My 2015 challenges are:-
1) Read one book each month.
1a) Read Agatha Christie books in chronological order.
2) Watch films from IMDb's top 100 movies of all time.
3) Support charities.
April has been quite a busy month for me with Easter, decorating and the gardening season getting off to a hectic start so my challenges have taken a bit of a back seat this month. I've still managed to read a book as well as my Agatha Christie book and watch a film but I'm hoping to improve on the amount next month.
The book I read this month was Snowfall In Burracombe by Lilian Harry. This was the book which Lisa from Jumble and Jelly bought me as one of my Twelve Days Of Christmas gifts. This is the seventh book in a series all about the village of Burracombe and its inhabitants, set in the 1950s. I haven't read any of the preceeding books and didn't feel I needed to as it can be read as a stand alone book, but the ending definitely left lots of loose ends, presumably to carry on in to the next book. Thank you, Lisa, I did enjoy reading this book and I've now passed it on to my mum as it's the kind of book she enjoys too.
I'm really enjoying the Agatha Christie books I'm reading, this month it was The Man In The Brown Suit. There were so many twists and turns in this book that I couldn't even hazard a guess who the murderer was so I was quite surprised at the end.
I've only managed to watch one film this month and it's one I've seen before, All About Eve. This film was nominated for fourteen academy awards and won six, definitely a film worth watching again.
National Pet Month runs from 1st April 2015 through to 4th May 2015 so I wanted to help animal charities this month. When we visited Hope Pastures earlier on this month, I decided to adopt Banjo, one of the donkeys there.
Banjo is beautiful donkey who had a horrible start in life, you can read about his story in my Hope Pastures post. It costs £15 to adopt one of the horses, ponies or donkeys and you're sent a lovely photo of the one you choose, an adoption certificate and a letter telling you all about their story. The money raised from the adoptions helps the charity greatly. We adopted Banjo in Mick's name so that gift aid could be claimed on the donation. I'm not a tax payer so it makes sense to do it in Mick's name, the charity benefits more this way.
Each time I've been shopping, I've been popping tins, packets and trays of cat food in to my trolley. They soon add up to a worthwhile amount. I've donated all this food to Leeds Cat Rescue, a group of volunteers who foster homeless cats and kittens in West Yorkshire and surrounding areas until homes can be found for them.
We used to have a cat ourselves, Jake, he was my baby before I had kids and Daniel and Eleanor grew up with him. After he died, Daniel developed an allergy to cats which means as much as we'd love another cat, we can't have one. I still like to do my bit for the unfortunate cats which don't have loving homes and this is one way I can help.
I've been saving all my used postage stamps as many charities are grateful for these, they can sell them to raise much needed funds. Foreign stamps earn even more money than UK ones so I make sure I save them all. I donated this lot to Many Tears Animal Rescue which is based in South Wales but has dogs being fostered in homes throughout the UK. They also have a small number of cats.
Whilst I was looking on their website for the address to send them to, I noticed that they also collect old car tax discs. Tax discs no longer have to be displayed in the windscreen but both Mick and I had our old ones still there so we took them out and whilst I was at it, I had a look in my glove box and found a few more from years past, so I've posted all these off too. What a simple way to help a charity raise money.
We decorated our bedroom over the Easter period so I've been having a good clear out of the wardrobes and drawers in there. I ended up with a dozen black bags full as well as some boxes to take to the charity shop. There were even two of Mick's suits, one which he wore for our wedding nearly twenty five years ago and one which he wore to my sister's wedding a year later. They're as good as new as they were only ever worn once. I did take a photo of it all but I've managed to delete it from the computer when I was having a tidy up on there last week, I'm just hoping that I don't come across anything else I've deleted which I shouldn't have. We took everything to the RSPCA charity shop and I was surprised to be asked if we'd like to gift aid the donation. As you know, I always tick to gift aid monetary donations but I didn't realise you could do it when you're taking in unwanted items for them to sell. Apparently, they can claim gift aid on the amount that the items sell for. I take lots of things in to charity shops yet this is the first one which has asked me if I'd like to gift aid my donation. Of course, this was done in Mick's name again so that they can make the most of what's raised.
It may have been a fairly quiet month on the reading and watching front but I've certainly been busy with the charities.