Books · Libraries · Reading

Time for Reading

On the way to the recycling bin in our house I found myself reading the sports pages of the newspaper; an article all about ‘Match of the Day’. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not interested in football or indeed the world around me at large. It’s just that I surprised even myself, did I really want to read this article?

Well, yes, why not? I’ve always read everything I could get my hands on, the back of a cereal packet is the classic example (and I do!).

 

I’ve realised I may sit in a room by myself but I am never alone when I have a book with me. Yes, there are the characters but there’s more, so much more.

When I read I am part of a world. One of so many people on this planet who share a love of reading.

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I have six books on the go at the moment – thank you Aberdeen Libraries!

I only have to think of Bookshops and Libraries to know there are so many others out there who love books too.

Then there’s the times we share a book; the magic of reading out loud to a little one on your knee or a class full of children eager to know what happens next.

The memories created when listening to audiobooks in the car, laughing and recalling the story together years later (Horrid Henry and the injection scene springs to mind!).

What a treat it is to attend events during the Scottish Book Trust Book Week or meet friends at Book Festivals and Book Groups.

Of course there is also the joy when a book is adapted to TV or film and the discussions thereafter.thumb_IMG_1133_1024

Then there’s my favourite; recommending a book to someone and they love it too.

It’s a world of books, let’s hope it stays that way.

 

 

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Springtime!
bees · Wildflowers · Writing

Ten Minutes to Spring

How do I feel? I want to catch this moment! Paint it, sing it, tell it, share it!

The sun is warm – yes! – and blinding me as I write this.

Ten minutes in the garden, I’ve been telling myself. It’s a way to get started. Well, it always stretches, doesn’t it? That’s a good thing though.

So, today it was the turn of our ‘wildflower patch’. thumb_IMG_0201_1024It was so successful last year but over the winter it had become covered in long grasses and piles of damp leaves.

I picked up the long handled rake ready to attack then suddenly noticed a fresh green shoot sticking up. Of course! I had planted some bulbs in the autumn. I’d nearly forgotten about them. What a gift!

With care, I raked away. More and more shoots began to appear and the ground cleared easily.

I’m a bit nervous, will the wildflower area be as good as last year with so many insects enjoying the flowers? Well, I guess only time will tell but now I feel at least we’re off to a good start.

So my thought for the day? Begin with ten minutes and scrape away carefully, let’s see what’s underneath. It’s a trick I’m trying with my writing.

 

 

Looking forward to using this – a gift from a lovely friend!

 

Books · Trees

Arborglyphs

I love how one thing leads to another.

Watching a documentary by the actress Dame Judi Dench, I heard her describe drawings on trees as arborglyphs. (What a fabulous word!)

On my regular walk I had already noticed some markings but dismissed them as a sort of vandalism. Then with this all in mind I noticed this:

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Is this smile natural or manmade?

Looking up arborglyphs I stumbled upon this blog, Arboroglyph. Might be one for me to follow.

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Couldn’t resist taking this photo – for some reason it reminds me of the Saucepan Man in Enid Blyton’s ‘The Faraway Tree’!

 

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Finished reading this book last week and would highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

Snowy Days

Books · Dogs · Inspiration · Trees

Inspiring Dog Days

Sometimes it’s dark, rainy, cold, dreich, miserable and you just don’t feel like going out for a walk.

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Molly and her new favourite toy.

Then again, if you’re a dog owner, you don’t have much choice! Maybe that’s a good thing. Yes, there is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes, I’ve heard it.

Still, say you do go out for a walk, there is beauty in the darkness.

Shape, form. Twisted trees, reaching on and up towards the light. Droplets balanced on pine needles. The surprise sighting of a heron crouched and tucked up tightly beside a nearly obscured pond.

 

Every time I go for a walk I find some different aspect of nature to think about. I want to learn more about the world around me. The birds I hear singing, what are they? The clouds, what type? Are they Altocumulus, Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulonimbus? Fabulous names to match stunning patterns.

I return home enthused, of course this is another excuse for me to indulge my love of learning and books!

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I hope you do get a chance to go for a walk today.

Then, when you come back home, switch the kettle on and settle down with a cuppa – here are a couple of book recommendations for all nature lovers, with links to my reviews on GoodReads.

 

The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd    Findings by Kathleen Jamie

Books · Inspiration

Last Minute Gift Ideas – Books of Course!

A book is such a lovely gift to give and receive.

Just in case you’re looking for some inspiration, here is the link to my blog about ‘cup of tea’ books – recommendations from friends and readers of this blog.

I hear a lot these days about the Icelandic tradition of ‘jolabokafloo’ – where books are exchanged as gifts on Christmas Eve and the rest of the evening is spent reading. It sounds ideal to me!

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At the moment I am reading ‘Slipstream’ a memoir by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

It’s fascinating as it explains about the many characters and experiences in her own life which influenced her writing of the Cazalet Chronicles.

 

 

Well, it’s certainly time for a holiday.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – with lots of time for reading, hopefully!

 

 

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Winter skies with silver linings
Garden · Inspiration

Planting Seeds of Hope

 

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I bought cornflower seeds in the spring, planted them, was truly amazed when they grew so well and then continued to flower for weeks and weeks.

Now I know what they mean when authors write ‘eyes of cornflower blue’.

They reminded my Mum of when she was a child.

I took photos, lots of them.

Bees, butterflies, hoverflies all visited my little wildflower garden.

Finally I collected the seeds. Tiny little shaving brushes. I’d remembered what the seeds looked like from when I sowed them. Quite different to anything I’d seen before.

So all in all a real success. I’m very glad I bought that one little packet of seeds. It was quite relaxing, sitting at the kitchen table sorting them out. Now they’re carefully stored and I’m looking forward to planting them next year.

Those tiny little seeds, of hope.

Books · Inspiration

Drama

 

The leaves are collecting in the corners of the garden. The animals must be gathering their food for winter. Thoughts of hibernation arise but I am clearing out. If I am to hibernate then it is time for a sort out!

thumb_IMG_E0573_1024Helping to tidy up the shelves and shelves of books in my father-in-law’s house recently, we found a pile of Penguin paperbacks.

For some reason this one caught my eye. Perhaps because it has a play by J.M. Barrie and I keep meaning to visit Kirriemuir where he was born. Maybe it’s because I love the story of Peter Pan.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these. They are witty and clever, some sad, others funny. As John Ferguson says in his introduction, the plays are a ‘clear and precise study of some particular character, situation or problem.’ You can read my review on GoodReads here.

As I looked up the playwrights I stumbled upon the fact that M. Luce was in fact Margaret Luce, the grandmother of Miranda Hart. I’m a big fan of Miranda’s shows – they’re so cheery!

With drama on my mind and St Andrew’s day fast approaching (November the 30th) here’s a link to a great video to be found on the http://www.scotland.org website. (Did I mention the actress is my aunt! One very proud niece here!)

 

Wishing you all a very enjoyable time during Book Week Scotland!

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Cotoneaster in the sunlight.