Monday, 29 February 2016

The Year in Books 2016: February

Laura at Circle of Pines has taken 'A Year in Books' to the realm of twitter now, but being a non-tweeter I thought I'd carry it on here. To be honest I don't think I'd remember what I'd read if I didn't document it - this month I could swear I read three books, but I can only remember two of them! So despite the lack of link up, and thanks solely to the fact that there is an extra day these month, here is what I read in February.

1. 'Starter for Ten' by David Nicholls.

Starter for Ten follows the awkward, slightly geeky 19 year old Brian Jackson as he heads off to the bright lights of University and embarks on his quest to feature on University Challenge, motivated in part by his memories of watching the show with his father, who died when Brian was at school. Featuring slightly cliche characters, from the stunning, privately educated Alice, with whom Brian falls hopelessly in love, to the angry communist Rebecca, arrogant obsessive Patrick, leader of the quiz team and many others in between. The book brought back all sorts of memories of those first terms away from home, trying to find a niche in the complex world of university, and I did warm to Brian - but the ending was slightly obvious. I have to say I absolutely loved 'One Day' and this just didn't compare for me. Worth a read though I'd say.

2. Sophie Hannah was a new author for me - she is speaking at a conference I am helping to organise on Saturday and I thought I'd better at least read something! I have to say, I really enjoyed this book - as a thriller it was different to my usual reading material. The novel centres on Connie Bowskill, who finds herself embarking on a virtual tour of a house beyond her budget in the early hours of the morning. When she sees a murdered woman in the middle of the lounge she calls her husband, but the image has vanished and all to be seen is a spotless house. Increasingly consumed with doubt and mistrust of her husband Kit Connie tries to convince those around her of what she saw. I'd recommend this as a good mindless read - and I do want to read some more of Sophie Hannah's work, I'm looking forward to seeing her speak on Saturday.

What have you been reading? I'm trying to come up with different books to read - I may well attempt a Charles Dickens next month!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Settling In

We're having a lovely few weeks getting our new home in shape and order - 3 weeks since we moved in now and time is flying! Today C spent the day boarding the loft, meaning more stuff can be hidden from view stored until we need it. I busied myself putting up pictures, doing the washing and baking, all of the day-to-day routine type things that you do at home, and this really is feeling like home now.

One of my favourite things about the new house is its location - we're in a village but 5 mins from the university town where I work, and a bus ride from 3 East Midlands cities. We also have the countryside on our doorstep, part of our new routine is a Sunday walk. So far we have walked up to the nearby canal and along, but next week I think we'll venture further afield. Excuse the pun. I even have new wellies, which make the squelching and sliding through mud even more fun! Doggie patterned - hopefully one day we will have a dog to accompany us on our ramblings, shhhh don't tell Bella and Izzy!

Inside the house we're getting our various belongings into place. Our parents have all been to see us and approved, and we're gradually getting our friends over to check out the new pad. All sorts of things that we didn't have room for in our old house now have a place - the heart above for example, which was a wedding decoration. Old memories and new intermingle and we're very excited about the next stage of the journey - starting off with a trip to Asia in the not so distant future!

Monday, 15 February 2016

New Adventures

Two and a half weeks ago we moved house! It's been fairly non-stop, but we are finally getting there. I always forget what an upheaval moving is - I have to admit this time was a lot less stressful than it could have been. We have a lovely new house, and we are embarking on a new journey!

Although we have a new vessel, the crew very much stay the same! Here Bella looks exactly how I felt after getting everything into place.

Less than a minute from our front door is the beautiful English countryside. A maze of yellow footpath signs, all waiting to be explored.

We're getting all of our family and friends over to see the house. Lots of flowers and gifts, we've been spoilt!

And of course a new house needs new home made accessories! One of the best bits of moving in my humble opinion (C is definitely not in agreement here... the more space the more places to hide things is my approach...)

Normal service resuming soon, I hope all is well out in the blogosphere, and I can't wait to catch up on what everyone has been up to!