One Red Paperclip – by Kyle Macdonald

30 06 2013

I’ve utterly loved this book, reflected in how quickly I’ve read it!

This is a book about a guy who is sick of pouring his money down the drain in rent, and has no steady income, and so, inspired by a game called “Bigger and Better” from his childhood, tries to trade up from a Red Paperclip, up to a house he can call his own.

I really doesn’t sound possible does it? The book works you through each trade and how it came about, chapter by chapter. It’s a real story, the website and blog he wrote at the time all still exist! There’s not too much of a spoiler in them either as the introduction to the book says pretty much exactly where it’s going to end up!

The guy behind it all is really quite inspiring. It’s not about trading up for something of higher monetary value, it’s about the journey, about the people, and the idea that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Definitely worth a read!

one red paperclip

Great lines from: 10 Things I hate about you

29 06 2013

A while ago I talked about my favourite chick flicks, so here’s some of the best lines from 10 Things I Hate About You 🙂

“Yea but see there’s a difference between like and love, because I like my sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack”

“But I love my sketchers”

“That’s because you don’t have a Prada backpack”


“I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”

“I think you can in Europe!”

“Where did you come from? Planet Loser?”

“As opposed to planet look-at-me look-at-me?”

“Maybe if we were the last two people alive, and there were no sheep. Are there sheep?!”

“My fenders don’t exactly whip me into a verbal frenzy”

“Woops?! My insurance does not cover PMS!”

“Mr Stratford it’s just a party!”

“And hell is just a sauna”

“Now that, right there – who needs affection when I have blind hatred!”

“Just because you’re beautiful it doesn’t mean you can treat people like they don’t matter”

“Now, I know Shakespeare’s a dead white guy, but he knows his ****, so we can overlook that”

“Cos I know you’re a fan of Shakespeare”

“More than a fan, we’re involved”


“That was until she kissed me”


“In the car”

“You’re looking at this from entirely the wrong perspective, we’re making a statement”

“Oh goodie! Something new and different for us!”

“Why should I live up to other peoples expectations rather than my own?”

“I’ve got news for you, kissing isn’t what keeps me up to my elbows in placenta all day long”

“What’s normal? Those Dawson’s River kids sleeping in each other’s beds and what not?”

“*That*’s for making my date bleed, *that*’s for my sister, and *that*’s for me”

“I hate the way you talk to me and the way you cut your hair,
I hate it when you drive my car, I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind,
I hate you so much it makes me sick, it even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you’re always right, I hate it when you lie,
I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact you didn’t call,
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,
not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.”

“It’s not every day you find a girl who’ll flash someone to get you out of detention”

“You can’t just buy me a guitar every time you screw up you know?”

“Yea I know. But then there’s always drums and bass and maybe even one day a tambourine!”

Friday five favourite: Things about Wimbledon

28 06 2013

Some years I watch a bit of Wimbledon, some a bit more, others I practically miss it altogether, but this year has been one of the years I’ve really got into it 🙂 So here we go, five favourite things about Wimbledon 🙂

  • Mansour Bahrami – most entertaining Tennis player on the planet!
  • Formalities & Traditions: All the cute white outfits, addressing the players as Mr & Miss, the middle Sunday of rest, all those little traditions!

  • The stress of any game with a Briton in it – every break point is like another year added to my life!

  • The wonderful patriotism brought out in us, almost like going back to the Royal Wedding, Jubilee and the Olympics!

  • Strawberries, cream and Pimms – I haven’t got round to using the Wimbledon excuse to binge yet, not had the time, but it will happen! Or I’ll make up for missing it afterwards 🙂

You know it’s summer when…

22 06 2013
  • You stop wearing slippers
  • You stop wearing socks!
  • You go to sleep on top of your duvet (but wake up under it – what is that about?!)
  • You can have lunch outside without a jumper and without shivering and goosebumps
  • You go to bed even though it’s still a bit light outside
  • You eat dinner later and later because the long evenings get confusing
  • You can’t stop the roof of your mouth from tickling or eyes from itching – even with all the hayfever tablets
  • You don’t enter your room without opening a window
  • You wake up the next day and it’s cold and rainy again….

What else? What makes it summer for you?

Friday five favourite: Chick flicks part 2

21 06 2013

Continued from last week:

To avoid too much judgement I’m doing chick flicks, not just “films”, because if I did my five favourite films I’d get looked down on!
The other key word here is “favourite”, not “Friday five best”, so I’m totally entitled to my own opinion 🙂

So here are this weeks! Last week were more classic, these are, bar one, a bit more recent!

27 Dresses

just gutted that the trailer barely covers Benny & The Jets!

The Proposal

Definitely Maybe

The Object of my Affection

Pitch Perfect

So given the 10 films over the last 2 weeks, are there any you loved? Are there any off the list you think I should have included or think I should see?

Just a Minute – Wess Stafford

20 06 2013

We were given copies of this book at work when it was published, but unfortunately at that point I wasn’t reading much at all and it just went on my bookshelf. But when I was looking for my next book to read, I put a couple of options I had out on twitter and had a reply from Mr Wess Stafford himself! After that I didn’t really have an excuse to read anything else 🙂

Wess has been the President of Compassion International for a long time and is just in the process of retiring and handing over to his successor. He’s a great man and brilliant speaker, his first book was called Too Small To Ignore and is his story of his childhood in an African village, and how we must invest in children.

Just a minute carries on his theme of caring for those children around us. It’s a whole load of short stories of different people’s “minutes” that changed and influenced their lives, something someone said or did that affected them. Most are uplifting positive stories which inspire us to do the same, but be warned, there’s a handful that show how damaging a minute can be – Hitler’s childhood actually gets a mention….

I found this book challenging and motivating to really think about how I treat and talk to the children I know and come across regularly, how is a passing comment I make going to potentially affect them long term?

A great read, and not a tricky one either, just pick a story or two in one sitting if necessary!

just a minute

Big Ideas: T-Plates

19 06 2013

It seems after a couple of years of driving I’m coming up with several ways to improve the roads in the UK… probably all have been thought of before but still! First there was the suggestion of colour coded paint markings to indicate speed limits, then earlier this week my compulsory indicators suggestion. I have been spending a lot more time than normal inside my car this week, so maybe that explains it!

Anyway, here’s a third – I actually wrote to the Department for Transport about this one when I passed my driving test.

When someone has an L plate, you know it means they’re a learner and so to give them a bit of extra space.
When someone has a P plate, you know it means they’ve recently passed their test and are getting used to driving on their own, and so, again, to give them a bit of extra space and have patience.

Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m driving somewhere new for the first time, I feel a bit like a new driver again, working out what lane to be in, which exit of the roundabout, and maybe making a few mistakes along the way. I think Tourists often need just as much space as a new driver – I’m still yet to try out driving in the centre of London, but the day I do (if ever) I know I’ll want people to have patience with me!

So that’s what I propose, we have L plates and P plates, what about T plates for Tourists? What do you think?!

And just because I think this has been one two many car related posts this week…

What colour should T Plates be?!

Big ideas: Compulsory indicating

16 06 2013

What if a car steering wheel was locked other than a very small angle for road bends, unless you had your indicator on? So if you indicated left it’d let you steer left for the next 30 seconds, and the same for right, but otherwise you could just vary a little bit. It would make things far simpler!

Obviously there’s narrow angle junctions where people would get away with it, and I guess there’s some sharper bends in the road that may cause problems.

The other alternative, a little more expensive to implement is to tie car sat navs in with indicators… hmm maybe not!

Grace and Mercy

15 06 2013

I’ve always attended Baptist churches regularly which use pretty much no liturgy, definitely nothing regular. But growing up in a town with a fantastic ecumenical organisation, I’ve spent plenty of time in other churches, including many at Romsey Abbey, the local CofE church.

The other day I was pondering this line used so often in CofE and Ecumenical services that I’ve attended:

“Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer”

Now there’s a song we learnt at church once that has this line in it.

“Grace is when God gives us the things we don’t deserve
Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve”

And it made me think. When we ask God to hear our prayer, surely we’re asking for something we don’t deserve to happen, rather than for something we do deserve to not happen, so why is this common phrase not “Lord, in Your grace, hear our prayer”?

Another definition of Grace is:

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

And it’s through that that we have this relationship with the Father, this ability to talk to Him, to pray to Him, and so surely it is through Grace that we also would ask Him to hear our prayer?

I guess a lot of folk would say “In Jesus’ Name” at the end of their prayer, and that relates more to the Grace side of things…

I don’t know, this is just a collection of thoughts around the idea really!

What do you think?

Friday five favourite: Chick flicks part 1

14 06 2013

To avoid too much judgement I’m doing chick flicks, not just “films”, because if I did my five favourite films I’d get looked down on!
The other key word here is “favourite”, not “Friday five best”, so I’m totally entitled to my own opinion 🙂

This has been so hard to get down to five, first I eliminated things like Little Women that seem to straddle the border between classic literature and chick flicks, great as it is! Even then, nope, it still wasn’t working, so here’s part 1 of 2, it’s going to have to be a list of 10, there’s just too many!

This week I’ve focused on what are probably some slightly older ones mainly, some proper classics 🙂

10 Things I hate about you

I spend most of this film wanting Julia Stiles’ hair… seriously!

Sleepless in Seattle

I was first introduced to this by my mum and while we both ended up with it on DVD, if it was on telly we’d still sit down together to watch it. In the film the girls talk along with a film they watch that they know really well – I do it with this film!


You know you’ve seen a film too many times when you spot a few clips in the trailer than aren’t in the film.
But worse, when you realise they used a different take in the trailer on on scene than in the film… “I totally paused” was totally different!

These 2 are a little more recent, but still fall under the ‘classic’s heading I think 🙂

The Holiday

Love Actually

So you know the drill:
What are your favourite chick flicks?