Never-ending Reading List

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Latimer: I remember a while back I did a post about how I was struggling through a long read list – well, not struggling, because I like having a lot of books to read, but sometimes when you find yourself buying more than you’re reading you do feel like giving yourself a kick in the brain!

Back then, I had been reading (on and off) Bill Bryson’s At Home; I am so happy to say I finished reading it before 2013 ran out! Yes, the never-ending reading list is getting just a little bit shorter!

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It really sickens me how long it took me to read such a great book. Bill Bryson has to be one of the best authors; I’ve only read two of his books, but they have both been so amazing (and they both took me forever to read). There’s just so much information in his books and so many funny, strange and sad stories, that you find yourself stopping to digest what you just read and staring into space shaking your head!

This is a small example; in At Home, I read about roof rats. Yup. Now every time I hear something skittering across the attic floor, I no longer think ‘birds’, I think… ‘roof rats’. No one else is buying what I’m selling, but in Bryson I trust, so yup… roof rats.

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Apparently the modern home is a great environment for the roof rat. And the behaviour of the modern rat – wooh, it’s scary. They show no fear, ‘and will even deliberately approach and make contact with motionless persons. They are particularly emboldened in the presence of infants and the elderly’ (neither of which I am, so I’m fist punching the air, shouting “do you hear that roof rats! Fear me!”)

‘Rats have very sharp teeth and can become aggressive if cornered’ (won’t be doing that so!) ‘biting savagely and blindly, in the manner of mad dogs’ (holy moly!) ‘A motivated rat can leap as high as three feet’. Then they are also very, very smart; there was an incident where rats were stealing eggs from a farmer without breaking them (which even now as I type sounds like a cartoon); the rats worked together, where one rat would embrace an egg on all fours and roll over onto its back, and a second rat would then drag it by its tail to their burrow.

This image has stayed with me since I read the book. And there’s so much more in the book, that I kind of feel like I will have to re-read it a lot to remember most of it. But it’s such a good book.

I don’t have much of a feel for ‘special interest’ books. I just read what I’d like to know about; there are a few people though who seem to have a gift for reading really interesting sounding books.

I’m addicted to Smodcast, and Kevin Smith’s friend, Scott Mosier, reads some really interesting books! He’s always reading something and he mentions books so often that someone put together a list.

If you are looking for something out of the ordinary (maybe!); check out the list of books he’s mentioned! There’s some really interesting ones! http://smodbooks.wordpress.com/page/3/

I think my reading list is always going to be never-ending… 🙂

Animal-napping

ID-100194768Ridley: I love animals. I always have, even as a child I used to spend half my time animal-napping other people’s pets. One of the days, when I was seven, I remember grabbing a full packet of ham and laying a meaty trail in through our front gate for this gorgeous basset hound I’d spotted on the street.basset_hound

The minute he’d ambled into our garden, I leapt forward, slamming the gate closed while laughing, ‘He’s mine now!’. Mind, he was quite clearly someone elses, with his lovely new collar and name tag (complete with address and all on the back) but I cheerfully ignored all these obvious signs of people ownership as I hugged him and he became mine for all of half an hour until my mother released him. *sigh* I even tried to adopt a skunk once, not really understanding that they weren’t fluffy cats with large white stripes (all those episodes with Pepé le Pew tricked me!).download

That aborted animal stealing event ended with me being scrubbed in the bath with tomato juice. It was shortly after this that my parents eventually relented and got me a white kitten, which I called Precious (no, I didn’t really think that name through too well, that or I was already showing Gollum-like tendencies, ‘My Presciousssss’)images

Since then, we’ve had numerous beloved, and not forgotten, animals. Not least of which are the ones at home at the moment.

We have three dogs, which are known as the twins (two cairn terriers – Ernie and Daisy) and the big ‘un (Raffles, half dalmatian, half cocker spaniel).

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There’s also our cat Pigeon, who is basically the princess in the house, we (okay, I) spoil her rotten (little treats of tuna, special Whiskas milk) and she now expects it. I am convinced all cats remember the time when they were once worshipped in ancient Egypt; Pigeon in particular must have been some high priestess or something, as she gets annoyed if she’s given normal cat food.20130405_24820130405_265

I swear the four of them think they’re humans, or at least they act like it. And yes, I’m sure you noticed that I called my cat after a bird, I really wanted to call her something like Cleopatra (she would have been Cleo for short, I had it all planned out) or Crookshanks, but the family vetoed all of my well thought out (and pilfered from various movies/books) names, so eventually I said, ‘she’s grey, we’re calling her Pigeon’, of course everyone protested, telling me I couldn’t call a cat after a bird. Ha, watch me. (Latimer wanted me to call her Dobby, but I didn’t think she had big enough eyes)

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Pigeon also has the three dogs wrapped around her little paw. If she’s ever in a fight with another cat, she races down the wall, happily leading her would-be attacker into the back garden. Then she hops down right into the centre of the three dogs. Who see another cat chasing their special Pigeon and they rear up barking. All the while, behind them is Pigeon, with a smug little expression staring up at her shell shocked enemy who turns tail and flees in horror. Ingenious really, and kinda evil, is it little wonder she’s my cat…haha

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Anyone else have crazy cats and dotty dogs? What would you do without them, eh? 😀

A Kick Out of Neopets**

tumblr_l2b6yffbZU1qzhmovo1_400Ridley: The other day, my brother wandered into the kitchen and found me staring into space and sighing. After he’d made a sandwich for himself and had half eaten it, he asked me what was wrong. I told him about the email I’d gotten from the neopets people (see ** below for neopet explanation), saying because my account had been inactive for over 10 years…38771484

I’d forgotten my password, a long time ago, and every few years I tried to remember it, and because when I signed up, we were much younger and the internet was still ‘new’ (yes, I am of the generation where I remember there was once no internet) my mother was beyond paranoid and insisted that we didn’t give out our ‘real’ information, so I gave a fake date of birth. And to retrieve your forgotten password, what do you think they asked for? And do you think I could remember the date I’d given?

My three little animals, I was locked out from them. (I had wolf type creatures (of course I did), called lupe.) 

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My poor pets, they’ve been digitally put down. I bet they never gave up on me though, they were probably scratching at their non-existent door and whining to be fed. Mammy’s sorry!!

I even had a shop, you know, where I sold things, lots of things. One thing in particular was a fairy in a jar (worth so so many neopoints).

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It’s probably long dead by now, it went insane first I’d say, as I had ‘Take on Me’ by A1 paying on continuous loop in the shop.

I can just imagine the poor trapped magical creature beating against the glass, probably thinking I was torturing it in a cruel and unusual way.

And then there were the expensive spell books I’d managed to save up and buy just before I got locked out. I just can’t help imagining how much they’d have appreciated and what they’d be worth now if I could just get back on. Never mind the other rare items I had for sale (and the food).guide1_1

Or how much interest I’d have made on my neopoints. I’d have also been some sort of platinum, ice gold membership or something.

So all I want to say, though I have absolutely nothing to show for it now, I was there at the beginning!!

 

**(For those of you who don’t know anything about neopets, it is a site where you can own virtual pets (a bit like an online tamagotchi) where you can play, pet, and feed your animals. You earned neopoints, which was their currency and you could use them when you went shopping.Neopian_Bazaar_1st

I used to love exploring the little village (I just popped on their site, they’ve expanded, it’s now a world, a whole earth-like world called The World of Neopia, in my day it was just a few little mushroom like shops). You could also take part in games and interact with other users and their pets.)

P.S. I did a quick search on google, and found this (this sooo could have been me! How I laughed, and look at the name of the membership!! Haha.)

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