Saturday, 1 February 2014

Challenge Update - January 2014

I cannot believe we are at the end of January already where have those weeks gone.  January has seen two birthdays in our family.  Mine was at the beginning of the month and number one son turned 26 (yes 26 how old does that make me feel) last week.

As we have reached the end of the first month of 2014 I thought I better give you an update on my challenges for 2014.

Challenge One - Watch at least one old film per month.

Esther has been deaf and blind since an accident which killed her mother. Wealthy Margaret Landi originally from the village of Cloncraig in Ireland is persuaded to help educate and look for a cure for Esther. Margaret Landi grows fond of Esther and loves her like a daughter. Esther's innocence leaves her threatened by sleazy promoters and by Ms. Landi's sleazy ex-husband.  Margaret Landi starts a charity to help children like Esther. Carlo Landi gets to know of this charitable work and see's an opportunity to exploit the good work of his estranged wife. He convinces her to give their marriage another go and in doing so seizes his chance to embezzle a fortune from the charity, On realizing what has happened Ms. Landi decides she has to do something to stop him whilst making sure that Esther is protected.  The film is based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Monsarrat.  I have not read the book so don't know how true to the novel the film is. This is a film I remember watching many years ago and could vaguely remember the plot so it was nice to find it on UTube. I was surprised to see a young Wilfred Bramble and Sid James as two of the characters.

Directed by David Miller
Starred Joan Crawford, Rossano Brazzi and Heather Sears
Released November 1957

Challenge Two - is to re-read/read a book that we had to read at school.

I have seen the film 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' but I had never read the book and wasn't sure how true to the Harper Lee novel the film was.  I decided that I would make this the first book for this challenge.  The story for anyone who doesn't know is about Atticus Finch and his two children Jean Louise (known as Scout) and Jeremy (known as Jem). The book is divided into two parts. In the first part you learn about Atticus and his children and their lives together. Atticus is a lawyer and you briefly get to here of the types of cases and people he defends.  In this instance he is going defend a coloured man Tom Robinson who is accused of raping a white women.  In part two you learn more of the circumstances around the case and the court hearing.  Although as is most cases you get more in the novel, the film has stayed very close to the original story.  I am really pleased I made this my January read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was most definitely a book I couldn't put down and a great start to my challenge.

Challenge Three - by Christmas 2013 I had 26 books still waiting to be read on my bookshelf. So my third challenge is to have read at least half by the end of June.

 I am very pleased to report that I have managed to read three books off my to be read shelf this month and I am currently reading my fourth. You can find out what I thought of these three on my Tea and Biscuits and a Good

Challenge Four - Innocence Big Knit Challenge 2014

I had challenged myself to make 2 per month. I have been able to make a good start and have twenty little hats ready and waiting to go to the campaign this year.  Thanks to the awful weather I have been spending quite a lot of my time in my den or watching the TV which has enabled me to get a head start on my hats.  I envisage that as the weather gets better (if it in deed does) that I will be out and about or in the garden so whilst I have the opportunity I am making the most of the time and making up as many of these little beauties as I can.  They are just so cute.

Challenge Five - last year I helped a colleague to make up Poppies to sell in aid of Help for Heroes.  We manged to raise £85.  This year I decided to make this one of my challenges to see if we can do even better this year.  My challenge was to make one per week and so far I have made eight.

In between meeting my challenges this month I have also been finishing off a baby blanket for a little one due in the next two - three weeks.

So that's my update.

The weather appears to be doing it's worst outside again this evening, I hope you are all somewhere toastie warm preferably with a hook or needles in hand.

Have a good week one and all.



  1. That's a great start to your challenges. I really enjoyed reading To Kill A Mockingbird at school, though I've never reread it. I've enjoyed the film since though. I bet you're going to make a great amount of money with your poppies this year, getting a head start with them is a really good idea.

    1. I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading it and I loved the film which I had watched numerous times. I'm hoping the poppies will go well again this year. We already have £10 in the kitty from people who missed them last year but went on to order one in readiness for this year. I see you are doing well with your little hats and I've seen several places now that sell the little pom poms you bought to pop on the tops.

  2. Well the upside to the bad weather is you have certainly been able to get well stuck into your challenges. Never heard of that movie you watched!
    I would love to buy one of your poppies when they are ready to sell.
    We read KM House at Riverton last year in our book club.
    Lisa x

    1. The weather is better today but bitterly cold. This film was one I had a vague memory of but had to go searching to find out what it was called and by chance found the full movie on YouTube, I'm so behind with the times that I didn't realise you could find and watch films on there. I have seen the House at Riverton in our local Waterstones and it looks very good. I have added to my list for after I have whittled down my to be reads a bit further, Thank you for your comment on my Poppies. They are ready when anybody would like one. Last year we sold them for £2.50 each and all proceeds went to Help the Heroes.