Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Say you, say meme...

So, the ever delightful bee (find her awesome blog on my sidebar, under ‘Waiting On The Front Porch’. She’s a star!) has tagged me with a book meme. As most of you know I am kind of obsessed with reading, so this is quite the challenge. I really adore a good read…even if during termtime I sometimes struggle to get anything major achieved. Oh, to be a student once more and to be meant to read…

I have to plagiarise one part of bee’s blog:
“first, though, a disclaimer: this is brutal for me, like picking which child i want to save from the oven.”

1. A book that changed your life:

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
The Inheritors – William Golding
The Hobbit – J.R.R.Tolkein
And Still I Rise – Maya Angelou
Matilda – Roald Dahl
The NIV Bible
Talking In Whispers – I can never remember who wrote this. Argh!
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage – Alice Munro
Captivating – John and Stasi Eldredge
Debrett’s Guide to Modern Etiquette

2. A book you've read more than once:

So many…Pride and Prejudice, The Fabulous Girls’ Guide To Decorum, Little Women, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Elegance, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets… I like to get my chicklit on after a stressful day! Sad but true, but familiar books are a comfort blanket for me. I was also very in to rereading Debrett’s Guide to Modern Etiquette and Enid Blyton / Roald Dahl as a child.

3. A book you'd want on a deserted island:

(bee – the narnia series is a very good call. I’ll go with that!)

4. A book that made you giddy:

Recently? Both PS, I Love You and Memoirs of a Geisha moved me – they were written so competently, with such passion and virtuosity. Two very different books covering massively different genres, but by gosh I was thrilled by both of them!

5. A book you wish had been written:

...Colin Hanks’ account of his falling in love with a curvy, quirky country girl from middle England. Hey, it’s late and a girl can dream, right?

Like so many people, I’d love to write a book one day, so I guess that’s a wish I’d like to see fulfilled.

6. A book that wracked you with sobs:

Hannah’s Gift (oh my gosh, y’all. 2 chapters in and it’s all sobbing, streaming nose, weeping heartache chez moi. Brilliantly written book.)
What Was Good About Today.
Little Women.

Can you beat a good cry?

7. A book you wish had NOT been written:

Good In Bed – utter tripe. I threw this book with ferocious velocity after completion. It sucked… but of course, ymmv. I’m also not the biggest fan of Moby Dick, as much as I tend to adore American Literature!

8. A book that you are currently reading:

The Kindness of Strangers – Kate Adie

9. A book you've been meaning to read:

The pile on my bedside table, in all its glory:
Coppola – Peter Cowie
Complete Prose – Woody Allen
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
The Year of Reading Proust – Phyllis Rose
Siddartha – Herman Hesse
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
The Scottish Nation: 1700-2000 – T.M. Devine
Freedom In Exile – The Dalai Lama
Lying Awake – Mark Salzman
Orson Welles – Simon Callow
The Weaker Vessel – Antonia Fraser
A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
The Sacred Romance – Brent Curtis and John Eldredge
Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
The Hours – Michael Cunningham

Will I ever get through them all? All thoughts welcome! I will no doubt break up this pretty heavy list with some chicklit and fluff also, as I can often be tempted by a pink cover (I’m pretty good though, I only like the better stuff!).

10. now, for the tagging:

If you would like to lift this and use it, gentle reader, please do so and let me know! No forcing though, because I know how many of you loathe these…

Have a great day,


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Song of the summer?

Can anyone get this song out of their head?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

These are a few of my favourite things..

After the sadness of Monday’s post, and the girly trauma of Thursday’s, I thought I’d break out the sunshine for today’s….

Here, in no particular order or precedence, are some things little things I love.

Emma-dog and Freddie – my little doggy friends. I really love having them around.

Chilly, clear nights where the air is crystal and crisp, where your breath comes out in clouds and dissipates to nothingness.

Hugs. As grownups we really don’t hug enough, but my little people are all about it – a good thing!

Recommended books – I read ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ on a recommendation this week. It’s awesome (thank you Henry and Naomi)!

Good food to cook and enjoy. If there’s something better than grilled chicken topped with cheddar and salsa, with herb salad, warmed bread and white wine on a chilly Friday evening, I don’t know what is!

‘Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs’ on Radio 2. I always catch the end of the worship show beforehand, then listen to this show as I bathe and get ready for church. It’s such a guilty pleasure. I love the whole package – the soft-rock music (Chicago! Leo Sawyer! Heart!), the cheesey features, the open and unashamed declarations of love.

Time to catnap. Mmmmm, catnap.

The few TV shows I am following – ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?’ (it’s the final tonight! Go Connie and Siobhan! How did Helena get there?), ‘Extras’ (love it – but missed the series two kickoff, boo!), and my Sunday afternoon delights – ‘Smallville’ (Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum? Hel-lo…) and ‘Beauty and the Geek USA’.

The chance to work hard at something I enjoy.

Teen movies. I watched ‘Heathers’ last night for the first time in a long time, and was startled to find it just as good after a break of five years or so. Just a truly kickass movie – “What’s your damage, Heather?”. I’m going through a bit of a teen flick stage at the moment – I have ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’, ‘Rushmore’ and ‘Hairspray’ to watch over the next few days.

Blogging. I kind of love popping on here as and when and rambling. It’s nice to feel a part of something bigger.

Tesco’s finest Jubilee strawberries. Yum.

Ben Folds. The man is a genius!

Friends, both near and far. Whether it’s a dinner thing, a lengthy phone call, a letter, a trip to the fair, or just a text, it’s so great to have some awesome people to chat to and call on.

Classic fm – without it my classroom with be a much sorrier place.

Mail! I love the cards and packages that rock up on a twice or thrice weekly basis…hurrah for cheesey pictures, books, postcards, carrots and other randomness.

Comfy PJs and sweatshirts – after spending most of my life each week in heels and skirts, it’s so nice to veg!

And with that, I bid you happy Saturday! Hope your weekend is 'very'!

Love, as always,

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Singalong Saturday - 9/9/06

It’s been too long people! But with no internet at home and the sheer madness of week1 of term, I’m afraid my blogging capability was shocking this week! But enough of that, it’s 6 pm, it’s the weekend (finally! Saturday school never fails to shock me!), and once I’ve done this I can go home and relax. Bad TV, DVDs and merlot, here I come!

1. Call Me When You Get This – Corinne Bailey Rae.

I love this woman’s voice. It has a deep, soulful velvet to it which is just lovely to listen to (I believe I’ve raved about her on here before). As I begin we are catching the tail end of this track – if you’ve got a few spare quid, do give her album a whirl, it’s fab!

2. Lover, You Should Have Come Over – Jeff Buckley.

I actually heard this version of the song second. The first version I heard was the jazz-lite, rather sanitized, radio friendly Jamie Cullum version. But this is the big daddy version, in my humble opinion. Buckley’s voice is capable of such frailty and passion, and this song uses his talents to the ultimate degree. This is also the perfect song for drinking red wine in the early evening, staring through a misty pane at the gloom beyond, and conjuring up remembrances of times past and lost. Believe me, I’ve done it (moody staring across water is also good for the soul!).

3. Tribute – Tenacious D

I hear from my peeps (do I have peeps? Should I have peeps? Do I need to start drinking brandy and cursing all the m*****f***ing time to have f***ing peeps?) that Tenacious D have a movie coming out soon. My inner frat boy says “Yes!”. The rest of me remains unconvinced.

I love the video for this song – Dave Grohl as a devil. Kudos to my man there.

4. I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab For Cutie.

Deathcab… are one of those groups that I’m never sure how many members there are within(see also Belle and Sebastian). This song is just one guy and a guitar though, and it’s beautiful. Love and death are interchangeable in the world of the singer songwriter.

5. Glory Box – Portishead.

How dirty is this song? The bassline and violins just creep up, menacingly, and then the woman starts singing and it’s not even singing, it’s sing-purr-talk-growling, and the guitars come in and its all so dark and deep and breathy and Serge Gainsbourg and oh my. Brilliant, brilliant track, and a unique effort all round. Seriously, how many songs do you listen to and think “Oh, that sounds just like ‘Glory Box’”? Answer – none, I’ll wager!

6. Delicate – Damien Rice.

Today’s entry is going quite muso, isn’t it? Well as this little indie gem plays, I’ll bring the usual gabbling to the table, never fear. The first week of term has been BUSY, but what else was I expecting? Haha. The pinacle was Thursday, when I was so tired I literally cried myself to sleep! The kiddies are settling in well though, and my timetable, while insane, has a few random gaps in it which I have a feeling I will learn to cherish! It’s good to see colleagues again though, and nice to be busy (the last few weeks of summer I was feeling on the edge of a boredom spiral!). The social side of things is as fun as ever – lunch with the ladies today, and yesterday Fi and Seb and I embraced some pintage. More to follow, I have no doubt. No real plans for the weekend – I’m singing at church (yay!), then we’ve got a shared lunch (mmmm, eating lots of different things at same sitting), then I’ll probably splodge out on the couch and watch ‘Beauty and the Geek’ and ‘Smallville’. Good times!

7. Sometimes – Ash.

There are a gang of noisy preteens outside my room, so I’m going to post the next few slots in quick succession sans writing in between, as I’m tidying. Hurrah for freedom!

8. Girls and Boys – Blur
9. Aim Low – Jamie Lynn
10. Through The Dark – KT Tunstall

And I’m done! Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Christmas Claire

Christmas Claire

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, the home & travel, and a lotmore besides. Let's dish!

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