Archive for December, 2007

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→iGoogle Theme ?Winter Scape? � D’ Technology Weblog: Technology, Blogging, Tips, Tricks, Computer, Hardware, Software, Tutorials, Internet, Web, Gadgets, Fashion, LifeStyle, Entertainment, News and more.

In delicious on December 20, 2007

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how to change your igoogle to winter – i was using the "seasonal scape" theme but have been getting increasingly annoyed at being stuck in an antipodean summer.

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→Cookie Cottages How-To and more delicious recipes, smart cooking tips, and video demonstrations on marthastewart.com

In delicious on December 20, 2007

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these look like a nice alternative o baking gingerbread to make houses. i’m not sure if i can get biscuits/crackers in the uk like the ones they use though.

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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

In books read on December 20, 2007

I liked the idea of reading a book with such a bizarre title but wasn't at all sure what kind of book it was going to be. Nadezhda narrates the story of her eighty-something widowed father Nikolai, who came to Britain escaping from the Soviet Union after the second world war, marrying a thirty-something Valentina in order that Valentina can gain a British passport. She and her elder sister Vera try to help him out of the mess he's got himself into, though he's not always on their side.

The story could have been a bleak tale of asylum seeking and the horrors of the cold war, but - as the quirky title suggests - it's very funny in places. Some of the characters, particularly busty blonde Valentina, seemed a bit two dimensional at times but the story wouldn't have worked so well if you hadn't have been able to see a real person underneath the stereotype.

Enjoyable stuff.

Borrowed.

A copy of this book is available on BookMooch.

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Reindeer Tumble Tot IIReindeer Tumble Tot I

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Flickr Pics 20th December 2007

on December 20, 2007 by kirsty

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Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann

In books read on December 17, 2007

This kept reminding me of a girls school story. It was written in 1932 and even now I've probably read more school stories from that era than I have adult literature; and the central character is seventeen year old Olivia who is more-or-less the kind of upper middle class nice girl who might have turned up at the Chalet School or its ilk.

It was just the same turns of phrase and atmosphere that linked this book to my childhood reading though, this is a more honest look at a young woman. The story revolves around the first dance Olivia attends as an adult - covering the short time frame between sorting out the dress and worrying about being in her elder sister Kate's shadow and a long look at the strange (to both Olivia and I) manners of the dance.

I enjoyed this book in itself, but I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to it, where I believe Olivia is somewhat older and more worldly wise, more.

Borrowed.

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Tractor RideStagecoachRocky Mountain RailroadPirate ShipThree Little Pigs House IIThree Little Pigs House IMonkey Swing

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Flickr Pics 17th December 2007

on December 17, 2007 by kirsty

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Berry Pancakes IIBerry Pancakes IEveningTrainsMother & Daughter Reading Material

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Flickr Pics 13th December 2007

on December 13, 2007 by kirsty

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Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

In books read on December 10, 2007

I'm pretty certain I read this as a teenager and thought that nothing happened and it was pretty dull. Fast forward a couple of decades and I wonder if I read a different book entirely! This was a fantastic fast read, packed with fabulous characters and life changing events.

In brief, I loved it. Highly recommended.

Purchased on 16th October 2007.

A copy of this book is available on BookMooch.

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Mother Can You Hear Me? by Margaret Forster

In books read on December 8, 2007

This book had numerous similarities with the last of Forster's books that I read Have The Men Had Enough? - beyond the fact that both titles end in question marks, they both deal with looking after the aging and with three generations of women. Written in 1979, this is the earlier of the two books and although it's quite harrowing in its own way it's a gentler version of the book Forster would write ten years later.

The narrative stays with thirty something Angela all the way through this book, she's a mother of four who teaches English part time in some leafy London suburb while her mother is suffering various illnesses in Cornwall. The key relationships in the story are those between Angela and her mother, and Angela and her eldest daughter Sadie. I could sympathise with everyone on every side, but did find aspects of the Sadie/Angela relationship to date the book a bit. Angela has brought up an independent teenager, never wanting to copy the strained mother-daughter relationship that she had, but I felt like I was supposed to think Sadie was some kind of monster whereas I actually thought she was a pretty standard teenager who would probably turn out just fine.

Another good book, Forster is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

Purchased on 16th October 2007.

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Regeneration by Pat Barker

In books read on December 2, 2007

I wasn't sure what I'd think of this - all I knew of it was that it was highly thought of and was about the First World War. I was kind of expecting trenches and bloodshed and horrifics and wasn't at all sure that was what I felt like reading. Actually it's set in a psychiatric hospital in 1917 so it's a more contemplative look at the war than I expected.

The character list featured numerous names I recognised: Sigfried Sasson, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves - so I wasn't quite sure how much of what I was reading was fictional and also whether I ought to recognise the others too. There is an afternote where the author dealt with the issue of fiction and fact colliding - but I've already forgotten where the line was, I don't think it mattered really. I think the psychiatrist, Rivers, was a real man too.

Anyway, having spent several weeks wondering if it was me or the book to blame for my slow reading pace I devoured this one in not much over 24 hours. It's always the book. And this was a good one. I hope to read the other two volumes of the trilogy before it's due back at the library.

Borrowed.


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