To-do list

“I have my best ideas in the shower” says everyone.

I mostly remember things I need to do when I’m in the shower. By the time I’m out of the shower, I’ve forgotten them again. If only I had some way to write in the shower?

Enter the Bath Crayon.

The Hedge Fund Slave saw some in Stockholm airport and brought them back for Bookmark, and we draw cats and stars and ducks and goodness knows what on the walls of the bath during bath time. A stroke of genius has led me to commandeer the black crayon (which Bookmark never used) for the shower!


(These ones on Amazon – affiliate link – aren’t the exact ones that we have, but they look very similar – you get the idea.)

Copyright laws

Someone kindly commented on a recent  post that I should read Gone with the Wind, and that that would cure my reading ills.


Thinking “that’s a pretty old book, I wonder if there’s a free ebook version of it now” I do a spot of Googling. And discover that it is out of copyright in Australia, but not in the USA and EU (of which, for now, the UK is a part).

How weird is that?

It gets weirder. This UPenn site gives a handy overview; in short, lots of countries operate “life + 70” i.e. the item enters the public domain 70 years after the author died. Margaret Mitchell died in 1949, so we can expect to see free ebook copies of GWTW in 2019. Some countries operate “life + X” where X is not 70; X is at least 25 in keeping with the Universal Copyright Convention except in a few countries where copyright is basically non-existent.

However, Australia changed from “life + 50” to “life + 70” in 2005 and didn’t make it retrospective (a wise choice in my opinion – how on earth would you administer that?!). So GWTW went into the public domain there in 1999 (MM’s year of death + 50), and they didn’t try to get it back in 2005.

A little literary legal quirk for you! The UPenn site is very readable and interesting – I would definitely recommend a quick read.

(and if you’re wondering, I resisted temptation for now, but I might download it when I’m in Australia in December as by my interpretation that would then be legal? Would I be allowed to bring it back to the UK? So unclear!)

New job

I start my new job today – first new job in more than 8 years (though I have changed role several times in those 8 years and gone on and come back from maternity leave).

I’m oddly relaxed.

Wish me luck anyway!


(inspired by Cassie’s posts at Wholefully)

(Writing this very late on Sunday night)

Listening to Simon & Garfunkel on Spotify. Just showed The Book Accumulator how Spotify works. #millennialchildtechsupport

Obsessively checking the progress of BA2965 from Glasgow to London Gatwick – after a couple of days visiting The Hedge Fund Slave’s family, Bookmark and I flew south for a quiet weekend with the Book Accumulator near Gatwick while THFS played bridge in Glasgow, with the plan that I would swing by Gatwick to pick him up and drive home. That plan was somewhat squashed by the serious delay to his flight – had it been delayed another 20 mins the pilots would have run out of flying time for the day and the flight would have been grounded overnight. But it’s taken off and is now over Birmingham.

Wearing my beloved Jeans West jeans (size 11, indigo wash, long leg, boot-cut: the same order I’ve been making there for 6 years), a turquoisey-green top from Target Australia which I’ve washed so much that it’s now really pilled and actually a bit small but I love it, and my sister’s school hoodie which I may have just nicked from her bedroom (sorry Mini-Me). And my super-cool glasses with black exterior and orange on the inside . I took them off to see what brand they are, so I could share my street cred with you – turns out that they’re Specsavers’ own brand.


  • A Gentleman in Moscow, which is by Amor Towles who wrote Rules of Civility, which I loved a few years ago. So far, so good.
  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, a re-read, in an effort to get out of my reading funk (earlier review here)

Celebrating a New Job which starts on Tuesday! I got it a few weeks ago, I’m just rubbish at keeping this blog updated. I’ll be working in finance for a cricket club, marrying up my cricket passion with my accountancy experience, and hopefully finding a little more time for life around all the work.

Cycling sporadically. We cycled at Centerparcs, I have practised my cycle commute to my New Job, I’ve done a few cycles in the last couple of months. I’m hoping New Job proves the catalyst to a slightly healthier lifestyle.

Eating all of the ice cream in my father’s freezer (see the plane delay issue above). I am trying to cut down / out refined sugar, particularly since I have guttate psoriasis and there isn’t much science behind the triggers for psoriasis, but anecdotal evidence is that sugar doesn’t help. So the ice cream is extremely self-defeating. Tomorrow is Monday, always the best day to change eating habits.

Looking forward to so much! New Job, my birthday, a long weekend in Andorra, 10 days in Sydney, Advent, Christmas… I love November.


Why can’t I finish a book?

On holiday, I worked my way through 50% of J M Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus; I tried to continue it on Monday night and just could not. I just didn’t care enough about any of the characters: the protagonist seems like he can’t catch a break, the child prodigy is irritating me, and the new central character is somewhere between deluded, insane and narcissistic. So… this one’s going on the DNF pile for the year (and even though I got more than 25% through, I’m not going to review it).

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I finish a book?

I think my next book might need to be an old favourite so I’ll definitely get through it…

Top Ten Tuesday – Unread

(I drafted this a while ago and never posted it!)


August 23: Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet (this is going to be sad considering how many of those I have unread six years later…) – hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Well then. Where do I start. This list is going to be a lot longer than 10!

First there’s the rest of my “wedding diet” list: I got 11 books into a 40 book list. By author, the ones I haven’t managed yet – I’ve bolded the ones I’m particularly keen to read!

Charles Dickens: The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend

Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary

Thomas Hardy: Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure

Emmuska Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped

Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels

William Thackeray: Vanity Fair

Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace, Anna Karenina

Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Evelyn Waugh: A Handful of Dust, Decline and Fall, Brideshead Revisited

Virginia Woolf: To The Lighthouse, Mrs Dalloway

Then there’s still the various books that are on my bookcase that I have moved house with countless times – I did get rid of quite a few in February 2015 in a sort of reverse nesting process before Bookmark arrived (I had a desperate need to throw stuff out).

Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me!

2016 reading so far (might be most of it for the year)

<<mandatory “gosh it’s been a while since I posted. Baby stuff” disclaimer>>

So in 2016 I’ve had busy season again (this time as a parent working specific hours – which is tough because sometimes you need to work overtime and you just can’t), got promoted, got a different role, quit my job and am about to start a new one.

I have not read much.

In quick summary, and doubtless with omissions:


I’ve read

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

Why We Get Fat – Gary Taubes

Reading Claudius – Caroline Heller

The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman

The 3 Cormoran Strike novels – J K Rowling

On our current holiday (weekend away at Centerparcs, to the American spelling of which I struggle to reconcile myself) I have zipped through 54% of J M Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus. It was Booker-longlisted, but it must be a very short book because it hasn’t felt like I’ve read 54% of a novel. The Guardian does not love it and tells me that it is a sequel? I wasn’t suffering from not having read the first one I don’t think… anyway, it’s readable enough.

I have started or read most of but not finished:

This Bleep Is Hard – Marie McKinney Oates

Unfinished Business – Anne-Marie Slaughter

Howard’s End is on the Landing – Susan Hill

and I’ve been dipping in and out of Gretchen Rubin’s 3 most recent books (The Happiness Project, Happier at Home and Better than Before).

I’m reading almost entirely in audiobook and e-book form these days. Kindle was for when Bookmark had fallen asleep in my arms but wasn’t totally asleep yet and I couldn’t put her down and is now for when Bookmark is falling asleep in her bed but will scream the house down if I leave the room, so I sit and read on my phone. Audible/Oneclick (the library’s audiobook app) is for any time I’m walking or doing housework.

This year has been full of DNFs. Or rather – “opened and read 2 chapters and gave up”s.

I did not enjoy Spectacles, which really surprised me because I love Sue Perkins – it was much less funny than I thought it would be. And slow. I’ve also abandoned Losing Faith, The Butterfly and the Violin and Shooting for the Stars on the Kindle – I suspect they were NetGalley copies and they just weren’t good enough; the writing was pretty cliched.


Thoughts? Anything big I’ve missed this year?