Monday, December 6, 2010

Parlez-vous Francais?

This week, I will be mostly listening to my new ear worms french CD. This has 200+ essential words and phrases anchored into your long term memory with great music, or so it claims! I'm hoping by the end of the week, I will at least be able to speak a smattering of French - here's hoping anyway!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saving Animals

Yesterday morning was spent mostly writing. I Joined Activate, a Born Free campaign group about a year ago and every 2 months I write letters to the Heads of countries where the designated animals are, hoping to get them released from captivity. It's an easy enough task. Born Free provide you with all the info and it only takes around 30 minutes to draft and write a letter to the relevant person.

So far I haven't had a reply from anyone, but I think this is quite normal. I've tried sending emails and snail mail but still nothing. I'm hoping that one day I will and even better that one of the animals I'm campaigning to be released is actually taken from a life of misery and cruelty and put back in it's natural environment.

Sadly the two bears still languish in a pit in Berlin, Lucy the elephant is still kept indoors in Toronto and 18 Dolphins are still confined to a training regime in the Philippines, all of these I've written letters to the relevant people in the hope that they will be released. Thankfully Tom and Misha, the two Dolphins rescued from Turkey are now in a deep sea pen in a peaceful marina - this happened quite quickly after we were sent details of the campaign, so I can't claim a helping hand in that one!

If you want to get involved, please visit -
Born Free, I'm sure a few more people putting some weight behind one of the campaigns will make all the difference and you never know I may just be able to cross another task off my list ( 15. Rescue an animal from captivity).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

13) Read all the BBC Top 100 Reads

Well, it has taken me a while to do this (this was one of the original tasks I started over three years ago!) but finally today I have read the last page of A Suitable Boy and therefore completed reading all of the BBC Top 100 reads. It hasn't been an easy task. There have been some books that were personal favourites that took little to no time to complete, there were others that within the first chapters I found them tedious and incredibly difficult to complete and then there were others that complete took me by surprise, that I wouldn't have thought that I would have enjoyed but I did.
It has been a long task, one that I thought would never complete but it has taught me a lesson that I can't love all books, even though my premise of completing the task was to push myself into reading books I wouldn't otherwise have chosen, sometimes that didn't work when I felt like throwing some out of the window.

Below is my list of the books that stood out for me:-

The Ones That Surprised Me
1. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
2. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
3. The Pillars Of The Earth - Ken Follett
4. A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving
5. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
6. The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher
7. The Stand - Stephen King
8. The Clan Of The Cave Bear - Jean M Auel
9. Kane & Abel - Jeffrey Archer
10. Holes - Louis Sachar

The Ones That I Nearly Threw Out Of The Window
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
3. Middlemarch - George Eliot
4. One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
5. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
6. Dune - Frank Herbert
7. The Count Of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
8. Crime & Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
9. The Magus - John Fowles
10. The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins

And now, quite happily I can attack my to be read shelf and as for my tasks, I'm on to the learning a new language next.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I don't Speak French Part 2

Now that I've nearly finished my BBC Top 100 reads, I've been debating whether or not to do any more tasks this side of Christmas. Then this morning in my in box, up popped this:- Groupon, which is a voucher for ear worms, a musical brain training cd that allows you to learn key words and phrases for a chosen language. For a fiver I thought it was worth trying out and hopefully by Christmas I might have another task to tick off!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One Down, One To Go...

Just under 1500 pages - I'm thinking I should finish this in a week?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reading and Take That

So I'm on track with my reading target so far with just two weeks to go and three books left to read before I can finally cross the BBC Top 100 reads task off my list. It has been an incredibly challenging task at times, one which I've struggled with on a number of occasions. There have been times when I've felt like throwing some books at the wall, I've been so frustrated with them, but I've persevered and much as I love books this task has at least taught me that I can't love all books.
And whilst I am here...Take That went slowly down in my estimation when I heard Robbie was rejoining them, to the extent where I seriously thought of changing my task to something else. Then I watched the documentary last night and I'm kind of back on their side again, so you never know I may just manage to fulfill my task, but then of course I now have 5 to snog...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Godfather - BBC Top 100 Reads 96/100

I must be the only person in England not to have seen any of The Godfather films - for some reason the sense of violence that I imagine them to portray has never appealed to me and perhaps made me more than a little apprehensive about sitting down to read the book. The essence of this novel is about families, how they react with one another, how their loyalties lie within their extended families and how they observe the outsiders that threaten to penetrate their domains. The violence is there but is kept in short, sharp amounts and doesn't over exaggerate the actions. I completely enjoyed this saga of the 1940's criminal under world and it would be interesting now to see how the film relates to what I've just read. Another one completed off my list - just 4 more to go.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday...

Another radio appearance today and a little different to the last ones, in the sense that I chose to cross a picket line in order to get into the building and record my paper reviews - staff are striking largely down to the pension cuts that the BBC are proposing. A very strange start to the morning and hopefully something I won't have to do again.

Due to my birthday on Wednesday, it's now just under a year to go on this blog and 19 tasks left to complete before I turn 40. Currently got 4.5 books left to read on the BBC Top 100 list before I can tick that one off and then I can start to progress on some of the others. Hopefully I can tick a few more off the list this year and then try and complete as many as I can in 2011. It will be interesting to see what opportunties I get to complete the other tasks still outstanding on my list. Not sure where life is taking me at the moment, but what ever happens, hopefully I'll have some more completed tasks to talk about.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Prayer For Owen Meany - BBC Top 100 Reads

If I'd started to write this review half way through reading this, it would have been one of those posts where I bemoaned the fact that I struggled to comprehend the meaning of this novel. However, every now and again a book comes along that completely surprises me and turns out to be nothing like what I expected to be - A Prayer For Owen Meany is a definite slow burner, which I am so glad I stuck with.

The main narrative of the book is undertaken by John, a childhood friend of the very strange Owen Meany. In fact, Owen is declared so strange that the author types his conversation in capitals. Although there is a very loose story that never seems to go anyway, the author cleverly weaves us through key incidents in Owen's/John's life, dealing with death and prejudice along the way. A repetitive tale that follows them from childhood into adulthood all becomes apparent near the end of the novel and makes the conclusion complete. A wonderful book.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Last Six...

This week I've been mostly Christmas present wrapping, colour chart perusing (we are getting decorated) and eating Halloween sweets that were meant for the trick or treaters. I seriously think I've eaten so much sugar I don't know what day it is! Therefore reading has gone by the by, as my concentration levels resemble that of a goldfish at present.

I now only have six books to go before I complete this task and yes you guessed it, they are all tombs of books, with the lightest one weighing in at around 600 pages approx. But now that they are sat on my desk staring at me, with Mr Bump keeping a close eye on them, here lies a mini challenge in itself - how quickly can I read all of these? I want to read them properly, to give myself some sort of satisfaction at completing such a huge task and I want to be realistic about it. So I figured, end of November should do it? My to be read pile of 'ordinary' books is calling to me, so that will spur me on, hopefully... I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This Week...

I've been mostly finishing Gormenghast and Love In time of Cholera - now starting A Prayer For Owen Meany, which I'm hoping to finish by the end of the weekend and then 5 more books before I've finished this task!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Week

Yet another week has past and I've been steadily reading through Gormenghast and doing nothing else related to this blog, I'm afraid. I went on a writing course on Saturday, from which I pinched the idea to have a dedicated reading time, so from 8pm onwards (if not sooner) every night I'm intending to read through the rest of the Top 100 list. I'm sure my husband will be well chuffed, as from now he can watch his beloved Sci-fi in peace - I'll see how long that lasts!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, Monday

Well, my radio appearance came and went faster than an English summer. I was on with Mark Dennison, whom I've never met before, but was very down to earth and quite funny. We were trying to decide what the twist was going to be on the X Factor. I decided that Sharon Osbourne was going to come back and then her and Danni would have a huge fight in the studio, but perhaps that should be on a pay per view channel?! We also managed to have a chat about the blog and I'm booked back in for November 5th.
I'm a little frustrated that I've not completed any more tasks at the moment. I've got a pile of books to read for the BBC Top 100 reads, but all of those are 600 pages +, so no quick wins there. I can't really see any more being completed at the moment, as I'm having to be a little careful with the old pennies - the job situation has not improved any. I'm praying for a miracle, I do hope you will join in...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Has It really been so long...

since I updated this blog? It only seems like yesterday when I was deciding what books to read first. Since then I've read two more books off my list - Crime and Punishment - which was very strange and I never really got into it and Kane and Abel - which I loved and couldn't put down. Personal wise, it's been a real mixed bag of emotions in the last week. I didn't get the job I was interviewed for and I tried to attend a job fair in the centre of Nottingham and failed miserably as the queues were so long to get in (I later found out 4,000 people turned up to this and seeing such long queues of people looking for work was really soul destroying). I've even signed up to do temporary work but still getting no joy in my search for work. I've no idea where life is taking me at the moment, but I wished it would make a decision pretty soon! In the meantime, I'm clinging on to dear life to anything that remains stable in my life; my hubbie, this list, this blog, so please do excuse me if I unburden my soul in the upcoming weeks.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Week...

I will be mostly reading!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I had an interview on Tuesday for a job. My first interview in nearly 6 years and the only one that has materialized out of all of the jobs I've applied for. Although there were elements that I could improve on, I came out of there feeling pretty damn good. Not the sort of 'I've definitely got this in the bag' sort of attitude but a 'I did, I got through it and this will give me the confidence for the next time' feeling. I felt invincible on Tuesday, like I could achieve any thing. Don't you wish you could bag those feelings up some times and save them for future use?
I guess this list has been the substitute for my career in some ways. It takes so many deep breathes to achieve a task, as I always feel so nervous before hand, but for that one moment afterwards I feel euphoric.
I need to just believe in my self a lot more and hopefully the job and the tasks will be complete. I need to build a field of dreams...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weird Week

Well it's been a funny old week. After completing another task by going surfing, I was on a natural high until the next day when I could hardly walk and wondered to myself just why exactly I chose to do a very active sport with my very inactive body.

On Tuesday, I very nearly thought I'd completed another task when I received a phone call from a TV company saying I was short listed to appear on their show but unfortunately I didn't get a call back so back to square one on that particular task.
Oh and I read, quite a bit actually. I've now completed Brave New World, a weird mix of 1984/Clockwork Orange. I didn't really get it, if I'm honest with you, it kind of lost me in the middle and the ending was weird (I hate it when that happens) but I think it's one that would benefit from another read at some point in the future.
Not sure what I will be doing next, I think I will just concentrate on getting the Top reads task completed, but if the funds allow it, I may just go to the next England match at Wembley next month.
Keep smiling :0)

Monday, September 6, 2010

19) Go Surfing

I've always loved the notion of surfing from an early age - too much Hawaii Five-O I think when I was small. It never occurred for me to try until I started on this list. For one thing I've never liked open expanses of water and the second is that I'm crap at most sports (she says remembering how she used to get picked last for games at school!)

Of course I could have done this right at the outset, when I holidayed in Hawaii for my honeymoon, but we never quite found enough time for it and then of course I've been promising that we will go down to Cornwall for the past three years and never quite got there. So when I was happily reading The Guardian one Saturday, I came across an article for the Scarborough surf school. Perfect, I thought, I love Scarborough and don't need any excuse to go there and the fact that I will tick another task off the list would be a bonus.

So surf lesson was booked, accommodation booked, until I rang on Friday to check on the surf. Umm, can you do Sunday instead? he asked and actually it worked out better for us, as we got caught up in the last of the summer traffic travelling down and would have missed the lesson had it been on the Saturday.

So Sunday came and I was quite nervous. I didn't know how I would react being out in the open sea and of course it didn't help watching Jaws a few days previous. Wet suit was adorned of which I have to say is the most uncomfortable thing I've ever had to wear in my entire life. It's quite horrible having to pull the thing on that's wet from previous use and doesn't quite go were you want it to go without a rigorous amount of pulling. Next we had to carry the surf board down a very steep cliff onto the beach, which about killed me off before I'd even started surfing. We then had a very short lesson on the beach on how to get up on the board etc and then it was in to the water to confront my fears.

I had nothing to worry about. I loved it! Couldn't get on the board on the first few attempts, but after that I was on the board and riding the surf, dude. I was in a learning party of 7, 3 of which were kids and were standing up on the board virtually straight away. The most I got to was to a kneeling position, although one of the other adults managed to stagger up a couple of times. My balance was all over the place and I spent quite a bit of the time face down in the water, after falling off the board a hundred or so times, but I couldn't stop smiling the whole time I was there and I can't wait to try it again.

After about 2 hours my time was over and I walked quite happily back to the surf shop to deposit my wet suit (it's even worse trying to take the thing off!) and back to the hotel for a hot shower and wash the sea salt from my hair.

Definitely one of my favourite 40 things to do!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Task List

So another week beckons, another list of mini tasks for me to complete...
1) I am going to try and read A Suitable Boy (honestly)
2) Go Surfing (booked for Saturday)
3) Submit my novel, you know the one that I tried to submit over a year ago and has sat on my hard drive ever since, to Penguin, who are accepting unsolicited manuscripts until the end of October
4) Order some more books from the library - just 10 more to read now on the BBC Top 100 list
5) Appear on the radio again on Friday
So quite an easy week really, but hopefully one that will result in me ticking another task off my list.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Food Festival Says No

In my quest to cook with a celebrity chef, I've already written to my favourite chef for a chance to be a guest in his kitchen (big clue there!) and this week I decided to write to the local council to see if I could cook with at least one of the celebrity chefs that would appear at this years Nottingham Food Festival. Unfortunately they said a big fat no, the reason being that it is a paid event and people may complain if they have paid to see a celebrity chef and instead get someone else as well. I'm sure given a chance I could be just as entertaining, but there we go! I fully understand their reasoning behind this and it was worth the try!
Oh well, back to the drawing board with that...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Katherine by Anya Seton - BBC Top 100 Reads 89/100

Katherine is a historical novel based on the life of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. I don't do historical novels as a rule. I find that they are usually too full of references to the past that it some how detracts from the story in hand. I did find elements of this novel interesting and it did compel me to continue reading it, but half way through I became too over loaded with the historical references and notes to the past, that it made the text harder to digest. It is a stereotypical story in the sense that woman is betrothed to someone she doesn't love but falls for someone who is unobtainable. They eventually get the chance to ignite their love when circumstances allow them to be together and the rest of the story is their struggle to remain lovers whilst remaining within the boundaries set by their society.
I don't feel that this has changed my opinion of historical novels at all and unless you enjoy historical novels, then I certainly wouldn't recommend it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On The Road by Jack Kerouac - BBC Top 100 Reads 88/100

Billed as the ultimate road trip book, 'On The Road' is a semi autobiographical tale of two friends searching for fulfilment by travelling back and forth across the United States. While the book regales us with their exploits and vivid descriptions of the characters they meet, what it failed to ignite me with, was any sort of empathy for the characters involved. We learn very little about Sal Paradise, the main character, other than he tends to go from one exploit to another. There is no reason given for his travels, other than he can do this and therefore he does. His travelling companion, Dean's ill regard of women, does not make him any more likeable, impregnating several women in the space of a few months. What I also failed to understand was what either one of them attempted to achieve from their travels. Was it some sort of hedonistic interpretation of chasing the American dream?

I'm also not sure whether the author was trying to mirror 'The Catcher In The Rye' in some form, but whilst Salinger succeeded in gaining the readers sympathy of his main character, Holden Caulfield, I ended up despising Sal Paradise and his travelling companions with a passion. Definitely one that I won't return to and definitely not one of the great American reads.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Week...

Well last week was a funny old week, I seemed to run from one thing to another and not having the capability to concentrate on one thing for more than a couple of minutes, which made doing tasks for my list incredibly difficult. I've managed to book the surf school for Saturday 4th September, so that will be another task off my list. Unfortunately I wanted to book it on the Sunday and try to squeeze the England match in on the Friday, but there is no surf school booked for then, so Saturday it has to be and I'll move the England match to October. The Vikram Seth book I gave up on and have now started 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac, a paltry 290 pages compared to the VS book of 1500! I will go back to the VS book, but I'll get a few easy reads out of the way first!
As for this week, I've not got a lot planned:-
1) Finish On The Road
2) Read 700 pages of the VS book
3) Contact the local council re cooking with a celebrity chef (we have a food show in Nottingham in September so worth a shot to see if I can cook with one of them)
I desperately want to finish the BBC Top 100 reads list so a) I can start reading books of my own choice and b) so I can start on the learning a foreign language task, so I'm going to concentrate on completing that one for the feasible future.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday Radio

Well Friday 13th came and went without too much mishap. I was on the radio again for the paper review and a quick chat about my blog. I'm not sure if I've ever done this before (apologies if I have!) but thought I would just run through what happens when I go to the BBC Studios, if anyone is interested out there of course.
7.15am Arrive at the BBC Studios in Nottingham, sign in at the security desk and then make my way upstairs.
7:15am-8am Sit down in the waiting area with all the days papers and try and pick 4 stories that I feel are interesting and worth discussing. Any that I do feel are worth mentioning, I will jot down the details in a notebook as well as a few notes on my views on the story (hate hearing the newspapers rustle on air, so never take the actual newspapers in with me!)
8am-8:20am - The producer will come out to discuss what stories I've chosen - asked me on this occasion to drop one of them as it was discussed at length yesterday. Also chatted about being available for other radio shows, should they need me.
8:20-8:30am Taken in to the studio and head for the far desk, make sure I'm positioned correctly in front of the mike and then wait for the introduction from the presenter. You have to be flexible in terms of how long you discuss the papers for, as depending on what's happening news wise in the area, is dependant on your time slot. Most times I usually get chance to have a quick chat about my blog as well, so I always jot down a few updates before I go in, just in case I go blank when he asks me!
8:30am All over! I then get booked in for my next appearance - 3rd September, just in case you are interested!
Very occasionally you see the odd famous person around the studio. When I came out there was a girl sitting in the waiting area, who I later found out played 'Smell' in This is England - looking nothing like her character but as I drove away and listened to the radio, sounding exactly the same as she did in the film!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

BBC Radio Nottingham

Another reminder that I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow at approx 8.30am - hope some of you manage to tune in!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Half Way There

Well, I've now completed 20 out of my 40 tasks, so I'm half way there, with just over a year left. Of course I would have liked to have been here a lot sooner, but hey, what can I say, sometimes life takes over and time passes you by quicker than you think. Of course the fact that I've got a lot more time on my hands these days helps immensely and I'm taking full advantage of the fact that I have, by trying to organise as many tasks as I can. My time off has also given me ample opportunity to think about my tasks as a whole. Unfortunately opportunities don't come to you handed on a plate, you have to go out and seize them and that's what I intend to do with the rest of my outstanding tasks - I'm going to get out there and instigate and grab every opportunity I can to complete the remainder 20.
My working list for last week, was nearly all completed bar the skinny dipping trip, which didn't come off due to some unexpected visitors on Saturday, but apart from that I completed all my goals for last week. Goals for this week are as follows:-
1) Read A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
2) Send an article proposal to vege/weight magazines
3) Book surfing
4) Plan which England match I will be attending
I'm also on BBC Radio Nottingham (again!) on Friday 13th August around 8:30am - a busy week ahead!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

32) Go To Watch A Baseball Match

I blame Ferris Bueller. Ever since his day off, baseball has always intrigued me. The huge stadiums, the atmosphere, the food vendors and the speed and the pace of the game - the all American dream. Unfortunately my funds wouldn't stretch to going to America to see the New York Yankees or a similar status team, so I had to look nearer home. After a lot of Internet searching and a few red herrings (apparently there used to be a team based in Nottingham but as they hadn't updated their website for several years and didn't reply to my emails, then I guessed that they were no longer playing), I eventually found a team in Rotherham, the Sheffield Bladerunners and today we decided to catch one of their last home games of the season.

Sheffield Bladerunners play in the Northern AAA league and were established circa 1985. We turned up to watch them on their home turf, at the Phoenix Sports & Social Club in Rotherham, expecting to see a little stadium, a few dozen people watching etc. Unfortunately we were at a loss to see where they played when we arrived and only managed to just glimpse a uniform in the far distance beyond the football pitches. There was no stadium, no people watching that weren't involved directly with the teams, but do you know what, it was great. We sat on the grass and watched 2 x 7 - inning games (double headers)and a bunch of individuals that were there for the pure love of the game and not for the financial aspects like so many other sportsmen. Okay so there were no home runs, but it still kept us entertained for the best part of 2 hours.

If I lived a little nearer, then I would definitely go to watch them again and I certainly wouldn't ever turn down the opportunity of watching a bigger game in the States, but for now I'm quite happy I spent a few hours on an otherwise boring Sunday completing another task.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Create A Short Film To Go On To You Tube

I had so many ideas for this that never seemed to get off the ground, but finally I opted for a short documentary on my friend, the actor Phil Lowe. Phil worked as an extra on many shows filmed within the East Midlands and notably was a reoccurring extra for Crossroads, where he uttered the immortal line 'night Chef'. I've known Phil for about 5 years and over the years have heard the stories of his life on set and always thought it would be a good idea to capture them all in one place.

Unfortunately my idea was better than my knowledge of film editing software. I eventually used Muvee, which is a basic editing package that allowed me to gain all the footage I required. What I really wanted to do was to include the pictures of Phil's life as an extra and just have the odd shot of him talking, so on occasions there is the odd shaky bit, as I didn't think these shots would be included. I've got no idea on how to still keep the audio but include the pictures, so if anyone can recommend a better editing software to do this, then please feel free.

So what I have is a very basic film, but I think it encapsulates Phil's stories of life on set - I hope you enjoy it and PS I don't think Shane Meadows has anything to worry about at this moment in time!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Lord Of The Rings - BBC Top 100 Reads 87/100

I first started reading The Lord Of The Rings when I was 10. Fuelled by my recent love of The Hobbit that my teacher had lovingly read aloud to us, I thought this would be an easy follow on. Suffice to say, I think I managed to read the first chapter and then gave up. Years later, it came up again on the BBC Top 100 list - I had already watched and surprisingly loved the films as part of an earlier challenge, but still my mind went back to being 10 and wondering if I would struggle to read it.
I read each book separately, which I think helped. Faced with a mammoth tomb of a book always puts me off - at least with a smaller book, you get a sense of achievement when finished. I found the books hit me in waves. There were parts that I totally struggled to understand or even follow and then there were huge parts that I loved and it become a struggle to put the book down. It is a wonderful story, but my mind doesn't handle fantasy all that well and I have trouble trying to create the scenes in my head that Tolkien is describing. I'm really glad I finished it, but would I read it again? Probably not. I think I preferred the Phillip Pullman books more.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Coffee Shop

I can honestly say that I've never known an hour to go as quickly as it did this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed being on Richard Spurr's show - I think we shared the same sense of humour, but if you're reading this Richard, then I'd like it back please... Did a more in depth paper review with another guest, combined with listeners calls and music and managed to show my inner geek by announcing to the whole of Nottingham that I want my husband to build me a Tardis in our back yard. So all in all, quite a good morning and here's what I'm planning to do in the following week task wise:-
  • Edit and load my short film onto You Tube
  • Finish The Lord Of The Rings book
  • Start A Suitable Boy book
  • Order a few more books off the Top 100 list
  • Go to a baseball match
  • Possible skinny dipping although if the weather is anything like it is today, then that will be a definite no

Unfortunately the proposal for the column in my local newspaper went down like a lead balloon. The reporter fired rapid questions at me about my book club and didn't really give me a chance to expand any further, so I guess that's a no then! It's also looking unlikely that I will be able to go to the next England match. I'm fine going there by myself, but coming back the bus doesn't get into Nottingham until 1:15am and I don't fancy walking the streets looking for a taxi at that time of night. Hubbie understandably is a little worried about my safety, so I'll just have to wait until they do a Saturday match.

Right, really must start this editing - hope you all have good weekends!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Saturday Shift

There was a time when I was a kid that Saturday mornings meant sitting in my pyjamas eating Texan bars and watching The Lone Ranger. Much as I would still like to do that, what can I say, I grew up and so tomorrow I'll be one of the two guests on the Richard Spurr show on BBC Radio Nottingham. So when you are having a lie in tomorrow, think of me in the studio and if they were still around then I would say have a Texan bar on me. Should be a good show, so do tune in!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I Did on Tuesday

  • Read The Two Towers - number 2 book of The Lord Of The Rings
  • Tried to find someone to come to the next England match with me at Wembley
  • Tried to download the software to play and edit my film, gave up and then husband took over!
  • Sent a proposal to the local paper for a possible monthly column
  • Posted a request for a seat in an Executive box at Nottingham Forest on Gumtree (if anyone knows of anyone who has a spare seat, then I am willing to pay a reasonable price to do this)
  • Started reading 'The Return Of The King' - number 3 book of The Lord Of The Rings

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I did on Monday...

Radio appearance went very well. I was awake, alert and managed to find some interesting stories in the papers, well I thought they were anyway! I've also managed to do some more of the 'research' behind some up and coming tasks. I've now got a list of a local (well Sheffield!) baseball team and also the dates of when England next play at Wembley and I've even found the address of a possible (whispers) skinny dipping location, as well as writing to a celebrity chef to ask if I can appear on his show. I'm in the process of editing my short film, at least I will be when I can get the software to download and I'm also going to put forward a proposal for a column in the local newspaper, in the next day or so. So potentially I have a few tasks bubbling away, begging to be completed, let's just hope I can cross another few off my list pretty soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Very Quick Update...

I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow around 8:30am, which means another update on my blog and another paper review. I did (sort of) make a list of things I wanted to achieve by this date, so just to update you...

1) I've read three out of the five books I wanted to read - pesky Count of Monte Cristo threw that one out.
2) I made a short film - just got to edit it and load it onto You Tube
3) I haven't booked the surfing yet, just need to organise a date with hubbie and then it's done (may do that today!)
4) Haven't written to the tv show yet re the celebrity chef, but may also do that today.
5) Haven't looked into baseball yet (must do that soon before the season ends).
6) Have located a spot for the (ho, hum!) skinny dipping, just need to check it out.
7) Haven't started to learn French as yet.

So pretty dismal month but then again, I have been busy doing the old job search and sometimes I found it quite hard to concentrate fully on more than one thing, so I'm not going to beat myself up too much! Here's to the next month and hopefully August will bring a few more task completions!

Monday, July 19, 2010

BBC Top 100 Reads - Brideshead Revisited 86/100

I was a little too young to watch the epic TV show show in the eighties and I only managed to watch the remake film last year, which kind of went over my head some what. I'd heard so much about the story, so this book had a lot to live up to. It didn't disappoint. The tale of Charles Ryder who comes to Oxford to study and is immediately captivated by the outrageous and decadent Sebastian Flyte is completely intriguing. Charles then visits Sebastian's family home of Brideshead and willingly at first, becomes involved within their eccentric family life, until he becomes to recognise the spiritual and social distance from them.

Don't let the paltry 326 pages fool you. This is an epic of a novel, one that I feel you don't gain the full impact of such from the first read and one which I hope to read time and time again. The recent film certainly didn't do this book any justice and perhaps one day I'll watch the TV show to see if that bares a fairer reflection. Until then, another book crossed off and now onto The Lord Of The Rings!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Countdown

I was going to leave this until my 39th birthday, but I just couldn't resist to see how many days I had left of my challenge before I turn 40 - approx 475 days to do 22 tasks - gulp! So I've thrown down the gauntlet and I'm going to go all out to get as many (if not all!) completed by the time I turn 40. I might as well take full advantage of the spare time that I have at the moment and put it to good use, I guess. So here goes, hopefully I will be completing my next task in the next week or so. Watch this space...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The One That Nearly Defeated Me...

The Count Of Monte Cristo looked so promising when I first started it. The tale of a man wrongly imprisioned on the eve of his wedding, left to languish in a prison cell for numerous years until one day he escapes and seeks to avenge the men who betrayed him. In practice the tale sounds mesmorizing but 1400 pages is why too long for this story. It has taken me over 3 weeks to finish and I've lost count of how many times I put the book down, after desperately trying to get to grips with the tale. At one point I even considered giving up altogether, but it's on my task list and therefore I have to complete it - that's what I kept telling myself anyway - and complete it I did, this morning, thank goodness! Now on to Brideshead Revisited which I hope is a little less tedious.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thank You

When I first started this blog, I didn't think any one would read it. To me, it was just a record of trying to complete my list and I didn't really understand the concept of the blogging community. Now three years later, I've just received my 40th follower, so I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone that follows me, the regular commenters, the lurkers and the ones that listen to me babble on, whenever I appear on Radio Nottingham - your support is much appreciated!
The End

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another Appearance - Another Challenge

Had another appearance on BBC Radio Nottingham this morning which went okay. I thought it was perhaps a little disjointed. For some reason when I've not been on for a while I don't think it flows as well as when I'm on more regular - I guess I just needed to practice more and the early starts don't help, especially when I've got used to not fully functioning until midday!
My next appearance will be on Monday July 26th and I've decided to set myself a little challenge. I've written down what I want to achieve by my next appearance, so I thought I'd share it with you as follows:-
1) Read 5 books from the BBC Top 100 Reads
2) Go or at least book surfing in Scarborough
3) Make a short film
4) Write to a well known cookery programme to see if I can cook with a celebrity chef
5) Investigate baseball (still haven't heard back from the Nottingham team, so I guess it may have disbanded)
6) Investigate skinny dipping (ooh la la!)
7) Start to learn French
I'm itching to get into the twenties with tasks completed, so I will report back over the next couple of weeks on how I get on!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Radio Nottingham

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow from approx. 8:30am. I'll be doing the normal paper review and updating listeners on my blog.

Learn How To Play Chess

For some reason, the game of Chess passed me by as a youngster. I never learnt how to play it at school. I never had lessons from my Father or Grandfather, so I knew this wasn't going to be a simple one to complete.

I started to learn approx. 2 months ago. My Line Manager at work begin to teach me, then got bored after a day or so. Then I found another work colleague that was willing to teach me, but then I left work, so that came to an end. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I was going to learn this game once and for all, I set up my chess board and started to read my 'how to' book, but something was missing - I needed to play against someone if I was ever going to get to grips with this game. Thank goodness for my wonderful I-Pad touch! I managed to download an application where I could play against the computer and voila, today I actually got the computer to check.

According to the experts, it takes years to learn the dynamics of Chess, so no doubt I will continue to learn, the more I play. I'm just happy that I managed to finally pick up the basics and it's definitely something that I will carry on with - it's kinda got me hooked!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cook With A Celebrity Chef - Plan B

Just in case Plan A doesn't go according to plan to cook with the lovely James, there is always Plan B - For £10 you can enter into a raffle to win a whole host of celebrity chef foodie experiences and raise money for Children with Leukaemia at the same time. Can't think which one I will be entering...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It's been a little while since I published an update so I thought I'd prove that through my silence from blogging, I am actually getting on with tasks!
1) I've just finished my 84th book from the BBC Top 100 Reads (Terry Pratchett's Guards, Guards - which I actually quite enjoyed). I'm hoping that I should finish this task no later than August.
2) Chess - I still require a bit more practice on this before I officially sign it off as complete - hoping to complete this by the end of the month.
3) Get my own column in magazine/newspaper - I'm starting a book club at the local library, so I'm going to approach the local paper to see if they want to run a piece on the books that we cover each month.
4) Go to an international football match in the new Wembley - was going to book this and go prior to the World Cup starting, then I got made redundant and couldn't justify spending that amount of money. There are more fixtures planned for the end of the year, so hoping to go then (job permitting).
5) Rescue an animal from captivity - still no news on the animals that I've campaigned to release as yet.
6) Go surfing - hoping to go to the Scarborough surf club at some point this summer.
7) Go to a Baseball match - awaiting to hear back from a Baseball club based in Nottingham.
8) Make a short film - have to admit I've been incredibly lazy on this one and haven't got round to working out my camcorder and then booking some time with my friend to film him.
9) Cook with a celebrity chef - again been a bit of a lazy bones with this and haven't got round to promoting a sub-blog re this or writing to the said chef to go on his tv show - hoping to at least get round to doing this by the end of the month.
10) Skinny dipping - currently looking at options of outdoor swimming.
11) Learn a new language - I think once I've finished the Chess and Top 100 reads - this will be my next goal - hoping to complete this by Sept/Oct.
So, keeping incredibly busy at the moment and hoping to at least clear a few more tasks off my list pretty soon.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

His Dark Materials - BBC Top 100 Reads 82/100

I'm not a great fan of 'fantasy' fiction, which is probably why I had never heard of this trilogy before. Of course I saw the film 'The Golden Compass', of which the first book was based on, but not realising it was part of a trilogy, I didn't really get it. However, from the moment I picked up the first book, I was hooked. Yes at times, the plot becomes a little complicated with the many variety of man/beast involved, but the story is so thought provoking, so intense at times, that once finished, it stays in your mind for hours afterwards, whilst you digest what you have read and comprehend the imagination of the author.
Whether you are young or old, I highly recommend all three books to read this summer, it will certainly change your mind over 'fantasy' fiction.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Don't worry I've not forgotten how to post or anything. I've just been really busy job hunting and also reading the BBC Top 100 reads - currently reading the last of Philip Pullman's trilogy - completely blown away by it.
Hope to have some news on the completion of a few more tasks soon!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dumb Blonde Strikes Again

I picked up Pillars Of the Earth this morning to begin reading. Mmm these illustrations look familiar I thought. Hmmm the plot sounds just like a book I read a few months ago... Yep you guessed it, I've read the book a little while ago and forgot to tick it off my list. In the words of Homer Simpson - doh!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Town Like Alice - BBC Top 100 Reads (80/100)

I can't remember the last time I read a book with such enthusiasm as this one. From the opening paragraph I was hooked and loved how the story weaved in and out of present and past. It's also not very often that a book surprises me with a changing plot, but this one did. I enjoyed this so much I've ordered the film on Love Film, although according to the reviews, the book is much better. Onto The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett next, with any luck I may just finish this task by July/August.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Library

Now that I have a little more time on my hands, I decided to try and get as much as I can completed on the BBC Top 100 list. I've currently just finished 79/100 and having just about exhausted our local library's supply of the list, decided to order a steady stream of books on line. Of course nothing in life is simple. I ordered the Lord Of The Rings in three parts and of course the last book came first. I went up to the local library yesterday to pick up my ordered books, only to find that the whole place had gone self service and you now had to use an ATM to get the books in and out. Talk about making things harder than they need to be!
Anyways I'm currently enjoying A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute and hopefully should get this finished within the next couple of days. Then onto The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett and hopefully by the time that I've finished those, The Fellowship Of The Ring may have turned up. Here's hoping...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Like Bees To Honey by Caroline Smailes

The fabulous Caroline Smailes, has another fabulous book out next week and you lucky devils can grab an early showing by following this amazing blog tour. Below I am hosting Chapter 26, with the next chapter being hosted at

If you wish to follow the tour from the beginning then start here

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reason Why...

Much has been said about me completing the BBC Top 100 reads, especially when I spend a large chunk of my time complaining how tiresome it gets to try and complete a novel you don't really like or enjoy. However it is worth trawling through the rubbish to catch the occasional gem that otherwise I would not have even considered. The Stand by Stephen King was one such book. It weighs in at a hefty 1325 pages and took me forever to get started, but once I did I was hooked. Its a tale of how a government experiment of creating a virus is accidentally released into the outside world with devastating consequences. More sci-fi than horror, although the many characters at the outset of the novel are a little confusing, the storyline soon calms down to reflect a select few that have to use every skill they've ever learnt to survive. If you read one book this summer than read this one.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Election Free Zone

Well another radio appearance came and went so quickly. Appearance went fine and I managed to find three stories that at least didn't mention the election that happened only the previous day. The BBC was the busiest that I had ever seen it, with most of the presenters having worked for most of the night and then having to do their day job. Not sure when my next appearance will be, but I'm hoping it won't be for another month to at least give me chance to complete a few more tasks.
Motivation is the key, I guess, to get this list completed and I feel that I at least have some of that back for the time being, so best get on with things. Hope to report on completing another task soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm Still Here...

Well it's been a month of highs and lows since I last blogged. No sooner had we eventually moved to our new house, then I found out I was short listed to be made redundant, something which has sent me on a bit of a roller coaster ride. Some days I'm fine about it, others are really dark days when I can't quite get used to the concept that for the first time since I left school at 16, I will be out of work.
I've been thinking about my list an awful lot in the last month. Unfortunately other things have taken precedent over me completing anything, but I've been chipping away slowly but surely - update as follows:-
1) Chess - just need a few more games under my belt and then I can sign this one off (a chappie at work is going to teach me in his lunch hour, he just doesn't know it yet!)
2) BBC Top 100 Reads - currently reading Stephen King's The Stand which will make it 79 read once completed.
3) Rescue an animal from captivity - currently writing letters for various Born Free Projects including 'Free The Berlin Bears' (you can add your support by joining the Facebook group 'liberate the Berlin Bears') and 'Free Lucy', an elephant kept alone at Valley zoo in Canada (again you can add your support by going onto the zoo check website ' If any of these animals are successful rehoused then I will consider this task complete.
4) Create a short film to go onto You Tube - just need to get to grips with the basics of our very small camcorder and then go round to my friend, Phil's house for a coffee, few ginger nuts, oh and to film him of course.
5) Learn a new language - have a Learn French kit which I need to find out if it's compatible to my PC, if not then I'll purchase one and once I've finished it, will consider this task complete.
So now I can see all that in black and white, I don't feel so bad about me not actually completing anything, although it would be nice to get a few more completed, as time is ticking on and this chappie is now snapping at my heels Not only is he (marginally) younger than me, he's also got some really cool things to do on his list, so go check him out.
And last but not least, I'm on BBC Radio Nottingham again this Friday - roughly around 8:30am, for all of you early risers!
Until we meet again...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Scor-zay-zee at the BBC

I was on the Radio yesterday, so it meant an early start, even though it was my day off from work. I also had to negotiate a different route into Nottingham - now we've moved further out, it's no longer a quick 10 minute ride into the studio. I was quite looking forward to updating listeners on my trapeze lessons when on the stair well at the BBC I bumped into this guy.

Scor-zay-zee is a local Nottingham rapper and he also happens to be in one of my favourite films of last year 'Le Donk'. So favourite, that me and my work colleague constantly quote from it at work - a cult classic. He looked a little over whelmed when I bounded up to him and told him I was such a fan, but he was really cool and told us what he was up to.

So the rest of my time was overshadowed by meeting this guy, we even discussed the fact that I'd met him live on air, which left no time to talk about flying the trapeze. Back on the radio on May 7th, so will update listeners then, but for now I met Scor-zay-zee - how cool is that?

Monday, March 22, 2010

35) Fly A Trapeze

I thought the reaction from people was bad enough when I said I was climbing Ben Nevis, but when I told people I was attempting to learn how to fly the trapeze, most of my friends wanted me committed.

I've no idea why I added this one to my list. I can remember watching circus performances as a little girl and the trapeze artists always seem so death defying and highly glamorous in their sparkly outfits. Unfortunately for this particular 'Aerial Workshop' held in the Yorkshire Dance Company in Leeds, there was no sign of any sparkly outfits just jogging bottoms and t-shirts.
A fabulous teacher who immediately put everyone at ease and talked you through each move thoroughly ran the class. There was no pressure to do any of the moves, especially for me with a very dodgy back. I personally didn't fancy damaging a disc this close to my moving date for my new house, so the teacher helped work around this and where as others were trying the 'Archangel' or the 'Spider', I was happy just with the fact that I could get up on the trapeze and do the odd move that wouldn't risk my back.

The trapeze itself was about 6ft from the floor. There were no harnesses just a safety mat to lad on, but it was really weird, as you felt incredibly safe once you were on it.

The whole session lasted 2 hours, which was more than enough time to sufficiently practice the moves. At the end of the class I was completely shattered. The energy you require just to get on the trapeze is unbelievable and the day after I feel very battered and bruised.

Would I do this again? Definitely! I do need to lose some weight first though and get a lot fitter and then hopefully I can work my way through all the grades from beginner to experienced. So you never know, I may just run away to join the circus after all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm Back

I know it's been a while and all that and no I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just incredibly busy with our house move and currently living in a sea of boxes. You will be pleased to know that I've still had time to chip away at my list. I've been reading some more books of my Top 100 list, as well as learning a new task (more details to come) and planning a few more activities to do once I complete my next set of tasks. I'm also on BBC Radio Nottingham this Friday (19th March) so I will be updating listeners to what I've managed to complete since my last appearance.
Update on a new task coming soon!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thaw Blogsplash

Ruth's diary is the new novel by Fiona Robyn, called Thaw. She has decided to blog the novel in its entirety over the next few months, so you can read it for free.

Ruth's first entry is below, and you can continue reading tomorrow here.


These hands are ninety-three years old. They belong to Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. She was so frail that her grand-daughter had to carry her onto the set to take this photo. It’s a close-up. Her emaciated arms emerge from the top corners of the photo and the background is black, maybe velvet, as if we’re being protected from seeing the strings. One wrist rests on the other, and her fingers hang loose, close together, a pair of folded wings. And you can see her insides.

The bones of her knuckles bulge out of the skin, which sags like plastic that has melted in the sun and is dripping off her, wrinkling and folding. Her veins look as though they’re stuck to the outside of her hands. They’re a colour that’s difficult to describe: blue, but also silver, green; her blood runs through them, close to the surface. The book says she died shortly after they took this picture. Did she even get to see it? Maybe it was the last beautiful thing she left in the world.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to carry on living. I’m giving myself three months of this journal to decide. You might think that sounds melodramatic, but I don’t think I’m alone in wondering whether it’s all worth it. I’ve seen the look in people’s eyes. Stiff suits travelling to work, morning after morning, on the cramped and humid tube. Tarted-up girls and gangs of boys reeking of aftershave, reeling on the pavements on a Friday night, trying to mop up the dreariness of their week with one desperate, fake-happy night. I’ve heard the weary grief in my dad’s voice.

So where do I start with all this? What do you want to know about me? I’m Ruth White, thirty-two years old, going on a hundred. I live alone with no boyfriend and no cat in a tiny flat in central London. In fact, I had a non-relationship with a man at work, Dan, for seven years. I’m sitting in my bedroom-cum-living room right now, looking up every so often at the thin rain slanting across a flat grey sky. I work in a city hospital lab as a microbiologist. My dad is an accountant and lives with his sensible second wife Julie, in a sensible second home. Mother finished dying when I was fourteen, three years after her first diagnosis. What else? What else is there?

Charlotte Marie Bradley Miller. I looked at her hands for twelve minutes. It was odd describing what I was seeing in words. Usually the picture just sits inside my head and I swish it around like tasting wine. I have huge books all over my flat; books you have to take in both hands to lift. I’ve had the photo habit for years. Mother bought me my first book, black and white landscapes by Ansel Adams. When she got really ill, I used to take it to bed with me and look at it for hours, concentrating on the huge trees, the still water, the never-ending skies. I suppose it helped me think about something other than what was happening. I learned to focus on one photo at a time rather than flicking from scene to scene in search of something to hold me. If I concentrate, then everything stands still. Although I use them to escape the world, I also think they bring me closer to it. I’ve still got that book. When I take it out, I handle the pages as though they might flake into dust.

Mother used to write a journal. When I was small, I sat by her bed in the early mornings on a hard chair and looked at her face as her pen spat out sentences in short bursts. I imagined what she might have been writing about; princesses dressed in star-patterned silk, talking horses, adventures with pirates. More likely she was writing about what she was going to cook for dinner and how irritating Dad’s snoring was.

I’ve always wanted to write my own journal, and this is my chance. Maybe my last chance. The idea is that every night for three months, I’ll take one of these heavy sheets of pure white paper, rough under my fingertips, and fill it up on both sides. If my suicide note is nearly a hundred pages long, then no-one can accuse me of not thinking it through. No-one can say; ‘It makes no sense; she was a polite, cheerful girl, had everything to live for’, before adding that I did keep myself to myself. It’ll all be here. I’m using a silver fountain pen with purple ink. A bit flamboyant for me, I know. I need these idiosyncratic rituals; they hold things in place. Like the way I make tea, squeezing the tea-bag three times, the exact amount of milk, seven stirs. My writing is small and neat; I’m striping the paper. I’m near the bottom of the page now. Only ninety-one more days to go before I’m allowed to make my decision. That’s it for today. It’s begun.

Continue reading tomorrow here...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

House Buying & Web Designing

Never underestimate that a simple house buying process may take over your life. So much so that every spare minute is taken up either replying to queries, filling out forms and answering phone calls. So much that when you are not doing these things, you are thinking about the next step, when should I start packing etc etc. Needless to say that my list has suffered because of this. I have so many tasks that are being planned but I just don’t have the time to complete. Playing chess, making a short film, reading BBC top 100 books to name but a few and gulp I have just under 2 years to finish my list, which is scary enough in it’s own right.

I’m also thinking about redesigning my website. I really need to start pushing my writing this year, but it’s kind of hard knowing what to put on my site, when I’ve not been published. I definitely need a presence there, but I’m not happy with what I’ve got at the moment.

I’m sure it will all come together pretty soon, but it would be nice for my next appearance on Radio Nottingham to say that I’ve actually completed a task instead of waffling around the fact. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm Back!

Sorry, it’s been a while since I was last here. Blame my impending house move, it seems to have wormed it’s way into every aspect of my life, taking over my brain and all of my time. They say it’s one of the top ten stressful things to do in your life, I think right now it’s number one on my list…

Anyway, I digress – Chess! Blinkin’ hard to learn this one. I started to read the Chess for beginners book and promptly gave up, halfway through the first chapter. It reminded me of the time I tried to crack the Rubik’s Cube, I couldn’t understand the ‘how to’ book on that either! I went on BBC Radio Nottingham again today and Andy Whittaker has set me a task of learning to play Chess by my next appearance (March 19th) so the challenge is on – best dust off my Chess board this weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Make A Short Film - Part 1

If I'm ever going to get round to making this short film, then I thought I'd better start and learn a few basics on the art of film making, so I spent an interesting afternoon yesterday at the Broadway Media Centre, on a beginners film making course. Interesting from the start really. I mean who, as an icebreaker, gets people to draw a picture of the tutor, write down a question, then turn the paper into a dart shape and threw it at them? And it only got better.
Setting up a film camera is a really tedious task, for any of those out there that are budding film makers, should know. Our tutor's humour helped us through those tedious moments and then onto filming a few set pieces and finally the editing process. Before we knew it, three hours had passed and I now knew the basics and enough to realise that film making is not for me, I still prefer the more creative side of writing.
Although I haven't got the software they have (Final Cut around £300), I think I picked up enough tips to have a stab at making this short film, just need to arrange with my wonderful friend to film him!
To be continued...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Radio Nottingham

Radio appearance was a bit pants today. For some reason I got a bit tongue tied during the initial run up to the paper review (God know why I've done it so many times before!) and was really cross with myself afterwards for doing it. Thankfully they didn't cancel my next appearance, so I guess they are probably used to it (to be honest I've been in the studio when the presenters and newsreaders have been a bit pants too) Hopefully my next appearance will mean I would have completed at least another task by then. Guess that's my cue to go and read some more of my Learn to play Chess book...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Just to prove that I mean business this year, as well as reading my Chess for beginners book, I've just booked an introduction to film making at the Broadway Media Centre in Nottingham for the end of January. Hopefully this will help with my short film task and other future plans I may have to be a multi award winning film director...

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Well New Year wasn't quite as expected. Here I was all geared up for a wonderful celebration and motivating myself that the start of 2010 will be greatness itself, when it turned out to be a bit of a damp squid really. I somehow developed a severe allergic reaction and spent New Years Eve dabbed in calamine lotion and drinking copious measures of lucozade, as the bottle of Moet sat in quiet celebration by itself in the fridge.
Now ordinarily something like this would throw me completely off kilter and all my so called plans would be just thrown in the air, but I'm determined that 2010 will be a great year and no matter what happens, then I'm going to enjoy it and more importantly complete some more tasks off my list.
It's now just under 2 years before I hit the magic number, so this year has got to count in clearing those tasks down. So spare a thought for me whilst you are watching Celebrity Big Brother (yes don't deny it, I know you will be watching it!) and I'm reading up on the rules of how to play chess - my first task of 2010!