1st 5 of 2014

1. My cat came in the other night with a long bleeding scratch and a massive chunk of fur missing from behind his ear. It probably happened as a result of a fight (again!). Looks like he’s started the new year as he means to go on, and yet normally he’s such a calm cat!

2. Further cat-shaped developments – he ended up at the vets because there was a lump behind his ear as well as the missing fur; turns out he had an abscess, which had to be lanced and resulted in an overnight stay at the vets so they could deal with the wound. Not nice! I was SO glad to get him back home.

3. I’ve been listening to Tonight by David Bowie. I first listened to it on New Year’s Eve, and it’s been the album I’ve been playing into the New Year as well. It’s really good. I don’t know why I haven’t listened to it before. I was reading about Bowie’s No. 1 albums, and Tonight was mentioned, and that was what made me play it for the first time. I love I Keep Forgettin’, Tonight and God Only Knows, but if you asked me tomorrow I’d probably name some of the other tracks, because there isn’t a dud song on there.

4. I couldn’t resist starting work on my Aurora cross stitch. It’s such a lovely design that I HAD to start it, although blending filament is horrible stuff to work with! Luckily, there isn’t too much of it. I’m thinking of getting a q-snap frame to hold my fabric taut, as the hoops I’m using at the moment leave really deep indentations in the fabric, which is difficult to work over when you reach that point in the stitching.

5. And Finally… today is my DAY OFF!! I wanted to get my time in so I don’t lose it, so I’ve had today and after finishing writing here I’m off out to the garden and craft centre, to see what I can find in the sales…

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A Thing For Bowie And King

Back again for another long-overdue attempt at a journal entry. I really don’t mean to leave it so long between writings, but somehow it always happens. I thinks it’s because there’s not that much new to report.

Am still very much into all things David Bowie and am getting quite a collection of his albums now. I was really surprised to find out my boss is actually a massive fan. We were talking about his music, and the albums I’ve got, and he offered to loan me his copies of some of the ones I don’t have yet. Of all the things I expected, bonding with C over David Bowie was actually pretty low down the list! It makes me smile, thinking about it, because we’ve not really had that much common ground before. I’m pretty envious that he’s been to a fair few Bowie concerts (is it concerts, or gigs? I have no idea?!) over the years.
The album I’m listening to at the moment is Diamond Dogs. I love it. I read that some of the songs were intended for a musical version of 1984, but that it never happened. I think that’s a great shame, because the songs are so good, I’m sure there would have been a place for a show like that. Still, at least we get the, on this album. It’s also made me think I really should get around to reading 1984, because I’ve had it sitting on my shelves for years and yet I never seem to get around to it.

I read two really good books. The first was Police by Jo Nesbo. The latest in the Harry Hole series picks up after Phantom, which was a bit confusing because over here the first book in the series, The Bat, was released in between Phantom and Police, so it’s been a very long time since I read Phantom and I couldn’t recall it all that well.
That didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Police though and I was soon totally engrossed in it. Police are being murdered at the scenes of old unsolved crimes, and Harry Hole has to take on the role of investigator again to help catch the killer before any more murders are committed. It’s fast paced, and keeps you guessing until almost the very end.

The second book I really enjoyed was Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I recently read The Shining, in preparation for this sequel, and was glad that I did. I think you could probably read Doctor Sleep without having read The Shining first, but I do think you get a better understanding of Dan and how he’s been affected by his childhood, which also gives the ending a little more impact. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s a good read.

Am still on a Stephen King season, having now started reading The Dark tower. I read the first book, The gunslinger, about a year ago. I don’t know why I didn’t carry on with the series then, I suppose I got sidetracked with something else, but anyway, I decided to reread the Gunslinger before moving on. I’m now reading The Drawing Of The Three. I’m really enjoying reading how Roland and Eddie first meet, and Odetta/Detta is an interesting character too.

I’ve packed up most of my garden things now, for the winter. I’m looking forward to getting started with my next lot of seed planting, because now I have the greenhouse and everything is there ready and waiting, I’ll have much more time in which to grow my plants. I was very late starting this year, having to get the garden sorted out before I could get my greenhouse. Still, what I did grow turned out okay and gave me some confidence about what I’m doing.

Aside

I’m back for a bit more writing, as it seems a while since I last wrote anything.

I’ve been out in the garden again, mostly just digging out the plants which are dying off and tidying up for the end of the season. It seems to have flown by, but that’s because I was late in getting my greenhouse and getting started. Next time I will start planting my seeds nice and early, give them longer to get established.
I’ve also taken down some of my solar lights, because the days are getting shorter now, and the weather is worse, so they’re not really charging up enough anymore. If they come on at all it’s only very briefly.

I was talking to a lady I work with, and apparently her dad used to grow cacti. She said they were quite easy to grow, and I’ve seen some seeds, so I might get a pack and have a go at those too next time.
She also said her dad grew bonsai trees, and had quite a collection of them, which I was interested in as dad has decided he’d like a bonsai tree. I wanted to know if they were easy to care for, which she assures me they are, so it looks like that might be the next addition to the plant collection.

I had a good trip to the library at the weekend, and got the new Dexter novel, which I’m reading now, Dexter’s Final Cut. It’s good so far. I also got the new Jo Nesbo, Police, which I’ll read next. I requested Doctor Sleep by Stephen King as well, but that one hadn’t arrived, which is probably a good thing because all these books have other requests on them, so I won’t be able to renew them, and there is no way I could get through three books in three weeks, not at the pace I’m reading at the moment.

I got another couple of David Bowie albums too – The Platinum Collection and Hunky Dory. It’s funny, some of the songs on Platinum Collection I’m finding myself thinking ‘I had no idea he sung that’. The song I’ve got on repeat at the moment is Absolute Beginners. I love it.

I’ve started watching Hannibal. It’s really good, but I’m trying not to look up anything about it on the internet because the series has already finished to no doubt there will be spoilers all over the place, and I always manage to spoil myself. Am also trying to avoid spoilers for the last series of Dexter, which I’m waiting for on dvd.

And that’s about it, I think, for now!

Of Music And Books

I’ve just read Under The Dome. I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for absolutely ages, but knowing the tv series was starting finally made me get round to reading it. I don’t know now whether I did the right thing, because they’ve made quite a lot of changes in the series and the book is still so recent in my mind that I find these changes really distracting. It’s almost like a totally unrelated story, which is strange, because there’s nothing wrong with the story at all.

The book is very good. I think Stephen King writes really good characters, and there is no shortage of them here, good and evil. It’s a really long book, and yet it never felt like it dragged on too long.
The final section really bought to life the claustrophobic effect of the Dome, and the end for one particular character drew on this same feeling which I thought gave a horribly fitting demise. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

Next up, I’m reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, which has just been short listed for the Man Booker Prize. If it wins, it will probably be the first prize winner I’ve read, so here’s hoping! Another very long book, it’s really engrossing. The plot is tightly woven and intricate. Some books you can skim read and get the message, this one, definitely not. I find myself absorbing every single word. There are several character viewpoints, all seem to be involved with each other in ways which are only unravelled as the book progresses, so you’re always wondering what’s going to happen next.
I’m more than half way through, and I think the second half is a slightly quicker read than the first, which deals with past events leading up to a certain point, then the narrative continues in the present time.
It’s really good.

Never one to just have one book on the go , I’m also reading The Shining (yes, more Stephen King, I think I might be a bit of a fan!). I’ve wanted to read this for a while, and the upcoming release of the sequel, Doctor Sleep, seemed the perfect excuse to get going on it. I love the atmosphere of the creepy hotel; it’s creepy even before the snow comes to cut off the Torrance family from the outside world. Can’t wait to see what happens.

In other news, I seem to becoming a David Bowie fan. It all started after I watched Labyrinth. I loved the soundtrack so much that I wanted to hear other things he’d sung. I can’t believe I hadn’t been more aware of him before, but somehow I hadn’t. Anyway, that’s all changing now, and I’m getting a bit of a collection of his albums.
So far I have Reality, The Next Day, Heathen and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust. Yes, I still have a long way to go, but that’s the great thing about finding something new to enjoy, especially from someone with so much of a back catalogue. Another rare thing, I can listen to whole albums and find myself listening to every track, rather than skipping through, which I tend to do with most people.
I’m listening to The Next Day as I’m writing now. It’s really good.