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.

***

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

 

Advertisements
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?

Books · Currently Reading · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 30 June 2019

Reading

After a few months of struggling I finally feel I am back in the swing of things and I have high hopes for the month ahead.

In the past week I finished three books, which were New Spring (Robert Jordan), This Lullaby (Sarah Dessen) and Birthday (Meredith Russo), all of which were 6-star books can you believe it! What an incredible way of finishing June’s reading.

I have three books on the go at the moment.

  • Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro & Cornelia Funke) – I am about 60% into this one. It’s a NetGalley e-ARC and it is due to be published on Tuesday. It has the feel of the movie and I loved the movie. However, the last time I watched the movie was quite a few years ago, so my memories are vague enough that I can just enjoy the book for what it is.
  • Best Foot Forward (Adam Hills) – I love Adam Hills. I love his sense of humour, his personality and he is just one of those comedians that make me happy. I love watching The Last Leg, which airs on Channel 4 in the UK. This book is his journey in comedy and I enjoy it quite a bit. Is it great? No, but it’s a fun read. I am 55% in. I kind of wish I had decided to listen to it on audio, but I am over halfway, so not buying the audio book now!
  • Singletini (Amanda Trimble) – Ok, I picked this one up over the weekend in a charity shop for 25c and I am using it for one of the challenges of my extended version of the Summerathon. Since I did not really want to read either Pan’s Labyrinth or Best Foot Forward in bed, I decided to pick up this one and just start reading it. The first 15 pages have not impressed me! This could well be a carcrash…

***

Other stuff

Not much going on in life. Everything has been going pretty smoothly this past week, I think. Musicwise I have not really been listening to anything in particular and I have not really been watching television or Netflix, apart from a few games from the Women’s Football (soccer) World Cup.

Our Irish cob foal Archie will be three weeks on Tuesday and appears to be thriving. He was running around like a loon when I just checked on the ponies. Unfortunately, our shetland pony Pippin seems to be stiff in the hind end again, so I might either call in the osteopath or the vet to have a look at him. It is possible that mummy Freda gave him a kick or something. He does have a couple of superficial bite marks and I have seen him trying to boss her about, but now she has Archie, she is not having any of it! So, it is possible that it is his own fault, but he does have a history of hind end stiffness.

Hubby was away for a couple of nights last week and I used it as an excuse to indulge a bit in coke and icecream, which I usually try and avoid a bit. That was kind of fun for a night or two, but I was glad when he was back. There have been a couple of really hot days as well, with temperatures of 33 C or higher. Our house has a metal roof and upstairs heats up pretty quickly. Luckily downstairs stays a bit cooler and maxed out at 27C (still very hot!). Our garden is shady luckily. Maybe that is why I read so much this week! 😉

HAVE A GREAT (READING) WEEK!

 

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 28 April 2019

Can’t believe it’s the end of April already. This month has flown by.

READING

My reading was a still a bit funky this month, but not as bad. The main problem was that it has just been a very busy month! There have been lost of appointments and chores that needed doing, drastically reducing the time I was free to read, and if I did have time I often was simply too tired and watched some TV instead.

I did finish three books this week, so I can’t complain.

On Monday I finished Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon. I only gave it 3 out of 7 stars. It was not bad enough to DNF, but it really wasn’t my thing. I will be getting rid of this book from my shelf. Which reminds me – I should do an unhaul post!

I alsofinished The Tragic Daughters of Charles I, a biography by Sarah-Beth Watkins. It was my third biography by her and I really enjoy them. They are matter-a-fact without being too dry. This one I read via NetGalley and was out this week. If you are interested in British royal history, this is an interesting one. I gave it 5 out of 7 stars.

Finally I read a poetry collection called Nocturnal by Wilder Poetry, also via NetGalley. I was in the mood for poetry and this one sounded up my street. It was ok. It has stunning artwork, but the poems themselves are just ok for me, although there were a few I did really love. 4 out of 7 stars.

I only have one book left on NetGalley. I hardly request any these days. I have way too many books on my shelves and on my Kindle that need my attention. I will probably sporadically request an ARC from NetGalley, but only if it is one I really want to read.

OTHER

My daughter has been off school all week and my husband was off on Easter Monday and on Friday, and it as nice to have some extra time together. My Airbnb cottage has been full all week and is doing really well. My ratings are really good, so I am pretty proud of that.

I have been to see Moon, the colt I sold last month. His new owner is a friend of mine and we went to see him on Friday night. He is doing really well and it was good to see him.

1904 Moon

Moon is the black one. The white one is his special friend Snowy.

His mum is heavily pregnant and could have her new foal anytime, which I am pretty nervous about. She is doing well, though her front hooves are not great at the moment. The farrier came the other day and he advised me to put zinc paste in them every day and a week later I think they are improving. Apart from that she looks healthy and her foal is bouncing around in there.

It was King’s Day in Holland, but I completely ignored that fact. We went to IKEA yesterday to buy my girl a new bed instead. Normally IKEA is heaving on a SAturday, but  it was really quiet 🙂 It felt really weird and we joked that it felt like being in a horror movie and IKEA would suddenly come ‘alive’ with zombies or something! My husband is building her bed as I write.

We are going to my mum’s this afternoon. It was her birthday yesterday and although we saw my parents yesterday, my brother and family are visiting there today and we don’t see each other that often. My daughter is looking forward to seeing her cousins.

THE WEEK AHEAD

My daughter is off school for another week, but we do not have any big plans. As long as Freda’s foal is imminent, I prefer to stay close to home. I am sure we will see some friends and do some random stuff, but nothing major.

Readingwise, I plan to finish Crossroads of Twilight, the tenth book in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Times series. I am about halfway and have 400 pages to go or so. I will try and finish that one before the end of April, but that might be a bit ambitious. Apart from that, I am reading Spring at Blueberry Bay by Holly Martin, which I had on my Kindle. I thought it would make a nice contrast to Crossroads, but it is a bit naff so far. However, I am only 30 pages in, so I will give it a bit more of a chance. I also still have The History of Bees by Maja Lunde on my ‘currently reading’ pile. I started that one early March, but never continued as I was not in the mood for it. I really should pick that one back up in May.