One Hundred Names – by Cecelia Ahern

29 07 2013

I was partway through a slightly heavier book, but what with the heatwave that’s been going on the last few weeks, when my pre-order of Cecelia Ahern‘s latest book arrived, I decided it was time for a break and a slightly easier read!

I have read every novel this lady has written, she’s brilliant! Best known for P.S. I Love You, most of her books have some slightly mystical element, something not quite real, but this was one of the “realistic” ones, one that could technically happen.

I was a little nervous as I started it, the blurb was a little bland. Someone has a list of 100 names and has to work out what links them, but as the book moves on I got more and more involved with what’s going on. I read the entire book in a week and was so sad for it to end!

The only criticism I’d have is that I struggled to keep up with the number of characters. Each time a name came up for the first time in a chapter I had to work out who they were and remind myself, it wasn’t til I was about 90% of the way through I got to grips with them all!

But I’d still recommend it, a really lovely story 🙂

one hundred names

An added bonus from the smoking ban!

27 07 2013

On 1st July 2007 smoking was banned in all indoor public places and workplaces in England, quite controversial at the time – it was quite usual to go into a restaurant and end up next to a smoker, maybe there’d be a non smoking section of the room, but you were all still sharing the same air. These days that seems like something fictional; the world has definitely moved on, it’s wonderful!

The rule however does not apply to outdoor places, but this week I noticed a culture shift even in this which really made me smile.

I was shopping in Southampton with my friend Holly from 6th Form College and having a good catch up, we had a lovely lunch at the new Toby Carvery sandwich place, and later, incredible Italian icecreams and took them out to a bench on the high street. After a while, a woman came and sat next to us on the bench, and after a minute said. “Excuse me, I’m just going to smoke, do you ladies mind or would you rather I went somewhere else, I don’t want to blow smoke all over you!”

We said we were just leaving anyway and not to worry (we needed to go back to a shop anyway!), but thanked her for asking and being so considerate. I have never experienced that before, she was perfectly at liberty to sit down and light up, but she went out of her way to check with us first. Who’d have thought it; what a lovely lady!

The smoking ban really has improved things.

Has this ever happened to you before?!

Royal Baby – it’s a boy! Next: guess the names!

22 07 2013

How exciting! So although most people thought they were having a little girl (I’m afraid that teddy probably went to the dog), the Prince of Cambridge was born this afternoon!

The next guessing game is going to be on the name! When William was born his name wasn’t announced for a week, but Harry was the same day so who knows when we’ll hear!

In my last blog I said my money was on George William, but we know they tend to have a lot of names, and more have come to light over the day, so here’s my list of 10 of the possibilities. I’d like to think that if he has 4 names, which seems to be fairly normal, he’d have at least a couple from this list!

  • George – This is the bookies favourite, one of Charles’ middle names, name of the Queen’s father and many British Monarchs, but importantly, not the name of any current senior royal.
  • James – Another name going back in British monarch history, also the name of Catherine’s brother, which I don’t knnow if it’d be enough to make it less likely, but again, not a current senior royal name.
  • Spencer – This was Diana’s surname, William’s uncle is the Earl Spencer, it’d be a nice tribute for a middle name as Diana is obviously now out of the question this time around.
  • Charles – Lots of family links here. William’s father and uncle, also a middle name for Harry and lots of British Kings of the past. But maybe a bit confusing to have Grandad’s name?
  • Arthur – A middle name for Charles and William so probably a strong candidate for a middle name again, obviously a pretty famous King too!
  • Philip – Name of the Queen’s husband, also another middle name of Charles and William, but a bit close to home with his current health?
  • John – Again no senior royals of this name currently and t was the name of one of the Queen’s uncles.
  • Louis – the last of Williams middle names, maybe a little French but it’s maybe more likely than Tyler!
  • David – a good King-y name, but not very likely. I don’t think they’d want people thinking he was named after the Prime Minister! Though it is one of Harry’s middle names.
  • Michael – Not sure where this stands in British history, but it is the name of Kate’s Father, so not out of the question, maybe a middle name?

So there we go – what do you think they’ll call him?!

Royal Baby on the way!

22 07 2013

It’s a VERY good job I have today off of work – I can’t imagine I’d be able to leave BBC News alone if I was in the office!

There’s rumours everywhere about her due date, the gender etc, but it turns out they’re based on nothing! Here’s some bits and pieces from the BBCs article this morning:

  • Although we all said Kate was a week late, the due date was never announced, it was a guess at ‘mid July’, but even that is not certain!
  • Although everyone said she let slip she’s having a girl (a child gave her a toy and her response was “Oh thanks, I’ll give that to my d.. baby” – was that daughter or dog?!), she and William don’t even know what they’re having!!
  • The Queen, senior members of the Royal Family, and the duchess’s family – if they are not at the hospital – will be told about the birth first. (Not a tonne of politicians as some have thought)
  • Then the birth announcement will be displayed on an ‘ornate easel’ in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, followed by a Twitter/Facebook announcement and then the Media will be informed
  • As for names. Royals often seem to have about 4 first names, but I’m just going to put two in for each gender – no one would ever manage all 4, surely?! If it’s a girl, I’m guessing Alexandra Diana, if it’s a boy, George William. To be honest I’m more confident in the middle names than the first as there’s reasoning behind them! For the first names I just chose royal names that no senior royal currently has!

    What are your guesses for the names?!

    **EDIT** So I’ve just read that Alexandra and George are the bookies favourite names, I honestly guessed them before hearing that!!! ****

Friday Five Favourite: Latin & Ballroom Dances

19 07 2013

Or more specifically, dances from Strictly!

The Apprentice finished this week and so I was trying to think what came next, Strictly starts September/October time normally, so it’s a bit of a wait, but I realised I was ready for it to come around again, I’m missing it! So with that in mind, here are 5 of my favourite dance styles as seen on Strictly 🙂

Viennese Waltz – Denise & James

Jive – Jill & Darren

Charleston – Chris & Ola

Quickstep – Matt & Aliona

American Smooth – Harry & Aliona

Wisdom from the Jones ladies on Worship

16 07 2013

Just before I went to uni I had drinks with my friend Kim and her mum Shona. All of the ladies in this family have the most beautiful voices, and we had the immense privilege of having Shona leading worship in church on Sunday’s with that beautiful Scottish lilt we miss so much.

The beauty of their voices came up in conversation, and I joked how obviously I’d never match up to them, and they shared this wonderful concept with me, which I now share with you if you’ve never had much confidence in your own ‘worship’ voice.

They told me how God has this worship filter. Where we hear the quality of the voice, that’s all sifted out. What He hears is the pureness of heart, the meaning and sincerity behind what is being sung. That which is sung in all honesty and passion is what sounds most beautiful to Him. You could have the most beautiful voice in the world, but if you didn’t mean a word you sang, it’d sound tone deaf to Him.

What a lovely thought!

Wisdom from Angie on Worship

13 07 2013

I was chatting with a wonderful friend of mine this week when I realised what wise things I’ve been told over the years. Time to share them wider! There’ll be at least one more of these anecdotes coming soon…

I grew up in a lovely Baptist church which while not a traditional or formal church, is not overly charismatic. On a Sunday you’d see a handful of hands up in the air, always the same few. It wasn’t un-normal, but not something I ever did.

When I was 17 I went to Spring Harvest, and in the youth venue, arms were up everywhere, I wasn’t quite used to it! I found myself wanting to too, but I was worried. As a 17 year old I was still really quite concerned about what the people around me, my friends, people I’d known my whole life, thought of me.

I freaked out a bit.

The wonderful thing about going to Spring Harvest with a big church group though, is there’s all sorts of people you can sit down and talk with, and fortunately, Angie, my Sunday School teacher from when I was 10, who was also my Saturday job boss at Oasis Christian Centre was hanging around the Skyline watching a stall during the session, and I went to find her.

She was fantastic. Here’s what she shared with me: Worship isn’t about other people, it’s about you and God. Who care’s what’s going on around you. When she sings, she shuts her eyes, because then she doesn’t see what others are doing, doesn’t worry about what others are seeing her doing, and it’s just about her and God, whether her arms are up, down, other, or whatever she does!

And so that’s what I do so often now. I’m so easily distracted, not just by other people’s worship styles (we all worship differently, that’s a great thing!), but by toddlers running around, all sorts! If I shut my eyes, then it’s just me worshipping my Creator, Saviour and Sustainer, it’s personal 🙂

The opposite of silent letters

3 07 2013

Silent letters, fine,  I got my head around those a long time ago.

  • Psalms
  • Dough
  • Hour
  • Knee

But what about letters we pronounce that aren’t even there?

Where’s the H in sugar?!

What other examples can you think of?