Instead of thinking about what you want to do – just start

A year really can change everything. 52 weeks, 365 days, countless minutes (especially when you’re clock watching at work) and you look back to where you were all that time ago and where you are now and you marvel about different things are. As of this date, 9th May 2013 I have in my life, a house, a hound and a Henry (car).
No one is quite as shocked as me at how fast everything happened; so many years of saving for a house deposit and poring over Rightmove and the property section in our paper and dreaming of painting walls and being able to buy nice furniture and putting up shelves and pictures. It all finally fell into place. 
But, oh poor blog, I promised to keep you updated and tell you when all these things happened and life sort of got in the way and house buying is quite horribly stressful and time consuming (especially when it’s your first time) and it just never happened.
Our home was waiting for us to find it, there’s a railway line that  runs right behind it and I used to use that very line to commute to London for work (Mr Becca still does) and I must have passed our house hundreds of times and never even noticed it. We’d been house hunting and there seemed to be nothing that was right or was right but had one major feature we just couldn’t compromise on or didn’t feel right and everyone told me how you’d just ‘know’ when you found the right house and despite my doubts, they were right; I just stepped through the front door and I ‘knew’.  I loved the light, the garden, the wooden doors, the fact it had parking and a garage, that the street was quiet. That the house number was ‘3’ which is my favourite (and lucky) number, that the concrete on the porch had tiny little paw prints set in where a cat or something had walked though when it was still wet. Despite the fact it was smaller than other houses we’d looked at and the kitchen was small, that our garden backs out on to a railway line, none of these things mattered. We knew it was the right one. It was home.
Home meant being able to buy a car again and become mobile and to be able to get to places. The dire parking situation at the old house meant we had managed without and walked or public transported everywhere but just before we moved, we went and found my dear little Clio whom I promptly  christened ‘Lubey’  (He had KYJ in his number plate) and he was adorable and I loved that little car.
And then he bravely gave his own life for mine when I hit some black ice in December, skidded off the road and rolled into a ditch. He was a complete write off, my best friend and I had to clamber out of him but we didn’t have a scratch on us. And I shed a tear as I wasn’t ready to give him up. I grow very attached to my cars and am very much a ‘why replace them while they still work’ kind of person and he was a mere baby compared to my first car; the legend that was ‘The Hoff’, my ancient Peugeot 205 who was much ridiculed by everyone but me. But these things happen and I decided it would be best to get back in the saddle and about a week later, I made myself go and test drive a Ford Focus I’d seen a t a local garage and I drove past where I had the accident.
And lo, the Becca doth say it was terrifying and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and talking out loud to herself. But I did it, I survived and I loved the Focus and I henceforth claimed him as my own and I christened him ‘Henry’ after a much beloved cat we’d had when I was growing up and because Henry is a Ford car. Boom boom.
And, oh, our dog. Everyone joked that I’d have a dog the day we moved in. Erm, I waited a month exactly. We moved on the 4th July (Independence Day) and our beautiful lovely, daft girl came home on the 4th August. I proudly introduce, Sora (aka Bum Bum, Bumbles or Squidge).
Upside down dog


I contacted the very lovely Greyhound Rescue West of England with what, pretty much, constituted an essay on what a good home we could offer a greyhound and all the doggie experience I had. Lovely people rang me back and asked me questions and we were home checked by the lovely, lovely Marion and Terry who are involved with Greyhound Friends and we passed! And then we went on walk to meet Sora and see if we all got on and it was love. And we signed all her paperwork and paid an adoption fee and arranged a date to come and pick her up while I bought every single squeaky toy imaginable and collars and leads and coats and food. I have been obsessed with greyhounds for years and they fitted into our lifestyle wonderfully as they are so lazy (I have never known a dog sleep so much) but so gentle and loving and we were adamant we were going to get a rescue dog. Sora is like a love sponge, she just adores being with you or being close to you and flopping down on the sofa with her head in your lap. I have many a post to come about wonderful dogs they are. Her unusual name comes from her racing name, she was Mandeville Sky and the rescue kennels already had a ‘Sky’ so she was christened Sora as it’s Japanese for sky and suits her wonderfully as she’s blue! She is the most beautiful grey blue (blue’s my favourite colour) and has the biggest roundest amber eyes – her ‘wolf eyes’. She is a walking food processor; she eats anything and everything (including unidentified dead things when she spots them before I do), is completely daft, super-fast, wants to chase small furry things but is so loving and adore people. We wouldn’t be without her.
So, that’s me. Many life changes and people who’ve come into my life or come back into my life and they’re all family to me I and love them for who they are (whether we’re blood related or not) and there are people who I’ve moved on from. As a great quote my Mum sent to me says, “Cutting people out of my life does not mean I hate them, it simply means I respect me”.
Stick around everyone, let’s see where we end up.
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Sugar Rush

Not much to say because i’m slightly buzzing from the huge amount of Guylian I have inhaled today other than to say i’m pretty proud of myself for actually giving up something and sticking to it.

I’ve always failed at Lent before and i’m chuffed I did it! Not to say it wasn’t hard and i’ve developed an unhealthy co-dependent relationship with Mr.Kipling and his sugary bastard offspring but still, yay me!

That’s two more down on the list now!

12. Give up chocolate for one month
59. Give up something for Lent and actually stick to it
If you’ll excuse me, I have some tidying up to do…



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A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

The beautiful Ms Mama Geek tagged me in her 11 Questions meme! Aw man, I properly welled up when I was described as a blogger :D I see myself more as this. I <3 you Hyperbole and a Half.

So Zoe was given 11 questions to answer, she in turn had to ask 11 bloggers to answer 11 questions she’s thought up!

Here goes -

1.      What is your favourite possession?

My Bou Bou bunny. She was given to me at birth and has been everywhere with me, school, hospital when I had an operation, University, various house moves. She’s been lost and found again, through the washing machine countless times and has no fur or nose left but I love her. I don’t care if i’m too ‘old’ to keep her; we have too much history :)

I also feel naked without my engagement ring. I take it off when I go to the kennels but I constantly stroke it throughout the day so much that I really miss it when I don’t have it on.

I also feel pretty naked admitting to the world that I am a 27 year old woman who has a toy rabbit.

2.      Do you like to read? If so, which books do you love best?

One of my online handles is Bookwormbecca – that pretty much sums me up! Reading nourishes me like nothing else. I think the worst form of torture for me would to be trapped somewhere without books or words. I will read everything and anything, fact, fiction, leaflets, posters, books, graphic novels, magazines, textbooks, the list goes on.  I was such a bookworm as a child, my grandma would joke that I would get absorbed by the back of a cornflake box. This became such a running joke that she actually once rang me to tell me that the value bags of cornflakes in her Asda now come in plain bags and not boxes.

I’ll read anything, highbrow stuff, classics etc., complete trash, fact, fiction, horror (even though I’ll have nightmares) but I adore Crime fiction by the likes of Mo Hayder, Karin Slaughter (the gorier the better), anything that involves animals and trashy lady books. I am in love with the Song of Fire and Ice books, late to the party I know but goddamn I am hooked. I also love re-reading all my books from childhood, especially my pony books.  At the moment i’m reading The Hunger Games, Little Women, Genesis, Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction, Walking Dead Vol 11 and A Feast for Crows. I can never read just one book at time. God bless you Kindle.

3.      Do you have any pets?

I am such an animal lover, living in rented accommodation is like torture for me as we’re not currently allowed a dog. Luckily they’ve been nice enough to let us have our ratties! We (as in myself and Mr Becca) have five fancy rats. They are our babies and we adore them. I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea and I get a lot of “eurgh” or “Why do you have those as pets!?” but they are the nicest, friendliest, most misunderstood animal and make fantastic pets. They’re clean, sociable, great to handle, trainable and each has their own little personality. I wanted a pet rat since being little but my mum was phobic so we compromised on hamsters. I much prefer rats. My hamsters used to bite and be quite grumpy and unsociable but our ratties are lovely. They’re more like really small dogs, they’re pleased to see you when you come from work and run to the cage door for a cuddle! We’ve got a lot of our ratties over the years as rescues. They tend to be described as ‘hard to handle’ or ‘they chew things’ and have been given up for adoption. Jess was curled up in the back of Pets at Home, up for adoption and all on her own. Ratties need other rats for company and there was no way I was leaving her there. Even when the staff said she was hard to handle and bit everyone, even when it took ten minutes to get her out of the cage as the staff member didn’t want to get her. The minute she was in my arms she calmed down and snuggled into me, I knew she was coming home with us. In the three months we’ve had her, she is a different rat. She comes to us of her own accord, has never bitten us and when she had to go the vet to have a tumor removed, the vet nurse commented on what a lovely friendly character she was. I love seeing them blossom from shy scared little things to interacting with their new sisters and with us. We’re house hunting at the moment for a place of our own to buy so Neil is bracing himself for our moving day when I can start planning the introduction of ex-racing greyhounds, ex battery hens, snakes, more ratties, foster dogs…

4.      What was your favourite food as a child? Is it the same now?

Ooh Cheeseburgers but probably anything cheese based! And yes, absolutely it still is!  I consider myself to be something of a connoisseur.

5.      What is your favourite thing about blogging?

That I get to write loads of random crap informed opinions on subjects I’m passionate about on an open, huge platform that can be found by anyone, anywhere. And connecting with other bloggers is great :)

6.      If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

By the sea. I love the sea, I grew up in the Channel Islands and went to Uni in Aberystwyth and was never more than 10 minutes from a beach. There’s nothing more calming to me than the sound of waves. I also would love, South Africa or Portland, Oregon (which has nothing to do with my new found obsession with Grimm. Maybe. It has been voted one of the five best places in the world to live!)



7.      What is your favourite number?

Number 3.  Maybe it’s because it’s the sum of my birthdate, maybe because like me, it’s unassuming, odd and everyone forgets it in favour of 1 & 2. I <3 you 3.

8.      Which of these things would you find hardest to give up for a year? Chocolate, reading, coffee or smoking?

Reading. Without question. I like Coffee but don’t find it a necessity, never smoked (don’t do it kids!), and chocolate, while one of my favorite things, is far easier to give up I’ve found; see various posts about Lent!

9.      If you could make your life into a movie, what would you name it and who would you want to play you?

Curl, Interrupted. (Oh yeah, can’t beat the pun master.) Playing me would be Felicia Day, Claire Danes or Zooey Deschanel. But with better hair.


10.     If you had £20,000 for a shopping spree, what would you buy?

1.    Rescue Greyhound :D

2.    Amazing new collar for rescue greyhound from Holly & Lil

3.    Everything off my Amazon wishlist

4.    I have some left over? Trip to Disneyland baby:D

11.     If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?

             I find it impossible to pick just one so I’ll go with a list and if any of them fancy        lunch with me, please contact me through this site..

Quentin Tarantino – The only person I am aware of who talks us as fast as I do, unashamedly geeky and probably the coolest man on the planet.

Sarah Fisher – Does so much good work for animals and helps so many that would otherwise be put down. And her partner is Giles from Buffy. Squee.

Ian Dunbar – He doesn’t whisper to dogs, he talks to them.

Felicia Day – Geeky, smart, incredibly hard working and motivated. Everything I look for in a role model. And she’s been in some of my favourite ever films/programmes.


Questions, I choose you!

1.    What’s your earliest memory?

2.    Who do you idolise?

3.    What was your favourite toy growing up

4.    What’s your biggest regret?

5.    What’s your favourite film and why do you love it?

6.    As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

7.    If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy or do?

8.    If you could do one job in the whole world, what would it be?

9.    What food/drink item can you not live without?

10. What’s the one thing in the world (within reason) that you’d like to own

11. What’s your favourite animal?

And in turn, I choose (you’ll have to imagine there are 10 other bloggers below. I’m a baby in the blog world and don’t know that many :( ) -

Sarah Hamer – The Waki Way

@NeilCrosby – Neil Crosby

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God loves a Terrier – Crufts 2012

I’m really fortunate to have good friends who accept me for who I am and indulge my vices passions with love and understanding!

Which is why, last weekend, I traveled to the home of the lovely Zoe of Mama Geek to stay for the weekend. Zoe’s mum in law breeds and shows Norwich terriers so goes to Crufts each year and Clan Corkhill descend  to man the Discover Dogs stall and generally wallow in woofs. Zoe had kindly invited me to go last year but time and money meant that I wasn’t able to but being such a lovely, she invited me up for this year instead. I didn’t need asking twice. (To be fair, I barely needed inviting once, I think the whole of Twitter heard my squeals.)

Me and Zoe attempt to enter in our cunning disguises.

There’s been a lot of negativity surrounding Crufts over the past few years, the Jemima Harrison documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which aired back in 2008 blew the lid on the health problems that dog* pedigree breeds. I’m not going to cover that here as there are people out there who can go into it better than me and at the end of the day I went for an enjoyable day out with friends to surround myself with an animal I love.

*I’m going to hell for that pun.


I think it tends to baffle people who know me that I don’t have a dog yet considering that a) how many dog things I have (books, training manuals, canine psychology books, pictures, mugs…)  b) how passionate I am about them and C) How many dog shows I’ve been to (Discover Dogs, The London Pet Show). Unfortunately, due to renting (don’t get me started) we’re not allowed a dog which I haven’t let limit me! My volunteer work at my local rescue kennels at weekends helps me get my canine fix, not only is it therapeutic to me, it helps the dogs that are waiting for homes get socialized, looked after, trained and most importantly loved! Even better, me and Mr Becca are looking to buy a house this year which means I’ll finally be able to give a rescue dog a home :D

But I digress.

James and Zoe are great hosts, Zoe had found out that the day we were attending was Hound day (I am absolutely passionate about Greyhounds) and had found the ring no that they were being shown in. When we arrived, I was steered towards there. (I almost needed blinkers, there was so much to see) and found a seat and drooled over Greyhounds. They were beautiful but I had never realized how much of a size disparity there is between show Greyhounds and racers. The show ones are MASSIVE.

Crufts is like heaven for a dog lover, not only is there showing to watch but there are various displays, Agility competitions and hundreds of stalls. There is literally everything and anything you could imagine (and probably stuff you couldn’t) to buy. I was pretty restrained, half of my haul was freebies I picked up or stuff I got cheaply (the best day to go to anything like this is always the last day as the stands want to get rid of stuff!).

I did treat myself to some Canine Psychology and training books, The Culture ClashThe Evolution of Canine Social Behavior and Canine Body Language. I’m fascinated by it, love learning  and everything I learn helps with my work at the kennels.

I swung by both the Greyhound rescue stalls as well, Perry Barr and RGT. I got  a very cute Greyhound t-shirt, a lovely print for Mr Neil as a present (Greyhound dressed as a pirate? SOLD!),every leaflet going in terms of re-homing a greyhound and some supporter goodies.

I had such a great weekend, and I wasn’t the only one who had their first Crufts, Georgie had never visited before either so we were novices together! And seriously, why can’t all children be this amazing? Not a peep out of her for the whole day despite how loud and busy it was. (I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to Georgie for any biscuit induced nightmares she might now have. You might think it’s funny to stick Party Rings over your eyes and dance around but small children find it terrifying and will cry).

I think it’s true that you discover  a lot about people when you stay with them. James and Zoe are not only very patient (as I spent literally hours stroking Greyhounds and dragged them around at the end of the day to find a Crufts Magnet. BUT I NEED IT FOR MY COLLECTION!! ) but also very strong (It took them both to unwrap my arms from one of the Greyhounds that were looking for a home “BUT HE HAS NO ONE TO LOVE HIM!!!”)

Oh hey, almost forgot! That ticks off 22 on my list!

22. Go to Crufts


PS – If you’re wondering where my blog title comes from, for the love of all that is holy, follow this link – God loves a Terrie


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Even a 1000 mile journey starts with a single step.

Wow, I didn’t expect to have completed a task already! Thanks Sarah, that’s task 82 already ticked off!

82 -Inspire someone to start their own 101 in 1001 list

I thought Sarah would be the perfect person to introduce to Project Zero, she’s very motivated and in my opinion, a bit of a super woman! She hold down a full time job while keeping up with her art and refurbishing a motorhome (The lovely Waki!) which she and her partner are going to live and travel around in. Kudos!

You can view Sarah’s 101 here, and please do drop by The Waki Way, if for nothing else, to be impressed by someone with a) motor skills b) motivation.

At the moment, Project Zero says I am 1% through my list, but you know what, that feels like a 100% right about now :-)

1 down, 100 to go!

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Progress 101 – #12 & #59

So, it’s begun.

I always joke that I find the Becca way of doing things – i.e doing something in the most difficult way possible. It’s almost like I like to challenge myself (or set myself up for failure.) The timing of me starting with my 101 in 1001 has coincided with Lent. So, I though what the heck,  let’s start as we mean to go on and give up something for Lent this year rather than waiting another twelve months to be able to tick something off my list.

So my first two projects to tackle from my list are:-

12. Give up chocolate for one month

59. Give up something for Lent and actually stick to it

I could cheat and give up something I rarely eat anyway but like or really cheat and give up something I don’t eat anyway. But as the whole purpose of this list is for ‘self betterment’ and I see it as a worthwhile challenge, I figured I’d make it difficult and give up something I actually eat all the time quite a bit. Chocolate.

Ah sweet, sweet food of the gods. EVERYONE gives up chocolate for Lent and rarely is it that anyone sticks at it, but as I also have the challenge of giving up chocolate for one month, I have two projects at stake.

It was easier as kids, you weren’t inundated with Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs until the week before Easter. Now we get these sweet ambrosial delights from Boxing Day (i’m not even exaggerating.)
A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.

Yesterday was my final meal. KitKat at lunch, Chocolate pancakes and a Wispa Gold after dinner. (Look at number 15 on my 101 list, is it any wonder I need to?)

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)

Sweet, sweet Wispa Gold. How I rejoiced when you returned to us.

Bring it on you sugary bastards.

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101 in 1001

I think people fall into one of two categories, those who make lists and those who it doesn’t even occur to.

Hi, my name is Becca and I’m a list maker.  <Fellow addicts> Hi Becca!</Fellow addicts>

There’s something inherently satisfying about making a list, everyone, at some point has made a list. I think most people start (and end) as children with writing Christmas lists (Argos catalogue in lap, pen and paper – good times). I know, most people make shopping lists etc. but I list everything, chores, things I need to do, hit list (I kid), things I need/want to buy, wishlists, things I need or want to accomplish.

The satisfaction of ticking something off a list is almost as good as the satisfaction of actually going the thing. When something is on a list, your goals are clear, they’re set in stone (if they’re the ten commandments, literally) and you know what you have left to do accomplish your goal.

I think that is what drew me to the Day Zero Project. Mr Becca first brought this to my attention about 7 years ago and it seems to have grown in popularity since then. The idea is that you write out 101 goals that you would like to accomplish, like a Bucket List I guess but with a set time period and number of goals. They can literally be anything, big goals, small goals, silly goals, serious goals. There is (almost) no right or wrong when it comes to making these. The whole idea that it is something personal to you, you set your goals, your boundaries but the time limit is set for you. You have 1001 days to complete everything on the list which equates to almost three years.

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

I wrote my first set of 101 goals back in 2005. I don’t remember half of them now and I think I lost interest about halfway through but I managed to complete quite a few things off my list. I’m not sure what’s motivated me to start another list, maybe because in the 6 years since my last list, I’ve changed a lot and so have my goals. There are so many things I’ve wanted to ‘get around to’ but never make the time to or forget about. By having everything listed it feels official, I feel like I have to make the effort and having a time frame makes all the difference as I can’t keep putting things off.

So, ladies and gentleman – I present you with my goals

1. Adopt a rescue dog (preferably a retired racing greyhound!
2. Do ten TTouch sessions with the Rats and get them used to being handled
3. Get ex-battery hens
4. Teach the Rats to do a trick on command
5. Bake five different types of cake that I’ve not done before
6. Make a cheesecake
7. Make a cushion cover
8. Make and sell ten handmade cards
9. Make five handmade cards and give to family/friends
10. Make something for Waki
11. Floss my teeth, every day for two weeks
12. Give up chocolate for one month
13. Give up crisps for two weeks
14. Go vegetarian for a month
15. Reach my healthy weight
16. Work out/Exercise three times a week for six months
17. Eat a traditional picnic (with basket) under a tree
18. Go camping
19. Go on a hot air balloon ride
20. Go on another narrow boat holiday
21. Go to an open day at the Bedfordshire Wolf Society
22. Go to Crufts
23. Go to five different places in Bedfordshire that I’ve not been to before
24. Go to Olympia
25. Meet up with my brother
26. See an Orchestra
27. Visit Cornwall
28. Visit Disneyland Paris
29. Visit Edinburgh
30. Visit New York
31. Visit Stonehenge and Avebury stone circle
32. Visit the New Forest and return to the places I knew growing up
33. Visit the seaside and eat fish and chips on the beach
34. Visit three different café/restaurants in Bedford I’ve not been to before
35. Learn a poem by heart
36. Learn all the words to ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’ by Billy Joel
37. Learn one good magic trick
38. Learn some basic coding
39. Learn to change a tire
40. Learn to cook five completely new meals
41. Learn to cross-stitch and complete and frame one sampler
42. Learn to draw
43. Learn to play the guitar
44. Become a homeowner
45. Buy a car
46. Buy a Mulberry Handbag
47. Buy five new perfumes
48. Buy some really nice makeup (Bobbi Brown, Mac etc.)
49. Have a no spend month
50. Save £1 a day for the duration of this list
51. Save £3000 in my savings account
52. Spend £100 on a single item of clothing/footwear
53. Take a packed lunch to work every day for a month
54. Be sponsored for something and raise £100 for a charity of my choice
55. Donate blood
56. Attend a TTouch workshop or seminar
57. Complete a Canine psychology course
58. Get a new job
59. Give up something for Lent and actually stick to it
60. Have a letter published in a magazine
61. Have a manicure
62. Make ten different dishes out of the Thomasina Miers Mexican cookery book
63. Read ten classics I’ve not read before
64. Read the website book Neil bought me and build my own website
65. Read War and Peace
66. Take a self-defence class
67. Try sushi
68. Wake up for a week at 6am and go for a walk
69. Watch every single film/TV show on our unwatched pile of DVD’s
70. Get a Venus Fly Trap
71. Beat Neil at a game of Words with Friends
72. Teach myself to Touch Type
73. Decorate a room
74. Design and build my website to my specifications
75. Don’t complain about anything for a week
76. Fly a kite
77. Go horse riding
78. Grow a Sunflower
79. Grow and eat a vegetable from seed
80. Grow and plant a tree from seed
81. Identify 100 things that make me happy
82. Inspire someone to start their own 101 in 1001 list
83. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find
84. Make a Happiness book
85. Answer the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind”
86. Own and read every up to date edition of each Graphic novel series I have started and currently own
87. Plant a herb garden
88. Plant a vegetable garden
89. Read 100 graphic novels from the ’1001 Comic Books you must read before you Die’ book
90. Re-read every one of my childhood pony books in series order
91. Send a message in a bottle
92. Send a random gift to three friends
93. Send a secret to PostSecret
94. Set a date for our wedding
95. Start a compost pile
96. Start to officially plan and organise our wedding
97. Update my blog at least three times a month for 6 months
98. Win something in a competition
99. Write a letter to an author of a book I enjoyed expressing my thanks
100. Write my will
101. Track the progress of everything on this list on my blog

Please do let me know if you decide to start your own list, not only does it help with number 82 Inspire someone to start their own 101 in 1001 list but it’s really interesting to see what other people have put and to be able to help and motivate other people with their lists. You don’t even have to list it in a blog, the beauty of the Project Zero website is you can list your goals directly on there and make some of your goals or even your whole list private and for your eyes only.

Mine starts from today, 22nd February 2012 and ends 19th November 2014. Let me know how you get on :-)

You can start your own 101 in 1001 project here at You can browse other lists to get inspiration, list your own goals and update them when completed or in progress.

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John Lewis Christmas Advert – The season of goodwill?

We all have Chrismas traditions; the film you have to watch EVERY year even through you know the lines off by heart (Muppet Christmas Carol), the food you can’t do without or Christmas just won’t be the same and I know of a lot of people who don’t believe it’s Christmas until they’ve seen the Coke christmas advert…

John Lewis adverts have become a bit of a British advertising staple these last few years. The woman shown growing through the years to a Billy Joel track – a huge hit, the rather obscure Guns & Roses cover from last year -  they’ve got people talking and they’ve obviously tried to capture the nations hearts again with this recent Christmas themed offering

Another hit, yes? I love this video right up until the end – the cover version is great, there’s some lovely imagery and the first time I watched it I was hooked.  But what’s with the dog in the snow!?

The little boy wanders out, we’re waiting with baited breath… is the poor freezing hound going to come inside to be by the fire and with his family? Like a lump of coal in your stocking, we’re left disappointed and poor ‘Rannoch’ gets a stocking and some fairy lights. The clincher is the text over the end – ‘For those who care about showing they care….’

If there weren’t any fairy lights and a twee little stocking it would remind me very much of the dog at the end of  this advert.

I know, I know. It’s an advert, it isn’t real and the dog is obviously looks very well looked after and this is all no more real than the RSPCA ad above or Father Christmas (dammnit John lewis, you mean Father Christmas isn’t real, you mean I should blame my parents for my lack of a Mr. Frosty!?) but why show something like that? Why not have him by the fire inside and with his family? Dogs are social creatures who like to be with people. Having one outside in conditions like that is considered abuse and no good dog shelter will re-home to people who intend to keep the dog outside.  I accept that some dogs (mostly working) do live outside but these are in proper kennels with heat lamps and warm bedding and if the temperature drops dramatically many are brought inside.

There are those who argue that most people know that you shouldn’t keep a dog outside or it wouldn’t make them think it was OK and that we’re all being ‘stupid’ and soppy mutt lovers. You’d be surprised what people think is acceptable and how easily influenced people are by advertising or what they see on screen. Costa came under fire this year from the Rainforest Alliance for their advert featuring monkeys as they feared that people would want them as pets and how many owls/fish/rats have been dumped after the hype of the latest Harry Potter/Pixar film has died down?

Come on John Lewis, get with the times! The amount of people who have been upset by this is huge. There’s a Facebook group set up and a petition to get the advert changed so the least I would expect from them is an apology or an offer of a donation to a rescue charity.

The response from John Lewis (which seems to be a standard reply as other people have had the exact same e-mail back) when the group founder e-mailed them ? -

The inclusion of a dog at the end of our Christmas advert is there to inject a feeling of the importance of pets in a family and show how much they are an integral part of Christmas festivities. The kennel has been lovingly decorated with fairy lights and the boy hanging up the special ‘doggy’ stocking, is sharing a private Christmas moment with his dog. Many dogs have outside kennels, and that does not mean, nor do we intend to imply, that they don’t spend most of their time in the house. Rannoch is a very well cared for dog and his owner, who is also his breeder, is more than happy with the way her pet has been portrayed on screen.

Yours sincerely,


It might seem silly to talk about something as small as an advert but as a rescue kennel volunteer, when you see some of the horrific things that happen to dogs you don’t want to see it reflected in a national advertising campaign. If pets are so important, why are they shown to be kept outside in snowy, blustery conditions?What was it Gandhi said – “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the ways its animals are treated”.

This blog – ‘For those who care about showing they care’

EDIT – It appears that John Lewis have had a rethink and decided to cut the last section of the advert. Kudos to them for listening, I don’t agree that it was a ‘small number’ (1,250 people in a group over two days…) but I respect them for backing down on this issue and cutting it. Maybe inserting a scene with the dog happy by a fire instead? It would make the advert perfect for me as otherwise it puts me right in the Christmas mood!

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Bedfordshire – Local Artist Sarah Hamer

I love art. It make your walls look dead nice and walking around galleries is relaxing and  who didn’t love finger painting as a kid? Seriously though,  i’d never call myself an art expert but i’ve always loved losing myself in drawing or painting and being generally creative and i’m always impressed by anyone who can draw halfway decently.

Which is why I want to pimp Sarah’s website to you.

I met her through work (but don’t let that put you off, she’s only on here because I think her work’s great ;0)  but I just think she’s so talented that she should be blogged about.  I think it has to be the pencil sketches that I love so much, her lion sketch is simply beautiful and i’d kill to draw this well.

She’s also very talented wielding a knife (sadly she’s limited to wood whittling and not ninja skills) and has some beautiful carved wooden necklaces.

I think it’s so important to support local endeavours and I love that since moving to Bedford that we’ve had that opportunity more. Some of the most special pieces of art work and crafty things we own were bought directly from the artists from stalls at the local market, both here in Bedford and more further afield such as Aberystwyth and Alderney.

I have a lot of respect for Sarah’s work and the fact that she seems to really love doing it in whatever spare time she has.  Please do check her out if you’re looking for a special gift for someone and or that one off piece of work to complete your home.

You can find out more about Sarah and view her gallery at She has prints, greetings cards and handcrafted gifts for sale and will undertake commissions.

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