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…

Looking at art

Since I’m going to be moving into my very own flat soon I thought it might be nice to have some proper pictures to put on my walls, rather than the slightly childish posters I’ve had up to now. Specifically I wanted to see if I could find anything by the artist Rosina Wachtmeister who I discovered just before Christmas. You can take a look at her website here if you wish. She mostly paints slightly surreal things in ridiculously bright colours and seems to be obsessed with cats. I’m not too fond of cats myself, but I do like a bit of ridiculously bright coloured art, so this afternoon I thought I’d do a bit of googling and see if I could find any non-cat Rosina Wachtmeister pictures to beg people to buy me for Christmas. In this process I found myself on the website allposters.de (there’s a UK version as well, but the German one is where I ended up). Here I found Regina Wachtmeister, but I also found a few other things that I have now decided I must own one day. The Regina Wachtmeister one I want, called Red Cheek, is here by the way and I will definitely be buying it once my wages go in at the end of the month.

Now, my taste in art is not exactly what you’d call normal. I like bright, I like sunny, I like hearts and stars and rainbows,  I like pictures where things are not exactly the colour you’d expect them to be (bright red buildings, red and blue cats, purple unicorns. Oh yes! Bring it on), I like Tomi Ungerer (illustrator of Flat Stanley those of you that remember the book). Here are just a few of the pictures I’ve come across today that I now really, really want (Click on the name to see the picture on allposters.de):
Celebration II by Sophie Harding – Three orange flowers on a purple background. Very cheerful
Slipper Tub by Paul Brent – A picure of a bath tub with a pillow for your head and a plant standing behind it. I want to hang this in my bathroom
Sunflowers by Will Rafuse – Three bright sunflowers on a blue background. I love sunflowers – they’re such a happy flower!
Love Letters in Yellow by Anna Flores- Squares containing various different hearts on yellow backgrounds. It looks much nicer than my description makes it sound!
Easy Listening by Rosina Wachtmeister – Two cats looking out of the window on the left. On the right the outline of a piano with music sheets seeming to drip down the side of it. Go and look, my description really doesn’t do it justice.
There are more but I won’t bore you by listing every single one. I’m sure by now you get the picture.
I also bought myself two prints because they were in the sale and going for incredibly cheap.
Mesa Cactus by Paul Brent for only 1 euro and 58 cents, reduced from €5.90. How could I possibly resist? And Mocha by Sophie Harding, originally €9.90, now reduced to €2.98. Again, how could I possibly resist?

I now wish I was a) rich and b) lived in a big house so that I could spend all day finding art online and buying it for my walls. Of course, I would have to do this in between buying books for my library (I am going to have a library one day. Not a lending library – the kind of library you see in old house. You know, with books all around the walls, a huge fireplace for warming yourself in front of and a nice sofa to snuggle up in while you’re reading. My idea of heaven!).
So, which artists do you lot like? Tell me all about your favourite paintings so I can go and check them all out and add even more things to the list of stuff Bev wants but has neither the money nor the space for. You know you want to help me in this mission 😉