Delusions of Grandma by Carrie Fisher.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I decided to read a book by Carrie Fisher. I’d never heard of her, but the back of the book mentioned she’s an actress, which doesn’t necessarily mean she can write books. It often seems like once people become famous they tend to think they can do anything they want, and do it brilliantly. I mean, look at all the soap stars that go on to become singers. (By the way, in case anyone cares a quick Google search tells me Carrie Fisher is most famous for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars. That’d be why I’ve never heard of her then!). The book was cheap though and I’d run out of things to read, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Basically it’s chick lit. Girl meets boy, girl and boy move in together, girl loses boy then then discovers she’s pregnant. Nothing that hasn’t been done before then. Cora, the mother in question, decides to go on with the pregnancy then starts writing letters to the unborn child just in case anything happens to her. Again, nothing that hasn’t been done before. However, the book is actually rather good. Well written and interesting. For example, I liked this: “Even though it was generally accepted that you pressed your genitals together with someone and after a stretch of time and considerable discomfort a tiny human was born, in her heart she could not believe it was so. That babies were a result of sex.”
So, chick lit, but of the better kind. Interesting, well written and while it isn’t exactly life-changing, it was quite nice for whiling away the hours while stuck on a tram going to work. OK, it gets a bit silly towards the end but I’ve read worse books.
That’s my opinion anyway. The Amazon reviewers label it variously as “boring” “stupid” and “trying too hard”, but this is my blog and I say Delusions of Grandma is ok 🙂

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Reading for pain and pleasure

I’ve just been looking at UWE’s online area. The summer holidays are over now and my Masters course is starting again. Time to get back to the old grindstone… cos working full time clearly just isn’t enough for me…
So I was looking at the course material for Text Linguistics where I discovered that the nice man running the course has kindly pointed out that the books he wants us to use are available at the UWE library. Umm, has he not realised that this is an online course. The participants are scattered throughout the world… exactly how useful does he imagine a library in Bristol is going to be? So it looks like I’m going to have to buy some lovely expensive books that I have no intention of ever using again once this module is over. Oh, and he wants the first practical exercise in on 10th October. As in this Friday. Remind me why I wanted to go back to uni?

Ooh, speaking of books – I bought myself a present today. I didn’t mean to, but I spotted it while I was in Thalia having a browse at what kids books they’ve got (I need to start buying Christmas presents now if I’m going to afford them all!) And I’ve wanted it for ages as well. Are you all intrigued now? SHould I tell you what I bought?
It’s Thankyou for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern. Yes, I am aware that her books are pretty much Chick Lit, but who cares. I love them. And they’re not half as brainless as some of the stuff that’s out there. Anyway, wooo something new to read. And for only 6 euros as well – bloody cheap for an English book in Germany!

Right, I’m off to do something useful now…. errm, after I’ve caught up on everyone’s blogs that is…

In which I become male and my boyfriend is the root of all evil

My internet is going incredibly slow at the moment. I blame all the people searching for information about the end of the world. It’s going to happen on Wednesday apparantly. We’re all going to be sucked into oblivion by a black hole built by Swiss scientists. I always knew you couldn’t trust the Swiss. Nobody can really be that neutral.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you all about my weekend. So…
The karting ended up being sort of fun, although it was exactly as scary as I was expecting. Luckily I didn’t have to stay in for the whole time (60 minutes!). I only spent about 25 minutes in the car and just from that my arms are aching. While everyone else sped around the track like lunatics I chose to go incredibly slowly, never managing to get all the way round in under a minute. The others were in teams of two, taking turns to drive the kart. Jan was in the team that came first (mostly becasue the person he was in a team with had been before and was incredibly fast). I on the other hand was dead last. Good job I’m not at all competetive!

Later we went to Vögelbräu where we played “what am I”, a variation on the old game where everyone has the name of a person stuck to their head and has to find out who they are by asking questions which can be answered with yes or no. Except in this case it wasn’t just people that were stuck on our foreheads, but could be anything. People, things, concepts… the possibilities were endless. At one point I was “male” and Jan had “the root of all evil” stuck to his forehead.

I’m now exhausted and my arms are too tired to type, so I’m off to relax with a nice cup of tea and a book that will allow me to switch of my brain completely. I’m sure I have some crappy chick lit around here somewhere that will do nicely…

Unpicking when I should be stitching

I wrote two job applications yesterday – one for the job in Gernsbach that I already blogged about and one for a proofreading job in Ettlingen. I’m not really a big fan of proofreading, especially when the translation is a bad one, but I’ll pretty much apply for anything at the moment. And it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get the Etllingen job anyway – they want 2 years of experience and a translation qualification. I have 1 year of experience and am 1 third of the way to a translation qualification. Hmm, not underqualified much. I’m just hoping that there are so few English people in the local area that someone will have to employ me, if only becasue they couldn’t find anyone else. Fingers crossed please!

Apart from writing job applications, I spent a lot of yesterday cross stitching… or at least trying to. I picked up my latest project (a cat) yesterday and started to stitch… 10 stitches in I realised I’d messed up, so out they came. Second time round I actually managed to get that bit right. Then I tried to start another section, only to realise that I’d messed up something I’d done ages ago. And this time I couldn’t just pull the stitches back through with the needle – these were fully formed crosses. So out came the nail scissors. I hate unpicking those little crosses… it’s so fiddly and I have huge fingers. Seriously. I was called “man hands” at school because of them. So by the time I’d manage to unpick the affected section I was pretty frustrated. Then I went to get some thread to redo them and realised there was hardly any of that colour left. Luckily I just managed to restitch the whole area before the thread ran out, but it was incredibly close. I just hope I don’t discover any more mistakes in that colour at any point! After about an hour of stitching I was exactly 10 crosses further than I had been before I started and incredibly annoyed with the whole thing, so I gave up and read a book instead. By the time Jan came in at 1:30am I’d finished the book I’ve been reeading for the past 2 weeks (Die Templerin by Wolfgang Hohlbeing – if you’re into historical fiction, mystery and betrayal and can read German give it a go. I enjoyed). I also managed to read all of one of the books my dad sent me – Not That Kind of Girl by Catherine Alliott. Yes, it’s chick lit, and yes, I do read that kind of thing. It was a good one, so I’ve decided to keep it. One more book for my future library…