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Sunday Summary – 26 January 2020

How has your week been? I have my reading mojo back! Wooohoooo!

READING

Kay, Adam - This Is Going To HurtI finished my audio book yesterday (The Gathering Storm), so I picked a new one. Instead of going for something new, I decided to choose one of the non-fiction books already on my shelves and I went for This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay, narrated by the author. I much prefer non-fiction to fiction on audio. I think this is because I usually listen to audio books whilst I am doing chores, like tidying or mucking out the stables. Non-fiction tends to be less complicated to listen to somehow. Lighter fiction would work, but I prefer to read them. This particular book sounds perfect to listen to and I am enjoying it so far, though I am not in very far! When I lived in England I worked in the NHS, so it’s close to my heart!

Keith, Katherine - Epic SolitudeI am reading Epic Solitude by Katherine Keith on my Kindle. It is one of the few NetGalley ARCs I requested. It lured me because of its bill as ‘A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North’. I am about 30% in and that is exactly what it is. It talks about survival in so many different ways, physically and emotionally. Although I am finding the author’s life story pretty powerful and hard hitting, I am not quite sure about the way it is written.

LIFE

My reading slump appears to be over, so that is good. However, in general I am in winter hibernation mode. I am not in the mood for doing much of anything. I am feeling sluggish and unmotivated. I always am this time of year. I can’t wait for spring to start. I need blue skies and sunshine. I would be even be happy if it was frosty and cold – it’s just this dull weather I can’t stand. This greyness is taking over my soul! I don’t think we have even see one snowflake this winter. There is still time, I guess. I do like a bit of snow.

On the upside, all my ponies are finally fit and healthy. I went to visit my seven-month old foal Archie, who is stabled elsewhere now (an hour from my home), to grow and have fun with peers. Me and a friend took him and his year-older brother, Moon, (who I sold to her) for a walk. They were very well behaved for such youngsters.

I am trying to work and bond with my shetland pony and my gypsy mare a bit more and I suddenly feel very inexperienced! We will get there. I will ask some friends for assistance I think.

A couple of days ago we had a bit of drama with our dog Flo, who is a labrador/alsation cross.  She ate a hedgehog! I only realised because she threw bits of it back up, including guts and lots of spines! It was disgusting. I was worried about her still having spines inside her, as she threw up blood as well, so I took her to the vet, He checked her over and gave some advice. She seems ok now, luckily! Stupid dog…

Me and my husband are going to see some live music tonight, which should be fun. The week ahead is pretty busy, but I hope I will find a decent amount of time to read. It is the first time in a few months that I am actually excited about planning my reading for the month ahead! Bring on Feb!

HAVE A GREAT (READING) WEEK!

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 22 September 2019

Well, hasn’t this been a peculiar week? As summer has rolled into autumn, I feel weird and a little bit unsettled. Good stuff happened this week and yet it ended on a sad low and I am not quite sure how to feel at the moment.

READING

Yes, let’s start there. I haven’t done that much this week. I did finish my audio book, which was Becoming by Michelle Obama. My respect for that lady has only grown. She is an icon. I have also finised Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, which was wonderful as well.

I am still reading Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan. I have about 250 pages to, so I will likely finish that in a few days. I have also started reading Never Greener by Ruth Jones. I am not that far in and I am not quite sure what to think of it yet. The writing is ok so far, but it does have some themes I am not that fond of, so we will see… I guess it depends what the author does with them. I have also tentatively started The Iliad on audio book. I am not even past the introduction and it’s 22 hours long, so that one will definitely go into October!

TV

We have watched the first episode of Carnival Row, which was kind of interesting. I did keep wondering throughout why Orlando Bloom sounds like Johnny Depp doing an accent? Bizarre. Not really watched anything else.

MUSIC

Me and the husband had a datenight and we went for a Pokebowl and some live music. We saw Cassia, which is a young band that had their debut album out this year. It sounds a little like Vampire Weekend in that it is indie music with exotic influences. Lots of interesting percussion. I will drop a video below, which is not the gig I went too, but it will give you an idea what they sound like! They were really awesome and a lot of fun. Check them out!

Autumn has rolled in and thus I ended up listening to Sigur Ros today for the first time in ages.

LIFE

It’s been a busy and messy week that ended with the awful news that my uncle’s battle with cancer is coming to an end. I spend some time with my family today trying to come to terms with that. There were lots of tears, but luckily also laughter. Life throws us good times, bad times and curve balls. Luckily we cannot see what is ahead. It just reiterates the fact that we should enjoy every single day on this earth, because you never know what is around the corner. My uncle was told last year he had weeks. He lasted another year…. Now I just hope the end comes swiftly and without too much suffering. He unlikely to last the week, so there are more tears ahead…

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 8 September 2019

It’s been a strange week somehow. It has been really autumnal whilst I was hoping for an Indian summer, so I am a bit bummed. Winter always seems to last forever when September is cold and rainy. Hopefully it warm up a bit soon for a last blast of summer.

READING

My reading has been really up and down. I have been listening to audio books, which is something I have not really done all year, so that is pretty awesome. I always prefer to listen to autobiographies read by the author. I find I can’t concentrate on audio fiction, though if you have really good recommendations I would love to hear them! I finished Walking Home by Clare Balding, which I really enjoyed, and I have started Becoming by Michelle Obama, wich I am loving so far. Very different women, but both very inspiring to me.

Balding, Clare - Walking Home  Obama, Michelle - Becoming

The first book I finished reading was Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. That was such a fun read. It is a bit like reading a soap opera, but sometimes you need a good light read. That was exactly what it was. A fun time.

Kwan, Kevin - Crazy Rich Asians   Spencer Davis, Lloyd - A Polar Affair

Finally I finished A Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis, which was such a fascinating non-fiction book about the race for the South Pole as well as the lives of Antarctic penguins. It was very well done and I liked that it had these dual subjects and how they were related.

I am currently reading book 11 of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, which is Knife of Dreams. As more and more information is released about the upcoming Amazon adaptation I am getting more and more excited about it as well. The casting is looking so good!

Winman, Sarah - Tin Man   Jordan, Robert - The Wheel of Time 11 Knife of Dreams

I have also started reading Tin Man by Sarah Winman, which I plan to read a good chunk of today. It is one of the books I am reading for my 2019 TBR. I have been reading bitesized chunks of it, but I would really like to get my teeth into it today.

TV

I have watched very little TV this week. We watched a couple of the earliest episodes of The Big Bang Theory for the first time in ages and that was kind of fun!

OTHER

It was my daughter’s first week back at school and it feels like we are right back into the swing of things. We have always opened our Airbnb cottage again, after being closed for the month of August, and we have been having guests in it again.

It was my grandma’s 93rd birthday. She has early stages of dementia and can be a very tricky lady. She finds it hard to know which memories are real and which she has made up along the way. Everything is real to her, which leads to very difficult situations. More of my family is travelling down today to see her, so I am bringing some cake and we are having a small celebration for her.

We have some sort of creatures in our roof making a racket at night. We are trying to figure out what it could be, but we are not sure. First we thought woodboring beetles, but it is a proper gnawing sound, which sounds more like mice, but that too seems odd, so we are not quite sure. I might ring pest control tomorrow and discuss it with them, as it is so annoying!.

COMING UP

I am hoping it will be a quiet week, but I always hope that and it usually isn’t. I usually end up running around like a headless chicken and then at the end of the week I have no idea what I did to make it so busy.

My daughter’s tennis lessons are starting up again, as is my football (soccer) training, which I do just to keep fit. No actual competitions for me!

Apart from that, we will wing it this week and see where it goes. At least it looks like the weather will be slightly better.

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What have you been up to? What have you been reading? Watching? Doing? And what are you planning for the coming week?

 

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 1 September 2019

Man, I can’t believe August is over. My daughter is back at school tomorrow and we have to get back to some sort of routine, which is going to be tricky!

READING

I finished two books this past week, which were Riders (Veronica Rossi) and Eucalyptus (Murray Bail). I meant to finish another book, A Polar Affair (Lloyd Spencer Davis) over the weekend, but in the end I just did not read that much. Also, it is a non-fiction book and though I am finding it really interesting, I was having trouble reading lots of it in one go. I kept putting it down. So, I started Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan alongside it for some light relief.

I haven’t listened to any of my audiobook this past week, which is Walking Home (Clare Balding), but I am hoping to listen to that whilst I am doing some chores over the coming week.

TV

We have been watching Years and Years. I am still not sure how I feel about that show! We also watched the first episode of The Dark Crystal, which I really did not like that much. I don’t know why, but the puppets just freaked me out a bit!

OTHER

We went to some monkey zoo last Monday, which was a lot of fun. It was a very hot day, but the park was shady and we felt quite relaxed walking around between free-range monkeys. Our favourite animal there was a sloth – they are so cute!!! On Tuesday my daughter had a tent/barbeque party for her friends, which despite my abysmal organisation skills was a success. She was very happy!

monkey

Yesterday I joined a friend for a training session with my old foal Moon. I had to sell him when his mother turned out to be in foal again (we did not know she was when we bought her and Moon). Moon is now a yearling and already pretty much bombproof. At the training session (which was in the dark) he had to deal with smoke machines, lights, a see saw and much more and he hardly batted an eyelid. Good boy!

His new owner let me go around with him. Here we are at te wind machine! 🙂

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 25 August 2019

I can’t believe we are coming up to the end of August. Summer is going so quickly. This month has been very wet, and here’s hoping for a sunny September! The temperatures are set to around 30 degrees celcius for the next few days, so summer has some fuel left apparently.

Reading:
My reading has been ok this week. I finished two books, which were Seducing Charlotte by Diana Quincy, which is a regency romance, and The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman, which I loved so so much!

I am now reading Riders, by Veronica Rossi, which is a YA novel about a bunch of teens that are the reincarnation of the four horsemen. I am about half way. It’s ok, but not great. I still love the cover though! I did start Eucalyptus, which is a very different kind of book, but I think I will wait until I have finished Rider before picking that one up. I expect to finish Riders tomorrow, maybe Tuesday. Then I can concentrate on Eucalyptus. I randomly started listening to an audio book as well (shock! horror!), which is my first of the year. I am listening to Walking Home by Clare Balding. Clare Balding is a TV and radio personality who I have always liked a lot and this book is basically about her rambling (walking) with both strangers (for radio) and her family. It’s not the most interesting book, but I love listen to her talk about her experiences. I find her voice very soothing. I don’t think I will finish the audio book this week, but we will see.

The final book I want to read this month is A Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis, which is a non-fiction ARC from NetGalley that I really want to read. Its subtitle is ‘ Antartica’s forgotten hero and the Secret Love Lives of Penguins’. I mean, why would you not want to read that?!

TV
We have not been watching that much TV. We have been watching a few episodes of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, which is always a ridiculous hoot. We have also been watching Years and Years, which has been a worrying experience. So much of that  program is a commentary of what is going on in Europe today. It does have a touch of Black Mirror.

OTHER
Nope, nothing major. We have improved part of our ponies’ paddock for winter, so hopefully the winter will be less muddy for them. My mare is prone to hoofrot, so we need to keep it as dry as we can.

COMING UP
At the beginning of her summer holidays my daughter made a list of things she wanted to do this holiday. We have done most of them as we are coming up to the final week of her holidays. Our final day out from her list is on Monday, when we are going to so some sort of monkey park. Then are throwing a tent/garden party for my daughter’s friends on Tuesday night, which will include a BBQ, roasting marshmallows, and well, tents. It should be a fun time. Apart from that I don’t think we have anything planned. I am sure we will end up doing things.

We are off to a birthday party now – have a great Sunday!

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 11 August 2019

It’s been an odd sort of week and my reading suffered as a result.

READING

Despite a rather average reading week, I did manage to finish three books. I finished Lie by Natalia Jaster early in the week. It’s is the third in a series of which I loved the first boook (Trick) and did not really like the second (Dare). This one was somewhere in the middle and I gave it 4/7 stars.

Then I read This Adventure Ends, which was my first book by author Emma Mills, but definitely not my last. I gave it 5/7 stars, but I really enjoyed the read.

I ended the week on a high today when I finished Treading The Uneven Road, a short story collection by L M Brown. I was impressed by how cleverly these stories set in Kristoff, Jay - The Nevernight Chronicle 2 GodsgraveIreland were woven together and really liked it as a whole.

I am currently reading Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. I am only 50 pages in, which is disappointing as I fully intended to get at least halfway this Harrison, Melissa (Editor) - Summerweekend. No such luck. I can’t seem to concentrate on the story.

I have also still not read on much in Summer: an Anthology for the Changing Seasons, which is a collection edited by Melissa Harrison. I read Winter last winter (ha!) and really enjoyed it, but this one is missing some magic so far. Maybe summer is the least interesting season? I am in no rush with this one, but if I can finish it in the coming week I will be very pleased.

TV

Let’s see. We finally finished watching Stranger Things on Netflix. It was a good season, certainly better than season 2. We also started watching Good Omens, which I am enjoying quite a bit. I never mind a bit of David Tennant in anything. That man has a very sexy voice. Now I really want to read the book!

FAMILY & PETS

My dad was rushed to hospital during the week due to his heart acting all wacky, but luckily they only kept him in for one night. He has some medication now and they are going to do some further tests to figure out what’s what, but for now he is a lot better. Fingers crossed everything will be fine.

My daughter is still on her summer holidays and we tried to make an effort to do stuff that she wanted to do, so we went to a large petting zoo for the afternoon and we went to the pancake house for lunch. She has been doing lots of crafty things as well, like painting the Milky Way and the Sun. She liked her solar system stuff. She has been very tricky this weekend, and we are trying to figure out how best to discipline her whilst still make her aware that we are trying to help her. She has a big problem dealing with her own emotions. We are working on it!

1908We have also finally been able to walk our shetland pony Pippin properly, after his laminitis scare last month. He is enjoying his outings and he is behaving himself on the road. I took him out next to my bike for the first time today and he enjoyed a good trot. The farrier is coming tomorrow, so we will see whether he indeed thinks it was laminitis. I am hoping my daughter can start riding him soon.

Our gypsy cob foal Archie is two months old now and doing well. He is growing rapidly and is reasonably well behaved. His mother, as with her previous foal, is not interested in anything apart from eating. She was like this with her previous foal, Moon, as well. As soon as he was gone she started taking notice of ‘her people’. Now she has Archie she has distanced herself from us again. Archie is going to be weaned in December and moving away from home until spring 2021. I expect her to be back to her sweet self when he is gone. She is still friendly enough, but not really interested in people. He is her last foal, so in 2020 we will work towards riding her.

COMING UP THIS WEEK

Reading-wise my goal is to finish Godsgrave and Summer. We are thinking of going away overnight at the end of the week somewhere, but we are keeping an eye on the weather and haven’t booked anything yet. My husband is off work Thursday and Friday this week just in case.

On Wednesday my daughter has her first riding lesson, which is going to be interested. It is something she has been wanting to do for a long time, but she gets very nervous about new things and can sabotage herself. Once she has done something a couple of times she gets more comfortable and she is fine.

Have a great week, folks, reading or otherwise…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 21 July 2019

I have just spent a night in London. I met up with some of my friends and we went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park. It was fantastic!

READING

I did get some reading done yesterday on the way to London. I had been reading The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, but I really was not in the mood for that, so I started Sweetpea by C J Skuse instead. Yep, a much better choice for travel fare in my opinion. I am now 67% in and it is dark, but funny at times, and strangely fascinating. Is the plot that great? No, but it is a good book to read once.

As for The Kiss Quotient, I am over halfway and I am sure I will picked it up again today or tomorrow. I am enjoying it enough, but I centainly don’t love it so far, like so many others seem to do.

I am hoping to participate in The Reading Rush this coming week, so I hope to post a TBR for that later today or tomorrow.

OTHER

TV-wise we have been watching Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things and Crashing on Netflix lately. nothing more interesting than that. I have not been much in the mood for television strangely enough.

My girl’s summer holiday has started. Six weeks off school not worrying about getting her out of the house etc. I am actually glad, as she really needs some time of school. She is a child that sees, hears and remembers everything and school is very tiring for her. She was getting very tired, hyperactive and argumentative these last few weeks, so we are going to take it pretty easy to start with. A couple of pyjama days perhaps, maybe a playdate here and there. We will probably be a bit more active from next week, but we will take some time to wind her down first. And actually, I think I need some time myself as there have been so many appointments and have-to things lately, that I have been feeling pretty flustered myself.

What have you been up to this week? What have you got planned for the coming week?