Model Meme

The latest Boden and Wrap catalogues dropped through my letterbox last week. For wearability Wrap wins hands down. Boden clothes are pretty and fun, but definitely designed for the svelter women among us. Nearly all their skirts and dresses are knee length or shorter, which doesn’t suit me very well. And I wish that just one time, a clothing catalogue would take one or two items of clothing, and have a spread where they show that one piece on a variety of shapes and sizes, just so that you can see what it might look like on you. Never mind, I thoroughly enjoyed the catalogue, it’s always very entertaining to read through. And I’m going to steal their model meme, as I did last year, for my blog. For the next ten minutes, I’m a Boden model.

Best compliment: that I’m good at what I do.

White, milk, or dark chocolate: dark. But I can live without chocolate quite happily.

My favourite building: my lovely little house.

Daffodils or crocuses: daffodils. If I could, I’d have huge bunches of them all over the house when they are in bloom.

Least favourite childhood dinner: fish with parsley sauce. Bleugh. And runner beans.

My geekiest attribute: liking to have things in round numbers. Like the blog list on Bloglines, can’t be 21 blogs, has to be 20. Or 25.

‘It’ bag or statement necklace: neither really. I’m a shoes gal.

I’m beginning to think I’m allergic to: winter.

Shower or bath: shower. Baths make me tired.

I couldn’t possibly eat: Black pudding.

People mistakenly think: that I’m strong and super confident. Or maybe I am, and its me that mistakenly thinks that I’m not!

Favourite takeaway: Chinese.

Best thing about the 21st century: the World Wide Web.

Greatest athletic feat: being able to do a very respectable Swan Dive in Pilates.

How would you describe your personal style: patchy. When I dress up, I dress UP. The rest of the time I’m a scruffy slob.

Left or right side of the bed: whichever side’s furthest from the door.

When I retire I will definitely: spin and knit all day long.

Favourite grownup toy: my camera.

Earliest memory: falling down a flight of stairs, and not being even a little bit hurt.

Do you have a life mantra: this too shall pass.

How do you celebrate the end of Winter: shave my legs, lol.

Habit I have inherited from my mother: giving dirty looks to people who annoy me.

What’s your advice on fake tan: learn to be happy pale.

Five A Day

I recently discovered the website Mindapples. The idea behind it is that, just as for physical health and wellbeing we are encouraged to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and veg a day, we should try to incorporate five activities into our day that encourages good mental health and wellbeing. What a wonderfully simple, but effective, idea. One that all of us should embrace, whether as prevention or as part of a cure. To spread the word, bloggers are encouraged to do a kind of meme, mentioning the five things that they do each day for their mental health. I’m not going to nominate anyone in particular to join in, but if you do have a blog, it would be lovely if you participated. This can be a particularly difficult time of year for those who struggle with depression/anxiety and other mental health problems, so it’s a good time of year to exchange ideas.

Ok, my five things. Nothing very earth shattering, just a few basic things that I’ve learned are essential for my mental health and wellbeing.

  • Eat sensibly. For me, this means eating regular meals, and making sure that each meal gives my brain the nutrients it needs to be healthy – protein, good fat, complex carbs, plenty of vitamins and minerals from fresh produce. I avoid caffeine, because it makes me feel very jittery, and I don’t have alcohol that often either. I’ve found that there is a direct relation (for me) between what I eat and how well I sleep, which in turn affects my mood.
  • Pilates. Ok, I’m cheating a bit here, because I don’t do Pilates every day, I do it 3 times a week. But I wish I could fit it in every day. I always walk away from class feeling 100 times better than when I went in. It makes my overly tense body uncoil, and I get a real endorphin rush from it too. On the days when I don’t have a class, I try to do fifteen minutes of stretching exercises in the evening, to help my body unwind from the day. 
  • Do something creative every day. Take some photographs, knit, write a more personal blog entry, anything that switches off the analytical side of my brain and focuses on the creative side. Even for ten minutes.
  • Stop labelling others by their appearance. She’s fat, he’s short, she’s got ugly hair, he’s got a big nose. If we do it when we look at others, we do it when we look at ourselves. Now this is a tough one for us women. We don’t like to think that we’re this shallow, but hands up how many of us have seen an old school friend or someone we haven’t seen for a while, and immediately thought, “they’ve put on weight! and they look so much older!” From which it’s a small step to,  “I’m sure I’m thinner/younger looking than them.” And an even smaller step to, “I’m the fattest one in the room.” Not good for the self esteem.   
  • Keep a tidy house. This is a very personal one; it may not bother a lot of people to have a messy house, but it really bothers me. My spirit gets all rumpled up when the house is untidy/dirty. But it’s a bit of a Catch 22, because when I’m stressed, things tend to pile up, and then I feel all overwhelmed and where do I start? When it gets like that, I try not to think of the long list of chores to be done, instead I think, “Just do one thing.” Just one thing. No matter how bad you feel, you can manage one job, the washing up, clean the bath, tidy the living room, do a load of laundry. Just that one thing makes me feel so much better that I can usually manage one more. Another tip I read on Ravelry, but haven’t tried yet, is to set a 20 minute timer, and work madly for that 20 minutes, then stop. It’s only a short time, not too daunting, but you can get a lot done in 20 minutes.

So, there’s my five. Now it’s your turn. 

The Big Read

I know this meme has been floating around forever, but I spotted it on the lovely Claire’s blog, and since I’ve been sorting out all my books over the last week, it seemed like a good time to do it. As a quick aside, I’m reading Wildwood by Roger Deakin at the moment, and can highly recommend it.

Ok, here goes. You have to look at the list and put in bold the books you have read. Then underline those that you intend to read. Finally italicise the books you LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Thirty. Not bad!! How about you?

If I Wasn’t Me…..

Do you ever play this game? If I wasn’t me, I’d be…… Feel free to join in!

If I wasn’t me, I’d be………..

Called….. Poppy

Dressed….. boho casual, with a scarf around my head and bare feet

Working….. as a baker with my own little cake shop

Living….. in a quirky little apartment in New York

Having fun….. shopping at flea markets, drinking coffee in sidealk cafes, going to poetry readings  

Planning….. to take a year off and drive through every state in the US

Dreaming….. of writing a book chronicling my trip, which I would hand illustrate

Remembering….. my year in Paris, training as a pastry chef

Thinking….. that love makes the world go round

Your turn!

One Word

I have had a very hectic weekend – lovely, but hectic. I’ve got so much to catch up on today, not the least of which are all your mitten kit orders – YAY!! – so I was in just the right mood for a meme when I saw one on my lovely friend Sarah’s blog……

Where is your mobile phone? Non-existent
Where is your significant other? Lounging
Your hair color? Platinum
Your mother? Nutty!
Your father? Missed
Your favourite thing? Ravelry
Your dream last night? Forgotten
Your dream goal? Reconciliation
The room you’re in? Quiet
Your hobby? Knitting, duh!
Your fear? Fear
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Paradise!
Where were you last night? Snoozing
What you’re not? Brave
One of your wish-list items? Dishwasher
Where you grew up? Books
The last thing you did? Eat
What are you wearing? Pyjamas
Your TV? Recorded
Your pets? Entertaining
Your computer? Necessary
Your mood? Excited
Missing someone? No
Your car? Tony’s!
Something you’re not wearing? Makeup
Favourite shop? Borders
Your summer? Ha!!
Love someone? Yep
Your favourite color? Red
When is the last time you laughed? Today
When is the last time you cried? Today