Life || Photo A Day #50

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I didn’t take a single photo this week.

OK, I took one, it was a photo of the moon, but that was it and I took a photo of my dinner but it was awful so I deleted it. Let’s just say I took no photos.

I did edit a lot of photos from Disneyland though and found some bird photos that I wanted to share, so I’m sharing them instead.

I’m just going to pop in some dates, a photo that has absolutely nothing to do with that day and then try to remember something to write underneath it. Or maybe I’ll just whittle on about anything I can think of.

Let’s get going.

The only photo that has anything worth reading is probably the last one, where I tell you that this is the last blog post of December and wish you a Happy New Year and Happy Holidays. 

December 9th

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OK, Friday, what did I do today? I don’t really remember. I lost a huge chunk of my time last week to sorting out all the things we were selling and arranging collections for the weekend. I think by Friday I was so tired of people that I spent the whole day on the sofa reading my book, doing the tidying in the house and catching up on learning Dutch. Nothing too exciting.

December 10th

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Saturday we lugged a bunch of stuff from the garage into the apartment to be sold on Sunday, then we walked into town to buy cheese and mayo. We then attempted to make a fake tuna-mayo kind of thing – chickpea of the sea, the internet calls it – and it didn’t turn out all that great. We put far too much onion in it and didn’t chop it small enough. It had the potential to be great, it just wasn’t.

The rest of the evening was spent watching Grimm and trying to organise what time all the people are coming on Sunday to collect stuff.

December 11th

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Sunday: the day of moolah.

We were up at 7 and the first person was at the house by 7:40. I have never spent so much time on Facebook as I did this day. All day, Facebook was on my laptop screen and I was checking messages, replying and reorganising people. My soul still feels dirty and I never want to be wished good afternoon by Facebook again.

In between taking people’s money and sending people map links, I managed to read half of A Court of Mist and Fury, whilst sitting in a very uncomfortable desk chair.

It was a long old day.

December 12th

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Monday: the start of a very slow week and not being able to sleep.

I was feeling a bit run down on Monday morning so I slept for for another hour or so and then just caught up on different things, mostly internet or household related. Just one of those days where time just goes by, you’ve done fifteen different things but nothing to show for it.

They are my least favourite days now that I don’t work.

December 13th

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Tuesday: editing, editing and editing. The whole entire day. And listening to my audiobook too. That’s everything. I was quite productive given that I didn’t fall asleep until 4am.

I started going through my Disney photos at around 10am and was still editing them at 6pm. At least they are all sorted and planned into blog posts, I just have to write them up. That’s Friday’s plan.

December 14th

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Another 4am bedtime. Sigh. I did get through another audiobook though, so it’s not too boring not being able to sleep.

I decided to dedicate a lot of time to the blog this week. Sorting out all my posts for this month, editing photos and then planning and drafting posts for January. So far so good now that the time-suck that is selling stuff on FB is out of the way.

Once this post is finished and scheduled, that’s everything for December done and I can start on January. I can’t wait to get ahead of myself again!

I really have nothing to say about Thursday so just look at that cute guy flashing his feathers in the photo.

December 15th

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It’s the end of another Project 365 week! It’s so close to the end of the year and I’m looking forward to it. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to continue this project into 2017 yet, but I still have two more weeks.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Wonderful Wednesday, it’s blog break time! From Monday, Kris and I are on our Christmas holidays (Holidays holiday just doesn’t work), so there’ll be nothing going on here. I still have two more weeks of this project to finish, but I’m going to put those together and share the photos on the last day of the month.

And then it’ll be 2017 and I have a whole bunch of posts planned for that, starting with our trip to Disneyland Paris!

So, that’s it for now. See you all on December 31st and then in January. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all! 

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Life || Wonderful Wednesday #15

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OK, it’s actually Thursday, but who cares? I have good things to talk about.

Thermoses

Really. I love my thermoses. And yes, I have two. They are different sizes depending on what I want them for. Right now, I’ve made myself a thermos of tea to drink at my desk during the day (or this might be my second thermos). It stays hot all day and uses less tea bags than always making a new cup.

I also love making a thermos of tea or hot chocolate to take with us when we go out for the day in the cold. Or in the summer for keeping my drinks cool too. Not that there’s much weekend adventuring going on at the moment but at least my thermos is always there just in case.

Thermoses are the best and I urge everyone to have one. Think of it as the Hipster’s Teapot.

More moolah making

Are there rules against repeating past Wonderful Wednesday topics? I hope not.

I already mentioned we were making some extra change in another Wonderful Wednesday but since then, I’ve made myself a pretty penny of almost €500 from stuff we no longer want. It’s surprising how quickly the odd euro here and there adds up. Plus, I also managed to sell one of my camera lenses that I no longer use and a bit of Disney memorabilia too.

If the people who have arranged to come this weekend to collect bits actually come, we might even break €800 total. But then again, I have to rely on people actually turning up when they say instead of just not coming and completely ignoring any contact with me. If this moolah quest has taught me anything, it’s that people are rude, entitled tosspots.

The question is, which fund do I put all this extra money into? The puppy-fund, the tattoo-fund or the lens-fund, or maybe a fund that Kris might be interested in. Phone-fund just sounds so boring though.

Some damn good reads

The books of November were pretty pants, but this month’s reads have been oh so good. Like, so good. I’ve read A Gathering of Shadows and A Court of Mist and Fury, plus a few others, but I’m feeling pretty confident when I say that these two are my top books of the year. They are also incredibly frustrating because I’m dying to get my hands on the sequels but they are not out yet! I may have pre-ordered one of them to ease my pain though.

The weather

It’s been beautifully sunny. That’s all there is to say about that.

Electric blanket

I put it on my bed in the evenings and it’s what I imagine heaven would be if it was a real thing: a pre-warmed bed in the wintertime.

Also, shout out to the radiators in the house, you’ve been doing great and keeping me cosy too. As have all the socks and my dressing gown.

Homeward bound

OK, not yet, but next week we’ll be heading home for the holidays. I can’t wait. This year we’ll be staying at Kris’ home instead of mine and I foresee much reading and relaxing happening. And eating, because Kris’ mum always picks us up some food that we can’t get here and this year she’s gone above and beyond that with many vegan goodies. I’m already thinking about tucking into that vegan pizza and ice cream.

Quality Kris time

Maybe.

As it’s The Holidays, Kris has booked his usual holiday from work. He’s off for two weeks come Monday so we might go on some adventures or we might stay inside reading and playing games, let’s see what the weather says before we commit to anything. Either way, I’m looking forward to spending some extended time together and sharing the washing up.

Are there rules against talking about prospective wonderful things on Wonderful Wednesday too? I feel like I’ve completely missed the point of Wonderful Wednesday this week and nothing that I’ve mentioned has actually occurred in the last week. I’m just waffling away about whatever comes to mind.

And that usual food list to end on

Actually, I don’t think there’s been all that much food worth mentioning. My life has been lots of hot tea, boxed vegan mac and cheese (which I plan to eat for tea tonight), too many times having bolognese out of the freezer and potatoes. There would be granola to talk about but I have no maple syrup and I would talk about the Coco Pops, but it turns out they aren’t vegan so shame on Kellogg’s.

At least oranges are still in season.

I guess I should mention this now, instead of just dropping off the edge of the internet like I usually do, but since Kris and I are on holiday from Monday until the New Year, I have no plans to blog my holiday away. I like my blog breaks (as evidenced by how many I take throughout the year) and I especially like them when I’m on holiday. Plus it gives me a time to get some drafts written up too. So yeah, I’ll be back with another Wonderful Wednesday in good old 2017. 

If you only come here for your weekly dose of wonderful, I shall wish you a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year now. If you stay for all the other quality content – ha! – I’ll be back tomorrow for week 50 of my project 365. 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us raggedy bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor & another Sarah!

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Life || November Reads

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I did it! I completed my Goodreads goal for the year! Woop woop! 100 books! Gold stars for me! Hand me my blue ribbon.

If this year is nothing else, at least it will be the year I read more books than I’ve read in the rest of my lifetime. That doesn’t sound to bad.

Will I have a goal for next year? Nope. I don’t care for goals. This one only existed because I was messing about on Goodreads and set it up thinking I could just un-set it afterwards. Turns out you can do that, but I didn’t work that out until I was 30 books in, so I just let it stay.

On to the November reads. This month was pretty rubbish for reading to be honest, not in terms of amount (I don’t care for numbers) but just the books. It was all very underwhelming.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #4) by Douglas Adams

Click here to see book synopsis

Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription, the mysterious disappearance of Earth’s dolphins, and the discovery of his battered copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy all conspire to give Arthur the sneaking suspicion that something otherworldly is indeed going on.

God only knows what it all means. And fortunately, He left behind a Final Message of explanation. But since it’s light-years away from Earth, on a star surrounded by souvenir booths, finding out what it is will mean hitching a ride to the far reaches of space aboard a UFO with a giant robot. But what else is new?

There was me thinking this series was going to be great, but no, this book was just a little bit, for want of a better word, flat.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first three books in the series in October but this book just put a bit of a damper on everything. It seemed shorter (I think it actually was), there wasn’t as much wit, and I don’t think there was much of a plot. But I’m not sure, because I can’t quite remember.

Not the worst book, but not nearly as fun as the first three.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy #5) by Douglas Adams

Click here to see book synopsis

It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished in a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on is a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life a bit and, immediately, all hell breaks loose.

Hell takes a number of forms: there’s the usual Ford Prefect form of hell, fresh hell in the form of an all-new version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a totally unexpected hell in the form of a teenage girl who startles Arthur Dent by being his daughter when he didn’t even know he had one.

Can Arthur save the Earth from total multidimensional obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter, Random, from herself?

Of course not. He never works out what is going on, exactly. Will you?

As with the fourth book, this was a bit of a disappointment too. I’m glad they were such short audiobooks. I’m not even sure I could pin point what it was about the this book and the last that make me rate it lower. The tone of the book felt odd compared to the first three and ironically, given that nothing in the books was remotely sensible, stuff just didn’t make sense.

I don’t begrudge having read them, I did enjoy the series but when you compare the books as a whole, the fourth and fifth are definitely not where it’s at.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cruel Crown (Red Queen #0.1 & #0.2) by Victoria Aveyard

Click here to see book synopsis

Queen Song

Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

Meh, these were nothing special nor nothing awful. It was a nice way to get back into the series though and definitely better than the second book. A solid I don’t know, let’s just give it three stars book.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Click here to see book synopsis

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

This was a bit of a snore-fest (snore-fest has also become my go to book descriptor for two-star books).

By the time I got to the end, I was sure all I had read about was a whining main character and a lot of flying around in some sort of aircraft. Oh and maybe 50 pages of action (I don’t know, it was on audio). The second star was for that. And for making me consider reading the third book just to see what will happen.

It was pretty much a book about the events of the first book told through Mare’s (or some other spelling) whining. Whines included: complaining how one guy liked her, complaining the other guy did, complaining about doing stuff, complaining about not doing stuff, complaining about a third dude, whining about all the mistakes she’s made, about feeling guilty, about not feeling guilty, about people helping her, not helping her and the weather.

OK, maybe not the weather. I don’t think that was mentioned in the book, so I guess it was sunny the whole time.

Yep, snore-fest. First book was better.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Click here to see book synopsis

The narrators hear their echoes in history and change their destinies in ways great and small, in a study of humanity’s dangerous will to power. A reluctant voyager crosses the Pacific in 1850. A disinherited composer gatecrashes in between-wars Belgium. A vanity publisher flees gangland creditors. Others are a journalist in Governor Reagan’s California, and genetically-modified dinery server on death-row. Finally, a young Pacific Islander witnesses the nightfall of science and civilization.

Part of me can’t believe I even bothered to finish this. At 500 odd pages, it was one heck of a slog to get through. I momentarily forgot that I can actually give up on a book if it sucks.

The problem was, this book didn’t suck all the time. It’s basically six stories told from six perspectives across time, all connencted to each other in some way. The problem is, each story is around 100 pages with no chapters, they are just split in half. So the first 50 pages are story one, the next story two, then the sixth story is the whole thing and then you go backwards from the fifth story. Does that make sense?

It’s weird. You get cut off before anything interesting has happened and that makes it hard to stay motivated for the rest of the book. I should have stopped at the second story.

The second half of the book if definitely better but that’s 300 pages away…

Two-stars, and then one extra because I quite liked the last page.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Currently

I haven’t decided. I am between books right now having just finished A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and Legion by Brandon Sanderson. Both great reads, I will add. I think I’m going to start the second Legion book (Legion: Skin Deep) and maybe I’ll start working my way through the sixth Harry Potter book now that I’ve gotten over how rubbish the fifth book was.

Oh, I am currently listening to The Wraiths of War (Obsidian Heart #3) by Mark Morris which isn’t too bad. But I’m still undecided on my next physical book.

That’s it for November, probably my slowest reading month of the year, but it was nice to get to some audiobooks again. Even if they were pretty mediocre. December is already shaping up to be a better reading month! What did you read last month?

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books.

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