Monthly Archives: February 2013



1. A peculiarity of behavior; an idiosyncrasy: “Every man had his own quirks and twists” (Harriet Beecher Stowe).
2. An unpredictable or unaccountable act or event; a vagary: a quirk of fate.
3. A sudden sharp turn or twist.
4. An equivocation; a quibble.
5. Architecture A lengthwise groove on a molding between the convex upper part and the soffit.
1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
3. An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.

1. an individual peculiarity of character; mannerism or foible
2. an unexpected twist or turn: a quirk of fate
3. a continuous groove in an architectural moulding
4. a flourish, as in handwriting


I’ve been sat watching Holby City (Yes I know it’s a soap thingy and it’s not real) and was aware of the things that made the characters who they are. Like Chantelle’s smile,bounciness and chattiness and Serena’s dragon appearance but is really a lonely scared kitty.
It got me thinking. You see, I always thought quirky mean’t silly/mad but it’s what makes us unique individuals. try to get an image of quirkiness and you get cats??? I realise the little things I do. Like when I lock the front door, I go down the steps pen the gate and go back up to check the door.
I wear a hair-band or two around my left wrist, so that if I have my hair down at any point I can put it up, especially when I need to eat a meal, I only just noticed this, but even if I’ve styled it (very rare these days) and I sit down to eat I have to tie my hair back, and I have no idea why.
Take sleeping for instance, I apparently talk in my sleep, or chunter as my sister calls it. I’ve also been known to sleep like a starfish apparently, even though when I go to sleep I curl up on my right side, like a foetus (check this out The Telegraph – What does it say about your sleeping), while I get warm and then go flat on my front with my arms underneath in a hug sort of thing. I can’t lie on my left I just can’t get comfortable, but will always wake-up on my left. Bizarre! I’m not sure where I fit with all this. Perhaps I worry too much? Don’t relax enough? Got so much to say and not sure how to say it? or when to say it?
Can a quirk be when you can only eat a certain chocolate bar by eating the chocolate first then the biscuit? Only eating pizza with your fingers as it doesn’t taste right eating it with knife and fork? I only ask as I do this.
I do have a habit of getting my words mixed-up or putting two words in the wrong order and making a new one and not realising it. I can spontaneously choke on thin air. I think that one’s a gift. If I have a curry or chilli or stew I have to mix all my food together. Someone asked me the other day when we were discussing food as he thought he was odd for doing it.
Are there things that you do that make you, you? Are there things that annoy you, yet you don’t do them yourself? I hate getting untidy but once a week it seems I just empty everything on the floor and leave it. I hate it when others a re messy. I realise sometimes I can work in chaos, I have books everywhere and the area around the sofa can look like a bomb site  but wouldn’t like others doing it.
I only ask this because I have lived on my own for over two years and thinking of going into a house-share and realised I would have to change so much. Like not leaving the washing up in the sink for days on end. Tidying up more frequent.
In the end the quirky things, rituals etc that we do are unique to us. We shouldn’t try to change people, although if it is ridiculous we should try help them learn a new way of doing things perhaps. Let me know what yours are and what you think.
Thanks for reading.

Under Pressure

WARNING: Contains self-pity, swearing, moaning, and a positive ending

And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
For something you want that can’t be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you

Baloo- Jungle Book -Disney film

Best Friends – Disney Films

These last seven days have been a right roller-coaster of emotions and I got to the point of just throwing my hands in the air and giving up.

I am sick of struggling with everything. Granted I don’t have it as bad as some people, but I would just like a break from the everyday grind of looking after myself and worrying about everything and anything. Luckily my replacement gas card turned up today,after I somehow lost it over the weekend, however the pin numbers for my card haven’t :(. I keep getting told I am a negative person and to stop being negative. This stems from my childhood, I can’t say why, but I am always nervous when things start to go well, as it always seems to come crashing down on me. I have tried so hard to shake it, and it looks like it’s come full circle again. Come on Helen, we were positive the other day. Damn it

Yesterday was ok, and today is my Dad’s 70th Birthday (I got this wrong last year so technically he’s 71) but I really needed to go house hunting again in the hope to find something and be ready to say bye-bye to this place within a month. Unfortunately it didn’t work that way.  This morning I had an appointment to go to then decided to go for a coffee and just have some time away from everything and then off for lunch at The White Swan before an afternoon of house hunting, Apparently they had several houses to show me. A mystery tour, a bit like The Famous Five, as I was told on Twitter :).

Ready to blog
The White Swan Pub in Leeds
The White Swan Pub in Leeds


Lunch -Homemade chips- Nom Nom Nom

Both in the coffee shop and the pub I felt the need to draw. I had seen a blog on here where someone uploaded there’s sketches and felt I needed to do some. I looked out the window and just did quick sketches of what I could see, trying not to concentrate on detail. I then went off to the pub and started looking at the Enid Blyton book the adventure of Scamp and did some more plus drawing what was on my table. It made me feel pretty good to be drawing again. Granted I didn’t think they were good at the time but I actually quite like them and intend to do some more.

In the coffee shop and what I saw on Albion Place

So off to Headingley, I got there early so went off to look in the charity shops. I found two children’s books which might be on LBCPuffins list but one I would really like to read, which is the Wizard of Oz, I also got it because I liked the illustrations. I got these and the woman at the counter was disgusted at how cheap they were I let her keep the 25p change.  I also bought a 5p ruler from Wilkinsons, I didn’t need it but it was 5p.Image

So onto the mystery tour, I turned up 5 mins early and there was a delay because the appointment before was asking twenty questions and they were three nervous teenagers looking for a new home. I know how they feel and I’m on my own.

Anyway after the introduction it turned out that there wasn’t five places but two and the first one was the cheapest and had two men living there one aged 40 and the other unknown. It was a lovely house, but needed a good paint job and the stairs were so steep they were almost verticle. The rooms available were fantastci size, but in the attic, They felt cold and the woodwork looked like it was damaged and horrible. 😦 I asked if we could see the others and he said no because it was younger lads who were messy and the price was higher and after meeting me didn’t think it would suit me. Fair enough, Another half day wasted. Buggar

I walked away, almost ready to burst into tears. But I thought sod it, let’s leave it for a week or two and get on with other stuff. I need to do some more photography, I need to read The Book Thief for Bookclub and all this stuff going on is effecting my ability to concentrate again. So let’s hope that when I’m not looking something will turn up and that each day brings something new and when it appears to fall apart, I’ll try not let it get to me.

I would like to thank my Mum for listening to me blub on the phone and giving me strength to get things sorted. To Rachel who has once again loved my blogs and to a lovely gentleman on Twitter called Martin who has been a sort of mentor these last few days.

So let’s get tea sorted and washing up done before Holby City comes on.

Thank you for reading.


Enid Blyton Book Challenge – update

I don’t know if you’re aware but for bookclub I am doing a challenge of reading one Enid Blyton book a month and writing a review. As a child I only read two. The book of brownies, my favourite and The Little Brown Bear and other stories.

The second book review has been posted see The Famous Five here

I’ve found three other books in the list and I am so excited as they look amazing.


I also re-read the little brown bear in January and here is a mini write-up.



Thank you for reading


Moulin Rouge (The Film)

I had a copy of this poster in my room when I was a student.


The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love

and be loved in return.

Moulin Rouge-A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.

“The year is 1899, and Christian, a young English writer, has come to Paris to follow the Bohemian revolution taking hold of the city’s drug and prostitute infested underworld. And nowhere is the thrill of the underworld more alive than at the Moulin Rouge, a night club where the rich and poor men alike come to be entertained by the dancers, but things take a wicked turn for Christian as he starts a deadly love affair with the star courtesan of the club, Satine. But her affections are also coveted by the club’s patron: the Duke. A dangerous love triangle ensues as Satine and Christian attempt to fight all odds to stay together but a force that not even love can conquer is taking its toll on Satine…”


This is one of my all time favourite films. It’s my ‘feel good’ film, the one that once you watch everything in life doesn’t seem to bad, even for a short while.

I first saw it, I think possibly 3 or 4 times at the cinema. I practically know it word for word. I first saw it by accident with a male friend from college. We went to see a comedy film and go for drinks and it finished early. This was on within the next 20 mins and for some daft reason decided we should go. The second time I saw it with my brother. He was a bit annoyed I’d already seen it, but I had loved it so much I wanted to see it again. A few months later I got taken on Valentine’s Day to see it, again a male friend, but apparently his intentions were to ask me out, but didn’t. And me being slow on the uptake didn’t catch on, it wasn’t until five months later a female friend pointed out how much he fancied me that we got together. I’m not with him any more but that doesn’t effect my love of Moulin Rouge. It’s my feel good movie and at least I can have a good cry when Satine dances her last. I am that mad about it I have the soundtrack to.


Look at that dress!

I think my favourite bit is when they do Your Song video clip here – I love this it’s so lively and entertaining. Oh and the scene where Satine has to go for dinner with the duke and she falls ill Zidler and the duke perform like a virgin, unfortunately I can’t find a video for this.

The whole film is just amazing. The costumes, the sets, the actors. Jim Broadbent as Harold Zidler and Richard Roxburgh as the creepy duke.


I know this film has so much going on and it has fond memories for me. I remember sitting with my friend Rachel, watching it and singing to it. Well me screeching and Rachel singing beautifully. I just can’t sing. Someone told me to stop once because it hurts their ears. Charming. The Carr singing voice can be passed on. Damn!

My gift is my song. And this one’s for you. And You Can Tell Everybody That this is your song. It may be quite simple but now that it’s done. I hope u don’t mind I hope You don’t mind That I put down in words… How Wonderful Life is Now you’re in the world

Time to reach for the tissues

If you hadn’t guessed by now I do like some romantic soppy films like Bridget Jones Diary, Moulin Rouge, anything with Colin Firth (I mean anything), obviously I was obsessed with Ewan Mcgregor when this came out. I love films where there’s a love story, obviously in Titanic and this film someone unfortunately dies and love is thwarted and no one lives happily ever after. Just for future refence I do watch other stuff, just sometimes you have to go back to what really makes you feel good.

But I love the genius behind Moulin Rouge, the music, the storyline, How it is drama wise from light to dark, to light again, the use of songs, mixed, whole in whatever form. The costumes! OMG, the costumes. Just amazing. Just magical. If only they would show it in the cinema again. *sighs*

Thank you for reading


Thanks to IMDb and Yahoo for the information

Book club at South Leeds Community Radio, Leeds

I am so excited to announce a book club on radio and I’m part of it

check this link South Leeds Community Radio launch Book Club 

The radio station is based at Unit 6a Ashbrooke Park, Parkside Lane, Leeds LS11 5SF and on 6th of March at 6:30pm.

We are doing an introduction to bookclub where we will be introducing ourselves ,letting you know how it will work and we will be picking our first book.

As for book choices we are leaving it to the members, it can be anything. You’re favourite, a one you haven’t read. I think at the moment we will be sticking to fiction. 

Any more information required just let me know on For bookclub email

Helen at

For more information on the radio station all information is below

South Leeds Community Radio

6a Ashbrooke Park

Parkside Lane

Leeds LS11 5SF


follow them on Twitter @SouthLeedsRadio

Tel: 0791 350 1308 (temporary number)

Find out more about South Leeds Community Radio here

Update here!!!

‘Are you sitting comfortably?…. Then I will begin.
Starting on the 6th March at 6.30pm – 7.30pm, South Leeds Community Radio will be hosting ‘The Book Club’. Anyone who is interested in meeting new people, in a relaxed and informal setting, with an interest in reading good books is welcome to come along and join us. As you would expect tea and cupcakes will of course be provided.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact our fellow bookworm, and volunteer Helen Carr at
*Please note the sessions will be recorded and may be used to make a radio programme.’

Hope to see you there!

The Three ‘H’s

The Three Helen’s doesn’t have the same ring.

Classic photo booth shots for the leisure centre card. I absolutely love these
Me as a ba

So, it’s my third day off and I didn’t have a good night sleep last night, at around 1am, I managed to kick two duvets off the bed and when I tried to get them back on I got into a right tangle. I should have got up and sorted it properly but I was too tired. I woke up this morning and could only remember the dream of cleaning the kitchen and finding a half loaf of bread gone very mouldy. could it mean to let go of old stuff???

Some interpretations off the net:

‘I would interpret it as signifying that something in my life was past its sell by date. A relationship perhaps?’

‘Bread-To see bread in your dream, represents the basic needs of life. Bread may signify the positive qualities and great things you have learned on your journey of life’

‘The meaning of bread in dreams will depend quite a lot on the context of the dream, your religious and cultural background, and your personal experiences. However, in general, I would say that bread symbolises nurturing – perhaps even a spiritual nurturing.’

‘Bread is a staple food in many countries. It is also a fundamental part of some religious rituals such as Christian communion and Jewish passover. Food nourishes the body so in dreams, food tends to represent nurturing. So putting all this together, I would say that bread represents the very foundations of the nurturing of love and spirituality within yourself.’

‘Now think about this symbolism of bread in the context of the dream. For example, if someone gave you bread and you ate it and liked it, then the dream is very positive and you were probably feeling very nurtured at the time of the dream. However if for example the bread was mouldy or something (lol!), it might mean that you are neglecting your spirituality and nurturing side.’

So from that I think I’m thinking to much about the past and hanging onto all this old stuff is holding me back???

This was 6 years ago

I think I’m procrastinating sat here writing this blog, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Way to much thinking. I was talking to my Mum last night about everything going on and said that I was feeling old. Her response was ‘you don’t have to act old. Your chance will come, you just have to know when it does’. 

Someone once told me I was born old. I think they might be right. Either that or the fact, when growing up I never felt like I could relax around my Dad. Probably why I’m always on the go now. When we were little if we ran ahead, were too noisy, split icecream or anything we would get into trouble. Luckily where we lived there was an area to play so we used to escape most days and play among the trees and allotments. At home I think we played in the dining room out the way. Even as an adult when I’m around my Dad I still feel slightly on edge.

Growing up was fun, We used to play with all the kids on the street, you don’t see that much now. I had a best friend who I grew up with and went right through to Comprehensive school where we parted. I hated comprehensive. You wouldn’t necessarily believe it now but I was quite shy at school. It was also to big, very scary, all the corridors and rooms and I struggled at school. So many lessons and so much to take in. P.E., music and Drama were my worst subjects. I ended up going through comprehensive with very few friends, it was quite a lonely time. It didn’t help that I struggled with most subjects and had to put in so much work to make sure I didn’t drop into the lower band. I hated the school social gatherings the most. I also got in to trouble for correcting my score on a maths test. Ms Brown was a very scary woman and was not very pleased.

I don’t know what they do in schools these days but I did get a lot of help from the teachers as regard my studying but that can also effect your standing in school and like me get bullied for it. Don’t get me started on that.

When you’re a kid you want to be able to experience all the things adults do. I was put off alcohol, because when my Mum was away once, my Dad gave me something to help me sleep (think it was whisky) and I remember it being horrible. Also I didn’t dare put a foot wrong, so I wasn’t like kids where you sat on the street corner drinking cider and smoked. No I waited until I was 18 to start drinking and went out with my Best friend Carly every Friday night. And still then Dad didn’t really know what I was doing. Mum told him I was ‘drinking orange juice with a little bit of alcohol in it’ how he didn’t know that night I couldn’t get the key in the door, and he opened it and I fell through. Or maybe he did when he told my Mum ‘She came in as pi*%$d as a newt trying to get in through the letterbox’. when I got up the next morning my Mum told me to be careful as my Dad wasn’t impressed with me. I thought it was very funny and my greatest achievement so far in annoying my Dad.

A teacher at my school told my Mum I wouldn’t get very far. I think this spurred me on to prove them wrong and I worked solidly to avoid getting d’s and e’s as predicted and came out with a B, 4 -C’s and the rest D’s. Not bad considering.

I think it’s at this point it started going wrong, I achieved more than I expected and got onto an art course but again got pushed back and had to do an intermediate course. I worked hard but clashed with one of the teachers. I got a high mark on this course and moved on to the next. I think I should have stepped back at this point and looked at something else. The other option to me was Nursery Nursing but the course leader wanted a particular type of person I think. I didn’t fit in.

When I look back I have always just wandered from one thing to the next. Put in 110%, but something always comes and knocks me off my path and I find it very hard to get back on track. I have always had low self-esteem, I’ve never believed in myself and have sometimes don’t like who I am. I don;t see what others do.


In recent months people keep asking for the ‘Old Helen’ back. But they can’t explain who she is. after reading my friend’s latest post check it here-Rachel’s Blog, I realised there’s three sides to ‘H’. There’s the inner child/frightened ‘H’. The ‘PTP’ ‘h’ (i.e. work) and the social ‘H’.

The Work ‘H’

The work ‘h’ just gets on with things does the job to the best of her abilities, but gets scared when her confidence gets a knock because something has gone wrong. Can achieve quite a lot in a day and although she thinks her education may have been a waste of time it’s finally getting put to some good use. Especially when doing restorations or helping a customer design a mug. Is a hard worker and is very proud of her work and what the company has achieved in the last 5 years and the little stand feels like a home from home.

ImageThe social ‘H’

At college we used to go out drinking every week. Meet up at weekends to go shopping, watch sunset beach and discuss it in great length. I also took up line dancing at the local church and was in a competition.When I left home the first year was filled with music gigs, nights out, where for the first time I stayed out past 1am and got carried out of a nightclub for falling asleep. Not the first time I might add. Then I came to Leeds for uni. And again the first year was great, it started to die off  in the second year and think completely went by the third.  After leaving uni, everyone went their separate ways, we stayed in touch but it became rare trips to the bowling alley, cinema and the odd pint in the pub.until it all dried up.  I think I lost a big part of myself when we stopped going out. And then I ended up here. Sat in this big house on my own. It was suggested I find a book club or something to ‘get me out the house’ To be honest it’s the best thing along with running that’s happened to me in the last two and half years. I now attend four and love it. I’ve also started looking at other things to do. I did a writing course at my local radio station and will be starting a bookclub shortly with them. Someone recently told me I was a legend. This Helen I like but I don’t think it’s me. I can’t believe it’s me.

The inner child/frightened ‘H’

Because of the big changes in my life I think my inner child has come back. I find my reactions/responses to things quite frightening. I didn’t notice until someone pointed them out, and because I’ve pushed people away and because things have got so bad with the house and not being able to cope on my own and feeling like an utter failure, again. That when things get too much I get scared and want to hide away. When I was little my Mum used to know the signs when this happened and we used to sit down and talk about it. These days it’s generally when the cleaning kicks in that I begin to worry. Hence the blogs as I can’t go running to sort my head out. Sometimes I feel like a big kid and get very excited over silly things, I think because I’m on my own and I haven’t got that person telling me we can’t go to see a film because it costs money and a car is bad for the environment and blah blah blah, I’ve gone a bit silly and enjoyed what I’ve had with money and got myself in a right pickle. Sounds really stupid that a 33 year old is saying this but I think it’s been a coping mechanism and not a very good one. The inner child just wants to be accepted, to  be helped into discovering who she is. and to understand that change is good. To understand that if we miss out on certain things it’s not a failure, it may not have meant to happen. We don’t know where the paths we take will lead us and when we take the wrong ones we need a bit of guidance to get back.

I’ve never asked for much, well maybe too much, I’m quite happy with the simple things in life. But it would be nice to be able to afford the latest gadget to own a car to be able to drive off when want to. To return the kindness that people have shown me. To have someone just hug me for no reason. Small gestures are the best, a book, a chat over coffee and of course cake.

So if you’ve read this and think I’m slightly crazy, I maybe be, but most of all I’m just feeling lost. I need to merge the three ‘H’s together, stop being so hard on myself and hope that one day I’ll meet the ‘H’ I really like.

Crikey have seen the time been sat her for 90mins. too much to discuss me thinks.

Thank you for reading.


Hello Weekend!

So it’s Saturday. I’ve been up since 7:30. The bacon and tomatoes are currently sizzling in the pan. I have a paper and I have cleaned the kitchen. A good start so far.

I rarely get Saturdays off,  Let me explain. When I started this job, an agreement (not an official one, more like a favour thing) was put in place that I worked Saturdays, but could have them off if requested. Since the age of 19 I have always worked Saturdays, and it’s not bothered me as going shopping and queuing for ages doesn’t thrill me. I like going shopping but prefer to do it at the quieter times. The only thing is if I have Saturdays off I would have to work 5 days straight and doing the work I do, can be quite demanding and it’s good to have a break midweek.

Although I feel like I should be doing something special, I’m off into the attic bedroom to sort out my stuff and see what I can get rid of. then this afternoon it’s to write-up the review  for bookclub challenge and catch up on some reading.

Oh and if you hadn’t gathered from yesterday I have been doing a lot of blogs in the last 24 hours. I’ve had too much to think about and needed to get it out of my system. All this talk of moving is getting me down. I worked out, since I’ve left home 14 years ago I’ve moved about 5 times I think. That’s a lot of moving. And all your stuff in boxes is sad.

In the last year, it’s been very up and down for me. Yes I maybe sounding melodramatic but I’ve had so much to think about and feeling very sorry for myself, especially when I think something is going well and then all of a sudden everything turns sour. Take the quote below;

“Don’t push away the people who truly care about you, because one day, you will push them away, and they won’t come back.”

I kept getting warned by this and although I did my best to fix this I ruined  some good friendships and lost a fantastic job opportunity. I’ve never been one for believing in myself and last year got so scared of the situation I was in and finding that I was making mistakes left right and centre, felt I was no good at being ‘Helen’ Or doing my job. The biggest thing that’s been effecting me is lack of money and not being able to own and drive a car. How silly does that sound that I feel like a failure because I can’t own a car. That’s why I screwed up my best opportunity to progress in a job.

Quite clearly I’ve lost the power to listen to good advice and to trust in myself. I need to find this again I had it briefly once.

I’ll update again later as I need to start the sorting. bye for now and…


I’ve been sorting the attic room out for about 2-3 hours and didn’t realise how much crap I had. I had to put some music on and have listened to all the Queen albums in the platinum collection and had a good screech and cleared my head and realised I have way to much stuff. Did I mention that already?? These are the songs that reflect me at the moment oh and the third one is in there because it’s one of my favourites, not because I want to save someone from the universe.

Queen – Living on my own

‘Dee do dee do day
Dee do dee do dee do dee do day ohSometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry, so lonely
Nowhere to go, nothing to do with my time
I get lonely, so lonely, living on my own.Sometimes I feel I’m always walking too fast, so lonely
And everything is coming down on me, down on me, I go crazy
Oh so crazy, living on my own.Dee do de de, dee do de de
I don’t have no time for no monkey business
Dee do de de, dee do de de
I get so lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, yeah
Got to be some good times aheadSometimes I feel nobody gives me no warning
Find my head is always up in the clouds in a dreamworld
It’s not easy, living on my own, my own, my own

Dee do de de (lonely), dee do de de (lonely)
I don’t have no time for no monkey business
Dee do de de, dee do de de
I get so lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, yeah
Got to be some good times ahead

C’mon baby

Dee do de de, dee do de de
I don’t have no time for no monkey business
Dee do de de, dee do de de
I get so lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, yeah
Got to be some good times ahead

Yeah baby
Di di di di
Dibby dibby du-wop du-wop
yeah y-y-y-y-y-y-ow-yeah
Living on my own, living on my own
Living on my own, living on my own, wooh
da, day, day, day, day
di, di, di, di, di, di, di
Be-dop, be-dop, be-dop, be-dop
Be-dop, be-dop, be-dop, be-dop
Be-dop, be-dop, be-dop, be-dop

Queen- The show must go on

‘Empty spaces – what are we living for?
Abandoned places – I guess we know the score..
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are looking for?

Another hero – another mindless crime.
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime.
Hold the line!
Does anybody want to take it anymore?
The Show must go on!
The Show must go on!Yeah!
Inside my heart is breaking,
My make-up may be flaking,
But my smile, still, stays on!

Whatever happens, I’ll leave it all to chance.
Another heartache – another failed romance.
On and on…
Does anybody know what we are living for?
I guess i’m learning
I must be warmer now..
I’ll soon be turning, round the corner now.
Outside the dawn is breaking,
But inside in the dark I’m aching to be free!

The Show must go on!
The Show must go on! Yeah,yeah!
Ooh! Inside my heart is breaking!
My make-up may be flaking…
But my smile, still, stays on!
Yeah! oh oh oh

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies,
Fairy tales of yesterday, will grow but never die,
I can fly, my friends!

The Show must go on! Yeah!
The Show must go on!
I’ll face it with a grin!
I’m never giving in!
On with the show!

(Also a good version in one of my favourite film Moulin Rouge)

I looked up its meaning as I felt it’s something to keep anyone going and found this by someone

‘This being the VERY LAST song recorded on an album while Freddie Mercury is extremely moving. I feel he’s really talking to all the world about his hardships and connecting to other’s hardships by saying that life is a like a show, and although things might not go like we planned it, the show must go on. The fact that these were his last days, he kept his head high and never backed down from what he loved.’

And finally a mention to one of my favourites:

‘Flash – a-ah – saviour of the universe
Flash – a-ah – he’ll save everyone of us
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Flash – a-ah – he’s a miracle
Flash – a-ah – king of the impossible’

I love this film!!!
Oh why did they stop doing these????
Oh why did they stop doing these????
My old stereo I've had for almost 16 years
My old stereo I’ve had for almost 16 years
my scissors from when I was a child
my scissors from when I was a child
one end...
one end…
..other end
..other end
finished. stuff on left is unwanted stuff on right is to keep (for the moment)
finished. stuff on left is unwanted stuff on right is to keep (for the moment)
just empty boxes now
just empty boxes now
My first ever contact sheet!
My first ever contact sheet!
Bacon sandwiches
Bacon sandwiches
mmmm really??
mmmm really??

So hard work is done now for the afternoon to do what I want to do and it appears to be snowing outside. Mumford and Sons are on TV on The Brit Awards (repeat) and singing ‘I will Wait for you’. This is one of my favourite bands/musicians and would love to see them live. Maybe one day.

I can’t believe I’m half-way through my three days off. Pulls sad face. I want it to slow down. I still have too much to do and it’s all running away from me!


I just got back from an unexpected viewing in LS17. And it was perfect. Nice large house, clean, well kept, good facilities and lovely people. Downside, slightly higher rent but all bills included and wanting £600 upfront. Ouch!

When I left I wanted to burst into tears, Luckily the trip didn’t cost me anything and saw some interesting shops. Like a little hardware store. It was like stepping back in time to my childhood, my childhood best friend’s Dad had one and we used to visit it after school. It was packed with everything.

Hardware store in LS17
Hardware store in LS17

So I’m back home and having a coffee and doing the bad thing of emotional eating and eating chocolate. I switched the TV on and guess what’s on? Block Busters with Bob Holness. I used to love this as a kid and this cracked me up……

‘What is the garden creature with…..’  In buzzes Vicky….’Seal?’ Bob ‘Seal?’ Vicky ‘Yes seal’ Bob ‘Er,No’ Continues with the rest of the question and the other girl (playing on her own and wins by the way) buzzes in and says ‘Slug?’ Bob’Yes that’s right!

I think she had a ‘Helen’ moment, *giggles*

I am now watching Supermarket Sweep and it looks so dated. I love the fact that it’s like a school master congratulating his school children for getting things right or running off to get the ‘stickered’ item. ‘It sounds about right, and it is! Well done’ 

Supermarket sweep
Supermarket sweep
Supermarket sweep
Supermarket sweep

So after that mini adventure I shall try get back to my review for Book club and settle down for the evening and read more of The Book Thief.

Thank you for reading


I Love Books!!!

 “Sometimes people are beautiful.

Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
― Markus Zusak, I am the Messenger

(Found this while writing last blog on The Book Thief)

A book worth reading is worth buying

I love books. I have way too many paperbacks and can’t part with them. I love the smell, I love the feel. I love the look of the writing (typeset I think it’s called). I love getting lost in them. I love the feeling when you finish a big chunky book. Or finish a book that leaves you gob-smacked  made you laugh out loud, cry or even learn something new.

I was given these and they came from the Enid Blyton stall on Leeds market.

I love to buy new books, but most of all I like visiting second-hand bookshops or charity shops, oh and borrowing from the library. I love their smell of the second hand shops. When we were little, my parents didn’t have much money and if we went shopping, some of the times we would go into a charity shop and while my Mum was browsing in the shop, my sister and I would sit in front of the bookcase looking through them to see what we could take home. Same obviously with the library. We used to spend ages sitting in the children’s section reading books and then going out with an armful to read at home.

When I left Uni I ended up living in a caravan, and I had more time to spare and ended up buying Pride and Prejudice for 30p from local charity shop and that set me off reading. I had a 30 minute train ride into Leeds for work so had plenty of time to read books.

Over the last eight years I have read tons of books. I only started to note them down in 2007 as I kept forgetting what I was reading. What I also missed was someone to discuss them with. Why on earth I didn’t think about looking for a bookclub back then I don’t know.  This last year, going to the Central Library in Leeds bookclub and the Leeds Book club at the White Swan and along with Giraffe and now Outlaws has just been an amazing experience.

charity and library books

Hence why I love charity shops, oh and the market, and the libary because it’s FREE, unless you reserve for 90p. still good though and second hand books. Today I bought The Secret Garden,The BFG and Charlotte’s Web all for £2.98 and money goes to Oxfam (bought in Headingley, which also has an Oxfam bookstore)

Charity shop bargain

So lets celebrate the paperback and the secondhand book. Infact lets celebrate the book and the beauty of it and the fact that it’s a gift. sometimes it’s not one we wanted, enjoyed and sometimes it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Oh and one last thought, I also want to thank my Mum and sister Jane who over the past few years have been my ‘seekers of books’ when I’ve not been able to find a read and for buying me ‘The Silver Sword’ and ‘The Five children and it’ (brand new and with more info!!!) for my birthday. It means a lot.

The window of the house i was viewing today

Thank you for reading


LBC read for March: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


22.2.2013 -I first knew about this book by seeing a man reading it on the train home from Leeds to Bramley about 4 or 5 years ago. I am always nosy when I see people reading on the bus or train incase it’s a future read. I tried reading it when I first got it but I don’t think it was the right time. I did put it on my 33 to read this year and put it into the ‘hat’ and it was my second book for reads at bookclub. Hopefully this one will go down better than Revolutionary Road (I love that book!) I have roughly two weeks to read it and I know that sounds a long time but I don’t want to rush it, plus I have loads on at the moment and I really want to enjoy this book I’ve looked forward to it for ages. so here’s a start of a review or thinkings of the book. Warning there maybe *SPOILERS*

What an opening!!!

 Blurb from Amazon

Book Description

The internationally bestselling story of a young German girl who steals books, of her family and the Jewish boxer hidden in their basement as they struggle to survive in Nazi Germany when the bombs begin to fall.

Amazon Review

‘The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak was the best-selling debut literary novel of the year 2007, selling over 400,000 copies. The author is a prize-winning writer of children’s books, and this, his first novel for adults, proved to be a triumphant success. The book is extraordinary on many levels: moving, yet restrained, angry yet balanced — and written with the kind of elegance found all too rarely in fiction these days. The book’s narrator is nothing less than Death itself, regaling us with a remarkable tale of book burnings, treachery and theft. The book never forgets the primary purpose of compelling the reader’s attention, yet which nevertheless is able to impart a cogent message about the importance of words, particularly in those societies which regard the word as dangerous (the book is set during the Nazi regime, but this message is all too relevant in many places in the world today).

Nine-year-old Liesel lives with her foster family on Himmel Street during the dark days of the Third Reich. Her Communist parents have been transported to a concentration camp, and during the funeral for her brother, she manages to steal a macabre book: it is, in fact, a gravediggers’ instruction manual. This is the first of many books which will pass through her hands as the carnage of the Second World War begins to hungrily claim lives. Both Liesel and her fellow inhabitants of Himmel Street will find themselves changed by both words on the printed page and the horrendous events happening around them.’


You are going to die 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. ***SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION*** This novel is narrated by Death. It’s a small story, about: *a girl *an accordionist *Some fanatical Germans *A Jewish fist fighter *And quite a lot of thievery Another thing you should know: * Death will visit the Book Thief three times . . .”

Opening lines of the book:

Here is a small fact: You are going to die.

 I am in all truthfulness attempting to be cheerful about this whole topic, though most people find themselves hindered in believing me, no matter my protestations. Please trust me. I most definitely can be cheerful. I can be amiable. Agreeable. Affable. And that’s only the A’s. Just don’t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me.

People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and its ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.

“Usually we walk around constantly believing ourselves. “I’m okay” we say. “I’m alright”. But sometimes the truth arrives on you and you can’t get it off. That’s when you realize that sometimes it isn’t even an answer–it’s a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief  -Goodreads

“The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. (Death)”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief -Goodreads

“So much good, so much evil. Just add water.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief-Goodreads

I do not carry a sickle or scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.” 
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief-

“It’s a small story really, about, among other things:

* A girl
* Some words
* An accordionist
* Some fanatical Germans
* A Jewish fist fighter
* And quite a lot of thievery”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief-Goodreads

 I’m loving this book so far. I’m not even past the introduction. I’m fascinated by the layout and the quotes and how it’s been styled (graphics side of me coming out) hence why it might take a couple of weeks, because I’ll keep stopping and writing stuff down, might do some drawing to.


I was struggling to read this book. After so long of wanting to read it the first half of the book took me two weeks. I’m not quite sure why. It was my choice for bookclub, the pick of the month out of the hat and I was determined to finish it. And I am glad I did. I sat down the evening before bookclub and had what looked like three quarters of the book to finish, I wasn’t sure I could do it.

still a chunk to read
still a chunk to read

The next morning I was a wake from 6 and sat on the sofa and just read. I went out to get a bacon and sandwich to give myself a break and then continued. I class myself as a slow reader and was shocked to finish the book by 1pm. I was blown away by it, I even had a small cry. I haven’t been lost in a book like that for ages. Sometimes when we’re forced to do something we don’t always enjoy it. This was just magical. Apparently it’s going to be made into a film. One I think I have to avoid. Sometimes I hate it when they make books into films as it changed your idea of the characters.

One day I hope to re-read this and capture the magic again and hopefully find more. At bookclub I was learnt something new. I wanted to give this more than 10. I was able to give it an 11 after an introduction of ‘the spinal tap moment’ think that’s right, still not sure what it means. But this book just blew me away.  Like ‘The Silver Sword’  I recommend you just read it. obviously if you don’t like anything about the war, or anything slightly depressing it’s not for you. But Death is an amazing character and tells the story well.

Thank you for reading


Say my Name, Say my Name

When you get a coffee these days from a certain place, you get your name written on your cup. I’ve been fascinated by this. I have asked for ‘H’ (which is one of my nicknames) or Helen. I got Ellen/Ella and a karen but can’t find the last one. My niece Molly always called me Hells. I’ve had Hellsbells and as I said above the latest and favourite is ‘H’ (best said with a Durham twang)So here’s a mini gallery of names on cups.


Thank you for reading