Saturday, 21 December 2013

End of Year Reading Cram Days 13 and 14


Phew, it's almost over. I was most unimpressed when I realised that the last Saturday before Christmas was going to be filthy wet and stormy, and gloomily predicted that town would not only be very busy, but that everyone was going to be miserable as well as stressed. It was not as bad as it could have been; only had one tantrum from a child and one supercilious disgrace to the human race among the many customers I dealt with. Though I came very close to losing my temper with the latter, overall I think my general demeanor was friendly, if not jolly.

If I'd attempted jolly, I would no doubt have scared everyone off.
Hm. Maybe an idea for next year!
But I think the worst is behind me now. Apart from an afternoon shift on Christmas Eve, that's me done until Boxing Day, so I'm counting Christmas as starting from now. I really should get some presents wrapped this evening or I will find myself having to do them all on Christmas Eve. Again.

I didn't get a lot of reading done at lunch time as I was chatting with colleagues in the staffroom, but they left halfway through my break and I got through a few pages of Perdido Street Station. A plotline I thought had unceremoniously cut short has been picked up once more, and with it, so has my interest. The story has refocused on the characters, their actions and reactions, which I found far more readable than giant moths loose in the city. 

I don't expect to get much reading done tomorrow as I'll be spending the afternoon with my friend Sam and her twin daughters, before going on to a Carols By Candlelight service in the evening. I'd like to reread The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before Christmas, or just after, and I also hope to read the other Christmas story in my A Christmas Carol paperback. I've had this book since 1996, according to the nameplate in the front (it was a Girls Brigade award when I was 11) but I don't think I've ever actually read "The Cricket on the Hearth." Maybe this year I'll put that right!

Fangirl, my Christmas present from Ellie is planned for Christmas afternoon, when presents are opened, dinner is eaten and I'm feeling stuffed and sleepy. N0S4R2 and Mr Penumbra are also high on the to-read pile, and I really ought to read my friend's Mindstar Rising before I see him again for New Year.

Saturday Stats

What I've read today: Perdido Street Station
Number of pages read today: 61
Running total: 1362 pages
Books finished: Four: The Explorer Gene by Tom Cheshire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Number of mince pies consumed during readathon: 13
My life outside books: Tentatively hoping the worst is over.

Sunday night:

Not a lot of reading time today, as predicted, but I managed to squeeze in that short Dickens story, "The Cricket on the Hearth" in between carol singing, visiting and present-wrapping. "The Cricket" is a lovely little story, a definite fireside read about a middle-aged man and his young wife, who, due to half-discovered secrets and low self-esteem, fears that he's lost his wife's love. Though less than 100 pages long, the first part of "The Cricket" establishes a very happy family, and even if John Peerybingle suspects his wife's faithfulness, I don't think there's any doubt on the reader's behalf. We can rest comfortable that it's all a misunderstanding, and wait for the truth to emerge in the third act. Despite Dickens' (well-earned) reputation for being a long-winded novelist, his shorter works prove that he can be concise when he chooses, painting vivid pictures with just a few well-chosen sentences. I really had no excuse for taking seventeen years to read this lovely story.

This afternoon, I visited my friend Sam at her parents' house, where she was staying for the weekend with her twin daughters, Alice and Evelyn. The girls are three years old and every time I see them they've grown up so much. Today, they were dancing around the living room singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Jingle Bells" as well as a song about a sheep from their nursery school's nativity play. Their granny very proudly informed me that Evie had been the best singer in the play. Judith joined us a bit later, with a very well-chosen Christmas present: a marble run. I think we had just as much constructing the set as the girls did rolling the marbles down the obstacle course, and Sam and her Mum were just glad the twins could keep themselves entertained for a while. 

In the evening, I went with my family to a Carols by Candlelight service, so I am now feeling that Christmas has arrived. Every year I forget that Christmas carols can be quite a challenge to sing, especially if I've had to walk to the church in the cold air, but I'm always disappointed if I don't get to sing my old favourites. After the carol service, I came home to finish wrapping my presents - two days earlier than usual! Go me! - poured myself a generous helping of Baileys, and have settled down with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

What I've read today: The Cricket on the Hearth,
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Number of pages read today: 142
Running total: 1504 pages
Books finished: Five: The Explorer Gene by Tom Cheshire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens
Number of mince pies consumed during readathon: 15 and a piece of a big one.
My life outside books: Honorary Aunt duties and carol singing. Feeling festive. Hurrah!


  1. I have a low tolerance for rude people at Christmas time so I generally try to hide until it's all over lol

    Here's hoping it gets better for you or at least you can squeeze a lot of reading time in to escape.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I'm actually quite a laid-back person, so I really don't see the point of making a fuss about things that don't matter and can't be helped. I really don't know how people can live with themselves when they are rude to complete strangers without provocation. I feel terrible if I forget to say hello to a coffee shop employee before placing my order. Did you see that picture that's making the rounds from the French cafe, charging polite customers less than rude ones? An excellent idea, I think.

    2. I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS PICTURE BUT I HEARTILY APPROVE. I'm the same - I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS friendly and lovely to people in shops (unless they're being vile back, which is fortunately rare!) because you just KNOW you might make the difference between their day being okay and being absolutely awful. Common courtesy and politeness go a long way. :)

  2. DUUUUUDE, I've still got this afternoon, all day tomorrow (ON MARKET DAY) and half of Christmas Eve to go! Admittedly I did manage to ramp up the festivity very slightly last night by listening to some Christmas music while finishing my wrapping (because I'm normally a 'shit it's 8 o'clock Christmas Eve night how did this happen AGAIN?' wrapper too), but really all it did was cancel out the rest of Saturday, which I spent draped across the desk wanting to go home. :)

    I hope you have a wonderful run-up to Christmas if you're not around the interwebs much - and that you get some lovely reading in to counteract all the festive madness (and copious amounts of food and shite telly!). AND I HOPE YOU LOVE FANGIRL! :D

    1. Good luck for the last few days. I hope everyone is lovely and full of Christmas cheer. Oh, how I know that wanting to go home feeling, when you feel so sure it's nearly closing time and it turns out to be about 3 o'clock. I've just finished my wrapping (unless I find some forgotten present stashed away somewhere) and it's not Christmas Eve, or even Christmas Eve Eve. Mariah Carey is warbling away on the radio and I've poured myself a generous slosh of Bailey's. I think getting a cold a couple of weeks actually made me believe it's Christmas - a weird association, but I'm definitely feeling festive now. *warbles along to Mariah, much to the dismay of my next-door neighbours.*

    2. Haha, nothing like a bit of Baileys-fuelled warbling along to Mariah! We'd make a good duo - I always end up singing the backing instead when I forget which verse I'm on. :)

      Unfortunately today's town's EMPTY, it's RAINING and COLD, the market's only got about five stalls and most of them are packing up already... but there are JUST enough idiots out and about to make it necessary for us to stay instead of going the hell home. AND we're going to have to clean and mop the whole shop even though we'll probably make about £20 all day. Brilliant. *huffs and puffs some more* I put a wine mini in the shop fridge this morning so we might share that this afternoon. Ho ho chuffin' ho.

      Feel awesome, my little muffin. Not long to go now, and then it's Christmas and Boxing Day, which means reading and a roaring fire and food and happy feels and not having to go far. HANG IN THERE! xx


Come and say hello! I don't bite (well, except at the full moon...)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...