Catching up

I managed to finish all the grading early afternoon yesterday and got to spend the evening watching Doctor Who with Jack and Lucy, before an early night. I got all the grades posted onto the system by lunchtime today.

I’ve gone through all my notifications and my inbox is zero. I think I’m getting the hang of the commenting thing. Sometimes I still feel a bit awkward and over-think what I’m saying but I suspect this is mostly going to be an experience/practice thing and it’ll get easier the more I do it. That’s what I’m hoping at least.

Now all I have to do is catch up on my reading page. Wish me luck?

Following on from my Spotify stats, my Godreads Year In Review figures have also been posted and look a little like:

I would have liked a breakdown of the genres and authors that I read the most as well – does anyone who uses Goodreads know if I can find this information at all?

And I know a lot of my new friends have mentioned they are interested in the poly and BDSM aspects of my life so if there’s anything you’d like to ask me about that, please do

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Just For Christmas by Scarlett Bailey

Just For Christmas by Scarlett Bailey

Synopsis When Alex Munro learns that the love of her life is getting married to another girl, all she wants is to be alone – and as far away from Edinburgh as possible.

Moving to a Cornish cottage, which comes complete with the world’s scruffiest dog, Alex finds that her new neighbours are determined to involve her in their madcap Christmas festivities.

Then she meets her sexy neighbour Ruan – and somehow Alex doesn’t want to be alone this Christmas after all. But having lost one fiance, Ruan has no intention of letting anyone get close to him again…
My rating: 4/5
Filed under: chick-lit, christmas, romance

Just for Christmas has the perfect winter cover. I am a bit of a magpie and anything that glitters grabs my attention and makes me go ‘oooooooh!’, so the twinkly cover appealed to me from the get-go.

I’m also a sucker for books about Christmas, chick-lit and animals, and Alex, the protagonist in Just for Christmas finds herself lumbered with a mad, scruffy dog called Buoy. I warmed to both characters immediately; they are both vibrant, full of personality and desperately in need of love. In fact the characters are the biggest success in this story. I felt like I knew them all, from Ruan, the slightly aloof boatman to Lucy, the barmaid with a hidden past, and I cared for them too.

Village life in Cornwall was also beautifully portrayed. Images of warm, bustling pubs where everyone knows everyone else, a strong community spirit and the importance of festive traditions being upheld made me want to be resident in Poldore myself.

There were elements of the plot that moved unrealistically fast, but I really didn’t mind that at all-sometimes life does move crazily fast and situations change overnight, and even if they didn’t I wouldn’t care because one of the great benefits of fiction is that anything goes!

If you have enjoyed Scarlett Bailey’s other books, or are a fan of Amy Silver, Sophie Kinsella or Marian Keyes, I am sure you’ll love this heart-warming story. As well as Christmas fun and froth it touches on the importance of family, friendship, acceptance and community-something we all need more of at Christmas.

Sundays are my favourites

Lucy and I went to a ‘legs, bums & tums’ fitness class this morning, lots of lunges, step and squats. The instructor, also called Lucy, promised us our bodies would thank us for this workout. My body is not currently thanking me. My thighs, in fact, are protesting quite severely about it.

After all that vigorous exercise, we then had a much calmer afternoon. I made another batch of chocolate raspberry brownies (last week’s went down very well and more were requested) and we needed to replace the calories we burned off!

We cuddled up on the couch with Jack, who has actually behaved all week and properly rested his back and knees, and ate them while they were still warm and gooey, playing Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens until my sides hurt from laughing, before we watched some Buffy.

I’ve spent some time futzing around online. I’ve re-written my mini bio, I’m a little happier with it but it still needs tweaking some. I joined in a friending meme and actually managed to comment and friend people. I found some physics RSS feeds that I’ve added to my reading page and I’ve discovered a book that I want to read – What is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics Hardcover – 31 May 2018
by Adam Becker… is it too late to ask Santa?

This evening has roast beef in store, as well as Doctor Who. Other than that, I’m thinking a soak in a hot bubble bath to ease my aching legs with my book (currently reading Just For Christmas by Scarlett Bailey) and some music, possibly followed by an early night.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Bridget Jones’s Diary documents the life, loves and calories of a 30 something ‘singleton’ who specialises in broken relationships, dysfunctional parents, the ability to infuse diets with Mars Bars and blue soup. In short, this is a satirical look at the life of a young woman living in the 21st century whose only idea of culture is a night in front of the TV watching blind date.

This is a very funny book and Helen Fielding in creating Bridget has given us a character who is very easy to identify with. The humour in the book comes from watching her do the things we’ve all done a million times before but have never admitted to. For example, we have all at some point cursed the invention of 1471 for what in the end becomes an obsessive compulsion to see if that one special person has called … and have all therefore been plunged into a pit of despair when we discover that the last and only person to ever call was your dad!

My only criticism of the book is that it has a slightly predictable ending; though leaving Bridget to any other fate would only have left readers feeling cheated. This is a book for all those people who understand the importance of chocolate and who indulge their addictions even against their better judgement. We’ve all been there and bought the t-shirt – now you can read the book.

PS I Love You

My guilty pleasure when it comes to reading is a good chick-lit – or a romantic comedy, if you will. I’ve been feeling a little down lately so I pulled out an old favourite for a re-read. PS I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. I’ve read it quite a few times and I really do enjoy it.

I’ve always found it an intriguing premise for a novel, and an inspirational idea in general. Holly is a newly-widowed 29-year-old who discovers that her husband has left her a “list” of instructions for her to follow as she adjusts to life without him. Some of the instructions are simple, some not, but all come from the love that they had for one another and his desire that she be okay on her own, as her own person.

How Holly adjusts to this new scenario is very interesting – the people she was used to leaning on disappear, and ones who were always problematic turn out to be her best support. I’m particularly pleased with the character of Holly’s mother, Elizabeth, and the fact that she knows what to say (and, more importantly, what to leave unsaid).

I’m always surprised by some of the sequences – there were points where the storyline could easily become sterotypical but then it goes in a different direction entirely. I love when that happens. A brilliant first novel and one that always makes me want to read more of Cecilia Ahern’s books

Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

Before I say anything else, I need to preface this post with two things:
Firstly, I haven’t written a book report or review since secondary school which was a lifetime ago and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing
Secondly, I rather adore Neil deGrasse Tyson and the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes.

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed his latest offering Astrophysics For People In A Hurry

Is it a marketing trick, I wonder? Publishing a “small book” and then even attaching the words “… for people in a hurry”. Or is it an elaborate joke by Neil Degrasse Tyson himself?

Because this book isn’t all that small content-wise.

Books about the universe make you realise how insignificant we are, but this book also explains how little we know. We think we know, but we know NOTHING. Eighty-five percent of all gravity comes from an unexplained source, dark matter. Then there’s dark energy, which we also don’t know anything about. There are theories, yes, but they’re just that. The book also tells us about Einstein, who in my opinion is the star of this book (and not just the book!). He managed to pose theories that to this day stand up to the many tests.

I had preordered it a few months ago and had forgotten all about it. It was a very nice surprise when it arrived (The joy of preordering stuff !) A few chapters in, I decided to also buy the audio version. Listening to Degrasse Tyson’s voice while laying in bed is like having a warm, comfortable blanket on you. (Sorry, Jack!)

The material within the book, however, has the power to knock you right out. So I wouldn’t really recommend listening to this while preparing to sleep. The implications of this book are slightly frightening. The promise that this book will “in a hurry” prepare you for your next cocktail party where you can pretend you are knowledgeable about the universe is slightly misleading. No, this book is a gateway into astrophysics. It tells us not to be in a hurry, stand still and realise you are part of a great mystery.