Saturday, 25 January 2014

Recently Read

 This was a great easy read, outlining some of the memorable things which have happened to this GP during her professional career.

To define translation accurately is an incredibly difficult thing to do; it seems so easy yet it is not. This was a remarkable read about translation, translators, what they do and the perils and pitfalls of translating in all its hilarious and horrifyingly complex glory. A book to be read slowly and savoured.

Worth reading; I found the chapter on Death particularly interesting and the description of St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai is wonderful.

I've always had a soft spot for Ray Mears and his survival programmes. My respect for this very private man has increased exponentially after reading this book. He is a thoughtful, intelligent man of integrity, honesty, decency and a deep desire to preserve the native knowledge and wisdom of the indigenous peoples he has worked with.  Fascinating from an anthropological view, I found it extremely good reading and  it has now got a permanent place on my bookshelves.

These are books two and three in a series by Cindy Woodsmall which  I started to read last year. The series outlines what happens when a young Amish woman falls in love with a neighbouring Mennonite man, but is then raped by a passing stranger and becomes pregnant. It seems that ho-one believes her, that she can trust virtually no-one and even her mentally troubled sister turns against her and spreads gossip. When her child is born prematurely and dies, our heroine leaves her home and runs away makes a new life in the Englisch world.....but will she ever go back to her home community? A truly enthralling series which captivated me.

The Broken Road is the long awaited final part of the trilogy detailing Patrick Leigh Fermor's journey across Europe as a young man. It does not have the immediacy and freshness of the first book and the fact that he is writing so very many years after his walk is very evident. The chapter about Mount Athos - which is mostly verbatim from his diaries - is by far the best part, but still a good book overall.

Jaffa Cakes

                                       No, not the biscuit/cakes, my new hamster :-)

Settling in to her new home

Seeing if the catering is up to her exacting standards....

And it seems to be!

Chowing down...

And burning off some energy in her hamster wheel.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Reading Bingo Challenge : The Broken Road

No 1 completed is "The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates To Mount Athos" by Patrick Leigh Fermor. This is the anxiously awaited final part of his outstanding trilogy relating to his walk across Europe as a young man. For me, the most fascinating part was about Mount Athos, the people he met there and his reaction to the relics, icons and monastic atmosphere..... 

It falls in the category of  "A Book With A Blue Cover"  - well, it is mostly blue :-)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Never Too Old To Learn....

I had to laugh last night. I was chatting to our dear John, now 91 years young, and he was thrilled to inform me that his new slow-cooker had just been delivered.

He had never had one before, but thought it would be a good idea to learn to use one, and I have been busy unearthing recipe books for him to try out. I only hope that when I am 91, I am as keen to learn, to experiment and to be brave enough to try new things, as he is.

 His enthusiasm, optimism and youthful delight are a constant inspiration to me :-)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Ideas For Crock-pot Cooking

I found a great Board on Pinterest today, filled with wonderful crock-pot recipes! It is called "What The Crock!"

From bread to pot roasts, main meals to Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate drinks, I found enough recipes to keep me cooking for at least a year :-)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Reading Challenge for 2014

This Reading Challenge looks rather fun!

There is even a Young Adult version:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014


First of all, a slightly belated Nativity Greeting to my Orthodox friends on the Old Calendar for yesterday - Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Happy Epiphany/Theophany to those who celebrated that Feast on January 6th :-)

Yesterday was also a milestone birthday for me, so it was quite a busy day for us as a family.  I had lots of wonderful presents, including some very special gifts from my dear friend Mary R, lots of much-wanted books and the boxed set of Sherlock DVDs from someone as a "Surprise Ninja Present" :-)

Lots of fun, laughter and mayhem....thank you to everyone!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Busy Busy Busy!

It's busy here this morning as the Young Ones go back to school today after the Christmas break.

I am glad I insisted they packed their school bags and prepared all their stuff yesterday afternoon to avoid last minute panic today :-)

Hope you all have a good day, and Happy Theophany/Christmas Eve, depending on your Calendar!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Downton Spoiler.....

This was the VERY BEST part of the 
Downton Abbey Christmas special
 of 2013, and made me so happy!!

New Year's Resolutions...

Normally I refuse to make any New Year's resolutions, but as this is the year in which I hit the big 5-0, I am determined to make an effort :-)

1/ To actually stick to a rule of prayer faithfully and not erratically. I can manage four canonical  "Hours" a day for several weeks and then not pray any of them for weeks. This, obviously, is Not Good Enough.  I have the resources, both Eastern-Rite Orthodox, Western-Rite Orthodox, RC and Anglican, from my obsessive liturgical book collecting over the last forty years, to sink a battleship.
Compline is now mandatory; others desirable....

2/  To start working my way through the Psalter in Latin, two verses a day, and making sure I actually understand the grammar. A whole Psalm can take a considerable amount of time to study, and when I have tried to do this in the past, it has lasted for a week and then failed as Real Life has got in the way of my study of Latin.....

3/ To cook at least three new recipes a week. I have a good collection of cookbooks and there is no reason to stick to the same small number of recipes each week, even if they are firm family favourites. Either I cook from the cookbooks, or the books will leave this household for a better home!

4/ I collect lots of "series" of books. This is the year in which I actually create a proper tracking method of whether I have the books in e-book or hard-copy format and upload it to my phone so I will always know whether I have a copy of x book or not when I am rummaging through charity shops....

5/ I will revisit my beloved Walsingham after a hiatus of 16 years. I have much to give thanks for, and many people for whom I wish to pray at this shrine of  Our Lady, which is all the more special as I know now that our dear St Nicolai Velimirovitch (of the Prologue of Ochrid fame) himself prayed at the Shrine many times during his visits to Britain and even celebrated the Divine Liturgy there.

Welcome to 2014!

          Happy New Year!

May 2014 be a year of peace and blessings for us all......