Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Just a little something...

Only write if there is something to be said
Only speak if there is something to say


 If write there is something to be said
If I talk I am saying something

Well then...

Only read if you are interested
Only listen if you want to hear.

World Book Day

This is one of my favourite times of the literary year. A time when books are celebrated and there are book related events going on all over the place.

Children's books are the focus of much of the hype and so they should. A trend on twitter today was 'growing up I read' and some of the responses made me wish I had been more into reading as a child. There are books that I wish I had read growing up that are mounting up on my catch up list. Classics like Alice in Wonderland, Narnia and many more should be required reading, it seems I missed the boat and am doomed to have to paddle, or read, twice as fast as an adult! If just a few children every year get the reading bug at a young enough age then the campaign is a success!!

I can't wait for Thursday 1st March when both of my girls will be attending school / nursery dressed as their favourite book characters. My eldest, who has recently discovered the Potter series, will become Hermione Granger for the day and my youngest is insisting on being Alice in Wonderland for the day. Is it wrong to get so excited about dressing my kids up as two of my favourite characters?!? Oh well, I think I will embrace the philosophy of living vicariously thorough them and continue to foster the reading bug in them!

Who was your favourite character as a child? Are you doing anything for World Book Day?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Note to Self...

"I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger" The Faces - Ooh La La.

This seems to be the theme following me round this week! Sorry Amanda Hocking you set the band waggon rolling and I am jumping on! If I could write a letter to my teenage self, what would it say?

'Hey you, it's you. All be it starting to wrinkle a little around the edges but I'm you so listen up for a while. If I have one piece of advice it would be to LIVE!!! Stop obsessing over over the man of your dreams, they don't exist!

Love will come along when it is good and ready and probably not in the package you expect it to. That's just life, you can't help who you fall in Love with or who falls in Love with you. If this elusive man ever does turn up chances are it will be bad timing any way, life isn't a scene from Practical Magic!! All the time you spend dreaming him up would be better spent living life, have fun with friends, enjoy music, read more. These are the things you will realise in later life you didn't spend enough time on.

Think things through before you jump in, or you will realise half way though you've made a mistake. Some things you can't undo and a missed opportunity at a decent degree is one of them!

PS Don't be in an all tearing hurry to grow up. This is another thing you can't undo and trust me when I say it's not so great. Live life while you have the chance to experience things before you realise you might never get a chance to!!'

I envy those who say they regret nothing and wish I could say the same. Don't misunderstand I have some beautiful things and people in my life and those are some of my better decisions. Other things could have played out better. The question is; would I have listened...probably not!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Great Days Out!

I have had such a great few days visiting places with the girls that I had to share it with everyone.

On Thursday we had a family trip to the National Rails Museum, York. They had a wizzarding event on for the half term holiday's including trips on the Hogwarts Express! There was lot to do, but also a lot of people there! Never the less the kids loved our little adventure, possibly the journey more than the museum but I guess that happens sometimes.

Today was a much more sedate, we went to The Lowry and I have to say that I had a great time. I wasn't convinced I would enjoy it as Lowry isn't one of my favourite artists, but hey there is a shopping outlet right next door so if things really went wrong!!!!! We arrived and got a pack of activities for the kids to do and went straight to the family area to start exploring. Once in the gallery I was amazed by the diverse nature of Lowry's work, there were some pieces that made me stop and stare and others that were a little freaky. It was so refreshing that they catered so well for families there was the art, craft and play area but mainly kids wandering round and talking about the art was encouraged. No tuts or exasperated expressions from staff or visitors in it's self made the trip so easy to enjoy.

After lunch we weren't ready to leave so took the short walk over the bridge to visit the Imperial War museum. Now this has to be near the top of my list of museum's I never wanted to visit. Again I was pleasantly surprised! Their Once Upon a Time exhibition was right up my street. It was also another museum that seemed to be just on the kids wavelength, they used books based on wartime events to make them think about key issues facing wartime kids. It was great to see my eldest especially pick up on the issues sparking lots of great conversations. Not to mention the craft activities that are always a winner!

All in all a great few days and the best of it all not one of these museums charge an entrance fee. It is wonderful that such great institutions open their doors to everyone, allowing even the poorest access to these invaluable educational experiences. However it is a shame that more don't take the opportunity to show their children more of the world and our cultural heritage and I do worry that in the current financial climate that free access to museums will be one thing that will fall by the wayside, I do however hope not!

Source of Lowry picture http://www.toms-travels.net/?p=8958

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Nice words

Do you ever find your self drawn to something just because of the way the name or words sound?

We have been having this discussion today in relation to place names. I always found my self wanting to visit the place Roald Dahl lived and worked, partly because I love his work as an author but also because I love the way 'Great Missden' sounds. Similarly I always wanted to live in a place called Giggleswick which is local to us. Wouldn't it be great to have Giggleswick on your postal address, it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Or even Wigglesworth, that would be equally great

Take this a step further, it even affected me when shopping for an e-reader. I would have loved to buy a Nook (unfortunately not practical in the UK), just for the way it sounded, fortunately my new Kobo sounds just as good!

Is there a word that you love the sound of? Do you find yourself affected by the sound of something when shopping, or am I just strange?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The big screen

Can books be successfully be portrayed on the big screen?

After this weekends experience I am not so sure. I have just finished reading One Day by David Nicholls,  which I would recommend. I laughed, I cried, I got attached to the characters and even threw it across the room at one point. Having loved the book so much and the film just becoming available on DVD I decided to watch it and, as with so many film adaptations, I was left disappointed and screaming at the screen! I don't know if it is just the style of the story or even because I had read the book but I found my self not connecting with the characters I had come to love so much.

There have been other book to film adaptations that have left me with a similar feeling, some not even keeping to key features of the book; High Fidelity springs to mind here! However some adaptations, like the Harry Potter series and the Twilight franchise manage to capture the essence of the books successfully, even though I still don't understand why Peeves the poltergeist didn't make the films!!

What do you think?? Should I just avoid watching the film versions of the books I read, or chance them and hope that they prolong my enjoyment?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Great week for books

With National Libraries Day on Saturday and Charles Dickens birthday today, what better time has there been to be a book nerd? It is officially cool :-)

We enjoyed a family trip to our local library on Saturday, our regular visit for the kids to get new books as my bookshelves can't cope with any new purchases!! It was a quiet affair, no fanfares, no fireworks, just the library and the books doing what they do best...providing the adventures of a life time all in one place! Sorry, can you tell I'm a fan? In the current climate libraries are more important than ever, there is always a way to enjoy books without it costing the earth! Carry on borrowing and keep the libraries open.

As for Dickens, apparently we share the same birthday, I didn't realise until today that I shared the day with such illustrious company. I do however have to confess that I haven't ever actually sat down and read a Dickens book. Sometimes I shock myself with how limited my literary range has been. This is all about to change, having received a Kobo for my birthday I fully intend to download some classics that I have previously overlooked and educate my self. I guess this will be the legacy of the Dickens 2012 events over the coming year. So here's to 200 years of one of the most celebrated authors England has produced. For more information on the upcoming events head over to http://www.dickens2012.org/ .

Getting Old

It happens to the best of us, or so they say!!! Why is it that when we are young we want to be older, more grown up...yet when we are 'grown up' all we want to do is be young again? It is one of the conundrums of life!!!

As middle age creeps up fast and my knees creak in and out of every Zumba class I can't help but reflect on my life so far and what I can look forward to. The worrying thing I have observed is there seems to be a distinct correlation between increasing age and increasing crankiness. Even more worrying is that I can see it starting already; a decreasing Patience with people and situations, more frequent bad moods and an irritating frustration with myself at things that would not have previously bothered me. Is this the point at which I have to stop thinking like a teenager and actually get old???

May be there is an alternative perspective to be had here. A more optimistic outlook on life? 'You are only as old as the man you feel'? However, since my husband is older than me I think I will ditch 'the man' and simply try to believe that 'you are only as old as you feel'. This will however require me to lighten up and 'feel' young at heart to stave off the impending doom that ageing seems to instill in me at the moment.

Luckily for me I have two little terrors that insist on making me play horsey or making me dance round the living room like an idiot with them. They let out the child in me! You can, therefore, spend time colouring in simple picture with wax crayons or get excited about seeing the Hogwarts express in person and it is all in aid of keeping the children happy?!? When in actual fact these things make the child in you happy too and therefore keep you young at heart.

So I am off to pull my self together, get excited about seemingly silly things and tomorrow after work and school we will dance around the living room without a care in the world. Why? Because I intended to stay young until I am no longer able.

How about you? How does getting older affect you? Do you dread the annual celebration of your birth or do you remain young at heart?