Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 364: Fourteen Cats in Hats

It's most way through January already! Pair-of-shoes Fourteen always seem out of a Dr Suess book to me so where better to wear them than on a post that goes through my book challenge achievements (or lack of) for last year. Most of you will want to skip straight through to the pictures—sometimes I think I blog just so I will remember things later. That is definitely the case here! Before I start: these shoes were bought for me by Mr Earwig, sight unseen. His taste is not bad for a man who gravitates towards track suit pants.


Avanti Ciera 2015 Let Me Count the Ways Reading Challenge

Goal: Multi-Diamond—10,000+ Pages

January: 1887 pages
February: 2491 pages
March: 2436 pages
April: 3197 pages
May: 3973 pages
June: 1951 pages
July: 3235 pages
August: 4503 pages
September: 4027 pages October: 2549 pages November: 3533 pages December: 3376 pages
Total Year: 33185

This task: Achieved. The above was a meticulous and labour intensive manual calculation each month. According to Goodreads the figure is 33515. Eh! Pretty close.

100%
0
10000 Pages




Book'd Out's Eclectic Book Challenge 2015

I did better than I usually do on this challenge, but with no reviews done and a number of not completed books, I didn't even pop over to show my face at Book' Out when tally-time came round. Shame!

Retellings (of fairytale, legends or myth): Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (referencing the 1001 Arabian Nights)—Still Reading

A book set in a country starting with the letter S (eg. Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Slovakia): Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum - Switzerland ★★★★

PI Crime (fiction featuring a private investigator): The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith ★★★★

A novel published before you were born: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë—Still Reading

Contemporary romance: Good Girl Gone Bad by Karin Tabke ★★

Fiction for foodies (fiction featuring food/food related business) The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry—Still Reading

Microhistory (Non Fiction) Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett—Finished Since the New Year ★★★★★

Science Fiction set in space: The Martian by Andy Weir ★★★★★

Sports (Fiction or Non fiction) The Meaning of Sport by Simon Barnes (eek, sport *cough, cough*)—Still Reading

Featuring diversity: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older ★★★

Epistolary Fiction (fiction written in the format of letters/emails/diary entries) The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland ★★★★

Middle Grade/YA Adventure: Fairytales For Wilde Girls by Allyse Near ★★★★★

7 Books
0
12 Books




Goodreads:

Started at: 53 Books
Updated to: 65 Books
Re-Updated to: 69 Books
Re-Re-Updated to: 75 Books
Re-Re-Updated at the end of October to: 100 Books (Why not?)

Read: 89 Books

Well! Commuting certainly helped this year. I was ahead of the game every step of the way until I upped the ante to 100. Have to say I am fairly proud even though I didn't get there in the end. And all years from here will be a challenge to maintain.

89 Books
0
100 Books



Bookmark to Blog 2015 Monthly Key Word Challenge

Really liked this challenge for the surprising reads you ended up with.

Jan: Girl - The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates ★★★
Feb: Lie - The Lie by Chad Kultgen★★★
Mar: Kind - Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent ★★★★
Apr: Dream - Dreamland by Kevin Baker—Still Reading
May: Thief - The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland ★★★★
June: My - My Notorious Life by Kate Manning—Still Reading
July: Sun - The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson ★★★★
August: Glass - Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★
September: Life - Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng—Still Reading
October: Ghost - Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann ★★★★
November: Little - Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie—Still Reading
December: Cold - Cold Shoulder by Lynda La Plante—Still Reading

7 Books
0
12 Books



My Own Alphabet Challenge with no Time Line

Abducted; TR Regan ★★★★
(The) Beach House; James Patterson ★★
(The) Cat Who Could Read Backwards; Lilian Jackson Braun ★★★★
Dolores Claiborne; Stephen King ★★★★
Emma; Jane Austen ★★★★
Fairytales for Wilde Girls; Allyse Near ★★★★★
Galapagos; Kurt Vonnegut ★★★★
(The) Help; Kathryn Stockett ★★★★★
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

8 Books
0
26 Books




Tournament of Books 2015

In which I read all the books that have been chosen for last year's ToB

(And by 'read', this time, I mean started two, bought or acquired a few more. This runs through until March '16)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Adam by Ariel Schrag
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Wittgenstein Jr by Lars Iyer
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
—Currently Reading Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
—Currently Reading Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

0
0
16 Books



My Readers Block: Colour Coded Challenge

This was fun but I started late and finished badly. Discovered a couple of amazing books though!
"Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title/on the cover. Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older ★★★
"Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews ★★★★★
"Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.)in the title/on the cover. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

"Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover. Olive Ketteridge by Elizabeth Strout

"Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc)in the title/on the cover. Jackie Brown by Elmore Leonard

"Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover. Black Dog by Stephen Booth

"White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc)in the title/on the cover. Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
—Finished since the New Year ★★★★

Any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.). Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

A word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.). Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

3
0
9 Books




And. lastly, the one I always say I am not doing (because something always annoys me about it). The Goodreads Seasonal Challenge—Fall (or, like we say as name rather than action, Autumn)

September 1st to November 30th

5.10: Creat Your Own World

Read a book of your choice: Surrender by Tawny Taylor ★★★

10.4 Ten-Four Day

Read a book that has at least 104 five star ratings: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (on 20th September, 2015, it has 60677) ★★★

15.10 NaNoWriMo!

Read a book by an author featured on the NaNoWriMo Pep Talk page:Divergent by Veronica Roth ★★★★★
Veronica Roth - 2014 Pep Talk Author

30.6 Donna Jo's Task: Me, Myself and I

Option 1: Read a book whose author has ME imbedded in their name: Lucifer's Tears by JaMEs Thompson ★★★★

Option 3: Read a fiction book that is written at least 50% from the perspective of 'I': The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz ★★★★

As I always seem to do on this challenge, I mis-read, mis-interpreted and mis-posted and ended up with a grand total of 30 points out of a possible 1070. I'm not even making a bar graph for that.

Stay tuned for a post about 2016's Book Challenges coming soon. I know. You are so excited! This year I am starting the challenges at the beginning of the year instead of holding out for some unknown reason until they are impossible to finish. We'll see how that goes. Happy reading.


The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Jumper: Op-shopped
Necklace: Gifted
Shoes: Irregular Choice,Hawk Eye, Gifted


Photographer de Jour: V——


  Getting linky today with:

 
Patti (Looking Rad!) at Not Dead Yet Style


Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb


Lauren at The Style Elixir


Cherie (and her amazing Red Boots) at Style Nudge


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Day 363: Thirteen Crazy Favourites

Pair-of-shoes-I-own number thirteen, seen here, are one of my all time favourites!

This dress from Modcloth is a favourite too. Totally inappropriately I try and wear it everywhere: dinner, movies, weddings, to the shops.


My absence from the world of blogging for the last quarter of last year was half to do with craziness and half with laziness. Here is some of the craziness. I had told you that I was planning a special trip for Mr Earwig's milestone birthday celebrations.

This is what happened. I'll try and make it sweet and short. It came in two stages: The Reveal (whereby his long anxious wait to see what he would be doing was slowly ended) and The Real Thing (whereby what he waited for for so long, went by in a jiffy).

The day before his birthday he received a Facebook message from a friend telling him he was going, in a week's time, to Geneva, but in order to find out what happens when he gets there he had to check the dogs.

On Lolli's collar a message told him he would collect a Swiss Rail Pass at the airport. But for the next clue he needed to text another friend, in French, to ask for the details.

That friend revealed he was staying in a chalet in St Niklaus for three nights. And told him to go to The Cuckoo—a (technically Bavarian) restaurant in the hills near us—take a photo and send it to the next person.

The Reveal
Top: The fun commences; Lollii holds a clue; The Cuckoo
Middle: Martinis in the morning; Matching tattoos; The Synchrotron
Bottom: Swiss chocolates; The Middle East; Ferraris


You're getting the picture? He had to run about town all day doing things in order to find out his itinerary. I think there was a part of him that hated me. He isn't a fan of not knowing where he is going. Or of driving in traffic. Eh! I had kept this a mostly-secret for so long I thought I deserved to pass on the torture. And all the fabulous people who helped with messages and cakes and texts and letters had a great time watching the day evolve.

The Cuckoo got him a cable car ride to the Matterhorn and the instructions to have a Martini.

Hard to get at eleven am, in the suburbs. Hard, but not impossible. The martini got him a trip to James Bond Mountain and 007 World (Schilthorn from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Blofeld, white fluffy cats, you know the one?). Then he had to go to the South African consulate.

Dubious link? Hey, it wasn't easy. Goes like this: South African consulate-diplomatic immunity-diplomats-Geneva. See? While there he had to enact the 'diplomatic immunity' line from Lethal Weapon Twenty Three. And take video footage to a friend in Camberwell.

Cake, coffee and a very bad acting performance later he knew he was staying in Geneva. He now had to do something really cheesy: get a matching tattoo with the love of his life. Me.

The Real Thing
Top: Our chalet in St Niklaus; On top of Schilthorn; Actually, he does look like Blofeld!
Middle: Our alley in geneva; Soooo much chocolate!; Sofitel Abu Dhabi
Bottom: View from our room; Water World; Ferrari World


No needles. These are iron-ons. Or soak-ons. But cheesy enough to get him a Fondue. And a trip to the Australian Synchrotron—which surprisingly you can't wander around at random so we just loitered out the front until he got instructions to purchase chocolate.

The grand sum of no arguments, a sugar-coma and a nap later he was aware of the chocolate feast awaiting him at afternoon tea in Geneva, and was dressing for dinner at KanZaman, a Lebanese restaurant just out of the CBD. It wasn't exactly the right country, more the right region, but at dinner he got to open a letter he had been sent a couple of days before (all part of the intrigue and multiple communication options). It told him we were heading to the Middle East—Abu Dhabi to be exact.

He was told to drive a Ferrari. At a pin-ball parlour. That is the closest I could get on a budget. Photo evidence of that sent him to the fountains at the Crown Casino.

Exhausted, or just fed up, he received one last text which told him to go, at Midnight—now officially his birthday—to 85 Collins St, Melbourne to see what the whole point of the holiday would be. He knows that address. A week and bit later, during 'The Real Thing' the address would be Bahnhofstrasse 11, Zermatt. I don't want to say outright what he got for his birthday but if you take into account his love for all things chronometrical and look up those two address' you might work it out.

It was a long way to go in a very short and mad time, but each day he zones out from listening to me while looking at it, each near miss he takes me on while he watches it catch light through the windscreen when he should really be watching the road, I think maybe he believes his new favourite thing was worth all the craziness.


The Outfit
Dress: Chi Chi via Modcloth
Belt: Came with a pair of jeans from Primark
Earrings and Ring: a junk jewellery store somewhere
Shoes: Can't Touch This by Irregular Choice


Photographer de Jour: Moi


    Linking the love this fine day with:

The Authentically Beautiful Patti at Not Dead Yet Style


The Charmingly Chic Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb


A Magnificent Coat at Rachel the Hat


Elfin Boots to Die for at A Pocketful of Polka Dots


   

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Day 362: Firsts and Twelfths

It is silly, but we all do it. We save commitment to this day. This day, when there is no reason why any other day will not suffice to start a new adventure, remember something left behind, be more of the person you want to be.


New adventures 2016: Reading challenges (I love that travelling by train to and from my new house has made me an even more voracious reader); Couch to 5K (Not everything new is necessarily enjoyable!); A million Steps every three months on the Fitbit; Pulling the wildness back a little in my garden and making it an amazing place to be (refurb the grass, three tiered areas near the side of the house, a luxuriant deck, new steps, a mean and bitter end to the tradescantia albiflora—whatever it takes).


The First first is my first book of the year. Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. If you need some inspiration for a good read tomorrow as you nurse a sore head and a dry throat, pop over and see what everyone is starting their year with. I'm a year behind starting Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird so that I can read Go Set a Watchman—that is so 2015!—but it's never too late is it? Thanks Sheila xx.

P.S: I'll also be starting Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz, which my dear Mr Earwig gifted to me amongst other great items this silly season. I'm not good with just one book!


Picking up where I dropped things: blogging once a week at least (I miss it. I can't believe how quickly time passes between blogs if I don't pay attention); giving up sugar again (It went so well until I went to Europe, and then, well, you know, cake.)


And ultimately, doing those things puts me on a path to enjoying my life, making the most of it, and becoming a person I like more. I could have started any day, but I am starting this one.


Pair of shoes number twelve: Bloxy by Irregular Choice. Perfect pattern mixing with gingham, dots and floral. And, surprisingly—on two fronts—they go with everything, and they are really comfortable.

Happy 2016. Enjoy it—it has an extra day!

The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped, handmade
Kimono: Op-shopped
Shoes: Irregular Choice, Bloxy


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Sharing the love with:

 
First Book of the Year at Book Journey


   
Fabulous Kelly Greens at A Pocketful of Polka Dots


   


     
Lena B, Actually


   
Style Elixir


     
 photo 180x180FifButton_zps35920849.png


Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 361: Eleven, Rhymes with Heaven!

Well, it rhymes better than 'Books' does. They do mean the same thing though. Books are what we are about today. Not interested? Have a look at the pictures and have a fabulous day! Otherwise, following are my progress reports on assorted book challenges for the year:



Avanti Ciera 2015 Let Me Count the Ways Reading Challenge

Goal: Multi-Diamond—10,000+ Pages

January: 1887 pages
February: 2491 pages
March: 2436 pages
April: 3197 pages
May: 3973 pages
June: 1951 pages
July: 3235 pages
August: 4503 pages

Total Year to Date: 23673

Goal Blown Out of the Water! According to Goodreads, I have actually only read 22,133 pages, so something has gone slightly awry somewhere. But I still count that as Job Done. And two giant diamonds for me so far. I wonder when they will arrive?

100%
0
10000 Pages



Book'd Out's Eclectic Book Challenge 2015

Reading some, finished some, yet to start the rest.

Retellings (of fairytale, legends or myth): Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie (referencing the 1001 Arabian Nights)

A book set in a country starting with the letter S (eg. Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Slovakia): Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum - Switzerland

PI Crime (fiction featuring a private investigator): The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

A novel published before you were born: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Contemporary romance: Good Girl Gone Bad by Karin Tabke

Fiction for foodies (fiction featuring food/food related business) The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

Microhistory (Non Fiction) Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett

Science Fiction set in space: The Martian by Andy Weir

Sports (Fiction or Non fiction) The Meaning of Sport by Simon Barnes (eek, sport *cough, cough*)

Featuring diversity: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

Epistolary Fiction (fiction written in the format of letters/emails/diary entries) The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland

Middle Grade/YA Adventure: Fairytales For Wilde Girls by Allyse Near

4 Books
0
12 Books



Goodreads:

Started at: 53 Books
Updated to: 65 Books
Re-Updated to: 69 Books
Re-Re-Updated to: 75 Books
To Be Re-Re-Updated at the end of October to: TBA Books

Read: 63 Books

Best Reading Year. Ever!!

63 Books
0
75 Books



Bookmark to Blog 2015 Monthly Key Word Challenge

In which you choose a book with one of a selection of words in the title each month.

Jan: Girl - The Tattooed Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
Feb: Lie - The Lie by Chad Kultgen
Mar: Kind - Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent
Apr: Dream - Dreamland by Kevin Baker
May: Thief - The Gum Thief by Douglas Coupland
June: My - My Notorious Life by Kate Manning
July: Sun - The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson
August: Glass - Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
September: Life - Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
October: TBA
November: TBA
December: TBA

3 Books
0
12 Books



My Own Alphabet Challenge with no Time Line

Abducted; TR Regan
(The) Beach House; James Patterson
(The) Cat Who Could Read Backwards; Lilian Jackson Braun
Dolores Claiborne; Stephen King
Emma; Jane Austen
Fairytales for Wilde Girls; Allyse Near
Galapagos; Kurt Vonnegut
(The) Help; Kathryn Stockett

7 Books
0
26 Books



Book Journey's Harry Potter ReRead (until 31st March)

Before the finish date:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After the finish date (and therefore irrelevant really):
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

7 Books
0
7 Books



Tournament of Books 2015

In which I read all the books that have been chosen for this year's ToB

(And by 'read' I mean 'will start soon'. Come on! I've got until March next year on this one.)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Adam by Ariel Schrag
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Wittgenstein Jr by Lars Iyer
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall by Will Chancellor
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

0
0
16 Books





Semi-Charmed Summer 2015 Book Challenge

Finished: Ran from 1st May to 31st August

Any book that fits the general rules. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

A book you have never heard of before. (Just go to a shelf and pick a book based on the cover, the title, whatever you want!) Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

A book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you've had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.) No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (added to my To Read list in 2012)

A book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014. The Martian by Andy Weir

A book by an author who is completely new to you. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

A book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.) Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson

A book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.") Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson

A book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. Edited to add: The place must be real, either current or historical, but not fictional. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

A book with an animal on the cover. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz

A book that is part of a series with at least four books. Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger, Book One of the currently fourteen book long series featuring Cork O'Connor

A book that is longer than 500 pages long. — Submitted by winter finisher Kristen from See You in a Porridge. The Stand by Steven King - 1153 pages

A book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it's worth the most points!) Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

TOTAL POINTS: 115

115 Points
0
200 Points



And one I decided to join recently:

My Readers Block: Colour Coded Challenge

Please consider this my sign-up



"Blue" or any shade of Blue (Turquoise, Aquamarine, Navy, etc) in the title/on the cover. Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

"Red" or any shade of Red (Scarlet, Crimson, Burgandy, etc) in the title/on the cover. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

"Yellow" or any shade of Yellow (Gold, Lemon, Maize, etc.)in the title/on the cover. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

"Green" or any shade of Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade, etc) in the title/on the cover. Olive Ketteridge by Elizabeth Strout

"Brown" or any shade of Brown (Tan, Chocolate, Beige, etc)in the title/on the cover. Jackie Brown by Elmore Leonard

"Black" or any shade of Black (Jet, Ebony, Charcoal, etc) in the title/on the cover. Black Dog by Stephen Booth

"White" or any shade of White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream, etc)in the title/on the cover. Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, Magneta, etc.). Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

A word that implies color (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Paisley, Stripe, etc.). Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

1
0
9 Books



And the one I said I never would (because something always annoys me about it). Twice:

Goodreads Seasonal Challenge: Spring 2015

Finished: Ran from 1st March to 31st May

A book title with a '?', '!', or '...' in it: Because I Said So! The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids by Ken Jennings

A book with a Goodreads rating over 3.5: 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross

A book on either the 'Did Not Finish' or 'Abandoned' lists on Goodreads: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

A book with the genre science, science fiction or mystical realism on its title page on Goodreads: The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

A book whose author's surname ends in ER: The Sins of the Fathers by Matther Scudder

Total: 70 points/1035 points

70
0
1035 Points



Goodreads Seasonal Challenge: Summer 2015

Finished: Ran rom 1st June to 31st August

A book of your choice: No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

A book from one of the suggested Summer Reading lists—San Fransisco Public Library 2014 Adult Summer Reading List: The Martian by Andy Weir

A two book task:
Book 1: A book that is #1, #5, #7, or #9 in a series: Iron Lake (Cork O'Connor, #1) by William Kent Krueger

Book 2: A book with one of the following words in the title - heaven, celestial, prime, void, dark, wind, spirit, fire, earth, river, ocean, mountain, forest, thunder, time, sound: Walking Into the Ocean (Peter Cammon Mysteries #1) by David Whellams

A book with a stand alone or embedded genre of 'Paranormal': Ghost Night (Bone Island Trilogy, #2) by Heather Graham

In honour of Terry Pratchett, a book with a genre of Science Fiction or Fantasy or any combination on its main book page: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

A book that shows a body of water on the cover: Ghost Shadow (Bone Island Trilogy, #1) by Heather Graham

TOTAL POINTS: 80 points/1085 points

80
0
1085 Points



The Outfit
Dress (or, Nightgown perhaps?): Op-shopped
Singlet: Target
Jeans: Target
Necklace: Junk Jewellery Store somewhere
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens


Photographer de Jour: V——


Getting linky today with:

Not Dressed As Lamb


Join us! Click the Spotlight


   
still being molly


   

Friday, September 11, 2015

Day 360: Ten Little Surprises

I'm organising a holiday. It is a secret. Do not tell Mr Earwig. Later this year he is turning fifty. But it wasn't me that told you okay? He doesn't want anyone to know. He doesn't want a big party; he wants to disappear for a few days and come back like it never happened. So on the actual day we are going to a wedding. That should cover that up nicely. A few days later we will do the disappearing act. He knows something is afoot. It is, I realise now, quite difficult to fly solo on organising something as momentous as this. Sure, when we do it together I usually put a very strong case forward as to why my plan is the best—and he doesn't often argue back—but I would normally get to run every other option through him before I decide which is the best in the first place. I can't do that here.


I've managed to get in a couple of 'Would you rather *scenario 1*, or *scenario 2*?' Q&A's, where scenarios include things like staying put or being above sea level or basic economics and accounting. but otherwise he has no idea.

This is what he has hoped it wouldn't be: Bali (volcano smoke cloud) or the Maldives (too close to sea level) or Mexico (too many drug cartels). Ummm, who in their right mind doesn't want to go to the Maldives? And Mexico? For: food, people, culture, language, colour, beaches, weather, sights, Mexico City. Against: a drug cartel or two. It balances 'in favour' in my mind. I can neither confirm nor deny if we are going to any of these three places.


Every few days he grabs the globe and spins, rattling off names. Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, Fiji, Hamilton Island, Myanmar, Tunisia. I can neither confirm nor deny if he has got that right.

He hasn't suggested Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Poland, Turkey, Uruguay, the Turks and Caicos Islands, San Fransisco, cruising the Alaskan Inside Passage, Greenland, Zanzibar, or travelling to the North Pole on an Russian Nuclear Powered Icebreaker. I can neither confirm nor deny whether any of these would be a better guess.


Today starts the 'getting off sugar' campaign. I was contemplating doing it as a give-up-along online but the dates coincided with the trip. Sitting and discussing it on the couch I came up with this gem: 'We can't give up sugar right in the middle of our trip to Europe'. I can neither confirm deny whether that was a slip of the tongue or a red herring.

All will be revealed, I can confirm, on the 21st October. At a wedding. I hope there won't be disappointment after all this build up. *fingers crossed*


The tenth pair of shoes in my count down?, count up?, are proof positive of why Mr Earwig deserves this surprise. He bought them for me—he knows my size and favourite website. I love their mustardy tweediness. And truth be told, it's like a book you wouldn't ordinarily read and are coerced to, only to really enjoy—like The Martian by Andy Weir for example. I may not have bought them myself, but now I love that I have them. Close inspection reveals how much one of my mutters loves them too. Grrr.

The Outfit
Shirt: Op-shopped (outgoing, with a tear at the front seam)
Skirt: Op-shopped
Belt: Op-shopped
Necklace: ModCloth
Shoes: Poetic Licence Whiplash


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Day 359: You're Making Me Feel Hot

Well now that the silliness is over, I can relax, look back and see what Christmas 2013 was all about. In our family we have on-years and off-years. On-years are when we get together with the core family members (we're a complete two generation family that moved to Australia from South Africa in the eighties and so, before everyone got 'partners', Christmas was always just our core family); off-years, the second of every two, are when everyone goes to the other halves' family events. A simple plan. It works quite well. This was an off-year. But there seemed to be lots of using the fact that my Dad had been unwell during the year and was unlikely to travel over Christmas as an excuse to abandon the usual plan and head up to the Gold Coast. My sister and family did it. And V—— and I did too. I had Xmas Eve Eve, Xmas Eve and Xmas day off work and we hightailed it up there to make the most of a three day holiday with the lot. This was the outfit I sort-of wore on Christmas Day—my mum kept telling me to take off my cardigan because she felt too hot. I'm sharing it's emerald-green-ness over at the Trend Spin Link up with Laura, Erin and Alison.

List_Addict               Irene

There was swimming in the pool, swimming at the beach and swimming at Wet 'n Wild (water park on the Australian Gold Coast for those who don't know). At Wet 'n Wild we paid a bit extra and got a Fast Pass which allowed us, much to the chagrin of everyone else queuing on hot concrete, to go straight to the front of the queue. Every time. On the five most exciting rides. I felt bad for the waiting people, but only for a second, then I was riding rides and screaming down tunnels and ramps. I do think I picked up some nasty bug in the pool though, as I got a throat infection that I still had up until about a day ago (and it is now mid January!) From feral, bug-infused, small people I believe. Sorry to people who think of those things as the more commonly used 'children'.

The forecasts for the twenty-seven days prior, the three days during, and the thirty-nine days post our trip are like this: high of 28C, low of 21C; high of 28C, low of 21C; high of 28C, low of 21C; and repeat. Too hot for cooking a large, traditional Christmas dinner. So while we were all out of the house at Wet 'n Wild on Christmas Eve, my mum did the ham and the turkey, and on Christmas day we had cold Christmas meats and salad for dinner. V—— and I had to leave to come home again in the evening. All in all it was a fabby Christmas. And we got to celebrate it for days afterwards because B——'s new Xmas handwash, which played a carol whenever you squeegied some foam into your palm, decided to play its carol every time someone came into the same room. It was possession; a Christmas poltergeist. Luckily the batteries ran out quite quickly.

The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Christmas Cardigan: Thrifted, Christmas Cardigan Aisle, Savers, Lubbock, Texas
Necklace: Lovisa
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Alaska'


Photographer de Jour: V——


Who wore it better?

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day 358: Nine Sugar Shoes, No-Sugar Shoes

I'm quitting sugar. Yeah, yeah, very funny! Close those mock-shock mouths and get up from your soccer-style, fall-to-the-floor feints. I don't believe I can do it either. But I am going to try. I was going to start today. But I thought I would make banana bread at seven am and think about this properly instead. I need to be ready.


Ready Plan Item Number One:

Buy Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar.

Accomplished/Work in Progress/Failed



Ready Plan Item Number Two:

Throw out all the things in my cupboard house that contain sugar, or send them to work where Mr Earwig can keep a secret stash he shouldn't have, away from me and any knowledge I have of it.

Accomplished/Work in Progress/Failed



Ready Plan Item Number Three (Most Important One and The Real Reason For The Delay):

Taste for the last time those things which mean so much to me, that bring sunshine to my life, and that will never pass these lips again.

Here is the list:  
       
  • Darrell Lea's Peanut Brittle
  • Lime Milkshake
  • Picnic Bar
  • Coffee and Cake in a Cafe
  • Cinnamon Donut from the Vietnamese Bakery ✔️
  • Red Skins
  • An Exotically Flavoured Macaroon
  • Jaffa Cakes
  • Tunnock's Tea Cakes
  • Thai Food in a Thai Restaurant (apparently it's full of sugar!!)
  • Pancakes after Night Shift
  • Salted Caramel
  • Fake Sugary Swedish Cider


Accomplished/Work in Progress/Failed



The mission (and I do choose to accept it) is to have all this done to start the rest of my life sugar-free on the 12th September. Eek. But it will be fun in the mean time. I hope it means I will lose weight, because getting there will mean putting it on by the looks of it!

The Outfit
Dress: Target
Jacket: Op-shopped
Necklace: Junk Jewellery shop somewhere
Shoes: Irregular Choice Golden Harpy


Photographer de Jour: V——


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