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Saturday, February 13, 2021

51 before 51 list (Updated Feb 2021)

I HAD a 50 things to do before I turn 50 list, BUT this blasted pandemic got in the way. I had already completed 22 items on the list before we went into lockdown, so I have decided to rewrite the REST of the list to a list that is 51 things to do before I turn 51 and make it a more Covid suitable list. That means removing any international travel and lessening the travel within the UK too.

1. Lose 10 lbs
I had already lost 4 st 8 lbs, which is 64 lbs or 29kg.  This is for extra weight lost from that point.

2. Lose 20 lbs

3. Lose 30 lbs 

4. Lose 40 lbs

5. Lose 50 lbs  

6. Reach Goal Weight Did that the same weekend I qualified as a WW coach.  And even got a couple of pounds below it before Christmas HAPPENED.

7. Visit Amsterdam (THIS entry was changed due to the protests happening in Paris, which is what it originally said).
We visited Amsterdam for our 25th Wedding anniversary earlier this year.

8. Visit a waterfall
We did this.  Made the mistake of going on the first hot bank holiday (public holiday) of the year, so it was packed.  If you don't know the area there is a 4 mile road up to the falls which is single track with the occasional passing bay, most of the way.  It felt like everyone and their brother had decided to visit by the time we left and were heading back down the road the other way.  Scary.

BUT I absolutely loved the falls, and will definitely go again.
Pistyll Rhaeadr Falls - The tallest waterfall in Wales

9. Eat fish and Chips on the sea front and don’t worry about the weight watchers points

10. Plan and enact 25th Wedding anniversary celebration (it falls within the 3 years)
See point 7 above.

11. Go Horse Riding   
I've been and done this once and would love to do more, but the cost involved is so high I'm not sure how to make it work regularly.  My instructor on the day I went said she could not believe I have not ridden since I was 11 or 12.

12. Walk/Run a 5k  
I started park run on New Years Day and have run over 10 times, volunteering 3 times, with a current PB of 31:19.

13. Walk/Run a 10k

I ran a Race For Life 10K, just a few weeks ago and am regularly running way more than 10K in training runs for the Half Marathon I'm booked for in October.  Yes,ME!  I'm going  to be running a half marathon.  That wasn't even in the very extremes of my thoughts when I made this list.

14. Eat something you think you won’t like   
I don't remember where we were but hubby had piccalilli on his plate when we were out for lunch one day.  I said "Eugh, I don't like that.  Well, actually I don't know that I have ever tried it, or if I just convinced myself I wouldn't like it." and well once that was out of my mouth, I had to, and guess what . . . . . IT WAS OK and now we have a jar of it in the fridge.

15. Wild Swim? My friend, Sue Austin met me at a local lake that allows swimming last summer. I had the absolutely best time.  Sue had to keep reminding me to breathe while we were swimming.  There's loads of pond weed in the lake and the weirdest part was that feeling on my legs.  It felt like it should be the start of a Dr Who episode.  THANK YOU Sue.

16. Walk a Labyrinth 
We walked the huge labyrinth in Milton Keynes when we were there for our anniversary earlier this year.  We hadn't expected it to take so long when we started, but that thing is AROUND 1km!  That's one huge labyrinth.

17. Watch a sunrise from the top of a hill.  
Changing this to add - OR A SUNSET
Which means it actually now fits in the done list as we climbed the Wrekin the day after midsummer to watch the sunset.

18. Take an IRL cooking class   
I'm counting this as done.  The classes were done on Zoom, rather than in person physically, but they were still done in the moment and with feedback and interaction.  I have been doing classes with Migrateful who train up chefs from all over the world who are Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Refugees.  
So far I have done classes in the cuisine of Angola, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Nepal and Syria and I have loved every single moment of them!

19. Bake a rainbow unicorn cake   
20. Attend a live sporting event.
Hmmmm, does TAKING PART in a major half marathon count? YES it does and I am counting that!

21. Run a Half Marathon
While the half marathon mentioned above was cut short because of an abandoned vehicle on the route, I did later complete a social run of the route of the half marathon that the running club I am part of , Telford Harriers, organizes every year.  BTW if you are looking for an awesome medal and technical t-shirt, this year's Ironbridge Half Marathon is now being run virtually and you can enter even if you can't come to Telford for it.  

22. Move eldest son into a permanent home of his own
DONE done done done! So proud of him!

23. Make more crafty gifts. 
A conversation from last year and something that happened this week made me realise that you never know the impact those gits have, especially when they are made and chosen with care and intention.

24. Either do a driving experience on a track OR hire a classic car for a day and just DRIVE.
The Morgan Driving Experience. It was an awesome day and I absolutely adored my time driving this beauty.  Just sad we didn't get any decent photos or get to drive with the top down for long because it rained horrendously most of the day.

25. Attend a Cacao Ceremony or other witchy type gathering.

26. Trail Run
Absolutely fantastic day running in the hills between lockdowns with a group of people led by my personal trainer of Beyond Fitness.

27. Belly Dance Class


28. Read 50 books 
Now actually 51 and I am well on the way to completing that list before the time is up.

29. Complete a 25km hike in one day
We already did over 18km on one day when we walked the full circuit at Lake Vrynwy, so I know it's do-able.

30. Discover how to move through the world as a woman of healthy weight.  Seriously, I’ve never done that as an adult.

31. Hand back CPAP machine because I don’t need it anymore. (I can dream can’t I?)
I have Sleep Apnoea, (sleep apnea for Americans) and use a CPAP machine at night in order to function as a human being during the day. 
Every CPAP clinic appointment until 2017 has come with a request for me to lose weight and the questions about what I am doing towards that goal. To be able to hand that machine back would be an incredible achievement, which may never happen, even if I lose all the weight, but like I said, I can dream, can't I?  My appt in 2019 came with a very shocked nurse who came into the waiting room to call me and did a double take because she couldn't quite believe it.  HOWEVER the 2021 clinic appts have all been cancelled, so I have no idea how and when I am going to be able to get my sleep study re-done in order to be allowed to hand it back.

32. Have a professional photo session with hair and makeover
If I reach goal weight, I think that will deserve a full on makeover and photo shoot.

33. Visit Keil Hill in Scotland

Family will understand why.

34. See the Northern Lights (or should this be a bucket list item?)
At certain times of the year and in the right weather conditions it is possible to see the Northern Lights from Scotland or even Northern England, so it doesn't necessarily have to be a bucket list item.

35. Watch a Meteor shower 
I keep trying but clouds get in the way, SIGH

36. Climb Snowdon

37. Learn some basic BSL – at least enough to be able to say something like “I only understand a little, but can I help?”
I am signed up to an online course but haven't actually done any work towards it, oooops.

38. Get a small tattoo   
I have some temporary tattoos in different sizes of the design I want.  I just have to figure out when to get it done in relation to the races I have booked and what size to get it done.  I know I might need to change it to a simpler font in order for it to be clear when placed across my calf. I have had to hold off on this because of the lockdown situations, but do need to start researching local artists to dee who I want to go to.

39. Complete every lesson in a year long online art class. (By “complete” I mean at least engage with the lesson in some way and make an attempt to do something with it)
I signed up for Lifebook in 2018.  I did OK, until about September and then I got off track.

This year I am participating in both Book of Days and Moonshine by Effy Wild and do hope to complete the year.

40. Sell a piece of art work   
Anyone want to buy anything you have seen me share on Instagram or Facebook?

41. Create and Maintain a weekly letter writing practise
I'm thinking about treating myself to The Letter Writers Complete Resource from The Postman's Knock to get myself started.
ooooooooops, yeah, this one isn't going so well . . . . . .
42. Celebrate one of my birthdays with a day of RAK events (Random Acts of Kindness)   
Trying to do this during lockdown would have been too difficult, so I may have to do this for someone else's birthday.

43. Spend a whole weekend technology free – (still need to remain contactable in emergencies, BUT, no phone, no computer, no internet, no TV, etc)   

44. Picnic under the stars

45. Go Paddle Boarding
My awesome personal trainer, Emily at Beyond Fitness has said she might take me.

46. Go to Bounce Below, the  awesome underground net adventure.
Bounce Below Adventure Underground

I don't want to go alone, and no one in the family seems to be up for it, BUT Emily has said she will go with me, so that's cool!

47. Do one of the zipwires run by the same company as Bounce Below.
Initially I had said I wanted to do Titan, which is on the same site as Bounce Below, because it is a seated zipwire:

But Emily has persuaded me (I think) that the lying face down zipwire, Velocity 2 is not as scary as I think it is, so it looks like it will be that one!  

48. Donate Blood
I used to be excluded because of the medication I am on, BUT now I can as long as my dose hasn't been changed in the month prior to donation.  I'm just waiting for an appt slot to come up as all the local sessions are booked up.

HOWEVER, because of the nature of the site, and the social distancing currently required by government rules they are currently still closed until further notice.

50. Lift ___kg at the gym
With the further lockdowns since I last updated this list, this one will probably need to be swapped out for something else.

51. Axe Throwing session (or a smash room, that would be cool too)

So that's it. I have around 49 weeks to make all that happen.

51 books before I turn 51 (Updated Feb 2021)

A couple of years ago I made a list of 50 things to do before my 50th birthday.  Then a global pandemic came along and I had to adjust my list to be 51 things to do before my 51st birthday.  One of the items on the original list was to read 50 books.  I have switched that to 51 books to match the other list, and here is my list as it stands so far.

1. Motel of the Mysteries ~David Macaulcay

I bought this at Christmas as a gift for my son who has recently finished a Masters Degree in Archaeology.  We had been talking about the things archaeologists say about their finds that seem like assumptions to me, but my son was explaining how they can know what even a tiny piece of something is.  This book is set in the future, and is about an archaeologist who comes across a motel somewhere in what we know as America and all the assumptions that he makes about what he finds. It is quite funny to think about what we will leave behind and what future people groups would make of them if they rediscovered them as an archaeologist would.  I enjoyed this book.

2. Searching for Sunday ~Rachel Held Evans

Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.
I didn't ENJOY this book as much as I had hoped to, but that may be because I never managed to get through it in one straight run.  I kept putting it down and coming back to it weeks and weeks later.

3. The Stolen Marriage ~Diane Chamberlain
I picked this up because the Kindle Version was on offer.  Check it out, it is a good read.  There's so much I could say about it but I don't want to spoil the mystery.  

In 1944, Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life, marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night and Tess quickly comes to realize that she is now trapped in a strange and loveless marriage.

4. How to be Champion ~Sarah Millican
Part autobiography, part self help book, part confessional, with all the humour we have come to expect from Sarah Millican.  This book made me laugh out loud more than once.

5. The Golden Acorn ~Catherine Cooper
I picked it up because my son recommended it as a book by a local author and I was not disappointed.

The Golden Acorn is the first book in the Jack Brenin series. Book 1 can be read as a stand alone or as the first book in an ongoing adventure. Once you've read this book we're sure you'll want to read more about Jack Brenin and the magical 'Otherworld' he becomes involved in.

6. In The Sanctuary of Women ~ Jan L Richardson

A book of reflections on women. Some are women I am familiar with through the bible, others are women I am familiar with through church history, others still were not familiar to me before reading this book. If you are a woman on a spiritual journey, Jan's writing is well written, thoughtful and comes from a place of understanding from her own experience that life isn't all sunny.

7. The Early Classics of Agatha Christie

If you like Agatha Christie's later writing, try and find a copy of this anthology of some of her earlier stories. There is an early Poirot story as well as some of her stories that were not part of a series.

8. Room ~ Emma Donoghue

If you have ever watched the news stories of people who have been kidnapped and kept captive for many years and wondered what life is like behind those closed doors, then this novel is a great insight into what it might be like. 
Jack lives with his Ma in Room. Room has a single locked door and a skylight, and it measures ten feet by ten feet. Jack loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on the screen is truly real – only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits there is a world outside.
Having read this book, I have refused to watch the movie based on it, as the book has already made the story far too real.

9. The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathan Fairfax

I picked this up on a 99p Kindle deal and loved it.  It made me laugh so many times and read out pieces to my family to explain why I was laughing.
When Jonathon Fairfax accidentally helps a murderer bump off Sarah Morecambe, the secretary of a senior politician, he sets off a chain of events that astonishes him. Jonathon is wrong-footed by even the most everyday things, so he's particularly startled to find himself caught up in a conspiracy that goes right to the heart of government.
If you have read any of the Douglas Adams Dirk Gently books and enjoyed them, I think you will like this one too.

10. The Sewing Machine

Sometimes I struggle with books written with shifting perspective, BUT this one is so well written and did such a good job of gripping my attention that I did not want to put it down. And truly, I never saw that ending coming, until right before it was revealed. 
It is 1911, and Jean is about to join the mass strike at the Singer factory. For her, nothing will be the same again. 
Decades later, in Edinburgh, Connie sews coded moments of her life into a notebook, as her mother did before her. 
More than 100 years after his grandmother's sewing machine was made, Fred discovers a treasure trove of documents. His family history is laid out before him in a patchwork of unfamiliar handwriting and colourful seams. He starts to unpick the secrets of four generations, one stitch at a time.

11. I am Malala
Have you ever wondered about the story behind the young woman who stood up for the rights of girls everywhere to be educated? This book takes us from her childhood home through the growing influence of the Taliban, on to the day when she was shot, and her move to Birmingham, England for treatment and recovery.

12. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Because - WHY NOT

13. A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear

Meh. I expected more from this but found it monotonous and repetitive.

14. Shalom Sistas
Taking readers through the twelve points of the Shalom Sistas' Manifesto, Osheta Moore experiments with practices of everyday peacemaking and invites readers to do the same. From dropping "love bombs" on a family vacation, to talking to the coach who called her son the n-word, to spreading shalom with a Swiffer, Moore offers bold steps for crossing lines between black and white, suburban and urban, rich and poor. 

15. Walking the English Coast
Whether you are planning to walk the English coast or just tackle some other long distance walk in the UK, this book has much advice to offer. For the record, yes I'd love to the coast walk do but since I can't wild camp (sleep apnoea means I need electrical power at night) it is going to take a bit more planning.

16. Catching Contentment
Liz is the wife of a local church minister and I was part of the launch team for this book. There were parts that have really encouraged me, parts I have struggled with and parts where I have uttered out loud "THIS is what I'm talking about, why don't people get it?"

17. Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship
Swinton wrestles with critical questions that emerge from theological reflection on time and disability: rethinking doctrine for those who can never grasp Jesus with their intellects; reimagining discipleship and vocation for those who have forgotten who Jesus is; reconsidering salvation for those who, due to neurological damage, can be one person at one time and then be someone else in an instant. 

19. Finding God in the Margins: The Book of Ruth 
In four short episodes we encounter refugees, undocumented immigrants, poverty, hunger, women's rights, male power and privilege, discrimination, and injustice.
In Finding God in the Margins, Carolyn Custis James reveals how the book of Ruth is about God, the questions that surface when life falls apart, and how he reaches into the margins and chooses two totally marginalized women who in the eyes of the patriarchal culture are zeros.
I love the comparison between the story of Naomi and the story of Job. Both lost everything, but Naomi also lost her spouse and as a widow in a patriarchal society had no way of gaining back any of what she had lost, whereas Job would have been able to at least try.

21. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
I have read this book before, when I was at my friend Dana's house in America some years ago and I LOVED IT. I still haven't watched the movie, and I re read the book in advance of watching it (which I still haven't done, oops).

22. Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone
I won a copy of this book a few years ago and didn't finish reading it at the time. I decided to go back and finish it.
Our bodies are more good than we can possibly imagine them to be. And yet at times we may struggle with feelings of shame and guilt or even pride in regard to our bodies. What is God trying to do through our skin and bones?
In Embracing the Body spiritual director Tara Owens invites you to listen to your thoughts about your body in a way that draws you closer to God, calling you to explore how your spirituality is intimately tied to your physicality. Using exercises for reflection at the end of each chapter, she guides you to see your body not as an inconvenience but as a place where you can meet the Holy in a new way―a place to embrace God's glorious intention.

You are definitely going to see a shift away from the Christian side of spiritual books in the rest of the list, there are very clear reasons for that which I won't go into here.

23. Little Miss Busy - Surviving Motherhood

 A Ladybird Book About Donald Trump   
Yes these are both picture books, but they are fun and I did read them.  The ladybird book is filled with gems like "Donald likes the cat. Donald likes to touch the cat. But Donald accidentally tells a television presenter he likes to touch the cat. Now Donald is in trouble. Donald does not understand."

25.  Once Upon a Time in Birmingham - Women Who Dared to Dream 
I grew up in Birmingham and this book is full of the stories of thirty of Birmingham's most awe-inspiring women, past and present.

26. Rotherweird  
Listened to this on Audible and it is BRILLIANT. This is what kept me going through a half marathon training and eventual virtual race.

The town of Rotherweird stands alone - there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant-garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.

But secrets have a way of leaking out.

Thirty-four-year-old Nora's life could be better. She's lonely, single and has just lost her job. Her cat dying feels like the last straw. What else is there to live for? Then she finds a library between life and death where she gets to try all the other lives she could have lived.

The Midnight Library is a gloriously relatable novel about life, death and the in-between. It is about finding hope, playing chess, dumping regrets and picking the right people around you.

Another one I listened to on Audible and absolutely loved. My son says I should watch the movie, but I'm not sure if I want to, because I don't want to spoil my memories of the book and the real story.

In a cramped synagogue in north-west London, the eminent elderly rabbi passes away. On the other side of the Atlantic, his estranged daughter, Ronit, hears of her father's death and returns to London for the funeral. She has not returned home in 15 years.

Ronit looks forward to a week or two of revisiting old friends, perhaps settling old scores. But she finds the community she grew up in a more confusing place than she'd anticipated. Particularly when she is unexpectedly reunited with Esti, her childhood sweetheart, who has taken a very different path in life....

Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so...over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgment, ridicule and trauma - yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.

In this heartfelt, funny, touching memoir, Tan France, star of Netflix’s Emmy award-winning Queer Eye, tells his origin story for the first time. With his trademark wit, humour and radical compassion, Tan reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of colour in South Yorkshire. He illuminates his winding journey of coming of age, finding his voice (and style!) and happily marrying the love of his life - a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City.

I think I am going to have to work my way through the memoirs of all 5 of the fab five, I have loved these two so much.

This book is so flipping amazing that I actually have a copy of it in print, on Kindle AND on audible! It's THAT good.

In The Power of Ritual, ter Kuile invites us to deepen these ordinary practices as intentional rituals that nurture connection and wellbeing. With wisdom and endearing wit, ter Kuile’s call for ritual is ultimately a call to heal our loss of connection to ourselves, to others, and to our spiritual identities.

The Power of Ritual reminds us that what we already do every day matters―and has the potential to become a powerful experience of reflection, sanctuary, and meaning.

Probably the most moving book I have read in a long time. When Wendy Mitchell was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 58, she had to say good-bye to the woman she once was. Her career in the NHS, her ability to drive, cook and run - the various shades of her independence - were suddenly gone. Yet Wendy was determined not to give in. She was, and still is, propelled by a need to live in the moment, never knowing which version of herself might surface tomorrow.
In this phenomenal memoir - the first of its kind - Wendy grapples with questions most of us have never had to consider. What do you value when loss of memory reframes what you have, how you have lived and what you stand to lose? What happens when you can no longer recognise your own daughters or even, on the foggiest of days, yourself?

33. Becoming    
Wow.  That is all, just WOW.

If I could recommend only one book from this list for you to read it would be this one.  And if you don't follow the author on instagram, go do it.
Enter the world of Charlie's four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons.  

Cook Once, Eat All Week is a meal prep approach that helps you create a week's worth of meals without having to spend an entire day cooking. This book walks you through how to transform one protein and a couple of vegetables prepared in bulk each week into fresh, delicious, diverse meals.    

I'm not going to write about them because I don't want to give THAT WOMAN any publicity. My recommendation if you want to read them is find a copy second hand or borrow them from the library, don't put any money into her hands! That would also be why I haven't continued the re read through the remaining books, I cannot bring myself to.

Vassos Alexander shares the highs and lows of falling in love with running, from his first paltry efforts to reach the end of his street to completing ultra-marathons and triathlons in the same weekend. This is a celebration of running - and what lots of us think about when we run. Part escape, part self-discovery, part therapy, part weight loss. Part simple childlike joy of running when you could be walking. Each of the 26.2 chapters also features a fascinating insight into how others first started - from Paula Radcliffe to Steve Cram, the Brownlees to Jenson Button, Nicky Campbell to Nell McAndrew.

The first book in the best-selling Chronicles of St Mary's series which follows a group of tea-soaked disaster magnets as they hurtle their way around History. Time Travel meets History in this explosive bestselling adventure series.

'So tell me, Dr Maxwell, if the whole of History lay before you...where would you go? What would you like to witness?'
When Madeleine Maxwell is recruited by the St Mary's Institute of Historical Research, she discovers the historians there don't just study the past - they revisit it.

But one wrong move and History will fight back - to the death. And she soon discovers it's not just History she's fighting....

The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. 

The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. 

Put New York Times best-selling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett together...and all Hell breaks loose.

The Books I have Started but Not Yet Finished

Dear Life is the inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking and yet deeply uplifting story of the doctor we would all want to have by our side in a crisis. The hospice where Rachel works is, of course, a world haunted by loss and grief, but it is also teeming with life.

If there is a difference between people who know they are dying and the rest of us, it is simply this: that the terminally ill know their time is running out, while we live as though we have all the time in the world. In a hospice, therefore, there is more of what matters in life - more love, more strength, more kindness, more smiles, more dignity, more joy, more tenderness, more grace, more compassion - than you could ever imagine.

Dear Life is a love letter - to a father, to a profession, to life itself.

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter, Clara, at London's Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, she is astonished when she is told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl - and why.

What causes people to continually relive what they most want to forget and what treatments could help restore them to a life with purpose and joy?

In this audiobook, Dr Bessel van der Kolk offers a new paradigm for effectively treating traumatic stress.

Neither talking nor drug therapies have proven entirely satisfactory. With stories of his own work and those of specialists around the globe, The Body Keeps the Score sheds new light on the routes away from trauma - which lie in the regulation and syncing of body and mind, using sport, drama, yoga, mindfulness, meditation and other routes to equilibrium.

Cottage witch Tenae Stewart guides readers through finding the forms of self-care that really resonate with them and discovering what kinds of nourishment are essential to fulfill everyone's unique needs. Learn how to create a self-care practice that honors the needs of your mind, body, and spirit as well as come to understand your unique self-care style through astrology!

Tap into the power of nature and learn how to unleash your inner magic to navigate modern-day life and the issues the universe throws at you. Curative Magic shows you how to work with the tools that witchcraft provides, including spells, rituals, and herbs as well as meditation and recipes. Nature is incredibly clever plants, herbs, crystals, and other natural materials can improve spells, provide guidance, enhance your personal health, and help you work through life's challenges. Kitchen witch and author Rachel Patterson shares her own experiences, personal rituals, recipes, and remedies to help you manage depression, anxiety, insomnia, ailments, and many other common issues we confront.
Re-Bound shows readers how to take every day materials from around the house, flea markets and thrift stores, and hardware and office supply stores, and turn them into fabulous books. In Re-Bound, a vintage souvenir wallet becomes a photo album. Last year's trendy sweater becomes a take-along journal. Even crisp bags get a second life as a handy pocket notebook. This fun pursuit is economical as well as ecological. A variety of attractive, uncomplicated bindings, how-to instructions, and step-outs bring each project to life.

et Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn't learn about at school.

From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record. Amuse your bouche with:

Belle Star, American Bandit Queen
Lady Murasaki, author of the world's first novel
Madame Ching, the most successful pirate of all time
Maud Wagner, the first female tattoo artist
Begum Samru, Indian dancer and ruler who led an army of mercenaries
InĂªs de Castro, crowned Queen Consort of Portugal six years after her death
Ida B. Wells, activist, suffragist, journalist and co-founder of the NAACP
Eleanor G. Holm, disqualified from the 1936 Berlin Olympics for drinking too much champagne

These stories are interspersed with helpful tips for the year, such as the month in which one is most likely to be eaten by a wolf, and the best time to sharpen your sickle. Explore a host of annual events worth travelling for, from the Olney Pancake Race in Wiltshire to the Danish Herring Festival, or who would want to miss Serbia's World Testicle Cooking Championship?

As witty and entertaining as it is instructive, Toksvig's Almanac is an essential companion to each day of the year.

Connect with your witchy self every day using small, easy, and fun practices. This book features quick and meaningful ways to integrate witchcraft into your daily life, inspiring you to take your magick to a new level whether you're a beginning or experienced practitioner.

Deborah Blake guides you on a journey through the Wheel of the Year, providing witchy wisdom, affirmations, spells, questions to ponder, and much more. From connecting with nature to connecting with deities, A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft explores a variety of modern Pagan practices to help you get more in touch with your personal path of witchcraft.

Yasmin Boland unveils:

• why connecting with the moon can change your life for the better
• powerful rituals and ceremonies for each moon phase
• how the moon connects us to nature and the cosmos
• how to work out where the moon is in each cycle
• international New Moon and Full Moon dates for the next 10 years

You will also learn affirmations, visualizations, and chants to use during each phase of the moon, and will discover the role of Angels, Goddesses, and Ascended Masters during the New and Full Moons. This is a book for all those wishing to deepen their connection with nature and take their spiritual practice to a new level.

OF COURSE THAT IS NOT THE END , there are so many others, a whole mountain of Books To Be Read (otherwise known as Mt TBR) I have a kindle library that is so big because I keep grabbing books when they come up on amazing offers.  

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