‘Pompeii’ by Robert Harris…

I’ve just finished re-reading Pompeii by Robert Harris.

A novel which provides a story around the eruption of Mount Vesuvius near Pompeii in AD 79. Again, a good history related story which gives a gripping account of the events leading up to the eruption, including lots of historical information and details. The characters are believable and it’s another reminder of how powerful the forces of nature can be.



Balloon & pipe-cleaner net…

I made a net for Jamie out of pipe cleaners, following the watching of Up, by Pixar.

He used it to catch his baby crane, who then got his way out and escaped! I first tried using string to tie the net, but this would have taken way to long.

He then ripped it all apart to get the crane out, as I said he couldn’t use the scissors to cut it all up. He wanted to make it bigger, but he didn’t want to add to it to make it bigger, just start again! He had a cry then after I had cut the grass, we read some books upstairs and we all had a wrestle as little kittens for a while, which sorted everything out.

I also made a balloon, also inspired by Up, for his baby racoon.


Book shelves…

A great idea for book shelves for below our pin board…


This means we can have more easily accessed books and also rotate them. It would also be just the right height for the boys.


Amazon Kindle…

I was getting quite excited about the new Amazon Kindle…until I realised I didn’t need one!

But, the idea is a good one. The Kindle is basically an e-book (but it also displays newpapers and magazines), but it also has internet browser and MP3 player and is small enough to fit in the pocket. The Amazon digital library apparently has over 400,000 titles and the Kindle can hold 3,500 books!

There have been many of these types of ipad/PDA devices, but i’ve never been tempted to jump on board, until now! E-book + MP3 player + Internet browser…ideal.


I’ve read a few articles recently about the impact of the printing industry, particularly newspapers and magazines, in terms of the waste and chemicals used to make them. That in itself is a good reason, and if prices come down in 6 months or so, even better.

I’m also not a fan of huge amounts of books – bad reaction to my growing up with thousands of my Mum’s books which are left to die in piles + just the waste of space! I’ve shifted so many boxes of books around in my life and that has certainly led to an annoyance with their bulkiness & weight and amount of space they take to store!

It seems the technology has just made the ‘next stage’ leap from the basic concept and initial stage, to the more mass-market stage, including much better performance. This is also reflected in the price, meaning you get far better value for better overall features.



I’ve just re-read a very cool book by Ian M. Banks called ‘Consider Phlebas’


I bought a signed copy about 10 years ago as it made a bit of an impact on me. The scale of the book is impressive but in the end, it all comes down to very human details.

I’m now reading ‘Use of Weapons’ by Banks (if I get tired of the China Study!).


I’m also reading ‘The China Study’ by T. Colin Campbell. This is a seriously important book and involves literally thousands of scientific studies on the subject of nutrition and human diseases.


One of the books most obvious points so far has been the link between animal protein (from any source, but notably some very specific proteins found in milk) and cancer of various types. The books presents very convincing and weighty evidence of the direct link between animal protein and cancer development and is the main reason my Mum is now a vegan!

Since Claire first read the book, we have certainly cut down on the amount of milk and cheese we eat but the more I read, the more impressive the results and conclusions become. There is also strong evidence presented that switching from an animal-based diet can in fact stop or reverse the spread of cancer in humans.

I would urge anyone to read the book, but the Wikipedia entry is a good summary of the issues.


Shelves & Big Gold Buddha…

Good weekend – got a lot done and now have all our books up on our new shelves! It’s cleared a lot of space from the floor (where the boxes were) and it’s really good for Jamie to have easy access to his books – he’s already started taking books off and sitting down to read through them.

I took the boys out on Saturday morning for 2.5 hours (prob the longest i’ve been out with them so far!), and went to St. James’ Park and the City Farm. This also gave Claire a chance to get through some NCT work and design the new logo for the Gloucester Little Bundles charity.

Claire also re-planted the front garden and took out the last of the Sunflowers! Also pruned back all the bushy plants ready for Winter + she painted the shelves which i’d fixed up with primer then two coats of the same paint we used on the walls then a coat of eco varnish.

And finally, after more than 4 years, we’ve fixed the Buddha onto the wall (after a trip to B&Q for angle brackets). It looks amazing on the chimney breast and you can barely see the bottom brackets.

Various images of the new shelves and Buddha!

Next is the fixing of the bathroom floor, ready for the new floor to go down on Tuesday, now that the plumbing has been finished ‘below floor’.