Saturday, September 03, 2005


Bit of a Catch Up

I am back and I had a great time. Very relaxing. Actually probably too relaxing. I don't particularly want to go back to my work yet. I just know that in a few days it will seem as though I had never been away and I will be thinking wistfully back to my holiday. Which of course will seem so long ago. I'm already planning next years. So I have something to look forward to.

I have a feeling that this is going to be a long blog. So for the rest of this blog I will be using headings and you can skip all the parts you don't want to read. This section will be about cross stitching. As you can see I got Bugs off to a good start. Despite all those grays it has been relatively easy to stitch up. The most difficult part was organising them onto the card. I didn't know that there were so many different shades of grey. So sorting them out was a lot of fun! I did make one mistake but I was able to fix that easily. I have to admit that I did think it was a funny shade to use at the time. I just assumed it would look okay once finished. The problem was the teeth. I used the wrong shade for a tiny part of it. But it was enough to make bugs look as though he had a very nasty case of plaque. It was very close to another shade which was why there was a little mix up. Just glad I realised it. Poor Castle is still a WIP. I ran out of one of the threads and since I have been back I haven't been in a stitching mood. I will get back to it though. Everything else will be left aside until it is done.

Reading: I managed to get some reading done too. I finished Robin Cooks "The Point of Departure". My first political biography and I really enjoyed it. It gave a lot of insight into the political process and how frustrating it can be to try bring about changes. It also made a lot of good points about the media and politics. I know that the media tends to dramatise things but I didn't;t realise how much. A small disagreement between two colleagues can be expressed as a split within a party. I would definitely recommend this to anyone studying politics as I think it would have bee helpful had I been able to read this while at uni. Even if you don't agree with Cook's views I think it would be an interesting read.

I finally got round to reading "The High Lord" which is book three in Trudi Canavan's Black magician trilogy. We take up with the main character again as she is still a hostage. At the start I was expecting this to be about Sonea's escape of the High Lord and his defeat. However, it took a very unexpected and interesting twist. I don't want to give anything away so all I will say as this one turns out to follow a very different line to the others. I saw this as a good thing. While it would still have been a good read it wouldn't have been anywhere near as interesting if it hadn't. A very good fantasy trilogy which I highly recommend. I heard somewhere that because of it's popularity it was going to be re-released with the teen market in mind. I think it may prove to be just as popular there.

I also read a Star Trek novel. I don't read these as often as I used to but every now and then I like to go back to them. This one caught my attention because it was set after "Star Trek Nemesis. It is based on the crew of the Titan with Riker as Captain. This one was called "Taking Wing" and was written by Michael Martin and Andy Mangels. The Titan is meant to be a new class of explorer ship but it is unexpectedly sent to the Romulan Empire to act as a mediator between factions which are wrangling for power. I have to admit that it wasn't the story line that really caught my attention but the characters. I thought they were such a good range that I would have been happy if the book just continued with insights into this new diverse crew. It was a good quick read and I only recommend it to fans who like the idea of reading about the adventures of the Titan. There is going to be a whole series of these books and if you plan on reading them I recommend starting with this one. When you get to the end of it's obvious that they are all going to be connected.

Lastly, my interest in old school stories hasn't decreased. I have began collecting the Chalet school books. A series that never really interested me as a kid so I can't even call this nostalgia. I don't know why I have an obsession for these right now other than possibly because I have an interest in all children's books. Another reason could be that I'm really just a big kid at heart. Whatever the reason I have decided to just enjoy it. Eventually this interest will wear off and I will move onto something else. Does anyone else have an obsession or interest like this?

Music: I think that I mentioned a while ago that I was thinking of picking up my clarinet again. It has been slowly collecting dust since I left school. Every so often I think about taking it out the cupboard but I never actually do it. This feeling has become stronger of late. I'm not sure why. My recent birthday has had something to do with it. I spent it in a deep black hole of depression thinking about all the things I would like to do. Actually, that's a slight exaggeration. I did have a black mood but it lasted for only an hour. I have decided thought that I am going to do something about it. At the end of next month I am going to go into the music shop and buy some reeds and a music stand. I will also have to get some music as I have no idea where my old folder is. I doubt very much I still have it. I know that I am going to have to start from scratch again. So I am going to get a beginners book to ease myself into it and just to brush up on reading the music. It will probably be a little frustrating at first but I will stick to it and I promise I won't change my mind by the end of the month.

Since it was my birthday I treated myself to some new CD's. All new albums by Oasis, the Black Eyed Peas, Razorlight and Supergrass. The Razorlight album I had heard a few times before I bought it so I knew I liked it and I haven't listened to Supergrass yet. Oasis and the Black Eyed Peas surprised me though. I was an Oasis fan when I was at school. Most of my year group were really into them because they weren't exactly like those boy bands which seemed to be all the rage. As I mentioned in a previous post I didn't know much about music and my tastes tended to depend on what my friends liked at the time. I truly liked Oasis thought and still listen to their older albums. The last few albums I didn't bother with though. This one I bought mainly because of their current single "The Importance of Being Idle". I really like that one but was expecting that the rest of their album would follow the lines of all their old ones. However, I really enjoyed it and can see myself becoming more of a fan again. The Black Eyed Peas album surprised me for similar reasons. I was expecting it to follow the same lines of their last album which I did like. There are a lot of good tracks there and they are very different. The first song uses music from a song that was used in "Pulp Fiction" (I can't remember the name) and the second last uses music from one of Stings old songs "Englishman In New York" (I think that's the title) and even features Sting.

Michael Sheard (1940-2005)

I left this to last because I thought it was so sad. Michael Sheard died at the age of 65. I think most people will recognise him from being in something. He played a small part in "Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back". He was an Admiral killed off by Vader. He also played Hitler in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Actually I remember reading a while ago that he had played Hitler more times than any other actor. But that's the only one I remember seeing and probably the funniest. He also played a few parts in Doctor Who. As someone who grew up with the kids TV show "Grange Hill" I will always remember him from his role as the scary deputy head Bronson. I don't remember most of the kids from watching the show but Bronson I will always remember.

Finally, I have caught up. I really didn't think that it would take so long. I promise I will get round to catching up with everyone's blogs and leave messages for you all.

Happy Birthday! And glad you had a nice holiday. Sorry to hear about your depression but glad it didn't last any longer. I always enjoy other people's birthdays more than my own! It's easier said than done but better not to dwell on things when you feel down but try and find something to take your mind off what's upsetting you. Pleased you're back though as I enjoy reading your blog.

Nothing wrong with being a kid at heart. :) I've been told I am too. When people are teenagers they can't wait to grow up. Once there, many wish they were young again! I don't think they realise the responsibilities that unfortunately accompany getting older. Probably the reason I still like "Doctor Who" is to stay in touch with the wonder and awe you feel as a child because then everything is new, no cynicism has crept in, a blank canvas and thus impressionable to ideas. Wish I was nine again!

With regard children's books, have you read "Marianne Dreams" by Catherine Storr or "Moondial" by Helen Cresswell?

Interested to read what you said about the Black Eyed Peas. I have "Elephunk" and was thinking about getting "Monkey Business". Saw them perform second single "Don't Lie" live twice on GMTV last week. "Where is the Love?" really is a classic single with a decent message though. Never got into Oasis but remember my ears pricking up hearing them borrow heavily from Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes" once on TOTP! Belatedly got into Blur when I heard "Gently Out of Time" 'cos Damon Albarn really does sound like a young Bowie on it. Hope you enjoy picking up your clarinet again.
Happy Birthday hun, glad to ehar you had a lovely holiday. Today is my WA and we have celebrated.

Bugs looks fab, would love to stitch him one day.

Hugs xxxxx
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