Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Thank you for being ...

I was going to start this by saying, “I have two friends …” but realised that made me sound like a lonesome loser.

Anyway. I have two friends - dammit.

Okay. Now that’s out of the way, let me get to the point of this post, that I’ve had simmering in my brain-parts for a while. I started thinking about it because these two friends are very, very different people.

I call them the “yes, but” friend and the “oh my god yes, you should do it!” friend.

The “yes, but” friend - who I call to mind when I need to temper my actions and impulses, is someone I’ve known since I was five years old. We look nothing alike, but have been mistaken for sisters, as we know each other so well. This is the friend that I will call when I burn my arm on hot oil and need to go to A&E (er, for example). She’s my Saturday night stitch-and-watch friend, and her pragmatism helps keep me grounded.

The “oh my god yes you should do it!” friend is someone I met at work. It’s been rocky, sometimes and we lost touch for a long time - until I took redundancy last year and she came to the leaving do (the leaving do was at the pub, in case you’re thinking I’m getting above myself). She said we should have lunch and I would have dismissed it as one of those “oh, we should get together sometime” things but she was adamant on reconnecting and we started having lunch regularly on Mondays.

This is the friend I can say anything to and she will be nothing but optimistic and encouraging. I told her about my dream to open a bookstore (called The Last Book Shop and I have the perfect location - anyway) and she was nothing but supportive.

I tell my “yes but” friend the same dream, and she says “but what about parking?”  She would also be concerned at my complete inability to finance said book shop. Whereas my other friend will indulge my flights of fancy and give me ideas of what to put in the store.

These two friends don’t know each other, but that’s fine with me. I think I’d rather keep my pragmatist and my flights of fancy friend separate anyway.

That way, I can indulge my daydreams, but still keep my feet on the ground.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday post 33; It's Monday What are you reading? 21

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba here: and is a chance to chat and catch up with the week, and It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Kathryn here: and does what it says on the tin. :)

I didn't do a post last week - I hadn't blogged at all, and didn't feel like I'd done anything particularly noteworthy. I did manage to - finally - do a short reviews post, and I'll be doing another one of those this week.

Spawn turned nine last Sunday, and on Saturday we packed up the car for a road trip to Dunedin which was enjoyed by all. Spawn was happy with visits to a gaming store and KMart, and I was happy with Lush and the University Bookstore - lol.

We didn't have a party on the Sunday, which he was quite happy with. We had lunch at McDonald's and he was perfectly content to be allowed to play video games all day. He declared it the best birthday ever, so there's that.

Work has extended my contract by four weeks, and I'm still covering for a woman on maternity leave. They're preparing for a Big Move to new (smaller) premises but from tomorrow I'll be able to work from home. Sadly, I feel little attachment to the place now - most of the people I worked with and enjoyed working with have moved on and the nature of the beast has changed so much. So I'm clocking in, doing my work and clocking out again, essentially.

I'm still doing the #30for30crafting challenge on instagram and it's going pretty well. I've moved on from the peonies for now, to Circe, who is the next slot in my rotation. But it's been nice, the past couple of weeks, settling down for a bit of stitching while I watch TV. Usually I tell myself I'm too tired, but so far so good. *fingers crossed*

As for what I'm reading - I've embarked on Marvel's Civil War. The arc was on special on Comixology and I know I'm reading it out of order but it doesn't seem to matter *too* much. It's certainly interesting. I also still have Perdido Street Station on the go, although I haven't picked that up for a while (sorry Jodie!) and Royal Assassin, though at the moment it's on the backburner and I'm reading Vision in Silver, book three of the Others series by Anne Bishop.

What about you?

How's your week?

What are you reading?

Monday, 16 May 2016

Area woman reads several books but doesn't blog - you won't believe what happens next!

Sex, scandal and village politics converge in J K Rowling's first post-Harry Potter novel. I can imagine there was a fair amount of head-scratching over this one, as it's about as far from Harry Potter as you can get, but I really enjoyed it.

I worked as a communities copy-editor for a few years and so I  felt right at home with Pagford and all of the little scandals of the village. My only complaint is that there is rather a large cast of characters and sometimes the point of view switches were too quick, but other than that, I really enjoyed it.


Melanie is a very special little girl. Every morning, she waits to be collected from her cell so she can attend class with all of the other special children on her block.

Melanie's favourite person in the world is her teacher, Ms Justineau, and it's that bond that is the catalyst for what comes next. I don't want to say too much, because The Girl With All the Gifts is one of those books you're better going into knowing as little as possible. Apart from a speedy ending, I liked it a lot, and felt deeply for Melanie's struggle to find her place in a strange world.

The All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic is, I will admit up front, not for everyone. I am not one of those everyones - I devoured the trilogy in three days. There is a heavy focus on sportsball - Exy, to be precise, a kind of cross between hockey, lacrosse and volleyball as far as I can make out - that Sakavic created for the series.

Neil Josten has been on the run for most of his life. His criminal father is in jail, and his mother is dead. Neil's plan is to get through the rest of high school unscathed, and disappear. However, his plans are scuppered when a college Exy team comes to his school to scout him.

Boys! Feelings! Sportsball! It's all right here! There's a lot of heavy-going stuff in these books, but I got suckered in to Neil's story and his budding (and slow-burning, there's nearly nothing in book one) relationship with hissing snake-hedgehog boy Andrew.

This reminded me of Glitterland by Alexis Hall, a little bit. Men from very different walks of life - Cambridge University professor Larry Morton and muscly Al Fletcher - meet in a dark alley one night. Larry thinks he's about to be attacked, Al is thinking "better get this pretty, pretty man home before someone hurts him."

And so the relationship starts. It's very much opposites attract, and worlds colliding but Al especially is a great character with an A+ narrative voice.

Marius and Tessa, on Leiliana's orders are about to undertake a nearly impossible mission for the Inquisition, as the Inquisitor readies themselves to face Corypheus in the final battle.

Tessa and Charter have a couple of sweet moments, and I'm looking forward to the next issue - it feels like a nice way to expand on the Inquisition's back story, in a way.

And, of course, it ends on a cliffhanger. Again.

Tom Worthington is trying to keep a low profile at college after his father is arrested for a ponzi scheme and his assets frozen. Tom is determined to Make His Own Way  by gypsy cabbing at weekends and keeping his head down.

HOWEVER, Tom has reckoned without his room-mate, out-and-proud Reese, who is not happy at having to share his off-campus housing.

Can these unlikely room-mates come to some kind of understanding, despite their traumatic pasts?

I liked this one, rather than LOVED it, but it was readable enough.

This one straddles an interesting line between procedural crime drama and science fiction. I'm not entirely sure it was completely successful - not for me, anyway. I kept getting caught up in the science fiction part and confused by the crime drama part.

However, it's deftly written, and the main character is a compelling and interesting narrator. The premise of Lock In is great, I just. I don't know. I got confused by something somewhere along the line, and somehow couldn't get into it properly after that.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Sunday post 32; It's Monday, What are you reading? 20

The Sunday Post - a kind of catch-up chat - is hosted by Kimba here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is hosted by Kathryn here:

Let's see .... I blogged! And not just a Sunday post! I rattled off some very quick sanctuary musings: That's all though.

I need to do a short reviews post, as I now have .... seven, SEVEN??? books to write up reviews for. Yeah ... definitely going to do a short reviews post for those. I got sucked into the All for the Game trilogy by Nora Sakavic, and when I say "sucked in" I mean I bought the ebooks and then read the whole trilogy in three days. It's not for everyone, but I really, really enjoyed it.

I haven't picked up Royal Assassin since last weekend. Yesterday I took spawn to see Captain America: Civil War and then to the gaming store afterward. We both enjoyed the movie and it's the first truly long movie he's sat through so that's something to celebrate. :)

I'm still picking at Perdido Street Station, and also The Girl With all the Gifts, because I keep getting distracted. I do have Lord of the Shadows by Jennifer Fallon lurking in the background, and once I read that - the Second Sons trilogy will be the first series I finish in what I boldly declared in January was the Year of the Series. Ah, youth.

So that means that book three of the Dark Tower is ALSO coming up for me very soon.  :D

What else. I've been stitching a bit this past week - there's a stitcher on Instagram called craftinggeek who, every May, does a 30for30crafting challenge - where you work on a craft for 30 minutes for 30 days. I decided to take it up and see how I go, because usually I tell myself I'm too tired, or whatever. I've managed six days so far (with a bit of extra stitching on Saturday night at my friend's) and here is day one vs yesterday - which was day six.  I have about four hours left in this slot for my rotation, and then I'll be back to Circe - so I'm hoping I can make good progress on that too, and maybe also carry the stitching habit over to next month - I'll see. :)

I also got some books from Book Depository last week, including some bookmarks to be coloured in, which is a great idea with the whole colouring trend being what it is right now.

How about you?

How's your week?

What are you reading?

Friday, 6 May 2016


I’ve been thinking about sanctuary lately - the things that save our sanity and remind us that we’re people, and not just workfamilydinnerhousework drones. You know - the fun stuff.

Reading is a great example for me. Books can sweep you off your feet, break your heart, and take you to all kinds of places. (STATION ELEVEN). I mean. Um. There’s room in my brain-space for books and stories, always, is what I’m saying.

Also gaming. I’ve talked about playing Dragon Age on and off on here, and in terms of sanctuary, it’s the Big One. I can escape into  a fantasy world, where I get to SAVE the world, fight dragons and smooch on pretty elves.

The only downside there, for me, is that I let spawn start playing Dragon Age Inquisition, and suddenly my sanctuary space was a shared space. Which is a bit tricky when it’s my Top Thing To Make the World Go Away. And I don’t want to impose on spawn’s enjoyment of the game. So I decided to start up a new game, that only I know about, and I only play after he’s gone to bed.

I’m taking advantage of the fact I can swap between characters in the game, but it’s the perfect solution. Spawn and I can share the game on one level, and on another level, I can escape my whole entire life for an hour or so.

It - like reading - helps to remind me that I’m a person in and of myself, if that even makes any kind of sense. I can call up my sanctuaries, or wait until I won’t be interrupted and dive into my sanctuaries, and it’s there - in the middle of a book, or in the midst of the Emerald Graves in Inquisition, that I re-find myself as a whole person.

What about you? What do you dive into?