Category Archives: Thoughts and other Miscellany

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.

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%…

Louisa May Alcott month?

I was given the “Little Women” series for Christmas – Little Women, Good Wives, Jo’s Boys and Little Men. I’ve read the first two before but adore Little Women.

Who’s up for a read-along month? May seems the obvious month given the author’s name…

And does anyone else love re-reading “childhood” books?

Speed reading

A bit of fun I found on Twitter the other day, courtesy of @BloomsburyBooks: how fast do you read? Courtesy of this timer which seems to have been organised by Staples – you can read between 4 and 12 paragraphs while it times you and then gives you a short test to see how well you remember what you read.

I scored 731 words per minute – higher than “high-level executives” and college students, but below “high-level college students”. (I’m intrigued by the fact that college students read faster than executives at the highest levels)

The next click-through floored me though: “at this rate, you could read War and Peace in 13 hours and 23 minutes”. It’s going to take me 13 1/2 hours???? That is the entire duration of a flight from London to Singapore, from boarding to disembarking. (and I couldn’t read that fast for that long. For a start, I’d need a coffee break and a toilet break).

If you’re interested in how fast you read, click here to try it out for yourself!

Musing Mondays – currently

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!

So I’m reading Of Love and Other Wars by Sophie Hardach – the stories of some Jewish and Quaker characters from the outbreak of WWII. It’s quite readable and given my recent streak of DNFs, I’m not keen to abandon this one, but it is slow going. I think it’s because the author is trying to have too many threads of the story going (Esther as a young girl and now as an adult, Miriam & Paul, Paul on his own, Charlie, Grace and Morten/Max). I know that the characters are linked but I cannot remember how Grace and Max fit into the stories of the others, and I’m not really all that interested in Esther even though I should be because she’s a vibrant young physicist.

Oh well, I’ll carry on.

Sunday Salon – striking

TSS

Just checking in briefly before I’m off to my first cricket training of the season. I expect not to be able to move tomorrow. Haven’t touched a bat in… 5 months.

There was a Tube strike this week so I dusted off the beloved Cecily (the bicycle) and we had some lovely trips across Westminster Bridge. In the rain. And the wind. But it felt good to be back on the bike.

Last weekend I finished The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared which was funny and fun and generally A Good Read. This week I raced through Bellfield Hall by Anna Dean – a gorgeous cozy mystery. 

Happy Sunday!

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