Cool TV – Supernatural

This one’s for Claire as I’m not sure if she’s seen it yet. I’ve been watching Supernatural from the beginning, as a friend with excellent taste recommended it to me. Two brothers Dean and Sam Winchester fight demons, ghosts, vampires etc. etc. to save the world.

There’s a bit more to it than that, but season 3 has just begun recently in the UK. Watch the trailer here and prepare to get addicted:

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The Meaning of Me

Saw this quiz over at Pandora’s Casket. Go on, try it. You know you want to :mrgreen:

What Alison Means

You are usually the best at everything … you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic “Type A” personality.You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don’t get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It’s easy to get you excited… which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don’t stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are the total package – suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don’t always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don’t have as much going for them as you do.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

What’s Your Name’s Hidden Meaning?

Like Edward I?

I’ve personally found that there is a real shortage of good books about him.  This is why I’m thrilled to own a copy of ‘A Great and Terrible King, Edward I and the Forging of Britain’ by Marc Morris.

It’s just come out in hardcover in the UK at the moment, and I shall let you know what I think of it once I’ve read it.

Death By Ugli Fruit

Ok, so I should start by saying that:

  1. I’m obviously not dead,
  2. I love Ugli fruit, they’re very tasty.

It’s been absolutely manic at my day job this week, you’d think that most people would understand when you tell them you’re part-time wouldn’t you?  Sadly no, they think that you will do everything in 2 and a half days that would normally fit into a 5 day working week, sigh.

So I’ve crammed as much in as possible, sadly including my own lunch, nearly choked myself to death on my Ugli fruit on Monday.  Got through loads on Tuesday, and then had to get up at 5.30am yesterday so that I could leave work earlier to get to a meeting at the castle.  I was so tired, but it’s always worth it.

In just over a week, I’ll be back to starting my working week on Saturday and finishing on Wednesday afternoon.  Sounds odd, but it works for me.  Will update on castle news later, we are open for Easter!  Watch this space for details…

P.S This is an Ugli fruit in case you are curious…

The Other Boleyn Girl

Just quickly, whilst on the subject of Tudors, I should say I have finally watched Elizabeth The Golden Age and I think it is a great film. I was gripped from beginning to end, so go and watch it!

Now, on the subject of the recent release of The Other Bolelyn Girl, I am just not so sure. It’s no secret that I really don’t like reading about or watching things about Henry VIII, let alone the whole Anne Boleyn debacle. However, I have heard very good things about Phillippa Gregory’s books, and may yet give them a whirl. What bothers me about this film is in part Scarlett Johansson and the other Eric Bana.

There’s something about Johansson that just annoys me, petty maybe, but she irritates me, so I’m not sure I could sit through a film with her in. Bana on the other hand, has also done some good films, and seems to be a solid actor, but I’m not sure he’s right for Henry. I’ve heard good things about all their performances, especially that of Natalie Portman as Anne.

Anyhow, I shall leave it to you to take a look at the film and tell me what you think. Here’s a trailer for you:

Top 5 Hottest Blogs

I have been nominated by Rhonda (thanks again!) for this one, so now get to give my own nominations:

***start copy here***


1. Simply choose five blogs you want to be included in your “top five list”.
2. Give a short line or explanation why you put them on your list. One explanation for each blog.
3. Now tag as many blogs as you want. You can also tag those blogs you have listed in your TOP FIVE….you can also put your own blog in your list if you want
4. For those who have been tagged, you can also vote for a blog that was been nominated already (besides, this is what this meme is intended for, to know how many bloggers will nominate your blog)
5. Submit you TOP FIVE HOTTEST BLOG ENTRY here. Submitted blogs will be the only one to be included in the tally
6. Remember: Submissions of entries starts from MARCH 1 2008 to MARCH 25 2008 and top five hottest blog winners will be announced on MARCH 29 2008
7. Enjoy listing your top five!!!

***end copy here***

  1. Webduck from iPentimento. Finds time to write 2 excellent blogs and is an amazing blogfriend.
  2. Jams from The Poor Mouth. One of the first bloggers that I encountered, always has such a brilliant mix of interesting things to read on his blog – plus he’s a Romfordian 😉
  3. Claire from A Little Piece of Me. What can I say, I’m thoroughly addicted!
  4. Melissa from Grossly Unimaginative. I love her words, her humour, am addicted to her blog too, yet still cannot manage to spell her blog name 😆
  5. Stine from Mother’s Got a Dot Com. Another blogger I encountered early on. Has a brilliant mix of photos and posts and is now running her own blog empire with 2 blogs.

Anyone wanting to join in is very welcome too! Plus it’s hard for me to pick just a few of the blogs I like, so if you’re in my blogroll I love you too 😉 Plus anyone I visit regularly, we’ll have to see about getting you on there if you aren’t already.

A Lament for O’Malley

I can’t believe it’s been over 24 hours since he’s been gone already.  Mall was a cat and pet you can only dream of, friend and companion.  Faithful for 18 years.  He’d become slightly frail in the last year, even though he’d enjoyed 2 years in Scotland.  We had to make the very painful decision to let him go yesterday.

I began to think of ways to honour him, not easy when you have beloved pets, because not everyone understands what it is to see them as your family.  I thought about the lovely part of the Lord of the Rings, in the film when the elves sing a lament for the fallen Gandalf.  This led me in turn to think about the piece of music called the ‘Council of Elrond’/’Aniron’ which I think is very beautiful.  I think it’s fitting that I play this one for him.

See you again Malley.

History Reads That I Love

I won’t put in a top ten, or anything like that here. I simply love to read history, and here are some that I recommend. Like everything else I like, it is an eclectic collection being added to all the time.

  • George III by Christopher Hibbert – Very engrossing bio of a misunderstood King. (I’d read anything by Hibbert.)
  • Con Men and Cutpurses by Lucy Moore – If you like to read about the seamier side of life, this is for you. Highwaymen anyone?
  • Britain’s Royal Families by Alison Weir – I haven’t read everything she’s done, but I love genealogy and the history of the royal family, so this is essential reading.
  • Bess of Hardwick by Mary S. Lovell – I love Bess, she’s far more interesting than any other aristocrat I’ve ever read about before.
  • Queen Victoria’s Gene by Potts & Potts – I love books about genetic diseases (yes I know, weird) and this is about Haemophilia in the royal family.
  • High Society in the Regency Period 1788-1830 by Venetia Murray – Totally fabulous. If you love reading about the Regency period, this book is definitely for you.
  • Royal Tombs of Medieval England by Mark Duffy – Love this. Complete with illustrations of when some of the tombs were opened!
  • Kings, Queens, Bones and Bastards by David Hilliam – The first and best in my opinion. Everything you wanted or didn’t want to know about the Kings and Queens of England.
  • Monarchs, Murders and Mistresses by David Hilliam – Continues from the above.
  • Purple Secret by John C.G Roehl, Martin Warren and David Hunt – Love it, love it, love it! More royal genetic diseases, namely Porphyria. Challenge what you think you know about the madness of George III.

I’m always reading and finding more, so this list will grow. These are just the keepers that I love. What historical books do you love? I’m always on the look out for more!

Update: more coming in!

  • Charles II by Antonia Fraser.  Love Charles, love Antonia.  Read any of her books and not be disappointed.
  • The Victorians (illustrated edition) by A.N. Wilson.  This is just a brilliant all-rounder.  Drool at your leisure.
  • One Hundred Years of Fashion by Hart and North.  I love the Victoria and Albert Museum, London’s fashion collection.  Take a close look here.

John William Waterhouse the Last of the Pre-Raphaelites

I have titled this post ‘The Last of the Pre-Raphaelites’ as Waterhouse was part of the much later movement, and not technically, I think, part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood that started much earlier around about the time that Waterhouse was actually born.

I discovered Waterhouse via Ophelia. Though, there are actually 2 paintings named Ophelia by Waterhouse. My favourite is the one painted in 1894, not to be confused by the one from 1905 (standing, blue dress). Though I love Millais’ interpretation, this has always been my favourite. In fact, I think that I admire more of Waterhouse’s work than any of those placed under the category of the Pre-Raphaelite artists.

I have only ever seen a few of his works myself, the largest collection of which, was part of the ‘Pre-Raphaelite and Other Masters’ Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2003. This includes: Spring (The Flower Picker) , Ophelia, The Necklace (study for ‘Lamia’), Study of a Young Woman, Study for Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus, St Cecilia, The Danaides, Pandora, The Awakening of Adonis, The Lady Clare and Ophelia 1905.

I have also viewed them at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tate, The Royal Academy of Arts, Leighton House (home of the artist Frederic, Lord Leighton) and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

You can view more about the life and works of Waterhouse at If you particularly admire him, you might want to help with the restoration plan for his grave.