Saturday, 5 January 2013

Reading, and one other thing....

Our house has many books. Not surprising, given the type of people the three of us are, particularly Amanda and Celia. Unlike the other two, who can pick up a book and become instantly absorbed in the story that unfolds on it's pages, I have a problem. My brain has always been constantly 'fuzzed' with life and work trivialities, and I find it impossible to properly get into a book during normal day to day life, there are just too many distractions and my mind has to be at complete rest. It is a curse, as I really love reading. Usually, only when we go away to somewhere like Polperro or St.Davids can I finally, after a day or two, open the pages and lose myself in a story. Another time is the long Christmas break.

My favourite read of all time (so far) has been Tolkiens 'The Lord of the Rings'. A story that totally absorbs me from start to finish. As a piece of trivia, the last house that he lived in is in Branksome, and in my earlier days I had the pleasure of re-landscaping the rear garden whilst at Compton Acres. He had of course passed away many years before, but the place still had a strange feel about it.
Just before Christmas we went to see 'The Hobbit' at the cinema. It was ok, but not very true to the book. I know that artistic licence must be allowed to be able to convert book to screen successfully, and Jackson got this done rather well with LOTR, but The Hobbit was off the mark through most, although the underlying theme was there. The film was nonetheless completely absorbing in it's own right, and prompted me on my return home to once again take out my volume of this lovely story. Although I am sure that they have a use, I haven't bought into the whole Kindle thing as yet. I am still a book man, and love the smell and feel of a good book, both when browsing a good book shop, or turning the pages and immersing myself. Hard back copies are the best. 
Although work is now beckoning on the horizon, it still won't kick in properly until March, and indeed next week has only two days booked out, such is the way that our company is structured, and so plenty more time to read, and I think I shall open Lord of the Rings again. It's been a few years, and we only have paperbacks of it, and so time I think to find a sumptuously bound hardback copy for myself.
As no doubt others who have either read the book, seen the trilogy, or both have done, we as a family discuss who we consider to be our alter egos in the story. Although Amanda informs me that my character is very much like that of Aragorn, I see myself being more like Haldir.

Whilst, quite rightly, Amanda would be Eowyn, a shieldmaiden of Rohan.

So my fellow bloggers, which characters personality would best describe you from this story?

One other thing.......

I had been  kindly put forward by Kimberly at Garden in Paradise for a 'Beautiful Blogger Award', but had forgotten to complete my task that was asked of me, so that I may be able to exhibit the badge in my sidebar. Apologies to you Kimberley, but just as with the reading, my head got fuzzed and I forgot, and so here is my completed task:

1. What would you do if you won £10,000 tomorrow?
As you can imagine, the old mind went spinning off at this one, but settled on going to Venice for the carnival week, and then hiring a Ducati and touring northern Italy for another two weeks.

2. Best lifetime moment?
I shall avoid the obvious slushy answers like marriage and kids etc. It HAS to be hearing the call to prayer at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul late at night, whilst dozens of seagulls flew high above it. 

3. Are you happy?

4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
I dislike both, but use Facebook to keep up with friends and family members 'goings on'. I occasionally comment, and rarely post myself, as I distrust the whole set up completely. Twitter is a waste of space in every aspect.

5. If you could change something in your life, what would it be?
Where I live.

6. What is your biggest vice/habit in life?
I eat too much, but that will stop shortly, leaving my glass collecting, which won't.

7. What is a good point about you? And a negative point?
I think that I am generally quite a peaceful person, but I can be selfish as well.

8. What is your most embarrassing lifetime moment?
When the girls were younger I foolishly let them paint my toenails, all in different colours (if THAT makes a difference). We then did other things, and I completely forgot about the nails and cleaning them. We took them to swimming lessons, whereupon all of the parents had to remove their shoes and socks to sit alongside the pool, and there was no escape. Not exactly a 'manly' moment for me with the other dads!

9. What is your favourite flower?
Very hard, but probably Kalmia latifolia 'Ostbo Red'

10. What is your biggest love in life?
Again, apart from obvious slushy stuff, it would have to be wild camping, with good food, good whisky, and good company.

I also have to nominate some blogs that I follow for the same award, but I enjoy all of them far too much to pick any favourites, and so I quite literally picked just five out of a hat, and they are:

and finally

Go on, go for it people!



  1. I struggle with Lord of the Rings. I can't remember the characters.
    I usually have three or four books on the go. My favourite over Christmas was Two Pints by Roddy Doyle.

  2. Hi Adrian,
    Hadn't heard of two pints, but just looked it up. Actually sounds like a nice and easy read.

  3. Hi Gary! Thanks for that nice nod:) Where do I start? LOTR is one of my favorite stories of all time. I'm reading something right now from Tolkiens memoirs called "The Untold Tales" or something like this and it's more helpful background information to enrich the general stories even more. I like them because they have nature as a powerful and central focus in the stories....but obviously there are deeper revelations in his storytelling as well....but's powerful stuff.

    I have been so busy with outdoors stuff that I had to put this blogger thing to the side because my big thing comes first:) And I promised myself to not keep up with such a rigid posting habit.

    If I were a LOTR character, I would be Radagast, the Brown Wizard sans the bird crap in the hair:) Happy New Year!

  4. Hi Chris,
    Tolkiens work is pretty much in a class of it's own, I think. The untold tales are quite an interesting read, so enjoy. You....Radagast?.....looking at your posts I think you may be right! :)
    I did wonder how you found time to do so many posts, and now I see why. Although I love the posts, life has to come first. Hope you get chance to do the 'questions thing' I posted. Take care.

  5. Ta muchly gaz
    I will answer on tomorrows blog...
    As for books... A home is not a real home without books

  6. John, nice one!
    Can anyone have enough books eh?

  7. I was sure you were a Tolkien fan, Gary, given your love of nature. Peter Jackson's interpretation of LOTR was better than I could have ever imagined it would be. You've confirmed what I've already heard about the Hobbit, SO disappointing to me. He should have stuck to the book, made it in one movie and kept his integrity. Now he looks like he's just after the money. Thank goodness we still have the book written exactly as Tolkien wanted the story to be told.

    On a side note, LOVE the painted toenails story, embarrassing man moment, great dad moment :)

  8. HAHAHA!! If it makes you feel better. .my hubby ROUTINELY has the most beautiful pedicure sported by ANY man I've ever met!! Why, just yesterday, I noticed that Cami had given him a new one. .all different shades of pink! I think you should be proud of being such a great dad!! LOVE IT!!

  9. My hubby enjoys the whole Hobbit world. You two could chat for hours.
    I find it hard to read books with all the daily activities too. On our recent cruise, I read two whole books!