Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are you Guilty?

Following on from:-

When you think about childhood, what toy comes to mind?
When you were little, what did you dream of becoming some day?
When was the first time you fell in Love?

We now reach the Guilt Zone!   We have all been there I expect.  You know the procedure, you do something, you regret doing it, then you are burdened with guilt!

I am pretty sure I started doing things WRONG from a very young age, after all it is all part of growing up, but when I think about the first time I remember doing something wrong, there is no doubt in my mind as to which event wins the prize.

I figure I was about five at the time, could be wrong give or take a year.  My Mam had given me 2 coins to put in the Gas Meter, a bit like an early 'pay as you go' system.  Anyhow, there I was with the 2 coins, and my logical brain immediately figured out that there was no way ANYONE would know if I only put 1 coin in the meter and put the other one in my pocket!  And so I did.

And guess what, my logic was right in part, except for one small detail - the ANYONE, included me.  I knew I'd done it, and though even now, I have no memory of what I spent the money on, the GUILT took hold and stayed in my five-year old brain, and stayed and stayed. 

We didn't have a lot of money growing up, and I may have been only five, but I knew that much.  I also knew, that I had betrayed a trust.  Now, I am not saying I articulated it to my brain exactly like I'm telling you now, but I know, I didn't have a good feeling inside me afterwards.

In the general scheme of things, it is not a big deal, but it stayed with me, and maybe on reflection it has turned out to be a good thing; because although, I have often done things that I have felt guilty about afterwards, I think in the main, I learned something really important at a very young age.  I learned that the prize isn't always worth the price, and if you think you are going to do something that will cause guilt afterwards, think again, because guilt really ain't a good thing to have in your life.

Now I know all of you out there are PERFECT, but if you happen to remember a tiny incident, or even a mad big one, and it has stayed with you from childhood - like the first time you remember being tempted - Did you do it, or did you not?  Spill the beans, you've come to the right place to share!

ALSO - I need to come up with a LABEL/TITLE for these posts, I can't keep listing off previous ones to explain what's going on - so if you have a suggestion, hit me with it.  I was thinking about 'WHEN YOU WERE SMALL?'

How Times Have Changed? - Dr. Who -What -How?

Okay more than a little tight for time today with my multi-tasking skills being pushed to the limit, today's post will be short and hopefully sweet, or if not sweet, full of smoke!

Gone are the days when we used to say 'An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away' -and we are certainly more aware and educated about healthy eating habits and lifestyles than ever before.  Despite the latter though, obesity in children and adults seem to be on the rise - probably a kick back from our changing lifestyles, meaning, we do more sitting down at PCs than out doing physical exercise.  (Note to self - start back walking as of today!)

Anyhow, I digress, but perhaps I might return to this subject again.  In the interim, because I know how much you have been enjoying these Vintage Advertisements, here's one to get you thinking about how times have changed! 

Also will read everyone's blog posts this evening - thanks!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tech Support - Husbands/Boyfriends

Some of you might have seen this before, but men out there, please do not take this as a slight on your wonderful qualities - This link was sent to me by Hubby - so blame him!

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend to Husband and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend.

In addition, Husband uninstalled many other valuable programmes, such as Romance and Personal Attention and then installed undesirable programs such as Rugby, Football, Sailing and Continuous TV. Conversation no longer runs, and Housecleaning simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed, Desperate


Dear Desperate,

First keep in mind, Boyfriend is an Entertainment Package, while Husband is an Operating System. Please enter the command: 'http: I Thought You Loved Me.html' and try to download Tears.
Don't forget to install the Guilt update. If that application works as designed, Husband should then automatically run the applications Jewellery and Flowers, but remember - overuse of the above application can cause Husband to default to Grumpy Silence, Garden Shed or Beer. Beer is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.
Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband.
In summary, Husband is a great system, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. It also tends to work better running one task at a time. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Food and Lingerie.

Good Luck,
Tech Support

Where have the last 3 Hours Gone?

Awake since dawn, and having just spent the last 3 hours writing, I wondered where did the time go to, and even more important, what did I actually achieve?  The fruits of my labour seem very small indeed, which reminded me of a comic strip from Calvin and Hobbes.

If you enjoy this, I guess I've achieved something!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Strand - Magpie Tales 71

Image Courtesy of Tess @ Magpie Tales

Above this week's visual prompt from Tess @ Magpie Tales, which reminded me of colourful fish and then the sea.  So here's one from an early childhood memory - Visit Here - for some wonderful takes on the prompt, or even better have a go yourself!

The Strand

I am three years old,
the tide’s coming in,
new sights and sounds,
of an unknown place.

The breeze batters my ears and face,
filling my hair with knots and sand.
Against sea and sky he stands,
trouser legs rolled up,
white chalk skin, unforeseen.

He turns to the sea, his back to me,
I am cold,
the wind cutting out all other sounds.
As he walks away, the blue waters eat his feet,
my mother's hands grip mine,
‘No,’  I roar.

The strand is huge,
swallowing my sobs,
‘shush,’ she says holding tighter still,
as my father turns,
coming back from the sea,
into memory.

Reading @ The Irish Writers Centre

The Irish Writers Centre will be having an evening of readings this Thursday 30th June 2011 @ 7 o'clock.

It is their Annual Reception celebrating the end of term - and as yours truly will soon be finishing a course there, I will be one of the readers! And if listening to me isn't enough for you - there will be vino and music on the night as well!

Irish Writers Centre - 19 Parnell Square Dublin 1

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Photograph Prose - Poem 'The Whisperings'

Some of you will have heard of Photograph Prose, but for those that haven't, it is a great web site where images by creative photographers are linked up with prose and poetry submissions.

My poem 'The Whisperings' was linked with a wonderful image by Hazel Suttill, check image & poem out here @


Have you heard the whisperings?
The doubts and uncertainties that seep and soak,
visiting at unexpected hours,
like in the dead of night,

or just before you take a chance,

Having a language all their own,
one that charms your ear, in silence and in noise,
leaning to the dark, clawing at belief,
with a subtlety of self,
that fools the pupil it knows best.

A sombre thought indeed, that our biggest critic hides within us all,
who consumes with glee and skill of viciousness,
turning us into mere shadows of ourselves,
by slash of minor beliefs, or pride,
enthusiastic wonders that bring a smile,

Hinting one might achieve,
a small or soft or great,
or even gentle murmuring,
that would gather in arms of strength,
harnessing against the dark whisperings of self.

For revenge of this critic is perhaps the sweetest of them all,
for in it lies the secret of success,
think hard how foolish he or she might seem,
if you were not taken by their spell of doubt,
but rather silenced,

The one most feared,
who knows us far too well and yet not at all.

Visit Photograph Prose HERE  , and have a look at the current images available and see if any of them inspire you to write accompanying words!


How Times Have Changed? - Or Not?

Having decided to do a series of posts on Vintage Ads, my thinking in advance was that some people might find them amusing, shocking, strange, even sad in a way.  Things do change, and society moves on, and sometimes like bad fashion, we can look back and say - No way! - Who could have worn that? - What fools were they?

However, things don't always change, at least not always for the better.  Sometimes when something bad takes hold, it stays around for a long time, which brings me to today's Vintage Ad, and one that rightly gets my heckles up!

This advertisement dates back to the 1970's, and for anyone who finds the caption at the end difficult to read, it says - Love's Baby Soft is that irresistible clean baby smell, grown up enough to be sexy - and, not to leave the killer tag line at the top out - Because innocence is sexier than you think.

Yes, this is shocking, and yes you feel like saying - What? How? Never! Surely not? And it is both sad and awful that this form of advertising was ever used, but perhaps what might be more disturbing, is when you ask yourself the question - how are we handling this topic today?

I guess, we only have to look at how fashion, particularly fashion for girls has changed.  There is undoubtedly a shift towards more adult dress, not just in pre-teen, but amongst really young children. In part I suppose, you could put this down to the current celebrity obsession, although this type of obsession goes back a long way, you only have to think about the old Hollywood stars to get the picture.  However, nowadays children are exposed to media and advertising on an ongoing basis, whether through television, magazines, Internet, the list of mediums is endless, and more importantly, constant.

This particular vintage advertisement is shocking, but has the thinking behind it really changed?  There is no doubt that this advertisement would not fly today, nevertheless, has the content and context of it really moved on, or is the message behind it, just become more sophisticated and subtle?

Here's an advertisement from today- I leave the answer to the above question to yourselves!

And here's an article from MailOnline which shocked me!

"10-year-old Vogue model's mother shuts down Facebook fan site in response to outrage over daughter's career!"


Friday, June 24, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Robert Frost

Now I know lots of you out there are pretty fond of Robert Frost, one of the greatest ever.  So after having a day from hell yesterday, and still trying to pick up the pieces today, I figured this quote from the man himself is well worth a mention! Happy Writing Weekend!


'The best way out is always through.'

- Robert Frost -

Two In Tandem #7

Image Courtesy of Jinksy

Morning Glory

Early morning frost underfoot,
smell the land,
 with ground twists of turf,
 moss-coated blue rock,
pulsating from this jagged place.
Like a seasoned seductress,
leisurely undressing by the light of day,
and always the bird song,
falling like drops of rain.

See other contributor's words on this wonderful painting HERE

Visit Jinsky for further inspiration!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

At what age does love begin?

Following on from previous posts dealing with questions like, 'When you think of childhood, what toy comes to mind?' or 'When you were little, what did you dream of being when you grew up?' - Inevitably we get to the LOVE QUESTION?

So assuming you are one of the lucky/unlucky people in this world that has fallen in love - How old were you when you fell in love for the first time?

Not wanting to ask these questions, without being prepared to answer them myself; well I had a little think.

I do remember falling in love for the first time, in fact when I thought about it, I also remembered falling in love for the second time, and both seem to have remained with me in part because neither were very successful.

The first time, I was eleven, and it was a boy from school.  He was intelligent, attractive, funny, caring, just not caring for me!  If I remember it correctly, in order to gain his attention, I embarked on a process of getting to know him, become his friend so to speak.  Unfortunately, I misjudged the level of enthusiasm required, because we did become friends, in fact he told me, we were best friends, which is why he shared with me his secret desires for another girl, who happened to be far prettier than I, or at least so I thought at the time.  Not wanting to embarrass myself further, and reveal to him the real motives for my interest, I embarked on a plan to help him meet up with this other girl.  I know real handkerchief material here, but the thing is, I can't remember if I ever succeeded, which in a way is a good thing, because somehow, I guess little eleven year old me must have moved on.

The second time I fell in love, I was fifteen.  He wasn't particularily attractive, I remember that, so it was the old personality attraction going strong.  We were friends already, in that kind of girls and guys that hang out with each other in a group thing.  I must have driven my girlfriends mad talking about him, cause I remember I did a lot of it.  Anyhow, as is the way with these things, opportunity eventually presented itself.  It happened at Christmas time, and there was a local dance going on.  Needless to say, the preparation was a major affair, me sensing that my moment of Love's dream was about to happen.  Now you could have knocked me down with a feather, when he came over and asked me to dance.  There was a slow song playing, (not going to tell you which one, I need some secrets) and we danced, and I knew, this was it, at last the two of us were together.  Now, I made the mistake of thinking, that he was on the same wavelength as me, believing there was no need to interrupt our beautiful moment with small talk.  I know hard to believe, seeing as I had done nothing other than talk about him, until I was in his arms.  So we danced, listened to the music, holding each other in blissful silence for at least 5 minutes.  At the end of the dance, he thanked me and went back to his friends, obviously mistaking my silence for complete lack of interest.  I was devastated all Christmas, no amount of festive flavour was going to lift my gloom.  But after plenty of tears, regrets, and wanting to hit myself over the head for being such a ninny, eventually I got over this one too.

And yes, for any of you out there who might still be tempted to grab a hanky and cry on my behalf, I did fall in love again, and was lucky enough to be loved back!  So smiles all around.

Now having ranted on for so long with the above, I think I will leave my research notes on the tell-tale body language signs of someone being in love with you for another day.  There are some really interesting pieces of information, that one should be aware of.  They could have helped me no doubt at the time, but something tells me, I still would have jumped in feet first!

Please leave a comment, if something comes to mind, other than the fact that 120 Socks is a lunatic, a loving lunatic mind, cause I know that already!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Canon Poetry Competition

2011 International Poetry Competition
Guest Judge: Glyn Maxwell
1st Prize: £1000
Deadline 29th July 2011. Early bird deadline 22nd June 2011.
Entry fee £4 per poem, or £10 for 3 poems. £3 per poem if poems are submitted by the 'Early Bird' deadline.

Entries are accepted from all over the world. There is no word limit, or limit to the number of poems you can send.

Glyn Maxwell, guest judge writing career has spanned theatre, radio, opera and film. His poetry has won both the E.M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. He has been nominated for both the Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Welsh Academy. His selected works, 'One Thousand Nights and Counting' has just been published by Picador.

You can download an entry form here.

Read the competition entry rules here.

You can enter:

Send a completed entry form and your poems to Live Canon, 17 Shorts Gardens, London WC2H 9AT

Send your entry form and your poems to livecanon@btinternet.com

How Times Have Changed? - Personality boost & teen trouble rolled into One

Having trouble with your teens, or pre-teens?

This Ad from the 1950's might tell you where you are going wrong!

Apparently, laboratory tests over a number of years proved that babies who start drinking soda early, have a better chance of gaining acceptance, and 'fitting in' during their awkward pre-teen or teen years - I mean honestly who came up with this stuff and did people believe it?

Now we all know not to accept as true everything we read in newspapers or see on television, and we especially know that when it comes to advertising, product bias is certainly at play.  It is a very sophisticated game advertisers use and it is all about association, connections, developing needs and wants. So next time you see a perfume linked with a superstar, or you hear scientifically proven, or you start wondering why you never thought to buy a particular product before, because after all, how could you have lived without it?

Think again!

The killer tag line for me is - Boosts Personality! (now I know where I went wrong!) Opinions Anyone??

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Book Club - Herzog by Saul Bellow

This month's book club choice is 'Herzog' by Saul Bellow and looks like it is going to be a very interesting read. See brief description below:

'A novel complex, compelling, absurd and realistic, Herzog became a classic almost as soon as it was published in 1964. In it Saul Bellow tells the tale of Moses E. Herzog, a tragically confused intellectual who suffers from the breakup of his second marriage, the general failure of his life and the specter of growing up Jewish in the middle part of the 20th century. He responds to his personal crisis by sending out a series of letters to all kinds of people. The letters in total constitute a thoughtful examination of his own life and that which has occurred around him. What emerges is not always pretty, but serves as gritty foundation for this absorbing novel. '
A masterpiece. -- The New York Times Book Review

If you have already read this book, we would be delighted to hear your review - just leave a comment in the comment box.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Enda Ferber

Having had a dreadful day, I figured it would be a good idea to get the Thought for the Weekend in early.  So with this in mind, I got to thinking about writing inspiration. 

Writing inspiration is a strange kind of thing, it appears just before your head hits the pillow at night, or when you are watching mindless television, or put on the spot and have to think of something real fast.  But apparently there is something else which can cause this strange and wonderful gift, and that is a blank wall.  Yes, you heard right, all you need is a blank wall, or a rather cloudless sky, or perhaps, I should say, this is the only view you need.  Both have similarities to mindless T.V. and dark pillows, as nothing else is happening other than your mind slotting into place, and yes you've guessed it, writing inspiration dawns. 

So even though today was a very bad writing day, and I'm wondering if I'll ever get around to ever doing it again, here's a quote from the great Enda Ferber herself.

"The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank wall of a cold-storage warehouse.  Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible."

-Enda Ferber -
(Pulitzer Prize Winner 1924)

3 Secrets

Secrets are great things as they create an air of speciality for the receiver. 

For example, when someone says, can I tell you a secret, are you more interested than when someone says, nice day for a walk?  Of course you are, you feel you are going to get something special, because secrets are special. 

There is also the added bonus, that when someone shares a secret, it's like the friendship/relationship steps up a notch, after all you are not going to tell everyone, just the chosen ones.

So have you been tempted?  Well here are 3 secrets I've heard about lately dealing with the mystery of being published!  I warn you in advance, THIS COULD HURT!

Secret 1
Publishers don't want to publish your book, reason being, they are publishing a lot already and are looking for a reason to take the easy path (standard rejection letter). Don't give them a reason to reject it, make your book the best it can be.

Secret 2
Good writing is a must, but it is not the deciding factor in whether your book will be published or not - for example - Does your book fit into their current range - Is the market big enough to make a profit, after all they are not charities - Is your book the right one for them?

Secret 3
Most writers don't make money, or very little - reason, most sell less than one thousand copies.  So if you are in it for the money, you are playing the wrong game. 

Still interested now you know these secrets? 

It is a 'yes' for me anyhow, so I best get busy getting better.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Toy Memories

Since starting on Twitter I have learned lots - first thing I've learned is you need to be disciplined about your time on it, otherwise your whole writing/working/living day could disappear!

I will post some handy tips soon about the pitfalls to avoid, however this post is about something more endearing, wonderful, engaging and hopefully will receive back as many darn good memories as 'what you dreamt about being as a little person,' proved to receive.

Anyhow, another gem idea from Ethel Rohan (if you are not follwoing her on twitter, then do) was asking about your favourite childhood toy, and seeing as how I noticed other Tweeters (not sure if that is the proper term) also talking about this yesterday, I took it as a 'sign' for a blog post, as signs are always good, and for the most part should be followed.

So here it is - Question- When you think of childhood, what toy comes to mind?

Mine was a yellow duck on wheels that I could pull along -  it went missing in the way that toys mysteriously do, and my little girl brain has held on to it ever since.  Whether it was the toy itself, the whole moving, following you part of it, or whether is was because it went missing. that caused it to shoot  to number one spot in my memory, I will never know, but sure isn't that the mystery of life.

So here's your chance - get that memory out, share it, I know I am looking forward to reading it.

Also just to add here, I've spent 20 minutes trying to get as close an image to my yellow duck as possible, the connection is still strong - I didn't find the right one, but this is the closest with the extra little ducks for family - put away the hankies, I will recover soon, honest!

Happy Sunny Tuesday!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rainy Day Writing Thought

Bucketing down where we live, time to light a fire, curl up with good book, gain writing inspiration, and so on and so forth.  Here' a nice one to consider on rainy days!

"Whenever it poured like this, Max felt as if time was pausing. It was like a cease-fire during which you could stop whatever you were doing and just stand by a window for hours, watching the performance, an endless curtain of tears falling from heaven."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What does being a novelist mean? A - K Guide

This post is a couple of months old but I figured maybe now is a good time to revisit it again seeing as how I have entered the role of editing, editing and yes you've guessed it editing!

As I am now 100% through writing a novel, albeit a first draft, I got to thinking about what being a novelist could mean.

Could it mean someone who has been published, someone who has achieved acclaim and recognition for being able to write a story long enough to fill 300 plus pages which people want to spend their well earned money on?  You having created a fictional world for another person's pleasure?

It sounds good, in fact it would be almost perfect except for a few things.  Firstly no one writes primarily for another person's pleasure, it is solely because they want to write, and I have heard it is also because some people don't feel they have any choice but to write.  Mad but true certainly in my case.  Secondly, the fact that a novel is published should not discriminate against all the novels of merit which have been created but for whom publication for whatever number of reasons did not happen.  And thirdly, and by far the most important reason, it is because after spending nearly five months of writing my little socks off (all 120 of them) and spending more time with my fictional characters than my friends and family, it has to be a description that I can now use having finished the blasted thing even if it is only first draft!

So I got to defining what I think being a novelist really means.

A. It means you are someone who is capable of living in a parallel universe of your own starting with a single letter on a page and ending up with around 100,000 words.

B. It means you are someone who is prepared to write even when it is the last thing you want to do.

C. It means you are someone who despite asking yourself the question, 'is this all worth it?' you keep writing anyway.

D. That you stop being afraid that whatever you create isn't worthwhile and concentrate on just doing it.

E. That you create characters which you believe in to the extent that you spend hours working out what they are thinking.

F. That you ignore the fact that the possibility of being published is so remote that it is never going to happen to you.

G. That you invest an amazing amount of time in something that once it is finished and edited to the equivalent of a size 14 becoming a size 'zero', that it will more than likely be rejected by many, including all the publishers you send it away to.

H. That in the event you surpass the extreme odds against being published, that you will probably never make enough money to live on your own income, unless of course you enter the 'one in a million lottery type zone,' like JK Rowling or the like.

I. And that despite everything you are prepared to cross that line of 'your dream becoming a reality', by finishing the thing and not languish in the surreal wonderful bliss, of planning to do it someday!

J. And more importantly that at the end of writing the first draft of a novel you can call yourself a novelist become you have done it,

Irrespective of anyone wanting to publish it
Irrespective of anyone wanting to read it
Irrespective of it being a work of literary genius
& finally because,

K. You have been capable of fighting off all the doubts, fears, boredom, laziness and general excuses for not doing it, and have a 400 page yoke by, yes you guessed it, a 'NOVELIST.'

It's official, I am now completely nuts!
  But then again so are most of my best friends!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thought for the Weekend - Double Trouble

'My first advice to an aspiring writer is to talk yourself out of it if you can, because you'll probably fail and make yourself miserable doing it.'

- Richard Ford -

(But if you are like me, and end up doing it anyhow,here's a good piece of advice from J K Rowling)

'Be RUTHLESS about protecting your writing days.'

- J K Rowling -

Have a happy writing weekend!

And don't forget to follow me on Twitter @120Socks

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top Ten Father's Day Presents - How Times Have Changed

Always keen to explore new ideas, I've decided to run some blog posts looking at advertisement campaigns from way back, under the heading:- 

How Times Have Changed!

So seeing as how Father's Day will be soon upon us, I figured it might be good to link the theme with that difficult question which consumes us at this time of year - WHAT DOES DAD WANT?'

With this in mind, and being a very helpful kind of sock/girl, I decided to check out the top 10 in the list of pressies for good old Dad, and here's what I came up with.

1.  Accessories - Hankies/Socks/Gloves/Shirts & JUMPERS!
2.  Food/Drink - Chocolates/Wine/Beer.
3.  Tools - What man can resist?
4.  Hobby Supplies - Golf/Fishing etc.
5.  Sports Stuff - Kit bags, tennis rackets, blah, blah, blah.
6.  Electronics -  A Satellite Navigationw which he can ignore.
7.  Motor add-ons - You know, mini vacuum cleaners & the like!
8.  Media - Books, Music, DVD's.
9.  Outdoors or Summer Items - Hammocks, BBQ, Lawnmower!
10.Time - Doesn't cost anything but itself, but he will probably expect a pressie too!

As Accessories are No.1, and with jumpers being an accessory, it
brings us neatly to the first 'How Times Have Changed' advertisement from the 1950's

Read and enjoy!
(For those of you who find reading the small print a chore, it goes something like this)

Indoors, women are useful, even pleasant, but on a mountain, they are something of a drag! So don't go having them up a cliff just to show off your new jumper!


When I was Small

I saw a nice message on twitter earlier asking 'when you were little, what did you want to grow up to be.'

And I got to wondering if these early dreams ever really go away.  I tried hard to think back and remember my little girl dreams and this is what I came up with.

I remember wanting to be a glamorous famous singer.  Shocking really, the goals we set ourselves, especially seeing as how I don't have a note in my head, (no really), even Happy Birthday is a struggle for me, especially when I get to the higher notes.  Of course this sent me on another tangent, wondering if we are inclined to wish for things we can never have or be. 

Answer: Probably only those of us that have a desire to beat ourselves up over the impossible!
(I come in and out of this category depending on mood and weather.)

Anyhow, I remember wanting to be a teacher,  own my own bookshop, the latter being a really big ambition of mine as there were times that the secondhand book shop near where we lived, felt like a home away from home.  It was the love of books that set into my head a dream of being a writer some day, and perhaps seeing my book on a shelf, all new and interesting, with my name on it. 

Also, I wanted to fall in love, get married, have a family.  Luckily, very luckily for me, I was blessed on that score.

Now I don't so much mind not being a teacher, I got some practice rearing my children, nor do I mind very much not owning a bookshop because, I can still visit them and relive that excitement all over again, but seeing my book on a shelf, well that ambition will never go away, which kind of makes me believe, that little girl dreams will always live on.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Discovery Bank Holiday

Exhausting Bank Holiday Weekend, tons of stuff to catch up on, lots of gardening work to do, a family birthday party at our place yesterday, a sit down 4 course affair, a new book to start 'The hand that first held mine' by Maggie O Farrell, a short story to finish, and last but not least, editing work on the novel.  So yes, I was busy, but despite this, today took some unusual twists which led to a few discoveries, not the beer cans below, they belong to Son & Co.

Building up stocks for Oxegen - Tesco €1 Per Can Saturday!

Anyhow, first discovery was that we have about a dozen blueberry trees out back.  Now you would think that these should have been pretty obvious, but not when you consider that most of out back is a bit on the wild side! A lot of earth clearing and general let's get this outside place into some kind of shape, finally brought my attention to a number of smaller trees within the jungle, and that was when I discovered the tiny blueberries, currently green adding to their desire to be invisible.  So this bank holiday Monday morning, I was well pleased with my first discovery, I even managed to get a great recipe off the Internet for blueberry jam!

Blueberries in their June green disguise.
All this adventuring was thirsty work, so it was soon time for my caffeine fix.  The birds were feeding like mad outside the kitchen window therefore grabbing my interest, when I noticed a new bird.  By new bird, I mean a particular type of bird.  After studying the new creature, (well creatures because there were about four of them for ages) I checked my book on Garden Birds, only to discover that we now had tree sparrows!  A species found in less than one per cent of Irish Gardens.  Well, I was delighted to discover Number 45 in the range of garden birds, because between them and the blueberries, things were certainly looking up.

Thus, having sat on my rear end for a really long time, feeling rather special with my Blueberries and the discovery that the Tree Sparrow had chosen our little piece of earth, we brought our mad dog off for a drive and very long walk to the Bohernabreena Reservoir. 

Benson chilling

The day was a lot brighter than yesterday, and the walk being a long one meant Benson was getting pretty thirsty, so we headed up to a stream that he likes to bathe in.  When we got there we were surprised at how low the water was.  However, the low water meant that we could cross over on the stones where normally you would get wet up to your knees.  When we got to the other side, we found a part of the park/reservoir that we had not been in before, thereby getting our third and final discovery (well so far!), on this bank holiday Monday.

Hidden Gem.

All in all, it was a great day, I even got some writing done in between adventures and my unhealthy new interest in Twitter!

By the way, please, please join me on Twitter, I am great fun altogether!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thought for the Weekend

Things are not always what they seem, expect the unexpected!

Brilliant short clip, embrace the unexpected!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Club - The Hand That First Held MIne by Maggie O'Farrell

This month's book club choice is the Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2010, 'The Hand That Fist Held Mine' by Maggie O'Farrell.  It sounds like an interesting read.  If you have already read this book, or would like to read along for June, send in your review via comment box, or you can tweet a short review with or without link by Twitter to @120Socks.  Happy reading.

Fresh out of university and in disgrace, Lexie Sinclair is waiting for life to begin. When the bohemian, sophisticated Innes Kent turns up by chance on her doorstep in rural Devon, she realises that she can wait no longer, and leaves for London. There, at the heart of the 1950s Soho art scene, Lexie carves out a new life for herself with Innes at her side. 
In the present day, Elina and Ted are reeling from the difficult birth of their first child. As Elina struggles to reconcile the demands of motherhood with her sense of herself as an artist, Ted is disturbed by memories of his own childhood - memories that don't tally with his parents' version of events.
As Ted begins to search for answers, so an extraordinary portrait of two women is revealed. Separated by fifty years, Lexie and Elina are connected in ways that neither of them could ever have expected?
Maggie O'Farrell is the author of four previous novels, After You'd Gone, My Lover's Lover, The Distance Between Us, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox. She lives in Edinburgh with her partner and their two children.

Quote from the Judges:

"A powerful story full of dynamic characters, crafted with panache and lyricism."


Eight months into blogging with 77, well 78 followers (for some reason one of them is invisible).  Now, I do have a theory about the invisible one, like by being invisible it means something other than the normal google blip, and maybe I have a blogging ghost! 

Yes I know, over active imagination, but this is a good thing you must agree, especially when writing fiction.  And on the subject of fiction, I read a quote about it the other day, it went something like - fiction is good lying - which really worries me as I am hopeless at lying.

Anyhow to the point of this post.  I seem to have plateaued at my number of blog followers.  I did get a new follower over the weekend, which really gave me a boost, but being greedy, I would really like more.  So if you read 120Socks from time to time (over 15,000 hits in 8 months), visit via other wonderful and interesting blogs, or if you have just started to follow me on Twitter, then sign up, follow, I will follow back, I am that kinda girl/sock!

Let's rebel against the plateau together!

And just for fun if you are an existing follower or even if you are not, look HERE for a special, tear jerking clip about long term friendship.

3 WEEKS on and now @ 96 followers - Brilliant!  Thanks & welcome to all new friends.  Link up and follow if you want to connect & I'll link back!
Happy writing!
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