Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

…and I don’t look a day over 199

I like this paper. Despite being a Japanese chiyogami paper, it’s a very tribal or ethnic design and according to the latest edition of the fashion magazine I subscribe to, that is one of the trends for the summer. We should all be wearing dresses made out of fabrics like this book. Well, all you ladies should – guys, it’s optional :-)

Guess what? This is my 200th post. 200! Whoever would have thought when I first started this blog 14 months ago that I would have so much to say? Certainly not me! I used to be incredibly shy and spent my teens hardly speaking to a soul. Things did improve as I got older, largely due to my (then) husband who made a point of making me speak up for myself at parties and the like. It was far too easy otherwise to let him do all the talking. At the time I thought he was being really cruel but with hindsight I see that it was just what I needed.

I remember the moment when I realised I wasn’t shy any more, vividly. I had enrolled on a course designed to get women who had taken time out to raise their families, back into the work place. We were asked to describe how we saw ourselves and how we saw everyone else on the course. Describing me, I came up with shy, lacking in confidence, quiet, reserved. All the other 20 or so people on the course said talkative, confident, friendly, outgoing. And in one of those Damascene moments, I realised I had been talking my socks off and joining in happily for the entire week! I do still find some occasions where I revert to crippling shyness and become awkward and tongue tied, but they are few and far between these days.

This was my anthem in those days – I give you Kajagoogoo – I had a huge crush on Limahl, my world fell apart when I discovered he was gay…..

Check out those hairstyles and fashions – hilarious!

Now to celebrate my 200th post, I thought I would say a little thank you to some of the regular visitors to Much of a Muchness who take the time to leave a comment. I always try to visit their blogs in return but sometimes I don’t manage it as often as I would like. So this is for you

Kim – wonderful artist and all round lovely person. She regularly updates the ‘101 Top Artists’ Blogs’ and is quite justifiably at number 1 in the rankings. (The fact I am number 3 has no influence on this list at all – honest) A labour of love if ever there was one. I won one of her portraits in one of her regular competitions, it is quite wonderful.

Paul – also known as Struggling Writer. Read his blog for snippets of his wonderful stories and news about his toddler daughter, ice hockey and his play off beard. Manages to be first to comment so many times it’s uncanny….

Creechman – what can I say? He loves actresses, TV, tennis, movies and his dog Emerson. He is a semi-rocket scientist from Houston. He seems to like English accents.

Teresa – sometimes her comments are funnier than my posts, but I forgive her :-) Her blog is full of news about yummy food, home schooling her lovely boys and birding amongst lots of other things.

Durano Lawayan – always has a pithy amusing comment to make. His blog is so full of wonderful, insightful posts about the world and all it’s many vagaries and absurdities which he brings to our attention with superlative skill.

RennyBA – everything I know about Norway I have learned from Renny! He is a ‘network evangelist’ and his mission is to introduce the food, customs and people of Norway to the rest of the world in a fascinating way. He succeeds admirably!

Diane CA – is Renny’s wife, her relatively new blog is full of insights into her interests in social work, her life as an American living in Norway and her views on the world around us. Her description of herself as ‘if I were any more of an extrovert I would turn inside out’ made me laugh!

Peteej – takes amazing photographs using his mobile phone camera and even is kind enough to give tutorials showing how he achieves such wonderful results. He also publishes photographs from other mobile phone photographers (ahem, mentioning no names but someone not too far from here was featured a while back…..)

Kylee – makes beautiful jewellery out of gemstones and polymer clay. She is an expat living in a beautiful part of France and I must warn her, one day I am going to arrive on the doorstep of her studio to see it properly! I have always vowed to visit Carcassonne and she lives quite close by…..

Astrid – is a German book artist who is talented and thoughtful enough to write her blog twice, once in German and then in English. I will confess to shamelessly stealing ideas from her and slavishly following her advice. A leading light over at the Book Arts Forum too.

Lord Likely – what can I say about Lord L that he hasn’t said himself? And in a much more – how can I put this? – outrageous, outré fashion than I could ever dare to….

Daddy Papersurfer – he thinks I’m scary. But perhaps not as much as his lovely wife, Lo the Terrible Goddess, who tries to keep him under control – with varying degrees of success it seems….

70’s teen – the diaries of a Manchester girl growing up in the 70’s. Strikes so many chords with me it’s scary. She is going to send me food parcels containing Northern delicacy, Hollands steak puddings – hurrah!

AmyH – I think Amy lives in a space -time continuum where she has 48 hours in each day – she has two small children and manages to make books, crochet, cook, read and do a million and one other things which totally puts me to shame….

Lady Banana– just loves to blog, in fact she thinks she may be addicted to it…. and I suffer from widget envy whenever I visit her blog. She loves photography and her life in London and it’s always fun to visit her wonderfully yellow blog.

Jenny – writes funny comments and has a blog to rival Lady B’s for widgets and an enthusiasm for life that leaves me breathless, Jenny’s blog contains the immortal truth ‘Drink coffee – do stupid things faster with more energy’ – that must be where I am going wrong. Memo to self – drink coffee!

And now to finish, a thought for the day.

Me? I’d be 21 again. But still with my lovely sons, (not sure how that would work as they are older than that!) but with the benefits of hindsight and experience…and better judgement as far as the opposite sex are concerned….. :-)


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28 responses to “…and I don’t look a day over 199

  1. strugglingwriter April 26, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Congratulations and thank you! I’m glad you continue to post here! Here’s to 2000 more!

    I love this book! I love that cover and it may be my new favorite, even without lined pages :)

    Finally saw episode 1 of Series 4 of Doctor Who. I wonder what’s going on with Rose? (you probably already know by now)

    I was a shy one once, too. :) to Kajagoogoo

  2. Diane April 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    See? First to comment! Thank you for your kind wishes and glad you like this book.

    I thought episode 1 was a bit weak but keep with it, it improves and episode 3 is a corker! I’ve just watched episode 4 (I think) Not telling you any more except to mention that Martha is in tonight’s episode – hurrah! I like Martha :-)

  3. laketrees April 26, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    well Diane !!!
    firstly big big congratulations….you have done a fabulous job with your blog and blogging ….your posts are always so interesting…and fun….and you are very talented :)
    one would never know that you were shy…. ;)
    I love your latest book…the colour and design is very strong…I wouldn’t mind a dress in this…. hehe
    thanks for your lovely comments…..and wonderful support of my blog too ….
    have a great Sunday….and cheers to your next 200 posts :)
    ps
    I just installed a blog list on my blog that shows this post as 38 years old ..lol….that’s blogger for you !!!

  4. RennyBA April 26, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Happy 200 post Anniversary Diane. You really are a great contribution to blogsphere and I’m proud to be listed among your friends.

    I’m flattered ofyour words about me of course and it really shows how much you visit and pay attention to my message. Thanks for every single visit and comments!

    Yes, you have much to say and also beautiful things to show – so please keep up the good work and I’m looking forward to the next 200!

    Wishing you a great end to your week too :-)

  5. Diane April 26, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Kim – you are most welcome and thank you for your kind comments and your support over the last year. I always enjoy reading your blog and your comments here, you have been one of my main blogging inspirations – not to mention one of my first customers :-)

    I love that your blog shows my latest post as 38 years old. I must have invented blogging if that were the case :-D

    Renny – thank you for your kind comments. I always enjoy my visits to your blog, you have made Norway – the food, the social scene and the beautiful countryside so appealing, it is now high on my list of places to visit. It is very generous of you to share all this with us.
    Have a great weekend :-)

  6. dianeca April 27, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I am still rapidly applauding…can’t you see me, i am in the second row to the left!! Because conratulations are in order….200 articles, think about how many people have taken a peek into your life and your work. It’s impossible to understand….too vast!

    A wonderful tribute to a lot of wonderful bloggers, my hubby included of course…but remember that the champagne and strawberries are for you girl! Keep up the good work.

    1. I have seen the Japense trend in the fashion magazines too, I like to but a French magazine called ‘Art & Décoration’ and while trying to find French inspiration for my home Interior they are running Jananese style!!!!

    2. If I could choose my age I would be about 27. I would be mature enough to enjoy my work and eduction, but young enough to enjoy my beauty and the ‘power’ it brings ;-)

  7. Dylan April 27, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Congratulations Diane! Looking forward to reading posts 300 and 400 already!

  8. pete April 27, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Wow, I made the short list! Thanks, Diane, I always enjoy your posts and your work. I am continually amazed at the number of books you make each week. I’ve actually put bookbinding on my list of things to do in life since finding you. Congratulations on a blog well done! :)

  9. Lady Banana April 27, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Congrats on your 200 posts! It is amazing how we think we’ll never do it but we do!!

    Thank you so much for the mention as I wasn’t expecting it – I don’t participate as much as I should!

    Keep up the good work :)

  10. 70steen April 27, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Congrats Diane & Thank you so so much for the link
    [ I am a Liverpool girl – now living in Manchester !! … but a Northern gal through & through]

    It’s amazing how blogs grow and how many pages you can fill en route. Love your books, I am so fascinated by them – you are a very talented lady

    As for my age —- 35 I guess. nice age to be really. ……wrinkles just at bay but armed with some experience

  11. Vanessa (the old friend)! April 27, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Diane
    Congratulations on your 200th blog. I have enjoyed dipping into your blog when I have needed some time away from the daily grind of work! It is in my list of favourites! I am afraid I don’t have a great deal of time to visit all of your favourite bloggers, but when I have many have made me smile.

    I am amazed people are able to record their lives in such an interesting way. Incredibly talented people and I am full of admiration for them all.

    I love your books and photos! You are a very clever lady.

    (If you get the chance go to see The Jersey Boys – went last night and it was stunning! I also had a wonderful meander through my favourite shopping areas in London. Visited the new Banana Republic, which is just near to Gap in Regent Street. A shop I am sure you introduced me to, if you remember)!

    I shall look forward to blog 300.

  12. Diane April 27, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    DianeCA – thanks for your kind words. It is amazing to think that when I started this blog, I wasn’t expecting anyone to even find it – never mind want to read it! It wasn’t until I found my ‘thing’ – making books that it took off and I constantly amazed by what fun being part of the ‘blogosphere’ is and how many lovely people I have come across. :-)

    Dylan – thanks! 300! That’s a lot more books….. :-)

    Pete – thank you too. I always enjoy seeing the photographs you take and the tutorials have taught me so much I needed to know :-)

    Lady B – I feel the same – often visit and read blogs but don’t comment as often as I’d like to just due to time constraints – and it is hard keeping up with all the fantastic blogs I follow any way – and then there’s searching for new ones. It’s a full time job! Thanks for your input any time :-)

    70steen – oops. I knew that. Anyway, us Northerners must stick together whatever! I’ve not been back to Manchester for about 15 years so I rely on you for news :-)
    Glad you enjoy my books, make sit all worth while :-)

    Vanessa! – Hello! Thanks for reading my meanderings, I would never have thought it would have lasted this long when I started out! Glad you enjoy my books. I’m off to London shopping myself this week. I have a party on Saturday and need to buy a new frock and a birthday present, as I am rubbish at shopping this could be quite a challenge! I’m having a panic attack just thinking about it…..
    We must get together soon… :-)

  13. AmyH April 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the mention Diane, and congratulations on your 200th post. That’s quite an accomplishment.

    If I could change my age I would go back to when I was young enough to start taking care of my skin appropriately! ;)

    Oh, and of course, I love you book. I’ve never seen Japanese paper like that. I like it!

    Now off to read some of the blogs you mentioned. They all sound wonderful!

  14. Lord Likely April 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Huzzah and hurrah! Two hundred glorious posts!

    Congratulations, m’dear, and many thanks for the mention of my glorious self.

    Now, I trust there is booze for this celebration?…

  15. Shinade April 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Oh congratulations Julie. I am so pleased that I came back in time to join in and pass along my best wishes to you.

    And, if I could go back….I think 25 would be my magical number. But, as you say, only if I could take my life lessons learned with me. Lord knows I don’t want to relearn them all over again!!

    Congratulations again….absolutely outstanding!!

  16. Diane April 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    AmyH – my pleasure, thank you and glad you enjoyed the book – it is nice paper isn’t it? I know what you mean about looking after your skin properly. When you are young you think you will never be old and wrinkly – and one day you look in the mirror and eek! Pass the moisturiser :-)

    Lord L – my pleasure, as always! Glass or two of champagne do you?

    Shinade – I’m glad you are back in time to join the party too! Glass of champagne?
    Youth and experience – what a combination that would be….:-)

  17. Teresa April 27, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Ok, people, hands off…that book is mine! ;D Honestly, I am so not as pushy as I sound online.

    Congratulations on your 200th post from the bottom, and the top, of my heart! The world would be a much less interesting place for many of us if you hadn’t started a blog, so thank you, thank you, thank you! (I also have to thank…uh, I can’t remember who/what the heck it was that led me to your blog to begin with. I have to confess also that the first couple of times I read your blog, I was too intimidated to write a comment!)

    And thank you for thanking me! My blog is not nearly as nice or fun to look at, and read, as yours. It’s rather telling that I used to call it “Homestead notes and other brain farts”.

    I enjoyed reading your descriptions of your other regular readers. If AmyH can show me how to have a 48-hour day, I’d go visit all their blogs too. :)

    As for the perfect age? I would choose 30. 30 was a good year for me, plus I always felt nobody took me seriously when I was in my 20s.

    Keep up your terrific blog, Diane! I will be here to congratulate you on your 1000th, 10000th, and so on, posts!!

  18. Eric "Speedcat Hollydale" April 28, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Well! A happy 200 to you Diane :-) Still as pretty as when you were on post one.
    This made me laugh out loud: my world fell apart when I discovered he was gay… FUNNY!!!
    You have a great list of bloggers here. I have never been to “Lord Likely”, but have seen his awards. I can only imagine.
    Happy week,
    Eric

  19. Eric "Speedcat Hollydale" April 28, 2008 at 9:35 am

    … and I am 30 (with more hair)

  20. Diane April 28, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Teresa- OK, it has your name on it! You have said so many nice things, it’s difficult to reply to your comment as I am having to hide my head in embarrassed pride as I type :-) *blushes*
    I love your blog, your recipes are delicious and every time I see that yummy looking strawberry shortcake(?) at the top of the page I know I am in for a treat :-)
    One day I shall turn up on your doorstep, waiting to be fed. You have been warned :-)

    Speedy – aw shucks! You are too kind! Lord L also has an alter ego called Fanton who writes a blog called Digital Sickbag which is also worth visiting if you are a little worried about going to Lord L’s place and ending up in his ‘love dungeon’ :-)

  21. Teresa April 28, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Diane, you don’t have to be modest…you’re, all around, the best!

    I have to say that the strawberry shortcake that I use for my photo was really, really great. My sister (epicure68) helped me harvest those luscious berries. If we get a good crop this year, I’ll make another.

    You are always welcomed at my home! If you ever do make it to Indiana, we’ll feed you royally! :)

  22. Lunes April 28, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Congratulations on the 200th post – it’s amazing how time flies and posts too!
    Thanks for the mention and please do come and visit the studio BUT give me advance warning so I can chill the wine and prepare lunch! Kylee xx

  23. Urso Branco April 28, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Congrats on your 200th. If I didn’t know better I would say I am about 35 instead of twice that. LOL

    You are in deepest, darkest Dorset. Is that Dorset England or Dorset, Ontario, Canada?

    I used to live in Toronto, Canada but now I am in Brasil. Check out my many photo blogs about life in Rural Brasil at http://ourbrasilblogs.blogspot.com/
    Cheers, Urso Branco

  24. Creechman April 28, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Great post (especially since I’m in it).

    I would not want to go back to twenty-one, even with experience. I’d pick ……33 or thereabouts, and undiscovered money.

  25. Diane April 28, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Teresa – if I ever make it to Indiana, I hope I get to taste that yummy strawberry shortcake!

    Olga – thank you!

    Lunes – I can see I’m going to have to go on tour! Wine and lunch – I’m on my way!

    Creechman – having you in it does make it special ;-)
    Money would be a fine thing indeed, undiscovered or not :-)

  26. Diane April 29, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Urso Branco – I just rescued you from my spam filter – sorry about that!

    Thanks! I am in Dorset, England. I am off to check out all your photoblogs now…

  27. Jenny April 29, 2008 at 3:19 am

    You’re what blogging is all about, Diane: excellent content sprinkled with unpretentious humor.

    As the song says, “I bless the day I found you.”

    Here’s to 200 more, luv.

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