Memoirs of a Childhood Bookworm: Alfie gets home first by Shirley Hughes.

Sometimes in book tags I see prompts along lives of books that changed your life and I can never really think of anything. However I have, remembered a book that influenced me to do something ….

The book is Alfie gets in first. In the book he gets in first and manages to lock his Mum and baby sister Annie Rose out. This inspired me when my Mum was outside hanging washing out with my baby sister to lock the back door. I then could not turn the key the other way. I managed to get the key out of the lock. Then my Mum had to climb in a patio table for me to pass the keys through the window!

Top 5 Tuesday 5 book covers with doorways

As Meghan who set the challenge quoted

Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.”

Jeanette Winterson

1. To start with I have picked possibly the most famous door in the UK. I can not think of a more widely known / pictured one? It is number 10 Downing Street. I have it on the cover of a book called the Goldfish Bowl by the former prime minister’s wife; Cherie Booth as well as Cate Haste. They interviewed other spouses and children of former prime minister’s to give a glimpse into personal life in Downing Street.

2. From one famous doorway to another… what other famous doors can you think of? I think Monica’s door in Friends with the frame is fairly iconic! Technically my Friends book Still Friends by Saul Austerlitz only has the grave on it not the door.

3. From one purple door to another… There is a purple door on my cover of Rachel’s holiday. Which I bought and read last year in order to try a Marian Keyes. Not subsequently read more but for light reading would consider one again.

4. This is a lift doorway. An open lift doorway showing blood inside the lift. The lift is the Escape Room of the book’s title. A book by Megan Goldin. Not the typical Escape Room that do as a voluntary fun activity! Hence the blood!

5. The only book on this list that I have not yet read. A Penny Vincenzi; A question of time. Another author good for light reading!

Memoirs of a Child Bookworm: Roald Dahl

I think I read most of Roald Dahl’s collection for children as a child including his two autobiographies. I did not own all the books personally therefore within last couple of years I bought a box set of Roald Dahl children’s books. The only one I had not previously read was the Giraffe, Monkey, Pelly and me; I recently rectified that.

I remember my Father read Fantastic Mr Fox to my sister and I. My brother is 8 years younger than myself, I ended up reading Fantastic Mr Fox to him one Saturday afternoon.

I loved the imaginary at the opening of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of his two sets of Grandparents topping and tailing in a bed together. Then the magic of opening a rare treat of a chocolate bar. These simple moments get overshadowed by the flamboyance of the story in the chocolate factory; but I remember more vividly reading this part than the rest of the book. Similarly I really liked Danny champion of the world which was a more real and less magical than other books. That being said I loved the magic of George’s marvellous medicine and the dream distributer the BFG and James and the Giant Peach.

As well as reading the Witches I also saw the film on a big screen as a child; creepy! After reading the books I have also seen films of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach. I have seen Danny the Champion of the world as a serialised tv programme on BBC and Esio Trot as a one episode BBC tv programme. I saw trailer for Fantastic Mr Fox and could not bear to watch film as it sounded too American.

As an adult I have also read some of his short stories. I would like one day to visit his writing shed / museum in Buckinghamshire.

Christmas Books

I have once again tried to seek good Christmas books after previously finding offerings rather saccharine!

My favourite has been 12 days of Christmas by Alex Pine. It showed the grit of Christmas as it was a murder mystery.

At the beginning of December, I enjoyed Call of the Penguins mainly set in the wintertery setting of Locket Island in the Antarctic. The characters are initially flawed and you have to discover their soft centres.

Also read One Day in December Wh h was k d of a love story over many years a bit like One Day apart from centred around a love triangle. Post box in the North Pole was set in a picteresque snowy landscape. I was worried they the story was leading to a main character declaring they were an elf so that stopped me fully believing and engaging in the story.

What about you? What is your favourite Christmas book?

New Book Clllub Challenge

We have all the categories for our next Book Cllub challenge and I have started!

Appropriately for this Facebook book club that was a spin off from Lucy Locket Loves Facebook group hence the triple L’s in Clllub; the first book I read centred around Locket Island (Away with the Penguins).

I have now moved on to the Christmas category.

The Categories

A book with an Island Connection

Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior. About an elderly millionaire making a trip to Locket island to find out about penguin conservation. She is initially seems an uptight woman but it is good to see different aspects of her personality emerge as the book continues and past tragedies revealed.

A Christmas book

A book bought second hand

A book with a county in the title

A book with X in title or author’s name

A book with weather referenced in the title

A book from childhood

A book of short stories

A book set where born

Just Like That … Sex and the City sequalae

I have watched the first episode!

It is futuristic as it is set post covid. The characters reminisce about having to be 6 feet apart! As we are still in the midst of covid then who knows when it is set!

Carrie and Miranda wear glasses. Miranda has grey hair but Carrie and Charlotte are trying to persuade her to dye it to cover the grey. Charlotte has not aged a day; still same Lucius locks! All three are still married. Charlotte’s husband has lost weight which makes sense living under Charlotte’s regimens for so long! Charlotte’s adoptive daughter is a piano prodigy. Whereas her natural daughter seems to be rebelling against her!

As we all know Samantha is not in the show. As always in different scenes there has been different combinations of the friends then it is not that obvious. A fight is referred to as Carrie had dispensed with Samantha’s publicity services. This leaves it open her to return in another series.

Samantha’s former boyfriend is not in the first episode either. But I noticed Miranda goes in a bar called Smith’s; so maybe Smith owns that?

The episode quickly reconnects viewers with the characters rather than having major drama .. until right at the end…


Out of the blue; just like that Carrie’s husband John / big … dies! Probably not helped by Carrie going to hold him rather than call 911!!!

So this sets Carrie up as single again …

Sheffield bears are STRICTLY fun?

Following Sheffield’s successful elephant sculpture tour to fundraise for the Children’s Hospital this year there has been a tour of bears also to Following Sheffield’s successful elephant sculpture tour this year there has been a tour of bears; both raised funds for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. We had to bear with last year as for obvious reasons they were delayed last year.

I enjoyed the achievement of visiting all bears. However did not quite enjoy the bears as much as elephants. I think the elephant’s shape was more interesting – as evidenced by how my then tiny nephew and niece could walk between elephant legs and under trunks. Whereas the bears basically had a front and back that could be decorated. Pretty as bears were I felt most were geometric patterns and not so many themes like Inside out elephant showing it’s skeleton and baby inside or the space elephant with rocket launching up the trunk – yes 5 years on those types of details stick but a few week’s on not so sure as familiar with the bears. Partly as now work at home spend last time walking past the bears. Also this time inside of scanning the sculptures with an app it was an ‘enhanced website’ which had to be close to bears with then the bear on map would start jiggling and you would press to’ catch’ that bear. Where bears were close together could catch a lot in a big batch but that meant did not spend much time reading the plaque on the bears then for the elephants where had to scan QR from the plaque. Also sometimes the technology would refuse to ackowledge was stood right by a bear – so ended up spending time moving mobile and trying to get it to locate bears rather than absorbing bears.

I also bought too mini bears and decorated them which was fun and means I always have 2 of my own bears. The big bears were auctioned off on 18 October. Now the fun is looking out for where the bears are rehomed!

So far the biggest post auction excitement is that Dan Walker, local new presenter who is currently appearing on Strictly Come Dancing bought one with his dance partner so maybe the bear Nano will feature on Strictly on Saturday?

Quaser bear is going to be homed appropriately in Bear Tree Records who’s signage inspired it’s design; which is in the Forum shops. Looking forward to spotting more!

To see my bear photos search for the Instagram tag wonderwall360sheffieldbears

Summer 2021 Review

June /July to do list

Some features of pre pandemic life have returned during Summer including:

  • Swimming: albeit contrary to my to do list above I did not manage to swim outside.
  • Festivals: Tramlines in Sheffield with Supergrass. Sausage and Cider Festival which should have been in June in Derbyshire, but due to a delay in easing of roadblock in June and other logistics, ended up being Essex in August; enjoyed glamping experience with airbed especially as had whole tent to myself and listening to Guns and Roses with glass of bubbles in a hot tub!
  • Watched football in person for the first time since pandemic started.
  • Found all the bears on the Bear trial. See #wonderwall360bears of Sheffield for my photos of the bears.
  • Completed Beat the Street which involved earning points by walking between beat boxes and tapping on them. I set up my team and contributed over 8000 points, it became quite addictive! My team was third on the average team points community leader board, which I’m very proud of.
  • In September walked from Putney to Tower Bridge, crossing the Thames 17 times (16 bridges).
  • Returned to Sheffield theatres. Have seen Hairspray in the Lyceum, Operation Crucible in the Studio and Typical Girls in the Crucible.
  • Saw Everybody’s Talking about Jamie film on the day of it’s premiere. See Instagram Wonderwall360 for pictures.
  • Enjoyed revisiting Kimberworth sculptures:




Plus more posts on the subsequent days!

Drag Queens and Naked People

Way back in 2018. I had a Cultural day seeing the naked people on a Ramblers then going to the theatre.

2018 culture day part 1

2018 culture day part 2

Yesterday it was a repeat but even better!

The Naked People are some iron statues between Meadowhall, Sheffield and Kimberworth, Rotherham. They were created through a project with school children and also based on the children’s ideas a poem was written for each statue by poet Matt Black. The statues originally had a plaque next to them with the poem on but all but one of them has gone awol. Luckily since then Matt Black has been able to find his poems and even better he came along and read his poems to each statue. It was a lovely sunny afternoon for sculpture and live poetry. Over the next 10 days each day I will feature a different statue and poem with Matt Black’s kind agreement.

The next part of the cultural day was cantered around seeing the film of Everybodies Talking about Jamie on it’s premiere day. The film is an adaption of a stage show that was based upon a documentary about a 16 year old becoming a drag Queen; I watched the documentary for the first time last week. I fell in love with the show when I saw the premiere of the theatre show in Sheffield. I have seen the show multiple times now and was an extra for the final scene, therefore I felt I should have been invited to the film premiere! Alas not quite, instead I viewed film costumes in the winter gardens and watched the star of the film Max Haywood and the original Jamie on the PINK carpet. It was fabulous to see a film premiere in Sheffield. It is a pity some of the well know names of the film; Sarah Lancaster, Richard E Grant and Shobna Gulati did not deign to revisit Sheffield for the premiere. I then watched the film at the Showroom. I intend to watch the film at some point on Amazon prime to look closer at the Sheffield locations and see if I can spot myself in the final scene!

Top 5 Tuesday: Books with food on the cover

During August we are being set scavenger hunts on a Tuesday by Meeghan. Therefore these are not necessarily top 5s just what can be found.

This week the challenge was to find books with food on the cover. I was surprised how few I could find searching through my shelves and my Instragram tags Wonderwall360books2020 and Wonderwall360reading2021.

1. The Rosie Project Graeme C. Simsion has a lobster 🦞 on the cover. I reread this one recently. This is my favourite of the books in this list.

2. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl of course has a peach 🍑 on the cover. I have two copies as have the original copy I read as a child plus I have recently bought Roald Dahl box set from a charity shop.

3. Each peach 🍑, pear 🍐, plum by Janet and Allen Albherg. I don’t have a copy of this book but it came to mind from childhood / reading to my nephew as having beautiful fruit illustrations on the cover.

4. Eat, Pray, Love by Emma Gilbert, the eat is spelled out in pasta 🍝. It is a rather disappointing cover the descriptions of eating in Italy are magnificent; pizza 🍕, pasta 🍝 and ice cream 🍦. The Italy part of the book which started the book was the best for me after that it became duller for me!

5. I struggled to find a 5th! Then I pulled this book from my shelf; Homework Sucks by Simon Mayo and saw it had pizza 🍕 in the bottom right of the cover. It is a non fiction book of facts.