Sunday, 30 June 2013

June Happiness

Five things which have made me smile this month...
 
 
 
1. My free ticket into Glastonbury Festival!

Glastonbury Festival Staff Ticket
 

 
2. Meeting lots of lovely fellow bloggers at Rosalilium's Blognix event.

Birmingham Blognix Speakers



 
3. A lovely picnic with Andrew high on the Mendip Hills.

Ebbor Gorge
 

 
4. Finding lots of wonderful little blogs as part of the June Comments Challenge.
 Bonjour Blogger Comments Challenge


 
5. A farewell BBQ for our outgoing students at work - which meant an afternoon eating burgers and scoffing ice cream, and getting paid for it!

Ice Cream Van at Bath University
 



 
What little things have made you happy this month?
 
 


Saturday, 29 June 2013

Read Around the United Kingdom

So...I have an idea.
 
Andrew usually responds with 'oh no' and 'how much will it cost me?'
 
It might end up being 'oh no' but it certainly won't cost him anything.
 
I like books. I like the UK.
I wonder if I could combine the two and attempt to read my way around the UK?
 
It'll take me a good long while but I like the idea of reading one fiction book set in each of the UK's 92 historical counties - as listed on the Association of British Counties website.

Old Britain Map

 
When I've finished a book, I'll share what I've read here on the blog. 
 
 
The Full List of Counties

ENGLAND
Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Buckinghamshire
Cambridgeshire
Cheshire
Cornwall
Cumberland
Derbyshire
Devon
Dorset
Durham
Essex
Gloucestershire
Hampshire
Herefordshire
Hertfordshire
Huntingdonshire
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
Middlesex (Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt - review here)
Norfolk
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Rutland
Shropshire
Somerset
Staffordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Sussex
Warwickshire
Westmorland
Wiltshire
Worcestershire
Yorkshire

WALES
Anglesey/Sir Fon
Brecknockshire/Sir Frycheiniog
Caernarfonshire/Sir Gaernarfon
Carmarthenshire/Sir Gaerfyrddin
Cardiganshire/Ceredihion
Denbighshire/Sir Ddinbych
Flintshire/Sir Fflint
Glamorgan/Morgannwg
Merioneth/Meirionnydd
Monmouthshire/Sir Drefaldwyn
Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro
Radnorshire/Sir Faesyfed

SCOTLAND
Aberdeenshire
Angur/Forfarshire
Argyllshire
Ayrshire
Banffshire
Berwickshire
Butshire
Cromartyshire
Caithness
Clackmannshire
Dumfriesshire
Dunbartonshire/Dumbartonshire
East Lothian/Haddintonshire
Fife
Inverness-shire
Kincardineshire
Kinross-shire
Kirkcudbrightshire
Lanarkshire
Midlothian/Edinburghshire
Morayshire
Nairnshire
Orkney
Peeblesshire
Perthshire
Renfreshire
Ross-shire
Roxburghshire
Selkirkshire
Shetland
Stirlingshire
Sutherland
West Lothian/Linlithgowshire
Wigtownshire

NORTHERN IRELAND
Antrim
Armagh
Down
Fermanage
Londonderry
Tyrone


If you've got any suggestions of fiction books set in your little corner of this green and pleasant land, then you always drop me a email if you like.

Can it be done? And am I just a bit strange?
We shall see... 
 
 


Friday, 28 June 2013

The Magic of Dewey Decimal

You might have guessed from some of my posts that I am a huge fan of libraries and in particular, the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
 
 Created by Melvil Dewey in 1876; it's the system used for classifying non-fiction books in the majority of British public libraries and school libraries. I first learned to use Dewey at the start of secondary school when I worked as a Student Librarian.
 
It's an amazing system, a form of engineering where pretty much anything can be categorised and filed making it easy to find at a later date. The system contains 10 main divisions and within each division, further sub divisions - in fact that's the beauty of Dewey, things can be divided up into miniscule sections, so that even the most obscure of topics can find a home.
 
There's far too many subjects to write here but Wikipedia helpfully has a list of all the main sub divisions.
 
My favourite classifications are (and I am aware how sad that makes me sound):
332.024   Money Saving and Finances
641.5   Family Recipe Books
646.2 and 746.44   Sewing, Crafts and Embroidery
910.45   Travel Writing
And Andrew's favourite  - 385.085   Railways

 
As well as sharing my love of Dewey, the main topic to this post was - how fabulous are these?

Dewey Decimal gifts
One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven
 
I can't take the credit for discovering them though, it was a tweet from Cardiff Libraries who shared the Dewey love with a link to this post on Book Riot.
Incidentially, Cardiff Libraries are hilarious to follow on Twitter; they tweet things like this!
 
Cardiff Libraries Tweet
 

 
Is is anyone else a fan of the Dewey system? I can't be the only one surely?
 
It's very lonely over here in geek corner...
 
 
 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

June Comments Challenge - 27th June

The Bonjour, Blogger June Comments Challenge
Thursday 27th June - Five Cool Blog Posts


Hook Line and Sink Her - House Tour Part 1: Bathroom
Hook Line and Sink Her
A fab bathroom makeover - just take a look at those awesome tiles!



Beautiful Clutter - Secret Histories
Beautiful Clutter
Some fascinating old photographs - who knows what stories they hold?



A Thrifty Mrs - 1 Year/£100 Beauty Challenge
A Thrifty Mrs
El's started a new challenge - to spend no more than £100 on beauty products over the next year.



Even Artichokes Have Hearts - A Fresh Lick of Paint
Even Artichokes Have Hearts
Another room makeover - with some lovely vintage finds and great artwork.



Slap Snap - Will a Quote or Picture Help You Get Motivated?
Slap Snap
Pinterest love - and a great sketch about how we should be (and how we actually) go running!


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

June Comments Challenge - 26th June

The Bonjour, Blogger June Comments Challenge
Wednesday 26th June - Five Cool Blog Posts


Make Do and Mend - Happiness in Magazines
Make Do and Mend
How many of these magazines do you remember reading as a teenager?



Nic's Notebook - Happy Stuff :)
Nic's Notebook
Nic took her doggie friends to one of my favourite places - Anglesey!



Kat Got The Cream - What Kat Wore: Relaxed Denim and Ballet Flats
Kat Got The Cream
Kat wears a very sunshiney top in a garden full of lovely purple geraniums.



The Planned Adventure - Papermash Crafternoon
The Planned Adventure
Looks like Ruth had a very colourful and crafty afternoon!



Fiction Burns - What I've Learned From My 365 So Far
Fiction Burns
Andrea is doing a 365 photo project (take a picture every day for a year) and she shares some of the tips and hints she's learned along the way.


Steam Gala Weekend - Midsummer at Midsomer

Last weekend Andrew took his 1952 vintage lorry along to a special steam weekend at our local heritage railway station.
 
Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend
 
 
Midsummer at Midsomer, held annually around Midsummer's Day (suprisingly enough) featured vintage vehicles, short train rides along the line, lunch in the buffet carriage and a well-designed World War II pillbox musuem.
 
Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend
 
 
The pillbox was originally part of the WW2 GHQ Stop Line Green aimed at protecting the rest of the country in the unlucky event of a Nazi invasion into South West England.
Nowdays, it's been rather ingeniously redesigned into a musuem filled with World War II relics and memorabilia.
 
Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend

Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend

Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend
 
 
Midsomer Norton South station was one of the unlucky ones closed by the delightful Dr Beeching report in the mid 1960's. It was part of the infamous 'Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway', sometimes called 'sweet and delightful', other times called 'slow and dirty' and after Beeching, called 'sabotaged and defeated'. My in laws can still remember hopping on the train for a seaside day out in Exmouth or Bournemouth - back in the days when there were cross country trains to random places such as the 'Exmouth to Cleethorpes service'.
 
Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend

Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend
 
 
The station today is only small but the volunteers have grand plans to extend the line further and events like last weekend go that little way to helping fund their dreams.
 
Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend

Midsummer at Midsomer Railway Vintage Weekend
 
 
 

The Midweek Hop - Festival Fever

A weekly musical feature inspired by Desmond Carrington's 'The Music Goes Round'
 
'Rockola Tempo' 1959 Jukebox
'Rockola Tempo' 1959 Jukebox

 
This weeks theme is...Festival Fever
 
Inspired by the mighty Glastonbury Festival!
 
 
1. San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) by Scott McKenzie

If you're off to Glastonbury have fun, keep the peace and wear some flowers!
'San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)' entered the chart on 12th July 1967 reaching Number 1


2. Woodstock by Matthews Southern Comfort

A cover of Joni Mitchell's classic song, the Matthews Southern Comfort version also became a hit in its own right
'Woodstock' entered the chart on 26th September 1970 reaching Number 1


3. Itchycoo Park by The Small Faces

Obviously I wouldn't advocate getting high on anything other than atmosphere and excitement!
'Itchycoo Park' entered the chart on 9th August 1967 reaching Number 3


Happy listening!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

June Comments Challenge - 24th & 25th June

The Bonjour, Blogger June Comments Challenge
Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th June - Ten Cool Blog Posts



The Pampered Sparrow - Life!
The Pampered Sparrow
Some very funny pictures of crafty fails - I dare you not to laugh!



Essbeevee - I'm So Suprised You Want To Dance With Me Right Now
Essbeevee
Sarah's off to Glastonbury tomorrow. I'm not there til Friday evening but I hope both of us have a fab time!



City Girl at Heart - Lovely Recipe File GIVEAWAY!
City Girl at Heart
A fab recipe file giveaway from Georgie



Kat Got The Cream - Bedroom Makeover
Kat Got The Cream
A very elegant bedroom makeover by Kat - my favourite bit are the posters on the walls!



Where Are My Knees? - Thank God For You, Pizza Express
Where Are My Knees?
Who doesn't like Pizza Express? And it's good to see they're really investing in tasty healthy alternatives.



Slap Snap - Slimming World Friendly 'KFC Style' Chicken
Slap Snap
Sarah shares her KFC style topping for chicken - might be trying this soon!



Domestic Sluttery - Local Heroes: Designers on the Doorstep
Domestic Sluttery
All sorts of quirky biscuit cushions on offer from Nikki McWilliams.



A Thrifty Mrs - The Pet Shop - Free Days Out
A Thrifty Mrs
One of my brother's favourite activities is visiting Pets at Home to see all the different animals.



Victoria's Vintage - Boden Summer Wishlist and £300 Voucher Competition
Victoria's Vintage
A great twitter competition to win £300 of vouchers from Boden.



Miss Thrifty - Carnival of Personal Finance #419: The Toads Edition
Miss Thrifty
A round up of some of the best financial planning advice and tips from blogs around the interweb.



A Picnic at Ebbor Gorge Viewpoint

As mentioned in my post last week about National Picnic Week, we did manage (eventually) to get out for a picnic.
 
Last Saturday evening we took along some home cooked food and a big flask of tea and headed a few miles south to one of our favourite Somerset picnic spots.
 
Ebbor Gorge
 
 
Ebbor Gorge is a limestone gorge and National Nature Reserve just north of Wookey Hole village, part of the Mendip Hills with several walks and climbs available.
But just to the north west of the nature reserve is a small car park and viewpoint with far reaching views for about 50 miles out across the Somerset levels, as far as Exmoor, Brent Knoll, and the Blackdown Hills.
On a clear day you can even see the Bristol Channel glistening in the distance.
 
Ebbor Gorge
 
 
The day we visited was changeable to say the least - what started out as an unexpectedly nice evening (after showers during the day) soon turned to murky clouds and blustery wind.
When we arrived at our designanted picnic bench, it was pretty obvious that any food would probably get blown away!
 
duck in a dress at Ebbor Gorge
Duck in a dress, clearly, not in a dress - a dress would have been the wrong thing to wear in windy weather...
 
 
So we retreated to the safety of our car, still with the fabulous view out across Somerset, and munched our way through the food I'd made.
 
Picnic at Ebbor Gorge
 
 
On the picnic menu was:
Cheats Pizza (take a tortilla wrap, spread with tomato puree, top with whatever you like, add cheese and bake for 10-12 mins)
Little Cheddar Biscuits (from the first series of Great British Bake Off - another blogger has helpfully explained the recipe here)
Posh Sausage Rolls (from the Recipe Swap Tent of The Hairy Bikers Mums Know Best series, the recipe can be found here, although I cheat and use ready made chutney)
Mature Cheddar and Red Onion Kettle Chips (not homemade!)
Apricot and Ratafia Sponge Cake (from BBC Good Food, recipe can be found here)
Plenty of hot and sweet tea
 
Picnic at Ebbor Gorge
 
 
Did anyone else manage to get out for a picnic last week?
 
 
 
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