Archive for the ‘random thoughts’ Category

Back to school (kind of)

In PR, random thoughts, shopping on August 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Much as I hate coming back from my holidays, lamenting the idle days, the blue skies, the blazing sunshine, and the general air of relaxation, I do love that ‘back to school’ feeling I get. Refreshed and content, I’m always far more positive and ready to launch myself into work again once I get back, but obviously that means I need all the right tools.

Just like when I was 11 I had to go and pick out a new pencil case and buy a new protractor and set square (like I EVER used them), so I have to go and buy a stack of crisp, posh new notebooks, ink, paperclips and files, as though I don’t have cupboards full at home, all of which, I fervently believe, will give me more pride in my work and make my clients think ‘oooh, she must be very good, look how smart her stationery is.’

I think it’s a common state of mind though – I know lots of people who love that ‘new start’ feeling – I get it at the beginning of the Autumn and on January 1st – the feeling of good intention, ambition and new challenges.

One step at a time though hey? I’ll make the first step to Paperchase.


Coming round to the Kindle

In book, random thoughts on August 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I love reading, always have, always will. Despite the attempted Great Book Amnesty of 2010, which saw me pick up books to give to charitry and then replace them back on the shelf reverently for about four days, when I swore I’d use libraries more and stop buying, I do in fact just keep on buying. And I have nowhere to keep them.

I’ve been toying with, and ultimately turning my nose up at, the idea of buying a Kindle for a while now. I love the whole experience of buying books – the smell of a book shop, the shiny, colourful, soft covers, browsing among them, reading the backs, the flyleafs, making my selections and then the anticipation of getting them home and beginning to devour them.

But this year I might have to succumb. Not only have I now filled half of my own and my parents’ homes with novels, I also can’t bear another year of cramming more books than clothes into my case for a fortnight’s holiday. Ten books, six pairs of shoes, 14 days’ clothes – one case. It just doesn’t go!

So, much as I’ll miss the feeling of fresh paper under my fingers, I think I’m going to have to give into technology. I have to think of all the extra  space I’m going to have. For shoes, maybe. Hmmm.

Movie madness

In cinema, random thoughts, Uncategorized on March 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

At the beginning of the year, the boy and I bought ourselves unlimited cinema cards and said we wanted to try and see five films a month. We’re well on track. Ten weeks into the year, we’ve notched up 13, some good, some bad, but always a good topic for bickering.

To date, we’ve seen:

  • The Next Three Days (thought this was really good, very tense and quite exciting)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I’m too biased to comment rationally on this, everyone knows that I think Harry Potter is the best literary creation ever)
  • Black Swan (worth every award it’s won)
  • The King’s Speech (ditto)
  • The Fighter (really well acted, true story. More than happy to watch Mark Wahlberg with his shirt off indefinitely)
  • Conviction (a bit disappointing, but an amazing and inspiring true story)
  • True Grit (wasn’t expecting to enjoy it but thought this was absolutely excellent)
  • Paul (if I was an 11-year-old boy I expect I’d have loved it)
  • Just Go With It (lighthearted fun, brought home the need to exercise more)
  • No Strings Attached (Again, disappointed. I really like Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher but somehow it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped)
  • Unknown (I love Liam Neeson and didn’t see the clever twist in this thriller. I also think all the comparisons to Taken are unfair)
  • Battle: Los Angeles (About 90 minutes too long)
  • Hereafter (I don’t like the whole interacting with the spirit world thing, so not my bag at all, though pretty thought provoking)

I’ve yet to see The Adjustment Bureau, and I’ve done my best to find someone to see Tangled with, butto no avail. And I’m sure there’s something else I’ve seen and forgotten, probably unfairly to it.

And there’s a whole new raft of great looking movies around the corner, including The Lincoln Lawyer and Limitless which are both out this weekend.

I am pleased that I’ve managed to avoid 127 Hours and Tron, but I think I paid for that 30 times over with Battle: LA. Just my opinion…

Nothing will make up for the weekend of July 15th though, when the final instalment of Harry Potter hits screens. That’s going to be a very sad day for me, I am still in mourning for the series of books ending.

18th Century Girl

In health, random thoughts on September 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

I’ve discovered a worrying side-effect of my re-launched fitness campaign: regular bouts of fainting and vomiting.

It’s not just concerning, it’s quite embarrassing to triumphantly clamber off the exercise bike after notching up 20 miles, or complete a series of poses on the power-plate, and then stagger  sideways for a few steps before crumpling, I suspect not terribly gracefully, to the ground.

I’m hoping that it’s related to the temperature or dehydration, rather than anything ominous like high blood pressure or anaemia, a jaunt to the doctor’s should ascertain that. What i CAN rule out, as I’ve barked more times than I care to count in the past seven days, is the patter of teeny, tiny feet, and I sincerely hope that my doctor doesn’t ask me the same question.

Buy the book

In book, random thoughts, shopping on August 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

I have been a bit overcome by guilt at the amount of books I have put into storage at my parents’ house because I don’t have room for them. Quite why I think that they have is beyond me.

Yesterday, filled with good intentions, I went to their spare room, AKA my library, and started to sort them, I plan to give some to charity. But there is no getting away from the fact that I have an addiction to books and almost see it as criminal to get rid of them, even if it is to give them to a new home.

I don’t feel I can in all conscience give away the Jane Austens, the Bronte sisters’ work, nor that of Dickens, Hardy, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Marvell, Elliot (both George and T.S) or Woolf. Also, Steinbeck, Orwell both Martin and Kingsley Amis have escaped the cull. Fay Weldon and Margaret Atwood formed a big part of my late teens, and as for the Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings or the His Dark Materials trilogy; well, you can forget the idea of me handing those over to anyone.

My chick-lit, I decided, would not be spared the cull. Except for Jane Green of course – in fact, I have bought and hidden her latest work to take on holiday (book cull fail). But I couldn’t part with Marian Keyes’ treasures, nor those of Lisa Jewell or Sophie Kinsella, I know I’ll read them again and again when the mood strikes me… And having bought Dorothy Koomson’s The Ice Cream Girls this weekend, I know I’ll wind up re-reading all of hers this summer, including the heart breaking Goodnight Beautiful which made me cry for a week in Barbados.

So far, I’ve only managed to squirrel away about 30 novels – those that I cannot remember the plots of clearly didn’t make the grade, while some I’ve actually got duplicates of!

Operation Book Cull is very much a work in progress. There are 12 shelves, all stacked back three and four rows deep and crammed to capacity. I expect to rediscover much-loved favourites and toss ones that I didn’t like. I am not thinking about how much cash I must have spent over the past 20 years when my Dad kept saying ‘why don’t you join a library?’

The question is, why didn’t I join a library?

Time for a Taste of Tuscany

In Holiday, Italy, random thoughts on July 29, 2010 at 9:55 am

It’s that time of year again, my favourite time. The time when I flit between frantic exercising/dieting and staring at my reflection in the mirror going: ‘But why do I look so crap? I am trying so hard!’

Yes, it’s holiday time, and holidays wouldn’t be holidays unless I put myself through the awful pressure of needing/wanting to lose a stone in a fortnight when I know damn well that my body isn’t made to be half a stone slimmer.

It’s not helped by knowing I am going to come home fatter – we’re heading to Tuscany, land of olive oil, pasta, wonderful breads, cheeses, Prosecco and wines…mouth watering already. So even if I do persevere with my no bread no alcohol no sugar no fun diet for the next two weeks, I’m still going to expand like a puffer-fish within two days.

Me in my maxi dress

So in some respects, why bother? My diet is not aided by my recent discoveries of two wonderful Midlands businesses: Kiss Me Cupcakes and Cherry Sprinkes, both of whom create the most exquisite, cost effective and delightful cup-cakes imaginable. I blame both of them for my new addiction.

Delicious mid-morning/afternoon/night snacks courtesy of Kiss Me Cupcakes

I’m hoping to offset the icing with a lot of walking – I want to explore Pisa and Florence as well as spashing around in the pool with my little cousin. I’ve got about 15 days until D(eparture) Day and am on a mission to feel more minnow than whale-like in my bikini.

There’s no room for error or over-packing this time; we’re flying RyanAir, so obviously space is precious and I’ve had to explain to my shoes that I have to travel light and they can’t all come along for the ride. I guess the packing nightmare will be next week’s concern…

Back to the Future

In random thoughts on February 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

I’ve become something of a movie buff of late, but I’ve recently developed an annoying habit of being affected by what I watch, and going home and letting it prey on my mind, forcing me to question things that I have never really bothered to question before.

Up In The Air was the first culprit. The story of the corporate downsizer with no ties, no home to call his own and no problem with his lifestyle hit some real chords. I’m lucky enough to have heaps of friends and the support of a loving family, but I’ve always been insistent I’d never want a family of my own. Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney, is way more concerned with his portfolio of privilege cards than in settling down and living happily ever after, and it made me wonder if my life is shaping up to be just as soulless. While I did chuckle at the comedy, I also went away with food for thought and have been wondering ever since just how messed up my priorities may be…

George Clooney - inside my head for all the wrong reasons

So to knock those concerns out of my head, off we trotted to watch the Book of Eli. Well, that made everything so much more light-hearted. The post-apocalyptic wasteland of some future war that could happen tomorrow, in 2012 or after I die just emphasised again how vacuous, materialistic and unimportant so many priorities have become – when we value power over education and fear others accessing one through the other… Blimey.

All in all, it’s made me rather question the route I’d got planned out. Watch this space, I’ll get back to you.

PS: I hope these movies win a few awards, I’d like something to justify the mental beating up I’ve had.