Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Mornings of the Past

It has been a very long week this week and so I am starting my Saturday in the style of days gone by. I am sat on the couch, wearing my goony (dressing gown) and drinking tea. The only thing that is missing is something cool on the TV!

I used to love Saturday morning TV as a small child. We would watch The Flashing Blade, Champion the Wonderhorse, the Six Million Dollar Man, the Monkeys and the Banana Splits.

I know nowadays there are lots of great shows for kids on the TV, and dedicated channels for them, but I don't think they have the appeal that some of my childhood favourites did.

I have recently been thinking about Monkey, which was another childhood favourite, and The Waltons which I loved and also associate with the weekend after it was last repeated on Sunday mornings. I even looked at the box set of The Waltons on amazon but that show has kept its value a little too well!

I looked out some images of the shows I have mentioned to remind you (in case you needed it) and this image of the Banana Splits really made me happy to look at, I thought therefore they deserved a full page spread! I remember very little of the show but have the most amazing associations with them. They really brought much joy. Although the second one from the left still scares me a little...not sure why!!!

I get the same feeling when I see Basil Brush although I do remember why I loved him so much, he used to make me howl with laughter!

Monkey, or Monkey Magic was always a bit weird but I loved it. And the Monkeys were great and are touring as a band at present. I heard an interview with them recently and the list of song writers who wrote for them is very impressive. They had some great songs.

Well Saturday morning TV is pretty grim I have to say but at least it seems I can rely on E4 playing repeats of Friends forever!

Image Credits: Sterling Times, Den of Geek, Anarchy on the Allotment, Just Me, Eclectic Banana, Tenho Mais Discos Que Amigos

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Library

I went to the library in my local town today to return some books and get some new ones out. I tend to get 4-5 out in one go, dependant on what catches my eye, but I always return them as I read them so that someone else has the chance to take them out and also for the experience of visiting. It is such a peaceful and quiet place and despite my recent decision to get a Kindle at some point I will never loose my love of being around books.

I like to wonder round and view the shelves, searching for a title or cover that attracts me, and I came away today with some great books. I got the next Giles Brandreth mystery book featuring Oscar Wilde, and two books by Ian Mortimer AKA James Forrester, centred around the Middle Ages which is a favourite historical period of mine.

Its an odd time. I always fantasise myself living happily in that period given the simplicity of life but from reading about it know that the reality was quite a different story and I would have been lucky to survive to adulthood given the disease and poverty.

I am currently reading Stieg Larsson's trilogy The Girl With/ Who, and a Sci Fi book I got free on Kindle called The Honour of the Knights by Stephen J Sweeney. I don't usually read two books at the same time and will probably default to one or the other once I have bonded with the characters.

It has been a great year for reading though and I have nearly read more books this year so far than I read last year in total.

Mr Dancin in reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett at the moment which I read last year and loved. Its great to get a summary of where he is in the book when he finishes a reading stint and remember with fondness the plot and characters.

Well who knows where I would have waffled onto but Mr Dancin has just arrived home so there's tea to be served! Happy Friday Bloggers! The weekend is finally here!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Worm

Well as the year continues its still very busy but exciting! And I have been managing to keep up on my reading which is great. I joined the public library recently and have been raiding their shelves, and have also downloaded the Kindle software onto my PC to make the most of the free books.

The experience has really sold Kindle devices to me, having originally thought they were not for me, my favourite tools being the immediate access to books and more impressively the dictionary tool.

Often when I am reading I come across a word I do not know the meaning of and as it is not always practicable to grab the dictionary every time to look it up I often move on, missing some of the meaning of the material I am reading.

I now at the click of a button can look up a word and swiftly move on. I have especially noticed the benefit of this while recently reading some older literature such as my current book The Tales of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle. Anyway, the Kindle is a purchase that will have to wait for a while but I really think I may get one at some point.

I have just finished reading Truman Capote - In Cold Blood, a factual story of multiple murders and the consequences. One of the books I suspect that anyone involved in the judicial service and related professions has been made to study and discuss.

I was originally attracted to the story when the film 'Capote' came out as Truman Capote is played by one of my favourite actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and I watched it on a plane earlier in the year however, I did not manage to catch all of the dialogue and wanted to read the book to get more detail out of the story.

I don't think I am quite ready to discuss it yet, it is rather disturbing on so many levels, but I actually think the process of writing a discussion of the book would help me!

It was good to read something factual though and I really do think I have learned a lot from it. It has certainly been thought provoking, and as I read it in one day and finished the book shortly before bed time was also nightmare provoking too! So I will be moving onto something a little lighter hearted for my next read!

Well today the sun is shining and it promises to be blue skies all the way! I have some prep work to do for teaching on Thursday but got most of it done yesterday. I also got the house cleaned yesterday and so have the luxury of a day sprawling before me in which the dogs and I can do as we please...well almost as we please. I am pretty sure we would all love most to go to the beach for the day but it's a little too far for a day trip, especially starting out at this hour! I really must get a beach trip planned in soon though!

Ok, time to get started! Happy Tuesday Bloggers! I hope the sun is with you.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Dear Diary

Hello Blog! Compared to my output last year I have been pretty absent from the blogging world this year but all for good reasons. Things have really kicked off for me personally with my photographic hobby, and professionally with work abroad and a change in career paths. However one of my favourite things about blogging is creating a record of just what you have been up to in the time you have which flies by so quickly.

Someone told me the other day that the older you get the quicker the time flies by which is a little worrying however I have found that when I record my events for future reflection it does remind me that I have actually been achieving a lot, so although my perception of time is that it flies by in the blink of an eye, I know I have used some of the time wisely, by my standards.

So here I am today, taking note of the of the events of the year. Its half term at the moment so I am not working at the college this week although I am using the time to over prepare for the coming term. I am really enjoying teaching and it is making me study all over again which is great. It is quite frightening when you revisit your own college notes and realise just how much you have forgotten.

I also like to over prepare as when I was at college my lecturers were inspirational to me, and as keen students we bombarded them with questions from all angles. I want to make sure I am prepared for any such questions. Arboriculture bleeds into so many other subjects and the depth you go to in some of these subjects needs to be set. For example, I am teaching pests and diseases so we are looking at the entomology of insects, and the varied and complex relationships between trees and fungi, and other diseases.

As you can imagine before you know it you can be buried in biological terms and processes that although interesting are not part of the course curriculum. There has to be a limit when teaching such subjects so as not to confuse students and to make sure they learn the important aspects of the interactions between trees and pathogens. I do however like to know the answers to as many periferal matters relating to the subject so I am prepared for any question they may have.

I am also doing some business development this week for the photography and am looking at local venues to try and sell my photographs.

I have a list of tasks in my email calendar so that I can individually record all of the things I want to achieve and tick them off as done!

Its been an interesting couple of weeks on the music front and we went to our third Rush concert the weekend before last which was amazing, in fact the best yet! I have decided that Rush are not only the most talented guys in Rock 'n' Roll but also the nicest!

I am sad to report that Gil Scott Heron died last week; a much loved artist that I never got to see, but I did remind myself that he lived an amazing life and did what he wanted to do, and through his music and writings he is immortalised. I also realised that the reason there seems to be a spate of musicians I like dying of late is related to my musical tastes and my age! Most of my favourite musicians herald from the 70's and as such are now 20+ older than me. As I turn 40 next year they are all 60+ and sadly succumbing to the ravishes of old age.

I also wanted to note here that Jeff Conaway died last week. He played Kenickie in one of my all time favourite films Grease.

Both of the afore mentioned went before their time.

Well I have recorded most of what I wanted to! And added my latest book to my reading list. I am devouring books this year which is great. I have also recently downloaded Kindle onto my laptop so I can access the free books via the Kindle shop and have really been enjoying reading them and utilising the instant dictionary feature, which is probably my favourite Kindle tool.

I am not going to get a Kindle itself but when you can access so many books for free electronically it is too good an opportunity to miss!

Ok, chores are calling! Happy Wednesday Bloggers! Enjoy some Gil!


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