Friday, 28 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday and Some Stitching

Suggested by Marsha:
Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.
What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

This is actually a difficult one to answer. I enjoy buying books for other people and have done so for many reasons. I did buy a friend of mine a while back a book that listed book winners of various awards in the past ten years. At the back it had a space to keep your own book journal. I happened to come across it and this friend was the person that popped into my head when I saw it so I picked it up for her. I also love talking to Lili about books and quite often she will ask me for recommendations. Since she has enjoyed most of the books I have recommended I have since sent her various books that were favourites of mine in the past. So I have bought friends books for various reasons and what I chose always depends on that person.

If I was to chose just one today though I would chose "Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman. The main reason being is that last week I read a book that very much reminded me of it (I'll be reviewing it next week). Although it is aimed at teenagers it's a book that I think most people can enjoy. I know that a lot of people I work with have read and loved it. It's just so different from most of the teen books that seem to come out these days. It isn't chick lit for teens or fantasy. The easiest way to describe it is that it's a different dimension of our world. One where white people were treated like second class citizens rather than black people. Where white people had to fight to be allowed to go to the same school as black people. It isn't just about that though. It's about two friends who try to ignore the boundary that has been built up. It's a great read and to be honest I think it should be part of recommended reading in schools

As you can see I finished the book bag for my friends birthday. She is a fan of punk and loves skulls hence the skull and cross bones design. I think if I was to design it again I would make it a little less square looking. My friend is also very girly and loves pink which is why I chose to stitch it in pink. I used black ribbon to set it off though. I'm glad I chose metallic threads for the bones. Took me a little longer to stitch because of that mind you. I even thought I wasn't going to get it finished in time. I hate stitching with metallics but like the effect too much to give it up. My friend loved it which is the main thing. Although she is considering using it for make up rather than to keep a book in. Not that I mind so long as she likes it.

I also began stitching the Halloween witch from Quick and Easy. I plan on turning it into a little cushion for my sister. I think this is 18 count Aida I am using (possibly higher) which is why the design is turning out so small. If you go to San's blog you can see it finished on the size it's recommended. I am definitely in the mood for Halloween. This is the first time in years that I have stitched any Halloween designs and I am loving it.

Timewarden, I agree Jacqueline McKenzie is great in the 4400. I didn't enjoy Deep Blue Sea though. It's more my mums type of film than mine. No I won't be buying the Davros box set. I have all but one on DVD already and I don't see the point of buying it just so that I can get the audio story and the box they all come in. The DVD I don't have is being released on its own anyway. To be honest I like being able to put all my Dr Who DVDs in the correct order and with that box set I wouldn't be able to do that. I am even considering getting rid of the boxes of the box sets I already have so that they all look the same sitting on the shelf. I haven't done it though in case I regret doing it.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

The 4400

I have pretty much managed to avoid reading anything about this TV series. I even skipped those articles in my favourite sci fi mags. Too eager to get to the pages I am really interested in. I always meant to go back to them but then there is always something else to do or read. Not long ago I had heard that this series was actually quite good and that if you enjoyed heroes you might like this. What put me off a little was that it has also been described as the New X-Files. While I enjoyed the X-Files my main thought was that it had been done already. No need to watch something like that again. I then saw series 1 at such a low price it made me think twice about giving it a go.

I am so glad that I did. Over the past decade people have been disappearing and all of a sudden all 4400 of them come back. They arrive together in one place with no memory of where they have been and no indication that they have aged. Not knowing what to do with them Home Security put them in quarantine and then eventually let them back out to society. It is then that a few of the 4400 are showing signs of having a special gift. Each episode shows the continuing story of a few of the 4400 such as Lily and Richard who become a family, Homeland Security agent Tom's nephew and Mia a little girl who was one of the first to disappear. Each episode also centralises around one 4400 who is suddenly displaying a gift. These gifts are meant to be a way of working towards saving humanity.

If you ignore the fact that it has been said to be like Heroes, X-Files and even Lost then I think most people could enjoy this as a show in its own right. It could get boring and predictable with each show being about a 4400 who all of a sudden displays a gift. However, there is also a running story line through out with the regular cast that makes it something you have to keep watching. I was pleasantly surprised and I am now working my way through series 2.

Once I have finished watching series 2 of the 4400 I have something else to look forward to. "The Key To Time" box set arrived in the post today. This features all episodes with Mary Tamm who was the first actress to play companion Romana. I have yet to see these episodes since they aired before I was born and this is the first time they have been released on DVD. There are a total of 6 DVD's in there so I have a lot to look forward to.

Lili, I am so glad you loved the book. I have to admit that I liked "All Families Are Psychotic" for the same reason that you liked it. All the way through you feel for these characters and you think that there is no chance that it can be put right. Coupland surprises you that way. I have been trying to think of which of his books you might enjoy next. "Hey Nostradamus!" is a lovely book but so very sad. I think you might actually like "Microserfs". It's funny and a little more upbeat than the ones you have read so far.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

DS9: Season 3

I seem to be flying through these box sets even though I have been taking breaks between them. This season is the first with the new ship Defiant. An experimental ship built for war. Actually the only reason that this ship appeared was because of Voyager. The extras tell you that the Voyager team were bragging about how good their ship was going to be and that DS9 would be second to their show. The DS9 crew insisted that they got their own ship and that it didn't matter if it was small but it had to be powerful. It worked though as there were some great episodes thanks to this ship and a lot of them were in season 3. Season 3 was about the threat of the dominion but it didn't take up the full series. There were still some character episodes such as "Facets" and "Distant Voices". As well as Bajoran and Cardassian based story lines.

I think that's maybe why I like DS9 a little more than all the others. It has a running story line from season 2 to the end (two if you count the emissary plot). It doesn't monopolise each season until you get to the end. So there are still episodes to develop the characters and to look at the relationships between all of these alien races. TNG didn't really have that. Voyager did have that but it wasn't as convoluted as DS9. Or at least it didn't seem that way to me. Their running theme from the start was to get home. Later it also involved the Borg. Maybe I am just biased as Voyager was never a favourite of mine anyway.

Some of my favourite episodes are in this series. I did enjoy "The Search" parts 1 and 2 at the start simply because we discover that Odo's race are the founders of the dominion but it's not at the top of my list of favourites. My favourites include "Civil Defence", "Past Tense", "Through The Looking Glass" and "Adversary".

Lili, your right that book does feel a little like Irving. Maybe that's why it is one of my favourites. Mind you I haven't read a book by Coupland that I haven't enjoyed. Going by the title it really wasn't what I expected. I thought there was going to be more humour in there. I wasn't disappointed though.

Crazee4books, the question was what would you choose to read on a day where everything is perfect and you are in a fantastic mood. You're right though books can change your mood. I love the type of books that gives you an energy boost or inspires you to get on with the various projects you've got going.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

The reverse of last week’s question:
Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .

To be honest if it is that good a day I am more likely to want to go out and do something or sit down with a craft than read. To me that would be a perfect time to give a new craft a try. So if I had to chose a book it would probably be a new craft book. I love craft books and every time I come across a new one that I like the look of I can't help but pick it up. My recent craft book splurge has been on knitted toys. After making the sock monkeys I liked the idea of going back to knitting toys. When I was younger I knitted some dolls for friends. My mum has a great book for this although I can't remember what it is called. I have ordered one for fantasy knits but it is taking it's time on getting here. As soon as I have finished making something from each of these I will do a proper post on them (including my mums book).

If it is at the end of a great day then yes I will pick up a good book to read. Again I am more likely to try something new. Maybe and author I have never read before or even a genre I don't usually read. On those type of days it could be practically anything.

Lili, don't let me put you off. Rose is still a good character I was just a little disappointed with her in the end. Not at all the fault of Billie Piper as she played the part well. You may feel differently though. I am looking forward to hearing what you think.

Funnily enough I have only ever watched the first episode of Lost and then I wasn't really given much choice over it. I was over at the ex's and he wanted to watch it. I think all the hype has put me off (not like Heroes as I had already watched some of it by the time all the hype came out so knew it was good for myself). Occasionally I will hear a friend talking about it and I do think that maybe I will buy the first box set but then I forget all about it. Maybe one day I will watch it. Do you like it Lili?

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Monkeys and a Dragon

As you can see I have been busy making sock monkeys again. The first two are to be given away to people. The last one I have made for myself. I brought some socks back from Amsterdam and decided that I would use a pair to make myself a souvenir. His name is Dutch and he used to be a boat tour guide. He now makes a living as a romance writer under the pseudo name Delila. I have been considering taking him on any travels I might go on rather than Mr Sparkles. Poor Mr Sparkles is looking a bit poorly (have learned since to never use sparkly socks). As much as I want to make sure Mr Sparkles doesn't get any worse I do prefer having him along with me. The other option is for Dutch to keep me company in work. I haven't decided yet.

Quite a while ago I stitched this elemental dragon onto black fabric with the intention of turning it into a book bag. Last week I stumbled across it again and this time decided I wasn't putting it down until I had finished stitching it all together. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Although I think I will think twice before I make another one of these in black again. I am working on another one. This time for a friends birthday. I have had to design the pattern myself as I couldn't find one that I wanted. Just hope it turns out. Will post a pic of the cross stitch part as soon as it is done.

Lili, I am glad that you have become a Doctor Who fan. I do like Christopher Eccleston but I have since begun to favour David Tennant as the Doctor. Mind you they both have very different styles. I think you will like Tennant. Billie Piper leaves at the end of season 2. I did like Billie's character although she did begin to annoy me a bit at the end. Came across as too needy when her character seemed strong in season 1. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on season 2.

It's been a while since I read Curious Incident. I do remember that it was a very sweet story and also a little sad. I also found myself laughing at various points but felt guilty for doing so.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

BSG: Season 3

The third season of Battlestar Galactica came out a few weeks ago and I have now watched all but the extras. The end of season 2 saw the last of the 13 colonies on New Caprica a year after they had settled there when the cylons once again attacked. This time Admiral Adama ordered both Battlestars to retreat as they had no way of beating the cylons and protecting the people scattered over New Carpica. This season starts a few months after that. The Battlestars are endlessly training their crew for a rescue mission while the people of New Caprica are having to cope with a Cylon occupancy. Colonel Tigh, Anders and the Chief are part of a large group of dissidents making life difficult for the new cylon regime. While Baltar is being held by the cylons and made to carry out their bidding. The first few episodes are based on the fight to free the people of New Caprica.

After that the Battlestar continues almost as normal. They are following a path to Earth while constantly on the look out for the Cylons. There is a divide amongst the people. There are those who remained on the Galactica and those who were left behind. Once that is sorted out another divide appears later. One that divides the officers and the manual workers. The most interesting part of this series are all the episodes which focus on the Cylons themselves. Thanks to Baltar being taken prisoner by the Cylons we see more of their ships and learn much more about them. It does mainly leave more questions which can only be a good thing as it leaves you wanting to learn more. Especially at the end of the season.

I did enjoy the first and second season more than this one. I think that might be a reason why the producers have decided to end it on the fourth season. When I first heard about this I was disappointed. Why would anyone want to end a perfectly good show? Now I can see why. End it before the fans get bored and are frustrated from not learning more about the cylons. For me the first and second season are the best because I feel that the season two cliffhanger is a difficult episode to beat. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the third season. There were a lot of great episodes in there which are definitely worth watching. Now though I will have to wait impatiently for season four to come out on DVD and try to avoid reading about what happens at the very end.

For all you book lovers out there I read a very interesting post on the way people organise books on Craft. The idea is to organise your books by colour. Seeing the picture on the Craft website it does look very pretty. An artist in San Francisco organised an independent bookshop in San Francisco this way. With a couple of helpers it only took him the one night. In a book store it would be total chaos as you would never find anything. Although I did hear about one bookseller who organised the area she looked after by colour and after she was told off about it she changed it to size order! It would be interesting to organise books at home like that. I don't have the space to organise all my books anymore. They are all packed into my bookcase in a way that will allow me to get as many in there as possible. I would maybe consider it once I did have the space though. Not sure how long it would last though.

Lili, I liked Menolly too but my favourite character was always Master Harper Robinton. I Just liked the idea of this old man who was so accepting of people, had a great sense of humour and fun but was pivotal in the events that took place. I think your daughter might be glad about changing your mind on naming her Menolly, lol. Thanks for the offer of the chart but I already have it somewhere. I had actually planned on stitching it at some point but it was one of those things that I would be lucky to get round to doing. Makes your gift of it all beautifully stitched all the more precious.

Timewarden, it surprised me you choosing "Crime and Punishment". Simply because I assumed that everyone would choose a light book for comfort. I guess though whole point though is not just comfort but to find a book you can really lose yourself in. Not sure what music I would chose though. To be honest I haven't been in that situation or much like it. If I am feeling a little bit down though I tend to listen to songs that are more upbeat. The Zutons first album is a good one for that (for me anyway).

Crazee4books, like you I never got past the first Wheel Of Time book by Robert Jordan. I found the first one to be repetitive and dull and so didn't bother with the second. Such a shame since I know of so many people who love them. I was more disappointed for myself than in the book. I didn't realise that the author very recently passed away. 58 is such a young age too. There will be many fans out there who will be upset. I don't think he even finished his series.

It's a shame about Madeline L'Engle too. I read "A Wrinkle In Time" for the first time not that long ago and very much enjoyed it. It's one of those books I wish I had read when I was younger. I hadn't heard of the author or this book until a few years back and I was reading about books that had been banned. That's what made me want to read this book in the first place. It always surprises me when I see how many children's books have been banned at some point.

You're right it is two great losses to the sci fi book world.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.
What do you read?
(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)

This is actually very easy to answer. If I was to chose a book purely for comfort I would probably chose one of Anne McCaffreys books from the Pern series. To me something that will make me feel better is an easy read but one that I have fun reading too. The Pern series fit that for me. I would probably chose one of the later ones since I have read the first few a couple of times. I am thinking possibly the Masterharper of Pern as it involved one of my favourite characters.

Crazee4books, thank you for your comments. I must admit that I too prefer those frogs than the other type of frogs involved in stitching. I first saw Earthshock years after it had first been broadcast so I knew that it was the one where Adric died. Even then I was pleased that he had left. He wasn't my favourite character. Still a good story though.

Thank you lili, lol. I will see what I can do with your cards. Glad you are enjoying the first season of Dr Who. That episode put a lump in my throat too. Glad you are also enjoying the Diary of Anne Frank. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've read it. My sister is reading it just now too.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

It's About Time!

Yes, I have actually finished off some crafts. Lili you will be pleased to know that I finished stitching the frog trio. I have attached it to the front of my paper journal. It was actually very easy to stitch and had I took the time to do it I could have finished it in a couple of days. There are no fractional stitches and the majority of it involved half stitches for the shading. I quite like the way it turned out. It also brightens up my boring notebook.

Yes, another frog. This is the lovely pin that Lili sent me for my birthday. I loved it so much it really didn't take me long to stitch. I couldn't put it down. I love kits which involves a lot of bead work. Thank you again Lili. I think Mr Sparkles will wear her for me.

Lastly, a friend of mine gave me a beautiful Christmas card making set which will keep me going for at least a couple of Christmas's. I had to try it straight away and put this one together fairly quickly. The candy cane and the snowman are made from clay. They can both be removed from the card so that the candy cane becomes a tree decoration and the snowman becomes a fridge magnet. I am thinking of attaching these to most of my Christmas cards this year.

And just for fun I came across the Simpsons movie site. It allows you to turn yourself into a Simpsons character. You can either design your own or you can download a photo and have them do it for you. I used a photo as the one I did myself didn't really turn out.

Timewarden, I have noticed they seem to be bringing out the poorer episodes too and they are bringing them out so much more quickly too. I just wish they would go back to bringing out some favourites. The one I really want them to bring out is "War Games" with Patric Troughton. It's a family favourite that we once had on VHS but was lent out and never returned.

Lili, I agree that Fforde still came up with great ideas. It's the little things that I seem to really enjoy about his books. While I feel that maybe he is now just producing them because they have proved to be popular I would still read any future ones. It would be interesting to see what else he comes up with.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

"Time-Flight" & "Arc Of Infinity"

The Doctor decides to take Tegan and Nyssa to the Great Exhibition to help them take their minds of the death of fellow companion Adric. Instead they end up at Heathrow airport just after a Concord has disappeared from its flight plan. Just for a change the Doctor and his companions aren't blamed. Instead, thanks to UNIT, they are recruited to help. Going along the same path they end up in prehistoric Earth which someone is trying to hypnotise them into believing is still Heathrow. They come across the mysterious Kalid and the Doctor is determined to find out just who he is and what he wants with the TARDIS.

This story was heavily criticised by fans as amongst one of the poorer in the series. Whilst not exactly the best I didn't mind it either. Yes, the sets are poor and the effects are bad even for Doctor Who. I think that I have a soft spot for it though because it features the Master and I do think there was a lot of potential there in the story. I do feel though that it was a poor way to end the season. They did try to turn it into a cliffhanger by making everyone believe that Tegan had left the show. I think though it would have been far better to have ended it with "Earthshock" and the death of Adric.

"Arc Of Infinity"

The Doctor and Nyssa are making some long needed repairs to the TARDIS. Suddenly the Doctor is attacked by a force trying to take him over from another dimension and he is recalled back to his home world Gallifrey. Instead of trying to help him the Timelords believe that the Doctor is guilty of helping this creature and so he is arrested and sentenced to death. Meanwhile Tegan has arrived in Amsterdam and is searching for her cousin who has went missing. The creature who is responsible turns out to be the same one who is trying to use the Doctor. Inadvertently that same creature discovers Tegans link to the Doctor and decides to use it to get what he wants. Which is to move from a dimension of pure anti matter to live in our dimension despite the disastrous consequences if he were to fail.

This episode is famous for a few reasons. First it was televised during the year Dr Who would be celebrating its 20th anniversary. It saw the return of nemesis Omega who last featured in the 10th anniversary story "The Three Doctors". It was also filmed overseas which hadn't been done in Dr Who in four years. Lastly it also guest starred Colin Baker as Timelord Maxil who later became the 6th actor to play the Doctor. This one was never one of my favourites. I just never saw the attraction of watching the Doctor run about the streets of Amsterdam after a copy of himself. Since then I have grown to appreciate it. But then maybe that has more to do with the fact that I love the city of Amsterdam than the story itself. I especially enjoyed watching it this time round as I had just come back from Amsterdam. Funnily enough this was one of my sisters favourites when she watched the show. Very rarely did we share favourite episodes. I think "Robots of Death" may have been the only one.

Book Reviews

It has been a long time since I have done one of these posts. Basically I haven't read that many good books of late. Most of what I have read I haven't finished because I am so easily distracted. Here are one or two reviews though for now.

"First Amongst Sequels" by Jasper Fforde.

This is another Thursday Next series and is set many years later. Thursday now has a teenage son and two daughters. Her husband continues to write while Thursday pretends to work for a carpet company. Thursday is really still working for Special Ops and Jurisfiction. Her main worry is encouraging her lazy son Friday to become the genius time agent he is supposed to become. She soon discovers however, that Goliath are up to their old tricks and trying to get back into jurisfiction and in the land of fiction there is a serial killer on the loose. Unfortunately Thursday's time is spent training other jurisfiction agents not that she lets that stop her.

I was so excited when I heard that there was going to be another Thursday Next story. I had believed that the last one was actually going to be the last in the series. While I didn't feel that this one was quite as good as the others I still very much enjoyed it. It had all the things that I loved about the others. So many books referenced and characters from them making an appearance (one of my favourites was Jiminy Cricket and his stunt double). I couldn't help but feel though that the author is now writing them just because they are popular rather than because he has a story to tell. Going by the way it ended there is definitely going to be more still which adds to that feeling. This shouldn't let fans be put off reading it because it's still a good Thursday Next story and worth reading.

"One For The Money" by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum has just lost her job. She is now struggling to survive as she has sold just about everything she had worth selling. She is now hanging onto her flat with the edges of her nails but refuses to move back home. On one of those visits to home she hears from her mother that her cousin Vinnie is looking for a Secretary. She decides to pay him a call only to find that the position has already been taken. Instead she decides to take on another role as a Bond agent. Stephanie now has to bring in people who have run off after making bond. Her first one is a hard one. An ex cop who is accused of murder and has went on the run. Not only that he was her first love. Stephanie has to get over these feelings in order to bring him in but he insists that he's innocent.

I have said many times that I don't read crime. A friend of mine who is actually a very high brow reader surprised me by mentioning how much he loved these books. On this recommendation I decided to give it a go. Surprisingly I very much enjoyed it. It was a fun and quick read. Perfect for when you are in between reads and not sure what to move on to next. Or if you are looking for something light. I would definitely read the others in the series.

"Cross Stitch" by Diana Gabaldon

Claire is a nurse in 1948 who is recovering from working during the war and getting to know her husband all over again. They have taken a trip to Scotland where they first honeymooned. While there Frank is looking into his past lineage and Claire is learning about the plants in the area. One area in which both their interests cross is the standing stones of Craig na Dun. they visit there and discover the local women carrying out some sort of ceremony. Once over Claire goes back to find the flower she first saw only to disappear. She finds herself face to face with someone who looks like her husband but clearly isn't. just managing to escape him she is then kidnapped by a group of Scots and taken to their castle. There she realises she is in fact in 1743. While trying to find away back home she falls for the young Scot Jamie Fraser and is torn between returning home and staying with him.

Yes, once again I moved away from what I usually read. I thought that I really enjoyed that crime book and decided to give this romance book a go. I had heard that the author insists that her books are not romance (despite their classification as such in most book shops). She describes it as an historical fantasy. For that reason it stood out for me as one book I might consider trying. However, I only got about a third of the way through it. To me it was just a romance. While it did have a good beginning nothing much else seemed to happen after she got together with Jamie and I became bored with the story. It wasn't badly written but it just wasn't for me. I do think this is most definitely a romance book and if you enjoy historical romance then you might enjoy this.

Timewarden, hope you are well. I didn't watch "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" until after I had saw her in DS9. I wasn't a fan of Jack Nicholson and so it took me some time to be convinced to give the film a go (very glad that I did). I loved Louise Fletcher in the role of Nurse Ratchett. She plays that part and the part of Kai Win very well. I actually once saw her in a made for tv movie. She played the caring and worried grandmother. Nothing wrong with her acting there but I preferred her in the role of the bad guy.

Lili, while I do find it easy to slip into a book no matter where I am I do prefer to be on my own. When I think about it I can lose myself more easily then. When it comes to writing though, like Timewarden, whether it's my blog or a letter or email, I do need the conditions to be just right. I can't concentrate while someone is talking to me at the same time.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Goldilocks September 6, 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:44 am

Okay, so the other day, a friend was commenting on my monthly reading list and asked when I found the time to read. In the ensuing discussion, she described herself as a “goldilocks” when it comes to reading–she needs to have everything juuuuuust right to be able to focus. This caught my attention because, first, I thought that was a charming way of describing the condition, but, two, while we’ve talked about our reading habits, this is an interesting wrinkle. I’d never really thought about it that way.
So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?
Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

I am not a Goldilocks reader. I can read just about anywhere. The only place I have difficulty reading is on a bus or car and that's due to travel sickness. I am one of these annoying people that can zone everything out to concentrate on what I am reading. Of course I can only do this if the book is good enough. If the book isn't good enough to catch my imagination then it won't happen. Many a time I have had people try to catch my attention and it takes a pat on the shoulder to drag me out of my book. Funny though, when it comes to sleeping I need total silence.

I do have ideal places to read though. I love nothing more than at the end of the day to sit in bed and read with a cup of tea. Or to soak in the bath with a book (lots of bubbles and a glass of red wine). Lastly I love to spend a day book shopping and then sitting in the cafe and reading something I have purchased while sipping a coffee. Unfortunately I very rarely get to do the last one. Especially since my favourite place to go has closed down.

I'm going to leave you now with some more sock monkey pics. Three of them are of Scarlett (the monkey I made for my mum) who has not long come back from Boston. Some pics of her were taken in a park. The last pic is of a new sock monkey. His name is Col. Pillage and he has went to the aid of a Viking.

DS9: Season 2

I have just finished watching the second season of DS9. This one is certainly different from the first. In the extras the people behind the scenes as well as the actors talk about how this is the season that DS9 finally comes into it's own. I can certainly see why they would think that. Ds9 was always going to be different from the others as it was the only series based on a stationary community. In the first season the episodes are a little all over the place. A few really stand out as a way of allowing the viewer to get to know the background of the Bajorans and the Cardassians and the relationship with each other and with the federeation. The rest were really character episodes. Nothing wrong with that but it would be a little boring if that was all DS9 turned out to be. In the second season though the Gamma Quadrant is brought more into the picture. We hear about a group called the Dominion early on although they don't really have a big part at that point. The hint is there and in hindsight we know that the majority of the show was soon based on the Dominion war. We also learn a lot more about Bajoran politics as well as Cardassian politics which again also has a larger role in the show later on. What we are really getting is small chunks of a story that later becomes very interesting and interconnected.

Another interesting thing that was mentioned during the extras was that the show was originally seen by the producers as a Western show. We already can guess this from season 1. Especially when we have Dr Bashir talking about his having any choice of placement in the fleet but he wanted to practice "frontier medicine". Really looking into it though you can see more hints of it as the extras mentioned with Quark as your barkeep and Odo as the Sheriff. While I think that there was some success at this obviously they still wanted it to look like a Star Trek show. The only sci fi series that I think has been successful at the whole Western theme is "Firefly".

Getting away from the extras I do have some favourite episodes. While season 1 was missing those double part episodes this one had them in abundance (almost as much as TNG season6). The first three episodes; The Homecoming, The Circle and The Siege, are all linked and are amongst my favourite. Here we see the return of Vedek Winn (brilliantly played by Louise Fletcher) in a bid to become Kai and getting rid of the Federation once and for all. Of course she is only behind the scenes of this plan and allows others to take more risks. A role she continues with throughout the DS9 series. Other favourites include, Armageddon Game, Whispers, Paradise, The Maquis 1&2 (used to help set up the background to Voyager), Crossover, Tribunal and of course The Jem'Hadar.

Big Thank You To Lili

It was my birthday last week and the lovely Lili sent me some lovely gifts. First of all she sent me some items from sew and so. A lovely frog pin and a dragon chart. I am looking forward to working on both. I am thinking of stitching some of those dragons individually. She later sent me the items I photographed above. The card which has been stitched using variegated thread and the David Tennant design. Both of which are beautifully stitched. She also sent me the most beautiful linen with little frogs stamped on it. I am going to keep that for something special. Thank you so much Lili, you really did spoil me.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Statistics August 30, 2007
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:59 am

There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

Not being American none of my friends fall into it. However, at school I was the only one amongst my friends who was an avid reader. A few of them did read occasionally but most of them only read when they had to for school. At school it was sort of considered uncool to be a reader. Not that I cared. I never hid the fact that I read and most of my friends accepted it. I did have one friend who read just as much as I did. However, she had been bringing back a book I had loaned to her and when someone asked her if she had actually read it she made some sort of sarcastic comment. It wasn't directed at me since no one really ever made fun of the fact that I was a reader. But she didn't want to be known as one and so scoffed to hide it. I remember being upset with her. Simply because she was one of the most intelligent girls in the school and was well known for being intelligent. Yet she decided she would rather hide it just because she was worried about what one person thought. I think I was more disappointed with her than anything else. I guess she just didn't like her whole persona of being the good girl who always studied. I met her a few years after we had all left school and we had both moved on to different Universities. After saying hello she told myself and the friend I was with that she was supposed to be in class right now and that she was going to be late with an assignment but had went shopping instead. After telling us this she said something about how she bet we would never have thought she had done something like that at school. Mind you she must have changed her mind about that image as she is now doing very well for herself.

Now most of my friends are readers. I still read more than a lot of them but most of them always have a book on the go like myself. We all really love talking about books and swapping them. I really missed that growing up (unless of course you count my parents). We all have at least one type of book that we like in common so we always have something to talk about when it comes to books. It's hard to describe to the non reader the excitement you feel when you find friends like that.

Monty & Mr Sparkles In Amsterdam

View from the hotel

Waiting for the Canal Boat

Still waiting

Finally on the boat tour

At Vondelpark

Outside the Rijksmuseum.

At the Heineken Experience.