Category Archives: Facts About Me

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Book Thief


You are going to die.

I read a lot and I read anything, I’m not a snob when it comes to authors or genre. I’ll read anything recommended to me or anything I find whilst trawling book shops and charity shops. I dont usually blog about books, never have before but I think this deserves a mention.

“Liesel” a young girl is adopted by a German family during the second world war. There is Jew hidden in the basement, persecution in the streets and there is a coming of age as Liesel grows up in Nazi Germany with all the madness this entails. Liesel makes friends and forms relationships with the unlikeliest of characters and all the while with death breathing over her shoulder. This is her story;

I love this book. It’s not an happy book.  I dont think any book narrated by death could be, But there are some momenst that make you smile, some that make you laugh and some that in my case bought me to tears.It is so well written the characters stay with you long after the final page has been turned.

I recommend it to you all.

‘Tis the season to become obsessive compulsive.

Christmas is once again upon us and amid the annual rush to the shops and the seasonal sense of having to enjoy yourself, a madness creeps upon me that I am desperately seeking a cure.

Mid November right through til mid December I become the worlds WORST obsessive compulsive. Christmas without fail brings out the perfectionist in me!

The tree has to go up at the first available opportunity in December – allowing for TBK feelings about having the tree up on his birthday which differs from year to year. Then the decorations HAVE to go on in order, lights first, then ribbons, pine cones, plain baubles, glitter baubles, and finally depending how I’m feeling either the star or the angel is sat on the top. We have one of each as I couldn’t make up my mind which I preferred so now every year I agonise over which one should go up as once the decision is made it has to stay that way! Everything has its “proper” place and I have redecorated whole trees if they don’t look just right.

James and TBK have learned not to be offended if they put something on the tree to later find it’s moved, after all there has to be and equal spread of decorations and colours or it wouldn’t look right! Right? At the same time as doing this I’ll also decorate the matching swag which sits on my fire surround in place of the family photographs which sit there for the rest of the year and all my candles etc get removed and replaced with nativity scenes, Santa Claus figurines and snowmen because Christmas supersedes EVERYTHING including family photos!

I wish it ended there but it gets worse…

I am relentless in my pursuit of the “perfect presents”, I beat myself up about them searching endlessly for just the right thing for each person. I make repeated lists of WHO to buy for, then other lists of WHAT I should buy. Then once a purchase has been made I spend hours deliberating whether I’ve made the right choice and “will they like it?”.  It takes James ages to talk me round but then once he’s finally convinced me that the gifts are fine and nobody really cares what they’ve receive, they have to be wrapped….

…For this I save a special kind of neurosis…

…All my presents have to be wrapped to a colour scheme – complimentary to, but different from that of my tree (which is gold and ivory) and it’s one scheme for the adults presents and one for the children’s but everything gets wrapped with matching ribbons and tags and if they aren’t wrapped just so they WILL be unwrapped to start all over again!!

Once finished they go under my tree and have to stay there unless I move them to put other presents people bring around behind them that don’t match my colour scheme!

My wrapping compulsion is such that two Christmases ago my manager at the time bought me all her Christmas gifts from home to wrap in work and it has been known for my sister to deliver her entire Christmas booty to my house complete with wrapping paper and sticky tape to wrap all her presents for her as “You’ll do a much better job than me”.

I’m such loser!

This Christmas I’m striving to be more relaxed and well, less anal about the whole thing.

The Christmas tree still went up the first chance I got (last night) but get this I let James choose whether the star or the angel went on the top, I let him hang some of the baubles AND I’ve left them where he put them(Kind of). I made a conscience desicion to buy wrapping paper so the adults and kids do NOT match and I haven’t finished putting all the decorations up, even though in previous years I’ve insisted i all go up in one night!

Now if you’ll excuse me as I have to go sit on my hands to stop me returning the lights I bought for the window that are just the wrong shade of white, adjusting those two red baubles which are much to close together (one should really be in the middle of those gold ones to distribute the colours) and moving Santa to the other side of the fireplace because he just looks so much better there….

one + one + one = three

Moblog user are taking part in a project “Interview52” inspired by Nige, Each week a different moblogger will have to post a photograph and answer a series of questions about themselves.

This week was my turn and here’s my entry:

An old picture but one that sums me up, Converse and my family!

*Where does this find you? Tell us the story of how you got there.*

Well right now as I’m writing this it’s Thursday evening and I’m at home, But
by the time it’s posted it shall be Friday morning so I’ll be at work in
Wolverhampton City Centre and I shall have arrived here on the bus from my
home 20 minutes away in the area I grew up in. I’m a yam yam born and bred,
I have lived in other places (Lichfield (too pretentious)and Wigan (Too
Rough)) but I returned “home” when I realised there really is no place
like it!

* Why do you moblog?*

I started moblogging as a way to pass the time when I was a poor lonely
single girl living alone with no one but the blonde kid for company.

James introduced me to it before “we” were “us” taking me into Birmingham
with a selection of Spied cards and I was hooked straight away, It’s so much
fun, kinda combining social networking with a hobby! Along with TBK telling
everyone we were getting married before we’d even smiled at each other in
THAT way maybe moblog was party responsible for the creating of James and me
as “us”?

* What were you hoping not to be asked for interview52?*

The typical Interview question used in lots of job interviews, Describe
yourself in 3 words….

* Now answer it!*

DOH! shoulda seen this coming. I’ll use the answer i gave in my last job

LOUD, TALKATIVE and TENACIOUS – and they still gave me the job!

* What question would you like to ask the next moblog interviewee?*

I’m not going say now as with the new interview 52 rules I’m going to get
the chance to ask what I want! –

oh new rules everyone says what are they??

The week after the last interview with FF when there was no interview I
though hmm thats strange, then the week after that when again there was
still no interview i though hmm even stranger It’s not like Nige to start
something and not finish it, so I emailed him something along the line of
“Oi you, giving up already?” and it transpires that Nige is a busy busy bee
and time had just ran away with him.
Organising questions and participants whilst running around the Notting Hill
Festival and generally having much fun was a time consuming thing so with
revised rules and with me being next on the “hit list” and silly enough to
wonder why he’d stopped he sent them to me….

From hence forward the interviewee will become the interviewer for the next
willing victim….So once you’ve read this today I will be on a hunt to find
someone to take part next . Then I will forward the list of questions and
instructions how to post on BUT

I will have to CHANGE AT LEAST ONE of the questions in the list

And so it will go on – my interviewee will become the interviewer, finding
the next participant and again changing AT LEAST ONE of the questions before
they forward it on. So taking the onus off Nige, continuing the project and
giving it a life of it’s own!

So who want to be next use email/text/contact button to get in touch

* What do you think your job was in your previous life? Tell us why..*.

I think I must have been a psychologist/guidance counselor in a previous
life, for some reason I’m usually the Agony Aunt, Dishing out advise to all
and sundry my friend Nicky seems to seek my advise on everything and even my
local shop keeper stops me in the shop and asks for marriage counseling –
And I’ve never even been married.

James reckons I was Pippa from Home and Away. I love kids and we’ve usually
got a houseful of TBK friends, I’ve worked as a youth worker, I’ve helped
out at school, taking part in sleep overs, & going on trips, He thinks
(quite rightly) that I’d have a horde of my own given the opportunity

*Whats the story behind your moblog username? Why did you choose it?*

Oh everyone knows this as I answered it on spikes moblog ages ago:

Essitam is Matisse backwards, It’s been my online name since school when in
an IT class the teaches asked us to think of a username.All the “cool kids”
were calling themselves “Sexygal1994” or “hotchick” and as I was neither a
cool kid, sexy girl or an hot chick I wanted something different.
Inspiration was at hand with a huge Matisse display on the wall i was
sitting next to. I wrote it down, I then rewrote it backwards and is stuck!

* What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?*

I didn’t have one – seriously. I even called my mom when I read this
question to find out if she could remember something I’d forgotten, The only
thing she could come up with was I used to like emptying ashtrays into the
dustbin, Which apparently amused her no end as neither of my parents smoked
and my dad only ever threw loose change in there and according to her I just
one day stopped doing it aged around 3.

*Where do you go to my lovely, when you’re alone in your head? (Filbert
Fox’ question)*

I try not to spend too much time alone in my head I find it a pretty
worrying place at times!

That’s not avoidance either, I’m being serious. I suffer autophobia
(J.F.G.I.) as a symptom of stress/depression caused (according to the people
in the know) by the sudden death of my Dad when I was just a little Steph.
So I avoid being left alone for too long when I can help it. I’m better now
than I used to be. At one point the panic attacks were so bad I would be
physically sick – now I just sulk lots and get snappy if I’m left alone for
too long!

*If you had to draw a moblog family (and friend) tree, who would you be
linked to, and how?*

Oh now this could be quite interesting, If i were to be literal about this
then there is:

Miguel Sanchez

Who are all really (or via James) related to me in some way and registered
mobloggers and then real life friends (as in people I see in the flesh with
the family mobloggers)

Dicko – although I’m sure he should fall under family
Rich (not the one with Elvis)

Then there are the mobloggers who I’ve met in person purely through moblog,
at meets, if cafes (Dhamaka) in shopping centres (Nige) etc. I’m not going
to list them all as I’ve already rambled on too much but my ultimate moblog
family are my ultimate real life family:

Me + James + The Blonde Kid

Steph xxx

I’ll never be, but I can do!

I’ve felt “off” most of the day.

I can’t quite out my finger on what was wrong. I’d blame it on PMT but it’s not quite that time of the month. I’d blame it on lack of sleep, but I slept just fine. I would even try to say it was over work if it wasn’t so stupidly quiet around here today I just don’t know what it was. I do however know what cheered me up.

THIS blog post over on Moosh in Indy.

It got me thinking, I’ll never be a lot of  things but for everything Isay I’ve missed the opportunity to do I’ve opened up doors to other possibilities so much more rewarding.

So, Here’s mine to add to Moosh in Indy’s list

I will never win a Nobel peace prize,  But I can always make peace between warring 8 year olds!

And that my friends is characteristic that comes in very handy some days when the blonde kid and his friends start!

Spontaneous Idealist

As I discussed earlier I am a sucker for social networking, I love all things myspace and facebook. What I forgo mentioning was my addiction doesn’t end there I am also a sucker for those myspace bulletins “50 questions about me” “20 questions about your number one” or “Coke vs Pepsi” and those Facebook applications that predict your compatibility with your mother’s best friend’s cousin, and whether you’ll end up married to a guy with long/short/blonde/brunette hair!

Today I added an application that was supposed to tell me my personality type and the only reason I’ve decided to draw it to your attention is that for the first time ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER it actually gave an answer that could actually be me! Well all apart from being refereed to as “He” and “Him”

It appears I am a “Spontaneous Idealist”and here is what the results showed…

The spontaneous idealist is a creative, lively and open-minded person. He is humorous and disposes of a contagious zest for life. His enthusiasm and sparkling energy inspires others and sweeps them along. He enjoys being together with other people and often has an uncanny intuition for their motivations and potential. The spontaneous idealist is a master of communication and a very amusing and gifted entertainer. Fun and variety are guaranteed when he is around. However, he is sometimes somewhat too impulsive in dealing with others and can hurt people without really meaning to do so, due to his direct and sometimes critical nature.

This personality type is a keen and alert observer; he misses nothing which is going on around him. In extreme cases, he tends to be oversensitive and exaggeratedly alert and is inwardly always ready to jump. Life for him is an exciting drama full of emotionality. However, he quickly becomes bored when things repeat themselves and too much detailed work and care is required. His creativity, his imaginativeness and his originality become most noticeable when developing new projects and ideas – he then leaves the meticulous implementation of the whole to others. On the whole, the spontaneous idealist attaches great value to his inner and outward independence and does not like accepting a subordinate role. He therefore has problems with hierarchies and authorities.

If you have a spontaneous idealist as your friend, you will never be bored; with him, you can enjoy life to the full and celebrate the best parties. At the same time, he is warm, sensitive, attentive and always willing to help. If the spontaneous idealist has just fallen in love, the sky is full of violins and his new partner is showered with attention and affection. This type then bubbles over with charm, tenderness and imagination. But, unfortunately, it soon becomes boring for him once the novelty has worn off. Boring everyday life in a partnership is not for him so that many spontaneous idealists slip from one affair into another. However, should the partner manage to keep his curiosity alive and not let routine and familiarity gain the upper hand, the spontaneous idealist can be an inspiring and loving partner.

So to summarise I’m loud, obnoxious, nosy, insensitive, OVER sensitive, bossy, never finish anything I’ve started, I hate authority BUT great when I’m in love (and not bored).

Sounds about right to me!