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.
I'm early with my challenge update post this month as I won't be around at the end of July. This also means that July has been a short month for progressing with my challenges, but I have managed to meet them once again.
The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley was a free book on my Kindle. I don't think it's a book which would have caught my eye if I'd had to pay for it but I loved it. The setting in Cornwall is described beautifully and the story, spanning two time periods, kept me thoroughly interested. It's a book I'd definitely recommend.
The Big Four was my Agatha Christie read for July. This is a Poirot novel but has a different feel to it than other Christie books. Poirot is involved in seeking an international group, The Big Four, who are set on world domination. I enjoyed this book and I'm now interested to see how the change of style in this book affects her next one.
I only got round to watching two films in July.
I knew I'd heard of Snatch before but I couldn't place where from. It was when Vinnie Jones, the footballer, popped up that I remembered it was his follow up to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (which I haven't seen either). Snatch isn't a film I'd choose to watch but it was watchable and kept me interested.
Grave Of The Fireflies is a subtitled Japanese animation which tells the story of two children, brother and sister, trying to survive during the Second World War. I had no idea at all what the film was about when I put it on but I was glued to the screen. It's terribly sad and I think the fact that it's in animation makes the story even more harrowing. I'd recommend this film.
It was Eleanor's birthday on the 15th of July and she received lots of presents, she's never gone without. I decided that this year, one of the presents I'd buy her would be a gift for someone less fortunate. I decided to buy the gift from Good Gifts as this company guarantees that your money buys the actual gift you have chosen. Eleanor's lucky, she's had the opportunity to go to school and will hopefully be carrying on with her education at university so I thought a good gift to buy would be text books for a school. This will help allow children in Africa to go to school, giving them the chance of a better future. There's lots of different gifts to choose to suit all pockets and the recipient gets a little card detailing the gift which has been bought on their behalf. I have to say that Eleanor was thrilled with this, she loved the idea that text books had been bought on her behalf for children less fortunate than herself.
The Big Issue Foundation helps enable people who are homeless take control of their lives and earn a legitimate income. The magazine is published on behalf of and sold by homeless or vulnerably housed people. They buy the magazine for £1.25 and sell it on for £2.50. I'm a big fan of helping people to help themselves, and besides, the magazine itself is a good read. This week's copy has an interview with Andrew Flintoff, something Mick will be reading when I've finished with it.
This will be my last post for a while, on Saturday we go on our summer holiday. This year, we're staying much closer to home travelling just an hour away for our first week. We're staying in a cottage in Pickering which is handy for days at the Yorkshire Coast and North York Moors as well as being very near to the Dalby Forest which Archie will love. We're staying in a cottage in Northumberland for our second week. I've only been there once and that was on a school trip thirty five years ago so I'm really looking forward to it. We should have wi-fi at both cottages but I'm looking forward to a fortnight away from all stresses so I doubt I'll be using it. I'll see you all in August.