Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 3.1: A Party of Choice — March 17, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 3.1: A Party of Choice

Me and my guests!
All images courtesy of Wikimedia except Pam Ayres (Flikr) and of course me!

This week’s list is all about people. We can choose whoever we like, living or dead, famous or not. The Duchesse would like us to list who we would  most like  to meet. This is going to be a tricky one, I think, but here are some people I would love to meet:

  • Maya Angelou. Since I came across her book ‘I know why the caged bird song’ several years ago, I have been impressed by how she made something of herself despite the awful tragedies and setbacks encountered in her life, not to mention the discrimination she suffered! She was a wise woman and an inspiration.
  • Elvis Presley. Now, being rather partial to a handsome man, I would love to meet him when he was at his prime. Not only would he be wonderful to look at, (I think he was one of the best-looking men ever),  but he would be able to serenade us all with his beautiful voice too!
  • Stephen Fry. I wish I had an iota of this man’s wit and intelligence. He would be the ideal guest, regaling us with his hilarious anecdotes, plus I am sure we would all learn something from him!
  • Henry VIII. Not only is this a damn good excuse to have a Medieval nosh-up, but I would love to find out what makes him tick, as he was a man of many contradictions!
  • Pam Ayres. I love her style of humorous poetry, so would definitely have to have her around so that I could pick her brains and get some fresh ideas!
  • Queen Elizabeth I. Just like her father she was quite a feisty character, a strong woman who did things her way.  What an interesting woman to chat to!

I think I would have to have several parties as I am sure there are plenty of others that I could invite!

THE GREAT BOOK OF LISTS, CHAPTER 3.0 : YOUR FAVORITE DISHES — March 12, 2016

THE GREAT BOOK OF LISTS, CHAPTER 3.0 : YOUR FAVORITE DISHES

 

** All images courtesy of Wikimedia except of course my gingerbreads!

Ooooh, this is a great week for the Book of Lists, this week as we get to talk about one of my favourite subjects….yes, food! The Duchesse wants to know what kind of food we enjoy cooking, and of course, eating!

In our house, Mr Grump is chief chef although I can cook when needed and sometimes I might actually make some cakes or gingerbreads (usually when Miss Hap wants them for school cake day or something)!

The kind of food I seem to enjoy the most is normally the most unhealthy, calorific dishes, which I am sure is no surprise. Still, here is my list.

  • A full English breakfast
  • A roast dinner
  • Party food
  • Barbecues
  • Steak and kidney pudding

I could go on and on…but my tummy is rumbling now!

The Great Book of Lists, Chapter 2.3: The Soundtrack of my Life — February 24, 2016

The Great Book of Lists, Chapter 2.3: The Soundtrack of my Life

The Duchesse has given us a wonderful  topic this week for her Great Book of Lists , music. Well,  more specifically music that has been a very important part of our lives. I love music and it is wonderful to be transported back in time when a certain song comes on the radio. Here are some of my favourites:

Young Love- Donny Osmond. I have loved Donny Osmond and in fact, the whole family, since I was a very little girl. My big sister was crazy for them and actually got to see them in concert, at the height of their fame in Manchester. She played their records constantly but this one is one of my favourites. Oh, and Donny  has still got it even now!!

Meatloaf – Bat out of Hell. This whole album reminds of school. I was not keen on my school days I have to admit, but we did have some good laughs. I went to an all-girls grammar school that also used to have boarders back then. I was invited by one of the girls to stay the night and  I remember songs from this album being played at full blast. This album was top of the charts for years, and never grows old!  In fact I was playing the CD in my car singing my head off just last week.

Roxy Music – Same old Scene. Now I am not usually one for the smooth, suave type, but there was something about Bryan Ferry that was rather appleaing! I remember going to see Roxy Music in Concert with my sister and brother. they were brilliant live. Not long after this I joined the army, which brings me to…

Pat Benetar – Love is a Battlefield. This is mine and Mr Grump’s song! We kept splitting up and getting back together when we first met, even getting engaged at one point. We were too young though.

Queen – Another One Bites the Dust. There are so many songs I could have chosen by Queen but this is one of my favourites. Freddie Mercury was such a brilliant showman and I was lucky enough to actually be at this concert in 1986. we were nowhere near the front but the atmosphere was electric. Freddie had us all in the palm of his hands singing with him!

Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual. This is a very special song to me. Both of my sisters were with me when Miss Hap was born, and we had brought some cds with us to the hospital to relax me. As soon as we Miss Hap started to apprear they put this on, and that is the first thing she heard! Did I mention she is a bit of a mover!

 

Eagles – Hotel California When Mr Grump and I finally got married, my brother-in law sang this for us at our wedding as it is one of our favourite songs. It was a very personal and special moment for us both.

There are loads more, and I could go on and on, but these are the ones that have really had a huge impact on my life.

The Great Book of Lists 2.2 Words That Matter — February 18, 2016

The Great Book of Lists 2.2 Words That Matter

Beauty

Today we are concentrating on words for the Duchesse’s Great Book of Lists.  As you know, I love words, normally the wackier the better. However, today I will be concentrating on words that matter. This prompt was suggested by the lovely Rosema who wanted us to think about words  that have had some kind of positive impact in our lives. words that have given us encouragement helped us when we were down or propelled us forward. Words that matter, indeed.  Here are some of mine that come to mind…

  • You are a valued member of our team Jude, and I just want you to know that. This was said to me just today actually by one of the senior nurses on my team. It really meant a lot to me hearing that, as I always try to work hard, so it is lovely to feel that it is appreciated.
  • I love you, Mama. Whenever Miss Haps says this, it really melts my heart. We have our ups and downs and because of her Asperger’s, she can be extremely blunt, which can be very hurtful at times, so when I hear this, it always lifts me up and keeps me going!
  • You look pretty today. Occasionally I do actually make an effort to look nice, and sometimes Mr Grump notices! It is always lovely getting compliments and it gives me just a little extra boost!
  • Believe in yourself, and if at first you  don’t succeed then try, try again. This really is  something that I try and remember. It is surprising how many things I have achieved that I had never dreamed I would be able to do. Alright, I may not be the best writer, poet, seamstress, cook or even the best mum, but I try! I get it wrong probably more times than I get it right, but I don’t give up. I am very determined that I will succeed, and that is because I believe that I can do it.

Although there are probably plenty more examples of words that matter, these are the ones that immediately spring to mind as being important to  me.

THE GREAT BOOK OF LISTS, CHAPTER 2.1 : FAVORITE ONSCREEN KISSES — February 10, 2016

THE GREAT BOOK OF LISTS, CHAPTER 2.1 : FAVORITE ONSCREEN KISSES

Poster_-_Gone_With_the_Wind_01.jpg

Today for the next instalment of the Great Book of Lists  the Duchesse has asked us to think about our favourite onscreen kisses. Oh dear, this is going to get ugly! I am rubbish at watching films all the way through at the best of times, as I usually fall asleep half way through!

Here are the ones that I can remember, though!

  • Jack and Rose in Titanic. Oh, how I hated Rose’s pompous ass of a fiance and was glad when she decided that it would be much more fun to hang around with Jack. The love scene with these two was very tender and passionate. Of course, I cried at the end of the film. I am a sucker for a sad story.
  • Rhett and Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. This kiss was a long time coming! Scarlett was a bit of a minx and she got her comeuppance in the end!
  • Molly and Sam in Ghost. I have mentioned this film before, but the scene where Sam comes back has become almost iconic with ‘Unchained Melody’ playing as the action heats up!
  • Danny and Sandy in Grease. Yes, I just had to mention it as it is one of my favourite feel-good films, so there!
  • Dan and Alex in Fatal Attraction. Who can forget that rather manic love scene?! Dan got rather more than he bargained for when he messed with her!

I think I have done rather well actually considering my appalling film-watching  track record!

THE GREAT BOOK OF LISTS, CHAPTER 2.0 : DREAM TRAVELS — February 3, 2016

THE GREAT BOOK OF LISTS, CHAPTER 2.0 : DREAM TRAVELS

Norther Lights
Photo courtesy of Mads Pihl. Greenland Travel. https://www.flickr.com/photos/greenlandtravel/14990374447

The poor Duchesse has not been well this week and has been suffering with her back. Hopefully, she is on the mend now and out of pain.

Her book of lists for this week concentrates on dream travels. Now, I am a dreadful wimp in that I am terrified of flying which kind of limits me a little when it comes to travelling to some of the places I would love to go to. However, this is about  our dream destinations, and here are some of mine:

  • I would dearly love to see the aurora borealis or ‘Northern Lights’ as they are more commonly known. They are so stunningly beautiful, and the fact that they are a natural phenomenon just adds to their appeal for me. The spectacular colours set off against the dark sky must be mesmerising.
  • Sweden. These Nordic countries really appeal to me,  despite the cold. In fact, that is part of the appeal! I would love to stay at the Ice Hotel. The way it has been designed intricately carved from the ice into elaborate rooms, each with a different personality, would surely make for a unique experience.
  • Canada. This is a country that has always appealed to me as it has so much to offer. spectacular scenery, mountains, lakes, and of course, Niagara Falls. There is a rich history and a wealth of treasures to explore here too.
  • Australia. Again, this country has so much to offer. I would particularly love to visit some of the gorgeous, uncrowded beaches and have a swim in the sea that appears so inviting. There are so many animals that I would love to see there, koalas, possums and kangaroos to name but a few (and many that I wouldn’t too, lizards and spiders, oh and SNAKES)!!!

There are so many wonderful places in the world that it is difficult trying to narrow down some of those that I would like to visit. It is not just the country itself but its people, history, culture and traditions that add to the whole experience. I did actually get on a plane once (well twice if you count coming back) to Istanbul. It was quite a culture shock for me at the time, being quite young. The people were so friendly, and the food so tasty and full of flavour, quite unlike what I had been used to. The places I visited told wonderful stories of bygone ages…Hmmm, I really must conquer that fear of flying!

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.4: The Books That Transport Me. — January 26, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.4: The Books That Transport Me.

Bookcases

Today’s Book of Lists, devised by La Duchesse d’Erat, is all about books. The books that meant something to us, took us on a journey, entranced and excited us. Any book that captured our imagination, or had some kind of impact.

This is kind of harder than I thought actually. I love books and have quite a few (all over the place), some of which I read over and over. It was tricky just to choose a few, but here are some of my favourites:

Enid Blyton- The Mallory Towers collection. Now, I was brought up on Enid Blyton books and could have chosen any of the many that I have rea.  However, as a girl, I always wanted to go to boarding school, and rather fancied myself as Darrell, the girl whose school journey we follow right up until the upper sixth form.  She was a good, solid student who was popular with her peers, but occasionally got it wrong because of her ‘hot temper.’

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations. Although I had to read this for my English lesson, I actually enjoyed it and bought my own copy. I was fascinated by the spooky old lady, Miss Haverhsam, in her faded wedding dress and cobwebby house. I felt sorry for poor little Pip living with his spiteful sister, and rather dull brother-in-law. Then, he meets the convict and his life changes. I love the fact that Dickens’ books are such a good indication of the social history at the time  and the way he writes, I felt that I was right there.

Jilly Cooper – Riders. Ah, I love a good ‘bonkbuster’ and they don’t get much better than good old Jilly Cooper! I like the way she gives a list of all the characters and a map of the fictional town/village where they live at the start of the book so you know who is who. She tackles showjumping in this book, but also goes on to write others about the art world, orchestras, polo, teaching, and television. All of them feature one character throughout, who is, of course, rich, handsome and a hit with the ladies. These books are always entertaining as she has a very witty style.

James Herriot – It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet. Again, this is part of a series, of semi-autobiographical books written by  James Alfred Wight,  about his life as a country vet in the 1940s after he qualified, in the north of England. This book and others he wrote had me roaring my head off. His self-deprecating humour and hapless manner made for many a funny story. Added to that the unpredictability of animals, making a recipe for disaster told in a manner that left me with tears streaming down my face at times, it was that funny.

So there you have a few of the many books I have enjoyed over the years. I have greatly enjoyed writing this post and remembering those wonderful stories. I might just have to dig some of them out again!

 

 

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.3: The List of Desires — January 19, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.3: The List of Desires

 

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Image courtesy of Wikipedia

This week’s list for La Duchesse d’Etat’s Great Book off Lists  is all about our hopes and wishes for 2016. Not necessarily specific goals or resolutions, just things that we would like to accomplish. Here is mine:

  • Attend the Annual Blogger’s Bash  in June. I am hoping to be able to go this year. It will be so exciting meeting up with fellow bloggers who I have come to know over the past year and a half. Many of you already seem like friends that I just haven’t met yet and I am so looking forward to actually seeing you in the flesh!
  • I’d really like to get stuck into editing and re-writing the book that I did for NaNoWriMo. I have had some really helpful and constructive feedback to what I have done so far, and this has spurred me on to want to make something out of it.
  • Get a grip, and make some lifestyle changes. I know this sounds like a resolution and it is, kind of, but I actually need to do it for the sake of my health. Luckily, there are two blogs that I follow that are very helpful here. Sally gives loads of helpful information and tips about nutrition, and I know I can ask her anything aout diet, and she would be able to help, plus she has been on a huge weight loss journey herself so understands the problems that can arise, trying to lose weight. Likewise Colleen, with her ‘Mindful Mondays’ gives advice, encouragement and support to those of us that are trying to embark on a healthier lifetsyle.
  • Take a few more Future Learn courses. I do love these little mini courses, as they are so interesting. I know I have mentioned them before, but for someone like me, that likes to learn about all kinds of different things, these bite sized lessons can give me a little insight into all sorts of subjects, and feeds my brain the knowledge it craves!
  • Get down to the beaach more often! Despite only living about twenty minutes or so from the seaside, I hardly managed to get down there last year, for one reason or another. This year, I am going to make the most of it!
The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.2: The Little Things you Love. — January 11, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.2: The Little Things you Love.

Blogging
This photo captures numbers 2, 3, and 6 of my favourite things all at once!

 

We all have those little things that get us through the day, and La Duchesse d’Erat had suggested that we make a list of the little things that mean a lot. Here is mine:

  1. When Miss Hap calls me Mama, like she used to do when she was tiny.
  2. Having my hair brushed, it really relaxes me, but I usually have to bribe Miss Hap to do it for me!
  3. Seeing a vase full of pretty flowers. It reminds me that spring is coming and brings cheer to the dreary day.
  4. The rare occasions that Roxy comes and has a snuggle with me. She is normally ‘daddy’s girl!’
  5. Finding something to wear that actually looks nice on me!
  6. Blogging. All the aspects of it, reading other’s posts, writing my own, and interacting with others.
  7. Mr Grump’s delicious cooking!

 

 

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1: Treasures From Childhood — January 5, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1: Treasures From Childhood

1975

La Duchesse d’Erat has come up with a brilliant new challenge where you make lists on a range of topics which changes every week. The idea is at the end, you have a whole host of lists that are filled with memories, humour, and all kinds of other emotions experienced. If you want to get involved, check it out here 

The first list is regarding childhood treasures. I always think it is lovely to look back to those carefree days and remember some of those special moments. So here is my list.

  1. Spending summer days at the beach with the family. We always went prepared! Ice box, windbreakers, dinghy, buckets and spades, more food, flasks of coffee, spare clothes, towels, and of course, yet more food!
  2. My Nans. Both of my nans were characters in their own way. As I may have mentioned before, they lived next door to each other when we were very young. Both were strict, formidable women, who were bloody hard workers. They were also damn good cooks, and many a good meal was had at both of their houses!
  3. Our golden labrador Jasper. We used to live on quite a busy road which was just opposite an alleyway that took you to the local recreation ground right next to a primary school. Jasper was a regular Houdini and my mum had many a phone call from the irate school caretaker telling her that the dog had got into the swimming pool again! (Yes, school used to have their own pools when I was young)!
  4. My exchange partner Gudrun. When I was 13 the school organised a German exchange trip, for two weeks we would be hosts to a German child and then we would go and stay with them for another two weeks. There were other schools taking part and we all had a fantastic laugh. I went again the next year with the school, and the year after, we did it on our own in the school holidays. Gudrun and her family were absolutely lovely and we stayed in touch for years afterwards.
  5. My record player. I had one of those little box type record players with the long spindle bit in the middle where you could stack a few records in a row (mind you, when you had about 4 on there and some of them were warped, they did not always play properly)! I have always loved music and my records were a huge part of my childhood.

So there are a few snippets from my childhood. Why not join in the challenge.

 

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