Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blog Of The Week: Dave Gorman

My token 'celeb' blog that I follow. I first came across this guy via Flickr, the photography website. I had seen Dave, a couple of times on the TV, so I knew roughly what he did (mostly stand up), loved his photos and was intrigued to find out more. I was amazed to find out that this guy thrived on a challenge, whether it be to find people with the same name or travelling across America without using any named facilities. I was hooked.

Then I found the blog and this encapsulated the comedic values, the photography and the story behind the challenges. There are very few people that can write good humour, but this blog constantly keeps me entertained with his witticisms and his observations on every day life. Who in fact could make me laugh by posting a photo of a set of keys and simply calling it 'Some keys re-enacting an alien autopsy'
A well deserved blog of the week - read it here

Friday, May 29, 2009

What I Received In The Post Today

I was a little worried. Third week of May they said that I would receive them. They came today on the fourth week of May. Not in a 'sign for me' envelope, but in an ordinary plain white envelope, that you could have quite happily thought was junk mail, but inside was something very special.
I felt like Charlie Bucket when I carefully slit open the envelope, half expecting a gold ticket to pop out. Instead I had two tickets for the Centre Court at Wimbledon. That will do nicely!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BBC Top 100 Reads Part 7?

I haven't blogged any reviews on the books that I've read for ages. Infact I've gone off the boil for a while on this task and have opted to choose books to read from my tbr pile, than off this list. However, I am determined to try and get this one completed this year - only another 31 books to go!
Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer - I read the graphic novel version of this and a very strange experience it was too. The story of a criminal mastermind boy and his adventures was enough to carry me through to the end, but I think I'll stick with proper books in the future.
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - was really disappointed with this. It's one of those books that is billed as the great American novel, but the background setting of life in the second world war and the rather strange characters wouldn't encourage me to read this again.
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks - In contrast to Catch 22, I loved this story of love lost within the back drop of World War 1.
Girls In Love - Jacqueline Wilson -I think this woman is magical and just wish she'd been around when I was younger. This book designed for older readers, tells the tale of a group of friends, all with typical teenage problems.
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck - I found this and The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists - Robert Tressell both quite disturbing in the fact that both deal with people struggle to cope in an economic climate where only the wealthy survive. Perhaps too much rang true to the society that we live in at the moment.
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - I'm not a big fan of Dickens and think his potrayal of Victorian life, is often too dreary for words. However, if you skip between the over indulgence, this is a truly wonderful story.
I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith - This is one of the few books, where I prefer the film version. Again this was one that I was quite disappointed in, I expected it to be so much better.
Of Mice And Men - John Steinbeck - I adore this book and have read it a few times and seen it numerous times on stage. The tale of two men trying to find their place in the world rings true and is so reminiscent of The Catcher In The Rye.
The Secret History - Donna Tartt - Another book that seems to be on everyone's list and I was quite surprised that I actually liked this one! Very reminiscent of 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' but without the fish hook!
The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher - Wonderful tale of one family and how you don't necessarily need to like someone even though you are related.
Vicky Angel - Jacqueline Wilson - Another wonderful tale that deals with friendship and breavement all in one book!
Winnie The Pooh - A A Milne - One of my all time favourite childrens books. Who could fail to love the tales of the bear with no brain and his amazing friends?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blog Of The Week: Holly Is Stopping Shopping

I have a habit of lurking on some blogs. A terrible habit I know and something that I am trying to rectify. However, one such blog, that I have lurked on for quite a while is this one Like most normal girls I adore shopping. Granted since I've had my own house, I haven't been able to indulge in it as much as I would have liked, but I still probably spend far too much on stuff that I don't really need. Holly was someone, who blew her wages within a matter of days on handbags, shoes, you name it, she bought it! Deciding that she really need to gain some control over this, she devised the idea of going 'cold turkey' for a year and stopped shopping. Guidelines were set in what she could and could not spend her money on i.e. food, bus fares etc and she even devised 'no spend days' where she couldn't spend money on anything. In the year that she ran this experiment, Holly managed to clear £700 off her credit cards, a £750 overdraft and put more than £5000 in savings, all because she stopped shopping. Along the way, Holly also gave us tips on what accounts were best to save your money in and how to make money from your unwanted items.
Holly's year has now ended and her new blog is at Although Holly has begun to shop once more, she's hoping to use the lessons learnt in the last year and continue to save more than she spends!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

6) Go In A Hot Balloon

I was a little concerned about doing this task, it has to be said. On the day, I would have been more than happy if it had been cancelled once more (this was originally booked for last year) and when I found out it was actually on, my heart was in my mouth.

However I turned up at 6pm at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, along with another 12 people, not quite sure how I was going to cope with doing this task, but with the attitude, well I'm here now, I might as well deal with it!

The whole preparation of getting the balloon ready for take off is quite laborious. The crew ask for volunteers and everyone dives in to help unfold the balloon ready for it to be filled. Did you know the balloon is first filled with cold air? No, neither did I. I didn't realise I had to jump in the basket and hang upside down either, whilst the balloon was filled and then the burner is switched on.

We had three attempts of trying to prepare the balloon to take off, because of the high winds, but thanks to an excellent Pilot and crew who refused to give in, we eventually went up around 7:45pm. The experience was amazing! The ride is so smooth, you barely feel you are moving and the air is so still and calm, it feels like paradise! The views of the city are unreal. The castle looks incredibly small from the air, as does Wollaton Hall and the formations of the houses, makes it feel like you are looking down on a model village and I was okay the whole journey. I didn't particularly like looking straight down from the basket, but I was okay looking across and the fact that Mr M couldn't stop smiling the whole time we were up there, was more than enough to keep my mind off things.
We eventually came down in Thurgaton, near Southwell in Nottingham, just past all the mansions with the swimming pools and tennis courts, in a seemingly smooth landing. Altogether we travelled 18 miles and ended a perfect night with a glass of champagne. This was a fantastic and brilliant experience and one I hope to do again some day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So in between sipping champagne (it is our wedding anniversary!) and scoffing Planets/M&M's on the sofa, the conversation went something like this...
Mr M - Can you remember when I went on the Skywalk over The Grand Canyon and freaked out?
Me - You're not going to do that on Friday, when we do the balloon trip are you?
Mr M - No, don't worry, I'll be fine!
Famous last words??

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stop Press: Wimbledon

Fresh from the BBC website It now appears that rain will not stop play at Centre Court, Wimbledon, due to the retractable roof, as road tested at today's match. So that means that the weather should not prevent me from completing another task off my list - yipee!
Note to Graham, please do not let this put off from doing your sun dance - I look forward to seeing the pictures on Flickr

Blog Of The Week: One Man's Travels

I first came across this blog, when I was 'linked' to it via the blog directory, blog catalog. I wasn't sure why, other than the fact, that it was deemed as a similar blog to mine, but I'm glad it did! Like myself, the author of this blog, Graham, decided one day to do something with his life, but instead of a list, Graham decided to explore the world.
One of the things that encourages me to continue reading a blog is inspiration. Reading Graham's adventures inspires me to begin my own. His blog skillfully guides us through his many adventures and his every day passions. From the Amazon rain forest to the Sinai desert, Graham's breathtaking photography and vivid text, make me envious of his travels and of his thirst for life.
When he's not travelling, Graham entices us to share his love of the outdoors, cooking and photography, with a monthly photography competition to encourage readers to share their interpretations of a chosen theme.
I doubt that you would ever become bored from reading this blog, there are so many points of interest that would appeal to everyone. Graham's next adventure is NYC, so be sure to drop by to read all about that, pretty soon!

Up, Up And Away!

I thought I would sneak a little post in, before I did my Blog Of The Week. Next Friday is my hot air balloon ride (hopefully!). Unfortunately when you book these things, you are very much governed by the weather, hence the fact that this was booked last year and then subsequently cancelled. It's one of those 'tasks' that present a challenge to me. I'm not overly scared of heights, unless I don't feel safe, so I'm not sure how I'm going to cope in a little basket, above the skyline of Nottingham. Mr M is also coming with me, as it was a birthday present for him originally (just happened to tie in nicely with one of my tasks as well!), so I'm hoping that he doesn't freak out, 'cos then I will freak out and the whole basket could freak out....! Anyway, wish me luck and I will bore you senseless with it, next week (if the weather lets us!).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blog Of The Week: In Search Of Adam

I can't quite remember what came first; stumbling across Caroline Smailes' blog or reading an article in one of the woman's magazines on how she became a writer. All I know is when I read her first book 'In Search Of Adam', I was hooked.

There are very few funny people in this society, even fewer that can translate that humour into the written word, but Caroline's blog is so full of humorous anecdotes on her life as a writer, that I regularly laugh out loud. Caroline paints a very honest portrayal of how immensely hard it is to gain recognition as a writer in this celebrity infused world. Gone are the days of the huge advances on a book deal, unless you are the latest reality show star, but Caroline's determination to succeed and be heard, inspires a whole new breed of wannabe writers, including myself.

I have a lot to thank this lady for. Mainly the fact that I'm sat here with my first finished manuscript and about to start work on my second, something that I had only dreamed about, until I started to read her blog on a regular basis and her motivation and desire to write began to rub off.
So if you haven't done so already, then please visit Caroline Smailes' blog and immerse yourself in the every day life of a writer. You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An Update

I've been out and about this week, catching up with friends, watching Wolverine at the flicks, so not had much chance to look at my list. However, I thought I'd update you on my next tasks coming up.
May - Balloon ride - if all goes to plan - last one was cancelled, due to bad weather.
June - Wimbledon - hubbie has agreed to come with me and we have centre court tickets for the first week of the championships
Which leaves a gaping hole really for me to begin a new task. Realistically, I can't see me doing what I wanted to achieve this year, due to financial restraints. However, I'm committed to completing all the tasks that are relatively cost free, which means learning Chess/learning a new language amongst other things and of course there's the book, but I feel I've been harping on about that too much just lately, so I promise I will get another new task in my sights pretty soon!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Race For Life

When I first started this list, I had an inkling that there may be one or two tasks that I would repeat more than once. This year's repeat performance is a slight adaption on the charity fund raising task. I will be doing the Race For Life on 21st June at 11am, over at the Victoria Embankment in Nottingham. For those of you that live locally, please come along and support this worthwhile event - all money raised is for Cancer Research UK and for those of you that would kindly like to sponsor me - just click on the 'Just Giving' link on the right hand side of this blog.
Thanking you all, in anticipation of your support!