What I read in September 2019

For the second month in a row, I finished 13 books. This fact makes me bizarrely happy. I definitely won’t be managing thirteen in October though given I’ve decided to read IT. Eeek, wish me luck with that. But we’re here to talk about last month’s reading, so let me get on with that. I’m linking up with Jana and Steph, as always.

TL;DR at the bottom for those who need it.

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If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams. All her life, Dr. Irini Harringford has wondered why her parents gave her away just before her 4th birthday but kept her older sister, Elle. Although she has spent her whole life trying to convince herself she doesn’t need them, deep down she still longs to understand why they didn’t want her. So when Elle manages to track her down (again) with the news that their mother has died, Irini reluctantly agrees to attend the funeral, despite having cut  Elle out of her life years ago after one too many “incidents”. But as Irini is sucked back into her family’s toxic web of secrets she soon realizes that the past is much more complicated than she ever imagined. This is an interesting psychological thriller, very suspenseful. The mystery of way Irini was given away was pretty obvious, although there is an added twist that I wasn’t expecting. However, all the dialogue in this book annoyed me. The parts in between are well written, but whenever characters were conversing it just seemed really stiff and unnatural to me. I did like it apart from that but I wouldn’t read it again. 3 stars.

Forget Me by K. A. Harrington. Three months ago, Morgan’s boyfriend Flynn was killed in a hit-and-run accident. They weren’t together long, but still she can’t seem to move on. Thinking it will provide some closure, Morgan’s best friend persuades her to upload her only picture of Flynn to the social media site FriendShare along with a note to say good-bye. The girls are shocked when the site suggests she tag the photo as Evan Murphy – someone they’ve never heard of but who is very much alive. A quick search reveals that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. As she digs through layers of secrets, Morgan questions everything she thought she knew about her town, her boyfriend, and even her own parents. This somehow reminded me of old-school Point Horror books (even though it’s really modern with social media and such) and it made me feel all nostalgic. I really liked the friendship between the two girls. The ending was a little predictable but that’s okay. This is exactly the kind of book I would have devoured aged 13/14. 3.5 stars.

The Wife’s Shadow by Cath Weeks. Suzy seemingly has the perfect life – a gorgeous family, a beautiful home and a successful business. But things haven’t always been that easy for her. In her past lies a life of fear and insecurity – a life she ran away from and has been hiding from ever since. When Suzy starts being followed, she fears that her past secrets may finally be catching up on her. And when she finds herself unable to do what to her is the most important thing – keep her loved ones safe – she has to decide how far she’d be willing to go to win everything back. This book is well written and I thought the creepy aspects were done well. All along I thought a certain person must be responsible but I couldn’t work out why. Then when the reveal came it was disappointingly cliché. I literally thought “ugh, that again!”. 3.5 stars.

Emmy&Oliver Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life – to stay out late, surf her favourite beach, just go anywhere or do anything without her parents’ relentless worrying. But ever since Emmy’s best friend Oliver disappeared when they were children, her parents can’t seem to let her grow up. Emmy and Oliver were destined to be friends forever – maybe even more – and his absence left a huge hole in Emmy’s (and all their friends’) lives. When Oliver returns, she hopes they can pick up their friendship where it left off – but things aren’t that simple. Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart… all these years, he thought his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who had kidnapped him and kept him on the run. This is such a cute book, but as you can tell from the description it also covers some surprisingly deep topics. The cover implies a fluffy teen romance (and the synopsis on my copy does too), but it’s actually much more than that. It’s a story about growing up and the complexities of relationships – not just the romantic kind. I loved the friendship group in this story and would actually have liked to have more of Caro and Drew’s stories. There were little flashes to Drew’s problems, e.g. with not all of his family accepting his sexuality, but then it quickly flashed back to Emmy and Oliver’s story, which I suppose made sense given the title but I needed more. I would love a sequel from Drew’s point of view. This is the second book I’ve read by this author this year and I will definitely be reading more. 4 stars.

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell. Dunvegan School for Girls has been closed for many years. Converted into a family home, the teachers and students are long gone. But they left something behind… After her best friend dies under mysterious circumstances, Sophie sets off to spend the summer with her cousins at the old schoolhouse on the Isle of Skye. It’s been years since she last saw them – brooding Cameron with his scarred hands, Piper whose perfection seems too good to be true, and then there’s little Lilias, who’s afraid of bones and insists the antique dolls in her sister’s room talk to her. The sister nobody is supposed to mention. The sister that died. This is very creepy and it actually gets pretty dark for a teen book! I was a little annoyed that the original “mystery” was never actually resolved (I can’t say more than that without spoilers). Frozen Charlotte dolls are a real thing and… well, let’s just say I would NOT be giving them to my child! Between 3.5 and 4 stars.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, Zorie and her former best friend Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets – with Zorie’s father blaming the sex toy shop run by Lennon’s two moms for his company’s losing customers. When a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness after an argument with the rest of the group. Alone. With no way to safety other than hiking. As the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world without the magic of nature and the stars? This book is so cute! I absolutely flew through it. I love the characters (well, except the dad and Reagan, but presumably that’s the point). The premise slightly annoyed me because if they were supposed to have been best friends for so long why wouldn’t she at least *try* to talk to him and find out whether he had a good reason for his actions (which he did) instead of just assuming things. Zorie’s stepmother Joy is amazing and just shows people don’t have to be related to you by blood to be the best family. There are some not exactly subtle sex scenes (points for safe sex though!) so I would definitely recommend this one more for older teens. 4.5 stars.

Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge. A girl emerges from the woods, barely alive. Her story is beyond belief, but every word of it is true. Days later, another desperate escapee is found. Pairs of victims are being abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive. It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Inspector Helen Grace has ever seen. And as she leads the investigation to hunt down this unseen monster, she learns that it may be the survivors – living calling cards – who hold the key to the case. I saw this book on a previous round of Show Us Your Books and thought it sounded fascinating. This is a decent thriller in the police procedural vein. There are excerpts from the perpetrator’s perspective and as soon as they said a certain thing I guessed who was doing it but couldn’t work out why. It’s a surprisingly fast read despite its length (421 pages) and it held my attention but I’m not sure yet whether I’ll go on with the rest of the series. 3.5 stars.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, things get very complicated and his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. And for Simon, falling for Blue is a very big deal indeed… I finally got round to reading this one, a million years after everyone else! It’s cute and there were some moments I liked but… I don’t know. It just wasn’t as good as The Upside of Unrequited. I think I just didn’t like Simon very much. He’s basically horrible to his friends a lot of the time and I kept wanting to shake him. I mean, teenagers being selfish and oblivious is nothing new but uggggh. I liked the emails between Simon and Blue and I loved Abby. A high 3 stars.

Close to Home by Cara Hunter. Last night, 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a barbecue at her home. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or so they claim. DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows that nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew. That means someone is lying. And that Daisy’s time is running out. I really enjoyed this book. It’s very twisty and turny and I changed my mind about who I thought was responsible a dozen times. I had an inkling that something was off with a certain character, but then as the storyline continued I thought that couldn’t possibly be right. Then came the ending and well… apparently it could be, at least kind of. I was not expecting who the other person involved was. The person I felt most sorry for in all this was Daisy’s brother Leo – I was so glad he got to live with a loving family at the end. The final solution/twist does require some suspension of belief but it’s a really well written book. I definitely plan to continue this series (because I clearly need to commit to more series given my huge list of books I want to read?!). 4 stars.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. Until one evening her husband, Gabriel, returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, then never speaks another word. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations – and his search for the truth that threatens to consume him. Reading this book was a surreal experience because I swear I’ve read it before, but I can’t have because it was only released this year and I definitely didn’t read it in 2019. I’m so confused! Not every little detail was familiar, but I definitely remembered some of Alicia’s diary entries as well as Theo’s character and the parts with his wife. I suppose the twist would have been clever if I didn’t recognise it the minute things started to happen because, again, I swear I’ve read this book before?! I gave it 3 stars but it might have been more if I didn’t already know what was happening. Again, so confused!

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton. When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbours. Instead, fear and guilt led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So she cursed them, as you do. Fast forward one-hundred-and-odd years, and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach’s curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author – Nor’s own mother – seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice. Nor senses a storm coming, and she’s certain she’s going to end up right in the middle of it. I mostly enjoyed reading this book. It’s well-written and atmospheric, very spoky in parts (would have been perfect for October) but the pacing is all over the place. It’s pretty slow for most of the book then the action suddenly ramps up towards the end and everything seems to happen at once. The epilogue is either setting things up for a sequel or is just unnecessary and confusing. 3.5 stars.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. After a childhood moving from one academic outpost to another with her professor father, Blue van Meer finally gets the chance to stay in one place as she embarks on her final year of high school at the elite (and unusual) St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina. There, she falls in with a charismatic group of friends and their captivating teacher, Hannah Schneider. A sudden drowning, a series of inexplicable events, and finally the shocking death of Hannah herself lead to a confluence of mysteries. One year after finding Hannah dead, Blue tells her tale in the form of a syllabus for a Great Works of Literature class (with hand-drawn Visual Aids), and attempts to make sense of it all. This is the kind of book that I like to label “too smart for its own good”. It’s very much an intellectual book. The writing and whole style of it reminded me of “The Basic Eight”, but this one is even more drawn out. I liked it most of the time while I was actually reading it but once I put it down I didn’t feel compelled to pick it back up – hence why it took me 17 days to finish. I definitely feel like it was about 200 pages too long – a lot of the intellectual waffling could have been skipped. Nonetheless, I would read this author again. 3 stars.

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy. Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been her, her father and her sister against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. Between juggling multiple jobs, dealing with her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad, Ramona feels like she has to be the adult of the family. ANd, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, causing her to question her sexuality. Could it be that she likes girls and guys or is this new attraction just a fluke? This is partly a  romance, but mostly a story about family, and especially the relationship between sisters. I loved Ramona as a character, but some of her decisions had me wanting to shake her. For instance, I adored how much she loved her sister but hated the way she thought Hattie’s situation had to dictate the rest of her life. Let Hattie make her own mistakes! There were a lot of side characters and it took me some time to get them all straight, but once I did I ended up liking them all. Ruth was my favourite. The plot is a little predictable and it’s also verrrry slow – this is very much a character driven book. But I did enjoy it a lot. 4 stars.

TL; DR. YA fans should definitely read Starry Eyes, Emmy & Oliver and Ramona Blue. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was very popular a few years ago, but honestly if you haven’t picked it up yet I’m not sure you need to bother. Frozen Charlotte is a creepy YA read that would be good for October, but don’t expect some kind of masterpiece. Adult thriller fans should read Close to Home, unless you don’t like police procedurals then avoid. None of the rest were bad, but none were amazing either so you’ll have to read the descriptions above and decide for yourself.

Don’t forget to check out the link up for more book recommendations. And if you’ve read any of these let me know what you thought.

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My reading list for Spookathon 2019

I only recently found out about Spookathon, so clearly I’ve never done it before. It’s a booktube thing so I’m not even sure if it’s open to non-YouTubers, but I mean it’s not like anyone can actually stop me from reading books that fit the prompts soo…

Spookathon is taking place from 14-20 October. It’s hosted by Kayla, or Lala, from Books and Lala on YouTube. The official Twitter account is @thespookathon. I think that covers everything. Here are the categories and the books I plan to read for them:

Spookathon2019

Read a thriller: The Au Pair by Emma Rous

Read a book with red on the cover: VOX by Christina Dalcher

Read a book with a spooky word in the title: The Drowning Pool by Syd Moore (I think drowning is pretty spooky sounding!)

Read a book with a spooky setting: The Shining by Stephen King (I’m sure there’s nobody out there who doesn’t know this one is set in a creepy, haunted hotel)

Read a book you wouldn’t normally read: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack (I never read graphic novels/comics!)

Five books in one week is a lot, but you can use one book for multiple categories, so if necessary I’ll do that. The Drowning Pool has red on the cover, for instance, and The Shining is horror but I think can also be counted as a thriller. Hopefully I’ll manage to get to them all though.

Is anyone else doing spookathon? Or just generally planning to read spooky books in October? Let me know what’s on your list!

September 2019 recap

Before I get into today’s post, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the fact that today is exactly one year since we lost our boys. I never thought I would reach this date again and still be no closer to being a mother. (And please don’t give me any comments about how I still am my babies’ mama, they are always with me, etc. While true, it is not the same as having a living, breathing child to take care of and love). In honour of this day, I thought I would share the only “bump” photo in existence from my pregnancy – courtesy of my mother who insisted on taking it. I was planning to wait until I actually looked pregnant and not just bloated and frumpy, but I never got the chance.

Bev

This and a handful of ultrasound printouts are the only evidence I have that I was ever pregnant. Oh well, gotta keep swimming, to paraphrase Dory. I’m meeting up with my great aunt and uncle this morning (no work because it’s a holiday in Germany), but I hope I’ll be able to go to the cemetery later.

Anyway, on to my September recap, although honestly the entire month went by in a flash and I don’t feel like I did much at all. I’m linking up with the lovely Kristen, of course.

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Travel/day trips

Jan was away on the first full weekend of the month, so on the Saturday I went for a bit of an explore. There’s a place close to Basel called Münchenstein and I had read there’s a ruined castle there, right in the centre of the village, so I went in search of it. I forgot to take my camera so I can’t show you a photo (although I put some phone shots on Instagram, which you my have seen if we’re connected on there), but I found it. The path/stairs outside and the house next to it are private property but there’s a sign saying you can walk there. Nonetheless, a woman standing outside one of the buildings at the bottom of the stairs spotted me reading the sign and glared at me like I was desecrating the place. Rude! The following weekend, Jan was away again, but the one after that was the only one in the entire month where he wasn’t either away with a choir or spending both Saturday and Sunday at rehearsals. We decided to go out for the afternoon on the Saturday, but needed somewhere close since he had to do something with a choir in the evening (literally stand outside the theatre and hum for 9 minutes, then leave. Weird project). We decided on Brugg, which the Internet told me is a “picturesque town”. Spoiler alert: it’s not! I mean, it’s not horrible… there are a couple of nice buildings and the river is pretty, but when I read “picturesque” I kind of expect something more. Windisch, which is either the neighbouring town or a district of Brugg (I never quite figured it out), has the remains of a Roman amphitheatre – called Vindonissa – so that was kind of cool. We had a nice afternoon, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going out of your way to visit Brugg.

Comedy stuff

We went to see John Cleese at the beginning of the month. I think people who didn’t know much of his stuff would have got more out of it since the show mainly consisted of him showing clips from various things on a large screen and explaining how they came up with it/the background to certain things or just showing his favourite clips. It was a bit like a documentary about projects John Cleese had been involved in, but live. Not that it wasn’t good, but I’m not sure it was worth what we paid for the tickets. Oh well.

Cross stitch and card making

I was mostly making Halloween cards in September – I’m now up to 14 completed. Plus a few birthday cards for Post Pals. I meant to start on my Christmas card cross stitching and technically I did, but I only completed one design so I really, really need to get a move on in October!

Reading

For the second month in a row, I read 13 books. I had days where I didn’t pick up a book at all, which is unusual for me. I was tired most of the time and I also got stuck on one book that I enjoyed when I was reading it but never seemed to feel like picking up. Still, 13 is a decent amount so I’m happy.

Watching

I got the box set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for my birthday, so Jan and I started watching that in September. I am loving my trip back down memory lane so far. I’m hoping Jan will have some time to continue watching it with me this month because October feels like the perfect time for demons and vampires and all things undead.

Celebrations

My “baby” brother turned 13 (I officially feel old!) and my godson turned seven. Not that I actually celebrated either birthday since they are in England and I’m not, but they happened. Here’s the birthday card I stitched for my brother (I’ve blurred out the name):

teenager card

Also, I started my current job on 1 September 2009, so it was my 10-year anniversary. Again, I did not actually celebrate but I got a letter from the bosses and will get a one-off bonus payment with my October wages. Perfect timing for Christmas shopping!

Miscellaneous/general life stuff

I don’t really have much to add in this section. I’ve been trying to declutter… using the Swiss method – basically take an empty cardboard box, write the word “Gratis” (=free) on it, fill with things you don’t want and place outside for the neighbours to help themselves. I managed to get rid of a few things that way. I also took about 25 books to free public bookcases in September… I still have a few more in the carrier bag I mentioned in my last post, but I will hopefully be taking those away this weekend. I made apple and rhubarb crumble the other week to use up some apples that we’d had for too long (the rhubarb was frozen) and I decided it should definitely count towards my 5-a-day since I didn’t put any sugar at all in the filling. The topping contained wholegrain porridge oats and pecan nuts. I am a crumble-making genius.

That’s all I’ve got for ya. Like I said, this month went by way too fast.
Let me know what you’ve been up to lately, and of course check out the link up to find out what’s new with the rest of the blogosphere.

Autumn/winter goals

Basel-autumn
Basel in autumn

I don’t usually do seasonal goals and I wasn’t planning to now either, but this year has gone so fast that I feel like I need to have some specific things to tick off for the rest of it to avoid feeling like I’ve done absolutely nothing for the entire year. Also, these are technically “rest of 2019” goals since winter won’t end until the end of March and I don’t feel like planning my life out that far in advance. But autumn/winter goals sounded better. I’m rambling… I’ll just get on with it shall I?

  • Finish making Halloween cards for Post Pals – I have 10 so far, I need 40.
  • Make autumn cards for Post Pals families that prefer not to receive Halloween cards. I need 3 this year.
  • Get at least three quarters of my family/friends Christmas cards made before December (instead of staying up late rushing to finish them in the last few weeks before Christmas!)
  • Send Christmas cards to all Post Pals families.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch! (We’ve already started.)
  • Read It by Stephen King
  • Spookathon in October and Believathon in November.
  • Make crumble again (I made one last weekend and it was delicious. And it’s so easy – I don’t know why I don’t make it more often)
  • Bake muffins
  • Bake some kind of Christmas biscuit
  • Sort out the spare room (which currently looks more like a storage room!)
  • Sort out the shelving things in the dining area. Basically we currently have the shelf things below. We want to take the left-hand part to the cellar and keep just the right-hand part for now (which will be moved more into the corner). That means I need to get everything off the  part on the left. Eventually the plan is to replace the whole thing with a nicer cabinet/unit but that won’t be happening this year.
    dining room shelves
  • Get the huge bag of books that are waiting to go to free public bookshelves empty.
  • Sort out craft stuff and clear the desk that is currently covered in half my supplies.
  • Show my cousin and her boyfriend round Basel (they are visiting in November).
  • Day trip with my cousin and her boyfriend – decide where to go.
  • Take a day trip by myself while I’m off work in October/November.
  • Go to at least one Christmas market.
  • Take my annual autumn photos by the stream on 31st October.
  • Go to the pub quiz at least once more this year.
  • Respond to all pen pal letters I’ve received up to today. (I’m making no guarantees about ones that arrive throughout the next few months though…)

autumn6

 

That’s all I can think of for now. And this actually already seems like a lot, so let’s hope I manage to achieve them all! What are your plans for the rest of the year?

A photo an hour: 21 September 2019

Happy Monday friends! I’ve come to the realisation that photo an hour posts are my least popular in terms of both views and comments. But that’s okay – this is not a complaint, just an observation. I shall continue posting them because I quite enjoy being able to look back and see what I did on a random day two years ago – even if it mostly wasn’t anything interesting. Anyway, September’s photo an hour date fell on Saturday. I took part on Twitter and now I shall also share the photos on my blog. As always, Jane and Louisa were the hosts.

9 a.m. Starting the day with tea, as always.

10 a.m. Cross stitch, but soon I’ll be going for a shower.

11 a.m. I got dressed – yay me! Now opening my post, which included this candle. Look how shiny!

12 noon. Off to the Post Office, where I sent my brother’s birthday present.

1 p.m. In town. There was an emergency services event happening.

2 p.m. Back home. Time for a cuppa before I commence cleaning.

3 p.m. Gotta empty that dishwasher! (And then refill it. Where do all the dishes come from?)

4 p.m. Hoovering the living room.

5 p.m. Second load of laundry about to go in.

6 p.m. Jan was at an all-day choir rehearsal, but he said he would be home by 7 and would want food… guess I’d better get started then.

7 p.m. (ish – I got distracted and took the photo a little late). Food and Pointless Celebrities.

8 p.m. Going back to the 90s as I start my Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-watch.

9 p.m. More Buffy.

10 p.m. On to episode 3. When this was finished we went to bed, and since it was still before 11 there are no more photos.

How was your Saturday? A little more exciting than mine, perhaps? If you want to join in next month, October’s photo an hour will be on the 12th. Simply take a photo every hour and either post it to Twitter or Instagram (or both) using the hashtag #photoanhour or save them all up and write a blog post. Or do all three! Whatever floats your boat. Have a great week my lovelies.

Recent doings #32

I haven’t done one of these for a while… not since I stopped using this format for the What’s New With You link up. Now seemed like a good time for one. Most people call these kinds of post “Currently” and I think maybe there’s a link up with specific prompts? I don’t know. I just grabbed these ones off the top of my head. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve been doing recently. Enjoy!

basel-rhine

Eating. I’ve become weirdly obsessed with dried apricots. At least it’s something healthy, I guess? They make a good snack and it means I’m actually getting fruit into me without having to eat like six plums at once because everything always starts to go bad within a couple of days.

Reading. I’m technically currently reading Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl but I haven’t picked it up for a week. The last book I finished was Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge.

Watching. I pretty much only watch TV when Jan’s home – I don’t feel compelled to switch it on the minute I sit down like he does. Lately he’s been flicking to The Repair Shop (but we always miss the beginning) and it’s such heart warming, wholesome TV. Soon I want to start a re-watch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I got the entire box set for my birthday.

Listening to. Jan and I started listening to the Good Omens radio play. It was on BBC Radio 4 Extra, so we listened to the first two episodes there, but then it became unavailable so we found episode three elsewhere. We need to listen to the rest, but for that Jan would need to have time… (By the way, episode one has a cameo from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, which I thought was awesome.)

Making. Halloween cards for Post Pals. I have about 10, I need 41 (last year I think I made 50, so it’s a little less crazy at least).

Buying. Way too many books, as always. If you’re wondering, I mostly get them from Better World Books (used – I very rarely buy new books for myself).

Wondering. How and where we acquired so much stuff! Clutter… clutter everywhere. Sometimes I’m tempted to just start ruthlessly culling things.

I can’t think of anything else, so I’ll leave it here. What have you been up to lately? Care to share some recent doings in the comments?
By the way, the photo at the top has nothing to do with anything in this post, I just wanted to put something there. You’re welcome.

My favourite season

autumn3

There are people out there lamenting the fact that proper autumn isn’t here yet. Apparently they actually want it to be dark by 5pm and not get light again until everyone has already started work the next day. They’re looking forward to never leaving the house without a rain coat or an umbrella. They’re excited about cloudy days and wet, slippery leaves. But for me, personally, this late summer/early autumn stage is my favourite.

♡ The days have cooled down to a bearable temperature so I can leave the house without a hat, 12 bottles of water and enough sun cream for an army but I only need a jacket if I’m venturing out early in the morning or late at night.

♡ I can go for a walk and neither roast nor freeze. You can call my Goldilocks because I like my temperatures “just right”.

♡ It’s dark by tea time so I can light a candle and curl up with a book after we eat, but I still have time to run out and grab some groceries after work before the evening draws in.

♡ Pumpkins and squashes are back in the shops (yay!) but I still have meal choices that aren’t “what’s the most warming thing I can think of because it is freezing today!” (Side note: why does all warming/comforting food involve so much peeling and chopping? Our evening meals take up so much more of my time on cold days).

♡ We get the ocasional rain shower but it hasn’t yet progressed to multiple days at a time of grey skies and wet feet.

♡ The trees are just on the cusp of turning and soon I will get to marvel over all the wonderful colours, but currently all the trees still have their leaves. (Within weeks of autumn foliage time the trees will be bare and won’t start to get leaves again until April. Is that what all you people who are demanding autumn colours *right now* actually want? Six entire months of depressingly naked trees?)

So all of you who are longing for real autumn, followed by winter, just be a little bit patient. You’ll get your cold, dark, damp days soon enough (and they will go on for longer than you think!) Just let me have these 4-6 ish weeks of “my” season. You may even find that we agree on some things.

*Disclaimer: while the descriptions of my preferences are true, this post in its entirety is thoroughly tongue in cheek. No offence at all intended to those who are looking forward to autumn/winter!