Friday, 26 October 2012

For the Love of Books



As they put it:

"Book Week Scotland will be a national week-long celebration of reading, delivered on behalf of Creative Scotland by Scottish Book Trust, the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland. Scottish Book Trust will work with authors, workplaces, libraries and schools across the nation to deliver a packed programme of free projects and events, bringing Scots of all ages and from all walks of life together to celebrate books and reading.  

 Running in support of the first ever Book Week Scotland – which runs from 26th November to 2nd December 2012 – the Scottish Book Trust are forming a band of special book lovers who will be at hand to recommend and advise (via email and Twitter) those who seek ‘superhuman’ literary guidance.

The League of Extraordinary Booklovers is a group of people from all walks of life who love books and reading, who are volunteering to share their passion and expert knowledge with readers across the nation during the first Book Week Scotland (26 November – 2 December 2012)."

You can find the entire list of assorted superheroes on their website here and you will find my name on the list.  I'm thrilled and honoured to have been chosen. I feel all superhero powerful... 
Now I know this event is taking place in Scotland, but please don't let that deter you - you can be a superhero too! The world can never have enough book-wielding, word-weaving, story-reading superheroes. So grab your capes and get out there - get sharing your love of books!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Love Me Tender...

I found a smashing meme online today on Cate's blog - Infinite Sadness or Hope. Here's the challenge...

“Get a pen and paper (or pull up a blank word file on your computer) and compile a lit of songs which remind you how loved you are and/or remind you that you are worth loving.

They should be songs that mean something to you and my advice is to aim for about 10-12 songs.

Once you have written your list or lists set about finding and obtaining those songs.

Once you have them all, burn yourself a CD or set up a playlist on your music player, that you can use any time you are feeling down or lacking in self-worth and need some encouragement.

And how about sharing the fact that you have taken up this challenge on your blog and sharing your list with others.  You can even share why certain songs mean so much to you.  Oh and feel free to link back here so that I can check out your songs too.”

I must admit... I already have some lists on YouTube of favourite songs I listen to when I'm writing (always instrumental - I can't write with other words in my head!) or just to relax/enjoy, but a list of songs to remind me I'm loved or worth loving? wow... that's a whole new concept for me! I like it a lot. :-) 

So here are my choices. I love all of them, but I'm putting the one I want to share the lyrics of as my number 10.
  
1. Owl City - Fireflies
2. Bily Joel - Just the Way You Are
3. Noa - Beautiful That Way
4. Des'ree - It's Ok
5. Eddie Reader - Simple Soul
6. Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
7. Cat Stevens - How can I Tell You?
8. Brooke Fraser - Something in the Water
9. Mika - Celebrate
10. India Arie - Beautiful Flower



This is a song for every girl who's
Ever been through something
She thought she couldn't make it through
I sing these words because
I was that girl too
Wanting something better than this
But who do I turn to?

Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives

'Cause you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind

There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you, who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

This is a song for every girl who
Feels that she is not special
'Cause she don't look like a supermodel Coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you to shake your moneymaker
Shake your head and tell them, tell them you're a leader

Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives

'Cause you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind

There is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you, who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

Yeah you, who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, yeah you
You are brilliant 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Burning Bright


I'm finally getting to the last of my photos from our trip to the Highland wildlife park in August.

There are several sections you can walk through. There's a portion for the bigger animals, like the Amur Tigers as well as two more heavily wooded portions for the forest-loving creatures, like the Scottish wildcats, the wolves and forest reindeer.

The walk up to the animals was lovely, surrounded by heather with stunning views towards the mountains.


Then we went down through the trees and onto wooden walk ways to see the tigers.


The tigers are Amur tigers, from Russia. There is a female, Dominika, and a new young male, Marty.  Dominika was born at the wildlife park. When we got to the viewing window one of the tigers was  pacing up and down in front of the viewing window. I've never been that close to a Big Cat! 

It was walking past so close my first photo was this...


And my next attempt this...


You could see the claw scratches (and smears of licking or paws?) on the glass, which was a bit disconcerting... but they are such beautiful animals that everyone there just stood and watched in awe. It completely ignored us...


One tiger sat meekly amongst the thistles watching as the other kept pacing past us humans. It did try to get the other's attention once or twice and was acknowledged with a sneering snarl.



Not often you see a tiger posed with thistles!



The photos don't do justice to their colours. They seemed to glow. William Blake was right when he wrote...

TIGER, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand dare seize the fire? 

 And what shoulder and what art
 Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand and what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain? 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? What dread grasp 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp? 

When the stars threw down their spears, 
And water'd heaven with their tears, 
Did He smile His work to see? 
Did He who made the lamb make thee? 

Tiger, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


There... and Back


Well.. after I wrote my last update, that my computer seemed to be fixed, it crashed again. :-( And then started... and crashed again. This weekend Hubby went into full attack-seek-fix mode. He took the hard drive out, saved my stuff to his machine, then stripped my computer's brain bare. Now we're slowly putting everything back ad so far... it's working fine.

I have lost a few bits, I have all my emails (sent and inbox) shoved into one folder, but mostly everything is there and working. Now I just have the drab dull plod of reinstalling software, putting back everything to where it should be.


Hopefully I'll be able to finally put up my last photos from the wild life park, that I took in August!