Sunday, 5 January 2014

Let the challenges begin

So Christmas is over for another year and some of us have already returned to work following the Christmas break.  I have been fortunate to have had two weeks away from my desk, a time to spend with family and a time to re- charge my batteries.  In my last post I talked about the challenges I have set myself for this year and as today is my last day of R & R before I return to work tomorrow I thought I best get started with my challenges.

Challenge One - To watch an old film
at least one per month.

Challenge One is to watch an old film at least one per month.  I started with 'The Story of Esther Costello' (1957).  I remembered watching this film over 30 years ago.  It tells the story of Esther Costello who after an explosion is left unable to hear or see.  She is taken under the wing of  Margaret Landi played by Joan Crawford, and with a lot of love and care is taught to communicate using sign language. The Esther Costello Foundation is soon created and monies come flooding in to help other deaf, blind children. What starts out to be in aid of a good cause soon becomes of  interest to Ms Landi's philanthropist husband. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Monsarrat published in 1953 and again in 2011.

Challenge Two - To read a book
we had to read at school and didn't
necessarily enjoy.
Challenge Two - Is to read a book we had to read at school.  Most of which I didn't enjoy at the time and so I am hoping that some 35 years on that with age I will appreciate them more, although I think I may struggle with my nemesis 'Lord of the Flies'.  But to begin with I decided to go for Harper Lee's  'To Kill A Mocking Bird' 

I am now half way through and I can report I am really enjoying this book so I'm hoping that will bode well for my future readings. 

Challenge Three - Innocence Big Knits
for Age UK 2014
Challenge Three - Is to take part in the Innocence Big Knit for Age UK 2014.  I have challenged myself to make at least two per month. So far I have been able to make a good start by making 10. The photo is when I had knitted the first seven.
Challenge Four - To make at least one
Poppy per week for this years Remembrance

Challenge Four will be to make at least one Poppy per week in readiness for this years remembrance day and this year will also mark the centenary of the beginning of the first world war.

Challenge Five - To read 13 of the 26 books
currently on my
'to be read shelf' by the end of June.

Challenge Five my final challenge will be to work my way through my 'Yet to be read' shelf of books which currently has 26 books residing on it.  I have challenged myself to read at least 13 of them by the end of June.
From this selection I have started reading Kate Morton's 'The Secret Keeper'. I won't go into what this one is about until I have finished it and will add to my blog Tea & Biscuits & a Good Book.
And finally I have started a new project for 2014.  There will be in excess of 300 squares in this blanket and later in the year I will let you know who this is going to be for.  At the moment it is a secret.....

So there we are a New Year and my challenges have begun.
What challenges or resolutions have you set for yourself for 2014.

Have a good week one and all



  1. It's only the 6th today, you've made a great start with your challenges. I've never heard of The Story of Esther Costello, it sounds interesting. I read To Kill a Mockingbird for my English O Level and have seen the film many times since, it was one of the books I really loved reading at school. Your squares are really pretty, you've got me wondering who the blanket will be for.

    1. Well now I have my challenge it means I will just have to acquire more films my challenge is to watch at least one a month which means I can watch more than one:-) should I find a spare hour or two. I'm loving To Kill A Mocking Bird. I have seen the film and not for a while I'm down to the last 45 pages now but can't for the life of me remember the eventual outcome.

  2. I've never heard of the film either... but it sounds like a really good one to chase down. On the whole I vastly prefer old films to the modern ones. I particularly dislike American films where the actors do nothing but shout at each other (my husband calls them action adventures!!!).
    I hope your return to work went OK. Jx

    1. I've always loved old films and now I have a good excuse to watch them again. Unlike today when you get to see everything and I mean everything in these old films if something happens that is left to the imagination you get a view of a clock or a window flies open and wind and rain crash in, such was the innocence of the day. Hope you're first day back went ok too. Mine just left me feeling as if I'd never been away and not in a good way:-)

  3. Hello and Happy New year to you and yours! Good challenges! I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird in school and Lord of the flies then we would get to watch the films. In school I had to read Steinbeck and Dickens as well. Did you?

  4. I don't remember reading Steinbeck at school but 2 of mine had Of Mice & Men for their GCSE. I have the DVD of To Kill A Mocking Bird but haven't watched it for a while. I have about 45 pages to go on the book now but for the life of me I can't remember what the outcome was so I'm looking forward to getting to the end, then I will be able to watch the film again. I have just popped over to your blog and boy am I in trouble now. Had a quick look at the Woolwarehouse for the drops wool you made your hat out of and it's gorgeous. I already have idea's whizzing around in my head as to what I could make with some of that.....

  5. Hello and a Happy new year! I love old films especially musicals. I think I will get some of these out of the library. I have lots of books on my shelf that I intend to read in between library book reservations. I've enjoyed Kate Morton books in the past and have one on my 'to be read' pile.

  6. Happy New Year to you too. I did have musicals in mind for this years challenge but decided to go for the old black & whites but musicals could always be next years challenge... I'm enjoying the Kate Morton book it's split into different characters that all have a common bond and it's certainly a can't put it down book if this one is anything to go by I would read more of her books. I completed To Kill A Mocking Bird yesterday so I can really get on with The Secret Keeper now and I can feel the build up to a good ending and get the impression there will be a good twist at the end not sure what that's going to be yet though.