Toys, books and blogs

My new toy

Fifty First Timer No.11

Build and stock a greenhouse

Before I receive another ticking off for stretching the truth, I have to admit I didn’t build the greenhouse myself. I was the labourer. Colin (the engineer) did all the tricky stuff, but we made a good team and on Sunday evening we took great pleasure sipping our G & Ts in the comfort of the ‘High Eave Elite’.

A greenhouse is not a cheap option but it is a concerted attempt on our part to grow some of the more exotic veggies. I love cooking with chillis and peppers and I go through mountains of tomatoes in a year. I will probably stick to these easy options for this year and experiment a bit more next. I am hoping it will pay itself off in enviromental and monetary terms in the next couple of years.

New Blog

I am the proud mother of a new blog. As a new member of Erskine Writers I was coerced into helping them out with their website. This is managed externally and seems a bit of a ‘footer’, so I persuaded them a blog would be a good idea to bring news to the people in quick time. The intention is to have all these talented writers blogging and sharing their witty and clever observations with a wider audience.

What this space http://erskinewriters-uk.blogspot.com/

New website

Last week I heard about an interesting new website that is still in its infancy, but has the potential for greatness.

http://beta.booklamp.org/aims to find and recommend the right books for you. Using new analytical software the founder, Aaron Stanton, hopes to build a huge database of titles, analyse elements of each book and construct a sort of book DNA. Once this database is crammed full it should be possible to pick a book or books you particularly enjoy, and then start a search. Booklamp will give you a recommendation list. It is a bit like the recommendations Amazon do but based on the information you give Booklamp. No more being offered a crazy selection after you’ve Amazoned all your Christmas pressies.

Please be patient, Booklamp is still in its baby stages, they have only a short list on offer, mostly SciFi, but they aren’t claiming otherwise. They welcome people to join, have a play around and see their potential, and there is a forum that allows users to leave comments and ideas.

Book Heaven

The Bibliocafe, Woodland Road, Glasgow

This is a word of mouth sort of place, but now I know where to find it I am hooked. The Bibliocafe sits on the corner of Woodlands Road and West End Park Street in the vibrant West End of Glasgow.

The concept is easy. Before you leave the house, pick up those books you’ve read but won’t read again. Take books to the Bibliocafe. The lovely lady there will tell you how much the books are worth to her, you strike a deal. She gives you a credit note to the value of the books and you spend the next few hours drinking coffee, eating yummy cake and browsing the shelves for a quality second hand book to replace the ones you took along. If the value of your purchases does not meet the credit note, the note is marked up and you can use it next time around. Good eh?

I didn’t have any books to trade because I can’t bear to part with any printed material, but that didn’t stop me enjoying an organic ginger tea while people watching from the large picture window upstairs. Oh and I bought a book, well I had to. My request for The Poisonwood Bible has been in the library for six weeks and Bibliocafe had a once read copy for £3.00 – what would you have done?

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