Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tagged book quiz

I have been tagged by my daughter to answer questions related to my reading habits.  I also have to tag others to do this too.  Here are the rules

The Rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you've taken part!

This is my favourite book cover because I just love this painting so much.

What are you reading right now?
I am re-reading Driving Over Lemons by Dave Stewart.  I read his three books (about his life in Andalucia after retirement from being a drummer with Genesis) many years ago and fancied reading them again.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
I have to read Kate Chopin's The Awakening for my book group.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Anything by Virginia Woolf

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
Country Homes and Interiors, the English Home, Country Living, Homes & Antiques, Period Homes (do you detect a theme here?)

What’s the worst book you've ever read?
Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger.  I didn't enjoy it at all and had great expectations since it is given so much acclaim.

What book seems really popular but you actually hated?
I had seen a lot of people in blogland say how much they enjoyed Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  I thought it really boring and very dated so gave up on it.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.  I have read it twice and just couldn't put it down.  Written in 1860 and serialized in a magazine it has so many cliff hangers and you have to keep reading to see what happens.

What are your 3 favourite poems?
Walking Away by C Day Lewis
To My Daughter by Stephen Spender
Last Wish by Betty Skewes (my Mum)

Where do you usually get your books?
I buy all my books from Amazon or charity shops.

Where do you usually read your books?
Mostly in bed as I always read before I go to sleep.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
I used to sit in the airing cupboard and read. 

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
I probably haven't as reading quickly sends me to sleep.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
No, but it does have some influence on whether I pick it in the first place.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
A book called Frankie and Jessie that I won as a Sunday school prize.

What book changed your life?
I can't think that any have but when I was a little girl I had a Mary Mouse book and because the girl was rather vain she was made to wear her lovely long wavy hair in tight plaits. I was afraid to look in a mirror in case this was done to me!

What is your favourite passage from a book?
I can't single any out but it would probably be from one of Hardy's novels.

Who are your top five favourite authors?
Thomas Hardy
Jane Austen
Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Webb
Stefan Zweig

What book has no one heard about but should read?
The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

What are your favourite books by a first-time author?
All the above three answers.

What is your favourite classic book?
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

5 other notable mentions?
Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig
A Month in the Country by J L Carr
Precious Bane by Mary Webb
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

My daughter added this to her answers which I have not heard before
.... and, on Joseph Heller, the story goes that he was once being interviewed, and the interviewer said - “Since Catch 22 you haven’t written anything nearly as good.” and he replied "No, but then neither has anyone else.”

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Problems leaving comments

Is anyone else having problems leaving comments on blogs which require you to retype two words?  I have lost count of how many lengthy comments I have left only for a) the comment to completely disappear, b) to be told I have typed it incorrectly despite having about 6 attempts and knowing I haven't got it wrong c) be identified as Anonymous even though I am signed in and my name appears on other blog comments.

I am not being critical; obviously some bloggers feel it necessary for us to prove we aren't robots but I find it frustrating when I want to leave a comment and am unable to.

Can anyone help please?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sewing and Pottery

The most recent items I have made at my ceramics class have been some Raku apples and pears from moulds.

I am in the midst of preparing my own mould of a torso of a lady.  I have sculpted the torso in clay and next week I will be making the mould so that I can make several of them and experiment with different glazes.

Yesterday I fancied a sewing day and made these two cushions from ticking and vintage toile.  I am going to put them on the website but I like them so much I must make some for myself too.

The smaller one could even be used as a brooch cushion.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Vintage Garden

Yesterday we went to the antiques fair at Goodwood.  There are usually loads of stalls but the rain meant there were none outside this time (apart from three brave souls who did set up outside).  Most of the stalls indoors were selling china and jewellery which I usually just glance at but I did find a few things to sell on the website.  I love vintage garden tools especially when they are well used and I wonder who owned them, what they grew etc. etc.

I have been spending the last few weeks trying to get the garden into some sort of order for summer.  I put some plants in this old mop bucket on an old cart

and put some vintage gadrenalia outside our old air raid shelter

The living willow chair than my husband made last year is growing well.

I painted these old crates ready to put some more plants in.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Happy Easter

I am a little premature wishing everyone a Happy Easter, I know, but I hope you all have a great few days holiday and as much chocolate as you can eat without feeling guilty!

When I was searching for this Easter postcard I came across one given to me by my Mum many, many years ago.  She had chosen it for the message on the back

which says 'When you are thinking and are lonely keep for me one tender spot in the depth of thy affection.  Plant a sweet forget-me-not.

It is rather poignant too that the picture on the front is where she stayed for a month before she died as it is now a nursing home on top of the cliffs with the most amazing views.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Domestic Social History

Two recent additions to the kitchenalia category of my website are this tin shopping list or 'Household Needs'. 

I think it interesting to note what the items a 1940s housewife would be most likely to buy - tapioca, nutmegs, suet, soda, paraffin and DDT.  This last item was used as an insect repellent and to eradicate bed bugs.  No mention here of pizzas, microwave meals or frozen chips!  Of course housewives wouldn't buy anything like as much food as we do nowadays as there wasn't the choice and many meals were made from scratch.  I can remember as a child the local grocery van calling and we would go inside to choose and buy food.  The van wasn't much bigger than many 4 x 4 vehicles people now use and it would serve customers from many streets.

I have also listed a cookery book dated 1922, The Ideal Cookery Book.  The author writes that this would be most useful to the 'mistress of the household who will find it a great convenience which will lessen the difficulty of ordering daily meals'.  So if you fancy making Fried Eggs in Batter, Tapioca Blancmange or Potato Pudding you can find the recipes here.  A lot of the recipes would make an interesting 'Come Dine with Me'!