Saturday, 31 May 2014

May 2014 - Challenge Update

Challenge One - This months film was 'A Stolen Life' starring Bette Davis and Glenn Ford

Challenge Two - My return to school read - 'Animal Farm'  George Orwell

When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr. Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. 

Challenge Three - hats, hats and more hats for the BIG KNIT 

Challenge Four - Poppies, Poppies and more Poppies

Challenge Five - to read 13 books from my yet to be read shelf by the end of June.

Product Details

Two mothers must face their darkest fears. Will the truth destroy them, or can it set them free?

Carrie's life collapses when her five-year old son, Charlie, disappears on a Norfolk beach. She turns her life inside out to find out what happened but nothing prepares her for the most shocking discovery.  

Molly is desperate to protect her young son, Max, from his estranged father - a violent and unstable man. She can't do it alone, and time is running out for help to reach them.

Carrie and Molly's lives are about to collide - but will their love for their children have the power to heal?

Having read 'Moab is my Washpot' I continued to learn more about Stephen Fry and his life up to the age of 30 in reading 'The Fry Chronicles'.   The Chronicles leads you through his life at University, his longstanding friendship with Hugh Laurie and  Emma Thompson to name but two. You will get to know the man behind the stage show 'Me & My Girl'. You will also get to read about the high and lows of Stephen Fry's life that will leave you wanting to know what has happened in the next 20 years of his existence.  Well I believe there is another installment to come very soon.  

'The Fry Chronicles' is my 13th and final book from my 'Yet to be read from the bookshelf' challenge. There are of course still a number of books still left on the shelf and therefore having completed part one of this challenge I think part two will be to see how many more of the books currently residing on the to be read bookshelf can be completed before the end of the year. 


Monday, 26 May 2014

10 Things that make me happy

Having read Kate Eastwoods blog Justpootling about the 10 things that make her happy, it got me to thinking about the 10 things that have made me happy lately.

Thing 1

White and Yellow Roses one of my favorite flowers.
White Roses always reminds me of my mum who passed away nearly 24 years ago now. 
The Yellow Roses remind me of my friends mum Georgina who was always like my second mum right up until she passed away nearly 4 years ago.. 

Thing 2

At the beginning of the year I set myself five challenges. 
Challenge number 5 
To read 13 books from my yet to be read bookshelf by the end of June 2014.

So this is a bit of a Ta Dah moment as I have now completed 
number 13 The Fry Chronicles - by Stephen Fry 
thus completing this challenge a month a head of schedule.

Thing 3

is to tick of another book from school revisited challenge.

Thing 4

Is to see the first Poppy open in the garden

Thing 5

Is my new bird bath.

He is called the Tree Hugger by Aston Garden Ornaments.

D thinks he's the ugliest thing he's ever seen.  

Well he might not be the most handsome but he's definitely my cup of tea as far as little off the wall and quirky goes.

I absolutely love him


Thing 6

My new addition to my dragon family.

He reminds me of one of mine when they were little and didn't want to do something.

'I don't want to and you can't make me'

Thing 7

My new wind chime for my den.
In the days before The Willows we lived for 3 years in the Wolds and regularly saw Barn Owls 
Tawny Owls
It's much flatter where we are in the fens and not so many trees and so to see a Barn Owl is a rarity and I've only ever heard a Tawny owl since we moved here but not seen any in the five years we have been here.

I have been looking for a Wind Chime since the den was put up in October and I have at last found 

just the right one. The sound when the winds catches it is beautiful and of course the owl is an added bonus.

Thing 8

Has to be my beautiful 4 paws

Mr. B has been in my den with me today and was making himself very comfortable.

Look at this gorgeous boy.
He's licking his lips in anticipation of getting his treat.

and our old boy of the pack.

They have all been to the groomers this week for their short back and sides ready for the summer.

Thing 9

A very naughty but nice cake.

Thing 10

Has to be my family. 
I am so very proud of all of them and love them all so very much.

So what 10 things have made you happy lately.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

May Film of the month - A Stolen Life

I have always been a Bette Davis fan and if you're going to have a Joan Crawford film in your must see films then you have to have a Bette Davis one. I think it's like some kind of unwritten rule. I don't know whether they were the arch rivals they were always purported to be.

I have so many Bette Davis films in my collection and she could probably have had her own challenge as to which ones I thought were the best.  Everyone knows of 'Whatever happened to Baby Jane' and 'All about Eve' but I'm not so sure that everyone will know her for 'A Stolen Life' starring alongside Glenn Ford.

Kate Bosworth is a quiet unassuming women who longs to be an artist.  She goes to visit her uncle on the island for inspiration.  There she meets Bill (Glenn Ford) and of course the two become friends, unfortunately for Kate she falls in love with Bill knowing that the feelings are not mutual.

But Kate has a secret she is keeping from Bill and that is that she has a twin sister Pat.  Unlike Kate Pat is not a quiet unassuming women and likes nothing more than to be centre of attention. She also likes to ridicule Kate and just as they did when they were kids if Kate had something she held dear Pat would undoubtedly take it from her.  But where as when you are children and your sibling takes your favourite toy taking the man you are in love with just for the heck of it isn't quite the same.  And of course that is exactly what Pat does.  Bill can't help himself but fall in love with Pat and eventually they marry.  Kate is devastated but as accepts the situation and continues with her painting.  

It is whilst Bill is away on a trip to Chillie that Pat comes back to the island for a visit. She tells Kate that she is now an accomplished sailor just like her sister and loves nothing more than to be out on the water.  The sisters take the boat out on the water.  Unfortunately the weather turns against them and a storm comes in.  The two women struggle to get the boat to the safety of the lighthouse.  Just as they reach the landing a wave hits the boat and one of the sisters is washed over board.  Only one twin survives the storm. Bill rushes back from Chillie believing it is his wife that has survived when in reality it is Kate.  Poor Kate makes a decision that if Bill believes she is Pat then she will assume her identity.   Ever heard the saying 'be careful what you wish for'.  Unbeknown to Kate her sisters marriage is in serious trouble. She tries to convince Bill that they could make the marriage work if they wanted it to.  Unfortunately too much has happened and Kate soon realises her sister had wrecked her marriage.  Kate decides to leave Bill to get on with his life and returns to the island.  Of course her uncle realises straight away that this is Kate and not Pat and that it was Pat who had drowned in the storm.  I was never quite sure whether he told Bill because the closing scene is of Bill rushing back to the island and taking Kate in his arms realising this was the sister he was truly in love with after all. 

Oh I do love a happy ending don't you.


Friday, 9 May 2014

Good Friday

Not to be confused with the other Good Friday.  Today has been a very good Friday in our family.

Anyone who is going through the school placement system will know how stressful that can be whether it is for primary or secondary level.  You always want to make sure you have made the right choice for your child don't you.

We were very lucky after number 3 received his diagnosis of autism. We researched the local schools and were very fortunate to obtain a place in the best additional needs school in the Lincolnshire for children with ASD.  He has spent the last 6 years at GHS and has come on leaps and bounds thanks to the dedicated staff there.  The downside to all this is that they only cater for children up to the age of 11 years and therefore number 3 would have to move schools next year. With this in mind we had started the process of looking at whether he could transition into mainstream but very quickly decided that was not the way to go but at least we can say we had explored every possibility.  Because of the hours I work poor D has had to do the majority of the leg work visiting each of the additional needs school in the county within reach of the cottage.  He had been very taken with one particular school and at number 3's annual review put his case across for transitioning to another school other than the feeder.  After a bit of wrangling with the local education authority they agreed to send notification to the school of our choice for consideration.  Today number 3 has been for a visit and has formally been offered a place at the school of our choice. GANF takes children from 3 - 19 years and has a place for this September for year 6  so he will take up his place this year instead of transitioning next year.  He is a very excited young man I can tell you and says he has already made some friends which for an ASD child is quite an achievement in one morning. 

I have to say it is a great relief to have this sorted for him but I know the head and all her staff are going to miss him when he leaves GHS this summer.  

and why else is it a good Friday apart from the fact is in deed Friday,  well daughter who has been learning to drive these past few months has finally passed her driving test on her 3rd attempt.  She is very excited about it and very relieved. So am I let me tell you I don't think I could take the stress of her going through another test.  

Whilst she is still in Uni she won't have anywhere to park a car but for her it was something very important to get under her belt.  Like a lot of our young people they just seem to want everything now in case tomorrow never comes.  Still this may motivate number one as he still hasn't passed his driving test.  He did learn a few years ago and took his test a couple of times but failed. He then went off traveling and various other things and just hasn't got around to going back to it. But as both his younger siblings have now passed I'm thinking it may just be the incentive he needs. As he says though if you can step out of your front door and get a bus that takes you to both the nearest towns or City and not have the hassle of parking it's not necessarily on your priority list. He wants to live in our village where there is a bus once an hour and they stop running at 6 O'Clock. I would be lost without my car. 

Have a lovely weekend one & all.

Fingers crossed for Sunshine.