My red letter is…

Ages and ages ago Hails over at Coffee Helps was giving away letters for a memey type thing. It’s quite simple really – you take your assigned letter and write a blog post based around it. The idea is to think of ten things beginning with that letter that are meaningful to you.

My letter is T. Here are my ten things…

TRAVELING.
I ♥ traveling. Getting to see new places, learn new customs, hear new languages. How could anybody not love it? I’m not sure if it’s because I was brought up in an army family or what, but staying on one place all the time just sounds incredibly boring to me. As does going on holiday to the same place every year. I want to go everywhere. See everything. Experience as much as I can. And I love the fact that I’m actually living in an era where this is possible. No more 3 days donkey ride to get to the next village. No, I simple hop on a plane (or even a train) and within hours I’m wherever I want to go. It’s fabulous!

TOFFIFEE
Does anybody not know these sweets? They’re little cups of toffee with a hazelnut buried in nougat in the middle and a then a thick disk of chocolate over the top. I could eat them all day! It’s actually a good job there are only about 12 in a pack otherwise I could seriously make myself sick eating them. They were invented in Germany by the way. I knew there was a reason I liked this country…

THUNDERSTORMS
I adore thunderstorms. They’re exciting and awesome and slightly scary all at once. I especially love it when there’s forked lighting. Forked lightning is probably the coolest weather phenomenon. I also find thunderstorms strangely erotic. I always want sex when it’s thundering outside.
Wow, I can’t believe I just said that. On the internet!

TIGER’S EYE
Tiger’s eye is the birthstone for Leo, which is my star sign. It’s much, much nicer than the birthstone for August (my birth month), which is peridot. Peridot is green. A really strange pale green that reminds me of snot. Awful. Tiger’s Eye on the other hand is a kind of orangey brown. It has light bits and darker streaks, so it looks stripy like a tiger. You can also get red tiger’s eye, whch -as the name suggests – is a reddish version of tiger’s eye. Below you can see a photo of my red tiger’s eye necklace. It was a Christmas present from Jan and is my second favourite piece of jewellery. (My absolute favourite is a necklace of golden leaves that I inherited from my step-mum).necklace

TREGARRICK
Tregarrick is a book by Keith Chatfield. It’s not my favourite book nor has it ever been my favourite, but my copy is special to me because it’s signed. My Auntie, who knew my ambition was to be a writer, had it signed for me and gave me it for my tenth birthday. The dedication that the write wrote in the book is wishing me luck with my dream. I haven’t achieved my ambition of becoming a writer yet (a couple of poems published by Forward Press doesn’t really count)but maybe I shall one day. And it’s nice to know my Auntie believed in me back then.

THIRTEEN
I’ve always loved the number thirteen. Not only because I was born on the 13th, although that is part of the reason. I’ve just always been fascinated with the fact that people believe it to be unlucky. As a child I remember wondering how a number could be unlucky. I mean, it’s just a number, right? Any anyway, obviously it must have been lucky for me. After all, I did come into existence on that day. The 13th is still my favourite number even now, and Friday 13th my favourite day. If it was up to me every Friday 13th would be a holiday. (And employers around the world breathe huge sighs of relief at the fact that I am not in charge…)

TERRY PRATCHETT
What can I say, the man’s a flipping genius! How could you not like the guy that invented Death of Rats? And Granny Weatherwax. And the luggage. At least three of my favourite books were written by him. He’s just so funny, and all of his observations are absolutely spot on. Plus, how could you not love somebody who describes being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s as “an embuggerance”?

TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
There are so many things I like about this film. The soundtrack (Letters to Cleo! Semisonic! Sister Hazel!) The fact that Heath Ledger looks pretty darn fine in it. (I still can’t believe he’s dead. The guy was only a few years older than me. People my age aren’t supposed to die!). The poem. The bit where Bianca punches Joey. Yes it is probably a chick flick and yes it is cheesy in places but I really don’t care. I love it.

TOMI UNGERER
He is a French artist. He illustrated the Flat Stanley books, among other things. He also wrote and illustrated some children’s books of his very own. He also does political and erotic art. The erotic art makes me laugh – a lot. Here‘s a picture by Tomi Ungerer. And here‘s another one. They are good, no?

TEA
I always have lots of teabags in the house. Both ordinary black tea and the fruity kinds (which are technically infusions because they don’t actually contain any tea). There’s nothing quite like curling up on the sofa with a good book and a nice hot drink when it’s cold, rainy and windy outside. Coffee is good too, but it takes so long to make (unless you use instant which sort of defeats the point of a nice hot drink) and in my world hot chocolate is only for bed time – or for drinking in cafes where you can get them to put a mountain of cream on the top. So a nice hot cup of tea it is, or even a pot if I feel that way inclined.

OK, I think that’s 10. Phew. That was hard.
Now it’s over to you lot. If you want a letter just leave me a comment and I shall assign one to you. Let the memeing begin…

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A happy meme

Katyboo has tagged me for another meme. I’m supposed to list six things that are essentially unimportant but make me happy. Quite a difficult task for the person whose own boyfriend calls her a pessimist, but I shall give it my best shot. Deep breath and here goes…

1. People watching. I like to do this from my bedroom window or while sitting outside a cafe in summer. Even if the people I’m watching aren’t doing anything interesting it’s somehow fun. And I get to make comments about what they’re wearing and stuff – “oooh, I like her dress!” “Look at that woman’s top – could that pink be any brighter?!?”. Good times!

2. Mashed potatoes with gravy. It’s the ultimate comfort food and never fails to make me happy. Most of the time I don’t even bother with a proper meal – who needs meat and veg? Just give me a huge bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy. Now I just need to figure out a way to get my comfort food without having to peel, cook and mash the potatoes first…

3. Curling up in bed with a good book… in the middle of the day. This is especially good on cold, rainy days. To make it even better get someone to make you a nice cup (or pot) of tea and bring it to the bedroom. It’s like a little piece of heaven.

4. Looking at kitchen things in Karstadt. I do not own a kitchen and neither do I earn anywhere near enough to buy Karstadt kitchen stuff, but looking at it and imagining how my kitchen will look one day makes me happy. Although I do get a little sad when I go in to find the crockery set I’ve been drooling over for months has been taken out of circulation and they’re almost sold out. I’m never going to get my beautiful square plates with the olives on now – they only have the round ones left and even they are almost all gone. I also like looking at kitchen things on the internet, but it’s even more fun in Karstadt cos I get to actually touch them.

5. Blogs. Blogs make me very happy. The first thing I do when I come in from work is log in to wordpress and read my way through my blogroll. I do this before i even write my own blog. Some evenings when I’m at a loose end (or trying to avoid studying) I’ll even look through my blogging friends’ blog rolls for new reading material. Reading about other people’s lives is almost like having one of my own.

6. Clean bedding. I love, love, love slipping into a nice clean bed at night. Unfortunately I hate doing washing (and it’s almost impossible to get an appointment here) and am not a big fan of actually changing the sheets either, so it doesn’t happen very often. But when it does I love it. I always make sure to put clean pyjamas on too on those nights. It’s fabulous.

And that’s six. Woo-hoo, made it to the end. Now to tag some people…
OK, I choose Hails, Sleepyjane, Lauren and anyone else who feels like having a go…

Where is my chaise longue?

I’ve been sent home from work and told to take tomorrow off as well. Guess my coughing was getting on people’s nerves 😉 But seriously, it does seem to have got worse today. I must have woken up about 6 times last night, either because I was freezing despite being in my pyjamas, under a thick quilt with the radiator on, or because my throat was hurting so much I physically couldn’t smallow. Ugh. My voice still hasn’t entirely come back either, which makes shopping great fun by the way. Nobody can actually hear my hoarsly muttered “thank you” amidst all the chatter of the other shoppers which must make me look incredibly rude. I think this qualifies as ill enough to be deserving of a chaise longue to swoon onto, even if I do have to jump back up after 15 seconds because they’re so uncomfortable.

So it took me nearly an hour to get home. Partly because I decided to pop into the book shop on the way home and buy myself a little treat to make up for being ill but mostly because of the tram. First it turned up 5 minutes late then, just before we got to Marktplatz, it stopped. A few minutes later came an announcement: “There is currently an emergency on the tram in front of us. I hope this will be solved shortly”. So we sat there in the tram for 15 minutes. Why she couldn’t have just opened the doors then and let those who wanted tp get out do so I will never know – we were literally yards from the tram stop. The only thing stopping us being actually at the tram stop was the tram in front. In fact, if she had opened the doors I would have been getting off in the exact same place that the people in the second wagon of my tram have to get off at normally. But still we had to wait. Fifteen whole minutes. Until the tram in front was finally able to move out of the way. OK, fifteen minutes isn’t al that much, but it feels like longer when you’re cold, ill and have nothing to read.

Anyway, I’m off to make some hot lemon now, then I plan to retire to bed with my drink and my new book. If I’m lucky by tomorrow I might even be able to go a whole five minutes without coughing…

A ray of books

I got a book today. I didn’t buy it, I received it in the post. It’s a bookcrossing book which was sent to me by a fellow bookcrosser as part of a book ray.
What’s a book ray? you ask. Well to put it in fairly simple terms it’s a chain. Here’s how it works.
1. Someone registers a book on bookcrossing
2. They announce that they are starting a book ray
3. Other bookcrossers who are interested in reading the book register for the book ray
4. The creater of the book ray makes a list of the bookcrossing members who have joined the book ray
5. They then read the book (if they haven’t already) then send the person who is first on the list a private message asking for their address
6. The creater now sends the book to the first person on the list
7. This person receives the book, reads it then asks the next person on the list for their address
8. The pattern repeats until the last person on the list has the book
9. The last person on the list is free to do what they like with the book.

If it were a book ring, the last person on the list would have to send the book back to the person who created the ring, but in this case it’s a ray so the book could end up anywhere at the end.

It’s been a while since the ray actually started and I’d forgotten I’d signed up for it, so it was a nice surprise when the person who had the book before me asked for my address. Now it’s here and I can’t wait to start reading.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, the book is We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
I shall let you know if it’s any good.

Long live bookcrossing! There’s nothing better than free books 🙂

Something beginning with B…

My friends like to do these random surveys/fill in the sentence/whatever things. They send me them by email or post them as Facebook notes. Mostly I just ignore them but I liked the look of this one so I decided to steal it for blogging purposes.
Here are the rules:
1. Tell us your first name: Beverley
2. Complete the following statements. All answers must begin with the first letter of your name.

1) 4 letter word: Bell
2) Girl’s name: Bettina (I’m assuming using my own name would be cheating…)
3) Boy’s name: Benjamin
4) An Occupation: Banker
5) A colour: Blue
6) Something you wear: Bra (It was the first thing that came to mind ok!)
7) Beverage: Bacardi
8 ) Food: Burger
9) Something found in a bathroom: Bath
10) A city: Barcelona
11) A country: Brazil
12) Song with a girl’s name in the title: Black Betty
13) Something you shout: Boo!
14) Celebrity: uuhh… Bryan Adams
15) Cartoon character: Bugs Bunny
16) Flower: Bluebell
17) Animal: Bear
18) Fruit: Banana
19) A book title: Bloomability (by Sharon Creech)
20) A film title: Breakfast Club (OK, so technically it’s The Breakfast Club, but “the” doesn’t count… right?)

OK, now it’s over to you dear readers. If you’d like to join in just leave me a comment with a link to your blog (so I can come and see your list) then get memeing.