Monday, 16 July 2012

Wallowing Through Treacle

This just about sums my life up at the moment. Whatever I do seems like two steps forward and one step back. And that's before the children break up for the summer holidays. Experience tells me it's only going to get worse. All routine will go out of the window and I won't be able to find much head space to write.

And write I must because I really need to send off my NWS manuscript within the next month and I feel that it's nowhere near finished.

I have this increasing urge to run away from my life, find a country cottage or a log cabin somewhere, deny internet access, turn off the mobile and become a hermit.

Of course, this is all just wistful thinking because there is absolutely no chance of escape - or even getting away for the weekend without my family.

So I need to find solutions not problems. I've downloaded Peter Jones' book - How To Do Everything and Be Happy. Now I just need to find the time to read it.

Take Care

PS - Must stop downloading Kindle books - the ever increasing to be read pile - both physical and digital is just adding to the stress levels!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Books, books, books

Hi all

Yes, there's more book reviews on today's blog - I'm nearly catching up, I promise.

Here goes:

The Perfect Hero – Victoria Connelly

I loved A Weekend With Mr Darcy and couldn’t wait to read Victorias next novel. Knowing that it was based on Persuasion, I decided to re-read the original first. Im glad I did because I hadnt read Persuasion for a very long time and probably wouldnt have got some of the references if the novel hadn't been fresh in my mind.

I do love Austen, and anything which brings her characters into the present, which Victoria Connelly does so well, but I did find some of the plotting predictable. Within the modern day romance the big question is will our main character, Kay, end up with her perfect hero? Unfortunately I became so frustrated with Kay's blindness to who the real hero was that I kept wanting to shout out ‘hes behind you! Despite that it was still an enjoyable read and it hasnt put me off reading the next book in the trilogy, Mr Darcy Forever, which I have just downloaded onto my Kindle.
Daughters In Law

The last Joanna Trollope I read was Friday Nights. In the past I've been a big fan of Joanna Trollope but this book, quite frankly, bored me senseless. I kept reading it though, because I believed that it would, surely, get better. Sadly it didn't and this book put me off reading any future ones. However, this, and my next review, were recommended to me by a friend who's tastes are very similar to my own and so I decided to give it ago.

In style, Daughter's In Law was written very much in the style of Second Honeymoon, which was a book I loved. It is the story of a mother of three boys who has to deal with the fact that once they are all married, she is no longer the central person in their lives and takes second place in the new regime.

I must admit I did enjoy the book and it was definitely a page turner but it did annoy me the way the family over-analysed every single set-back in everyone's relationships. I think if my family behaved like this I would have to emigrate. However, then there would be no story. An enjoyable read nevertheless.

The Best Of Friends

This book, I think, was the better of the two. Its the story of two friends - one male, one female - who marry other people and have families. The two couples remain close friends but when one of the marriages breaks down the whole dynamic falls apart.

I really enjoyed this book and raced through it to the end and I was disappointed to turn the last page and leave the story behind, always the sign of a good read.

Things I Couldn't Tell My Mother - Sue Johnston

I'm not a lover of celebrity autobiographies but I was prepared to make an exception for Sue. I've been a big fan of hers since the start of Brookside and have loved the roles she has played in many other programmes since, especially Waking The Dead. I particularly admire her role in this programme because it highlights the benefit of the experience over youth. Anything which champions the older woman rather than casting her aside because she may not be in her first flush of youth is good in my book. Besides which, she seems to have a knack for choosing good programmes so I will always be interested in watching anything she appears in.

The writing style of this book is lovely. Sue draws you in with her down to earth voice and its easy to become a part of the picture she paints of her life. She is a northern girl, as I am, and was brought up not a million miles away from where I was. Even though we were brought up in different generations, I don't think that working class principles changed that much from her childhood to mine, and I easily identified with her family's values.

I can honestly say that I devoured this book. If I had had the time I would have read it in one sitting and, in fact, the only thing that prevented me from reading long into the night was that I couldn't resist reading bits out to my husband and he had an early start the next day so I took pity on him. I can thoroughly recommend this book and I would defy anyone not to enjoy it.
Well, that's all from me for now.  Enjoy your Sunday.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Chasing My Tail

I was a very bad blogger during June and I promised myself that July would be better.  Well, so far I’ve not lived up to my own expectations.

At the moment I feel as though my life has gone mad. The last few weeks have seen me rushing from one event to another, and in between there has been precious little time to do anything apart from get ready for the next event.

Of course it’s a busy time at school, what with summer fairs, sports days, performances and other special events.  My youngest has had the rare opportunity to spend 6 days at a local outdoor centre.  This has taken place on odd days over several weeks which is a disruption to my routine (I do like routine), and has meant a split school run as eldest son has still been at school.  

Eldest son has taken part in the annual district sports competition – 100 metres sprint, varying football practices, a school performance and is currently attending both cubs as scouts as he is going up to scouts in September and is being given some ‘taster’ sessions.

Youngest child has taken part in an 11 school dance festival (he introduced his school to around a 500 people audience – I nearly cried with pride) and has completed his first holy communion at a thanksgiving mass and party.

There have been several birthdays and parties too and six more to come over the next few  weeks.  

My mum had an operation on her shoulder a month ago and wasn’t able to move her arm at all for 3 weeks.  My dad’s been doing a brilliant job but as their only daughter I have wanted to look after them. They live 30 miles away which isn’t far really but I’ve only managed to get up there to help out on a few occasions.  They’ve both been grateful for what I have been able to do, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve done enough.

In all this time I haven’t been able to get my head round writing much.  I’m desperate to finish my WIP for my NWS script and even though I’m nearly at the end of my current draft I feel as though I’m never going to get there.  After the current draft I’m going to have to do one quick read through and then send it off.  It’s nowhere near the shape I wanted it to be in but it will just have to do.   Maybe with the invaluable NWS feedback I will be able to back to it in a few months time with a clearer perspective.

With school breaking up in a few weeks time, I’m hoping that things will calm down soon, and that the weather picks up too, in time for the ‘summer holidays’.

I usually dread the summer holidays as it’s my busiest time in the job I’m in.  Sadly, this will be my last summer here though, as I’m being made redundant shortly.  It’s not a great shock, as we have been winding down the course for the last three years now, but I was hoping that my employers would be able to find me another job.  At the back of my mind I’ve always thought that this wouldn’t be possible but have been living in limbo for a while.

At least now I know where I’m up to and in a way am looking forward to new opportunities.  My redundancy package should buffer me for a little while so I can finally get my house sorted out and hopefully set up some freelance work.  It would certainly be nice to have a better work / life balance than I do at the moment.

Have a nice weekend and try and keep as dry as you can!

Linda xx