Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Month: October, 2015

Reading reading…

Ok, I have been reading a bit. I’m on track to read about 25 books this year, which is one a fortnight. That’s not awesome, but hey, I can’t crochet and read at the same time. Not possible. So, I shall tell you all about the last few books I’ve read. Starting with the last…

I just finished the latest Val McDermid book (Splinter the Silence). It was ok, I think. I didn’t hate it, but it was more of a introduction to the next wave of the Carol and Tony series (which, I suspect, will be good) rather than an actual mystery. The key theme (cyber-bullying) was very topical and all, but the leaps and stuff… Pfft. There was something a bit skim over the top thing about the whole crime. It was like it was background to the ‘real’ story of Tony and Carol making up. And there was one thing that happened that I totally called (actually, two things. And a PSA.) Anyway, didn’t hate it, give it three stars because it was enjoyable while I was reading it, but afterward, not so much.

And the latest Kathy Reichs (Speaking in Bones) – that’s another one that was ok. I dunno, maybe I’ve read enough of these ones. The last couple have been a bit colour by numbers, this one wasn’t much different. Totally readable, though. I think when I read books with strong female characters, I have high expectations of their um. Strength. Mental strength. I also suspect that I equate mental strength with a high degree of sensibility. Sometimes Tempe does not show the mental strength I would expect of a character of her intellect. Also, the romance thing. Shit or get off the damn pot, wench.

(I also cracked it with the VI Warshawski books for a similar reason. Grown women don’t need rescuing because they’re idiots)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell was absolutely brilliant, though. That one was was an absolute cracker. I didn’t do *anything* else while I was reading it and it made me stay up way too late – which is always a good sign. It’s sort of hard to explain. It’s a twisty turn-y across time story told from the perspectives of a few different people who cross paths and overlap here and there, with some psychic-y stuff thrown in for good measure. It’s hard to explain, but it was so engrossing, that I will quote the man in the hat and tell you to ‘do yourself a favour…’.

Station Eleven was another one that was worth the paper it was written on – sort of a zombie apocalypse without the zombies. There was a plague and almost everyone died. It’s another time-y wime-y one, back and forth along a series of timelines, with some interesting concepts along the way. As a completely related aside, check this dude out. He’s taken pictures of Fukushima after the tsunami where nature is taking over. It’s how I imagined the landscape after the plague in Station Eleven.

Oh, and speaking of books about people who always end up in pickles… Lee Child. Make Me. I um, actually paid cold hard cash for the paper version of this. However, it was worth it. Again with the colour by numbers… Jack Reacher discovers something that’s not quite right and punches people. Oh, and shags someone. (There’s usually only one someone suitable for shagging, that happens in every book, so not really a spoiler). The something NQR in this one was a bit WTF, to be honest. However, it provides an excellent diversion.

What else was there? THE DAVE!

How could I forget The Dave. Ascendance (Dave v the Monsters) is the third in the Dave Hooper series. I’ve mentioned the other two earlier (here, and here). They ARE the full ridiculous, and yeah, can’t wait for the next one to appear. It wasn’t until I’d almost finished this one that I realised all the action across the three books took place over maybe a week to ten days. Dave undergoes a physical transformation, but his general lugheadedness and being a bit of a dick-ery are obviously going to take a bit longer to transform. Karen/Karin is a Russian spy who is the lady equivalent of The Dave, just more badass and yeah, totally sensible. I can see her dragging Dave out of many many many scrapes. Also, there’s a posse of ladies who appear at the end whom I am seriously looking forward to. That’s the thing about John Birmingham. He writes ladies that are well capable of looking after themselves and they certainly do.

Last but not least…(ok, maybe least)… was the latest Charlaine Harris. Guilty pleasure, trashy reading. Couple of days to read. Completely silly. I can’t even remember what it was called… But yeah, it’s like reading a nice cake. Tasty and amusing, but you don’t want to read it too often.

That’s SEVEN books. Crikey.

Being a bit random…

While I was on my cleaning spree during my week off, I had a bit of a look at that KonMari business –  I’ve mostly been amused and irritated by it all –  it seemed a bit of a long winded and ridiculous way of saying just chuck out half your stuff whether you think you’ll use it or not and don’t replace it. (Hello, landfill). And only keeping things that give you joy. Nana’s lace doilies give me joy. I don’t need them. I’m not chucking them. Same goes for mum’s wedding silver. Which she gave me because she didn’t want it. Ok, so you can give away heirlooms as long as it’s to family members! Anyway, one of my imaginary friends did the folding thing with her kids’ clothes and it got me to thinking a little bit about the state of our drawers.

So, I watched a few videos  and read a couple more articles and thought “fuck it, I’ll give it a whirl”, and  tipped everything out of my big drawers. You’re supposed to collect *all* your clothes and do it all at once, but pfft. When have I ever followed the instructions, and hey – tipping out two drawers seemed like a manageable place to start with only an hour before time to start dinner. I chucked out six tshirts and a matching hoodie and trackies (I don’t do matchy. Ever.) and like magic, I had an empty half a drawer where both were full to over flowing.

The main principle of this thing (as far as clothes go) is vertical folding. I live in man’s land with three chaps who look with their hands and not with their eyes and thus trash their wardrobes with great frequency. I extended my sample of three to a much more scientific five by adding my step-father *and* another friend’s husband. Five swirlers of clothes out of a sample of five… Hmmm. That’s a very significant result, particularly if you consider that three out of three ladies also surveyed do not swirl. Vertical folding means you can see all the things at once. Cost benefit analysis conducted… And the extra fifteen minutes of folding a week seemed like a small price to pay for creating something they could keep tidy. (Set up cost ignored because I usually go through their wardrobes properly each school holidays).

So, based on the experience of sorting out my two drawers, I proceeded to KonMari the fuck out of everyone’s wardrobes. End result is a gigantic bathtub full of clothes that I have to sort out at some point; and three weeks down the track, the kids wardrobes are still tidy. Like, *really* tidy. This is the longest a cull/tidy has ever lasted. Even Reg’s clothes are still neat after two weeks. It’s a miracle.

One benefit of doing this is that it was really easy to see what clothes I actually need:

  1. Plain black t-shirt (short sleeves)
  2. Plain white t-shirt (short sleeves)
  3. Denim skirt that’s not hooker length or nana length (just above my knee, not just below the front of my bum!)
  4. Shorts of some kind that are also not hooker length or nana length.

Which totally explains the cute as spotty white shirt that um. Followed me home today. Oops. It was 50% off the reduced price. Virtually free.

And clothes I don’t need – looking at you, bike shorts thingies I wear under skirts. I have TEN PAIRS. I really thought I had four. And socks. I have enough socks. And I can probably by-pass the striped t-shirts as well. It has the potential to save me a fortune. Probably. As long as I avoid Sportscraft when they have that 50% off all the reduced things sale…

I still want to look at my hand bag collection. I have about ten, I use two. Maybe three. And I didn’t look at my ‘work bottoms’ (skirts and pants – I’m pretty sure I still wear most of them, but you never know.)

Apparently, books are next. I like my books. They give me joy. There’s a few though that could be rehomed if I think about it…