Giving up TV for Lent

What did you give up for Lent this year? I’ve never really been one for giving things up at Lent, but this year James was keen to stop watching TV and it seemed like an interesting challenge. It reminded me of a primary school assembly from years ago when it was suggested we might like to give up something we did a lot of, and replace it with something we didn’t do much of. I think the idea was that we’d spend less time playing video games, and more time outdoors for example. However, annoying child that I was, I quickly informed the teacher that would mean I spent less time reading and more time watching television… Needless to say it wasn’t suggested to me again.

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A Few Thoughts on Baking

I aspire to be the sort of person who produces freshly baked good each week. Whether it’s tasty cakes or traybakes to offer to guests or colleagues, or fresh bread to enjoy in the morning, I’d love to be making new things and impressing people with my baking skill. Sadly, like many people, when there’s a list of other things to be done baking falls to the bottom of my to-do list and I rarely actually get round to it. However, a day off recently provided me with the perfect opportunity to get stuck in. I planned to spend the day baking in advance, so I wouldn’t feel guilty about doing so, and to make sure I had all the right ingredients (although typically I still ended up doing a mad dash to the shop after running out of something halfway through weighing it), and I’d forgotten how much joy…

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Review: Noughts & Crosses, Bristol Old Vic

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman is one of my favourite books, and I recently paid a small tribute to it in my post on favourite children’s books. What I hadn’t realised until the end of last year was that the book had been adapted for the stage and would be touring the UK, including a local venue, this year. Cue an excited message to a friend I’d been discussing the book with, and before I knew it I’d booked tickets for a group of us to go and see it at the Bristol Old Vic last weekend. I was excited, but with a sense of trepidation. I always compare book adaptations to the original book and quite often find them lacking. I wasn’t sure if this Noughts & Crosses adaptation would be the same.

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World Book Day: My favourite children’s books

World Book Day comes around every year and as an adult it appears to have very little importance. Other than my colleagues who have spent the week trying to find suitably creative costumes for their children to wear to school that day, for many adults World Book Day comes and goes without any significance. I’ve written before about why I think that should change. However, I recently attended a talk given by a number of booksellers on the theme “the books that made me” and in the limited number they discussed, each of them started with a book from childhood. It got me thinking about the books which had had an impact on me throughout my life so far, but particularly the number of children’s books which had helped to lay that groundwork.

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Instagram: travel friend or foe?

Shortly before Christmas I read an article in the Guardian titled Instacrammed: the big fib at the heart of New Zealand picture-perfect peaks. Intrigued, after all it was covering two subjects I’m very much interested in, I read on. The article describes how social media has given certain hikes unprecedented popularity almost overnight, and the effects that that has had on the walks themselves. It includes the rather amusing picture of someone taking their perfect photo, contrasted to the line of people behind them queuing to get pretty much the same shot. It made me consider both my own travel experiences in New Zealand, and my use of the Instagram app.

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