Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Do You Know Your Aurora Borealis from Your Elbow? Transun Competition

Sometimes I get to thinking ... you know when you are staring out of the window and your mind goes of to distant places and far reaches of this amazing planet... Then the phone will ring and I am swiftly catapulted back to my kitchen and all things housework!

Transun are running a rather amazing competition; to win a trip to see the Northern Lights no less! Now this is a phenomena that I have always wanted to witness and to show my son, I know it is a natural occurrence when .. now is it magnetised protons and things hit the thermosphere in the upper atmosphere?
I prefer to think of it as something magical, like a portal or time machine ... but I'm eccentric (and proud) probably because I LOVE this movie and if you haven't seen it WATCH it! If only for the gorgeous Jim Caviezel: Frequency


 So for this awesome giveaway bloggers are being asked to write about their top three travel destinations bucket list, Easy! I thought but when sat and started thinking about the 3 most desirable places for me to toddle off to, it is really hard as there are so many!

I have however narrowed them down so here goes:


As I am such a movie and book fanatic in the style of any good award ceremony in reverse order;

3. Transylvania and the Dracula Trail!

It just has to be seen:

Bran Castle

I am a huge horror fan and all things of the pointy teeth variety, give me Gary Oldman in a top hat any day!
Romania boasts such history and architectural excellence that Evan and I would probably never want to leave! There are various tours you can take part in that encompass Vlad the Impaler and his deviant practises, abodes and his final resting place..







        
Gary in a top hat.....yum       



                                                           
Vlad - Kebab King....Not so much!

The country is just spectacular with such variances of weather and views to take your breath away!




2.

Bahrain

Evan's Grandparents moved to Kuwait when Ev was 5 so he very rarely gets to see them. Since then they have lived in various countries but have now settled in Manama. I would love to take him just so he can experience the culture and the differences from here.

They have a pool in their garden so he is desperate to visit (doesn't take much to make him happy!) but it truly would be an experience!


Nanny GG & Grandad Mark!


Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan


Drum roll for last but not least ... THE number 1 destination on my bucket list is......

South Africa -  the coast from the village of Gansbaai

Daaaaaa Dum

Daaaaaaa Dum!

say CHEESE!

Do you floss?

Yes, you've guessed it, my number 1 would be shark diving off the coast and has been since I was 5 years old and saw the film:



It must be my darker half that wants to do this and seeing as I cannot swim, is slightly bizarre BUT I will get to do this one day!

Sharks aside though what an amazing country!



So there you have it, my top three only just beating the Paris Catacombs, Florence, Salem and The Lord of the Rings set in New Zealand!

Not your run of the mill choices but hey who ever said that being run of the mill is interesting?  

Why not have a go yourself and share your choices. You can find all the competition details HERE
and whilst you are there check out some of Transun's amazing deals and really interesting blog!

I shall see you on a jet plane sometime....

Song for this POST


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Revolution by Russell Brand - Book Review

"I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody is out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. 

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. 

It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' 

So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: 

"I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
                                                                                               -Howard Beale 'Network' 1976




Hard to believe that was written almost 40 years ago isn't it? I could have written that this morning and it would have been timely and just as accurate.

I bought Revolution ages ago but with the impending Zombie apocalypse; I thought I was best off equipping myself like some Dorset equivalent to Linda Hamilton in Terminator and read any rancid, viral, infected pages that fell into my lap first!

BUT as it is of course election day in 11 days the book was calling me from my pile of unread goodness and Thursday I started to read.... today it is complete.




If like me you are a fan of Mr Brand then you can hear him narrating as you turn the pages, the Dickensian-Essex twang exuding from each paragraph. This however is not your average stand -up/personality/celeb biography or crappy attempt at fiction, nope this is a throw open your window and shout I'm NOT going to take this anymore!" at Mrs Parsons whilst she's hanging out her husbands rather yellowy Y fronts on her line - type of book, and a rather bloody good book it is to!

I started reading it Thursday in the sunshine, sat outside a hospital whilst waiting for a friend to have a procedure, I intended to read for 10 minutes until the cafe opened but an hour later I realised I was late getting back to her, so I had to swiftly leave my sun-soaked corner of grass, probably much to the relief of the BT men who must have wondered from where I had escaped as I sat laughing sporadically at the written hilarity on my lap.

I then continued and finished it in bed last night. It really is a book I feel about contentment - something I have always had an issue with (grass is always greener and all that) attainment and peace; with yourself and your immediate environment. About community, friendship, belonging and faith. Yes! I was quite shocked in a positive way to read that Russell admits to believing in God.
I believe in God too, I don't know WHAT God, he doesn't have a beard or sit on a cloud but I do believe in something... I believe there is more, more than this crap we are putting up with.

So with the BIG ONE looming... It is a very important election, one I feel could have been made more interesting had there been somebody....anybody...... Bueller.... with Clout! Gumption! Charisma! Somebody with a realistic view on life as it is, not Etonian boys club elitism that we get all the time.
Somebody that will ANSWER a question, not bypass it or ignore it or answer it with well documented spin...
BUT there isn't anybody...

RIP Lord Sutch

Russell..I know you want us to vote 'None of the above' but damn it you should have run for election, I'd vote for you...but then I can't resist a man in tight black jeans and a white shirt...

Sorry totally off topic!

If you want to laugh, want to think (and BOY! this book makes you think) or you just want to know how to handle a Buddhist at an airport - then grab a copy of this book. It isn't going to cause riots on the streets or change the political landscape but it does have the power to make you want to change - maybe yourself or maybe something bigger and as a collective voice we all then get the power. I don't agree with not using your vote as so many nations do not have that freedom. I do however agree with voting wisely - this year more than ever.

I would like to see this book on reading lists in schools, but I would also like to see more about the Suffragette movement taught too! See 2 days in the company of Mr Brand and I'm Education Minister.... !

Viva la Revolucion!


“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” 

                                                                                       - Thomas Jefferson 1816

Song for this POST

Friday, 10 April 2015

Book Review - The Girl in 6E

The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden #1) by A.R Torre

I am not into spoilers so don't worry if you haven't read this book yet, I won't be giving anything away!

I won this book along with loads more from Orion books on Instagram for a 'Anti-Valentines' competition; Anti-love, murder, mayhem .... just say books with BITE!



I entered the comp because the cover of this book and the title sparked something, if you read you know what I mean!
I briefly read the puff on the back and didn't really take it in so I wasn't really aware what the story basis was.

There have been a wave in recent years where the female lead characters seem to really annoy me (probably more in the film adaptions than the actual books) they are insipid and dull, even though they can fight and/or are supposedly strong they almost seem catatonic when it comes to speaking out or faced with a hot male story counterpart! (I'm thinking Bella or Katniss) This girl is exactly the opposite, she is interesting, opinionated and has more issues than National Geographic!

The story revolves around the female character; Deanna Madden; and what she does in her apartment and more importantly why she is imposing this self inflicted imprisonment to the point of almost orchestrated agoraphobia!
Not wanting to mix with any other living person it demonstrates how hard it really is to avoid all human contact which causes untold turmoil for all those involved.

The book is so well written, very fresh and very relevant in today's world.

The chapters dedicate themselves to different characters' perspectives of the situation that is evolving and it works really well.

The last 3 chapters just started me wanting the next book and for the lead to come back as some type of twisted, vengeful superhero - she is NOT your run of the mill caped crusader that is for sure!

I didn't read 50 Shades - well actually I read 4 pages in Rock n Roll Mum's toilet where she had confiscated it in case they ran out of toilet tissue I presume! It was awful, if I am not grabbed in those first few pages it is VERY rare I ever try again.
I also know there is far better written erotic fiction FREE on the net so you really didn't have to buy into the hype.
This book delves into the world of camming and the role it plays in today's society for good or bad, and it really makes you think.
If you are shocked by explicit content this book may not be for you but it is necessary to the story, well written and in context - so you can get over that to enjoy the story as a whole!

I loved it, and was thrilled to see the ad in the back for the next book due out July this year.

A R Torre is brilliant!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How Would My Garden Grow ....

......with a Debenhams' Garden Party!

I love gardening, which helps seeing as I have a huge garden. I was born and raised here, I pulled carrots with my Dad on warm summer Sunday mornings, ate ripe strawberries straight from the plant, had plenty of water fights, dens and tent making holidays within these hedges and in later years sunbathing on my tin foil bed, covered in Ambre Solaire oil (factor 0-2) most often resembling this:



So now it is my turn to reinvent this garden and last year I spent spring doing the front garden, digging up an old lawn, 70 year old pampas grass and digging in borders. I watched YouTube videos on how to lay turf and then did it! I planted purple and blue flowers all along the pathways and paved a hard standing for all the recycling bins! It was a long task but looks great now and I am really happy with it....
Now for the other 5 BIGGER areas!

So my next project and this Spring/Summer task is to make my magical garden.

I am turning this:






into a garden fit for these:



So it needs to be special and have a wonderful fairy/Hobbit/Magical feel!

Debenhams have set an Easter challenge to bloggers to come up with a mood board that incorporates at least 5 favourite pieces from their Garden range.

So here is my board, I am keeping up with my theme of magic by incorporating butterflies and earthy, magical shapes like the Apple from Snow White being the beautiful day bed or the Golden egg being represented by the hanging chair... well at least that is how I HOPE it comes across!






Clockwise from left

Set of four pink beaded flower coasters

Debenhams Taupe and cream 'Elizabeth' 2.7m parasol

La Hacienda Garden mirror

Debenhams Brown hanging chair

Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson - Designer plastic pink tumbler

Designer medium purple butterfly wall decoration

Grey Outdoor Cfl Illuminated Decorative Ball Light

Debenhams Brown 'LA Apple' outdoor daybed

Debenhams Brown 'LA Rio' corner unit

Landmann Moon and stars firepit

So there it is my magical mood board complete with Cauldron and Magic Mirror!

The last piece which I am giving a special mention to is the cushion by designer Laura Oakes who is visually just SO exciting!
It gives such great colour so I would have to have loads of her cushions all over!

So why not have a go yourself or if I have made you feel inspired nip on over to http://www.debenhams.com/ and have a wander around, the famous Blue Cross sale is on so you can save loads too!

This is my entry for the Easter Blogger competition win a garden party set worth 1500!

Song for this post : HERE