40 before 40: Beat Jan at mini-golf

Hello friends! Well, I didn’t expect to be able to tell you this soon that I had crossed something off my 40 before 40 list (and actually I’m posting this late since it happened nearly 2 weeks ago!).

The Sunday before last Jan and I decided to go and play mini-golf. Before we left, he remarked that I should really practice against someone else if I wanted to eventually beat him because if I only play him he also gets a chance to improve every time. As it happened, on this particular day I actually did better than usual (which still isn’t particularly good, as you will see – but only one 7!) and he was having kind of a bad day and so, most unexpectedly, I won!

Photographic evidence:

minigolf

So, one goal down, 39 to go…

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt 2.0

Hello friends! You may remember that a while ago I did a bookshelf scavenger hunt – basically taking various prompts and finding books on my shelf that fit them. I recently watched another version, with different prompts, on Books and Lala‘s YouTube channel (I guess I should call it Book Tube channel?) and wanted to play along again. I can’t credit the original creator because I have no idea who that was. So, without further ado, here we go…

1. Find a book that starts with an “N”

I’m guessing in the title, as opposed to the first letter on the first page πŸ˜‰

1-Starts with N

Neverwhere… and there is also a bonus N book to the right.

2. Find a book cover that’s mostly brown

This was actually quite difficult – apparently I don’t have a lot of brown books! I found one though.

2-brown cover

3. Find a book that’s based on a true story

I’m reaching a little here, but this book is about a woman suffering with severe M.E. and the author also has M.E. (the book is described as an “autobiographical novel) so it kind of counts…

3-true story

4. Find a multiple perspective book

4-multi-perspectives

This book is told from the perspectives of the two main characters, Scarlet and Ivy.

5. Find a book you read last year

I read lots of books last year. Here’s one I liked a lot:

5-read last year

I can’t believe I’m still waiting for the final book in the series to come out!

6. Find the most recent book that you bought

This was easy! I was in the office again the other day and I needed a new book for the way home, so I went to the train station bookshop and found this:

6-recently bought

I tore through it on the train and loved it.

7. Find a book cover you don’t like

7-disliked cover

I love Stephen King, but what is this cover all about? So ugly!

8. Find a retelling

I haven’t read this yet, but I’m fairly sure it’s a retelling of Peter Pan:

8-retelling

9. Find a book that is also a movie film (sorry)

I wanted to use The Princess Bride for this but I couldn’t find it, so here’s this:

9-also a film

I have read this book 3 or 4 times but never seen the film.

10. Find a book written this year

Umm, I don’t have one. I rarely buy new books. I was thinking of Eliza and her Monsters but the copyright is 2017, so I have nothing for this prompt.

11. Find a non-fiction book

Easy! All our non-fiction books are together on one bookcase πŸ™‚

10-non-fiction

I haven’t read this yet but I really want to!

12. Find a book you have told others to read

I have told several people to read this. As far as I know none of them have:

11-recommended book

13. Find a book with a tree on the cover

Another one I haven’t read.

12-tree on cover

By the way, that Costa thing isn’t a sticker but is actually printed onto the cover of my book. Why?!

14. Find a book where the author’s name is the same as yours (first, middle or last)

The spelling is different but it still counts!

13-author shares name

I took out all the Ramona books from the library when I was about 7 purely because the author shared my name.

15. Find a book you have read more than once.

Many, but I went with a childhood (and all-time) favourite:

14-read multiple times

I’ve only just noticed The Secret Garden peeking out at the side… I’ve definitely read that one multiple times as well!

16. Find a book you didn’t finish

15-never finished

I started reading this once with Jan and then again on my own for a reading challenge (the category was to read a book you had previously failed to finish… ironically, I again did not finish). It’s not like it’s a bad book, it’s just so long and the writing is so tiny…

17. Find a book with a king in it.

I wanted to use a Terry Pratchett book for this but annoyingly none of the books featuring King Verence are on the bookcase. I know I’ve bought Jan at least one so he must have left them at his dad’s place. So instead, have this:

16-king in the book

This is a King Arthur retelling. I’ve started it but so far I’m failing to really get into it.

18. Find a book that’s purple with its dust jacket off.

I took off so many dust jackets for this prompt, and in the process discovered that most of my books are boring black when naked. This one is kind of purple though. I also took a photo of it with its dust jacket so you can see what it is.

I’m not sure how purple it looks here, but it’s purplish in real life. I read this one a few years ago and I think I liked it at the time, although I don’t remember much about it now.

19. Find a book you will read by the end of the year

This is the final prompt. And the book I chose was this one:

18-will read in 2018

I’ve had it on my shelf for a while and it sounds really interesting so I will definitely be picking it up sometime soon.

That’s all folks! This is a really fun thing to do – you should give it a try πŸ™‚

The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

Well hello there! Today I am once again doing a tag post that I was never even tagged in. In fact, I literally found it by googling something along the lines of bookish tags. Is that cheating? I don’t care… I thought it looked fun so I’m doing it. I have no idea who created this game originally so I can’t link to them. I believe it started on YouTube, which I suppose makes more sense as a “scavenger hunt” since you get to watch them actually look for the books. None of that here though, so you’ll just have to make do with photos.

Anyway… the goal of this challenge is to find books on your shelves based on specific prompts. I can’t explain better than that, so I’ll just get started. Apologies for the quality of my photos – it has been trying to snow for the past few days and my bookcases are quite far from the window anyway so I had to switch on the light.

Find an author’s name or title with the letter Z in it

Thanks to my former boss, I have a whole bunch of books by Sebastian Fitzek, but I decided to go with this one:

1 Author with Z

A thriller set on a cruise ship. The blurb says: “On average, 23 people per year disappear without a trace from cruise ships. Never before has someone come back… until now.” I love Sebastain Fitzek’s writing and this was a great thriller, but I was unable to relate to any of the characters and actually couldn’t have cared less if the main person had died! I gave it 4 stars though. It’s been translated under the title Passenger 23 if you’re interested in reading it.

Find a classic

This one was easy to find since all my classics live together. I chose this one because it has a pretty cover.

2 classic

I haven’t actually read it so no idea whether it’s any good. My grandma likes Thomas Hardy though.

Find a book with a key on the cover

A lot of people had trouble with this category, but luckily I had been sorting out my to-read books recently and I remembered seeing a key one of those books.

3 key on cover

Like I said, it’s on my to-read shelf so I can’t say if I recommend. It sounds good…

Find something on your bookshelf that’s not a book

I have a few non-book items on my bookshelf, but I chose to go with this:

4 non-book

Meet Arthur! I bought him at Cardiff Castle and he’s clearly a Welsh dragon. The name is a play on King Arthur (Arthur the dragon =Β  Arthur Pendragon. Yes, I thought I was being clever…)

Find the oldest book on your shelf

I think it’s probably this one.

5 oldest book

I took a photo of the inside cover since the outside is just plain red. Jan’s sister got me this from a second-hand bookshop and it has no date in, but on the spine it says it’s by “Dean Swift”. If he was still a Dean at the time it was printed I assume it’s a pretty old edition?

Find a book with a girl on the cover

This book has two girls on the cover. Do I get extra points for that? πŸ˜‰

6 girl on cover

Again, I haven’t read this book yet so I can’t tell you whether it’s any good.

Find a book that has an animal in/on it

Some versions said in and some said on, so I went with a book that both has an animal on the cover and features an animal in the story.

7 animal on cover

Again, I have not read it (those books were the easiest to find because the recent sorting meant I knew exactly where they were), but how stunning is that cover?

Find a book with a male protagonist

I have a few, but this was the first one my eyes landed on:

8 male protagonist

The protagonist is a boy named Will. I read this one last year and I really enjoyed it.

Find a book with only words on it

This one was difficult and I spent ages hunting!

9 only words

The words are kind of stylised and have thorns on, but I think it still counts?
I had actually forgotten I had this book! I read it years ago – before I joined Goodreads. I’m fairly sure I enjoyed it but I think I may have to read it again now I’ve rediscovered it.

Find a book with illustrations in it

This one has illustrations and is also a really cute story:

10 book with illustrations

Find a book with gold lettering

Another one from my to-read shelf.

11 gold lettering

Find a diary (true or fictional)

As soon as I saw the word diary I knew which book I was going to grab for this one:

12 diary

I got this one from a second-hand book stall at an indoor market (I’ve since learned the stall has closed… noooo!) when I was about 14 and it’s one of my all time favourite books. I wrote about it here.

Find a book written by someone with a common name (like Smith)

I didn’t want to literally go with Smith (although I could have) sooo…

13 common name

I feel like everyone knows a Dan(iel) – if you don’t please don’t shatter my illusions πŸ˜‰ – and Brown is a pretty common surname.
My grandma gave this to Jan years ago. I have read it but I remember almost nothing about it!

Find a book that has a close up of something on it

14 close up

It’s a close up of a baby dragon hatching. YAY! I’ve read this one. It’s an adorable children’s book.

Find the book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period

This takes place in the Stone Age – I don’t think you can get a much earlier setting than that? Certainly not on my shelves!

15 earliest setting

Find a hardcover book without a jacket

This had a dust jacket at one point, but I’ve had it since I was little and I have no idea what happened to it!

16 hardcover no dust jacket

Again, I took a photo of the inside because the naked cover is literally just blue πŸ˜‰
I really don’t think I need to tell you anything about this book? It’s a classic!

Find a teal/turquoise coloured book

17 turquoise book

I think this is turquoise? The photo looks closer to green, but in person it looks turquoise to me. You’ll just have to take my word for it!

Find a book with stars on it

18 stars on cover

I read this one recently, and wrote about it in my very long Show Us Your Books post.

Find a non YA book

I know it may seem like I read a lot of YA, but actually the majority of my books are for adults so this was really easy. I chose Stephen King because you cannot get much further from YA!

19 non-YA

Again, I have not read this one yet, so don’t ask me what it’s about!

And that’s everything. This was great fun to do! If anyone else decides to do it please let me know (it’s easiest if you have a lot of books!).

Guess the cross stitch volume 5

Hello everyone. Sorry I’ve been a bit absent this week – being off work I haven’t really felt like turning on the computer, and for reasons unknown to me I can’t post from my tablet! But I thought I would quickly pop in before the week is over with an easy kind of post. A few people have asked whether I’ll be doing a cross stitch guessing game this year, and I’m finally stitching something that seems suitable. I was quite surprised to realise that this is the 5th time I’ve done one of these!

The rules are simple: I post a photo of something I’m cross stitching and you tell me what you think the completed image will be. If nobody guesses correctly I post an updated picture and you try to guess from that. I will give you one clue: it’s a birthday card for a boy who is turning one (also yes it is the right way up!).

Here’s your first photo:

guess-the-cross-stitch

Have fun!

Guess the Christmas cross stitch 2015 – round 3

Guys, I have a confession to make… I made a slight mistake on this cross stitch picture! By the time I noticed I’d done too much to unpick, so I had to start again. It was a really minor mistake though, so it makes no difference to our guessing game. I’m only telling you this in case some clever clogs notices that the fabric colour has changed πŸ˜‰ I started stitching in the exact same way as before, so everything that was there last time is back. Then I of course added more so you would have something new to help you guess. But first a look at last week’s answers. Here’s what you were basing your suggestions on:

cross stitch 2015Becster guessed “An elf riding a sleigh” – a good suggestion, but not the one πŸ˜‰

Alie went for “surfing santa” – there were a lot of water-based guesses this time round

Simone (Lady of the Cakes) went for “Pebbles Flintstone taking a bath”. A cute image, but not right.

NancyTex chose not to guess, bowing down to Simone’s greatness instead.

Katrin said “Now Homer is on a sleigh”. Looks like he’s gone a bit of a funny colour as well!

eadouglas asked “Is it Santa? Wearing a Haiwaiian shirt?” – nope, sorry!

CJ guessed “A toy boat in a puddle. It’s sail is red”. Interesting, but not right.

Elaine went for “A small furry creature (not sure which one yet) wearing a winter hat sitting on a sldge”. Oooooh, intriguing!

Meredith said “Ahh, the blue changes everything! Maybe a pair of kids on a toboggan/sleigh?”. Well Meredith, let’s see what this week’s picture does to your theory…

And finally, Kelly suggested “a rocking horse. With blue rockers and a red saddle”.

Blue clearly means water in most people’s eyes. Also, I have to admit I’m disappointed that nobody said a chicken. That’s all I can see when I look at this picture and last week’s – and I know what it’s supposed to be!

Anyway, I think this week’s picture is going to change a few people’s minds!
Well, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer…

cross stitch 2015

So, what am I stitching? Answers in the comments, as usual. I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with this time. πŸ™‚

Guess the Christmas cross stitch 2015 – round 2

I’ve gathered a fair few answers from the first round of guess the Christmas cross stitch, so I think now it’s time for a new image. But first, a look at last time’s answers. The image I gave you for your guesses was this:

Cross stitchAnd here’s what you all said:

Lady of the cakes thinks “It’s one distressed crab approaching another crab that has been run over and flattened, with blood squirting out of it.” – Umm, very festive?! πŸ˜‰

BerLinda, of course, had to bring the tone down instantly: “A penis that somehow got trapped in an earring”. – I’m afraid to ask who she has on her Christmas card list!

Holly guessed a reindeer. Finally a sensible answer!

Meredith also thought a reindeer – maybe Rudolph. The red would be his nose, I assume πŸ™‚

NancyTex suggested “One of the wise men, running late, flagging a cab.” – I’m assuming this would be a camel cab back in the day πŸ˜‰

Elaine thinks it might be “a small child holding a Christmas stocking” – by the way, she’s good at this game so the competitive among you know who to watch out for πŸ˜‰ (Not necessarily saying this is right though…)

Emma said: “I’m going to guess that it is going to be a child, holding a stocking, near a fireplace, which is also dangerously close to the Christmas tree.” – I love how detailed this answer is πŸ˜€

Kezzie’s response was: “I think Santa’s stuck in the chimney and an elf is pulling him out!” – Just like in the children’s song πŸ˜€ I love it!

Heather guessed “Santa de-icing the sleigh with a flamethrower!” – probably necessary up there in the North Pole!

Steven said “Smaug in flight! The red is FIRE!” – I wish my cross stitching skills could do this justice, because that would be AWESOME!

Katrin thinks it might be Homer Simpson holding a torch. I don’t see it myself, but okay.

And finally, Kelly asked “Is it a hamster wearing a Christmas hat?”. It’s not, but that sounds adorable!

And now for today’s image. I’ve added a little bit to the picture, so again I ask what do you think I’m stitching? Answers in the comments please.

cross stitch 2015And go! πŸ™‚

Guess the Christmas cross stitch 2015

I promised you a new game of “guess what I’m stitching”, so here’s round one. Those of you who have played before know what to do, for the rest of you it’s incredibly simple: I show you a photo of the progress I’ve made so far with a cross stitch picture and you tell me what it looks like/what you think it’s going to be. Your only clue is that it will eventually be turned into a Christmas card. Here’s your first image:

Cross stitchAnd now, in the words of the wonderful Roy Walker, just say what you see!

I’ll leave this up for a few days for you to guess on before I upload the next photo. Good luck!

Guess the Christmas cross stitch: The solution

Thank you to everyone who took part in my little cross stitch guessing game. I had lots of fun reading your guesses. You’re all completely mad! (I mean that in the most complimentary possible way, of course.) Before I get on with revealing the answer, here are your guesses from the third and final round. The picture I gave you to work with was this:

cross stitch 3

First to enter a guess was Elaine, who thought it was “a fair-haired child in a blue coat pushing a sled”. Close, Elaine. Very close!

Katrin thought it was “a dinosaur who wants to jump on a sled”. Unfortunately not, although I think that would make a great Christmas card for a small boy!

Polly guessed “a Smurf sledding”. Apparantly the merest hint of blue has all my readers obsessing about Smurfs πŸ˜‰

Steffi agreed with Elaine: “a child (girl?) pulling a sled”. That little word “pulling” brought Steffi even closer to the right answer than Elaine, but still not quite there.

Becster also agreed with Elaine (but didn’t mention whether the child was pushing or pulling the sled).

And finally, Charlotte came up with the very creative idea of “a superhero flying on a sled with his (or her) cape flapping in the wind”. I like this guess, but unfortunately it’s not the right answer.

And now, here’s what I was really stitching:

cross stitch snowman

A snowman, wearing a blue coat and pulling a sled (I just realised I forgot to backstitch the rope he’s pulling it by!). The yellow that fooled you all into thinking it was a fair-haired child actually belongs to his hat! I hope you all enjoyed my little game. Maybe we can do it again some time πŸ™‚

Guess the Christmas Cross Stitch: Round 3

This will be your last picture to guess on before I give you the big reveal, so if you can’t guess what I’m stitching based on this, tough luck πŸ˜‰ But first I shall give you the answers to the last round. This was the photo I gave you:

cross stitch

And these are your guesses:
Elaine stuck with her theme from the first round and guessed “a chimney pot and a sack of presents”. I’m afraid not, Elaine.

Simone, aka Lady of the Cakes came up with “blue headed tapir about to eat a Kitkat”. It’s better than pervy smurfs at least!

Frau Dietz thought it might be “Sonic the Hedgehog catching a fly”. Did he catch flies? I seem to remember some random flying insect in the computer games…

Someone calling themselves xoxo said “It looks like a blue car driving on a red road.”. I can kind of see were they were coming from with the car, but it’s not that.

Lily Lau said “Humm… I think it’s a sledge with some snow besides it and a huge blue bag full of presents!”. She’s obviously been talking to Elaine πŸ˜‰

Katrin said “I think it is a squirrel next to a chimney who is about to jump.” Now I want to stitch a Christmas squirrel for real!

Amanda from Rhyme and Ribbons guessed “A bluebird with a red light saber for sure!”. I love this guess, but sadly it’s wrong.

Kate had no clue, so we’ll move on to Linda. “So, it’s a blue cat, dragging a red ribbon somewhere. Maybe the North Pole – would explain the blueness of the cat.” Indeed… I would probably be blue if I was at the North Pole!

Polly suggested “a blue dog/raccoon hybrid eating a brick”, which had me trying to imagine what that would look like for the next few hours!

Jessica Jane’s answer was “someone about to jump on a sled in the snow”. Warmer than some is all I’m saying πŸ˜‰

And finally, Charlotte went for “A blue snowman sticking his tongue out!”. My mental image of this looks so cute πŸ˜€

Now onto the third and final picture. Just say what you see, folks. Say what you see!

cross stitch 3

Guess the Christmas cross stitch: round 2

There were some interesting guesses for round 1 of my little game! (You can see the original post here). Here are your guesses in the order I received them:

First up is Lady of the Cakes, who I’m 90% sure only made this guess so I would have to type it onto my blog. I don’t even want to know what search terms this will result in… “Smurf about to come all over a KitKat“. Strangely enough, no that is not the answer! And I sincerely hope nobody was reading this post while eating a KitKat…

Elaine from I Used to be Indecisive guessed “A sleigh with a sack of presents on the back”. Not the right answer Elaine, but much closer than Simone’s!

Sara Louise guessed “A chimney with blue smoke coming out of it“, which would at least be sort of Christmassy. Not the right answer though πŸ˜‰

Linda of Expat Eye on Germany (and the instigator of this game) suggested “Jack Β Frost nipping at a very rectangular robin red breast“. Better than pervert smurfs anyway πŸ˜‰

Katrin said it was obviously “a cigarette with blue smoke“, but since that wouldn’t be very Christmassy added a second guess: A hand coming out of a chimney. A blue hand, obviously.

Charlotte’s guess was “A blue robin sat on a twig!“. I’ve seen cross stitches of blue owls, so why not robins?

And finally, Aussa Lorens said “Definitely a NO SMOKING sign, Xmas style.“. I’m sensing a theme here!

Now for round two. Here’s a new photo taken during the stitching process. Maybe you’ll have better luck guessing the cross stitch based on this picture:

cross stitch

Enter your guesses in the comments. If nobody gets it right, I’ll have one more picture after this then I’ll reveal the answer.