Friday silly

A couple of amusing things I found this week:

Buzzfeed: if 13 Disney movies were written for Twenty-somethings

beauty and the lease

 

Dividing Europe according to assorted stereotypes… My favourites are 17 and 18. 

dividing europe

The reading enthusiasm returns

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, I’m not getting much blogging done these days. Because I’m not getting much reading done.

Turns out that a break from work and a couple of days off can fix that.

In the last four days, I have read:

That’s 1508 pages.

 

Currently

(inspired by Cassie’s posts at Back To Her Roots)

Listening lots to a podcast called “Back to Work” by Dan Benjamin and Merlin Mann – it’s weird and chatty and nerdy and techie and productivity-ish and a little bit wonderful. I am really enjoying having people talk, into my ears, any time that I’m out and about and by myself, about stuff I care about. It started in 2011 and I’m only about 5 episodes in so I have a lot to catch up to.

Wearing funky pink nail polish. One of my clients signed their accounts after a week of really late nights because I was the most junior person on the team (note: I’m now senior enough that that should not be the case, approximately, ever). And in celebration, I went out and bought three new colours of nail polish. I love bright nails. Update because I drafted this post on Monday and now it’s Wednesday – the nails are now dark purple.

Cycling again: I cycled to work at Canary Wharf on Wednesday morning, discovering a couple of interesting neighbourhoods near my house (as Mr RWT noted this morning, one would think I never stray off our road in our neighbourhood – but it’s true! There’s a station at either end of the road!) and then cycled home on Friday all the way along the North bank, past the Tower of London and through Westminster and over Vauxhall Bridge.

Catching up with friends: on Thursday night I met up with two friends and then one had to get on a train but the other and I chatted until late and put the world to rights and laughed a lot and talked about the things that are important to us at the moment.

Eating All Of The Salmon. Every time I go out to a restaurant, I order salmon. It feels too expensive to buy to cook at home (and Mr RWT hates salmon), but in restaurants it’s usually cheaper than steak and served with healthier sides and generally more interesting.

Reevaluating the services I pay for. The Times subscription – I enjoy but I only read the paper about once a week and that’s not worth £17 a month. Netflix – both Mr RWT and I love it, its £6 a month is completely justified if only for guaranteeing a supply of QI episodes which are my current way of going to sleep. You think I’m joking; I’ve put on “Knits and Knots” (this week’s episode) 5 nights running and not yet made it past the first five minutes awake. I’m thinking about paying for Spotify again; I found paid Spotify exhaustingly big before – I tended to stick to a specific playlist and not really explore the wider range of available music. But now I’m making more of an effort to use the “discover” tab and finding a few good new artists. Mindy Gledhill is today’s discovery.

Looking forward to my 9 days in Sydney. After a really busy couple of months I’m desperate for the holiday (the last three weeks I’ve booked 50, 53 and 56 hours respectively), and I can’t wait for new jeans from Jeans West and ice cream from Gelatissimo and chicken teriyaki udon from Kirrakaze and terrible jokes from my Grandpa and the sand on Manly Beach between my toes. I get what I call “reverse homesickness” when I’m in Sydney because I love it so much that it hurts but I also have to acknowledge that it’s not where my life is.

You?

Busy season hiatus.

Yeah, you all saw this coming. It was January. I have reporting deadlines on the 9th (to Korea), 15th (to Germany), 23rd (to France) and 31st (to the US). Then February and March happened with even more work.

All the hours this calendar year so far, I have worked them. When I was not working, I was asleep. So blogging was not the activity of this month.

Happily, I am now in the new house so all of my commutes are 30 mins shorter. You know what that means? 1 hr more per day that I get to choose what to do with. It’s mostly sleep.

This. This is me right now.

busy season(from the delicious tumblr about accounting life, How Should We Account For Me)

I haven’t actually read a book in more than a month. Every time I could have opened a book, there was email to read and files to review.

On the plus side, this time tomorrow I’ll be waiting at Heathrow for a trip to Sydney to wish Grandma RWT happy 90th birthday. And there will be a stack of books in my handluggage.

So, you know, read on, and I’ll be back at some point.

Of Love and Other Wars – Sophie Hardach – 6/10

“I hope I would have the faith and strength of mind to peacefully resist and dissuade him.”

of love and other wars-1

Quaker brothers Charlie and Paul Lamb are caught up in the pacifist movement, then called to account for their actions when they register as conscientious objectors. For Paul’s girlfriend Miriam Morningstar, his actions are less palatable – and Miriam’s mother has plenty of her own demons to face.

This *really* picked up towards the end. I posted a few weeks ago that I wasn’t very enthused about this? Well, by the end it still didn’t make my list of favourites but I broke through and finished it. (the fact that I had to break through to finish it is perhaps not the biggest compliment towards the book…) But suddenly it all got much more interesting – the strands started to come together, the end of the war was in sight.

Paul Lamb was by far the more sympathetic brother – Charlie is rambunctious and impetuous and a little too clever for his own good, convinced of his actions to run his life however he likes with little thought for others. Paul is much more gentle, more secure in his faith but less able to articulate it intelligently. Miriam is confident and likeable and impassioned – a pleasant blend of the two brothers. In the alternative timeline, I felt I should like Esther (as a fellow young female physicist from a specific minority religion – or at least I used to match all those adjectives), but she comes across as so hard and with so little love for her husband, so little rationality behind some of her personal interactions, that I found it very hard to support her perspective. I think I’d have enjoyed this a lot more if I had identified with one or more of the characters, but I found them all rather remote.

Obviously I didn’t live through WWII London but this felt pretty credibly set – the geography seemed to flow (although they are areas of London that I don’t know that well) and the time was vivid – particularly Miriam’s experiences in wartime London and Charlie’s life on the farm.

This is the first novel I’ve come across addressing life from either a Quaker or pacifist perspective, and I was quite surprised to find it was written by a German who had little experience of either in her personal life – it’s a very unusual perspective to take.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information:
Copy kindly supplied by the publisher in return for an honest review. 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 376 paperback pages
Order Of Love and Other Warsfrom Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards give-aways and site hosting

Musing Mondays – not reading

Musing Mondays, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, is:

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I’m really struggling to get any reading done at the moment – between a lot of work, a much shorter commute (not that I’m complaining) and a general malaise about reading, I haven’t opened a book in at least a week.

I’ve got a few long flights coming up so hopefully the trend will be reversed!

Sunday – public service announcement

I dreamt last night that a nine-year-old hacked the majority of my accounts by getting into my Google Documents (I’m not sure I even have anything saved in my Google Documents) and demanded either AUD 780 or EUR 780 (my choice!) to give me access back to my passwords.

While, thankfully, that does not seem to have happened overnight, I have been busy changing my passwords this morning and converting to an online password manager (I’m trying out LastPass) to manage them. I’m also a fan of two-factor authentication, especially Google Authenticator which is on my phone so I don’t need phone signal (you laugh, but I have a number of clients where I have zero mobile phone reception). So I’ve been enabling that on everything.

So… Consider this a friendly reminder from your neighbourhood newly-security-conscious blogger not to use the same password for lots of different sites. I took a security challenge after I’d set up LastPass and scored a measly 18.5%…

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