Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Interview with Paula

**As Paula was kind enough to do this interview for me, I am keeping this post on top for a couple of days, for newer posts please scroll down**

You might remember that, quite some time ago, I got the wonderful idea of doing interviews with my kids, from Marsha who blogs at Just Some Thoughts. I did an interview with Rox, and one with Impi and today it is my youngest daughter Paula's turn:


1. What is your full name and age?
Paula Hope Richardson and I’m 13 years old

2. List a few things that make you happy:
Being with friends and family, reading, taking photos and cleaning my room.

3. Are you proud to be South African and do you like living in South Africa?
ABSOULTELY!!!!!!!! Our country is going through a hard time, but I wouldn’t live any where else.

4. How do you feel about being the “baby” in our family?
It sucks that I missed meeting and getting to know Craig (my uncle), Aunty Pam (my great aunt) and Gan-gan (my great gran) and I don’t remember stuff you guys and Rox talk about, but I do get spoilt and I like Rox driving me around.

5. Tell me about some of the things that you find difficult to deal with as a teenager:
Parents! hahahaha just jokes : D !!

Boys are always soooooo rude, unpredictable and just plain irritating, adults immediately think all teenagers are up to no good and everyday you are forced to make so many choices that can affect your future.

6. What do you hope to achieve as an adult one day?
I want to get a degree in journalism/photography or drama, have a stable job, have enough money to support my family and I would like to have been all over Europe, the USA and Prince Edward Island.

7. Tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know:
I might act like a clown but I am actually very sensitive

8. Name one of your role models and tell me why this person is a good role model:
I don’t actually have one because I want to be unique.


9. What do you feel about marriage? Can you see yourself getting married one day?
I think marriage is wonderful, I can definitely see me falling in love, getting married and living on a farm with my hubby and 2 children

10. If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be and what would you be doing?
In Italy, on a gondola with you mommy, eating pasta :D love you mommy, mwa mwa


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Off to the mountains!

Just wanted to let you know that we are heading off to the 'berg for a week. I absolutely can't wait! Getting work sorted, the house sorted, the pets sorted, shopping lists, packing done etc etc has been a major undertaking, but it is SO going to be worth it when I am sitting gazing at the mountain views with a G&T to keep me company!

I'll be back in a week or so and you can bet I will be blog hopping madly to catch up with all your doings :-)

The Handwriting meme

I got tagged by Sanni for this meme.

The deal is:
1.) Grab a piece of paper and a pen
2.) Write a pangram* in your language. Sign your paper with your first name or your nickname (not your signature!!!). You can also include your blog URl if you want to.
3.) Take a picture.
4.) Post it on your blog! Leave a comment here (or a trackback) once you have posted.
5.) Link back and tag - don’t be shy!

I don't know about you guys, but since I started spending most of my life "writing" with a computer keyboard, my handwriting has gone to the dogs!
So I am actually embarrassed to share this!



*A pangram, also known as a holalphabetic sentence, is a sentence that contains all letters of the alphabet at least once. “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.” is a common example in English. There are pangrams in all languages - for a little inspiration have a look *here*. Feel free to use one of these common examples or come up with something of your own.

I'd like to tag:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2nd blogoversary

I just realised it's my blogs 2nd birthday today! Wow 2 years of letting it all hang out ;-) Yay!

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Gill's Jottings" The Movie

I saw this one on Simpy Mel and it was too much fun to pass up. I get to cast the story of my life!
So I've been giving it some thought over the last few days and last night the family threw some ideas around over the supper table. War nearly broke out, but it was all quite hilarious!!

Casting the family members was easy, no problem at all:

Rox would be played by Natalie Portman, no two ways about it. I've always thought there was a similarity there. (Paula thought that Rox should be played by that really thick girl on Fools Gold!!)


Impi - a young (think Fresh Prince of Bel Air) Will Smith would be perfect, they have the same spunk and are both tall, dark and handsome.

Paula - Amanda Seyfried (as she was in Mamma Mia) would play Paula. She's quite a bit older than Paula, but they have the same bubbly cuteness.

Grant - this led to some fun discussion around the dinner table. The girls think he should be played by......... Jack Nicholson! Bwahahahahahahah... that did not go down too well with Dad I can tell ya! No, definitely not Jack Nicholson! I think he should be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan who was Denny on Grey's anatomy and the guy with the lovely butt in P S I love you. They both have that soft, cute, cuddly "something" going on and they both have splendid butts!

Okay, now it gets difficult. Who to cast as me? Who to cast?

Grant came up with the wise (NOT!) idea of Barbara Streisand!! (Maybe I should cast Jack Nicholson as him!) Then he suggested Diane Keaton - love her dearly, but hello I am but 40 years old! One of the kids said Meryl Streep - love that child! I would not say no to Meryl! Personally, I think I am more of a Kathy Bates myself. Matronly, cuddly mommy type - that's me!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Spring? I don't think so!

Grant and I were having a lazy morning this morning, listening to the news on the radio while sipping a cup of coffee in bed (you have no idea how rare this is, me being married to a MTB junkie and all!)

And then we heard that there was snow in Kokstad.

Within half an hour we were all dressed up in our Winter woolies and in the car on the way to Kokstad (about 1 1/2 hours drive away). Paula had only ever seen snow from a distance before, so you can imagine the excitement :-) (There is usually a snow fall in Kokstad every Winter, but it always happens during the week when school and work happen) Well bang went our lazy morning!
We got to Kokstad and they had closed the road, before the snow was even visible - we were gutted, thinking that we had driven all that way for nothing. We waited in a looong queue of cars for about 20mins and (thank the pope!) they then reopened the road and off we went. It wasn't long before we were driving through this:

winter wonderland
We finally found a place to stop and Paula got her first experience of snow at the ripe old age of 13!

girls in the snow

bums up

Notice the wet bum - Paula learnt the hard way that snow is.......wet and ......cold and perhaps it is not a good idea to sit down in it! Especially when you don't have a change of clothes and it's a looong way home. We stopped at a nearby lodge for some hot chocolate on the way home and Paulz spent half an hour warming her bum at the fire-place!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

Friday Fill-ins

1. There is no need to try to be anyone except who I truly am, why do I have to keep on reminding myself of that?

2. Where in the heck did the week go?

3. Not a lot is all I managed to do.

4. Prospects for this weekend are good!

5. Take it or leave it is the message.

6. Simplicity and tranquility are something I strive for, but never really manage to achieve, unfortunately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing with my book, tomorrow my plans include trawling the mall with my girls and Sunday, I want to do some serious Spring Cleaning!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You searched for WHAT??

Every now and then I browse my google analytics reports to see how many visitors have been to my blog, where they are from, what they have shown interest in etc etc. But the thing that interests me most is seeing what Google searches have led people to my blog. It’s fascinating!

Apart from the usual suspects: searches for “gill”, “gill nets”, “jottings” etc; some of the other searches that have brought unsuspecting googlers to my blog are:

“hormonal bliss” - Yep, don’t I know ALL about it!

“lolita 13yo” - Whhaaat!!! Yeuch! Go away, I don't want you here!

“cow birth” - Who would have thunk it?

“reticulated python” – because of this post.

“Celebrate grey hair” - Well I didn’t exactly celebrate it….!

“Dealing with a mouthy teenager” - Oh yeah!

“Naughtigirls groove” - HuH??

“Genius Gill” – well what can I say people, what can I say....(blushes modestly)

But the search that has brought more people to this blog than any other…….

The word “eccentric” - this post has brought more people to my blog than any other. Weird huh?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why I love South Africa

Caz tagged me for this BRILLIANT meme.

Here is how it works:
Link back to the meme creator
Link to the person who tagged you
Give (at least) 5 reasons why you love SA
Tag at least 5 peeps
Let me know when you've done it!

1. The weather. Oh my word, we have the BEST weather, especially on the East Coast where I live. The Winter in KZN is simply divine!

2. We’ve got Madiba!

3. The people, I LOVE the people of this land, ALL of them. The mix of cultures makes life so interesting. There is something incredibly invigorating about living in a genuine Rainbow Nation.

4. Rugby. What could be better than putting on your rugby team’s shirt, opening a packet of Mrs Ball’s chutney flavoured chips, bringing out a bowl of biltong and sitting down to watch the rugby with a Hunter’s Dry?? No better way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

5. The food! Braai, biltong, koeksisters, bunny-chow, biryani, milktart, bobotie…. Seriously good food, people!!

I tag: Fi, Mel, Rox, Addie, another Mel

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Follow me, follow me!

You might have noticed on my sidebar that there is a little "thingy" saying "Follow this blog" and showing my one, lonely follower (Thanks Angel, you cupcake you!)

If you are a blogspot/Blogger kind of blogger, please, please be my friend and click on "Follow this blog". I'd really appreciate it and then I'll return the favour and follow you too.
(I have tried to follow all the Blogger bloggers on my blogroll, but if I haven't started following you yet, please let me know and I will!) If you haven't already, then add the widget to your sidebar too.
Oh and while you are at it, feel free to join my Facebook network too (nudge, nudge)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My friend Linda of This and That has given me this award. Thanks Linda! (hop over and have a look at her blog, she has THE most beautiful grandchildren on the planet!)

To translate the award (loosely!) from Portuguese to English, it means:
"This blog invests and believes, the proximity"[meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' -being close through proxy] How awesome is that??
"They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate?
Then let's try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to 8 bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text."
As usual, I am not passing this award on to specific bloggers, but if you have made my day by leaving a comment on my blog, please accept the award :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ads on blogs

In her comment on this post Marsha asked if I would consider putting ads on my site. It’s something I have thought about. Heaven knows, I'd definitely like to make a couple of bucks out of something I actively enjoy doing! (as opposed to my day job, which is pretty bleeeeuh!)

In my investigations into the whole "ads on blogs" thing, I came across a brilliant post on Scribbit which can be seen here. She pretty much answers every question I have had regarding advertising on blogs.

Having read what she has to say, and having done some more nosing around myself, I am hesitant to run ads on my blog. For starters, I like my blog to look quite uncluttered and no doubt about it, ads are inclined to clutter up a blog – I’m thinking along the lines of Adsense ads. I’ve also seen a couple of really nice blogs turn nasty after jumping on the marketing band-wagon. I’ve stopped visiting two blogs for this very reason; both were actively marketing products on their blogs in almost every second post. Horrible!

And then I read a post like this one on iMod and it gets me thinking again… But to get some perspective, iMod is huge, he’s in a completely different league to my blog. He gets literally thousands of visitors to his blog daily.

The bottom line is, from what I can make out, you need an awful lot of regular readers to make any worthwhile money out of ads and until you have that kind of readership, is it worth messing around with ads on your blog? Personally, I don’t think so.

Any thoughts??

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

Friday Fill-ins

1. I enjoy _chocolate_.

2. _How on earth to finance my retirement_ is something I wonder about often lately.

3. In your heart, you knew _it wasn't going to work out, so why did you do it? That's what I want to know!

4. Take _life by the balls_, add a little _humour_ and you end up with _a life worth living_.

5. Life has gifted me with _the most wonderful husband and daughters and a couple of really cute pets too. I'm a lucky one!

6. _Going to a good movie_ is an instant vacation.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _finishing Captain Corelli's Mandolin_, tomorrow my plans include _shopping____ and Sunday, I want to _relax and enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Current addictions

I was tagged by Tamara. She wants me to 'fess up about all my current addictions!

Now... the rules:*Post at least five current addictions (with some details please)*Mention the person who started this game of tag (Being Brazen) and also the person who just tagged you (in my case, Tamara).*Type your post with the heading "Current addictions"*Tag at least two people and pass on the above rules.

Okay, so here we go...... I confess, my current addictions are:

* Mamma Mia – the movie. I have been to see it twice already and I can’t wait to see it again. I’m really surprised at some of the bad reviews it has been getting. Yes, it’s cheesy, yes, it’s frivolous.... but it is such a fun movie! We went to see it with my in-laws on Tues night and they loved it just as much as we did. I think the fact that my 70yo father-in-law and my 13yo daughter both thought it was marvelous says a lot about the movie’s appeal. That and the fact that my 18yo daughter now thinks ABBA is the bomb and has stolen my ABBA Gold CD!

* ArteOliva pimiento stuffed olives. This is a very specific addiction, not just any pimiento stuffed olive will do, it has to be ArteOliva! I can’t get enough of them, I am going through a tin every couple of days. And no, I am definitely not preggers! (And no, I am not getting paid for this ad ;-) more’s the pity!)

* Duffy – I am loving Duffy. I had a bit of an Amy Winehouse thing going, but have switched allegiance to Duffy. Warwick Avenue is my current favourite, favourite.

* Blogging – yep I’ve been doing it for nearly (very nearly!) two years and I am still addicted. I think this calls for a trip to re-hab people!!

* Kahlua coffee – (that would be an Irish coffee with Kahlua instead of whiskey, for those not in the loop) I’ve always loved Kahlua coffee, but since my (on the whole very tee-total) daughter has developed a taste for the occasional Kahlua coffee, well I’ve fallen in love all over again. So about once a week either Rox or I will chuck a tub of cream in the shopping trolley and bang goes the diet….again!

Who to tag?? Uuuumm….
Cooksister
Sanni

Addie
Rox

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Officially broke!

I am officially broke...and it's 2 weeks and 2 days until payday - I counted. The reason for this sorry state of affairs has to do with .....




......... these two little darlings!

About 10 days ago, Zippity-Boo went investigating in the garden and came inside with a deep hole in the top of his nose, very close to his eye; he was squirting blood all over the place and looking very sorry for himself. Rox and I first did some panicking and shrieking and then raced off to the vet with him (after hours of course, why do these things always happen after hours??) It was established that a cat had bitten him. We know this because a very sharp, small, feline tooth had penetrated the bone and gone straight into his sinus cavity. Having had a couple of injections, submitted to having the wound thouroughly cleaned and medicated, and being presented with 2 bags of pills, one very disgruntled little feline returned home. That little adventure cost me roughly R500...

Last week Jackie was taken off to the vet because she was, scratching, scratching, scratching... to the point that she was developing bare patches. She suffers from a chronic skin condition common to Jack Russells and we have medication to use at home when it gets bad, but it had gone beyond the point of self-medication this time. While she was there she had her annual shots and we stocked up on flea medication for all our furry creatures (with Spring comes an invasion of fleas on the east coast of South Africa) and R750 later we headed home...

(add to this the fact that my Paula-poops has out grown most of her Summer wardrobe and she needed new school shoes this month and she is going on a school trip that needed to be paid for this month ...)

So that is why I am feeling pooooor BUT I am way better off than my hair stylist T whom you me in this post!

Spare a thought for T and her beloved furry companions:

A little while ago T's hubby was practising his golf swing and Cat A happened to streak in front of him at the crucial moment, Cat As leg was crushed and eventually had to be amputated!!

While Cat A was still in the vet hospital, Dog A developed a limp and the vet prescribed anti-inflammatories.

Cat B managed to get hold of Dog A's medication and ate all of it!! Cat B was rather unwell after this little feast.

Dog B was then attacked by the neighbour's Alsatian while innocently minding its own business and required a very large number of stitches.

Dog A's limp did not improve and on further investigation it was discovered that Dog A would require a knee replacement. The operation was duly performed.

Dog B then burst a blood vessel in its ear and last I heard was going in for surgery yesterday.

Dog A developed an infection and required yet more medication.

At last count my hairdresser T had coughed up in excess of R7500 in vet bills in 6 weeks!!!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Thoughts on blog comments

Okay, I know this is a touchy subject among bloggers - it leads to all sorts of questions about why we actually blog. Do we blog simply for affirmation via comments left? Or do we blog to have an outlet for our writing and sometimes to let off a little steam?

Personally, for me it's a bit of both. I started off blogging because I love to write, at that point, had I never received a single comment I would have been happy with that. But I must confess that having "been around the blog" a couple of times, I started getting a little thrill every time I got a comment on one of my posts. Nowdays I still blog because I love to write, but I also really enjoy getting feedback from my readers and have come to love the comments that appear at the bottom of a post and the emails I receive saying that a reader has enjoyed a particular post.

Which brings me to the point of this post (there is a point, honest!)

I read a number of blogs on an almost daily basis and I definitely don't leave comments on each and every blog every single day (geez, it would be a full time occupation...) but I do make a point of leaving a comment on each blog I read on a fairly regular basis. I feel that if you are enjoying the posts on a blog and getting regular entertainment from it, it is a matter of good manners to at least sometimes reciprocate by leaving a comment.

I also make a point of visiting the blogs of those who leave comments and leaving a comment in return. Again, to my way of thinking this is a matter of good manners.

Now some of the blogs I read are extremely popular and I fully realise that if you are getting in excess of 50-100 comments a day it is practically impossible to run around and visit all those blogs and leave comments. It's perfectly fine by me if those particular bloggers never visit my blog ever. But I have to confess that I get just a little bit bugged by the fact that there are bloggers who are not that popular who never take the time to visit the blogs of those who comment. Frankly I think it's a bit rude.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is a very popular blog I visit and I have left comments on a couple of occasions, never for a moment expecting a response and yet each time this blogger has sent me a personal email, thanking me for visiting her blog and replying to my comment. I am in awe of this blogger - unfortunately anyone who has commented on my blog will know that I am not as gracious (blush, blush!)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this - do you think it's fine to get comments regularly from a particular reader of your blog and to never take the time to visit their blog and leave a comment of your own? Am I being overly sensitive?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Seven Deadly Sins


I found this on Angel's blog and being a lover of memey things, I just had to do it.


WRATH

1. Who did you last get angry with?
Rox. She came home in a weird, argumentative mood yesterday, but we sorted it out quite quickly.

2. What is your weapon of choice?
Words

3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?
I did a couple of times as a teenager (blush) but I have matured a little since then!

4. How about of the same sex?
I have, when the occasion has warranted it, smacked my daughters, does that count?

5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you?
No doubt one of my daughters.

6. What is your pet peeve?
Racism

7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?
Oh Yes! I can carry grudges for years!

SLOTH

1. What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you don’t?
Exercise (and it shows!)

2. What is the latest you’ve ever woken up?
Probably 9:30am or thereabouts.

3. Has anyone else noticed that this meme is missing Sloth number 3???

4. What is the last lame excuse that you made?
I told my father I could not go to work on Tuesday because there was no one there to control his dogs. (I work from a flatlet at his house and his dogs have a bad habit of running out when I open the gate if there is no-one else there to control them)

5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through?
Not for the longest time, infomercials drive me insane

6. When was the last time you got in a good workout?
It depends how you define a good workout! Put it this way…. I don’t do sweat!

7. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today?
Once

GLUTTONY

1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice?
Red cappuccino.

2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark meat??
Definitely white

3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you’ve had in one sitting/outing/event?
A friend and I once ploughed our way through 2 bottles of Amarula and then a couple of glasses of cheap white wine. The following day I decided that hang-overs just weren’t worth it and I haven’t had one since!

4. Have you ever used a professional diet company?
As a teenager (when I was thin, had I only known it!!) I went to Weigh-less

5. Do you have an issue with your weight?
Oh Yes!!!

6. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods, or spicy?
All of them, hence my answer to No. 5 ;-)

7. Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought “lunch”?
No, I’m not THAT bad!!


LUST

1. How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies/family):
Fewer than you would think.

2. How many people have seen YOU naked (not counting physicians/family)
Much fewer than you would think. However if we included physicians, it would be A LOT more than you would think.

3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of the opposite gender during a normal conversation?
Frequently!

4. Have you ever kissed two people in one night?
(Paula, Rox close your eyes!) YES!

5. What is your favorite body part on a person?
I assume we are talking about the opposite sex? If a guy has lovely slender artistic looking hands, then definitely hands are number one. Other than that, butts. That’s what attracted me to Grant – he has not so nice hands, but my word he STILL to this day has a delicious, perky bum! (And Paula has inherited it, lucky little beast)


6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute?
Hell no!




GREED

1. How many credit cards do you own?
Two too many


2. What’s your guilty pleasure store?
Woolies all the way


3. Would you rather be rich, or famous?
I’d HATE to be famous. Rich I could definitely do!


4. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks?
Oh yes, honestly, I love boring jobs. I'd pick a dull, boring, predictable job over something stressful anyday, and if it brought in mega-bucks I would be as happy as a pig in poop :-)

5. Have you ever stolen anything?
(Rox, Paula close your eyes!) Yes, I stole a pecan nut (of all things!) as a child and I got caught by a very scary lady. That was the end of my career as a thief ;-)

6. How many MP3s are on your hard drive?
Quite a few, but I listen to the same old ones over and over.

PRIDE


1. What’s one thing you have done that you’re most proud of?
Raised 2 lovely (most of the time) daughters and made my marriage work really well, in the face of some serious challenges


2. What one thing have you done that your parents are most proud of?
My parents don’t consider me anything to be proud of. I’m afraid I am a HUGE disappointment!


3. What things would you like to accomplish in your life?
I’d like to be a good mother, a wonderful grandmother and a relatively harmless mother-in-law one day. I’d like for Grant and I to continue to be loving companions to one another for many, many years to come. I’d like to age gracefully.

4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place?
Oh no, second place suits me just fine.


5.Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors?
Hee, hee! NO definitely not.



6.Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score?
Maybe as a child, nowdays I really couldn’t be bothered, I am SO non-competitive.

7. What did you do today that you’re proud of?
Got out of bed. Just joking! Oh yes, I’ve got one! I was very good today and made my hubby a sarmie to take to work. In fact he just phoned me to thank me for it (aah aren’t we sweet!)



ENVY
1. What item or person would you most want to have for your own?
That guy that won the 10km swim at the Olympics! (Just joking, but phwoar he IS hot!) Seriously, I’d love to own a house that I have designed myself.


2. Who would you want to go on “Trading Spaces” with?
No-one, that would freak me out badly.


3.If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?
I’d still be me, thank-you very much, but if you could arrange for me to be a me with perky little boobs like Paris Hilton and a bod like Kate Hudson and and a smile like Katie Holmes .........



4. Have you ever been cheated on?
Yes, nothing further to add...

5. Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own?
Very frequently!! See No. 3!


6. What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself?
Confidence, loads and loads of confidence.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The big book list

I am on a campaign to read some decent, classic-type literature. I generally read for fun and relaxation, which means that nine times out of ten if you have a look at the book I am reading it will be some kind of light-hearted "fluff"- chick-lit, that sort of thing. It's weird that my reading-level has dropped so dramatically, because while I was at school, I was the kind of geek who read things like Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and D.H. Lawrence for fun!

What got me inspired to up my reading-level is the book list that has been doing the rounds on a whole bunch of blogs (I'm sure you've seen it). I was horrified to see that I have only read about 20 of the books on the list. Good grief! So I am working my way through some of the others, in an attempt to become more educated and academic ;-) Actually the real reason is that I have intended to read so many of these books for years and years, so I've decided that there is no time like the present!

Since beginning this campaign I have read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and loved it and I have just finished "Memoirs of a Geisha" - it was absolutely fascinating. Next on my list is Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

The list I mentioned is a meme kind of thing and the deal is that you:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Highlight the ones you still want to read but just have not had a chance yet.
5) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them.

1. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
3. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
5. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
6. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
12. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
13. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman
14. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
15. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
16. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
18. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
19. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
21. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis (My daughter has read this and I haven't, how embarrassing!)
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
24. Animal Farm - George Orwell
25. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
26. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
27. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
28. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
29. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
30. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
32. Complete Works of Shakespeare
33. Ulysses - James Joyce
34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
35. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
36. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
37. The Bible
38. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
39. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
40. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
41. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
42. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
46. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
49. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
50. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
51. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
53. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier (I'm sure I read this years ago, but need to check)
54. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
55. Middlemarch - George Eliot
56. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
57. Bleak House - Charles Dickens58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
59. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
60. Emma - Jane Austen
61. Persuasion - Jane Austen
62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
64. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
66. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
68. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
69. Atonement - Ian McEwan
70. Dune - Frank Herbert
71. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
72. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
73. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
74. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
75. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
76. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
77. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
78. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
81. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
82. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
83. Dracula - Bram Stoker
84. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
85. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
86. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
87. Germinal - Emile Zola
88. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
89. Possession - A.S. Byatt
90. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
91. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
92. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
93. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
94. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
96. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
97. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams
99. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
100. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

Dealing with grief

I just read this amazing blog post by a mom who recently lost her baby. She gives real, practical examples of what to do/say to someone wh...