A blog about life - the good, the bad, the people, the books, the games, and coffee.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Review: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

I first encountered Caitlin Moran when her book How to be a Woman came into the bookstore at which I was currently working. I find myself amazed time and time again at that which people are willing to share, and that book was no exception to open sharing. The book started me on a “must read more of what she wrote” and “oooh she’s on Twitter must follow” course. I find Caitlin Moran to be a lot of what the modern feminist should be. I love that she is a feminist who has chosen marriage and children – after all feminism is all about doing what you chose to do, not what other chose as the right course/option for you. Not to forget her wicked sense of humour and general all round niceness.

That niceness and great sense of humour are all equally evident in Moranthology.  If I remember correctly it is the second essay/column in the collection that discusses her plight in trying to find her voice as a writer and what/how she should act and write. She discusses how she started with what she thought would work; emulating the work she enjoyed reading. Only to find that she really isn’t that nasty, snarky person. Sadly, she realised it too late to stop herself from writing something so mean that she now only remembers it with mortification. At which point she then proceeds to apologise profusely to not only the lead singer of the band she reviewed, but also to his mum – see she’s a really nice person.

 Moranthology is a collection of the various columns that Moran has written for The Times, including the Celebrity Watch ones. It is in those Celebrity Watch pieces that her sense of humour really shines, along with her fangirl flag. She pushes for us to campaign for Ghostbusters to be known as the greatest movie of all time, and not Star Wars. Squees when getting to meet the stars, the writers, producers, and go on set – the TARDIS, the TARDIS!! – – the lucky, lucky fish - for not only Dr Who, but also Sherlock.  Her palatable excitement at getting to meet Lady Gaga, Kylie, Paul McCartney, and all the other famous folks she meets, just further highlights that yes, when a normal person meets someone famous it’s like you just can’t stop saying stupid things.

At this point you’re probably going “Yes, yes funny we get that, but is it all just about tv shows and meeting famous people?” It’s not, don’t worry. She has many pieces on the more serious things in life, some are done with humour and others are just so well handled that they without fail strike just the right chords. She openly and matter-of-factly talks about her family and how they used grants, and what they meant for them. How taking away that support would change a lot of lives, and most definitely not for the better. She also talks about  a friend of hers who has some psychological issues, and needs his grant to keep living alone, so that he won’t think that the voices he hears are coming from those he knows. She addresses library closures, why they’re a bad idea and what the library meant to her growing up. One of my favourites of the more serious topics is her discussion on the argument that pregnancy is a gift, and thus you shouldn’t abort. Moran takes the “it’s a gift” analogy and tears it apart for the nonsense that it is. She does tackle the miniskirt and burqas with more humour. I’m paraphrasing, but her take is that it’s the men who have an issue with it, then they should wear it!

Not only is this book a great holiday read, it’s just a great all round read. It’s for the person looking for something light, with just the right dash of heavy in it. I say this because Caitlin Moran has the gift of doing with nonfiction what great fiction does; get you talking and interrogating the views you hold.

This review first appeared here.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Five for Friday: Why I think Chris Brown shouldn't perform in SA

  • There's this. Warning, it's not for sensitive readers.
  • It's 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children. See that, why would we want someone to perform here just days after 16 days ends? We'd be looking away then, one of the things you shouldn't do.
  • We're rewarding him. Not only does he beat up someone he claims to love, pretty much gets away with it, and now people are putting money into his pockets. Yes, I know there are a lot of people not going, who don't buy his music - and that's great, but surely more is in order.
  • It's important to say something, by not we'll never do something. This condoning and rewarding of such horrible, vile behaviour will only lead to more people thinking it's ok - so they'll carry on and not change their ways because there are no consequences.
  • I'm under no illusion that my tiny voice of protest will change something, but if more of us say or do something you'll never know what could happen.
A late addition, but this...this is what I wish everyone got.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review: Endings & Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi

This is an unusual memoir of sorts. Yes, we do learn a little more about the person that is Redi Tlhabi, but more it's an exploration of violent people and why they're so. Ok not all violent people, but one person. A person that clearly made a lasting impression on her, and her life.

In Endings & Beginnings she talks about Mabegzo. She meet him when she was eleven, and at first didn't know that he was that guy the one everyone talked. They talked about him, but never in a nice way he was a gangster, rapist and all round bad guy; certainly not a person a well behaved, good girl should befriend. And friends they were, because eleven year old Redi saw the other side to him. She heard his stories, asked him to change his ways - he stopped making girls cry when she asked - and generally had a good relationship with him. A few months after they meeting him, he's dead, a death he said he knew was coming.

The book goes from that initial meeting to their time together - she'd give him her lunch because she didn't eat as much - and her finding out more about him and his story in 2004. Mabegzo's story is heartbreaking, and it just gets worse when you read more about the whys of his tail. His mother's tail is even more so, despite the circumstances of his conception and birth, she loved him and was denied him. All of those threads add together to really show you that yes, a lot of the violence in our country has it's roots in the stories of the people who commit those acts; and that yes, their stories aren't always good or something to be ignored.

All in all this book adds more to anyone's understanding of people. And it provides a partial answer - and maybe even a partial solution - to why we have some many angry and violent people in SA.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Whacked out thinking

It just hit me yesterday, it's been over a year of me being a smaller me. Yes, there've been some ups and downs, but mostly I've maintained a size 34 - even recently hitting that smaller number on some outfits. Cause for celebration you'd think, but it's not. I barely even registered this achievement - it's an achievement, it's hard work getting healthy, and avoiding candy and cake - because it just wasn't good enough. My tummy's not flat enough, my arms too flabby...let's not get started on the thigh - hip - butt area, it's all just not good enough, I must do better.

That got me thinking why isn't it good enough for me? Surely if friends and acquaintances notice, and comment in the positive on the change, why isn't the change good enough for me? This of course lead to more pondering and the continuing realisation that it's not just me suffering from this just not good enough whacked out thinking. It is bikini season after all :-/.

You'd think with it being a continuing realisation that I'd stop being surprised at this mode of operating, but it's not, and it's all just dumb. Why, oh why, do we keep on falling for this stupid societal construction of what a body is supposed to be? Why despite so many of us either having gender studies be the focus of our academic careers - I'm not the only one in that boat, right? - or just reading stories about women who dare to not shave do we give in to this thinking?

Sure we all read Susie, or Judith or Laura and completely agree - well almost - with what they say, and swear "I'll do it. I'll change my thinking, now that I've really noticed the crazy," and it sticks for a little while, but then...bam it's bikini season. I know this rant isn't really helping, but it might just remind you to check you're thinking on this crazy obsession on being beach ready - scratch that on looking good, because after all whose looking good are you aiming for?

Now excuse me while I go reread Bodies and Gender Trouble.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Generally it's been a pretty easy going weekend.
  • Friday we went out for dinner, finishing work at 20:15 doesn't inspire one to make dinner.
  • Saturday morning was the dentist :-/. The gag reflex problem reared it's head again, which lead to more numbing shots than what was planned. This meant half my face was numb for about 6 hours, not the best feeling.
  • The afternoon and evening was all about monster slaying aka we played PFS. The first scenario we played was pretty tough, the Season 4 scenarios are killer - we had 2 deaths averted due to lucky rolls 0_o.
  • Sunday was a lazy day. We spent most of it reading, with a break for lunch with a friend at what has no become my go to option for dinner at the Waterfront - Vovo Tello.
How was yours?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Five for Friday: Dentists and related things

  • I just found out this week that I'll be wearing braces for at least two years :-/. This means I'll have them in when I'm thirty 0_o.
  • Turns out what I thought was an extra - just skew tooth - is just crazy skew.
  • Braces are crazy expensive - you pay more when you get those 'invisible' ones. Clearly I should have become an orthodontist ;).
  • I find the dentist and orthodontist super, super scary. And it doesn't help that I have a bad gag reflex. When they did the get a mould of my teeth part I nearly threw-up :(.
  • Now I need to figure out will I go the different colour elastics every six weeks  - every six weeks, I need to see the scary people all the time :-/ - or go the 'invisible' ones route. Folks who've had braces which one did you pick, and why?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Book review: Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers by Mandy Rossouw

I'm going to start with the blurb because this one does a great job of clearly showing what the book is about.
" In Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers political journalist Mandy Rossuw takes us from the the last elective conference of the ANC, at Polokwane, to the present day, where we're introduced to the eight men who have the most influence on what will happen at Mangaung, and following that, in the race to the national poll in 2014. And then we take a tour through ANC politicking in South Africa's nine provinces, because branch-level dynamics are still key to understanding the ANC."

The book is an easy ready, the short chapters  - 3 to 5 pages for each one - certainly speeds you along. The profiles on each of the eight men includes interesting facts as well as how they've moved and are moving towards Mangaung. Mandy Rossouw takes her time to place everything according to the timeline from Polokwane up to about August 2012, which helps in keeping track everything that has been going on. The book really shines for me when it reaches the discussions on the goings on within the provinces. Some of what Rossouw covers in those chapters includes news that you vaguely remember reading about, but which didn't seem to get much coverage, especially the thrash of political killings.

This book is for anyone who is interested in the politics. Both suited for those who avidly follow news, and those with a lighter or new found interest.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Friday was another taking it easy evening. Jerall gamed, I watched Downton Abbey.
  • Saturday morning was gaming at Fanaticus - there were new players and full tables :).
  • The afternoon was more gaming, but there was a character death :(.
  • Sunday we hit up the Cape Quarter market for brunch with friends E and P. We got to meet P's new person - she didn't speak much, but seems nice enough.
  • That was followed with a play test of the new Mythic rules from Paizo for Pathfinder. We were just two players, but Mythic so far seems to be fun, and very, very high powered.
How was yours?

Friday, 16 November 2012

Five for Friday: Random

  • I've gotten so off track on the healthy lifestyle train, that in order to get it right again I'm not having any soft drinks, cake or sweets till Christmas. Hopefully after that I'll be back to sticking to the only once a week thing I used to have going on.
  • XCOM is the business, fun, but very hard - on easy mode :-/.
  • I'm still not on track with the exercise thing, but all hope is not lost. I can do it, I just need to stop being lazy.
  • I've got seven, seven?!?, books on the go. I've got to get back to one book at a time. This multiple book thing isn't working that well for me anymore. I think I need to stick to two at a time, and just wait to start the new stuff.
  • I've noticed that if the friends aren't big into gaming we don't see them that often. So I've started getting things in place to see those folks at least once a month. Sure e-mail and whatsapp helps you stay in touch, but face to face is really important too.
Have a great weekend folks :).

Monday, 12 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Friday morning the previous manger for the bookstore I work at - who's moved on to better and brighter things - called and offered me a job. It would still be in book retail, but for a larger company that has it's own publishing department. The job would still be in retail, but it's a small step to bigger and better things. Not to forget that I'd be making more money :).
  • Friday later morning, afternoon and early evening was spent with N and K down from Durban  - they came down for a concert, and turned it into a long weekend - going wine, olive and olive oil tasting in the Winelands. I introduced them to roosterkoek at De Stomme Jonge, and a mini walk around that part of Stellenbosch. 
  • Saturday morning and afternoon was work, but after that was boardgames at friends.
  • Sunday was a Shattered Star day followed by dinner at Doyu.
  • In between all of that I played some XCOM - with some squad wipes happening  :( - and got some reading done too.
How was yours?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The weekend that was

  • Friday was another take it easy day, Jerall played XCOM, and I read.
  • Saturday morning we went to Fanaticus to play some PFS, followed that with lunch at De Stomme Jonge which might just replace Basic as my favourite restaurant in Stellenbosch. Post lunch we played some more Pathfinder, but this time it was an AP - Jade Regent.
  • Sunday I had work, but post work we went to go watch Cloud Atlas with a friend. It is a great movie, everything about it - especially the editing and score - is good, go watch it. That was followed by dinner, and so ended the weekend.
How was yours?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Five for Friday: Random

  1. We're having success with the vegetarian dinners, in fact we're up to four a week on most weeks :). This has happened because we don't really buy meat anymore, so our protein options tend to be veg or fish - we don't do much chicken because Jerall doesn't do chicken on the bone, the silly.
  2. I'm still not used to my new hair style.
  3. I realised why I was less anxious about things when we were in NL is in part due to me having been more active. I would walk around a lot more, and I had pilates to go to every week. I've not found a class yet since being back for two reasons, I'm trying to get Jerall to join and more importantly it's just that much harder for me to get them. I'd need to take taxis, and those completely destroy your calm, which defeats the whole purpose of going. I miss the Independence I had in NL.
  4. We've been watching a fair amount of anime lately, two of which are sure to become firm favourites. Check out Sword Art Online and the rebooted Hunter X Hunter.
  5. Lastly a tale from the taxi. Last week I was in a taxi where a middle aged passenger asked the younger guy sitting next to him for help in sorting out an issue with his phone. When the younger guy said he didn't know much about that phone so couldn't help, the older guy berated him for not knowing, after all, "All young ones, know things about phones." After that the same gentlemen then asked a girl with a lip piercing what it's like to eat with those. To which she said normal, he didn't like that answer and told her "If it's normal then we'd all have been born with that." After that we were treated to a monologue on why we need to have two lunch breaks.
Enjoy your weekend :).

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Getting crafty - of sorts

During our trip I kept a lot of the tickets and other bits you collect while exploring. When we got back I used a small double-sided frame  - from Ikea :) - and put tickets from some museums in it. Sadly it wasn't big enough for all of the bits and pieces I had. Then last week I had a brain wave. At work we have smallish display stands  - double-sided to display multiple reviews - not all of them are perfect for display purposes and thus not used. I finally remembered to ask my manager if I could have one, she said yes, and the photos below are the result.

This will be the front view, and yes, this isn't the best way to display, but things fit best on the map I had. If you can't make it out it's things from the Paris trip. I love the picture of the Arc.

The 'backside'.

The little frame, this one sits on our dinning table. I'm still not sure where I'll put the big one.

The other side of the little frame.

A side view of the big one. The little pictures are from the Lourve map. In the top right corner is the napkin holder from the bistro we went to for lunch. The bottom left is the cover from the Catacombs map.

Side view of the 'back side'. I put a Miffy plaster on the map for the Centraal Museum because Dick Bruna Huis is part of their ongoing displays :).

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Review: Conversations with My Sons and Daughters

Title and author: Conversations with My Sons and Daughters by Mamphela Ramphele.

What is it about aka the blurb: Ramphele has stated that she wrote this book in response to the many mentorship requests she's received. It's because of that, that there are many questions and challenges posed to the reader. So it's no surprise that the blurb starts with: "Where did we lose our idealism and why and at what cost?". She does partially answer this but, as throughout the book it's about more than what she thinks should happen or the answer to the questions she poses.

Readability and who would enjoy it:  This is an intensive read, it is a book that you need to take chapter by chapter - maybe even section by section - because you need to really reflect and have what she's written sink in. It also happens because you're calling out facts to your husband as you go along and something interesting takes root in your mind. Something that really stood out for me in this book  - and her earlier one Laying Ghosts to Rest [I'm reading it now] is that we really should have history be a compulsory subject. She'll mention a person, say many don't know who this is/or this person has been written out of history, I'll go I know who this is, check with others around and they won't, so high school history ftw! Although this does tie into her discussion on education, and history of course.

The sections that really grabbed me, and had me feeling somewhat ashamed at my lack of doing anything to better the country were those discussing education, language and values. Granted though the feelings of shame were taken down a notch by her saying many of us are still searching for definitions of our generation's mission, it helps a little. Although then there are the discussions on being engaged citizens, or more like becoming proper democratic citizens and removing our 'subjecthood', which both add to your desire to do something, but show that figuring out what it is, how to go about it and doing it is something that the nation needs to grapple with.

This is one of the few books this year that has made a real, and probably lasting impression on me, and chances are it will make one on you  too. Without a doubt, everyone from 18 and up should read this. Not only does it present you with things to ponder, it adds to a more rounded, full view of our country's history and how we can all become full citizens of our nation.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The weekend that was

  • I'm feeling the bullet points, I think I'll be using them for all the weekend update posts. It's much easier.
  • Saturday was a morning dentist trip. To say that I was afraid is putting it mildly, but I survived. The dentist was great, he explained everything and it was the first time I was given a mirror to hold to see what was going on. It helped calm me down a little, but sadly did nothing for my gag reflex, it got so bad towards the end that he had me sit up 0_o. 
  • Another not so nice part was the injections, or finding out that I'll need extractions - the full number to be confirmed once I see the orthodontist, and he gets a panoramic x-ray [gag reflex made it hard to get one :-/] but it would be a minimum of two - and that braces are a must now. It turns out I have a few submerged teeth.
  • You're probably wondering why I'm only finding this out now, but coupled with having only ever gone once when I was growing up, a chunk of fear and two really bad dentist incidents before, it kind of makes sense.
  • Post dentist we gamed, and my character died :(.
  • Post gaming was dinner at Vovo Telo, yay for cake :).
  • Sunday was a day of sleeping late, taking it easy, lots of reading and finally meeting my sisters foybriend.
How was your weekend?

Friday, 26 October 2012

Five for Friday: Not so bright and shiney

So this is brought on in part due to an early morning conversation with my sister, and also due to seeing someone's blog and admiring her honesty with just expressing almost all that's on her mind.
  • I hate feeling like a mean, stingy cow just because I don't have the money to give my family of origin when asked. The family I prioritise is the unit Jerall and I make, end of story. Now just to learn to let go of that guilt, and not feel like less of a person for it :-/.
  • When stressed or anxious about something, I get chest pains. I know it'll happen, but just not what to do to counter it or get it to end soon. Sometimes things just suck.
  • I've become slightly obsessed with how bad my teeth are :-/. Seeing the dentist tomorrow, it's a bit scary.
  • I need to write my review on Conversations with My Sons and Daughters by Mamphle Ramphele, it has made such an impression on me. I believe that everyone leaving school or university needs to read it. I attended her launch at Book Lounge, and had a question that she seemed to like, and referred to when answering another. She also remembered me when I went up to get her to sign my book :). Yay me.
  • I need to have more yay me moments, and in general need to believe in myself more. This was highlighted by someone that I respect passing an advertisement on to me for something I don't think I could do, but she clearly does.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Book review: The Edge of Nowhere

Given that I'll be writing a few more of these, I'll be giving some takes on format a whirl.

Title and author: The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George. The author is known for her Inspector Lynley novels - I haven't read any of those, but might just give them a try based off this novel. The Edge of Nowhere is her take on YA, and is the first in a planned series.

What is it about aka the blurb: I'll try not to use too much of the blurb here, but it is one handy thing to use for this part :). The protagonist - Becca King  - is on the run from her stepfather. Her mother hatches a plan, but it doesn't go as planned. In trying to survive she befriends some people, and gets involved, full well knowing her safety requires her to keep a low profile. Keeping a low profile for Becca is important, not just because she's on the run, but also because she has a special gift/ability/talent to "hear" other people's thoughts.

Readability and who would enjoy it:  I found this well written. The chapters flowed into each other seamlessly, even the change of perspectives didn't effect the ease of reading. Normally, I'm not a fan of the perspective character change, but when it's done well you remember why it's a tool used by authors to further the story. Anyone who isn't instantly put off by the YA tag could enjoy it. Added to that anyone who reads crime fiction or might want to try crime fiction out could enjoy this. This is a book that could do the rounds in a family, well those with 15 year olds and up in it. All in all it's a light, non intensive read, and I'm looking forward to the second book.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The weekend that was

  • Bullet points because I'm feeling lazy.
  • Friday was a take it easy night, we watched a few  -  but not enough - episodes of Hunter X Hunter.
  • Saturday morning we went to Bread for breakfast, then hit up Biscuit Mill for chocolate and hummus.
  • Saturday afternoon and early evening was spent at a birthday get together for a pal. Cocktails in the sun = good times :).
  • That was followed by dinner and games back at our place with another friend.
  • Sunday was all day gaming, all the monsters were slayed :).

Friday, 12 October 2012

Five for Friday: Some random

    Spotted in the parking lot at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Yes, it is a tree stump under the tar.

  • I'm in  "time to cut my hair" mode. Mostly it's been brought on by me being really tired of taking about an hour and a half to straighten it whenever i wash my hair, and also because recently people have been pulling my hair. Yip, random people have been pulling my hair. To be somewhat fair, it has only been happening on the taxi. My ponytail gets tugged by the person behind me, because they just don't care/notice that they're being asshats. What makes it worse is that it continues despite the person being made aware that they're pulling my hair.
  • We've been trying to cut down on our meat consumptions, aiming for three vegetarian dinners a week. So far so good, although it has been made easier by the fact that whenever we go grocery shopping the meat looks awful and we just don't buy any.
  • Aiming for getting something right three times a week has helped a lot. It's paid off in our take lunch to work more often quest, now with the meat-free dinners and I'm going to try and apply it to getting back into the swing with my physio exercises.
  • I've had a quote from Criminal Minds on my mind a lot lately - sadly I can't remember who said it or which season it was from, so if you know please share. Life it's a hell of a thing to live through.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Book Review: Delusion in Death

If you missed it I'm a big J.D. Robb fan, and so it's no surprise that I let out a little squee when I got to work on Friday and spotted that we had her newest title, Delusion in Death. This one has mass murder through unknown means, and the usual crazy baddie. What I enjoyed is the progress that Eve is making in working through what happened in New York to Dallas - the only title in the series to not follow the "... in Death" naming convention. Yes, some of what happens does feel a little formulaic, but this is a thriller/murder mystery/cop series so there will be some elements that are the same in all of them. And honestly the big draw of a series is the learning new things about the characters, and seeing what is happening with them. Don't characters feel like friends to you too?

I digress, the action in this one is a bit disappointing - Eve kicking ass is always fun, but the interview room scenes are as good as ever. The Somerset and  Eve one liners are still there adding depth to both of them. Roarke, Peabody and Dr Mira are their usual self, but we do read/see more of some of the smaller newer characters added along the way. All in all, if you're a fan this won't disappoint. If you're new to the series, don't read this one until you've at least read New York to Dallas.

Monday, 8 October 2012

The weekend that was

This weekend was a lovely, easy-going one. On Friday evening we went to Canal Walk to go check out the sale at the Cape Union Mart there - both of us are in need of boots. Sadly although they had some lovely boots, none of them fit :-/. That was followed by dinner at Cattle Baron, which has a good burger for a good price, and very good double thick milkshakes.

Saturday was all about gaming. First there was the PFS game at Fanaticus, followed by boardgames at friends. I finally won a game of Agricola - it only took something like 40 games 0_o. Sunday morning was a take it easy morning, we watched some shows, Jerall played DoA 5, I read the new J.D. Robb and then we went off to have an early dinner with friend M who just moved back to Cape Town. We checked out the Readers Warehouse, and I picked up a great cookbook, and filled some of the gaps in my J.D. Robb collection. We tried out Vovo Tello for dinner, the food was great, especially the bread and cake :). I loved the lattes, sadly the service was a bit slow, and there was an issue with one of our meals. Overall though it was/is a great place.

One of the chandeliers at Vovo Tello.

Lamb burger and sweet potato fries.

Chicken, cranberry and whipped brie salad.

A design point on the wall near the staircase.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Five for Friday: Books I've recently read, and want everyone to read

For some reason, despite books being such a big part of my everyday life, I tend not to talk/blog about books often. I'll be changing that. You won't be overloaded by book talk, but it will feature more often, starting today.

  1. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Hilarious just doesn't seem to cover how funny this book is. You'll find yourself stopping between chapters simply because you're either out of breath or your stomach muscles just can't handle it anymore.
  2. A Bantu In My Bathroom by Eusebius McKaiser. Thoughtful, well written and something that gets you examining your views on the subjects covered. The essay on coloureds in Cape Town really got me pondering, a week later I'm still considering what was raised.
  3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Funny, well written fantasy with an adventure that happens in a book, you can't go wrong.
  4. Long Earth by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter. Sci fi where the science makes sense :) Interesting characters, well written and something that just keeps you absorbed.
  5. It's a three way tie between: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, Spud: Exit, Pursued By A Bear by John van der Ruit and Unedited by Jane Raphaely. They're three very different books, but all are entertaining, keep you in the world, and just all round enjoyable.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Meme: How do you read?

I came across this at Gina's blog, who of found it elsewhere...and it's spreading all over.

How do you organise your books?
Those that are on the bookshelf - we only have one, it takes us awhile to find shelves we both like - are in sections: completed series, graphic novels, Pratchett books, hardcovers, cook books and then the bottom shelf has the rpg books. Each section is in alphabetical order. Those stacked all over the flat, and in clear plastic storage boxes are in alpha order too.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I read them all :).

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
No, I just read whenever, wherever I can.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?
I used to be the one book at a time person, but I've turned into the many books on the go person over the past year or so.

What is the last book you bought?
The Rogue by Trudi Canavan, and The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones.

What are you currently reading?
I'm reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) , Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb, and Secrets by Freya North.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
It depends where I am, if I can then I do most of the time.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
It's another, it depends question. So I suppose it's a sometimes answer ;).

Monday, 1 October 2012

Catching up

I know, it's been a month since the last post. This time though I have a really good reason for not posting, no internet. When we left our wifi contract had just ended and we got back and took our time finding a new internet solution. There's not too much to tell, but here goes:
  • the permanent job I was promised, by the director of the company, didn't happen.
  • I got a higher rate, but now have gone from working full weeks to about 12 - 15 hours a week. It's like they want me to leave.
  • I should consider leaving, but we might be heading back to NL in December, so even though it's not the best job option it is one I can have right now, and have it work till we leave. If we don't go then it's clearly something that needs another think.
  • I'm looking into going into teaching. This comes from my constant back and forth between what it is I want to do. I know I like being around people, and I want to do something that makes a difference, so teaching seems to be something that makes sense.
  • It's been a battle to get back on track with eating correctly, and doing all of my physio exercises. I'm almost there with the eating, but still a long way off with the exercise.
  • In random news, Dredd is a very violent movie, but not terrible. The new Rowling, The Casual Vacancy, is a surprisingly good read.
And that is that. How are you doing?

Friday, 31 August 2012

Trip pictures: Gardens

These photos are from two diffrent gardens. The ones closer to the end are from our Sunday exploring. The first few are from the Luxomberg gardens we tried to see twice, both times getting there close to it's closing times.
Notice everyone on either a bench or chair? That's because you can't sit on the grass, if you do a garden 'cop' comes around telling you to get off it.

A bridge for the Japanese section of the garden.


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2019 Reading Challenge

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