Saturday, 31 January 2015

In Fab-ruary I will Bloom

After I had such a good Blogmas I took a week off and then I've been pretty regular writing my posts since then. I really enjoyed writing a post a day (ok; publishing a post a day. Lots of them were written at the weekend and scheduled to appear at the right day) and figured that if I saw another thing that caught my eye and made my nose twitch (that's my give away good sign) I'd try again.
Well, a rather lovely blogger called Helen at I Will Bloom is running Fab-ruary. 28 prompts to help me find the Fab, in life and in myself. They appeal to the part of me that likes lists but hasn't put them in one place, and to the part of me that knows happiness comes from recognising what makes me happy. So the plan is to blog a Fab-ruary post every day in addition to my own blog schedule. These might only be a line long, or a short list so I don't see a problem with doing both. 28 days of happies making 2015 the best Fab-ruary ever.

If you fancu joining in, run over to I Will Bloom and say yes.

Friday, 30 January 2015

To Kill A Mockingbird; Film on Friday

What a classic movie this is! Apparently it features regularly in top 100 movie lists and I have read the book, but I have to come clean..... I have never watched the movie. (until now)

To Kill A Mockingbird is a 1962 movie starring Gregory Peck and based on the one and only book that Harper Lee wrote. The book is often read in senior schools as a sort of commentary on race relations in the USA and, I believe, has been banned from some libraries in the USA for the same reason.

The movie follows the book's plot quite closely. In 1932, small-town mid west Jem and Scout live with their widowed father, Atticus Finch, who is a small town lawyer and a really good egg. He is honest, decent and dedicated to helping those in need. You see him at the start of the film disappearing so that an impoverished sharecropper can pay him in peanuts rather than cash he just don't have without feeling beholden or wounding his pride. He teaches his children manners, tolerance and the need to 'stand on another man's porch' as a way to grow to understand and to accept the behaviour of others.
He tells them to leave the Radleys alone, so as not to make their son, Boo, a source of entertainment and to be kind to the little old lady who survived the American Civil War to sit all day on her porch.

Life is good and they are happy, until the sherrif of the town asks Atticus to represent a black man who has been accused of raping and attacking a white girl, Mayella Ewell. The trial and subsequent fate of the accused is really well done. You know what the result should be, and yet you know what the result will be. There's a 1930's inevitability about it all that makes you watch. And cry.

We watched it as a family, there being no Guides on last Friday for the Princess. She is 12 and only barely into history. She complained at first about the fact that the film was in black and white, until the story caught her and she went quiet. There are racist words that I was pleased to learn she had never heard and the fact of segregation to the degree the film shows had been an alien concept to her. Most heartening of all, she kept asking 'Why? Why, Mummy, why?' A film that can make a modern teenager ask questions is a treasure indeed.

Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his role as Atticus Finch, and the film is a classic. If you have never seen it, or if you have and have forgotten it, then I can recommend looking out for it. We watched it on Sky movies on Demand, but I think it's buried in their film schedule sometimes. It's also available on Amazon for £4.99.

What I also came away with was a powerful echo of John Grisham's A Time to Kill, which is essentially the same story set in a more up to date time. Mr AJ loves anything with a court room in, and I have seen almost every film (except The Judge, and it's on my list!) with a courtroom in, including My Cousin Vinnie (yes, really). I was pleased to see that the trial scenes held the children as well, so perhaps (whisper it quietly) it's time to get the old battered copies of The Firm and Pelican Brief out to watch.

Have a good weekend; what's your viewing pleasure of choice this week? Let me know below!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wednesday Wind Up

What am I reading this week?
Stuffocation: Living More With Less
I started reading Stuffocation by James Wallman this weekend. It's not a very long read, but it's an interesting one. It argues that although consumerism is bad (for the debt, the environment and our emotional well-being), the opposite is not actually minimalism (which even Thoreau only kept up for two years) but experientialism, which can involve being a consumer, but a thoughtful one. In other words, we should be seeking to build our intrinsic memory and to be creating our life (in a way that suits us) to make ourselves happy, and not in a 'keeping up with the Jones' way, where we compete to be more or do more because we want to seem more. It makes sense to me, although I have already been through the blog envy," why do they have lots of followers, oh no this is useless I'll never be famous" stage and am now at a "this is where I am. Take it or leave it, I like it and I only write to suit me" stage.

What have I watched this week?

Damien Lewis as a younger, fitter Henry VIII than most (although not as young or fit as
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and a lot less sex.)
Wolf Hall. Has to be. We sent the youngest two off to bed and sat with our mature 17 year old hooked to the whole thing. There have been complaints that the lighting (in the name of authenticity) was really dark in the night time scenes because they actually only used candles. We turned off all the lights, and even a smartphone's screen was too intrusive so we really could only watch the screen. It has started well, and promises to keep up the good work. I'm a TomCrom fan-girl, so I'm desperate for Hilary Mantel to finish the last book.

Where have I been this week?
To Rainford. On a Monday night. For a quiz. The WI district quiz actually. 17 venues across old Lancashire all completing the same questions at the same time. Scores across the shire will be compared and the  top team of the district gets to go forward to the National Quiz. My WI, WOW (Women of Woolton) had two teams and one of them won!!! That means there is a slim chance that we could get onto the next stage!! We won a lovely basket of primulas each. (Oh good, some more plants for me to kill)

How has my spending gone this week?
Good. I have really only spent money on school (which I should be able to claim back) and the children's birthday presents. Seriously, there's only just over a week to one and three weeks to the other. The gifts are in and ready to wrap. I almost thought I had to buy a computer, but I googled a few problems and the solution was there, so I have a functioning computer again. It was a sharp reminder that I need to start a rich lady fund and save up for  replacements like that, in case the puter does fail completely!

What are my WIPs this week?
I'm still working on my embroidery. The time wasn't there last week just to sit and sew, so what would be a simple finishing job just hasn't been done. I think I'll have it finished by next Wednesday (I hope)

Until last weekend my hook was still dormant, but I saw the most beautiful snowflake square blanket that has got me fired up on Betsy Makes and I am aching to get a hooky start on one for my bed.... Sunday is 1st February. Does a purchase date from order day or delivery day? Can I order my yarn today and count it against February's spending? No, don't answer. I know the answer is no.
But on Saturday I tidyed the family room. Not a lot, just a little. Enough to sit in and look around me. It was fun, but the place is cold and I decided that really it needed some soft furnishings to warm it up. So I got the remnants of my Attic 24 packs and my trusty hook and set off...

I'm pleased with the colour combinations. Basically as long as it was very loud and bright, it got picked. The sherbet blue and mint green sit unloved in another basket. I will find something to do with them, but this throw wasn't it.

Any Other Business?
The hyacinths are growing well, and one bowl is out but of course it's too dark for a photo tonight. You'll have to wait until I get an afternoon at home to see what they look like. I really want to take the colour shot photo in blue or purple to see what they're like. I'm still enjoying playing with new toy. Here you go, a gratuitous shot of my Nisse. They're still on my mantel!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday

Thank you for all the comments about last Monday's meals. I posted the Hung Shao Pork recipe on my food blog and I will post the cowboy casserole recipe as soon as I've made it another couple of times. I like to make sure it's a keeper first.

This week meals are just plain old family food, mostly quick and easy to cook. Lots of comfort food in there, as well. It's still cold, so I hanker for a decent stew or thick soup.

Monday; Pulled pork fajita for me, mince fajitas for the rest of the family. I'm off to a regional quiz for the WI, hoping to do well, and have a 10 minute turn around time between finishing tutoring at 6pm and first collection of passengers. DP or the Princess will cook the fajitas for the rest of the family and I will eat mine..... well, sometime.

Tuesday; Chicken and mash. Tuesday has recently become my free day. Who knew? And by free I mean only free from 2pm, not a whole day including the morning which I miss and long for again so much that holidays have a greater significance now because they are my free morning times. A whole roast chicken and a big bowl of mash, with carrots, swede, cabbage and plenty of gravy will be warming and wonderful.

Wednesday; Shepherds pie. I'll make the mash the day before, and might even make the mince inside so that today is more a case of re-heating rather than preparing.

Thursday; Meatballs and pasta. I did have mash marked down for today, but 3 times in a row? No, not a good idea. So I changed it to pasta.

Friday; Sausage butties/ Paella. We eat separately on Friday, the only day we actually don't eat as a family. The kids will be having sausages, beautifully browned, with mushrooms and some fried onions for them as likes them, served on soft and warm baguettes with thick gravy spread over and thin French fries onthe side. With a little treat for afters, perhaps. It is Friday, after all.
Our meal is likely to be some sausage, chicken from Tuesday and chorizo all cooked together with rice and vegetables coloured with turmeric and labelled paella, although how spanish it will be is debateable.

Saturday; Either a meal at my parent's or my parents at our house.If they come here we'll have Beef Bourguinnone or Beef in Guinness stew with bashed carrots and swede, cabbage and colcannon mash.

Sunday; Ham and macaroni cheese. Aldi do nice small gammon joints that have enough meat on them for the family. I boil it for a little, them smother in marmalade and roast for half an hour. With a soft and creamy cheesy macaroni dish it should fill up a large corner very well.

I actually plan a month's worth of meals at a time, so this last weekend I sat down to plan February's. I've just got a copy of Gok Cooks Chinese, so I'm hoping to get a few more meals with stir fry veg in. Tasty and healthy if cooked correctly.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January Colour...

I think everybody likes a new toy to play with and my (very) late Christmas present came this week; with amazing potential to keep me playing from now until the battery runs down.

I now have a Nikon Coolpix camera; it's got a good zoom but doesn't take up the big footprint of my Finepix camera so it's a good one for taking out. I keep it in my bag, and it will go everywhere with me from now on so that I can capture the sights I see. The Finepix has a much better macro facility, so that will be my home camera for the small and intricate things I take at home.
Playing with a new toy is always fun, and this new camera has a range of inbuilt features that I have really had fun with, most specifically the special effects. Most beloved by me, the colour spotting function. Now I can do a few shots that I have always wanted to and you, my dear readers, will just have to smile and suffer the efforts!

Yellow colour spotted. See the walls?

Yellow colour spotted against a better background.

Light green colour spotted. I like this one better, but it's not that different from a plain colour photo.

Light green again. This works better this time, because the background is now obviously colour free.

Light green again. Wine and flowers... isn't there a song about that?

Red colour spotted. Can you see a touch of the Schindler's Lists coming on?

Light green on the hyacinths. Not green enough.

Mid green. Now that's better. I can see I'm going to enjoy my playtimes for the next few weeks!
I hope those weren't too boring. Just having fun and playing, figuring out what I can do and what I want to do with it later on.....

Friday, 23 January 2015

Sherlock Holmes; Film on Friday

Robert Downey Jr is one of my favourite actors. I love how he plays Tony Stark in Iron Man, that he has the best lines in The Avengers Assemble and that he just is so.... un-Sherlockian at times in this movie and the sequel. 
If you are a real Sherlock fan-boy (or girl) then this is so not a faithful adaptation of the books and stories. It is so Sherlock Kicks Ass rather than Sherlock Thinks Aloud. But if you want to see a faithful interpretation then Jeremy Brett is the one you need, and it's brilliant also.
But sometimes, just sometimes, it's good to play with an original. Sherlock on BBC shows that. That's a brilliant retelling of the Holmesian legend that has only let me down once in not having the complete and utter logicality of the originality.
And this is another. Yes, it's got a bare-knuckled boxing Holmes that kisses Irene Adler, that chases all over London with a rather fitter, younger Watson than even Martin Freeman, but it is a jolly good romp. 
I love how Guy Ritchie has re-built the smoky dirty atmosphere of late 19th century London; the colours are grey and black, the material sumptuous and the plot is.... well, fun.
The basic premise is that there is a secret society at the heart of England's government that gets taken over by a devil-worshipping Lord with evil intent, probably world domination. Holmes has to foil his plans and in doing so discovers the next evil plot masterminded by.... Moriarty!!
The fact that Holmes' nemesis only appears in deep shadow and is never actually present when the action takes place is a great set up for Game of Shadows when Moriarty is The Villain of the piece. 
I suppose the film could have been called 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Pipes' but it is a fun watch. It's another film that gets us all sitting together and watching, although we have now watched it so many times that we all tend to do something else (read or computer) as we watch. The rather strange music is a weird combination of Gaellic reels and sort of Third Man string action combined, but it rollicks along at a fair old pace and suits the action/historically totally inaccuracy of the film.

It occurs to me I should give stars out of five to a reviewed film? Well, I'm not going to. If you've seen this you'll tell me what you think, and if you've not seen it then I don't suppose my star rating will add much to my review. You'll either think, "What an erudite and charming review, I must watch that one next time I see it" or "What strange movies that girl watches. I'll never watch that one!"

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Wednesday Wind Up

What am I reading this week?
I am still reading Clash of Kings, but at the same time I have been reading 'The Year of Living Danishly', by Helen Russell. I am Danish again this year, having really enjoyed trying to live Danishly myself last year. It's been fun to read how the stressed, city-loving Helen and Mr Legoman adjust to life in Denmark (in Jutland, actually; the wilds of nowhere!) and how different Danish life can seem to an outsider!
Then I am also reading 'Stuffocation'. There's a bit of a non-fiction vibe going on, isn't there? Stuffocation is about how we have so much stuff it's dangerous to our health and mental well being. I saw it on display in a book shop, and figured that buying the Kindle version wouldn't mean adding more clutter to my house...

What have I watched this week?
As I write this, I have 'The Eichmann Show' on TV, but my ultimate luxury watch this week was 'Sherlock Holmes', the first Robert Downey Jr film, on my tablet on Saturday afternoon as part of a totally self-treating spa afternoon in a Travelodge. A spa afternoon in a Travelodge? Yes, I took my favourite Sanctuary treats from Christmas, a couple of magazines, my Samsung tablet pre-loaded with a free Googleplay movie and a selection of healthy but attractive snacks. The idea was that Mr AJ would go and watch the football (Prescot Cables vs Bishop Aukland) while I chillaxed.  The football got cancelled due to bad weather and we ended up Spa-ing together. He didn't do the handcream or body lotion, and wanted Radio 5 for the football commentary which added an extra dimension to my Spa day, heretofore unrealised as in any way shape or form necessary and possibly never to be repeated.

Where have I been this week?
Durham. The Durham Travelodge. We travelled up late Friday night, woke up and had a lovely breakfast at Chapter's Tea Rooms in Durham, wandered around the Cathedral, shopped a little (yes, I shopped), ate at Spaghettata after our spa afternoon, slept, woke in bright daylight, set off to the Metro Centre and drove home mid afternoon as the lightest flurries of snow set in.

How's my spending gone this week?
Oops. I had some cash saved from Christmas and a portion of my monthly cash set aside for some essentials that I knew I needed (new jeggings and a new top for school) I took my magazines from home and had downloaded a free movie from Googleplay. I spent some cash on my foodie treats, but that was only a couple of pounds. My big spend was something I will share with you another day; it's really too dark now. (and was a joint enterprise with Mr AJ anyway!)

What are my WIPs this week?
My hooks are still resting after their desperate activities over Christmas. Not so my needles, you remember I showed my threads all being sorted? Well. I am putting them to good use!
I designed a pattern of 5 birds in aheart, traced it using a pencil (terribly bad form) and am slowly filling it in. I'd forgotten quite how close a hold you needed for embroidery stitches! But I have really enjoyed doing it, and will be doing more free embroidery as the year goes on!

Any Other Business?
I'm behind with my year planning. I wanted to do some in Durham, and had it earmarked as a spa-full activity, but Mr AJ put the kybosh on that. I will get some done, probably on Friday when Mr AJ is out for the night and, after  the children are fed and watching, I can grab an hour, perhaps, to plan January.... or is it too late?

Edited; I have put the recipe for Hung Shao Pork up on my recipe blog. Enjoy! x

Monday, 19 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday

Another day, another dollar. Joining in At Home with Mrs M.

Monday; Quick noodle stir fry. Probably a beef stir fry with a soy sauce coating and plenty of quickly fried vegetables.

Tuesday; Pasta Bolognese. I made a large pot and froze a portion for a night when coming in and going out were too close together to do anything exciting. Tonight's the night! Wish me luck at Number 2's parent consultation evening. I'm hoping for a reasonable report. Please.

Wednesday; Chilli pot with potato wedges. I like to put some chorizo in as well as kidney beans. Nigella says to put dark chocolate in as well....

Thursday; Cowboy Casserole. That's sausages in a tomato sauce baked beneath a layer of cheesy mash to you and me. We eat sausages probably once a week, so I am always after a different way to serve them. This was an intriguing idea that I'm giving a go. If it's really good it might become a regular feature.

Friday; Hung Shao Pork. Hung Shao Pork is one of those meals you pick up and don't put down. Granted it takes 90 minutes of cooking to turn pork belly into an unctuous melting assemblage, but it is well worth it, and that's 90 minutes cooking mostly unwatched so it's not the most taxing thing to do. It comes from Delia Smith's Winter Collection from the early 90's.

Saturday; Meal at Ma's or Ma for tea?

Sunday; Roast pork with Aldi's potato gratin. Easy and so good on a cold January night.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Apologies; my computer is down!

I won't be able to do posts for about a week while it gets fixed.  I will be back as soon as I'm able to.  I really miss my puter :(
Fortunately I can still read and comment on others posts, so the tea and cake is at your house this week.  OK?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Wednesday Wind Up

Wednesday again! How soon does the week fly by? And it's time for my wind up. What have I been doing since the last wind up? Here goes!

What am I reading this week?
What am I NOT reading this week! I'm back reading A Clash Of Kings (Game of Thrones 2) and enjoying the winter in Westeros again. I finished the Light Between the Oceans at the weekend and LOVED it, so bookclub next week will be fun! I'm looking for an alternate book to read when I need a break from Westeros, so I may well revisit old favourites. When the evenings are dark and the days are still short, it's comforting to re read childhood favourites. Perhaps What Katy Did at School?
I think this is the Bancroft Classic cover I first had the book in. Could it look more 70's?
 Look at the hair and the eye make up!

What have I watched this week?
We watched the movie called New Year's Eve on Friday. Can I recommend it? No, not really, and it won't be my feature for Film on Friday this week. Bits were nice, but other parts were too cheesy/preachy for words. It did manage to get some good twists in at the end, so that it didn't all work out as straightforward as it looked at the beginning and I did really enjoy the Zac Efron/Michelle Pfeiffer storyline of a lady working through her bucket list after quitting her job. Realistic? No, but romantic in a non-sexy way.

Where have I been this week?
No where. No, not even to Liverpool or anywhere. If there are shops there, I'm just not going.... Next week, on the other hand.....
I am going to visit THIS place!

How's my spending gone this week?
Brilliant. Apart from food and a business lunch I haven't spent anything on me. I have, however, planned ahead and bought the eldest son's 17th birthday present. He asked for something on Amazon, so I took a quick opportunity to buy it when he had seen it. His birthday is near the start of February and I didn't want to risk it not getting here for then. Presents for others (I mean proper presents, not just an 'I saw this and thought of you. Can I borrow it first?' style present) must be excluded, mustn't it?

What are my WIPs this week?
Having completed my Spring Granny Square blanket, my hook lies empty for a while. I hav eplans for it, but I haven't got any hooky goodness immediately lined up. I'm seeking out a large square of linen that I know I had to start my embroidery plans, and I've begun sketching up drafts of the first project. Next week I should have something more definite to show you.

Any Other Business?
I have a letter to write as part of a letter swap organised by Helen at I Will Bloom. I have loads of plain and decorated stationery from my younger days, so I just need to sit down, gather my thoughts and decide what to put on to paper. I need to post it in the next couple of days, so it should have gone by next week.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Publish and be damned?

Not at all a question to do with pretty homemaking, crochet or anything sensible, but a question I find myself trying to answer; after the murders in Paris last week and the massive march and supportive, journo-centric coverage of the march across many news channels this weekend, how come when Charlie Hebdo decides that a cartoon (quite a nice cartoon, not scary or vile or malicious) of Mohammed is their cover of choice and the only justifiable response to the challenge on free speech....
How come when the cover is a big news story, the news channels are censoring themselves and not showing the cover? Even with a disclaimer or a warning that images will offend? Are they saying yes to free speech and the right to offend and be offended (like the march said) but not doing free speech and the right to offend? The cartoon isn't illegal, it's not blasphemously against the law, because there are no blasphemy laws. It's a cartoon. A picture. Just like any one of many I've seen that poke fun at or make you think about a person, cause or belief.

Your decision;

A. Publish and be damned
B. Publish on the website and refer those who are interested that way
C. Talk about the cover, describe it but don't put it into the public domain because it could offend. (even if you happily publish material that could offend others?)

I know this isn't a typical blog community question, but then fortunately Wednesday doesn't happen every day. Leave your vote below, with or without explanation. (preferably with, because I like knowing what you think)

Monday, 12 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday

Joining in At Home With Mrs M.

Second week of January already! Who knew the time could go so fast?

Monday; Meatballs and Mash. I'm out at the WI nearly every Monday for one reason or another, so it has to be quick and easy. Meatballs and mash with peas and gravy makes me think I've been to Ikea even if I haven't been near!

Tuesday; Chilli Beef Noodles with stir fry cabbage. The mince gets browned off with a teaspoon of chilli powder, the noodles get fried with the beef in the wok and the cabbage gets a flash fry afterwards. Another fast meal tonight; school choir has started and any prep time I had has gone!!

Wednesday; Corned Beef Hash. It's such a basic meal, economical and so easy to make.

Thursday; Chicken Traybake. I used advice from Jamie Oliver and Nigella, but really this is a chuck it in and just let it get on with it meal. Chicken pieces, chorizo, red peppers, cherry tomatoes all baked together for an hour and served with fluffy basmati rice. Yum.

Friday; Fish and Chips.Probably frozen from  Aldi, unless I'm feeling flush in which case the Abbey Fryer around the corner can have my business.

Saturday; A Meal out. Whoo Hoo! A night off; I am so pleased! I don't know where and what I'm having but.... whoo hoo!

Sunday; A Day that is undecided. Don't know yet.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Ta Dah! First project of 2015 finished!!

Today is a glorious sunny morning. So sunny that getting a decent photo free from extreme black shadow is quite difficult. See the shadow? That's me taking the shot.

 This is my Spring Granny square blanket. I started it back in May.  When I knew the summer was coming and didn't want to be sat doing nothing all summer.

  It's made from Stylecraft special DK, in a mixed Attic 24 pack from Wool Warehouse. It sat on my knee during the summer time, as I created my Hygge spot outside. My poor Hygge spot has suffered in the gale force wind. I am desolate.

It travelled to Wales with me in its own little suitcase. Small squares, just right for the summer holidays when a large blanket is just too heavy and hot to work on.

  I have enjoyed working the squares, and sewing in the ends and joining by sewing as I go along. Watching the work grow was fun. Of course, can I find any shots of the work in progress? No. But I grabbed my chance this week to get as many squares as I could done.

 The original plan was to make a blanket 10 by 20 squares in dimension. It's actually only 10 by 14, but that's good. It's big enough to cover my feet but not my shoulders, leaving my arms free to work on the next project.

And the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that I had the time/energy/had overmade enough squares to make a matching cushion. This was last night's hooky fun. 9 spare squares, joined and bordered all around with a couple of coordinating rows, and backed with pink/green stripes.
The border matches the throw, being a simple dc row of green then an alternate dc stitches row of pink topped with the alternate alternate stitches of green. Very easy, quick, simple and restrained. They sit on my making chair, and I'm happy.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Night At The Museum 3; Film On Friday

We were given some Tesco vouchers from a relative that gave us a free cinema trip so last Friday we took advantage of the last weekday of the Christmas holidays to go to Night at the Museum 3; Secrets of the Tomb.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) Poster

It's only rated as a PG, which explained why we were, once again, the only family minus a child under 10, but it was a whole family choice. We have seen and enjoyed both 1 and 2, and the lads saw the trailer and said that, since this would be the last film in the series and (with added pathos) the last Robin Williams film we would probably see at the cinema, then it would be a fitting thing to see.

The basic premise follows on from 1 and 2. that a tablet of gold discovered with an ancient egyptian tomb has the power to bring everything in the museum to life. However, the tablet has a nasty case of greenitus and things are going bad for the museum. They decide to send it to the British Museum where the Egyptian Pharaoh's Dad's mummy and Mummy's mummy are kept so that they can lend their experience to the problem. Does it get sorted?  I'm not going to say; only that it was an enjoyable romp, with no real peril, but plenty of pathos. Robin Williams put in a performance that, with hindsight, is tinged with sadness. "Let us go, Larry. Our time is up." had me welling up with tears. And Lancelot played by Dan Stevens is a fun character.
There are some cute cameos by Hugh Jackman and a 93 year old Mickey Rooney, and as much madcap capers as the storyline can support. We really enjoyed the Trafalgar Square lions coming to life and chasing a torch light, as well as other mythological and ancient statuary that causes amusement and peril in equal measure.

All in all a fitting end to a series that we as a family have enjoyed. We'll look out for it on Sky rather than buy the DVD, but we'll watch it when it is on.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Wednesday Wind up....

No, not really a wind up as in to make you cross, but a winding up of the bits of my life. I wanted to have a nice alliterative name, and finding things that make sense can be hard. Wednesday wound up? Wednesday with bells on? Midweek mash? Made up midweek mischief? I don't know; all ideas gratefully received!

So,, onto  my wind up; Questions, then answers. Nice easy list entry. I don't do a lot of these. Perhaps I'm getting lazy.

What am I reading this week?
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. It's the new Poirot. Mr AJ got it for Christmas, but as it's on Kindle I can read it now and still leave him with his own copy!

After that I have to read The Light Between Oceans by M L Steadman for the WI bookclub a week on Monday. I will post reviews of both books on Jo's Books, I hope!

What have I watched this week?
 Broadchurch series 2; the first episode was Monday. We watched the first series last year and were hooked. I quite like the bearded David Tennant, and Olivia Coleman is so good I could watch her reading the telephone book! This new series is a big weird, it seems to be taking the story from last time, twisting it and adding a whole back story that needs to be uncovered.
We finished (last Friday) the second series of House of Cards. I love this programme like a shark loves blood. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright star as a modern day Macbeth and Mrs Macbeth and they are so.... devious, scheming, twisted.... I love the way Spacey looks at the audience and makes such Shakespearean comments. Very Richard III (I don't think Macbeth is big on 4th wall breaking in the same way!) Series 3 is due to go on Netflicks on Valentine's Day, but we shall save our hard earned pennies and buy the boxset as soon as possible and save for a holiday or a TV taste free zone (like Christmas!)

Where have I been this week?
Chester.... does that count? Or work? Church? This week is a quiet week travel wise. We booked a holiday to London during Easter; can I count that as going somewhere? Hang it all, I'm writing the rules. In my dreams I've been to London and I am so looking forward to going again!

How's my spending this week gone?
It's Wednesday and so far, apart from a business lunch on Monday with Mr AJ I have NOT spent anything. No Amazon, no nothing. Hopefully January can pass in a blur of penny free fun! I have a question, though; if I were (am) going away to Durham for a weekend, can I pause my spending fast to allow for coffee and a magazine as a treat or should I be strong?

What are my WIPs this week? (Wednesday Wip-up?)
I'm working still on my granny square blanket. Yes, I know, it has taken me ages. My spring blanket may well eventually be finished for spring (2016). And I've been organising another crafty interlude; winding embroidery floss around small card holders cut from Christmas cards. Very therapeutic, but safe way to store the floss so that it doesn't get all wound together and untidy. I want to get some embroidery done this week as well. I've been posting on a new Pinterest board (if you want to meet me on Pinterest I'm there as Jo Kneale) and I have a few ideas; I just need the time to settle on my first wip, get a needle threaded and to start the stitching!

Any Other Business
No. I'm back working again, so time flies by. Happily, I enjoy work, so time flies happily.