographed..must upload.
36.Frame Moulin Rouge pictures..keep saying tomorrow, tomorrow. Trip to 'Rejects' dept store.
37.Knit wearable jumper for me..bought wool..thats as far as I have got.
38.Eat piece of fruit/veg never tried before..mango? lychee? Must look in Sainsburys.
40.Bake Gingerbread men..Can't bake, won't bake..well not just now anyway.
41.Go & look for the Loch Ness Monster..planning trip to Inverness June/July 08. In process.
42.Send something to Postpals..must investigate further.
45.Buy 10 new pairs of pants..8/10 pairs bought.
47.Buy decent bra..despite no boobage..whatever, its thermal vest weather!!
48.Trace 1930's photo of Grandad in PMR..frustrating task.
49.Fly a kite..must buy one..certainly windy enough here.
50.Enter Annual Show..Sept.
51.Look into my biology..not now.
55.Paint a self portrait..grr!
56.Get Patch health check & vaccinated..half done, next visit Monday 17th Mar 08
57.Go horseriding..another summer plan?
59.Sort out all my boxes in attic..nooooooooooooooo.
65.Paint Russian doll blanks..ready to start, whenever have a minute.
66.Buy a new cooker..leave this til at least Jan 09
67.Take Patch to the beach..you've guessed it..summer plan.
68.Do artwork fit to hang in home..when I have nothing else more important to do.
69.Trip on Maid of the Forth..please hurry summer.
70.Place a bet on the Grand National..April 08, already checking form.
71.Stay in a posh hotel..when we go to Inverness (wont beat our stay in Edinburgh Caledonian!)
72.Tidy under the beds, properly..seem to do this often but never properly.
73.Research family tree..have started notes.
74.Save £1000 from start date..slow but sure progress.
75. Build a snowman..not had enough snow.
76. Knit 20 pairs of socks..think Im on 5/20?
77.Bake & ice a cake..why bake when you can buy? Another last resort item.
78.Buy a pair of brand name jeans (that fit!) ..bought jeans, cheap shit..still looking for nice ones.
79.Visit & photograph Dysart harbour..will we get a sunny day ever?
80.Visit 3 art galleries..must plan a day in Edinburgh doing this perhaps.
81.Carve a pumpkin..Halloween 08.
82.Make a sock monkey..started and abandoned.
83.Arrange 'Brown Palace' reunion..old flatmates get together when Karen back from San Fran?
84.Get a bikini wax..ouch..not now.
85.Do recycling trip 20 times..oops been leaving this to Gavin (& Patch).
86.Buy 3 handbags..will have a spree soon enough.
87.Knit 20 easter chicks..began but lost interest..next year?
88.Go on Eurostar..probably 2009.
89.Throw a party!..most of my friends got babies now so Teddy Bears Picnic? haha.
90.Get photo taken under a palm tree..not given this a thought yet.
92.Write to 5 extended family members..oops.
93.Write up a memory book..2 'stories' will consider complete when 10.
96.Visit 3 friends in new houses..1/3 so far.
97.Vote at a polling station..whenever voting is.
100.Have 25 items done in year 1..over half way there now.
101.Donate £1 for each list item incomplete..considering worthy charities at present.
Thursday, 6 March 2008
I have completed another item on my list..something that's been needling me for a long time. My Nana died a few years ago but some amendments were needed to her headstone. I took it upon myself to do this and now its been done. My Nana was a big influence in my early life , installing in me the need for good manners and self respect. When she went out she was always impeccably dressed and not forgetting a smidgen of lipstick. One Christmas at ours, she even brought with her beaded slippers to match her elegant beaded jumper. People have sometimes remarked that I posess my Nana's 'la-de-da' attitude of which I'm rather proud. She was working class and proud of it but there's nothing wrong with having aspirations.