My Aspie Super Powers

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Number Memory

This is a strange phenomenon which was incredibly handy for call centre work. When I see a number and it is a number I have called before, I know instantly who that number belongs to. It is kind of like inbuilt caller ID.

We had a computer switchboard and when someone dialed out to a number, you could see the number they were calling. For most people that is where it would end, but me, I knew they were calling the ranger for X council, or the emergency contact for X client. I would not be able to recite that same number from memory though – if you asked me the number for X ranger I would have to go and look it up like everyone else.

Just to give you an idea of how epic this super power is, we had over a thousand clients and about 50-60 councils that we took calls for and I would recognise 95% of outgoing numbers other operators called. Even if I had only called the number once myself. I cannot tell you *how* I do this. It just happens magically.

In addition, any clients and customers who called in regularly from a mobile, I knew who was calling before I answered. I’d do the greeting and then say Hi Name without taking a breath, and they would always be like.. how did you know it was me? I’d joke and say I was psychic and would they like next weeks lotto numbers.. :)

Numberplate Memory

Similar to inbuilt caller ID, I would only have to see the numberplate of a friend or family member once to remember that is their vehicle. Oddly, I know all the numberplates for Volkswagen Polos in the Shoalhaven, and when I see one driving, I can tell you where I normally see it parked. I guess this would be inbuilt number plate ID.

Filing Cabinet Mind

In the call centre, I could be on the phone with someone having a conversation but at the same time, my mind was hearing *all* the other conversations going on around me and filing those details away in case I needed them. One of my roles was to follow up on the calls other people had taken, so this super power was truly incredible for me – I never needed to read the log to see what had happened, I already knew.

This happens when I am out and about in the world as well – I can be having a conversation with someone in a coffee shop and I am hearing every other conversation and filing those nuggets away. It is subconscious and unconscious, I do not know I am doing it until my mind pulls out those nuggets when I need them.

Filing Cabinet Of Bitchery

At the same time I was filing all those conversations, if two staff members were having a conversation about another staff member, that would be filed away in my cabinet too, except my mind would replay that conversation to me later as a surprise to myself when things were quiet. It did not matter how far away the conversation would be – if it was in the same room and people were whispering, I still got it. This leads us to –

Super Hearing

One reason I like to use my cordless headset around the house – I can hear every noise both outside and inside loudly and clearly in my head. If a bird is tweeting, I hear it. If there is a jet flying thousands of feet above, I hear it. Leaves rustling on the concrete, I hear it.

My headset blocks a lot of that extra noise out – in fact it does too good a job – The Other Half can sneak up on me when I am wearing it. Sometimes I’ll wear it with no sound at all, just to block out all those uninteresting and unnecessary noises. Some of the noises irritate me enormously and if I don’t put my headset on, I will just sit there and be annoyed about that noise. Like a running engine that isn’t going anywhere, or a dog barking constantly.

Video In My Head

If I have seen a video clip for a song, I will always see that video clip in my mind when the song plays. If I have seen a movie, I can replay it in my head without any need for DVDs or a TV screen. My memory for lines is better than any actor could dream of – I can tell you specific lines for a movie I saw once 20 years ago. Not all the lines, usually just the ones I most enjoyed or loved.

Ninja Focus

My ability to focus on what I am doing and shut all distractions out while simultaneously filing all those nuggets of information away plus noting who everyone else is calling is pretty amazing. The only thing that can break that Ninja focus is an unexpected sound stream like music, a barking dog or someone whistling. When those things happen, my mind wants to focus in on those noises and forget what I am focused on. I find it really difficult to work if music is playing, yet I have no problem working with a multitude of voices having different conversations around me.

These are just a few of the super powers I have been given – there are more. A lot of them are inbuilt and not something I would notice.

There are some limitations that Aspergers puts on me, and I’ll talk about those next time.

About Snoskred, Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome – Being Diagnosed

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I have not really talked a lot about my Asperger Syndrome diagnosis here on the blog. I want to talk a little more about it and also about the journey I am taking – looking back at life happenings through a new filter and seeing how almost everything that has occurred in my life has been tied up with Aspergers – and how things make a lot more sense to me now. I’ve decided to schedule one post a month on this topic for the foreseeable future.

Today I thought I would share a little bit about exactly how my diagnosis came about, before going back in time to explore past events through the glasses of the diagnosis. There are some parts I am a little foggy about, so I ask you in advance to forgive me those.

I was diagnosed in 2009 by a wonderful psychologist that I was seeing for depression and anxiety. I was telling her about a visit by my nephews – one of whom has mild autism – and how that nephew and I had played lego together. I said something like –

So we talked about it and we decided to sort out all the blocks into groups because that would make it easier to build things. We grouped together the blocks with 2 dots, 4 dots, 6 dots, 8 dots, etc. Then I wanted to build a house but my nephew said “Auntie, you always want to build houses. Why don’t we try to build something else?” And we build this enormous lego boat with a tower on top.

My psychologist asked me if I always had sorted the blocks before doing any building. I said yes, because I liked to be able to reach out and grab the right sized block that I needed rather than having to look through a box or pile of lego. That, put together with the fact that we do have more than one family member with autism, plus some other things she had observed in me during our time together, was the thing that made her hand me a brochure about Asperger Syndrome.

It was almost the end of the session, so she handed it to me and asked me to take it home and read through the various “symptoms” and put a tick next to any that I felt applied to me. The next session I handed it back to her and there were quite a few ticks. So she gave me a diagnostic test of some kind – I forget what the name of it was now.

It turned out that I was on the “Autism Spectrum” as they call it. It is really difficult to find a good list of symptoms like she had handed me on the web but here are a couple that are fairly decent – here and here. Here are some online tests that you can do.

In many ways being diagnosed was an enormous relief because it told me that there were good and reasonable reasons for things that had happened to me in the past – times where I had thought I was the problem and times when I had been told my personality was a problem for other people. I’ve been looking back at those times with my present psychologist and making a new sense out of them.

Being an Aspie is not all bad though it does present some serious challenges for me. I have some brilliant things that I like to call my Aspie superpowers. That is what I will talk about in my next post on this subject. :)

About Snoskred, Asperger Syndrome

Sometimes there are words.

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Mark Margolis as Uncle Tio

And sometimes, there are not words.

This week, I’ve completed the posts for episodes 507 and 508 over at Rewatch Breaking Bad, though the posts will not publish until mid-July.

These episodes were the last ones my very excellent work friend got to see. Cancer stole her from us in early 2013, just a few months before season 5b, as they called it, began to air.

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Oh, how she loved this show. I think she loved it even more than I did, which is saying a LOT. Sometimes, in the wee hours of the night when we were working together, we would speculate, posit theories, imagine the most insane and crazy storylines, and consider the vastness of the Breaking Bad universe.

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We would talk about the show that existed, moments that happened, what our favourite scenes and lines were. The two of us could speak many of the lines out loud from memory. I knew exactly which lines to say to her which would leave her giggling, and she knew which lines to say for me.

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I remember one time when the phones were quiet, we spoke for an uninterrupted by phone calls hour, just about the clouds in some scenes, and the weather in Albuquerque, and how it always seemed to put on a show, for the show. We talked about how Albuquerque had become a character of the show and how it gave the show such a unique look.

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I also remember we talked about Mark Margolis and how amazing his acting was, because his character Uncle Tio was unable to speak but you saw everything you needed to know in his eyes, and he had this bell that he would ring.

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We both loved the character of Mike, especially the scene that began with him shorting out electricity with helium balloons. We talked about a spin off show that could involve him. There had already been some talk about a spin off on the podcasts – which we had both listened to.

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We both loved Jesse as a character. We loved where season four had taken his character. We loved his involvement in the major capers of season 5a. We also loved his outfits.

The final eight episodes were so perfect, she would have loved every single minute of them. She would have loved to discuss each episode with me. How much I would have loved to discuss them with her!

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How deeply thrilled she would have been to see Better Call Saul, the spin off show that appeared after Breaking Bad ended. She would have particularly loved the Mike Centric episode – Five-O – which will hopefully land Jonathan Banks a nomination for best supporting actor when the Emmy nominations are announced on July 16th, and hopefully he will win his first Emmy award at the 67th Emmy Awards due to be held in September this year.

My friend is greatly missed, by me, and by many others who adored her.

About Snoskred, death, Sad Snoskred, television shows, things to remember

Art Time Travel

Back in 2008 I had an art project which did not work out – I had tried sticking sequins to a canvas with glue which dulled the sparkly sequins. Rather than lose the canvas, and because I had already drawn the stencil onto it, I used modelling paste to build up a texture of my Denkyem stencil.

I was not sure what I was going to do with this or whether it would work out in the end. I thought maybe I would paint it one colour and then dry brush in some gold or silver over the top.

The last thing I posted about it, that is how the canvas looked. And then I got distracted by other things and/or forgot to post any further updates. I wasn’t sure myself what had happened with it, until I was cleaning up my art room and found the completed work in a box.

Now, it looks like this –

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I think it turned out pretty well in the end. :) You certainly cannot tell there are sequins under there, and the texture is really nice. The silver metallic paint helps it to jump out of the canvas. If I were to do it again, I might do a matt black underneath the silver and allow some of the black to show through in the lower areas, just to make the texture pop a little more.

You can read the original posts here – Work In Progress – and here – Short Update plus you can see another work I did with the Denkyem stencil here – Opinions Needed

About Snoskred, family, looking back, Snoskred Art, yay

There Was An Incident..

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There was an incident is a phrase heard regularly in our household. In fact it is somewhat of a normal occurance for The Other Half to arrive home from work and say “How was your day” to be met with.. “well, there was an incident..”

An incident in our household could be anything, from spilling sugar or dripping tea onto the counter from a non-cooperative tea bag.. right up to me walking into something and leaving a massive bruise, or somehow damaging myself in some way. Whatever the incident, when this phrase is spoken, the listener knows that the full story of the incident will be coming to them as a surprise.

The term originates from my being an aviation nerd and the FAA and NTSB have this thing about definitions of accidents VS incidents.

I mention this because our past weekend contained a number of incidents, some of which were quite scary. There was the Wine Bottle Incident, when I got out of my awesome Volkswagen Polo holding two birthday presents in those cute little bags you can buy in stores, only the wine bottle bag broke and somehow the wine bottle dropped onto brick pavers and still it managed to survive! Had it broken, that would have been considered an accident. :)

There was the mildly terrifying incident of The Spider In The Shower which I kept to myself because thankfully it was only a Daddy Long Legs which decided the ceiling was getting too hot and steamy and now would be a good time to drop on a web through my shower space. The Other Half was in the Man Cave at the time, thus he did not hear my spider scream. I know this to be a fact because anytime he hears that spider scream he arrives ready to dead the creature.

There was also the incident of burned fruit toast, which cost me two slices of gorgeous cafe raisin toast which I got on special at Coles last week. I tried my best, really and truly I did, but I was not born with the Toastmaster gene.

I usually consider myself banned from making toast due to That Terrifying Incident With A Fruit Muffin Where I Took Out All Phones And Computers In The Call Centre, For Two Hours In The Middle Of A Work Day, Thus Rendering The Call Centre Completely Inoperable.

That incident did scare me away from toasting for a long time, because the toaster made sparks and jumped into the air when I tried to use the high lift. It might have involved me using the toaster but I was NOT the one who bought a cheap $15 toaster from Kmart, nor was I the person who wired the kitchen safety switch into all the other safety switches thus any kitchen incident would have deaded the entire switchboard.

But that fruit toast was plump, gorgeous, and it smelled exactly like hot cross buns. It tempted me into toasting, and as usual, I failed quite spectacularly. I suppose we were lucky that nothing caught fire.

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Then there was the incident of my lolly bag breaking in an unexpected place, spilling these cute little white dusted toffee apple almonds out of their safe little home – they kept landing on my lap rug.

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To begin with, I could not work out how they were escaping the packet! When more of the chocolate coated nuts were eaten, I finally figured out that there was a hole in the side of the packet..

Those little nut friends originated from Coles where there is a range of items from Naked Truth and every one I have tried has been very tasty indeed. These little nuts are my favourite because of the crunchy coating on the nuts. I am very well behaved and only eat two of these every few days, so one packet lasts quite a long time with me.

About Snoskred, Home, The Other Half

The Art Room

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A couple of weekends ago we spent some serious time tidying up my art room, which had become a bit of a mess and a dumping ground for stuff that did not have a proper home. We also hung up a lot of art on the walls – some of it in order to hide where the previous people had pulled the paint off the walls when they removed some of their art work, which is why this next photo might seem like a slightly odd way of hanging art –

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The little frame you spy next to the tiger is specifically hiding one of those paint ripped off spots. Probably some people might think it is a weird way to display art, but those ripped off paint spots irritate me enormously and I actually kind of like the non-symmetrical aspect of this group of art.

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Over on this side, it is more about where the studs were in the wall than trying to hide anything, because this side of the room has no ripped off paint areas.

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This piece of art is an interesting one – it is actually similar to foil art and any photos I take do not really do it justice.

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In that photo above you see some stuff I have left on the table to sort through and find new homes for. Also some sparkly contact paper which I found at Kmart. I’ve used it to make some stickers of my Denkyem stencil which I’ve put on my laptop –

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There is also a strip of holographic duct tape that Sephy sent me once. If I recall correctly, he took me on a video walk of Walmart and when I saw this holographic duct tape I declared it must be posted to me. And so it was. Please excuse my still drying from just being wiped with an anti bacterial cloth laptop. :)

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In part this little tidy up was inspired by adult colouring in books becoming a thing, which is inspiring me to get back into art again. But also, it was inspired by things like me not being able to find all my wrapping paper and gift bags. These have now all been placed into one box –

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I love holographic things, as I think you can tell by the awesome 35 metre roll of wrap I bought from Costco. Here is a closer view of that!

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There you have a little tour of my art room, and you can expect to see some new projects appear here on the blog.

About Snoskred, Home, Snoskred Art, Who Is Snoskred, yay

Zen Moment

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When you have two kitties both of whom like to get up close and personal with, well, everything, finding a place to burn candles can be a bit of a problem.

This location is very high up and there are no places where the kitties can make their way up here, no steps to make a kitty ladder. In fact, it is probably less than half a meter from the ceiling. Tealights can be safely burned here, and this is the location where I burn my wax melts.

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I also burn a tealight in the Dusk Spinning Butterfly tealight candle holder. It puts a gorgeous spinning golden glow on the ceiling which is somehow comforting to me. The thermals that the candle throws out magically turns the turntable and it spins. Depending on the candle you use and the heat given off, it can spin at different speeds.

I tend to use two brands of tealights – I like the assorted 50 pack from Dusk – and I love the extra excellent value tealight packs from IKEA. 30 tealights for $2.49, you really can’t ask for any better than that.

You might ask – why two different kinds of tealight candles? Well first of all, they have different burn times. The IKEA ones are regularly 4 hours or so, which makes them perfect for an evening burn eg 6pm-10pm. The Dusk candles are 6-8 hours which is a good daytime burn time. Combine the two and you cover the entire day – 10-6pm or so, then 6-10pm or so, and I can light them and forget them, because they will burn out before I have to think about snuffing them.

The spinning butterfly tealight candle holder can still be purchased from Dusk, though I do not see any purple ones or the teal green which I really wanted to get as well. I will cross my fingers that maybe our local store has one in teal when we next visit – we are nearly out of chicken, so we will be heading to Shellharbour and Warrawong next weekend. If no teal, maybe this gold owl version might come home with us.

Below I have put a couple of videos – they are just 10 seconds long each, you get a closeup of the spinning butterflies in the first one, and you can see the reflection the spinning holder puts on the ceiling in the second.

About Snoskred, Happy Snoskred, Home, Snoskred hearts, yay

Being That Person..

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Some of my stored cards.

Since my Aunt was diagnosed with cancer a while back, I’ve become that person.. you know, that person who suddenly realises that many things have been left unsaid, and now is the time to speak up and say them.

The realization that most of the important adults in my family are now over 60 and the reality that there will come a time when they are no longer able to hear those things I have always wanted to say to them.. it is time to get it together and say those things now.

They are all positive things but writing them down in a card gives me happy tears every time. I just did one this week for her partner, my uncle, and it contained the line “Even if I were to say thank you in every language on the planet, there would still not be enough thank yous in the world to say to you for everything that you have done for our family”.

I’m not saying the things to my Aunt yet because she has a lot to deal with right now, though I do plan to say them once her treatment is done. Though, she might have got a look at the card I sent to my other Aunt, which said many of the things I do want to say to her.

Because I’m 1500kms away, I’ve been sending her packages with chatty, hopefully funny cards, and little treats and goodies. She’s been enjoying them and sending me sms’s in return.

I’m so lucky to have these people in my life, and I am really thankful to be letting them know how I feel now rather than leaving it too late to say these things to them.

The details of doing this are pretty simple. When I am out and about in the world, I always keep an eye out for blank cards with beautiful drawings or photos. They must be blank on the inside, because I want to write my own things inside, not some random person making up words that do not relate to me or my people.

You can find a lot of card stands in shops with $1 blank inside cards now. My chemist has one, and two shops away from the chemist is Loot, which has a couple of different stands.

When I see them and I like them, I buy them and put them in a safe place. There’s a photo of some at the top of the post, and here are a few more. I keep them stashed away in a drawer..

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I often buy more than one copy of the cards when I see them, because the same card might go to totally different states and households. Doubling up is not such a big deal, as long as I keep track of which cards I have sent to which person. These cards above are actually fifth copies of these cards. I really like the images.

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The red card in the top corner actually has gold cherry blossoms on it. That one is a Loot card. Here is a closer shot, even so I could not get the gold to fire everywhere on the card at the same time. :)

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Somewhere in this house, I have a ziploc bag with a multitude of cards in it, that I have stored in such a safe place that I can’t actually find it. Yay me, NOT!

So my challenge to you –

Drop by my place and find my missing ziploc bag Nope, not that! :)

get a blank but beautiful card or even make one of your own if you are so inclined – write some positive things you have always wanted to say to a family member or friend – post it this week.

About Snoskred, challenges, family, Greeting Cards, life lessons, looking back

Bits and Bobbles

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I got sucked in by the Facebook games. Seriously, who the hell am I, and where did Snoskred go? :)

It isn’t that bad – I really love Farm Heroes Saga but I flat out refuse to pay for anything. If I can’t get through the level with my own talent and skill and the occasional extra they give me just for visiting every day, then I’ll keep trying until I can get through. Sometimes it takes me several days to pass a level. I don’t usually play it during the day – I like to play is around 9:30pm during my mind wind down time..

Bunnings Bits

Today we went to the local Bunnings store to pick up some plasterboard. The Other Half is going to make a ceiling in his man cave shed this weekend. We picked up the ute from my parents place and I saw rain off in the distance but it looked like it was going in another direction.

So we drove over, parked in the trade bay next to the plasterboard, locked the car and went off to find assorted sundries like Liquid Nails and gap filler. Having got those, we paid for everything we wanted at the trade desk, and wandered over to load 15 sheets of plasterboard into the ute, while a staff member stood there watching us instead of helping.

This loading job seemed to take a very long time and by the time we’d loaded all the sheets in, suddenly it was raining outside. So I was tasked with finding a tarp. Several more unhelpful staff members sent me off to incorrect places. The very worst was the bloke I asked who sent me right down to the other end of the store – only to discover that we were standing in the aisle where the tarps lived when I asked him! I did find an excellent tarp in the end.

When looking for rope in the ute, I discovered two octopus straps. I thought these had been outlawed and banned years ago. But today they were perfect for our purpose – it wasn’t until we undid them that we nearly killed ourselves.

Book Bobs

My e-reader ran out of battery the other day. It has been a long time since I have picked up a physical book. I picked up one of the heavier books that I own – Aircraft Accident Analysis: Final Reports by James Walters and Robert Sumwalt – and almost right away I remembered why I love my tablet book reader so much now. It is light. I just tap it to turn the page. It can stand up by itself due to the case I own, and I can read in the dark.

Blogging for Books

One of the bloggers I read linked to Blogging for Books. I headed over to check it out and discovered that Aussies can participate via ebooks, so I signed up. I also joined up over at Netgalley.

You might see the occasional – or even regular – book review(s) here on the blog. My first book from Blogging for Books is Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey. I am really looking forward to reading this. As the weather for the weekend looks not optimal, I might spend some serious time reading.

I am not a diver myself but I have read several books about diving now and find them to be oddly fascinating. There are two I would strongly recommend if you want to give a new kind of book a try. The first is Diving into Darkness which is also known as Raising the Dead in some places..

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I picked this book up at the $5 book store purely because the cover grabbed me, then I turned it over and the blurb made me want to read the book right then and there. I took it home and read it from cover to cover, only stopping for necessary bodily functions when they could no longer be ignored. That is the kind of reader I am. This is also why I limit the books I read at bedtime if I have to be somewhere the next day. :)

Australian Story did a show “To Boldly Go” about this diving story back in 2005 but truly, the book is amazing, and I would recommend reading that first if you can source it. I especially loved how the author explained diving so I – a non diver – could understand it.

The second diving book I would recommend is Shadow Divers – which in researching for this post, I discovered Peter Weir is involved with making a movie about it, though it is still in development.

While I was creating my profile at Netgalley, I wrote something which I thought I would share here with you as well. Here it is :)

The story of Snoskred and books –

I have been reading books for over 35 years now. Favourite books when I was a child included

Enid Blyton – in particular the Faraway Tree books
Elinor Brent-Dyer – the Chalet School books
E.L Konigsberg – From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler started me dreaming about running away to the local Museum.

Favourites now include –

Jane Austen – these are my relaxing books, I read them when I have to get up on time the next day.
John Grisham – The early works, not such a fan of the newer stuff. I have good (but lengthy so won’t bore you with that here) reasons.
Stephen King – The favourite would be The Dead Zone, followed by The Stand, and then a multitude of books fight it out for 3rd place.
John J Nance – His aviation thrillers are amazing, can’t put down rollercoaster rides, I *highly* recommend this author if you have not read anything by him.

Other names that appear often on my bookshelves and in my e-reader include – Michael Crichton – Robin Cook – Anne Rice – Michael Connelly – Jeff Lindsay – Agatha Christie – Jodi Picoult – Thomas Harris – and many, many more.

Non fiction my interests are biographies, aviation – in particular crash investigation books – true crime as long as there are no scary photos – books about science or going to the moon, and other books which have come to me as a surprise eg- books about diving, submarines, interesting history books..

My book tastes are wide and varied. I’ll read anything once but if I like it, I’ll read it again and again, and seek out other books by the same author.

What are your bits and bobbles?

:)

About Snoskred, blogging for books, books, Gaming, General Chit-chat

Little Known Snoskred Facts #1

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Just for fun, it is April Fools Day, so one of these facts is a complete and total lie. Can you guess which one?

1. My favourite scented plastic bin bag flavour is Blueberry, followed by Lime, followed by Vanilla.

2. My favourite perfume is Spicebomb by Viktor and Rolf which is actually a mens fragrance.

3. My favourite chocolate is Cadbury – they are much better than fancy schmancy Lindt!

4. My favourite cheese is Mersey Valley Classic Cheddar. My second favourite is the Aldi vintage cheese.

5. My favourite icecream topping is ice magic with sherbet over the top – eg Wizz Fizz. Wendys used to make a choc top icecream dipped in sherbet which they called a choc fizz. It is almost impossible to eat without covering yourself in pink sherbet, so I strongly recommend hiding in a corner somewhere while you eat it, but it is so worth the mess.. :)

Want to play?

Just publish a post on your blog with some little known facts about yourself, and visit back here to post a link to your post. ;)

About Snoskred, Who Is Snoskred