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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Reasons to be cheerful

Ugh.  It's been a rather grim, wet week.  I haven't seen the sunshine much at all except for the odd brief flash of it here in Winwick and on other people's blog photos which I've greedily chased around the internet, hoping to catch the next blue sky or sunlit patch.  On top of that, we've all caught a cold in varying degrees of severity so smell, taste, tolerance and patience have all gone out of the window this week as we've all tried with varying degrees of success to "just get on with it".

The song "Reasons to be Cheerful" by Ian Dury and Blockheads came onto the radio and reminded me that whilst I might be feeling a bit snuffly and sorry for myself, I don't really have much to complain about.  It was time to look around and get some perspective!

So ... reasons to be cheerful:

1   An evening to myself.  My husband was out and the girls were tucked up in bed.  The fire was crackling away and I sat down to watch a favourite film from the early 1980s - it looks a bit dated now but the story is still pertinent and there is a wonderful and evocative soundtrack.  I had my mug of hot Ribena (I heard on the radio once that it's good for the snuffles and although I'm sure it can't be as it's full of sugar, it certainly is comforting when you can't taste anything else!) and some knitting and I was a very happy bunny.  And one day, you will see this yarn in it's true beautiful shade!


2  Happy happy tete-a-tete narcissus bulbs flowering already and sitting on the windowsill of the study which I've now claimed for myself (I'll show you around another day) - a gift from a lovely friend who knows how to cheer me up!  Even the pot makes me smile!


3  Books!  I lost the reading habit a few years ago after finishing my Master's degree - I think I'd read so many academic papers and got so deeply into the habit of skimming and speed-reading that reading for pleasure just didn't hold any ... well, pleasure any more.  It's taken me a long time to get it back, but I'm very much looking forward to wading my way through this pile this year. Interestingly, I now read non-fiction much more than I ever did, so perhaps the degree reading has done me a favour!


I've just finished An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and I enjoyed it very much.  It's an account of how he became an astronaut, culminating in time on the International Space Station and I've wanted to read it ever since I heard Chris Hadfield being interviewed on the radio a couple of years ago.  He has the skill of deftly combining (potentially very dull) technical information with real life anecdotes and it makes for a compelling read.  I do think his wife should get a medal though - I think that the life of an astronaut's wife sounds tougher than many!

Next, I plan to start on The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, which I read about on Angel Jem's blog last year.  I've read a few living-in-a-different-country books over the years and it's always fascinating to get an insight into how cultures are different.  Plus, I've got a soft spot for all things Scandinavian!

The Chimp Paradox is a psychology programme written by Dr Steve Peters who has coached many Olympic athletes to success.  It's based on the principle of the "monkey" mind that insists on trying to take over our lives - something that fascinates me - and although I've only dipped into it so far, I've still spotted lots of "I do that!" moments so it should be an interesting read.

Finally, I realised that although I'm familiar with many Agatha Christie plots, I've never actually read any of her books.  It's time to rectify that!

They should keep me going for a few weeks - not so many that I get over-faced, but enough to give me a choice when I've finished the next one.  I'm hoping that it will be the start of getting back into more reading this year, and I'm looking forward to that very much.


I hope you are staying germ-free, dry and warm at the moment and have plenty of reasons to be cheerful!






29 comments:

  1. Hope you get better soon xx Enjoy your reading :)

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  2. I do hope you feel better soon. I love that yarn bowl, I have often thought about getting one but am always worried about breaking it! Enjoy your reading like the sounds of The year of living Danishly will be interested to hear what you make of it.

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    1. I have to be very careful with mine so that I don't break it - I did think originally that I wanted a wooden one but fell in love this one and promised myself that I would look after it. It spends quite a lot of time on the floor when I'm knitting as it can't fall any further than that! xx

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  3. Great things to be cheerful about. I hope they are making you feel better and that you will soon be better. Look after yourself. xx

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  4. Your reading list is rather inspiring! I like the sound of the chimp one, but I'm busy learning about dinosaurs at the moment! That's what living with a three year old boy will do to you! Feel better soon xx

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    1. I think there's a law somewhere about three year old boys and books about dinosaurs. Have you read Dinosaurs Love Underpants? That was a hit in our house when small daughter was little! xx

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  5. I hope that you're all feeling better soon - I remember my doctor telling me that Ribena has lots of Vitamin C in it, so it's good for when you have a cold/flu. That reading pile looks like it'll keep you busy for a while. Hope you find lots of time to relax while you recover.
    Cathy x

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    1. Excellent - I'll take your doctor's advice as well then, thank you! Anyway, it tastes nice so I'm going to assume that it's doing me good (like chocolate!) :-) xx

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  6. There is nothing like hot Ribena for curing all sorts of ailments! Hope you feel better soon... xxx

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    1. I've certainly rediscovered my liking for it over the last week. I might not have any teeth left but it feels like it's worth it! :-) xx

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  7. It's always fascinating to see what others read. I'm tempted by Chris Hadfields book. He did desert island disc just before Christmas and was so good when the BBC covered Tim Peakes launch into space! I wish you a speedy recovery from your snuffles!

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    1. Ooh, thank you for that, I've just found the Desert Island Discs programme on a search so I'll listen to that later. I don't always get to the end of an autobiography, but I was actually sorry to get to the last page with this one xx

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  8. You put into words exactly what happened to me after years of study...it was so hard not to speed read/skim or pick out the main points for years in my case! Then when I retired from working I used to feel guilty if I read for pleasure during the day! But by the 4th year of retirement that wasn't a problem any more. I started blogging so I could write 'for pleasure' and hopefully 'to entertain' instead of all that academic writing to infirm and persuade. Lol

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    1. That makes me feel better, Maria - it's a few years since I finished my degree so I'm hoping that it's finally wearing off now! xx

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  9. Thank you for your wonderful sock along! It has been a wonderful project over christmas and your instructions are perfection! - it is very addictive and i am now starting my third pair! help!!!
    See you at Yarndale this year?! if not before.
    Carole
    hookedbydesign/Yarndale (friend of Lucy's)

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    1. Hello Carole, it's lovely to see you again, and yes, I am hoping to be back up at Yarndale this year. It sounds like the sock bug has got you and there's no cure, I'm afraid! :-) xx

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  10. I feel for you it must be the dreary weather we're having, I have an awful cold too thank goodness for the crocheting and knitting unfortunately the reading makes my head ache at the moment. Hope you feel better soon Christine. :) xx

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    1. Hope your cold goes soon too, Linda, it's never much fun feeling under the weather. Luckily mine hasn't stopped me reading so I've been able to make a start on my next book xx

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  11. I have a soft spot for all things Scandi too; so I'll be looking out for this one. Thanks for pointing me in its direction

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  12. I hope you're feeling better, there's so many bugs going around at the moment, I don't think we've had enough cold weather to kill them all off. I do enjoy an evening to myself to just do as I please, it doesn't happen very often so I certainly make the most of it when I get one. I'm working my way through all of Agatha Christie's 66 detective or mystery novels in chronological order. I read twelve last year and I'm continuing with the challenge. I'm really enjoying them.

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    1. 66 novels! That's made me feel rather faint at the thought of it! Still, definitely something to get my teeth into. I'm very impressed at your dedication, Jo! xx

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  13. I LOVE Local Hero. One of my favourite films of all time. I'm loving your book selection too. I have 'The Year of Living Danishly' - I've only read a little but it's fascinating. The 'monkey mind' one sounds really interesting - I must order that from the library. I too have stopped reading as voraciously as I once did. My catalyst was having a baby ( which is probably most peoples reason)! I've been admiring and cursing your wonderful socks - I'm currently knitting my wedding dress for our June wedding and all I want to do is knit socks! Thank you for all your wonderful, generous advice and tutorials. Hope you are all feeling better soon x

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    1. Knitting your wedding dress? That sounds amazing and quite a challenge! I don't think socks would be quite the thing to wear underneath so you'd better finish that first! :-) xx

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  14. Thanks for the book recommendations. Having finished my latest pile of books to read, I have been searching for some interesting titles. All of these will fit the bill nicely and keep me in books for a couple of weeks.

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    1. I've had some great book recommendations from other blogs, isn't that the best thing about reading them all? :-) xx

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  15. I read The Year of Living Danishly last year and I loved it. A bit statistical in parts but an otherwise lovely account of all things Danish! I liked it so much I keep it on my bedside table, it makes me feel happy just looking at the cover :)

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    1. Yes! It is such a happy cover, isn't it? I'm enjoying it so far, although it makes me smile as there's a definite journalist flavour to it! xx

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