The Beast From The East…(Quick Links 112)

This week has absolutely flown by. I’ve been looking at a lot of wallpaper (in DIY stores – we’re planning the next stage of decorating our lounge), and a lot of PowerPoint (see work below). I’ve been repairing an arbor at my Mum’s house, and reconnecting with my basic carpentry skills.

The weather forecast for the week ahead includes snow warnings for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, when “The Beast From The East” is due to arrive. We’ve had these warnings a couple of times during the winter but never actually had any snow – so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens this time. I have to admit to thinking whoever comes up with the nicknames for these things needs their bumps felt, as really all it makes me want to do is shrug my shoulders and sigh, rather than potentially taking it more seriously. I’m pretty sure professional journalism is all-but dead in this country.  It will probably be the end for those few flowers that had started to appear thinking Spring had arrived too, which I feel more sad about than the headlines.

I’ve been thinking a bit about my routine this week. It’s going to be three years this year since I left my permanent job and went freelance, taking voluntary redundancy. Interestingly though I still seem to wake at the same time each morning, as I did when I used to have to leave the house to catch a train. I guess all those years doing that have left their mark even if now there’s no train and different things to do.


I’m hoping to restart on the decorating this coming week. In fact that is why this post is a little bit later than usual, as I’ve been clearing the decks to give me the space to get started. We’ve settled on the paper above – and before anyone comments, yes we will be pasting it to the walls and not hanging it from bulldog clips. It’s taken a couple of months to reach a decision, but hopefully it will look good when it’s finished. If the aforementioned beast from the east arrives I hope he’ll pick up a wallpaper brush and lend me a hand.


Work – As mentioned above PowerPoint has been a big chunk of work this week. I co-hosted a presentation on Thursday evening to a group from the local chamber of commerce, and the preparation for that has taken up a lot of time. We had a dry run of Tuesday, and that helped as my skills were a little rusty. I enjoyed doing it and am hoping something more might come from it, but only time will tell.


Allotment – Finally managed to get onto the plot and do some work this last week. I took down the netting and supports over the late brassicas, and dug the spot they were on. This is going to be the area where the potatoes will go this year. I’ve also recorded a short update video, first one in a while.


Currently Reading – I read Stephen King’s “Finders Keepers” [GoodReads] this week. It’s the middle book in the Bill Hodges trilogy (“Mr Mercedes” is the first, and “End of Watch”, the last). I was a little disappointed with it, in that the tale spent a long time building up to what was ultimately a fairly short ending. It’s one of those books that is slightly better than the 3 stars I’ve given on GoodReads, but the site doesn’t allow for half-stars, as it is worthy of a higher rating but not quite the 4 stars which would be the other option.


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The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]


Troy – I mentioned this last week. It’s a while since I’ve been comprehensively disappointed in a TV show, but I really didn’t enjoy this. Shame. Not even going to bother watching the second episode.


Stephen Fry’s Announcement


So that’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll be a little bit more timely next week (although possibly I might be under a pile of wallpaper or snow, we’ll see. Take care and stay away from The Beast From The East, I hear he’s a bit of a cold chap.

Never Feed Them After Midnight (Quick Links 111)

It’s been a fairly busy week. I’ve had a couple of appointments to attend with my Mum, and a couple of others for myself. Around that I’ve managed to fit in a haircut, pancakes and of course Valentines Day.

It’s interesting that Shrove Tuesday has become more of a culinary event than the start of Lent, and I’m not sure whether the fact that it is still observed in at least that way is good or not. An acquaintance of mine has decided to observe the period as plastic free, and is recording her adventures here. I admire her, but don’t envy the task. In my own way I’ve been trying to cut down on single use plastics in the home, and it’s not easy. Just too much comes ready packaged in plastic or you are encouraged to use a plastic bag or container of some kind.

We don’t go too mad for Valentines, exchanging just small gifts. For mine this year I received a book (see more below) and a glass hummingbird ornament. I’ve left the latter wrapped up for the time being as I don’t want to break it, and as yet I’m not sure where I can safely put it.

A couple of times this week I nearly wrote an extra post or two, but in the end didn’t and those thoughts ended up getting lost, so I think I might pick up the frequency again, if the mood takes me.


 

Work – I’ve been  finalising next weeks presentation, it sounds good in my head, and I hope it will turn out the same when I come to do it in real life!


Allotment – Sorry to sound like a stuck record here but the ground down there is still too wet to do very much.


Currently Reading – I’ve finished a couple of books this week that I started some time ago and put to one side for various reasons. Not quite sure why I did at the time because both were pretty good and one I really enjoyed. The first is “Spirits of Place” which is an anthology [GoodReads], and the second “Deep Country” by Neil Ansell [GoodReads].

The latter is the authors story of five years in an isolated off-grid cabin in the Welsh hills, and it is this book that really got under my skin. I’m not quite sure why it didn’t when i first started it, although I do remember it was when my Mum was having her knee replaced and I was reading it on the bus going to and from the hospital. I guess I just got too busy after that. However I did finish it this time, and found it rather magical, although the author didn’t hold back about how some of his time in the cabin was quite hard where he was effectively isolated from the rest of the world for long periods. The descriptions of the wildlife and the landscape were particularly captivating, and I was both happy to have finally finished it, although also a little sad.

I also received a copy of “Icebreaker” by Horatio Clare [GoodReads] as a Valentines gift, which I devoured in a couple of evenings (it’s only a short book, but very good). Again another magical book. I didn’t really appreciate the role of the icebreaking ships, but I certainly do now, and the author managed to capture his time on one icebreaker, and weave in stories of the crew and Finland throughout.


Furby Organ – We’ve got a few of these things around the house. I’m not tempted to make my own, but this guys done the job so we don’t have too. I would have liked it more if they had sung in unison and what have you, but it’s still an amazing bit of kit.


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The Week In Wildlife In Pictures – [LINK]


Ant Man & The Wasp – I really enjoyed the first Ant Man movie, so I’m looking forward to watching the sequel too.


Troy: Fall of a City – I heard an interview with the writer of this when I was in the car the other day. I’m not sure how this will translate to screen but the writers knowledge of his subject alone really demand that this be brilliant. Fingers-crossed!


So that’s me out for this week – although if the mood takes me there might be something before next Sunday, who knows. Have a good week everyone.