Sunday 12 April 2015

Sunday Summary: Migraines, steam trains and Shakespeare... IN SPACE!

Well, here we are on another Sunday afternoon, and LOOK! THERE IS A SHINY YELLOW THING IN THE SKY! (Which reminds me, I have a machine full of soggy washing that needs to go out on the line - which I'm sure you really don't need to know about.) I've had a bit of a rough week, with the migraine to end all migraines - it started up on Good Friday and lasted at least a week. At some point it probably stopped being a migraine but even now there's just enough residual effects to say, "Get used to me, this is your head now." Thanks, brain.

So last Saturday, the day before Easter I had to take the day off from work, meaning that I inadvertently had the whole bank holiday weekend off, though I couldn't really enjoy it, being tucked up in bed, unable to sleep, but also unable to read or watch DVDs or do anything that involved looking at things. 

Monday I was a bit better, and me, my sister, two cousins and one cousin's fiancee went out to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway for the day. When my mum was growing up, her family owned an old train carriage, which had been turned into a holiday chalet called Sunny Siding, and lived in a field near the sea. I never got to visit it as a holiday home, as it was sold back to the railway when the farmer wanted his field back, and it spent a long time being restored, with added disabled access (subtly hidden in the period design) and went back on the rails in the early 2000s, with a big family outing for the official opening. Unfortunately I was off on a university visit that day. But my cousin's fiancee Libby is a big steam train nerd (she will fit right at home in our family) and so we spent a lovely bank holiday at the steam railway centre at Haven Street, which also had a falconry display, my sister got to hold a tiny little owl called Chive, and there was a very attractive man working there who was dressed as a pirate for reasons I was unable to determine. Then, after our train ride (in the family carriage, naturally) it was off to the local carvery for a very late lunch or perhaps early dinner. 

Me, Jenny, Stewart and Jeremy
What else I've been up to:

Mostly sci-fi magazines, rather than books, thanks to the aforementioned migraine, though I was most displeased with Morrison's for displaying them under "Men's interest." Fortunately, the other shops' magazine departments are - mostly - displayed by subject rather than gender. I also read the second Geek Girl book by Holly Smale - how has it taken me so long to read this brilliant series? - and finished Tess Gerritson's Gravity, a thriller set on the International Space Station. There is a high body count, but a satisfying resolution, although perhaps best not read when you're ill. Also, the main character is called Emma Watson, so of course I pictured the actress, if a bit older and with an American accent.

Watching: Dabbling about on Netflix, watching odd episodes of Buffy. I also caught part of the new Thunderbirds Are Go! The original Thunderbirds was the first of many obsessions when I was seven, and I'm very suspicious of any remake, especially when they've made the famous puppet characters into brightly-coloured CGI and (possibly) killed off Jeff Tracy! What I saw did not fill my purist heart with confidence, but I'll watch a few episodes properly before making any judgement. It can't be worse than if they were to make a live-action adaptation, make Alan Tracy a teenager and focus all the attention on him. Which of course would never happen. Nope.

Looking Forward To: going to see Return to the Forbidden Planet in Portsmouth. This was going to be tomorrow, but I realised that the only way home would be by taking the midnight car ferry, arriving on the Island at 1AM, which would be fine by me, but I'm going with Judith who starts work at 7AM the next day. So we changed our tickets to Friday, which has an earlier showing. I was in a school production of that show when I was in year 8 and have such fond memories. Whenever I hear any of the songs on the radio or in a shop, it lifts my mood right up. If you're not familiar with it, Return to the Forbidden Planet is Shakespeare's The Tempest... IN SPACE. With rock'n'roll! It'll be great to watch it from the audience this time.

Other Doings: You may be aware that colouring has suddenly become an acceptable pastime for adults, just in the last few months, largely thanks to the Secret Garden colouring book by Joanna Basford. It is recommended as "art therapy," a way of de-stressing and taking your mind off things. I can confirm it really works; Friday I woke up feeling very miserable and lonely. That day my Anne of Green Gables colouring book arrived, which I had ordered through Hive, and I spent the rest of the day (and also yesterday evening) colouring in the pictures. It's got an abridged version of the story, not just pictures, and I love it. It was Anne of Green Gables, it existed, therefore I had to have it.


  1. SO MANY THINGS TO SAY, so as usual, I shall number them:

    1) Aaaaahhh, you had a MIGRAINE. That would explain why you looked slightly pained at the light coming in through the window on your Instagram 'on a train' pic. I apologise for commenting that you should Sheldon it up a bit.
    2) On that note, migraines are the worst. Well done you for doing ANYTHING while you had one. I particularly hate the 'can't do anything including sleep, sit up, lie down, read, watch TV or indeed anything else' days, for the very reason that you can't distract yourself or while away the time AT ALL, it's all just about pain. *sympathetic hug*
    3) Your family train story-and-visit is very cool, it's so beautiful! And hey, hot random pirate guys are just the icing on the day-out cake.
    4) I read the first Geek Girl book last year on holiday, and it was SO PERFECT for this time of year. If I haven't already succumbed, I'm taking #2 on holiday THIS year, and I've got #3 as well. :)
    5) I also have Gravity, actually. I absolutely adored Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen (I've been meaning to get hold of my own copy actually, I think I want to reread it) and Gravity sounded similarly biological-mystery-thriller-y. Maybe that'll come on holiday too.
    6) Shakespeare IN SPACE? Why have I never heard of this before?
    7) I need need NEED a new copy of Anne as well. It was one of my favourites as a little girl but my copy disappeared at some point. I have a bunch of editions on a dedicated 'replacement books' wishlist, I just haven't picked my favourite yet. :)

    Oooookay I'm done. Hope you're feeling better this week! Also, I went back to the bookshop today and it was really weird (emotionally) and dispiritingly crap (physically). I thought you'd like to know. :D

    1. Hello!

      1 and 2. That's quite all right, you weren't to know. Alas I am often afflicted with the migraines, despite being on TWO kinds of medication intended to prevent them. And, to be fair, I don't suffer quite so often or quite so badly - usually. The Easter one was the worst I've had in a very long time. If it lasts more than about three days I start to think no one will believe me. But it's gone now, at last. Hurrah!
      3. I know, it's rather awesome. When the carriage went back on the rails there was a big family do, and there was a picture of my Grandma driving (or perhaps just riding in) the train printed in the local paper. It was a shame I missed that event, but it was great to finally see and ride in "our" carriage.
      4. In true Katie fashion, I got round to reading Geek Girl after seeing that the author was a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, and that's why Harriet was a ginger.
      5. I enjoyed Gravity a lot, though there was a lot of science-speak which was not a good mix with the migraine, so it took me a while to read. But it was a great read and I recommend it.
      6. SHAKESPEARE IN SPACE! It's The Tempest, with Prospero and Miranda on a lonely planet rather than an island, with a robot named Ariel, and a lot of rock'n'roll songs. The show's on tour at the moment, I wonder if it'll be venturing up northwards?
      7. You do need a new copy of Anne, I quite agree. There are so many pretty editions and I WANT THEM ALL! I told Bex and Laura to physically restrain me from buying any more when we went book shopping. But, enablers that they are, I don't think they would have done so.

      I'm upset on your behalf about the shop. You did such a lovely job of making it all welcoming and cosy and full of books, and I just want to shake the people who took it over. Or move up there and buy it off them - except I have no money and less business sense. *huggles*


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