Tuesday, 30 August 2011

What I did this Summer (ha 'Summer'! *snort*) PART ONE

With a vaguely self-satisfied smile, because, really, who honestly gives a stuff WHAT I got up to during my Summer (*snort*) holidays?  I mean, REALLY?  Who CARES?! here's what I've been up to.

Clearly the Counselling still has a way to go with confidence issues, but I digress...

The main reason for writing this post is to see if the result will make me feel any better about myself and/or my 'achievements'.  I may not even publish it.  Ha - publish... now THAT's a whole other post for a whole other day and whole other time. And like the oven which SCREAMS for an appointment, my own interior remains stuck firmly with grime and caked-on years of overflowing.....well, stuff.

Anyway, the list.  *clears throat, taps on champagne glass... but not really 'cause it's 11.05 in the morning and that would be WAY wrong.  ahem*...

1. A window shut and a DOOR opened.  I know - a WHOLE door!
At least that's how it felt, in my little brain.  On the very last day of term, I was visited by our Headteacher who'd heard through the grapevine (Hello Luisa! *waves*) that I was very keen to become involved in the creation of our school's (now 'Academy', thank you very much) new website.  I mean, I have a blog, I write for another one, I've got halfway through creating one for the Hubs, how much harder could making a website be, right?
Nine days later and at least three of them into the wee smalls, I still hadn't quite managed to get it looking exactly how I visualised it, and so I created my OWN website in its entirety first, just to check I was able to perform all manner of confusing stuff with only myself to blame if it went wrong.  But it didn't.  And call me old fashioned but I was mightily impressed with my result.
And like the newly-recently-redecorated room, I can't stop popping in and having a wee proud glance around.  I know.... I know.... little things please little minds.  That should go on my gravestone.

2. I read some books.  And from now on, I'm ONLY listing books I enjoyed.  It's not nice to publicly scorn a book you don't like becasue (and here I'm going to sound scarily like some Agents I've heard from in the past) reading is SUCH a subjective business.  In fact only yesterday I put back books I was reading and loving five years ago.  Tastes in everything seem to change. So, books, and in no particular order:
'A Spot of Bother' - Mark Hadden (he who wrote 'The Curious Incident...') I nearly peed laughing and it's such a lovely, perfectly crafted book filled with the minutiae of life and how it can get all tied up in knots at times. I immediately re-read the first chapter again right after I'd finished it.  That's how much I LOVED it.
'Alice Hartley's Happiness' - Philippa Gregory. I'd read one of Philippa's book before - not her historical stuff (she wrote 'The Other Boleyn Girl' amongst other successful historical books and the film was a JOY) 'The Little House' and as I'm only just dipping my toes into Historical Fiction, I thought the premise of this sounded less daunting - I'm very easily confused with Kings and Queens and Landed Gentry - whatever they are. And this was SUCH FUN.  I could actually feel Philippa's enjoyment tumbling through the pages as she wrote it - it was as if she'd taken all her clothes off (metaphorically you understand, and these would be regal clothes dripping with heavy ornament and dignity and duty) and decided to run naked through a field of cornflowers just to see how it felt.  Okay, then that's how it made ME feel.  It was perfect madness and I'd urge anyone who can get a copy (it's out of print now for some reason - I got mine from the charity shop down t'road) to GET ONE.  She even made up a word - which was a typo but which fitted the description she was aiming for so well, she kept it in!  Loved it.  Oh, did I say I LOVED IT?
'A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian' - Marina Lewycka.  This was something I'd started to read last year and for whatever reason, I didn't get past the first 2 chapters.  I think it was in the wrong room - a book HAS to be in the 'right' place to get the most out of it, don't you think?  Anyway, my friend on Facebook (Hello Jacqui *waves*) suggested I persevere as she loved it so much... and I'm very glad I did.  Slightly on a par with 'A Spot of Bother' it made me feel fuzzy all over with the minutiae of working class family structure and all the little battles they contain.  Some of it made me squirm with delight and some of it made me squeal like a loon.  I could see it all in my head - which is always a good sign for a book.  I'm a very visual person, me.   I did skip all the technical bits about tractors which, I felt were unnecessary and kind of stilted the flow of the story a bit, even though I know it's like... important to the title and everything.... I just couldn't see why it had to be 'that' important... oh I'll stop now.  It was a great read.

This is already feeling like it might be a Two-parter, so I'm going to stop now and take a breath* and continue later.

*tea, biscuits, bread, butter, (in the style of 'Spam') stodge, stodge, stodge, stodge*

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