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On the evils of bamboo…

When I moved into my new home late last year my garden looked like this:

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And there to one side is a rather lovely looking bamboo. The problem is two fold; one, I don’t want a bamboo and certainly not there. Two, whoever planted the bamboo didn’t put it in properly.
Bamboo likes to grow and you have to be super careful when you plant it to make sure the roots don’t go everywhere. The previous owners did not do this and so I am now chasing bamboo roots around my garden.

If you’re doubting how far they can go, my next-door neighbour told me that he had some pop up in his garden, on the opposite side to my joining fence. Sigh. Not only badly planted but badly planted right next to neighbours. Not nice.

So I am now waging war on the nasty thing. I thought as it has been taking up so much of my time I would share a few pictures.

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The lawn after I had pulled one of the roots out

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The root pulled out from the previous picture

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The rest of the roots I’ve managed to get out so far. I’m hoping I’m about 45/50% of the way there now.

 

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Some of the roots still in the ground. Sadly I think they go under the fence…

So this is what I’ve been doing in the morning, as well as shifting soil and moving paving slabs around ready to move the path and get ready to decide where everything else is going. Lots to do!

Vick.

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Bramhalls’

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Today’s lunch outing in Ashbourne. Fab place with a great menu and frequently changing specials. They also have a lovely deli. Worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Bookshelves #1

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I had so many people saying lovely things about the pictures of my library that I’ve decided, over time, to show pictures of the books themselves on the blog. This will also show how many of them I still have to read…and yet I keep buying more!

Shelf #1 is mostly YA/children-ish fiction.

Part 1

Part 1

 

Part 2

Part 2

Apologies for the images being a little rubbish – it’s really hard to get good light in the library for photography. It’s possible that having lined the walls with books and dark blue paint has made it a little darker in there…

This shelf has a higher than average number of books I’ve read in it – largely due to the collection of Harry Potter books there. Sadly I have lost my hardback copies of books 1 & 2. I had them stored in my parents attic while I was moving house and the roof leaked. They weren’t first editions but they were early and I had had them for a long time. Losing books is horrid.

I’ve also read ‘The Swiss Family Robinson’ many times over, I love that book and I think reading it as a child was a great experience, especially with the illustrations in this edition. The copy of ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ was bought solely for the illustrations which are done by Quentin Blake. Noticing a pattern here, ‘Drawn from Memory’ is also full of illustrations by the wonderful E.H. Shephard.

On the other side of the shelf is the fantastic ‘Valiant’ by Holly Black as well as ‘An Abundance of Katherines’ by John Green (one of my favourite authors – see the P.S.). I never get rid of books, even if I don’t like them; this is partly because I think, as someone who writes, it’s interesting to look back at what I didn’t like about a book and also because one of my friends might want to read it someday. I actually didn’t manage to finish either ‘North Child’ or ‘The Witch Family’. Both ‘Hexwood’ by DWJ and ‘The Spellgrinder’s Apprentice’ by N.M. Browne were recommendations from Zoë Marriott – I loved ‘Hexwood’ and haven’t gotten around to TSA yet. Soon.

On the theme of Diana Wynne Jones there was a great guest article by Andrea K Höst on The Book Smugglers about her, that is definitely worth a read.

Read/Not Read shelf ratio: 21:14

Vick.

p.s. A Theatre for Everybody In My Pants…

p.p.s. If you don’t get the ‘in my pants’ joke then have a look at this Vlogbrothers FAQ video where all is revealed. It’s explained at 2.37 if you want to skip there. Also – watch the rest of the videos and become a Nerdfighter!

Vintage Burgess

There are lots of ways to find new friends on Twitter. I have a tendency of jumping of top of conversations and talking to everyone – even if I don’t know all of the people involved. Also I often talk to people who my friends have re-tweeted. I did a combination of this last week when Vintage Books (@vintagebooks) re-tweeted a comment by @stujallen about their re-releases of Anthony Burgess’ books and saying that his best known work was perhaps not in fact his best. Ever eager for new books to read I asked for recommendations. And I got them. Also the wonderful, wonderful Vintage team have sent me them to read.

So not only did I make a new twitter friend but I now also have the chance to read these amazing books. I’m going to be starting with Byrne which to my chagrin I had never even heard about. Very excited. The other that was recommended by @stujallen was Earthly Powers.

So here is a look at the gorgeous new covers and a first look at the shelves in my almost-completely-finished library!

Settling in with my other books.

The first to be read (red read?)

Beautiful frontispiece (excuse the poetry behind – I’ve been working hard today)

Beautiful design.

Probably my favourite cover – The Complete Enderby.

I can’t wait to get reading. If you want to read more about them head on over to the Vintage site to take a look at their Burgess pages.

I’m off to finish my poetry so I can read!

Vick.

Downloading

I’ve been super busy working on Etsy and so have been blogging a little less lately. I now have digital downloads available of poetry photographs. I’m also posting the component parts separately over on Facebook as well.

I am putting them up online one at a time but each different item has five different font options available and they can all be customized at no extra cost. Here are a couple of examples of each one online so far.