Millie and the bird…

15 01 2014

What-ho readers!

It’s the first Crazy Rhymey Challenge of 2014, hurrah!

Well, sort of…

A couple of weeks back my good friend Cat posted a picture of her lovely Bedlington terrior Millie with her new toy box, which rather resembles a piratey treasure chest. We bantered a bit about doggy-piratical things and she suggested I pen a rhyme on the subject…

Cut to today, and I had a little train commute so decided to do a Rhymey Challenge. After receiving only one word (thank you Susan Sharpe for supplying “bird”!), I thought “Hmmmm… Millie… Pirates…” and this is what popped out…

Millie and the bird…

Millie was a pirate,
She had a wooden paw;
But every time she tried to run
It skidded on the floor.

One day out on the foredeck
Millie sat alone and sighed;
Pirating was difficult
When all you did was slide.

She gave a mournful woof
And looked down sadly at her feet,
Then heard a little flutter
And a tiny cheerful tweet.

Something flew right past her nose
So quickly that it blurred;
Then there upon the rigging
Sat a tiny bright green bird.

“Hello!” it said, and fluttered down
To perch upon the floor,
“I have to say, I love the carving
On your wooden paw.”

Millie smiled quite sadly
And her big eyes went all drippy,
“Thank you bird,” she said,
“It’s just a shame that it’s so slippy.”

“Slippy?” said the little bird,
“Well maybe I can help,”
And Millie looked down at the bird
And gave a hopeful yelp.

The bird produced a rucksack
And pulled out a shiny box,
And after a short rummage
It held up a pair of socks.

“They’re made from special wool,” it said,
“It’s guaranteed to grip –
With one of these upon your paw
You’ll never, ever slip!”

Millie took the proffered sock
And put it on her paw,
Then stood up and began to run
Around the wooden floor.

Back and forth she scampered
And the bird looked on with pride –
No matter how fast Millie ran
Her paw refused to slide!

Millie is a pirate
And when her ship doth dock
People come from miles around
To see her non-slip sock.

And here’s the picture of Millie, in her posh socks, with her pirate’s trunk (no, she doesn’t really have a wooden paw!) – ain’t she cute?!

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Thanks to Susan for joining in, to Cat for the idea and for letting me use her photo here, and to Millie for being Millie!





A year of books…

1 01 2014

Well hello there 2014!

Last year I tried to keep a record of every book I read, and rather annoyingly the total comes to 99! A fair few were audiobooks or eBooks – I do a lot of travelling by train for work, and they’re handier when packing light.

The list is in vague order of time (but not always) and at the end I’ve picked my favourite previously-unread book from a few sort-of-genres. I don’t do reviews, so don’t expect much blurb…

Oh, and by the way – the little ‘r’ means it’s a re-read.

Right, here we go…

The Impossible Dead – Ian Rankin
Standing in Another Man’s Grave – Ian Rankin
Doors Open – Ian Rankin
Blood Hunt – Ian Rankin
Witch Hunt – Ian Rankin
Bleeding Hearts – Ian Rankin
Beggars Banquet – Ian Rankin
The Shining – Stephen King r
Consider Phlebas – Iain M Banks r
The Bridge – Iain Banks r
Espedaire Street – Iain Banks r
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks r
Disolution – CJ Sansom
Close to the Bone – Stuart MacBride
Dark Fire – CJ Sansom
Sleepyhead – Mark Billingham r
Scaredy Cat – Mark Billingham r
Lazybones – Mark Billingham r
The Burning Girl – Mark Billingham r
Lifeless – Mark Billingham r
Buried – Mark Billingham r
Death Message – Mark Billingham r
Bloodline – Mark Billingham r
From The Dead – Mark Billingham r
Good As Dead – Mark Billingham r
The Dying Hours – Mark Billingham
Report For Murder – Val McDermid
Soverign – CJ Sansom
Common Murder – Val McDermid
The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith
A Good Hanging & Other Stories – Ian Rankin
Harvest – Jim Crace
A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch r
Moon Over Soho – Ben Aaronovitch r
Whispers Under Ground – Ben Aaronovitch r
Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch
We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo
American Gods – Neil Gaiman r
Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman r
Watching You – Michael Robotham
The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
Police – Jo Nesbo
The Bat – Jo Nesbo
Laidlaw – William McIlvanney
Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
The Ocean at The End of The Lane – Neil Gaiman
Fortunately The Milk… – Neil Gaiman
Dixie O’Day: In The Fast Lane – Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliamy
Paddington Races Ahead – Michael Bond
Gangsta Granny – David Walliams
In the Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak
The Incredible Book Eating Boy – Oliver Jeffers
Penguin – Polly Dunbar
Love Splat – Rob Scotton
The Life of Charlotte Bronte – Elizabeth Gaskell
Captain’s Purr – Madelaune Flloyd
Wuthering Heights (graphic novel) – Siku/Adam Strickson
Stuck – Oliver Jeffers
The Works – Pam Ayres
You Made Me Late Again – Pam Ayres
The Quarry – Iain Banks
The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes – Neil Gaiman
The Falcons Malteser – Anthony Horowitz
Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder – Jo Nesbo
NOS4R2 – Joe Hill
Chu’s Day – Neil Gaiman
The Heart & the Bottle – Oliver Jeffers r
The Complete Verse & Other Nonsense – Edward Lear
More About Boy – Roald Dahl
The Green Ship – Quentin Blake
Iceland’s Bell – Halldor Laxness r
In One Person – John Irving
The Water Method Man – John Irving r
What Would You Do with a Wobble Dee Woo? – Colin West
The Coming of the Kings and Other Plays – Ted Hughes r
Shifty McGifty & Slippery Sam – Tracey Corderoy & Steven Lenton
Oliver & The Seawigs – Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre
Noah Barleywater Runs Away – John Boyne
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party – Alexander McCall Smith
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection – Alexander McCall Smith
Fergus Crane – Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
More Than This – Patrick Ness
A Boy & a Bear in a Boat – Dave Shelton
Yeti and the Bird – Nadia Shireen
Saints of the Shadow Bible – Ian Rankin
Crazy Hair – Neil Gaiman r
The Long Earth – Terry Pratchett r
The Way Back Home – Oliver Jeffers
The Storm Whale – Benji Davies
Cockroaches – Jo Nesbo
The Wire in the Blood – Val McDermid
The Last Temptation – Val McDermid
There Are Cats In This Book – Viviane Schwarz
Beneath The Bleeding – Val McDermid
How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth – Michelle Robinson
The Torment of Others – Val McDermid
The Great Paper Caper – Oliver Jeffers
There’s a Shark in the Bath – Sarah McIntyre

And here are my favourite new reads…

Crime Fiction
Standing in Another Man’s Grave – Ian Rankin
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Mr Rankin at his twisty-turny best, and a massive relief!

Fantasy
The Ocean at The End of The Lane – Neil Gaiman
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Blew my socks off. Made me cry. And laugh. And frequently made me put it down, stare into space for a few minutes contemplating the Wonderful Words I’d just read, pick it up again and re-read the same Wonderful Words over and over again in awe before carrying on.

Fiction
The Quarry – Iain Banks
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I don’t really need to say anything about this.

Young Fantasy (Well that’s what I’d class it as!)
Fortunately The Milk… – Neil Gaiman
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Laughed my pants off! Loudly, snortily, and in a public place. Hilarious from start to finish, beautifully complemented by Chris Riddell’s perfect illustrations, and made even better by hearing it in Mr Gaiman’s voice in my head after listening to him read a bit of it in Ely Cathedral earlier in the year.

Picture Book
There Are Cats In This Book – Viviane Schwarz
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I LOVE THIS! It has flappy bits! And cats! And balls of wool to throw at cats! It’s BRILLIANT!

And now to crack on with my 2014 list…