Thursday, 29 March 2012

What is in a theme – the A – Z Challenge cometh ...

So what is a theme – an idea that unifies – be it of the arts, literature or music – here over 1350 of us are tying our themes into the Alphabet ... the ABCs of life ...
In the North – Edinburgh, Scotland: the castle
dominates the Edinburgh skyline, as seen here
from the Grassmarket to the south 

This is Lee's brainchild of Tossing It Out - I wonder if he's tossed it yet?!  Lee will be ably assisted by his team ... The sign up link is at Blogging from A - Z - so do join us if you're not already signed up ... 

Many of the bloggers participating will be posting creative ideas and themes and I really will be interested to see if any of us have duplicated one another ... it’s a fascinating ride around the blogosphere.

In the South – Pevensey Castle, E Sussex
 – where William the Conqueror landed
I have stuck with the tried and tested Aspects of British ... this year it will be Castles – and you will have a tour around Great Britain visiting many places – north, south, east and west – some castles you will know, many you won’t ...

... some history, some fascinating facts, some places I have found I would really like to visit – check out B, D, H, J, K, S, ...

In the East - Castle Rising, Norfolk: 
illustrated in Cassell’s History of
England circa 1902
K and O were provided by two of the residents, who I volunteer to have conversations with  ... so they are delighted to know 'their castle' will be featured in the blog!

XYZ provided me with a few challenges – so these posts will be my index, glossary and summary around the subject of Castles ...

One or two might have an extra paragraph or two – but as the blog is mine – and I write for me too ... they are things I wanted to remember, so have left them there for posterity ... I wonder if that’s where post comes from – posterity?

In the West – Carnarfon Castle,
north west Wales
These Castles are not included in my A, B, Cs ...   

Here come the posts on Aspects of British Castles .... starting on April Fool’s Day ...

An update re my mother ...  she sleeps a lot, is aware we are there, enjoys her flowers ... yet is bright as a button at times – Andy, our osteopath who works on her limbs, turned up last week and said ‘Hello Ann’ ... and my mother immediately asked how the boys were .... Andy and his wife had triplets two years ago ... and Andy had shown my mother a phone photo of them – she was delighted!!  Amazes us all that she is still so aware ... when she’s awake!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

58 comments:

MorningAJ said...

I love the idea of this theme and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's choices - but I don't feel right about committing myself to something every day. It leaves no room for ponderings and stuff that 'comes up' during the month.

I like the castles idea though.

I'm going to enjoy your posts.

MimiTabby said...

wonderful idea! since I'm thinking of visiting England in the near future, I will be enjoying your posts, looking for ideas.

Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

Inger said...

Castles, how great! I'm stuck for something to write about the letter M. Oh, well, it will come I'm sure.

Laura Eno said...

I love castles, Hilary! Will definitely be haunting your blog posts. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anne - delighted to read this -thank you .. it does take time, but I must say I enjoy it ..

@ Mimi - oh great .. I hope I can inspire you to visit one or two .. welcome to the blog .. and enjoy your trip when you get here ...

@ Inger - another positive - thank you .. good luck with your M .. at least it's a fortnight away (just!) ..

@ Laura - I haven't mentioned haunting yet .. I'll have to look into that

Cheers Anne, Mimi, Inger and Laura .. good to see - have fun with your A - Z .. Hilary

Old Kitty said...

Castles are fun! Castles are mythical and mysterious as well as weighed down with such history! Yay for castles!

Big wave hello to your wonderful mum! Take care
x

Karen Walker said...

ooh, love love love the castles of Great Britain. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
Karen

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm glad to hear your mother is so chipper and able to remember things. Can't wait to read your informative posts.

Amanda Heitler said...

Castles sounds a wonderful idea. I'm quietly wondering if you'll include ours - which I can see from my window :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Wonderful theme Hilary and I'm sure I will enjoy reading them.
Mine as you can imagine is about music. sounds of the late 50s and the great 60 era.

Thanks for your visit to sad songs, I did it today as my daughter is not well so will give her a quick visit,
Good luck with the Challenge.
Yvonne.

oceangirl said...

What a great theme Hillary. I am excited about the challenge but now suddenly feel scared. I cannot prepare a post because that is just not the way I blog or write and I wanted the challenge to be my needed prompt, but what if I can't do it.

Southpaw said...

CASTLES! I love me some castles. I will have to sneak over here on my time off to check them out.

Susan Scheid said...

Oh, British castles! Such a marvelous theme. I look forward to what you conjure up.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
And your theme of castles in that alphabet challenge is a fascinating idea. I shall, just like last year, come and see how you are doing with it all.
Ironically, I shall be doing my alternative, satire postings that actually draw attention to this challenge. And speaking of 'draw', I shall now lower the drawbridge and head back through the green pastures to my quaint little olde blog...
And as you would say, "cheers".

Richard said...

I've got a feeling we're going to learn a lot about castles next month.

Chuck said...

I look forward to your posts again this year. I am completely themeless...once again!

rainfield61 said...

I love castle too.

Whereby I can find many of them in Malaysia that were built by British.

They are beautiful.

Betsy said...

I'm signed up, too! Guess I better get busy on that first post! ha.

juliet said...

I'm rather ignorant I'm afraid and don't know what the A-Z challenge is, but I like the castles. The pictures bring back memories of castle visits during my various times in the UK. Lovely to hear of your mother's moments of recognition.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a great idea! (We don't see much in the way of castles here in the States.) Should be fun and informative for all of us.

Slamdunk said...

Great idea Hilary. I enjoy castles and though I don't think I'll ever make to your part of the globe, I enjoy online visits and descriptions.

Journaling Woman said...

I can't wait to read your posts. I too will be eager to see if anyone duplicates themes.

Your post about your mum has made me happy.

Teresa

Bob Scotney said...

Hilary, I'm doing castles too! Let's see where we match and where we differ.

Marja said...

I am happy that your mother is so aware in the little valuable time she has.
I love casles as I lived very close to one in Holland which was our playground and a casltle one town further was a setting of our favourite dutch knight series on TV. So I hope that your post about British castles is not a joke. ( sorry haven't been able to visit a lot as I have been caught up with lots)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Old Kitty - yay for castles as you say ... and thanks re my Mama .. she is amazing ..

@ Karen - many thanks

@ Clarissa - her short term memory is extraordinary (there's more going on inside than we are privy to) - castles on their way ..

@ Amanda - I wonder too now - as I'm not sure where you are! I'll be over to see if I can find out.

@ Yvonne - music - I'll enjoy the listen most definitely. I hope your daughter is feeling better .. and here's to a good challenge - you too.

@ Ocean Girl - you'll be able to do it - I had my theme last year, but very few posts written - in the end it worked. Good luck!!

@ Holly - I hope you'll come past to have a quick look around each castle estate ..

@ Susan - I hope I can match up to your expectations!

@ Gary - that will be fun to have you here. Your alternative postings take us away into another world and that's what we need - see you over the drawbridge ..

@ Richard - thank you and enjoy the posts ..

@ Chuck - many thanks .. have fun with whatever ABCs come into your mind for us to read about.

@ Rainfield - yes one or two castles were built by the Brits around the world - I had a difficult enough choice from those in these islands?!

@ Betsy - your posts are always such fun - and your menageries of cats and kittens - reckon your A - Zee is there already!!

@ Juliet - you must have had your head under a bushell - but I must say I don't advertise the Challenge very well here .. Click the link above and it's all there ..

I think we all visit one castle at least on trips to the UK - I used to when I came back on holiday from South Africa ..

Thanks re my Mama .. she keeps us on our toes!!

@ Susan - no you don't have too many castles - just enormous mansions. I'm now wondering if I'm doing castles sufficient justice - oh well ....

@ Slamdunk - many thanks .. catch a dream and come on over .. you'll see a few castles you'd enjoy visiting .. in the meantime some info will be forthcoming during the A - Z

@ Teresa - thanks so much .. April and everyone's choices will be fun ..

Thank you re my Mama - I suddenly thought a quick update here would be good .. then the A - Z can quietly castle its way along ..


Cheers everyone - so pleased to read you're happy with my theme! Here's to a wonderful April A - Z Challenge .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob - I had a sort of thought Castles might pop up! but fitted my Aspects of British Cs .. as last year - so Castles this year .. I know I'll differ on quite a few - one or two we may match but perhaps different letters ... ?! Looking forward to yours ...

@ Marja - many thanks re my Mama - it's good for all of us when she does sparkle .. and she smiles lots - which is wonderful to see.

Growing up next door to the expanse of a Castle estate - must be have been wonderful.

No - no joke .. April Fool is Sunday! No worries re visiting - we all do what we can ..

Cheers Bob and Marja - see you soon ..Hilary

Amanda Heitler said...

Hilary - Richmond Castle, in North Yorks. Forgot to mention that ...

juliet said...

And all I had to do was click the link to find out! That's the consequence of having my head down, absorbed in my writing. Now I can find out things I didn't know. Thanks Hilary. Time to wake up again.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amanda .. thanks for that .. R is a long way off isn't it!! Wait and see?

How fantastic to look out on that setting ... Friko looks out over a castle too .. she has it as her header ...

Teasing aren't I? Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - perhaps you'll enter?

Glad you've got the link now and see what we're all doing - well rather, who is participating!

Themes are coming out of the blog-worms before Sunday rocks around ..

Cheers and good luck with the writing .. Hilary

Alan Burnett said...

This is a fine idea - I will be following it as it unfolds with interest.

Robyn Campbell said...

What an awesome theme. I cannot wait to see and learn. You always teach me something, Hilary!

I'll be here for sure! I'm doing a writing theme. Can't wait to read all the posts. *waving*

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alan .. I tried to reply earlier - but Blogger blogged me out!! This time I'll see.

Great to hear that you'll enjoy the idea .. Bob Scotney is doing similarly ... ?! I wonder if we'll snap somewhere on our trails ..

@ Robyn - well I sure hope you'll enjoy the posts ..

I shall enjoy your writing theme - it's good to pick up new ideas ..

Cheers to you both .. til Sunday .. Hilary

Julie said...

I'm really looking forward to your posts, Hilary. What a wonderful theme!

And I'm so touched by the story about your mother and the osteopath. Those moments really mean so much, don't they?

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Sunday!

Mike Goad said...

Checking to see if I can comment on your blog as per your question. If you see this, it worked. If not, I answer on mine.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

What a great theme for A-Z
I decided not to do it this year as I have other pressures on at the moment.

Loved hearing aout your Mum. Bright as a button sometimes. How lovely! :O) x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - many thanks I hope you'll enjoy them. Yes - those special moments do mean a lot especially when others stop you and tell you when you're visiting ..

Sure - see you Sunday ..

@ Mike - seems to back up and working and I can comment too! Thanks for your help ..

@ Madeleine - I hope you enjoy them .. I see you've other pressures on .. good luck with all things.

Isn't it lovely to hear and read about my mother ..

Thanks for the visits and for your thoughts re my Mama .. see you all shortly - cheers Hilary

Connie Arnold said...

Great theme, Hilary! Castles are so fascinating, and I look forward to more posts. Thanks for sharing the little update on your mother. That's great! I always enjoy my visits to your blog.

Theresa Milstein said...

Castles should be interesting. I'll learn some things, I'm sure!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Connie - should be fun to read I hope - and it's lovely everyone takes an interest in my Mama - thanks.

@ Theresa - I hope you'll enjoy them .. and learn a few things .... I did!

Cheers Connie and Theresa - have good weekends and see you tomorrow .. Hilary

jabblog said...

I look forward to your tour of the castles.Sadly some of them may be in the same parlous state as our cathedrals, I suppose.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice .. hope you enjoy .. some are absolute ruins - but we've done an amazing amount for them in recent times .. the Cathedrals now need the magic touch, I agree ...

Cheers Hilary

Patsy said...

Great theme! I love visiting castles - wonder if you'll be visiting any of my favourites?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patsy .. I wonder - you tour around a lot .. so you might have visited one or two .. and Country Girl might have too ..???!!!

Cheers see you there - Hilary

Friko said...

I look forward to you ranging about among the castles of England; many of them will be old friends for me too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Friko .. thanks - I wonder how many .. there's a few different ones coming up .. love your castle though ..

Cheers and enjoy the weekend ..Hilary

hyperCRYPTICal said...

I look forward to your fine posts Hilary and will attempt to visit daily - I have just written myself a reminder on a post it note and stuck it to the comp screen - although I fear pressure of time might get in the way! (I shall endevour to be good!)

Anna :o]

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am quite sad I never got to see any of the castles in the British Isles when I was there. I will be looking forward to seeing the castles with you instead. Diane

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi Hilary. You have a great theme picked out. I look forward to reading your posts.

Susanne
PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

A Lady's Life said...

Castles are all so intriguing.
So many walls and halls and doors and history life . Lots to learn and teach from.
Looking forward to your posts :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Your theme sounds so interesting! But then, all your themes are interesting. :)

Talli Roland said...

Castles! What a great theme, Hilary. I can't wait to read more - I hope you have Leeds Castle down for L? I still haven't been there yet!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anna - hope you enjoy them .. and looking forward to seeing you when you can get here!

@ Diane - did you never get to visit any castles - I sincerely hope you enjoy the postings ..

@ Susanne - pleasure and looking forward to seeing you around ..

@ A Lady's Life - there's so much around each castle I just hope I've selected interesting snippets ..

@ Susan - many thanks indeed - hope you enjoy the castle tour

@ Talli - uh uh - no for your L .. it was an option! We might meet at Leeds Castle one day?

Cheers everyone - no to see if anyone would have thought of my A castle .... enjoy April - Hilary

Pk Hrezo said...

Wow. Grim's ditch in spring looks amazing! Oh to spend Spring in lovely England! le sigh....

Chase March said...

26 castles?

Looking forward to seeing them. We don't really have castles over here in Canada. It's interesting to note that you will have enough to fill this monthly challenge.

Good luck and have fun!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ PK - Grim's Ditch in Spring must be lovely to walk down - others can find it under A for Alfred's Castle ..

@ Chase - hundreds of castles!! Just a few letters are tricky .. I've covered til XYZ .. could do Y .. but decided the last three posts can be index, glossary, links etc and other things ..

I have fun - perhaps tired by the end of April!!

Cheers PK and Chase - good to see you here .. Hilary

Sara said...

Wow, this is a great theme. Maybe I'll learn about some castles to visit when I'm over in England.

The update about your mom was really nice.It amazing that she's still so aware and I bet that's nice for you, as well.

Enjoy the A-Z. I know they'll be some wonderful posts from this challenge.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. I think you probably will - but decisions, decisions .. what to see!

Thanks re my Mama - everyone always likes to be kept aware .. which I really appreciate ..

The A - Z .. yes I'm sort of hanging in! Cheers Hilary