22 September 2007

I love Amazon (the book meme)

From daysgoby

Total number of books owned
Approximately 2000 but they're not all mine. Some are, some are MrV's and some are books from remainder sales that MrV thought one of us would like to read.

Last book bought
Pippa Longstocking. Oh, you mean for me? Hmmm good question. I think it was "Bend the Rules Sewing" by Amy Carol, but last weekend it was my birthday and I scored a huge amount of Amazon vouchers so will be going on a bookbuying spree shortly

Last book read
I have three books on the go at present. "A Spot of Bother" by Mark Haddon (who wrote "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time)which is in the livingroom. I've only read a little of it but it looks to be a good, easy read; "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher which is in the loft/study. It is very hard to class this book. When MrV told me about it I thought it sounded a bit Douglas Adams, but having read some of it, it's not at all; and "The Story of Art" by EH Gombrich which I dip into occasionally.

Five Books that Mean a Lot to You
"And God Created the Au Pair" by Pascale Smets and Benedicte Newland. I love this book. It is a series of emails between two sisters, one in London, the other in Canada, about their children, husbands, etc etc and is a fantastic antidote to chicklit

"The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen" by Nigel Slater. I have a huge collection of cookbooks as I'm always on the lookout for THE cookbook, the one with mostly veggie recipes that are healthy, easy to cook, don't use a lot of weird ingredients and would appeal to a very picky four year old. OK perhaps the last bit is asking too much.

"The Story of Art" by EH Gombrich. MrV bought it for me shortly after the Count was born. We were in a little bookshop beside Wandsworth Common and I saw it. I've wanted to know more about the history of art for quite a long time, and being me, have done little about it, so MrV knowing me well bought the book. Four months in and I've reached Chapter 5...

"The Windup Bird Chronicles" by Haruki Murakami. First one of his books I read. I had never couldn't heard of him and bought it because I liked the front cover. Then once I had started reading it I stop and had to find more of his work. This was back in the 90s and there wasn't much of his stuff about. I still love his more surreal stuff and mean to host a Murakami dinner party at some point - the menu to be food mentioned in his books and accompanied by music he mentions too. Oh and the book smells fantastic.

"Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers" by Charles M. Schulz . My aunt gave this to me for my birthday when I was about 7 or 8 and I loved it. In fact I loved it so much that when the FB was tinier than he currently is, I ordered a copy of the book off Ebay for him.

Five Books That You Just Don't Get
"Ullyses"by James Joyce. I've tried over and over and nope it just doesn't do it for me.

"Sap Rising" by AA Gill. This is probably the worst book I have ever read. I bought it because the Guardian's review was on the front cover "Do not buy this book" and I wanted to see why. I found out pretty fast why.

Shakespeare. We had to study Shakespeare at school, every year a new play apart from a few years when we did "Midsummer Night's Dream" two years in a row. There is nothing that kills a play more than a bunch of 'can't be bothered" children having to read the parts in class. Hamlet to me is a whole class of 16 year olds chanting "tobeornottobethatisthequestionwhetheritisnoblein....." you get the picture.

Chicklit. I read it but it drives me up the wall. Why do all the heroines have to be slim, beautiful but neurotic? It's junkfood for the brain really.

"Effie Briest" by Theodor Storm. Did this in German at uni and loathed it. I couldn't identify with the main protagonist and frankly after a few pages, wanted to slap her and tell her to grow up.

If you fancy doing this meme consider yourself tagged.

20 September 2007

Am I being unreasonable?

There is, within a website called Mumsnet, a section where worldweary mamas can ask if whatever bugbear currently afflicting them is acceptable or if they are being unreasonable. I mean one day to go onto it, but fear that my grumpiness and irrationality would prove too much and crash the website. So instead, dear reader, I shall grump here.

Am I being unreasonable to

1. Expect the postman to deliver MY parcels to me and NOT to my neighbour? Have spotted him wandering away from my frontdoor with a parcel only to have my neighbour bring it round to me later. And while we are on the subject of snail mail, when did first class post start taking 10 days to arrive from Reading (largish town not really that far from London?)

2. Expect the damn moths to bugger off? Have successfully vanquished the little horrors from one cupboard only for them to have moved into the one beside it and I can't find where their pupae are..

3. be a little narked when, after a day of eating a diet that a supermodel would class as austere, I stand on the scales and find I've actually gained weight.

4. to feel a little foolish that I've started a post about being grumpy about so many things and can't actually remember most of what I was grumpy about.

Right I am off to ice a chocolate cake.

09 September 2007

A plague upon your house sir!

I'm feeling very old-testamont right now. First we had the floods back in July and now a plague of moths. The cute, dinky ones I wrote about back in May have followed us across council borders, are infesting one kitchen cupboard and have claimed squatters' rights. When I googled them I found out that they are flour moths and like to eat practically anything they can get their larva jaws into, like my herb & spice collection for example which has had, in the most, to be binned.
Last Saturday I had enough and cleared out all the food cupboards in the kitchen one by one, going through each shelf and binning anything that looked suspect or had cocoons on. Then each cupboard in turn was sprayed in bleach and closed up with what I thought was moth free foodstuff inside. Next day two of the three cupboards had moths in. So did the whole thing again and put things into plastic and glass containers to quarantine them. Next day two of the three cupboards clear of moths! But the third? Still infested! I went through the herbs and spices which are all in their little glass jars. The larva had gotten into them so into the bin went my massive collection. And the cupboard was rebleached and everything left out. This morning I put a few things back in and guess what. A few hours later, there's a moth, and on inspection of the things in the shelfs, I found some cocoons...
I am starting to take this personnally. It feels like there's a war going on between me and the moths and I have to confess, the moths are winning. So now everything is sitting out on the kitchen counters again having being inspected yet again for cocoons and the cupboard is once again seeped in bleach.
So any suggestions? I suspect I have two choices - either to bin everything in the cupboard, firebomb the shelves (or put them through the dishwasher) and hope that that clears the little buggers out, or put things back one at a time and see how it goes.

04 September 2007


Well here we are at the end of the alphabet. We've successfully navigated the twisty little maze of passages, avoided any dwarfs with axes, treasure stealing pirates, and scared off the giant snake in the Hall of the Mountain King.*

Normal service will resume shortly with daring tales of moth-fights; and "Singer, or how I learned to love the sewing machine".

*No, I've not gone mad, it's from Collossal Adventure