Dylan’s Summer Hope (A Sunday Wordle)

Dylan’s Summer Hope

Dylan came from a poor family but his life was rich with love. Every year his mother gave him a sunflower seed and he tore himself away from his day to day activities of colouring books and toy trains to plant himself in the garden and nurture his budding project.

My predecessors had disappointed Dylan. He poured his heart and his soul into looking after the tiny shoots but they never grew to as tall as he hoped. Still, every year he sped out with his trough and watering can to try again.

I’d been in my new home for quite a while now, engaged in the constant struggle to grow. Every day Dylan would come and check on me and leave disappointed. I dreaded hearing the phrase his mother would come out with each time “Don’t worry, we’ll try again next year”.

Dylan refused to yield to his mother’s requests to occupy himself with something else and as I saw him close his eyes with sadness again and again, my willpower grew. I pushed and pushed and eventually my spring green shoots came through the top layer of soil and connected with the sun’s warm beam. I felt layers of fertile soil shift as I anchored my roots.

The next day Dylan came into the garden and I saw his heart leap with excitement. His hard work had paid off and as I grew to unprecedented heights I saw his confidence grow with me. I felt blessed that even though Dylan had a huge range of other things he enjoyed doing, his current play thing was a yellow sunflower.

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This short story was inspired by this week’s Sunday Wordle which can be found here.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Don’t Fit In!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a “freebie” week which means we can choose whatever subject we like for our top ten list! As exciting as that is, it took me a long time to think of what I’d like to choose! I’ve decided to focus on books that don’t tend to fit in on the other top ten lists I usually write. I mostly focus on novels for my Top Ten Tuesday posts so this is a list of books that I love that are not novels.

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1) The Mighty Book of Boosh by Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and others

Last week I posted about Noel Fielding’s 40th birthday and that should have been your clue that I’m a huge Mighty Boosh fan! This book was a brilliant companion to the tv series with parts from all of our favourite characters including Old Gregg’s watercolours and Bob Fossil’s dance moves.

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2) The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton

I’m a big Tim Burton fan and have always loved his gothic style of humour. This book is hilarious and includes stories, poetry and illustrations with some amazing characters. The humour is dark and has some disturbing roots in reality. Stick boy and match girl, for example, shows just how dangerous love can be.

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3) The Art of Tim Burton

This has to be the most beautiful book I own. It’s full of original drawings and artwork by the wonderful Tim Burton. A lot of these images go with the movies he created and give an insight into where the characters came from. Many of the illustrations don’t relate to the movies but are beautiful nonetheless. A truly unique artist.

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4) The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton by Noel Fielding

Another Noel Fielding book! This book gives an amazing insight into Noel’s bright and imaginative mind. It’s mainly full of his artwork but also includes short stories and quotes. This is one of my favourite books on my non-fiction shelf.

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5) Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

I was never any good at art but always wanted to be. This book is a brilliant source of inspiration and a lot of fun! It encourages you to draw all over it, doodle in it and just be as creative as you can be. An amazing book.

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6) The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins

I bought this book as soon as it came out and it was a brilliant read. It’s aimed at children but is perfect for adults who don’t know much about physics! I really enjoyed reading this.

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7) Life Stories by David Attenborough

I’m a big David Attenborough fan and his books helped me a lot when I was doing my degree! This book is partly about natural history but it also gives some insight into David Attenborough’s thoughts and experiences. A rewarding read!

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8) Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

This is the best cookbook I own and is brilliant for recipes as well as in depth advice about veganism. You can read my review of this book here.

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9) Wicked The Musical Pop-up Compendium

This book is a must for all Wicked fans. It’s an amazing companion to the musical with pop up bits and interactive pull out bits. I love the letters from Glinda and Elphaba to their parents and the amazing pop up Defying Gravity scene.

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10) Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

I was recommended this book by my tutor when I started my Zoology degree. I bought the book but didn’t get around to reading it for a couple of years. I’m glad I got around to it though because it’s a fascinating read. You’ll never trust the media to report scientific stories again.

Do you tend to choose novels over non-fiction and coffee table books? What are your favourite books that often get overlooked?

Characters to Inspire You – Matilda Wormwood

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Matilda by Roald Dahl. I reread this book last week when I was in bed ill and thought this would be the perfect chance to explain why I think it is one of the greatest children’s books of all time.

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When I was younger the character I connected with the most was Matilda Wormwood. I was a huge book fan and Roald Dahl was my favourite author. He had this remarkable ability to see the world from a child’s eyes and his books had a common theme of children winning over adults. In this case Matilda rebels against her parents by reading books rather than watching the TV like she is told. Not only that but she comes up with a number of schemes to get her own back on her father who treats her terribly. This includes swapping bleach for his hair tonic and applying superglue to his hat so he can’t remove it from his head. She also rebels against her horrible headteacher and makes a lifelong friend in the sweet Miss Honey.

Perhaps the most magical part of this book though is Matilda’s trips to the library and into the literary world.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”

This is something I’ve always been able to relate to and it explains the magical properties of books perfectly. Matilda is an excellent role model for all bookworm type children and can perhaps serve as an inspiration for those who are not so inclined to pick up a book.

The film of Matilda was one of my favourites as a child and I still love it now. It’s extremely faithful to the book but, as always, is nowhere near as good.

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I’ve heard brilliant reviews of the musical and really want to go and see it! Here’s a clip I found and it looks truly amazing.

What are your favourite childhood books? Are there any characters you particularly related to?

Friday Fictioneers (and one I missed!)

This week I have two lots of Friday Fictioneers for you as I forgot to post Haversham Heights last week. Enjoy!

Haversham Heights 

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This all looks a bit Miss Haversham to me”

I was yet to be convinced that this was where me and my fiance should spend the rest of our lives. The building looked like it had been beautiful in it’s prime before it became covered in dirt and dust.

You’re kidding nobody my love. You’d love to do this place up. Imagine living in this beautiful house with our newborn”

He put his hand over my slightly swollen stomach and it filled with butterflies. I stubbornly argued but then he showed me the garden… I changed my mind.

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Problem Solver

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I had 20p and one chance. Who would I call? The police would be the obvious choice. I was in deep trouble and the law could help. I’ve heard about the police making things more difficult for people though.

Maybe not.

My best friend? He’s been with me thick and thin. He’d surely have some advice? But he’d never let me live this moment down.

I don’t think so.

It was obvious. The one place I could call. Someone who would help me without judging me. Who would hug me and give me hope.

I dialled the number.

Mum?”

The Sunday Whirl – Witchcraft

 

 

 

The Sunday Whirl is a new challenge I am taking part in where every week a poem or short piece of prose is written using as many words from the wordle as possible. Here’s my first attempt.

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I’d been waiting all month for this nerve wracking moment and I was running late. The full moon was floating above the forest while I hurried to gather the final ingredients and get back to my work. For some reason I never could get the timing right. I rambled through the bleak wilderness, cutting through some bare trees and tripping as my long skirts got caught on the roots. I pulled loose and felt a rip go all the way up the side of my dress. Nothing was going to stop me this time though and I battled on with my blazing torch. My breath was heavy and becoming opaque as it hit the icy air. I stumbled through the clearing and suddenly saw the slab of concrete I’d been looking for. The cauldron was waiting for me as I dumped my heavy bag on the floor. I crushed the beetles and added them to the waiting liquid that was already warm to the touch even though I hadn’t lit any fire. As the liquid began to boil my vision was blurred from the nebulous smoke as I watched it hover over the cauldron. After the syrupy mixture had cooled I dipped in my glass decanter and filled it to the rim, knowing that in 24 hours my troubles would be over. I would be free.

 

Happy 40th Birthday Noel Fielding!

Happy 40th birthday to the wonderful Noel Fielding!

I know, he looks nowhere near 40!

Noel Fielding has always been one of my idols. The first time I saw The Mighty Boosh it was because I was falling asleep on the couch and Two Pints of Lager had just finished. The first episode I saw was Nannageddon and I was immediately in love with the Boosh. I saw the live show twice and even dressed up as Old Gregg!

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Happy birthday Noel Fielding and thank you for all the inspiration over the years!

(I had to include the Ghost of a Flea birthday song from Luxury Comedy!)

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Me and Noel in 2011

Top Ten Tuesday – Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme held over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are looking at books that deal with tough subjects. This was a difficult list for me as I always avoid books that touch on subjects too close to my heart. My list therefore only contains seven books.

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1) Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

This is a brilliant book that everyone should read. Unlike a lot of animal rights books this one is not written in a biased way. It goes behind the scenes in factory farms and looks at the effect the meat industry is having on the world.

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2) When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman

This is a beautiful story which includes a lot of historical events including 9/11. Very moving.

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3) The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

An extremely emotional and moving novel which explores the loss of a child and the magical properties of snow.

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4) Room by Emma Donoghue

This book goes into the difficult subject of kidnapping and is told through the innocent eyes of a child who doesn’t have any idea what is going on.

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5) Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This is so much more than a ghost story. It explores the death of a family member and mourning.

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6) The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I found this a very emotional read. Imagine what it’d be like to know that the end was coming but not know when.

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7) Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

This book deals with an abusive relationship and the darkness behind the lights of showbiz.

Which books would make your list?