Tag Archives: books

Book Challenge Update

Oh my, how much can one read when one has a week off?!

The answer: shitloads!

From my original Read-What-I-Have challenge I managed to get 3 books finished, which means I have only 4 more to go in total and then I will have read everything on the list – hooray!

This week I have read The Mill on the Floss, The Woman in White and Ivanhoe. I have also bought a few books, both from a physical bookshop and Amazon. I read The Fat of the Land, Strong, Get Rich Blogging and How to Make a Living with your Writing. AND I managed to get in a couple of e-books and magazines.

Phew!

7 physical books and 2 short e-books is not a bad haul in one week!

I have to say I really enjoyed The Woman in White, I couldn’t put it down, it was so well written. I found it full of suspense and drama and the way it was told from the points of view of different characters (thereby having different narrators) I  thought that was a really modern thing to do (even though it was written in the early 1800s).

Interestingly, even though Ivanhoe was written at around the same time, the language used was very different (even challenging). It is set in Medieval England and has appearances from Richard the Lionheart, A Knight called Ivanhoe, Friar Tuck and even Robin Hood. One downside was as I was reading it all I could see in my mind was an image of those Hollywood films from the 40’s and 50’s where all the costumes were bright and the fight scenes were hilarious (to say nothing of their hairstyles!). And poor Isaac the Jew! He is the untold hero of the story.

The Mill on the Floss was OK, it actually has some really good quotes in, but after spending 3/4 of the book focusing on their childhoods, it was too a sudden and abrupt end, ending as it did. It was OK, just OK.

How to Make a Living with your Writing I ordered from Amazon, it’s a lot tinier than I expected – really thin and that says it all really – not much substance to it. The hints are quite general and vague.

BUT. I really liked Get Rich Blogging by Zoe Griffin. That seemed a bit more practical and helpful for me and I liked the case studies in it, even if they weren’t all in the same ‘niche’ as me (parenting- urgh not yet thanks!). I liked it and it’s one to dip into for inspiration every now and then.

SO. 4 more books to go and then I am free to buy to more (although as you can see, they have already started to creep back in – let’s see if I can’t keep this bookshelf free).

They are:

  1. Vanity Fair
  2. Rob Roy
  3. War and Peace
  4. Anna Karenina

And I can already see that I will hit my target for this year – yay!

But I need a break now, all this reading lately has had one downside.

NO CRAFTING! EEEEEEEEEEK!

No knitting. No crochet. No writing. No nothing. (Apart from baking scones today).

And after a nice relaxing week off work, it’s back to the grind tomorrow 😦

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, Ellen xx

Book Challenge Update

This year I set myself the challenge of reading what I had left unread on my shelf (as well as whatever new books may appear from time to time).

I had a small list of 13 (although some are REALLY long books like War and Peace or Vanity Fair). So far I have managed 6, so that’s roughly half. I have been knitting and crocheting like mad, started a new job and what not, so reading has taken a bit of a back burner, although it does come in fits and starts (3 books one week and then none for a month).

I have read the following:

  • The Return of the Native   JANUARY 2017
  • Women in Love   JANUARY 2017
  • The Riddle of the Sands JANUARY 2017
  • 20000 Leagues Under the Sea FEBRUARY 2017
  • Daniel Deronda   APRIL 2017
  • Cross Stitch   MAY 2017
  • Anna Karenina
  • Ivanhoe
  • War and Peace
  • Rob Roy
  • Vanity Fair
  • The Woman in White
  • The Mill on the Floss

(As well as 84 Charing Cross Road, Goodbye Things and a re-read of The Gunslinger).

Cross Stitch (Outlander in the US) by Diana Gabaldon was finished today, it has taken me almost 2 years to read (sorry Lizzie!). It’s about a 1940’s nurse who time travels in Scotland by about 200 years. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, I don’t know why. Maybe because there was so much left unexplained, like what happened to her husband in the present. Maybe there could have been more focus on how she got there and how she gets back and other women who it had happened to (yes, I know you see Geillie but who else?). It was well written and in an easy to read style, but still, I felt something was missing. Maybe I am being overly fussy and pedantic – who me?!!

I think I might read Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood next, yes it’s not on the list, but at only 7 to go, I think I have time for this challenge to be completed this year!

Hmm, need another trip to the library soon I think! Have a Happy Thursday, Ellen x

Book of the Moment

So. Books. More books.

I just finished Daniel Deronda after several years. I tried to get into it a few months back and just couldn’t get started with it for some reason, and now after zooming through it in 3 evenings I don’t see why I couldn’t start it. I really enjoyed it and found it quite an easy read and I liked the style of the writing. Some classics are hard to get your head round the meaning and the way it’s been written but this was quite a modern style if that makes sense? It left me wanting to know what happened to the naughty father – did he get caught stealing something else after he stole Daniel’s diamond ring (which was a stupid thing for a man to carry about and leave carelessly on a sideboard when you know there is a man of ‘ill repute’ staying with you but anyway).

Lizzie bought me that book a while ago, and this week I found a parcel waiting for me from Lizzie with a book and some other goodies in. So 84 Charing Cross Road has been read and added to my ever increasing pile of books given to me by Lizzie (thanks!). I liked this book, it just screams Lizzie! An in your face American from New York orders books from a typically British bookshop in London in the years straight after the second world war and gradually chips away at the famed British reserve. I cant get my head around how receiving a parcel of powdered eggs or a pack of tights is seen as such a treat but I guess rationing was still in effect in those days (although eggs?!!). It’s a shame she never got to meet the main man she corresponded with, but that’s life isn’t it?

I am now onto Cross Stitch (again given to me by Lizzie) and I’m liking it so far. only about a third of the way in, curious to see how it ends…I know there’s a few more books in the series, so does she get back?!

I have also read a book called Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki. It’s about how he went from cluttered big apartment in Tokio to smaller empty apartment. Hundreds of CDs and books (gasp) were thrown away, and gradually he got rid of most of his clothes and then furniture! It’s an OK read, I got a bit bored to be honest, hoping for some inspiration, it was more of a book for the sake of writing a book I think.

And finally, I just picked up Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood. I love the first 2 books – The Year of the Flood and Oryx and Crake. They are dystopian fiction, which is probably my favourite genre now. 1984, A Clockwork Orange, The Hunger Games, A Handmaid’s Tale, City of Ember…it makes me want to yell at the film or book “Cant you see what’s going on?!”

And speaking of dystopian fiction. The trailer for The Dark Tower film just landed. OMG. This series is my favourite series of all time by Stephen King. From the trailer it looks like they have picked bits and pieces from several of the books, not sure what to make of that just yet. But i will DEFINITELY BE SEEING THIS AT THE CINEMA! And Idris Elba as the Gunslinger. Gonna be great!

“I do not kill with my gun. I kill with my heart.”

 

 

25.04.17

Hi all,

I know it’s been a while now, almost a month, but sometimes you just need a break from blogging and time to get back into the real world and all that.

I have been rather busy this past month, having started a weight loss scheme run by my local council I have been making use of the 12 week free gym pass it comes with and actually turning up at the gym. I even went after work yesterday and did a spin class today – maybe that’s why it decided to hail as I got out of the gym?! I have lost a tiny bit of weight, quite a lot more to go, but it’s a good start. 🙂

I have caught up with old friends, made some progress on blankets I am knitting and crocheting, started reading Daniel Deronda again (couldn’t get into either last year or the year before, which is quite rare for me to put a book down to one side once I’ve started it). I finished Game of Thrones up to season 4 so I just need to watch 5 and 6 now (payday on Thursday yay!).

Speaking of books, I saw this article on the BBC today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39653776

Apparently almost half of people asked in a survey were too busy to read and 35% struggled to find a good book they wanted to read.

To which my reply is…don’t be so damn fussy! Some of the best books I have ever read are those I have either heard mixed reviews about or those where I have literally judged them by their cover. And it’s not school. It’s not university. You don’t have a set amount to read every night so there’s no excuse!

Now, it’s time to write up my gym planner and get sorted for tomorrow, pics of stuff to be posted tomorrow, I cant be bothered now…too tired from the gym lol!

Ellen x

Knits and Bits

Now that I have all that technical wisdom stuff out of my system, I can get back to what I have been up to.

Making Mozzarella Cheese

Christmas 2015 – my parents bought me a cheese making set to make either mozzarella or ricotta (you provide the milk and there’s enough rennet and citric acid to make 10 batches). I think they got it from Steamer Trading which sells kitchen stuff in the UK but here is a link to the actual cheese company’s website.

http://www.bigcheesemakingkit.com/

The kit has lain around the house in various places and it’s only now I got the oomph to make it (with a little help from my lovely assistant aka mum). It was quite easy to do too although I didn’t really take a lot of pics and document the whole process as a lot of it is literally looking at milk! In the picture below my balls of cheese are in ice water cooling down and the white stripe across the pic is the reflection of the light above! Just in case you were wondering…don’t think you were, but anyway. I also added a few chilli flakes to a few balls so we will see how they turn out.

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Knitted Spring Bunting

Just got one more triangle to do, weave in ends and make a long strip to attach them to and hang up, also they are quite twisted so will need blocking first. I think I am going to go down the edge them with crochet route so that should help them stop curling too. I changed my mind slightly on colours, sticking with 4 triangles of 3 colours – pink, yellow and green. I was going to do light blue as well but decided it just didn’t fit. Also I may do the strip in blue to denote the sky! And since I had to throw 3 triangles away after realising I had done them in 4mm needles and not 5mm ones….this project has taken longer than it should have!

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New stuff

Yesterday bought Let’s Knit magazine and a few more stitch holders since mine has gone walkabouts. The knitting mag came with a free crochet pattern mag and I actually like a few patterns from here, so not a bad buy I think!

The stitch holders were from Wilkos which I never think about for knitting supplies.

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Mollie Makes

Magazine through the post today, will look at later. 🙂

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Books

I am reading Daniel Deronda at the moment, tried to get into it a couple of years ago but lost the will, so am trying again. Of the 13 books in my Read What You Have Challenge in the pages above I have now read 4 so only 9 to go! Most are classics which as we all know are never a quick read, especially when, with some of them it’s a case of here is a paragraph. Three pages later the paragraph has ended. The style of the writing itself can make a book very hard to read, even though the story may be fantastic.

I am also having a look at the ones below. Coz I have a whole shelf of crafty books. And sometimes we just need pictures!

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Using up my stash

The only problem with knitting magazines is that a lot of the time for me the free gifts are either naff or just what I wouldn’t make. So I had LOADS of leftover yarn and nothing to do with them. Finally decided to make a few knitted squares as I think I showed you in a previous post somewhere and some crochet granny squares which are a heck of a lot quicker to make. Will darn in the ends and maybe find a charity to donate to or make something simple, don’t know yet, just wanted the pile of tiny balls gone!

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And it has suddenly got REALLY dark and rainy now. I’m British, so a dark overcast afternoon means only one thing – time for a brew! 🙂

Never Fear – SEO is here!

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

I have just been reading a book called SEO MADE EASY by Evan Bailyn published by Pearson.

I borrowed it from the library along with 5 other books, which, incidentally, is a good time to preach to the masses: USE YOUR LIBRARY!!! Think of all that knowledge and adventure that awaits inside (although, obviously with a book title like SEO MADE EASY…maybe not so much adventure but anyways).

It’s quite interesting for a lay person like me to read about ‘technical’ stuff. This blog is as technical as I get in many ways. And yet. I feel I am at that stage where I want to move forward and I have been reading around lots of different subject areas, more about which another time.

But it got me thinking. About searching the web and how people find this blog. I wish WordPress would let me see the unknown search terms (which usually denote someone using Google) as there are loads of these, but the search terms that I CAN see…well, let’s just say – quite logical actually!

So here they are: prepare to be amazed and astounded! Or not…

2017

Unknown Search Terms: 18

2016

Unknown Search Terms: 104

masham yorkshire flooding

masham.xxx

https://chronicleofellen.wordpress.com/tag/freebies/

sacred shawl women’s shelter

2015

Unknown Search Terms: 65

“cast on foot”

scarf edgings

crochet a sitting cussing

my james brett jumper finished

deramores gemstone colours granny squares

where do knitting magazines get freebies from

attonment blog crochet

sewforkids.wordpress.com

I have posted about flooding in Yorkshire, wearing a cast on my foot, I have used James C Brett wool before, I have cussed when I have been sitting crocheting but never written about it! So, it’s mostly all logical, although I have no idea where magazines get their freebies – sorry whoever searched for that!

So, what would the keywords be on this blog? Crochet, knitting and wool/ yarn I think would be on the list somewhere. Maybe also books and reading/ writing. Hopefully craft and hobbies too.

Writing this I just realised I haven’t posted anything about the allotment for a long time. I haven’t been for a while as the past few months have been a bit stressful but need to take some pics and see how it’s doing.

As I may have said before, this blog is just a hobby blog for me. It’s a good intro into the world of ‘online’ and I am enjoying it still. As a result of starting this blog I am active on Instagram and Pinterest (having found LOADS of money-making, crafty, writing and lifestyle ideas on there), am fairly active on Twitter, but this is still a bit of a headache for me. Facebook I have washed my hands of. It’s quite old-fashioned and doesn’t do it for me I’m afraid. I have come across lots of inspirational blogs and people and it’s nice to have a nosy at what other people are making and baking. When I was at primary school and we had swimming lessons on a Monday, I used to love looking out of the windows on the top of the double decker bus as it meant I could peer into people’s homes and gardens. I don’t think that nosiness has ever left me – I shall blame it on being female and that’s all! So, with blogs, I get to see into other people’s homes and gardens, except this time with pretty pictures, sometimes a video and always an explanation!!

But anyway…

What’s the most random search term people have used to find your blog? Do they match the content of your blog or are they way off?

Ellen xx

 

 

 

 

On Writing Often

One of my goals / challenges for this year was to write 500 -1000 words a day. Due to some personal reasons I haven’t managed to get off to quite such a good start but the number of words doesn’t matter really…the point is to write more.

Here are a few links I have come across regarding writing…

http://www.maxibransdale.com/2017-a-writers-guide-to-a-productive-year/

http://www.freeworkathomeguide.com/online-writing-jobs/

http://www.elleandcompanydesign.com/blog/2015/2/15/30-ways-to-generate-buzz-for-your-blog

http://www.livingfornaptime.com/writing-tips/write-ebook-sell-amazon/

https://thewritelife.com/

http://www.eadeverell.com/grow/?utm_content=buffer6ae3e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer

See if there is anything here which takes your fancy

Ellen x