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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
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chesilbeach

What's up in March? - 2015

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Happy new month! :D
 
Nothing big planned today, just mooching around, bit of shopping, some reading … usual Sunday stuff really, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it anyway. 
 
What's happening with you? :)

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I hope you enjoy your Sunday, Claire :)!

 

Yesterday was a pretty bad day for me. The highlight of my day was finding a nice toilet brush (the old one broke), so that says it all really :lol:. Anyway.. first off my dad was phoned by someone he knows, one of his PhD students that was promoted a few years ago and then worked at a company for two years. He broke his neck while doing gymnastics (he does this quite often and is good at it), I think that's the word. Gladly, he will live! He has been lucky in that regard. He had major surgery done and will not be able to move his head as much as he used to be able to do, but he will live and be able to move and such. My dad said the guy said, just after it happened he lost sensitivity in his arm and possibly more body parts that I can't remember now, but the feeling is starting to come back. He spent a couple of days in the hospital and is now back home wearing some kind of neck brace. My dad met this person's dad a few days ago and the dad told him about this accident, the guy himself phoned my dad today after dad sent him a message asking him how he was doing. So my dad knew about this a little bit longer but he didn't tell me until after the phone call with the person yesterday.

 

And then worse news came, later in the day yesterday my dad received the news that during the night someone he knows through work, died in a fire in the person's apartment (it was a one room apartment in a block of flats). He was only 25 or 26 I believe, my dad just saw him a few days ago. It's really tragic. The firefighters (is that the word?) don't know yet what caused the fire, all they know is that it was an accident. It happened during the night, the person was asleep. It is so, so sad. The guy was from Turkey and had just come here since September for working at the university. He has no family living in the Netherlands, I hope his parents can be tracked down and everything. It's so tragic. It really makes you think, things like this can just happen, it's so tragic and sad and scary :(.

 

Then, I received a letter from the government wanting me to pay them money. It's a long story to do with studying. I already paid them back for 2009, 2010 and 2011, and last time we phoned them which was last year, (we have phoned them several times over this unfair rule, which has to do with my disability benefits and studying) they positively assured me this (the payment over 2011) was the very last time it would happen (the government political parties agreed it was an unfair rule and they were questioning it etc), but now here is another letter asking me to pay now over 2012. I've already paid them lots of money :banghead:. And if they had just straight away asked me in 2012 and 2011 and such, it might've been a bit less of a problem, because then I'd KNOWN about it at the time. This is just stupid. Anyway.. I'll be going through my administration and check exactly what I've paid (because I thought I paid 2009-2011 but I have to make sure I am not paying anything double or anything.) to them and such, and then my mum and I will be phoning them to ask how this is possible. Most likely though I'll still have to pay, that's what I expect at least. Bloody ridiculous.

 

These three unexpected things made me very sad for most of the day, to think these things can just happen and all that. On top of all that, I was going to make sushi for my sister who's visiting today, but it didn't work out like I hoped it would. It didn't look as nice as I'd hoped (or like some of the other times I've made it) and the rice was too sticky. By this time I was feeling tired from going out to the market, library, second hand shop and the supermarket and I was feeling emotionally drained processing all this bad news. I was not really feeling like making it anymore, but I had already made the rice so I should just get on with it. I made some sushi but at some point I stopped, we'll use the rice for something else because it wasn't doable anymore and I was feeling dreadful. I wanted to scream and shout and cry (I did do all of those things) and I really missed Michael, my boyfriend. When I feel as overwhelmed as I did yesterday, he's the best person to know how to calm me down and comfort me and support me.

 

I felt a bit better after dinner, and I sent my boyfriend a message, we talked for a while on Whatsapp, which was really nice. Then I read a bit more in bed and then went to sleep.

 

Unfortunately I woke up quite early this morning, at 4 AM, and I felt wide awake and couldn't sleep anymore. So around 5 or such I decided to just have breakfast and do some reading. I'm feeling a bit better today. I am still feeling quite tense and shaky, like I was yesterday too, presumably still from yesterday I think.

 

My sister and her boyfriend will be visiting my parents and me later today so I hope that will be nice. I also plan to do lots more reading as that usually helps when I feel low, it can be a good distraction too. Hopefully today will be a better day than yesterday!

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Gosh Athena you had a terrible day and I am sorry to hear all that. After reading of all the sad things that happened to you I think I will just go back to bed even though it is 9:58am in the morning here.

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Yesterday was a pretty bad day for me.

 

:flowers2: Would "beterschap" be appropriate??? 

 

Yesterday, I got some new dishes (most of mine broke in that earthquake we had in August). 

http://www.pier1.com/Avalon-Dinnerware/PS50488,default,pd.html?cgid=pattern_dinnerware#icid=cat_furniture-subcat-dinnerware-subcat_tile-pattern_dinnerware&start=1

They are sort of a weathered look with the lemons.  I just love them and they look even better in person!  They are pretty different from what I'd usually choose, but there is something Andy Warhol-ish with the lemons :)

 

My current ones, look like these:

http://www.pier1.com/San-Marino-Dinnerware/PS43648,default,pd.html?cgid=pattern_dinnerware#icid=cat_furniture-subcat-dinnerware-subcat_tile-pattern_dinnerware&start=1

 

So quite different!

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I'm now another year older - but certainly not wiser! lol  It's Amy's birthday on Thursday, and because I thought I might go out next Sat, we had her sleep over last night. It all went quiet around midnight (I woke up myself in the night) then they were up and chatty at 7am - so not too bad, but I've still felt tired all day! It must be something to do with being old I guess! 

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I'm sorry for all your sad and difficult news this weekend, Athena :(

 

Happy Bday Michelle

 

I've had a busy weekend but it was filled with mostly fun things. Yesterday I had lunch with my friends at a German restaurant and afterwards we visited the art museum and saw an exhibit of the Habsburg collection. The best part by far was the Carravgio (sp?) and i could have stared at it all day. There was also Vermeer's girl with a letter and that was exquisite.

 

Today I went to see my trainer at the gym and afterwards did a belly dancing class which I love!! Now I'm home for a breather before I meet my friend for her birthday dinner.

 

Next weekend will be much more quiet I hope...

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Just a couple of weeks before I'm performing in a 1940s show in support of the Blyth Battery. There'll be music, dancing, comedy and all kinds of 1940s entertainment. I'll be singing, both solo and as a duet with another guy. Looking forward to it. :)

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Gosh Athena you had a terrible day and I am sorry to hear all that. After reading of all the sad things that happened to you I think I will just go back to bed even though it is 9:58am in the morning here.

Thanks Muggle Not. I'm sorry if I made you feel down though, that wasn't my intention.

 

:flowers2: Would "beterschap" be appropriate??? 

 

Yesterday, I got some new dishes (most of mine broke in that earthquake we had in August).

Thanks Anna. Nice new dishes :)

 

I'm now another year older - but certainly not wiser! lol  It's Amy's birthday on Thursday, and because I thought I might go out next Sat, we had her sleep over last night. It all went quiet around midnight (I woke up myself in the night) then they were up and chatty at 7am - so not too bad, but I've still felt tired all day! It must be something to do with being old I guess!

I'm glad you had some fun and I hope you'll feel more rested soon, Michelle. 

 

I'm sorry for all your sad and difficult news this weekend, Athena :(

 

Happy Bday Michelle

 

I've had a busy weekend but it was filled with mostly fun things. Yesterday I had lunch with my friends at a German restaurant and afterwards we visited the art museum and saw an exhibit of the Habsburg collection. The best part by far was the Carravgio (sp?) and i could have stared at it all day. There was also Vermeer's girl with a letter and that was exquisite.

 

Today I went to see my trainer at the gym and afterwards did a belly dancing class which I love!! Now I'm home for a breather before I meet my friend for her birthday dinner.

 

Next weekend will be much more quiet I hope...

Thanks Peacefield.

 

You've done a lot over the weekend! I hope you can rest a bit more soon.

 

Just a couple of weeks before I'm performing in a 1940s show in support of the Blyth Battery. There'll be music, dancing, comedy and all kinds of 1940s entertainment. I'll be singing, both solo and as a duet with another guy. Looking forward to it. :)

That's exciting, I hope the performance goes well and that you have fun :).

 

I'm feeling a bit better today so far. Yesterday later in the day I had a headache and my vertigo was acting up again and getting worse. Things aren't too bad so far, but they might get worse as I get more tired during the day. I try to not be as stressed but I can't help thinking of the things that happened.

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Back to work today … was worried I wouldn't wake up for my alarm or would turn it off and go straight back to sleep this morning, so found myself awake at 5am and then could settle again, so ended up lying in bed wide awake waiting for the alarm to go off! :doh: First day back wasn't too bad, but the office was freezing as usual … glad to be back home in front of the fire now. :D

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Tomorrow I'm sitting in on a couple of classes at Xander's school. (I'm a parent governer for the school.) It should be rather interesting, getting to see what the kids are learning and the teaching methods used. Then afterwards, I have a rehearsal with my diet partner for the show in a couple of weeks time. :)

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Back to work today … was worried I wouldn't wake up for my alarm or would turn it off and go straight back to sleep this morning, so found myself awake at 5am and then could settle again, so ended up lying in bed wide awake waiting for the alarm to go off! :doh: First day back wasn't too bad, but the office was freezing as usual … glad to be back home in front of the fire now. :D

 

I have that a lot too! I'm glad the first day wasn't too bad, but I hope your office will be warmer soon.

 

Tomorrow I'm sitting in on a couple of classes at Xander's school. (I'm a parent governer for the school.) It should be rather interesting, getting to see what the kids are learning and the teaching methods used. Then afterwards, I have a rehearsal with my diet partner for the show in a couple of weeks time. :)

That should be nice, I hope you enjoy seeing how it works at his school :).

 

My boyfriend should be back tomorrow, I'm looking forward to seeing him again :wub:. Today I'll mainly try to do the usual things and to rest as it's been a difficult past few days. If I feel up for it I might watch a film later, I really want to watch The Junglebook again and have borrowed my parents' DVD so I'd better get on with it some time :P. My appointment with Ilse yesterday went well (the ambulante hulp) but I felt really tired after it.

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Not a bad day at work, although I've been daydreaming about quilts all day!  Every time I've stopped working for a break, my mind has wandered to thinking about my sewing machine and the workshop I'll be going on soon … I lead a glamorous life in my head  :tongue:

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Wow March soon comes around!  Millions of birthdays this month, not to mention Mothers Day here in the UK, so it will be a busy one, as usual.  Although it generally means I get to see lots of family and friends.

 

We had a lovely time in Essex this weekend staying with the "in-laws".  We don't get to see them very often as they live so far away so it was nice to spend a few days there.  We had a lovely day out in Battlesbridge looking at antiques and eating cake. 

 

Now I'm off work until next week but have the flooring being delivered and fitted and the car to get through it's MOT so there won't be much time for relaxing.  Fingers crossed it passes and won't cost me any more money than necessary.

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Studying is nice to do when you've had a break from it for .. let's just say several years. But next week won't be so nice, I have to hold a presentation about what I've done so far. It's not that I haven't been doing what I should (only I could have done more of course) but it all looks so confusing now that I have to try and explain it to other people.

 

I hope everyone is doing more or less what they want to, and you are enjoying yourselves!

Edited by SaraPepparkaka

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Now I'm off work until next week but have the flooring being delivered and fitted and the car to get through it's MOT so there won't be much time for relaxing.  Fingers crossed it passes and won't cost me any more money than necessary.

Good luck with all your errands and things to do, and have fun with your family and such :).

 

Studying is nice to do when you've had a break from it for .. let's just say several years. But next week won't be so nice, I have to hold a presentation about what I've done so far. It's not that I haven't been doing what I should (only I could have done more of course) but it all looks so confusing now that I have to try and explain it to other people.

Good luck with your presentation! I hope it goes well :).

 

I'm quite tired from going to the city today. I didn't think it was more busy than usually, but I am feeling more tired than usually. Maybe it's because I've been tired since my boyfriend went to the UK, or because lately I spent at least half the time in the quiet library rather than in the shops and shopping area. I hope to be able to rest a bit maybe tomorrow.

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I returned from 6 spectacular days in Iceland last night - and this time it really was spectacular ! The Northern Lights forecast for the day before departure was the best of the season, and thankfully it stayed that way for the rest of the weekend as well. I had booked the tour for 6 hours after arrival knowing that in Iceland the weather changes at the drop of a hat, and was rewarded with some amazing lights. I had been practising with the camera and tripod for a few weeks, and my hard work paid off nicely, I am pleased to say. That first night I returned to the hostel at 1am tired but happy. 

 

On the second day I had booked a trip to the Blue Lagoon - normally I go for the basic package which is just entry to the Lagoon, but this time I pushed the boat out by going for the Premium package which included a free drink at the bar, use of a robe and towel, and a table at the 5 star restaurant. I wouldn't normally contemplate spending anywhere near that much (£34 for a 3 course meal with a glass of wine and coffee afterwards), but it was worth every krona. That fish was delicious. The crème brulee was nice too - and all gluten free. :smile: It was almost surreal later on to be sitting in the warm waters of the Lagoon drinking ice cold beer.

 

The next few days were spent exploring Reykjavik, sampling the delights of various other eateries and coffee houses and sampling the cities swimming pools and hot tubs. The forecast was so good that I decided to go out on a second Northern Lights tour - the first one was with one of the so-called Super Jeep companies but at £100 a go I couldn't afford that again and so plumped for the cheap coach tour with all the masses. I was rewarded once again with lights that at one point streaked right across the entire sky in a arc of whirling colours almost a far as the eye could see - lights are measured on a KPI scale of between 1-10-, with anything higher than a 3 being pretty rare. The ones I saw on both of the nights that I went out were somewhere between a 5 and a 6, which is about as good as it gets.  

 

The final day was spent exploring the Golden Circle - three of the major sites around the southwest - Gulfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir, which is quite possibly my favourite place in the country. It been snowing on and off that day, but I was once again rewarded by a beautiful sunlit landscape with clear blue skies. It was back to Reykjavik by late afternoon for some more exploring and night time photography and a lunchtime departure for the airport the following day.

 

It was pretty chilly at this time of year, with night time temperatures down at times to minus 11, but I managed fine with thermals and plenty of hot chocolate and vodka. :D Iceland may not be the cheapest place in the world (I stuck quite well to my budget of around £100 a day), but it is worth it, as there is really nowhere else on earth quite like it. This was my 9th visit over a 31 year period, so you could say that I slightly biased.

 

I have posted some of the best pictures on Facebook if anyone is interested.      

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I don't (and can't) have a Facebook, but wow- it sounds like the trip of a lifetime.  It is one of my mothers only wishes, to see the Northern Lights, I'd love to take her to Alaska some day.  Is it true they make a sound?

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Sounds like another fantastic trip, June.  :)

 

I've had a good day, getting some more sewing supplies, and a lovely visit with my Dad, then some hand sewing this afternoon. Not very exciting, but lovely nevertheless.  :D

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Glad you had such a good time June, you're making me even more antsy to go to Iceland! Hoping to start saving this year to go :)

 

I was supposed to go to Kerry this weekend to visit a friend and my family, but due to my own idiocy (lost my atm card) it ended up not happening so I'm having a fairly chilled out weekend at home, reading and watching Parks & Recreation.

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Apparently Wow Air do now fly from Dublin Noll, and they have a sale at the moment, so you might be in luck. Really though it is just one of those places that you have to see for yourself - my own descriptions which are based on my experiences will be unique to me and don't in all honesty begin to do the country justice. It is well, just out of this world.

 

I love the northern world though too Sousa - the further north the better. There is just something about it that captures the imagination, although I have tried the south as well it pales into insignificance when compared to this. I was so lucky to arrive when I did when the KPI  index for the lights was this high - a level 3 is about the average for Iceland, but the Jeep driver said that what we experienced was more like a level 5 to 6. It was just amazing.

 

I have never heard the lights make a sound Anna, but have heard others say this. Really though there is no science to it, you just need clear skies and darkness - and a good set of thermals. :smile:  

Edited by Talisman

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Wow Air are the people who claimed they were doing €50 flights direct to Iceland, but when I checked I couldn't find any... thanks for the tip about the sale, I shall go check it out! :lol:

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I have flown with them 3 times now and can recommend them - they have a brilliant sense of humour !  

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Looking forward to my machine quilting workshop today.  Went to bed early to get a good nights sleep, but just meant I was awake at 5:30am! :roll:

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I'm glad you had a lot of fun in Iceland, June :). I'll go look at your pictures later.

 

Have fun, Claire!

 

I'm going to do some chores today but I also hope to relax a bit and do some reading and such.

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