Best/Worst 9 to 15 October 2017

Happy Monday!

Best


Family and cat time. Babysitting on Tuesday, lunch for B’s birthday on Sunday

Worst

Aimlessness.

I’m struggling with not having a lot to do. I need to pull my finger out!

Honourable mentions to another application form, babysitting, and experiencing my sister in law’s commute (I’m in awe of L, because it would drive me bananas), a day on the plot, the joy of coffee, Friday martinis, family time, lunch I didn’t have to cook, the nephews.


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Friday Links 13/10

Happy Friday! There is lots of news out there this week but honestly, I can’t engage with a lot of it right now. Which is a roundabout way of explaining why there aren’t that many week!

T.G.I Fridays and the death of the middle class. This is about the US but sounds familiar

Things more regulated in the US than buying a gun. There is a lot of swearing in this but nevertheless…

American identity and family members that support Trump. This is worth reading, I could write something similar about Brexit…

Ealing council votes for buffer zone. I’m so happy about this, I signed that petition and allowed Sister Supporter to use my story about how the protesters made me feel when I had an abortion. The protesters outside that clinic are a disgrace, especially the ones that call themselves Christian.

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Allotment Adventures: Shutting up shop, harvesting and helping others

We missed a week on allotment last week, I was busy over the weekend and the plot had to fend for itself. However, in the week I popped down to get some chard and picked the last crookneck squashes as the plant had decided to shed all it’s leaves and shut up shop.
So this week, Ma and I wanted to do some weeding, shut up some beds, harvest some produce and spend an hour on Dionne’s plot. Ma started in on the weeding and I got to clearing the greenhouse of the last of the tomato plants. As we’d did with the other buckets, the used compost was added to the beds and the beds covered. I removed the cardboard that the fox had destroyed and replaced with a cover that was pinned down and we’ll see if that works!
I did the same to the two boxes next to the herb patch and the square bed that had the crookneck. Ma and I also had a discussion about enclosing that bed and at least the courgette bed before Christmas as those beds are hard to weed and not to tread on, the raised beds are much easier to deal with and to keep the soil in good heath.
That done, Ma and I had a cup of coffee and a banana and took a walk down to Dionne’s plot and got to work. I don’t have before photos but we did good work and harvested her amazing butternut squash.
That done, we went back to the plot, picked flowers, kale, chard, pak choi, salad leaves and leeks to take home with the potatoes and beetroot from my plot neighbour, Joe. We also tidied up a bit and I slug baited the greenhouse.

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Downtime

Unexpected time off is strange. There are advantages, today I’m going to babysit the nephews, last week I got to spend some time with Sarah and baby Noah and had a lovely lunch with Ma.

But I have to admit because I wasn’t expecting to have time to fill, I’m struggling a bit. It should be easy but I think I’m in shock. However, I’m enjoying the slightly later mornings, the yoga every day and not being tied to the commute.

This week, I need to start to find things to do and to properly start looking for a job. It’s been a while but I done it before and I can do it again.

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Best/Worst: 2 to 8 October 2017

Last week was a bit strange with my new status as an unemployed person. 

Best

A day on the plot. Weekend plans got shifted, we were supposed to be with the boys while Laura went on a work jolly to Barcelona. That got cancelled due to the ongoing situation in Spain and so instead we got a good five hours on the plot. And in that time did some weeding for a friend!

Worst

I was a bit aimless but my week was ok, I don’t think I have a worst but the rest of world was terrible. The Las Vegas shooting, there car accident in South Kensington, Theresa May’s speech, Donald Trump. The world seems to be going to hell in a handcart.


Honourable mentions to babysitting Noah, dinner with Sarah and Justin, lunch with Ma, yoga every morning, an empty train, lying in until 8am, cooking for fun, job application forms and CV’s, the end of our favourite squash plant.

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Friday Links

Happy Friday! It’s been a quite week here.

Woman aren’t nags, they’re just fed up.  My reply to people who accuse me of nagging is ‘if you don’t want me to treat you like an irresponsible child, don’t act like one’. And yes it’s another reason I’m single.

How Trump’s Tax Plan Could Hose Working-Class Parents This is just basic stuff that makes it clear that no-one has sat down and thought about it.

London house prices fall for the first time in eight years. But the average house price is still 13 times the salary I last had and that salary was above average, housing still isn’t affortable.

Different friends perform different functions – that’s why you need a bunch. I was all for this, even though most of my friends don’t perform the functions listed right up until the last one. Thanks Sali, we get it, you’re married now….

Grace Dent on Boris Johnson’s salary issues

When being sent to rehab is actually something else. This is slavery, I have no doubt they’d do it here if they could, it’s terrible.

Involuntary Childlessness. As one of those women it’s good that this is being discussed but I also think that all sides of this need to be sensitive to what others are going through. I worry that society has set itself up into little groups all against each other and concentrating on their pain.

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What I’ve Read – September 2017

It’s been a patchy reading month, I’ve been trying to reduce the kindle list but I’ve been extra critical of some of my reading…

The Astronaut Wives Club – Lily Koppel (Library book)

I picked this up at the library and because I know very little about NASA and it’s race to the moon, this was interesting but because Koppel didn’t talk to all the wives, it seemed to me that she was filling in thoughts and emotions of some of them. It did show the rampant sexism they experienced both from NASA and their husbands but it had me thinking about Hidden Figures and I want to read that story. Soon.

Tattered Loyalties – Carrie Ann Ryan (Kindle free)

This was free and was engaging enough, it follows on from another series, so there’s lots of mentioning what happened, who’s with who and it didn’t hugely annoy me, I was interested enough to look at the next book in the series and would have bought it. And this is where I’m possibly being unreasonable. I read this in a day, a day in which I worked so it probably took me 4-ish hours to read and there are currently 6 books in the series and I can’t, I really can’t, afford to spend £5 per book on a series that I’ll probably be all caught up with by the weekend. I appreciate the effort that the author puts in and that she doesn’t do it for free and all of that is fine with me. This is not a ‘you owe me cheaper books’, if she sells them at that price I’m pretty sure it reflects the costs of them to produce, but sometimes as a reader you have to know your limits and make your choices….

Disorderly Conduct – Tessa Bailey (Kindle bought)

Oh I really wanted to enjoy this. I did. I was all primed for really liking this. But the angst, good God, there was far too much angst. “I want you but not a relationship, I’m no good for that. I have to devote myself to my calling, a proper relationship would get in the way.” And that was just the hero, the heroine was worse. “Mistress rules, I’m fine on my own, my totally emotionally unavailable mother who taught me these rules has changed her mind, so now I’m going to try to have a relationship.” I understand how when you’re 23, you’re ridiculous but it was too much. At no point did these supposedly bright, young things consider that they were taking advice from parents who were idiots. I was so relived to get to the end of it because it was the end!

Turned Up – Erin Nicholas (Kindle bought)

You know what this is going to say don’t you. I find these books a complete delight because they are totally ridiculous in a way I don’t entirely understand but love. Yeah the small town in Nebraska is absolutely have all of these pretty, clever, successful people on it with easy to solve issues and everyone is lovely and isn’t small town America grand? Yes, it’s fantasy and I throughly enjoyed it, as I always enjoy Nicholas’ books.

The Book of Blood and Shadow – Robin Wasserman (Kindle TBR List)

Amazon tells me that I bought this in September 2013, so it’s high time I got around to reading it.

The Thief – Megan Whalen Turner

The Queen of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner

The King of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner

A Conspiracy of Kings – Megan Whalen Turner

I re-read all of these before I started on the new one. Honestly, it was a pleasure to get lost in this world again but also because I love them so much to find things I’d missed before and to see the layers build with each book. They are beautifully written and clever and if you haven’t, you should read them.

Thick as Thieves – Megan Whalen Turner

Which brings me to this book, which is about Kamet, who we met in The Queen of Attolia and we pick up his story again and it’s first person, so this is Kamet telling his story. This had a couple of major plot twists which I won’t talk about but again, Whalen Turner has built layers into this story, she lets us see what a life as a slave might do to someone’s sense of self, how it could be difficult to think differently, how you might be proud of it but at the same time abject in a way which you wouldn’t even really be aware. I really enjoyed Kamet’s journey, I really liked the things we learnt about Gen and Irene. I’ve read it twice already and the only thing I can say is that provokes the good book noise.

Temporary – Sarah Mayberry and Sarina Bowen

I enjoyed this enough but something about the extremes of the families of the hero and heroine rubbed me up the wrong way and the ending seems set for them to write another but felt odd. Overall, I enjoyed reading it, I like both these authors but the book seemed unreal. It could just be book hangover from Thick As Thieves and I was going to be nitpicky about it but although it was ok when I was reading it, I was non-plussed when I finished.

The Devil is a Marquess – Elisa Braden

From series called ‘Rescued from Ruin’. This could have been really bad but the twist was that she was rescuing him and really didn’t want to be married. It does not paint a pretty picture of what it’s like to be an alcoholic going through withdrawal, it’s a bit preachy (we should all be like Americans and work hard!) and a lot of the conflict later in the book could have been done away with if people used their words. Look, I understand the emotion involved and why you wouldn’t but if you think the love of your life is going to leave you, have a chat about it. I promise you’ll feel better, even if they leave.

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