Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hell Yeah.

Nothing else needs to be said about this post, it's perfect.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Books/Boxes, Boxes/Books...

I have been putting off starting to pack. Partly this is because I wasn't sure if I was ready to move, partly because I had no idea where to start!

I'd collected a load of boxes from work (the first of many loads I think), got some brown tape (although I want a tape gun now) and even found a black marker to write on the boxes with - but didn't start.

Today I did.

So far I've done five boxes (1 x Penguin, 2 x Transworld, 2 x HarperCollins) of books, only the tip of the iceberg. I had to be careful about how I started to pack them too. What I wanted to do was group them in boxes the way they need to go on the shelves...but I'd be here til next June doing that! In the end I did it the "booksellers way" - by size.

It was quite freeing really, grabbing an armful of 'A' format (think most crime, horror, fantasy) and filling a whole box with them. Some Anne McCaffrey, the Chalet School series, the Redwall series, a scattering of Enid Blyton, a few Kelley Armstrong... they all went in together. I've emptied one whole bookshelf of 'A' format, leaving behind the occasional stray hardback for an author.

Yes, it might be a bit of a bitch when it comes to unpacking, but better that I faff about arranging them and listing them on spreadsheets then, rather than doing it now and not being packed the day before I have to move.

Since I have also rediscovered LibraryThing it's a good thing for me to pack my books quickly. I keep losing whole chunks of time by popping on there to just change a couple of covers to the correct ones for my editions and then getting sidetracked. I actually even made it a paid account since on a free one you can't have more than 200 books, but when I loaded up my spreadsheet it loaded all 500+ and I had a note from them to say:

Hi Kate,

I've noticed you've managed to catalog more than 200 books yet remain an unpaid account.

As the terms of use state, "LibraryThing users may not subvert the system. For example, right now there is a bug that lets you add more than 200 books without paying if you do it in a special way. If you do this by accident, fine. If you do it on purpose, you have legally promised to pay us $10. Fork it over."

So I did. (Especially since I'd had that note back in Oct but only went back on there the other day and they hadn't deleted anything or suspended my account).

When I went upstairs I decided that the first thing to tackle should be a big box (Penguin) full of paperwork that was part mine, part the Yetis. It turned out to contain things like my debt management paperwork from three years ago, old cards, copies of C.V.'s and all sorts of leaflets and tat. I got ruthless. If I found any of my payslips I kept them, but everything else went into a bin bag. Yes there were things like P45's and P60's in there, not to mention chequebooks and exam certificates... BUT NONE OF THEM WERE MINE!!! Like I'm gonna throw my stuff away like that hehe. Very very satisfying in a way.

I eventually stopped packing boxes when Foley came and sat on the one I was trying to seal in a "Both of us have had enough of this, come and have a snuggle" kind of way. So Foley is snuggling on my lap while I type this, and I'm actually cooling down enough to need to put my jumper back on.

Prevarication 2

One word only
1. Where is your cell phone? Sofa.
2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend? Mine.
3. Your hair? Blonde.
4. Your mother? Complicated.
5. Your father? Sarcastic.
6. Your favourite item? Book.
7. Your dream last night? Friends.
8. Your favourite drink? Lemonade.
9. Your dream car? Bugatti.
10. The room you are in? Tidy!
11. Your ex? Yeti.
12. Your fear? Lonely.
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Settled.
14. Who did you hang out with last night? Cats.
15. What you're not? Tactful.
19. The last thing you did? Stretch.
20. What are you wearing? Jeans.
22. Your favourite book? All.
23. The last thing you ate? Chocolate.
24. Your life? Full.
25. Your mood? Relaxed.
26. Your friends? Fabulous.
27. What are you thinking about right now? Packing.
28. Your car? Anthonys.
29. What are you doing at the moment? Prevaricating.
30. Your summer? Endless.
31. Your relationship status? Heavenly.
32. What is on your tv? History.
33. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday.
34. Last time you cried? Friday.
35. School? Life.

Prevarication 1

(I actually did this after the other one, hence the quantity of one word answers!)

My Autobiography
Fill this out IN YOUR OWN WORDS and repost as, "My Autobiography" ... And use your own answers, not anyone else's.

My Autobiography

1.Where did you take your profile pic?
Sitting on a bench in Bath.

2.What exactly are you wearing right now?
Black slouchy trousers, big blue jumper.

3.What is your current problem?
Getting distracted by things instead of packing books.

4.What makes you happy most?
Anthony, the cats, my sister, books, sunshine.

5.What's the name of the song that you're listening to?
No music on...

6.Which celeb you would marry?
None of them.

7.Name someone with the same birthday as you?
Marlene Dietrich

8.Ever sang in front of a large audience?
Yes, with Johnny Ball.

9. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?

10.Do you still watch kiddy movies or kiddie TV shows?
Yep, but only classic ones.

11. Do you speak any languages?
English, tiny bits of French and German, single words in lots of others.

12. Has anyone you've been really close with passed away?

13.Do you ever watch MTV?

14.What's something that really annoys you?
Customers who act like they're better than me cos I work in a shop.

Chapter 1:
1.Middle name:

§kate§, BookshopKate, Oi You!

3.Current location:
Living room, My House, Wolverhampton, England, Earth, Solar System, Universe.

4.Eye color:

Chapter 2:

1.Do you live with your parent(s):

2.Do you get along with your parent(s):

3.Are your parents married/separated/divorced?
Married, but sometimes I wish they weren't.

4.Do you have any Siblings?:
Younger sister.

Chapter 3: Favorites
1. Ice Cream:
Phish Food.

2. Season:


Lush Karma Komba and Veganese.

Chapter 4: Do You..
1.Dance in the shower?
Nope, just spend waaaaaay too long in there.

2.Do you write on your hand?
Yes, at the moment it says BOXES!

3.Call people back?
I try too.

4.Believe in love:

5.Sleep on a certain side of the bed:

6. Any bad habits?

7. Any mental health issues:

Chapter 5: Have You..
1.Broken a bone:
Left wrist twice, left arm once, collarbone once (can't remember which one now!)

2.Sprained stuff:
Ankle, wrist.

3.Had physical therapy:

4. Gotten stitches:

5.Taken painkillers:

6. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling:

7.Been stung by a bee:
Yep, and it went septic so I have a nice scar on my leg.

8.Thrown up at the dentist:
Nope, but I've wanted to.

9.Sworn in front of your parents
Hell yeah!

10. Had detention:
Yup, Miss Black and her Drama favouritism.

Chaper 6: Who/What was the last
I Capture The Castle.

2.Person to text you:

3.Person you called:
Customer at work about their order.

4.Person you hugged:

5.Person you tackled:
Emily probably.

6. Person you talked to on IM?

7.Thing you touched:
Apart from this keyboard, Esme - sitting on my lap and purring.

8. Thing you ate?

9.Thing you drank:
Buttercup cough syrup.

10.Thing you said:
Urgh - after coughing for about 5 minutes.

11.Person you kissed:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Library trip again

Yup, it's that time of the month again.

I read 2 of the books I got last time; The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets and Red Planet. I'm currently halfway through Special Topics in Calamity Physics and The Puppet Masters / Waldo / Magic,Inc so I renewed those two.

Latest batch of books:

Sharpe's Prey, Sharpe's Escape and Sharpe's Havoc - Bernard Cornwell (to keep Anthony busy).
Cupcakes and Kalashnikovs - 100 Years of the Best Journalism by Women - edited by Eleanor Mills (it was the first book I saw when I walked in).
One Big Damn Puzzler - John Harding (fabulous cover attracted my attention and I remembered I wanted to read it).
The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton (I'm trying to read more of the books I "should", and this is one of them).
The Sittaford Mystery - Agatha Christie (I sold a load of these the other day and since I've never actually read one I thought I should give her a try).
The Pilo Family Circus - Will Elliott (I remember this coming in at work and loving the cover, then the blurb. Spotted it on the "Just Returned" shelf so grabbed it.

I got about halfway through The Sittaford Mystery while waiting for Anthony to turn up from work and I'm enjoying it so far.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Reading not essays

When I was at home for the weekend my mum announced that she always thinking that it's a shame I didn't do English A-Level. "But you never liked writing essays did you" she suddenly said at the dinner table - just after my dad had attempted to increase the intelligence level of our wittering by asking what the best book we'd read so far this year was.

Me - "It wasn't because I didn't like writing essays, it was because I couldn't stand the way that 1984 got ruined for me when I did it for GCSE and I didn't want that to happen with something else."

Mum - "Rubbish. Don't you love talking over a book with someone and discovering new layers of the story and the characters. It's wonderful."

There speaks a woman with a first class degree (honours) in English. (Done through the OU too, so while she was bringing us up).

I conceded that I do like talking through books with people, but that it was probably a combination of my English teacher and the fact that we didn't look at the text that way (have to extract the maximum juice for your essays, not ENJOY discussing it) that put me off doing English for A-Level.

(I actually got quite lucky with the conversation as she then didn't go into her "I wish you'd done the IB" speech, when I would have had to throw things at her).

I read books that catch my attention. Sometimes they're recommended to me by people, or there's a link from another book that makes me hunt down something obscure. Sometimes it's just pure chance. I only read Animal Farm and 1984 all those years ago (I was about 9) because they happened to be on the bottom shelves of the bookcase next to the sofa. Animal Farm had a bright cover and I liked reading it, so I read the other book there by that author. I did read some random stuff off my parents bookshelves by cover choice - strangely the black covered "classics" never got picked up.

Anyway, this whole post came about because I started reading one of my newest batch of library books last night - The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. I picked that up because Mark had recommended it but since it also states on the back that it is "in the tradition of Nancy Mitford and I Capture the Castle" I would probably have picked it up at some point. I found a brilliant bit in it last night that summed it all up perfectly.


"I had been looking forward to the English course, but soon found the endless dissection and analysis of the books utterly destructive. I wanted to read, but not to write about what I had read. Shakespeare was the greatest trial. I had adored watching The Merchant of Venice and The Winter's Tale, but had no interest at all in talking about the minutiae of the text."


That's it! I can read something and enjoy it, maybe write a review of it for work and wiffle about it on here. What I can't do is go "why did the writer choose those words in that passage?", "why was she writing in the kitchen sink?", "what is the significance of the dog being called Heloise?". ARRRGGGHHH!!!

I have tried rereading 1984 a couple of times, but I just can't get into it anymore. I can hear Mrs Jemmerson's voice in my head as I try to read about Winston in his flat and the magic of the words gets chewed up and lost. Maybe it's a subconscious reason I avoid the classics so I don't get into a discussion of exactly what the author meant by this or that.

Every now and again I think of doing an OU English course, thinking that I was pretty good at writing essays (I was, I just never got the hang of the endless rewriting) and that I'd end up reading some interesting and important things. Then I hear Mrs Jemmerson in my head and shudder, flicking back to the science degrees instead.


BTW, I haven't read a single one of my new library books yet, been too busy. I am about halfway through Special Topics in Calamity Physics (I have to keep stopping to let it settle in my head) and, as stated above, started The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets last night. It's this having time off work thing, I have lots of other things to do at home and so lose my guaranteed (lunch) hour a day of reading time.

Best books of the year so far: Anthony and mum passed on answering, Emily said the new Tamora Pierce, I went with The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and dad chose The Tenderness of Wolves which won this years Costa Prize.


Ooh, and that 100 again post was my 500th post on this blog. That's rather scary.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Plastic Pink Champagne Glass

Originally uploaded by Petronella Rose.

See no's 47/48 from the 100 again post.

100 again

1. I find typing out the numbers from 1 to 100 really satisfying.
2. Little things mean a lot to me.
3. I’m not adventurous with food…
4. …in restaurants I pick what I know I’ve had before, or steak, or a burger…
5. …except at CafĂ© Champagne where I have to have something different each time.
6. I like simple food. (typed while eating bread and cheese for lunch).
7. I can’t now remember why I decided to do this again.
8. But I’m sure it made sense at some point.
9. The cheese I’m eating came from the Fine Cheese Co in Bath.
10. We bought some Old Spot Real Ale Chutney from there for my dad…
11. …but after I tried it we had to get him a new jar (and a spare for me).
12. I know Foley loves me because when I get a glass of water she has to taste it first to be sure it’s ok for me to drink…
13. …then I have to go get another one!
14. I don’t like tea or coffee, the only hot drink I like is hot chocolate.
15. I drink a lot of squash and fruit juice.
16. I keep a bottle of Bucks Fizz in my fridge at all times (Champagne is too expensive).
17. I also keep sparking mineral water in there to have with elderflower cordial.
18. One day I want a big American style fridge with lots of space inside!
19. I am very much enjoying my holiday.
20. It’s giving me time to get to know myself again.
21. The nice letting agent (James) phoned this morning to let me know I’ve got 2 months left in this house. (Their notice period)
22. This is both good and scary.
23. I’m looking forward to moving somewhere that is just mine.
24. I will definitely have a proper spare room for Emily to sleep in when she comes to visit in July for Harry Potter.
25. I’m terrible at keeping in touch with old friends.
26. When I write letters they’re just like my blog posts…
27. …all long and rambly with the important bits crammed in at the end!
28. This year I made a vow to read 12 books that I’m “supposed” to have read.
29. I’ve managed one so far.
30. I have a book that I write down quotes and poems that I like.
31. When I move I want to (finally) get a pin board to stick them all on.
32. I last had one when at home before uni, and I miss it still.
33. These 100 things are quite hard as my thoughts are not flowing right now.
34. I daydream a lot.
35. I just watched the episode where Buffy has to kill Angel and cried as much as I did the first time I saw it.
36. At the moment Buffy is on while I play WoW...
37. ...although later I might watch it some more while I sew...
38. ...or I might watch Shooting The Past that I've borrowed from mum.
39. I love Stephen Poliakoff's work.
40. I tried to watch a Harold Pinter play the other day and it just gave me a headache.
41. I guess I'm not very cultured really.
42. But I'm happy with what I watch and read and that's what counts.
43. As Emily would say; "Meh".
44. Does watching the TV while playing on the PC count as multi-tasking?
45. I'm not very good at only doing one thing at a time.
46. This means I have lots of half finished cross-stitch projects as I sew different things depending on what I'm in the mood to watch on TV.
47. While washing up I thought about how much I love the glasses I have...
48. I had to stop and take photos of them...
49. ...and then Anthony had to finish the rest of the washing up.
50. It's exactly a year today (5th April) that I first had an email from him.
51. I can't believe that it's not been a year yet...
52. ...and my mother already made him put up curtain poles!
53. We only have "serious" conversations in bed.
54. The rest of the time we're always norking tonsense!
55. That was Thingummy and Bob language by the way.
56. They're from The Moomins.
57. Which I still haven't finished watching on DVD...
58. ...but it is 474 minutes long (plus the 696 minute German language version).
59. I love my sister.
60. That might seem a random jump, but she bought me the DVD for Christmas.
61. I still can't believe I won't be in this house after the 4th of June!
62. I shall have to have a big party...
63. ...or maybe just a grown-up dinner party.
64. I never thought that at 28 I'd still be thinking of them as "grown-up dinner parties"...
65. ...I guess that's cos I still feel 21.
66. I always feel younger in the summer.
67. It's my favourite time of year.
68. I love just basking in the sunshine.
69. I was probably a cat at least once in a former life.
70. Although I don't really believe in former lives.
71. I just believe in something.
72. Just don't ask me to define it.
73. (I know it's not stereotypical anything though).
74. I want to go to Ikea and buy lots of glass prisms.
75. Then I can hang them in all my windows to fill my house with rainbows.
76. I would like to be good at gardening.
77. But I forget to water things!
78. At the moment I have 5 different notebooks for writing things in.
79. One day I'll just put everything in together rather than having different ones for different things.
80. But I love buying pretty notebooks and then I need things to write in them.
81. I adore my new tattoo.
82. It's in the perfect place, but sometimes I wish it was somewhere I could see it too.
83. I'm on the lookout for a labyrinth rug that Ikea used to sell.
84. Then I can have it in my new library room to make it even cosier.
85. I'm dreading the thought of packing my hundreds of books.
86. My spell checker had a problem with this number and a full stop, but not with any of the others.
87. Stopping typing just made Foley wake up and give me a sarcastic look.
88. That usually only happens when I start being noisy, not when I stop!
89. I like things to be beautiful as well as functional.
90. That's why I love my see-through umbrella.
91. And also why I crave a straw dispenser.
92. I have a passion for fairy lights.
93. I want to write by hand more.
94. I feel guilty when I have to work sunny summer Sundays, like I'm insulting the wonderful weather.
95. One day I hope to finally stop biting my nails.
96. I love being blonde again.
97. I feel more like myself than ever.
98. That is A GOOD THING.
99. I have just remembered there are Gu Puds in my fridge.
100. I made it to the end again!