Monthly Archives

November 2012

The Reader #BookReview

Posted on 27th November 2012 in #bookreview

The Reader

by Bernhard Schlink

The synopsis: For 15-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does – Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing an even deeper secret.

I read this for a book group and I have to say first off that the fact this book begins with a child being groomed by and adult and they referring to it as an erotic love affair made it incredibly hard for me to read the rest of the book.

He was fifteen she was in her thirties. All obvious and disappointing jokes to one side, if this were a fifteen year old girl and a man in his mid thirties would it be ok?

How about if it were a fourteen year old boy and woman in her early thirties or a thirteen year old boy and woman in her late twenties.

Or a fifteen year old boy and a man in his mid thirties – not so funny or erotic now huh.


I did read the rest of the book as was required and with the exception of the above noted scenes it was a good, though provoking book.

It left a lot of things unanswered and, for me, it had some pretty huge plot holes which I’m told are conveyed better in the film.

I don’t feel as though I can offer any more of a review than that; for me the book was tainted by its opening scenes.

Smamborghini anyone?

Posted on 21st November 2012 in Funnies

The Smart Car

What we will be forced to drive quite soon. 



Butlook at all of the ‘great newchoices’we will have evolving from ‘The SMARTCar’…. 


The Smorvette!




The Smaudi A3 AWD! 


The Smamborghini! 


The Smorsche! 


The Smerrari! 


And last, but not least, 



The Smustang 



What Day 21 Of #NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me, About Me.

Posted on 21st November 2012 in #NaNoWriMo

On day 21 of National Novel Writing Month, I have a day off work. Yesterday I told myself that I would use this day off to catch up and write approximately 10,000 words. It seemed sensible, wise and infinitely doable.

Today, however, this is actually the first time I have sat at my keyboard. Not a good start to the 10,000 words bearing in mind that it is already 11:43.

I haven’t done anything of great import with my morning, I’ve read a book, The Reader, I’ve had tea and toast and played with Tilly, I’ve had a shower and I am now sitting here with wet hair.

In the shower the thoughts behind this post came to me and it is purely to write this post (and not the 10,000 words which I will, of course, somehow find time for…later) that I am sitting here. It was during these thoughts that I acknowledged the following:

* I have no idea if I will be able to finish #NaNoWriMo

* I am determined to finish it because I am too stubborn for my own good, sometimes

* What I have written so far is mostly amateurish tripe

* I huge new-found huge and deep respect for anyone who writes an entire book, not just ones I deem to be good but anyone, anywhere who can devote the time and motivation to writing an entire book – you are awesome

* When I cannot access my keyboard, my brain floods with flowing and articulate prose; paragraph after paragraph of plot twists, witty lines, exciting new angles and beautifully constructed sentences

* When I can access my keyboard it is as though those thoughts and words have to take such a convoluted path to reach the page that by the time they come out they have lost half of themselves along the way and mostly end up as jumbled, meaningless, uninspiring and excruciatingly  amateurish tripe

Now, I will no doubt find some un-urgent chores to attend to thus increasing the pressure upon myself to complete the word count. In the meantime, I hope you have hit your stride and are writing the new bestseller.

Best of luck all.

The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling #bookreview

Posted on 16th November 2012 in #bookreview/ book review/ books


The Casual Vacancy

by J K Rowling

Have to confess I actually had no idea what this book was about before I started reading it. The only press I’d seen regarding it was negative comments owing to it not being a children’s book. Which I personally thought was a bit odd – what gives anyone the right to dictate to an author which genre they ‘must’ write in?

So, I was actually under the impression that this was to be a shag-fest, swear-fest of a book, possibly about temporary office workers, (insert suitable reference not judging a book by its cover here 😉 ) and was therefore a little surprised to find myself reading a book about a vacancy at a Parish Council.

Not at all what I expected but a charming little (massive) book which leads you an a journey through the lives of the villagers of Pagford. This is a gentle read with lots of characters and intricately woven story threads which all pull together as you read on.

Overall it lacks the punch of the Harry Potter novels but as a standalone book it is a good, if bitter-sweet, read.



Support MAGPAS by joining their lottery!

Posted on 13th November 2012 in #charitytuesday

Magpas is a charity reliant on donations of both time and money.

The charity seeks funding to maintain its core emergency medical services

  1. It’s Emergency Medical Team – Helimedix, their equipment and running costs.
  2. Providing a Rapid Response Vehicle, its equipment and maintenance.
  3. Specialised training for Doctors and Paramedics
  4. Specialised research into traumatic injury

The charity also requires volunteers not just to provide the services but also to help with fundraising, publicity and events. If you think you have skills which could help, visit the website to find out more.

Join as a Subscription Member of the Lottery

If you would like to become a subscription member of the lottery then you can download an application form by clicking here. This gives you an entry in the draw every week. Simply print off the form, fill it in and post it to the address on the form. You will receive your ticket through the post.

If after reading these instructions, you still have a query, please read the Frequently Asked Questions by clicking here.

What is a Helimedix team?

Magpas Helimedix Team’s are a specialist pre-hospital response and retrieval team who have undertaken specific advanced training through Magpas for their role. These individuals are equipped to provide a full range of life saving medical interventions. The team comprises of a Doctor and a Paramedic drawn from a pool of appropriately trained individuals.

Magpas medics are volunteers or seconded from the NHS, or the Armed Forces. Magpas also supports and hosts a number of Doctors and Consultants in training, Magpas is internationally renowned for its ground breaking training program which is considered the bench mark for pre-hospital emergency medical training in the UK. Magpas currently has around 50 active Helimedix Team members who provide:

  • On-scene medical support
  • On-line medical support
  • Special incident medical support
  • Major incident medical support


Where are the Helimedix Teams based?

The Magpas Helimedix Team is based centrally at RAF Wyton to provide the optimum service to the population of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, from this base Magpas Helimedix are ideally placed to respond to any serious incidents in the East of England. Magpas Helimedix have the use of several dedicated transport platforms and use the most appropriate form of transport for the incident and location.

How are Helimedix Teams activated?

Magpas Helimedix teams are activated via the control rooms of the Ambulance Service, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service or Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

What does ‘on scene’ medical support mean?

This refers to deployment to the scene of an incident to provide direct medical support. On-scene medical support may involve the full spectrum of pre-hospital critical care at the scene as well as in transit care during the journey to the most appropriate hospital. On-scene support most commonly involves major trauma patients who are trapped at the scene.

Helimedix Teams will respond to requests from an Ambulance Crew or Fire Officer for assistance at the scene of a serious incident. Magpas Helimedix teams have been deployed 670 times from January – December 2011 .

How are Magpas Helimedix funded?

Magpas is solely reliant on the generous donations of you the public. It costs in the region of £1.8million per annum to offer this life saving service to the East of England. If you would like to keep this incredible service running please donate now.

Liz Jones: From Burkas to Barking Mad

Posted on 11th November 2012 in Blog/ bullying

I’ve not encountered the column of Liz Jones before but after reading her post about ‘mummy bloggers’ I took a quick glance through the titles of some of her other posts and found myself reading the recent work of a woman who seems to have grown a career out of her feelings of jealousy, resentment and general inadequacy.

How sad.

Sad for her and for those who employ her and for those who take the time to read her work. Are they influenced by it? I hope not.

My overriding thought when I see stories attacking bloggers, is ‘what does it matter to you?’. As in why does it affect the writer so badly that they feel the need to hurl abuse.

Comparing the comments on this post to some of her others I can see the answer. Over 300 people have taken the time to comment, while this is the case then there is a point to her employment. While her articles produce such a tidal wave of response there is a justification for her writing them.

I personally quite liked her comment that the blogging world had become like an extension of the WI. I’m not sure she meant it to be taken as a good thing but what a lovely idea.

Cambridge Mummy has taken the time to respond and rightly so, especially as she’s been named as a SAHM who is supported by her husband and makes money selling advertising on her blog – none of which is actually true! Facts, it seems, aren’t as important as mudslinging.

I read Liz’s column without surprise, it’s been said before, all of it. The way she wrote it, however, just screamed of jealousy. There was one bit in particular, where she spoke of maternity leave as ‘a holiday’ which I think probably goes some way towards explaining her need to attack; she feels that she’s missed out, she feels cheated.

Clearly her directive from the Daily Fail is to be as controversial as possible, to stir up a storm in a tea-cup wherever she goes, to use her myopic view of the world to create discourse and, essentially, to go into the playground and start a fight.

I’m glad I didn’t know who she was before today and I’m glad that after today I am very unlikely to read anything of hers again.

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