Tis Friday Again (It Comes Around So Quickly!)

1. I learned the value of backing things up when in a horrible moment my computer, after downloading updates showed nothing but a blank screen for ages. As I anxiously sat watching it, willing it to come back to life, all I could think about was the 25+ pages of writing that I HADN’T BACKED UP!! Needless to say, the moment the computer came back on the very first thing I did was locate a memory stick and back up those files. It’s horrible, losing something when you’ve put a lot of time into it.

2. The weather is finally getting better, and I cannot wait to get started on the garden and greenhouse this year, because I’ll have a whole season at it this time. My greenhouse was only put up in June last year, so I’d missed a lot of growing time for my seeds. This time I’ll be moth ahead of that. Just need it get a little bit warmer before I start spending great amounts of time out there.

3. I’m back on the Dark Tower again. Book 5, Wolves Of The Calla, is really holding my attention. I read something else in between 4.5 and 5,l and it just didn’t hold up. I had to will myself to get on and pick the book up, which isn’t good. I wondered whether I was just having an ‘off’ spell, as can happen with any hobby, but as soon as I picked up this latest book my enthusiasm has come back with a vengeance.

4. My car’s at the garage again – it’s been there so often it will soon be able to auto-navigate there by itself! Luckily this time is just for a service, and it’s only just a year old, so there shouldn’t be anything much wrong (famous last words!)

5. Almost the weekend everyone – hang in there, just a few hours to go!!

Five For Friday

1.  I’ve started working on my cross stitch again.  I’d done so much that I had to have a rest for a while because my hands and fingers were aching so much.  I find it really relaxing, working on my stitching.  Sometimes I’ll listen to some music (most often David Bowie these days) while I work.  I’ve also joined the library and started borrowing audiobooks from them, so I’ve listened to a couple of those whilst working too, which is really good.

2.  I used to think thunder and lightning was the worst weather, i was always scared of the lightning, but after the hammering of wind and rain we’ve had over recent days has changed my mind.  Wind is definitely pretty bad; it’s so destructive and relentless.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything quite like the storms of this week, and yet there are so many people who are worse off; all those in flood hit areas.  It’s awful to see it on the news each day.  I have family who live in one of the worst affected areas, but so far they’re managing to avoid being flooded out.  I can remember during the last heavy floods a few years back my dad’s aunt was flooded out and had to be evacuated from her house by helicopter, no small thing for a woman in her late 80s at the time!

3. I have this sudden urge to write fiction.  This comes over me once in a blue moon, and usually ends in me dabbling in some kind of fan fiction.  If it goes any further than just the thinking, I may set up another journal to post my writing.  I used to have a profile on some fanfic website, but whether that’s still active I have no idea.  One of these days I will have to try and write something original.

4.  The new season of Game Of Thrones is out on dvd!!  I’m having a marathon of seasons 1 and 2 before starting season 3.  This serves two purposes; it’s a good recap for what’s already happened, and I usually get the boxset for my birthday, which is March, so I couldn’t watch it now anyway!  I absolutely love the books that the series is based on.

5. Back to writing the five things idea – I wasn’t exactly keeping up with the regular blogging idea otherwise. This should motivate me again.

Three Reasons to Love Lists (No, Really!)

The Daily Post

Yes, I know the internet is awash with lists.  Yes, I know that many of them are terrible. No, that does not mean lists are do be avoided at all costs. Do we impugn all comedians because of Pauly Shore? I certainly hope not. There’s a reason list-style posts are perennially popular, and there’s a lot you can take from them to enhance your own (non-list) posts.

At the risk of causing a list-based meta-implosion that sucks the entire internet into the wormhole of Top Ten Celebrity Baby Names, here’s my list of three reasons to love lists.

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Books 4 & 5 – The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore and Step Back In Time by Ali McNamara

4.  The Greatcoat – Helen Dunmore – finished 27/01/14

In 1950s Yorkshire, doctor’s wife Isabel finds an old greatcoat in a cupboard and uses it to keep warm at night.  She awakes to find a man looking in through the window, who seems to be saying her name.
This is billed as a ghost story, and in a way it is, but for me it was more ghostly romance than anything genuinely creepy.  The story follows the growing relationship between Isabel and Alec, who seem to exist together in another time, as we also see Isabel with her husband Phillip.
It wasn’t a bad story, but I didn’t find myself particularly drawn in either.

Rating – 3/5

5. Step Back In Time – Ali McNamara – finished 28/01/14

After being hit by a car Jo-Jo wakes up and finds herself in 1963. Not knowing whether it is real or a dream, Jo-Jo encounters several people he knows from her real life, and soon believes there are certain things she must accomplish in order to return to her own time. Just as things seem to be taking shape, she is hit by a car again, at exactly the same site of her initial accident, and this time she wakes up in the 70s. Again, the same familiar people are present, albeit in different guises. Each time it seems Jo-Jo is on the right track she has another accident, and each time she wakes up in a new time period – from the 60s right through to the 90s, and finally back to the present time where, having finally learned through her travels what is important, she embarks on a new path in life.

This was an enjoyable, light read. The Beatles and their hits are heavily referenced throughout, and I must admit a lot of this was probably lost on me, as I’ve never really been a big fan; I’ve never disliked them, but never been into them either. I got some of the more obvious references, but did feel some of it was probably passing me by, not that that took too much away from the enjoyment of the read. Strangely enough, just like Jo-Jo, I did find myself getting a Beatles Greatest Hits album as I read more of this book, so who knows, maybe after this I’ll become a fan?

Rating – 3/5

Books 2014

It’s that time of year again, so here are my reading goals for 2014:

  • To read 35 books
  • To read more books than last year on my Kindle
  • Re-read Harry Potter
  • Re-Read Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell
  • Read 5 Stephen King Books (and only count The Dark Tower once, or this goal will be done just by finishing that series)
  • Find 5 new authors
  • Keep better track of what I read, and maybe write something about at least some of the books

Reads & Reviews

January

  1. Cockroaches – Jo Nesbo
  2. Carrie – Stephen King
  3. Wizard And Glass – Stephen King
  4. The Greatcoat – Helen Dunmore
  5. Step Back In Time – Ali McNamara

February

6.  The Wind Through The Keyhole – Stephen King