I’m Back

I’m dusting off my blog because I may use it for an upcoming Read-A-Thon.

I cannot believe the last time I wrote here was in February, what a failing on my part! But where has that time gone?

I’ve been working a lot in the garden, this being the first full year I’ve had the greenhouse, so, to make up for so few entries, I’ll post some photos instead….

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So, that’s about all for now, but I’ll try not to be so long in updating next time, especially if I do have a go at the Read-A-Thon.

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A Thing For Bowie And King

Back again for another long-overdue attempt at a journal entry. I really don’t mean to leave it so long between writings, but somehow it always happens. I thinks it’s because there’s not that much new to report.

Am still very much into all things David Bowie and am getting quite a collection of his albums now. I was really surprised to find out my boss is actually a massive fan. We were talking about his music, and the albums I’ve got, and he offered to loan me his copies of some of the ones I don’t have yet. Of all the things I expected, bonding with C over David Bowie was actually pretty low down the list! It makes me smile, thinking about it, because we’ve not really had that much common ground before. I’m pretty envious that he’s been to a fair few Bowie concerts (is it concerts, or gigs? I have no idea?!) over the years.
The album I’m listening to at the moment is Diamond Dogs. I love it. I read that some of the songs were intended for a musical version of 1984, but that it never happened. I think that’s a great shame, because the songs are so good, I’m sure there would have been a place for a show like that. Still, at least we get the, on this album. It’s also made me think I really should get around to reading 1984, because I’ve had it sitting on my shelves for years and yet I never seem to get around to it.

I read two really good books. The first was Police by Jo Nesbo. The latest in the Harry Hole series picks up after Phantom, which was a bit confusing because over here the first book in the series, The Bat, was released in between Phantom and Police, so it’s been a very long time since I read Phantom and I couldn’t recall it all that well.
That didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Police though and I was soon totally engrossed in it. Police are being murdered at the scenes of old unsolved crimes, and Harry Hole has to take on the role of investigator again to help catch the killer before any more murders are committed. It’s fast paced, and keeps you guessing until almost the very end.

The second book I really enjoyed was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I recently read The Shining, in preparation for this sequel, and was glad that I did. I think you could probably read Doctor Sleep without having read The Shining first, but I do think you get a better understanding of Dan and how he’s been affected by his childhood, which also gives the ending a little more impact. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s a good read.

Am still on a Stephen King season, having now started reading The Dark tower. I read the first book, The gunslinger, about a year ago. I don’t know why I didn’t carry on with the series then, I suppose I got sidetracked with something else, but anyway, I decided to reread the Gunslinger before moving on. I’m now reading The Drawing Of The Three. I’m really enjoying reading how Roland and Eddie first meet, and Odetta/Detta is an interesting character too.

I’ve packed up most of my garden things now, for the winter. I’m looking forward to getting started with my next lot of seed planting, because now I have the greenhouse and everything is there ready and waiting, I’ll have much more time in which to grow my plants. I was very late starting this year, having to get the garden sorted out before I could get my greenhouse. Still, what I did grow turned out okay and gave me some confidence about what I’m doing.

Aside

I’m back for a bit more writing, as it seems a while since I last wrote anything.

I’ve been out in the garden again, mostly just digging out the plants which are dying off and tidying up for the end of the season. It seems to have flown by, but that’s because I was late in getting my greenhouse and getting started. Next time I will start planting my seeds nice and early, give them longer to get established.
I’ve also taken down some of my solar lights, because the days are getting shorter now, and the weather is worse, so they’re not really charging up enough anymore. If they come on at all it’s only very briefly.

I was talking to a lady I work with, and apparently her dad used to grow cacti. She said they were quite easy to grow, and I’ve seen some seeds, so I might get a pack and have a go at those too next time.
She also said her dad grew bonsai trees, and had quite a collection of them, which I was interested in as dad has decided he’d like a bonsai tree. I wanted to know if they were easy to care for, which she assures me they are, so it looks like that might be the next addition to the plant collection.

I had a good trip to the library at the weekend, and got the new Dexter novel, which I’m reading now, Dexter’s Final Cut. It’s good so far. I also got the new Jo Nesbo, Police, which I’ll read next. I requested Doctor Sleep by Stephen King as well, but that one hadn’t arrived, which is probably a good thing because all these books have other requests on them, so I won’t be able to renew them, and there is no way I could get through three books in three weeks, not at the pace I’m reading at the moment.

I got another couple of David Bowie albums too – The Platinum Collection and Hunky Dory. It’s funny, some of the songs on Platinum Collection I’m finding myself thinking ‘I had no idea he sung that’. The song I’ve got on repeat at the moment is Absolute Beginners. I love it.

I’ve started watching Hannibal. It’s really good, but I’m trying not to look up anything about it on the internet because the series has already finished to no doubt there will be spoilers all over the place, and I always manage to spoil myself. Am also trying to avoid spoilers for the last series of Dexter, which I’m waiting for on dvd.

And that’s about it, I think, for now!

I Have Too Much To Talk About!

I think the days for sitting out in the garden are going to be few and far between now as Autumn is due, so I’m taking advantage of this lovely afternoon to sit out and write this. It’s becoming my outdoor blog but I’ll keep updating even when the good weather is gone.

Not much to report on the garden front at the moment. Well, quite a lot is in bloom, and the corner garden looks nice and colourful, so that’s good.

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To balance the good, my Black Eyed Susan appears to be dying off. I don’t know if I’ve done something wrong or if its an annual plant which has reached the end if the season. The label didn’t say. It’s a shame as its been a really nice plant.
Also, the tomatoes are not ripening at all. There are plenty of them, but they’re all green. A friend has suggested putting something red into the greenhouse with them, but I have a feeling this will turn out to be an old wives tale. We shall see…

I watched Cloud Atlas the other night. At almost 3 hours I thought it had better be good, to hold my attention.
Within minutes of starting it I thought to myself “this will be going off soon, I don’t think I can stick it much longer”. It was really confusing, jumping from one story to another as each plot was established, and for a time I didn’t have a clue what was going on.
I stuck with it a little longer, and at some point I became hooked. I was totally engrossed in it. What a brilliant film! And the soundtrack is lovely too.
I loved it so much I’ve now dug out my copy of the book, which for some reason I never got around to reading before now, and I’m going to start it. Once I’ve read the book I think I’ll watch the film again, because its so complicated that it would probably benefit from a second viewing. Also, when the credits went up and it showed which roles each actor had played, I couldn’t believe some of them I’d missed.

I wrote the above a while ago and just rewatched the film. By the end I was in tears! I can’t recall it being so sad the first time around! I definitely got more from seeing it again; even though I knew what was going to happen it obviously still had a massive impression.

I also watched Labyrinth last week, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. I’m sure I must have seen the film years ago, during my childhood, because I could remember some of it. I don’t think I ever had such a love for it as I did for The Neverending Story, The Goonies or The Addams Family – those were the childhood films I watched repeatedly.
This time round though – loved it. I love the story, and how charismatic was David Bowie as Jareth?!? I loved the ballroom scene – he had on 10 times more makeup than I would wear myself and yet looked so handsome. The music is brilliant too, from the instrumentals to the songs Bowie wrote and sang. I can’t think of many songs quite as romantic as As The World Falls Down, and Magic Dance is a real feel-good song.
Jareth and Sarah remind me Christine and the Phantom, from Phantom Of The Opera, which is another of my great loves (the stage version, not so much the film), so I suppose it was always going to appeal to me. I’ve even been reading fan fiction based in the film, which usually means I feel like writing something myself. Maybe…

I have so much more to write about, but this is starting to get a bit too long, so I think I’ll save it for another time, hopefully another warm afternoon spent in the garden!

It’s All In The Past

Another glorious garden afternoon. We’re having an uncharacteristic heatwave at the moment, so it’s nice to sit out.
It’s been so hot though that I’ve invested in some moveable shelving that I can stand outside the greenhouse, because my poor seedlings have been suffering in this heat. Still, I shouldn’t complain; it’ll be pouring with rain soon enough, no doubt.

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I’ve also had to extend my trellis for the black eyed Susan, as to growing wild, getting too tall for what I put in originally. It’s going to be huge!! I sort of hope it doesn’t grow all the way to the top of this new layer because I don’t fancy climbing up there to train the vines!

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I’ve been trying to read, but can’t seem to settle to it today, so I thought I’d write something instead.

I’ve been trying to find out about my family history.
It’s an interesting pursuit, but also incredibly frustrating at times.
When you’re close enough to the present that relatives can remember and verify your findings it’s smooth enough, but the further back you get, the more confusing it can become, and in some cases I’m totally lost as I have no idea some of the people I’ve found even existed, never mind who they married and when.
I’ve found out quite a lot. I’m over 100 years back on part of the family tree, and have found so many names and dates that almost feel as if I know these people. I ask my nan, and then seem amazed when she can’t tell me anything, before I recall that it’s all way before her time!
I’ve hit a stumbling block now. I found a marriage for one of my great-great aunts, and I found her family on the census, living with her husband’s sister, but after that they vanish.
A man with his name, born in the right place, and with a daughter the right name and age appears on a later census, but his age doesn’t quite match, and they’re in a place many many miles away from where they started. Also, his wife isn’t my great-great aunt.
I did wonder if she’d died. This search revealed a death of someone of the correct name, but the age was out by two years. I don’t know if I’m totally wrong in what I’m finding or if discrepancies like that do occur. With a death I wouldn’t have thought it likely, as deaths are registered pretty quickly.
I don’t really know where to go from there. I have a friend who is into this kind of thing, so I might ask his advice.

Broadcasting Live From My Back Garden

There’s life in the seed trays!! Some of them at least are starting to germinate. I really hope the others do too. I’ve added some catnip seeds, which I think will drive my cat wild judging on his reaction to just being near the seeds, and some pansies, because I’ve always liked them.

Here’s what I bought for the patio area

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And

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Tomorrow I’m getting some mini fencing, and I’ve put my solar lights in as well, which look really nice.

Whilst dealing with all this outdoors work I’ve started a new project. We had trees in a small corner garden, but the harsh winter killed them off, so I’ve been chopping away at them, and am finally getting to the end, which is a good job because its exhausting work. I’ve decided to turn this patch into a rockery. It’s still very much in the early stages, but hopefully I can get on with it while the weather is nice. Think I’ll get some more figures and solar lights for this patch as well. Like I said, it’s very much early stages. In fact, this is what it currently looks like…

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BIG mess!!

Look, Another Post!!!

I’d intended to write here quite often, but have had a busy week or so, and the weather improved, which made a nice change, being able to get out in the garden.

We’ve had a new fence around the back garden, and it looks much bigger now.
Have also had a patio area put in because I’m getting a greenhouse next week and it will sit nicely on there.
Wouldn’t you know it; as soon as we found out the greenhouse was being delivered the weather went off and it’s now blowing a gale and pouring with rain. Here’s to the Great British Summer!
I got a new plant today, a Pieris Flaming Silver, which looks gorgeous with striking pink leaves. Am really looking forward to getting started on planting, and hopefully growing my own plants from seeds once the greenhouse is up.

In other news, I started reading The Wheel Of Time. I read the first book and really enjoyed it. It will certainly fill the gap until the next Song Of Ice And Fire book is published (and who knows when that will be!?!?).
I got the book from the library and was dismayed to find that all copies of the next book, The Great Hunt, had disappeared (there’s a pun there somewhere). A perk of working at the library – I put in a request for a new copy and they’ve agreed to get one! Great stuff, although there is someone else waiting for the book before me, so I’ll have a few more weeks to wait.
To fill the gap I started The Passage by Justin Cronin. It had some really mixed reviews but so far I’m really loving it.

Also, I finally saw The Hobbit. It seemed overly long at times, but mostly I enjoyed it, and I would happily sit through the whole thing again just for Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The way he looks in that film is exactly how I picture Lan from Wheel Of Time.

Have also had some time to work on my cross stitch as well, which is coming along steadily. Have posted pics on my cross stitch blog about that. I’m so impatient that I want to see the whole thing finished, yet I know there are many more hours and weeks and months work before it will even be close.