Books, life the universe

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Finished Sacrifice

I finally finished Sacrifice by S J Bolton and it was absolutely excellent. At times the suspense is just too painful and I found I had to have a break from it. Some reviewers have said they felt the plot was too far fetched to be credible. I don't agree. I thought it was eminently believable.

The Shetland Islands and its history and legends are cleverly woven into the convoluted plot giving an almost supernatural dimension to the story. The runes carved into the skin of the corpse which Tora uncovers at the start of the book are a masterly touch. Tora herself is a down to earth no nonsense hospital obstetrician who does not believe anything without evidence, but soon she is wondering who she can trust in the closed society she lives in. Everyone knows everyone else and is probably related to them. Even her husband and her boss belong to it whilst she feels herself to be an outsider asking awkward questions. She isn't even sure she can trust the police who appear to want to forget about the body on her land.

I felt I almost wanted to read the last few chapter with my fingers over my eyes - like you do as a child when there's something scary on television. It is one of the best books I've read for a long time and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Friday, 30 January 2009

More books

The tension in Sacrifice was just too much for me so I put it down and read Catherine Alliott's The Secret Life of Evie Hamilton. Very good - full of adult characters, crisp realistic dialogue and very funny incidents and some very sad ones. By adult I mean people who actually think about their problems and understand their own behaviour. The only thing I can say about the plot is that Evie's life is about to be turned upside down by something which even in her worst nightmares she could not possibly have imagined. Well worth a read.

I'm off to finish Sacrifice - have a good weekend everyone

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Still reading . . .

Sorry I don't think anyone is going to get much sense out of me until I've finished reading Sacrifice. Usually I have different books on the go on the bus and at home but this one I'm carrying around with me, reading it on the bus, in bed at night and in my lunch hour. Nothing else is getting a look in at the moment.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible . . . .

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A better day and a brilliant book

Nothing happened today of any note so it was nice and peaceful.

The book is S J Bolton's Sacrifice. A crime/psychological thriller set in the Shetland Isles. Narrator digs up a body wrapped in linen and with its heart missing when she is digging a hole to bury her dead horse - don't ask! I'm about half way through and at this rate I shall be staying up till heaven knows what time tonight reading it. It is excellent with touches of humour which are just right. I almost can't say any more about it without spoiling the story. I feel as though I want to go around waving it in people's faces and shouting 'You must read this!!'

Have to stop now to go and carry on reading.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

An annoying day

We were asked to give personal contact details - home and mobile - to other members of staff who we hardly know - i.e. not my colleagues in my own office. I'm not happy about it and have argued we don't need to as has one of my colleagues.

The information is going to be printed out and laminated and all the members of the team will be given a copy - which will apparently not be locked up and will be available for anyone to look at.

This is not necessary in my opinion - our manager as well as HR etc have access to this information.

I'm in charge of our office in the event of something going wrong - fire, flood etc - and I have a contact list for all staff who work in our building. This has to be kept under lock and key at all times - and it is. So where's the difference?

I have yet to receive a satisfactory answer to the question.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

One Fifth Avenue

I finally finished One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell. It wasn't at all what I expected it to be but it was good. It's about the owners of apartments in One Fifth Avenue and what happens when Paul and Annalisa Rice buy the biggest apartment following the death of Mrs Houghton. Their advent is the catalyst which causes many people's lives to unravel.

Mindy and James Gooch and their teenage son Sam live in what were the luggage rooms when the building was a hotel. James is a relatively unknown writer - though his latest work is about to take the city by storm. Mindy is the head of the committe which runs the building and she also works on a magazine. She starts writing a blog which soon becomes popular. Enid is a gossip columnist and lives next door to her nephew Philip Oakland - a novelist and screenwriter. At the same time as Paul and Annalisa move in, actress Schiffer Diamond moves back into her apartment. Philip takes on an assistant - Lola - who gradually worms her way into his life, just when he is wondering whether to resume his love affair with Schiffer.

Living outside the building but playing a big part in the story are Billie Lichfield - man about town and Connie and Sandy Brewer - Paul Rice's friends and business associates. All the characters are believable and the way they attempt to maintain their positions in society makes fascinating reading. The author seems to be saying that in trying to keep up with everyone, do the right things, say the right things and buy the right things many are in danger of losing their souls.

I expected a light read but instead I got a story which is told with almost forensic attention to detail and some profound thoughts on the state of New York high society. Definitely different.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Bus journeys

I was reminded today by a passenger I quite often talk to on the way home of a bus journey at the beginning of this week. There was an elderly couple on the bus - I've seen them before - and the man is always really nasty to his wife. The topic of conversation was at first what might have happened to their house keys. The wife fished in her bag for them and produced them and remarked perfectly calmly that she'd got them because she'd locked the door on their way out. He then started on at her saying she should shut up talking nonsense because she was really winding him up and he kept on repeating this phrase.

The rest of the passengers were sitting there with bated breath. Then he said had she noticed the price of onions on the market that day. To which she replied no she hadn't. Someone else on the bus called out the price to her and she repeated it to him. Whereupon he started on at her again how she shouldn't go on like that and everyone was laughing at her for being so stupid. It was all totally unnecessary abuse. The lady I was talking to commented that she wondered what would happen if the wife suddenly turned on him and strangled him - as that was what she felt like doing and she didn't even know him.

I suggested that maybe if the chap's wife did we'd all be interviewed by the police as witnesses and of course we'd all be saying 'no comment' and 'I didn't see anything' to protect her. We were saying today that we could just imagine the headlines - police interview 20 bus passengers who didn't see anything when a murder was committed in front of them. Police do not expect to make an early arrest.

This could make a brilliant crime story - perhaps this is my task for this weekend . . . .

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Short stories and light nights

No, not a book of short stories but a book about writing them. Last night I finished reading How to Write and Sell Short Stories by Della Galton - a very well known writer of short stories mainly for women's magazines. I would recommend it to anyone if they want to know how to do it. It's easy to read, the examples used are from published short stories - usually hers - and all the points she makes are easy to understand. It has certainly helped me to understand the format of a good short story and it's a book I definitely want to keep on my shelves for future reference.

Maybe we haven't yet got to the stage of light nights but it was light when i got to work and light when I left work so things are improving. I shall be all right again once I can go out in daylight and come home in daylight - probably some time next month.

I'm having Friday off this week so I shall have time to relax and catch up on my reading - I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Journey to work

I was thinking about the street names in the town where I work this morning. I have to walk across the town from the bus station to the office - a walk which takes me about 10 minutes. There's Swan Street then Pied Calf Yard - next to the Pied Calf pub as you might expect. Followed by Sheepmarket - no sheep in sight though.

Then we get to Hall Place and Market Place where energetic workmen are refurbishing the betting shop so that it looks all bright and modern - and presumably entices people in to part with their money. more readily.

From Market Place I have two choices - down Buttermarket to Double Street or along Broad Street and down Herring Lane to Double Street. From that point I can either go over a Victorian bridge across the river or walk further down to a modern pedestrian bridge.

It's a pleasant walk especially now it's just about daylight when I get to work and the ducks are up and quacking not to speak of the coots with their deep mournful noise. All the water birds were really funny a week or so ago when there were patches of ice on the river. They'd walk across it, come to a hole and end up lopsided with one foot in the water. They weren't best pleased about the situation and the quacks were most indignant. I love the ducks - they seem to put things in perspective.

Monday, 19 January 2009

A Question

What do you do if you buy a book called Teach Yourself Self-Motivation and then can't rustle up the self-motivation to read it?

What sort of people would buy such a book? (Apart from me that is) Do you need to have at least a small amount of that quality to actually buy the thing in the first place?

I love self help books because I figure if I just get one good tip out of each of them they've been worthwhile - and they usually sell well second hand on Amazon or EBay so they don't need to clutter up my shelves unless I really think they're useful.

I'm sure you have to be an optimist to even think about writing a book about self-motivation.

Sunday, 18 January 2009


If you look for them there are a lot of strange discussions happening on Amazon in the form of comments on reviews. A 'guy' calling himself James Uscroft 'The Voice in the Wilderness', posted an extremely long review of the boxed set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on which various people had posted comments mainly disagreeing with what was said. Fair enough you would have thought - after all reviews are simply people's opinions of that book, film or whatever. I have not seen any of Buffy so I'm not really in a position to comment on the review but I was intrigued by the comments which degenerated basically into a slanging match.

Out of curiosity I skimmed through this individual's other reviews which included one of the boxed set of Keeping up Appearances - the BBC comedy series. I think this series is very true to life and I have met people like all the characters in it. I agree that the whole thing would collapse if anyone told Hyacinth what they thought of her. But this chap James seems to have missed the point of the whole thing. We're all hamstrung by people like Hyacinth because we're too polite to tell her what we're really thinking. To me that's one of the things that makes a society civilised; it's not what is wrong with English society as this guy seems to think. He is a fan of the unemployed Onslow who to him is a true working class philosopher. This comment alone probably says more about the reviewer than the programme.

I posted what I felt to be a fairly mild comment that I liked being English and that not telling people what you think of them makes a civilised society. To which he replied that my argument was so flawed it was hardly worth responding to, but then he went on to respond at length.

This started me thinking about facts and opinions. I wouldn't ever say my opinion is the only correct one to hold. Everyone's opinion is just that - their opinion. There's nothing right or wrong about it. 'I disagree with everything you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it.' Is the world getting less tolerant of the opinions of others? It seems so to me.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

John Mortimer

I was sad to hear of the death of John Mortimer - the creator of the famous barrister who never prosecutes - Horace Rumpole - he of the small cigars, Pomeroy's plonk and the Oxford book of English verse - Quiller Couch edition. I have been a fan of Rumpole for years and re-read the stories regularly, to the extent that I recently replaced my battered Penguin paperbacks with 3 omnibus volumes of the early stories. I have the rest in hardback as I've bought them when they were first published.

Of course the character was brought to life for television for that excellent actor Leo McKern. For many people he was the epitome of Rumpole and I must admit when I'm reading the stories it is the actors from the TV series I can picture. Guthrie Featherstone - head of chambers and MP - played by Peter Bowles; Patricia Hodge as Phyllida Trant - later Erskine Brown and all the others whose names I have now forgotten but whose faces live on as their characters.

The stories are memorable for their author's knowledge of human nature as well as the law and each is perfect in itself. They are excellent examples of the short story teller's art. John Mortimer may be dead but Rumpole will live on.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Emma and writing

I finished The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer and was quite sad to finish it. I loved comparing the characters with the Jane Austen version and seeing how the modern incidents lined up with the original. It can be enjoyed in its own right without having read Emma but there is an added dimension if you have read it. I shall look forward to the next in the series which is based on Persuasion.

I actually wrote the first draft of a short story yesterday - a very rough first draft! That's the first one I've written for at least a year. Maybe I can get back into writing again - I hope so. I'd forgotten how enjoyable it is.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Short stories

I finished an excellent collection of short stories yesterday - The Sixpenny Debt and Other Oxford Stories. As might be deduced from the title the theme linking these otherwise disparate stories is the city of Oxford. There are tortoises running shops in Turl street, Medieval servants at the university, crimes which have already happened and those yet to come as well as people reminiscing about their past indiscretions. All the stories are excellent and enjoyable in their own ways, but my particular favourites are 'I Love You, Mr Chicken' and 'The Tortoises of Turl Street'. The first is about an elderly lady recalling her past and her favourite grocer in the 1950s and the second about the tortoises and how if they quarrel they may end up estranged for years, because everything moves slowly for them.

I've nearly finished reading The Importance of Being Emma by Juliet Archer - the modern day interpretation of Emma. This is an excellent sparkling story. I was put off when I first started because it is narrated alternately by Emma and Mr Knightley - in very short sections some less than a page. I seem to have read a lot of books with multiple narrators recently and my first reaction was oh no not another one, but I got used to it very quickly. It is very true to the spirit of the original showing how universal Jane Austen's characters are.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Half way through the week and charity shops

Work has been all right today and even yesterday with the boss there was fine. He seemed to be in a good mood even making strenuous efforts to see our point of view. Today there was just me and one other person in on our floor which meant we could get on and get things done which needed concentration.

I'm keeping up with two of my resolutions so far this year - posting on here every day and disposing of unwanted books to the charity shops. I've fallen out with the British Heart Foundation's shop because they wanted me to sign a Gift Aid form when I gave them some books. I was under the impression it applied only if you gave them money. I refused anyway. I had to look it up on the Internet when I got back to work.

It turns out they can do that but they're supposed to tell you that they are acting as your agent by selling the items and it is up to you whether the sale proceeds go to the charity or to you. The lady in there didn't explain that to me - which she should have done. So I gave today's lot to Cancer Research UK instead who were very grateful and said they always need books.

Off to have a shower and curl up with a good book or three

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Gaudy Night

No absolutely nothing to do with my private life - or even life in general. Martin Edwards - over at Do you write under your own name? - link at the top of the page - wrote about his thoughts on Dorothy L Sayers' Gaudy Night and prompted several comments. It was interesting to see that women were in general far more enamoured of the book than men. It has always been one of my favourites and it is a book I re-read virtually every year.

There is no murder in Gaudy Night - just a rather unpleasant poison pen and a narrowly averted drowning. The main focus of the story is how Harriet Vane manages to overcome her feelings of overwhelming gratitude to Peter Wimsey for saving her from the gallows (in Strong Poison) and starts to see him as someone she can love for himself rather than for what he did.

The descriptions of academic life in the 1930s at Oxford is well done and may well have influenced many people to put the university as their first choice. This may be an idealised portrait but it makes excellent fiction in my opinion.

Even though the poison pen takes second place to the love story it is still well crafted. If you know who did it you can see the clues but I certainly didn't work out who until close to the end of my first reading. The issues aired in the book - should women put career before family and can women have both? - are as valid today 80 years later as they were then. The other issue of importance in the story - is integrity in scholarship vital? - is also still of considerable interest.

If you read the book for its crime content - you may be disappointed. If you read it for the love story you may well decide that its subtlety is much more effective than bodice ripping. If you read it for its depiction of academic life you may form an idealised picture of Oxford. It is a different book completely from Five Red Herrings, The Nine Tailors, Strong Poison or Murder Must Advertise and cannot be compared with them. In my opinion it is an excellent novel which has broken out of the genre mould and can stand on its own merits. It repays more than one reading.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Quiet day today

Nothing of any importance happened today at work so it was quite peaceful. We're no nearer to solving the computer issue but ultimately that's our manager's problem not ours. So the 3 of us it effects have metaphorically washed our hands of it.

I read some more of The Importance of Being Emma a couple of chapters of Dr Thorne and a similar amount of One Fifth Avenue last night. I do like to have more than one book on the go at the same time. For some people that is the reading form of indigestion but I enjoy it. I'm also steadily working my way through the 4 magazines about writing. I shall be settling down with all three of them shortly, once I've finished this glass of wine.

I'm enjoying The Importance of Being Emma as I did Jane Austen's Emma for A Level English Literature and I find I can still remember all the characters and the gist of the plot. I think it's clever the way the story has been translated into the modern world with Philip Elton something in accountancy rather than a clergyman and Miss Bates a company secretary with an elderly mother to look after. Harriet Smith is a flaky temp and Emma's father is a hypochondriac with access to much more medical knowledge than the prototype. I'm looking forward to the next one in this series which will be based on Jane Austen's Persuasion.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Books in the bestseller lists

I was just glancing through Amazon's 'bestseller' and 'movers and shakers' lists and was interested to see that many of the most popular books at present are about such things as feeding a family cheaply, making your own bread, growing your own veg - most notably in poly tunnels, living on a pound a day etc. Is thrift the new black? If it is then the economy is doomed since the popular wisdom seems to be saying we should spend our way out of a recession.

The other top seller seems to be the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. I have not read these not being particularly interested in vampires, but they seem to have taken the world by storm. I wonder whether that is something else to do with the economic climate? Do we turn to fiction which is as far removed from reality as possible when things get tough? An interesting thought.

The thrift bug has bitten me as well. I called in at Sainsburys on my way home last night because I needed some bacon - we fancied a bacon sandwich. I was standing at the checkout and glancing over some magazines and wondering whether to buy the Sainsbury's magazine. Then I saw the price - £1.40 - and decided against it. After all I bought Good Housekeeping before Christmas and still haven't read it and I have 4 other magazines to read - Mslexia,Writers' News and Writing Magazine and Writers' forum. At one time I'd have bought it and probably done no more than glance through it. I do think before buying these days.

Talking of which there have been some very good bargains in some of the shops - Christmas cards - boxed - for 99p each in W H Smith's. If you're a sad person who buys Christmas Cards in the sales then now is a good time to buy.

As for the domain name saga - watch this space . . . . .

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Pretentious cookery

I finished reading Daisy Garnett's Cooking Lessons last night - a combination of cooking and memoir which appealed to me. The book itself was a huge let down as far as I was concerned. It's beautifully produced - about A5 size - has a substantial feel to it and is printed on good quality paper. The illustrations are charming and in the style of water colours. I can't identify with her lifestyle which is sort of luxurious Bohemian though not the sort of Bohemian life I'd want to lead if I was rich. That is not a criticism as I enjoy reading about other people's lifestyles.

My main criticism is that the recipes are in general complicated, in many cases adaptations of someone else's - though the source is identified - take too long to make for an ordinary individual with a life to lead apart from food and many of the ingredients are hard to source unless you live in a city or want to buy much of your food by mail order. There are many spelling mistakes which should have been picked up by the editor or the proof reader and there are far too many instances of the f word in my opinion. Is there really a need for swearing in a cookery book - unless you happen to be Gordon Ramsay?

When I came to a recipe for Shepherd's Pie containing 19 separate ingredients I rather lost patience with the whole thing. Shepherd's Pie is meant to be something comforting which you sling together when you want to eat something simple with a minimum amount of preparation.

No ordinary person buys a special Tarte Tatin pan - a snip at only £25 - unless they are determined to make that particular dessert every day of the week! Likewise if you're making Tiramasiu you're probably going to use Tia Maria in it rather than a special Italian liqueur called Caffe Borghetti which is probably unobtainable outside Italy, or a particular type of biscuit - easily obtainable from your local Italian grocer. Hello? I live in darkest Lincolnshire. I could probably get anything Polish from our local Polish grocers - but Italian - now that's another matter.

I could go on - but you get the picture. I'm just glad I didn't pay for it otherwise I'd have been extremely disappointed.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Cold weather

We have had a tragedy locally which made it to the national news I believe. A lady was killed in her car which got stuck on a level crossing as a train approached. Most of our country level crossings have those automatic barriers which come down less than a minute before the train is due. Unfortunately - as I understand it - her car got shunted onto the crossing by a van behind which hadn't realised she'd stopped. Because of the weather - icy roads - she couldn't manage to get herself or her car off the track in time. This must have been horrific for those who witnessed it and were unable to help as well of course for the lady's family.

Apart from events like this - why does the country grind to a halt in a bit of cold weather? I can never understand this. Round here we seem to be functioning reasonably well in a general sort of way - partly because we've got ice and not snow I think.

No book news today as I'm still in the process of reading Barchester Towers and a sort of cookery memoir by Daisy Garnett called Cooking Lessons. I'm not too sure about this as I'm finding it a shade patronising and also many of the recipes belong to other cookery writers - which she has acknowledged. Lists of ingerdients in other recipes seem incredibly long to me as well. She doesn't seem to take into account the fact that cookery is not an exact science and you only find out what you like by experimenting. More of this when I've finished it. The 4 letter words spoil it as well for me.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Work and books

I suppose it could have been worse. Our manager's still off today and won't be in our office until Friday so it was peaceful. One more person has decided to take the money on the table and go so she leaves at the end of February. When she's gone there will be less than 20 people in the office altogether. We're starting to feel a bit like rats on a sinking ship. Certainly on my floor we're all feeling very demotivated. There's been nothing much happening while I've been off but maybe things will get moving now we've got the festivities over.

Books: I finished another Jane Austen 'sequel' The True Darcy Spirit by Elizabeth Aston last night and found it enjoyable and well written. This one was about the grand daughter of the formidable Lady Catherine of Pride and Prejudice fame. She was cast out by her family after eloping with a handsome sailor and then not marrying him and finds herself having to make her living in London without 'coming upon the town' as becoming a prostitute was called in the 19th century.

I am still progressing with Barchester Towers with all its misunderstandings and misapprehensions. Long winded though he may be at times Trollope still knew how to tell a good story and I love the way even his villains have that redeeming grain of something about them. I am up to the 300 page mark with nearly 200 more to go.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Back to work tomorrow

I have not missed work at all over the last 3 weeks and I shan't enjoy going back tomorrow. I'm sure nothing of any interest will have happened while I've been off - as nothing very much usually happens over the Christmas period.

I have spent today being domestic - not my strong suit - but at least the house is reasonably clean and tidy and the washing is up to date. The shopping was delivered on Saturday so I shan't need to go out and get anything tomorrow.

I'm half way to success on one of my resolutions in that I've been through all my books currently listed for sale on Amazon and weeded out all those which will never sell as there are already several dozen other copies of the title on there for 1p each. I have made a stack - well three stacks actually - of those and they will be gradually taken to the charity shops in Spalding . There are 6 shops that I can think of so I shall be able to scatter largess amongst them for the next few weeks.

Off to remake the beds with clean sheets, have a shower and curl up with a book.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Fat V Thin

Two contrasting articles in the online papers today - this from the Telegraph about Ricky Gervais and his views on plastic surgery and fat people:

The second is from the Mail about a young woman who is seriously anorexic and glories in weighing under 6st at the age of 23 and having the body of 'a 12 year old':

The comments on the anorexia story make interesting reading. The majority are sympathetic and feel the girl needs help because she obviously has serious mental problems - with which I agree as regards her current situation.

But then I went on to think about the public reaction if she'd been grossly obese. There'd have been a lot of comments about fat slobs and it's her own fault and she needs to diet and exercise etc. So being obese is always self-inflicted according to popular opinion but anorexia nervosa is an illness and people can't help it and are more to be pitied than blamed?

From all I've read about anorexia it seems to start off - and in many cases continues to be - a lifestyle choice. You don't suddenly wake up one morning and you're anorexic any more than you wake up one morning and your eating is out of control.

The point I'm trying to make - not very coherently - is about the double standards at work here. Fat=stupid, own fault etc; Anorexic=poor you. need help, illness. Why the difference?

Ricky Gervais I find offensive and the 'humour' is on a par with the Johnathan Ross and Russell Brand affair - just appallingly bad taste. Not all fat people eat unhealthy food and not all fat people fail to exercise - you can't generalise any more than you can over people' cholesterol level by looking at them.

What also seems to be overlooked is the fact that extreme diets - less than 1000 calories - are seriously damaging to your health regardless of your weight.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Dancing with the Dead

I finished reading Deborah Gregory's Dancing with the Dead last night and good though the plot and the writing were it has left a nasty taste. I'm not a maternal person at all and have no particular interest in children in general but I was horrified at the way the main character - Gill - treated her children. This was not something just brought on by living in an isolated and very strange house as there is a scene at the beginning where she loses her temper with her youngest child, Rosie and her husband steps in and calms the situation - obviously not for the first time.

The sheer spookiness of the whole thing with the letters coming apparently from the dead and later the ghosts at her elbow all the time is excellent. But I could have done without her ill treatment of her children. At times she went out of her way to be cruel to them even when they had done nothing wrong. Yes it gave evidence of her character and was similar to the treatment of her ancestors but the book would have been even better without it. To have shown her struggling with her urges but overcoming them would have been more telling in my opinion. There were times when I just wanted to get hold of her and shake her and tell her to get a grip and tidy and clean up the house instead of moping around, neglecting the children and regretting giving up her photography career.

It is a good book and I thought much of it excellently well done but the child abuse was just a step too far. I had thought it was set in the present when I first started reading it but about two thirds of the way through it became clear it was set in 1980 - this is actually crucial to the plot as mobile phones weren't around then.

I am still progressing with Barchester Towers, which is excellent, as well as a couple of other books which I will write about on here when I have got a bit further into them.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

It's 2009

The start of a New Year. It always feels a hopeful time to me. Whatever sort of mess I made of 2008 I can now move on and do better.

What do I want to achieve this year?
  • A resolution to the job situation - the uncertainty has gone on long enough now (sine November 2006)
  • Read lots more books
  • Continue reading Anthony Trollope - over 100 pages into Barchester Towers now and thoroughly enjoying it
  • Write more
  • Try and update jillysheep every day
  • Give the books to charity which I no longer want and which have not sold so far on eBay or Amazon. Things will feel less cluttered then.
  • Enjoy life

Not really resolutions as such but things to bear in mind.

PS - Kilian, if you're reading this - I have joined the Trollope group on Yahoo but have not yet posted anything - thanks for the information and a Happy New Year