*blows dust away*

Thought I might start this going again seeing as I’m doing other specialised blogs. I’ve been quite busy recently doing a bit of work, the endless job hunting, a lot of reading, and being fairly good at not spending money. And not spending enough time studying (something I should really do since I have two exams next week for my boring admin related diploma).

I’ve just received a book called <a title="48 Days to the Work You Love" href="48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal""” target=”_blank”>48 days to the work you love by Dan Miller.   A completely guilt free purchase since I got it with a gift voucher from my saved up Nectar points. Nice! Hopefully it will help me sort out my work goals a little bit; if it’s good I’ll review it on here.

I’m doing some work for a local firm next week; they have a maternity leave cover position coming up too which sounds perfect – fingers crossed!





A trip around my living room.

I had a tidy up and reorganise of my bookcases yesterday, and thought you might like a little tour!

Excuse the blurry.  I didn’t use flash and apparently I don’t have a very steady hand! These bookcases used to have DVDs on them and lots of knickknacks. They looked messy, so I boxed up the things I didn’t need out, just leaving the things of more sentimental value (so small they don’t show up in this picture!).  I have created a Persephone section which will hopefully get added to as time goes on, separated out the children’s books (which I used to have a lot more of, where did they all go?), and moved all the DVDs so they are together on the blue unit (the bottom shelf is my music books and LPs and vinyl singles.  Almost all of them are Extreme.

The knitting books got their own shelf (actually two if you include the magazines, because a lot are oversize and will only fit on the bottom shelf of my bookcase.

The guitars now have their own bit off wall for the Punchline clown to look after them (another piece of Extreme memorabilia – I used to have a lot, now just a few bits and pieces like this clown)

I do have a third guitar but there’s no space for that one to be out as well sadly!

And last but not least..  my wall of postcards.  Although I’ve lived here since October I’ve still not got around to putting any other postcards/artwork/posters up. This one is special though because it’s my Cape Cod and Boston wall 🙂

I’ll take more pictures when I’ve put more artwork up… thing I hate about rented houses is magnolia walls… must be rectified!

A bucket full of random

I have been lax and therefore this is an update of many.

1) Most important news of this week is…I got myself a job! I start tomorrow.  It’s not great money so unfortunately you won’t be seeing reviews of the nice expensive things I’d like to be reviewing just yet, but at least I’ll be able to afford to eat lol.  It was quite strange the way it happened, and I still can’t believe it, but I got it off my own back, I sent my CV out via email to some firms making some phone calls first, and one firm called me back to say they wanted to interview me on Thursday, the interview lasted only about 20 minutes, wasn’t really an interview, but led to a job offer that evening – for a role that wasn’t widely advertised! After months of applications and agency trawling it was a bit of a novelty. I’m quite nervous, and I won’t be sorted until I get my February paycheck, so role on the end of February, and hope that the job works out!  Not quite sure how I’m going to make it through til then, but will have to!

2) I watched Labyrinth last night, and had forgotten what a lovely, amazing film it is. It’s just the perfect make believe film, and it doesn’t hurt that David Bowie looks oddly hot in it (why do us girls like bad boys?!).  I didn’t realise that Jennifer Connelly was only 14 when she filmed it, she seemed older (but obviously with the fascination with childhood fairy tales a lot younger).  All works somehow though!  It’s just genius.

3) My house looks like a chinese laundry.  I really need to get my own washing machine, because laundrettes are really expensive (and when I tried to go on Thursday, really busy – I went to two different laundrettes and both were packed with no machines free), and it’s a pain to drive all the way to my mum’s to get laundry done, and it uses up a day, which now I’ll be working is even more annoying. But it’s going to take me a while to save up to get a washing machine, and even longer to get a washer dryer.

4) A lovely lady on Ravelry sent me her Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish for free because it didn’t suit her skin.  As a result my skin is already looking so much better, and I’m so grateful to her. If you haven’t tried it, do! (and of course if it doesn’t suit, send it to me 😉 ) I first started using it about 10 years ago, and I always get compliments on how young I look for my age, and I’m sure it’s down to that and Lush’s Ultrabland.

Today I have to start getting back into the routine of work and routines, and I need to go and buy stuff for packed lunches, clean the house (it’s mostly clean, but needs dusting and vacuuming). I know I’ll be pretty exhausted next week working full days, so if I can make things as easy as possible that would be helpful!


New Year starts proper!

Today everyone went back to work and everything re-opened. I had two job hunt related meetings today, and at both my meetees told me they weren’t quite ready for it yet!  Both meetings went well, and I was left with the feeling that maybe these two agencies will find me a job, but from previous experience it would be a bad idea to hold my breath.  I did love the guy at the first place though, it wasn’t like a traditional agency style meeting, it was more a chat of what he’s doing, and hoping to do, and to find out about me rather than the traditional let’s see where we can shove this person to meet our targets. He told me he’d just moved from Brighton with his partner. I held my tongue and didn’t ask him why he’d want to leave Brighton (my gaydar was working well lol).

I watched March of the Penguins last night and it was just lovely, sigh. I followed it up with Happy Feet which wasn’t quite as lovely, but still semi-enjoyable, and reminded me of the last time I saw it, Boston Thanksgiving 2006 (on my own in an empty theater, but Thanksgiving on your own is perfectly fine when you are British and don’t celebrate it anyway.  I stayed at the YWCA and had a turkey dinner there with the long term residents who umm… were an eye opener. I’ll leave it at that. Happy Feet and March of the Penguins are also available as a two disc set for not very much money.


January cleaning

I thought I was going to have a lazy day today, but seem to have changed my mind, and have been on an organisation kick – I recently moved from a big two bedroom flat to a tiny one bedroom house, and sometimes the sheer amount of my stuff is a little stressful (even though I’ve paired down a *lot*).

I’m mid through organising my two big Ikea bookcases (the ones that everyone seems to have), and have been packing away books I want to keep but don’t need accessible, and generally trying to create some organisation (with Buffy Season 2 in the background for company – and am bemoaning the fact that in the pairing down I sold all the other seasons… I want them back!).

Whilst sorting through my stuff, there is so much that I haven’t read or watched, or don’t remember them if I have read/watched them I thought I’d make a list of all the ones are on my to read/to watch list, and try and keep some sort of track.

To read:

  • Aesops Fables
  • Jane Austen – Persuasion
  • Jane Austen – Mansfield Park
  • Jane Austen – Emma
  • Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey
  • Paul Auster – Book of Illusions
  • Paul Auster – Oracle Night (technically I’ve read these last two, I remember I loved them, but I don’t remember the stories)
  • Bulgarov – The Master and Margarita
  • Agatha Christie – 20s omnibus (this was a christmas present, so hasn’t been there as long as some of them!)
  • J Fennimore Cooper – Last of the Mohicans (I read this in my teens, but I don’t think I understood it)
  • Danielewski – House of Leaves (tried to get into this several times…doesn’t bode well)
  • Delafield – Consequences
  • Dickens – Oliver Twist
  • Daphne Du Maurier – My Cousin Rachel (again, read it, don’t remember it)
  • Dumas – Count of Monte Cristo
  • Julian Fellowes – Past Imperfect
  • Fitzgerald – Great Gatsby ( read it, don’t remember it)
  • Flaubert – Madame Bovary
  • Ken Follett – Pillars of the Earth
  • Alan Garner – , Weirdstone of Brisingamen quartet
  • Veronica Henry – the Beach Hut
  • Ishiguro – Remains of the Day
  • Henry James – Daisy Miller (read, don’t remember)
  • Norman Juster – Phantom Tollbooth (currently reading)
  • Jack Kerouac – On the Road (got halfway through when I was in Cape Cod at the start of Route six, never picked it up again after I got home)
  • Kate Kerrigan – Ellis Island
  • Barbara Kingsolver – Poisonwood Bible
  • Nicole Krauss – History of Love (read, don’t remember)
  • Larsson – the last two in the Millennium trilogy
  • Rosamund Lehman – Weather in the Streets
  • L’engle – Wrinkle in Time
  • Jonathan Lehmen -The Fortress of Solitude (got halfway through this about a year ago, but time to start again I think!)
  • C S Lewis – the Narnia books (read the first three, never read the rest, recently got given all seven)
  • Melville – Moby Dick
  • David Mitchell – Cloud Atlas
  • Lorrie Moore – A Gate at the Stairs
  • Kate Mosse – Labyrinth (read, don’t remember)
  • Murakami – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
  • Audrey Niffeneger – Her Fearful Symmetry
  • Ovid – Metamorphoses
  • Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Poe – The Fall of the House of Usher and other stories (have read some, not all)
  • Eva Rice – The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets (read, don’t remember)
  • Roy – the God of Small things
  • Stoker – Dracula
  • Kathryn Stockett – The Help
  • Donna Tartt – The Secret History (read, don’t remember)
  • Tolstoy – Anna Karenina
  • Edith Wharton – Age of Innocence (read, don’t remember)
  • T H White – The Once and Future King
  • Tobias Wolff – Old School
  • Few Eggs and No Oranges
  • Good Evening Mrs Craven (halfway through the short stories in here, not loving it)
  • Tales from One Thousand and One Nights
  • Helena Frith Powell –  Two Lipsticks and a Lover
  • Janelle – McCulloch – La Vie Parissiene

I’d also really like to re-read and finish this time, the Autobiography of Aerosmith, Walk this Way. If I review all the books once I’ve read them, hopefully I’ll remember them and won’t have to re-read them!  BTW, please don’t think the books I can’t remember can’t have been very good.  I have a terrible memory. So much so that when I re-read The Time Traveller’s Wife, a book I adore, I literally couldn’t remember the ending at all, so much so that it shocked me to my core when I re-read it. It’s one of my favourite books, I remembered loving it the first time, but I literally couldn’t remember the ending at all!  I think sometimes I read books too fast, and sometimes I skim without meaning to in a hurry to finish. Please also don’t think too much of me for all the classics on that list – I’ve owned some of them for years, and they’re only still on the list because I’ve been reading far less high-brow stuff!

To watch:

  • Jimmy Reardon
  • Citizen Kane
  • Houseboat (christmas present!)
  • Garden State (watched, loved, don’t remember.  Oh dear)
  • Ed Wood
  • Delicatessen

Plus I’ve a few recorded that I haven’t ever watched that I need to get round to. If I don’t review they weren’t worth reviewing!

I Heart New York

Technically I heart Boston, but I did successfully also manage to fall in love with NY the last three days I spent there (the first few days I was scared of it’s bigness and scariness – admittedly I was staying at the Youth Hostel in Harlem).

But this post is actually about my first read book of 2011 – I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk.

I actually got this book free with Glamour magazine several months ago.  I tossed it to one side, judging it by its size and cover, thinking it looked like a crappy chick lit book (sometimes I am a book snob, I admit it. Despite my Georgette Heyer and Jilly Cooper collection). Yesterday morning I was bored with all my in progress reads, and wanted something light, so I picked it up and took it back to bed with me, along with my current knit in progress (yes I can read and knit at the same time – I use a gimble to hold the book.  They are okay, but not great. I didn’t get mine from here, so can’t vouch for them, but got mine from Waterstones).

First thing I noticed was that the print was very very small – not usual for a chick lit. Second thing I noticed was that I’d put my knitting aside as I had been… shock, drawn in.  The premise is simple enough, girl attends wedding of best friend with her partner of 10 years, then discovers him shagging a blond thing in the back of their car. Rather than stick around, she hops on the first flight to NYC to escape. In NYC she gets adopted by the hotel concierge and falls into New York dating and shopping.  It is very escapist, but it’s descriptions of New York made me want to be back there in a heartbeat, and I admit, wish that something similar would have happened to me on my many trips out to the US (it never did, obviously). But it’s just the right side of believable (although I do worry about Angela’s increasing debt levels as she shoves everything on her credit card. I hope the new job she gets pays well…).  And one of the guys she starts dating is every indie girls dream; a sensitive boy in the band (even though in real life boys in the band tend to be complete arses – I am willing to be proved wrong however).

A lot of people have compared this to the Shopaholic series, but I heartily disagree.  The protagonist here is thoroughly likeable, whereas I wanted to slap the shopaholic character repeatedly. You want everything to work out for her, and you want her to stay in NYC, and you want to vicarously live through her. I did anyway, and judging from what I’ve read of the author’s motivations in writing the book, that was exactly what she was doing in writing it. I strongly identified with the character, with that feeling of needing to run away (I’d do it too if I had a cheating ex to fund it), and with the general amazingness of New York.

It is chick lit, but I have to remind the booksnob in me that critically acclaimed books are often boring and self indulgent as f*ck, and sometimes you need pure escapism.  I loved this book in the same way that I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower last year. Sometimes a great protagonist with something to say is all you really need.

After reading the book, I then discovered the author’s beauty blog Beauty Mecca which is also worth a read, but unfortunately made me wish I actually had a job at the moment so had some form of disposable income.

Listening to: Baby Animals by Baby Animals

Hello world!

My name is Rachel and I decided for 2011 that I am going to start blogging again. But a nice clean fresh start, where no one knows me (ish). Who knows whether anyone will find me and read me, but I don’t really care, this is primarily for me so I start writing more often, and to help 2011 be a better year than 2010 was.  Plus of course there’s nothing like a bit of navel gazing!

I live in a little city in England called Norwich, but if money, jobs, visas and health insurance were no object, I would be living in the US of A, probably in Boston, my favourite place in the world.  I would also like to visit NYC again, but preferably this time with money ha ha (although being able to just sit and watch the world go by in Central Park and Greenwich was a-mazing, and I’d settle for that!).  I’m endlessly job hunting, but ashamedly I still don’t really know what I want to do when I grow up.  Which is just as well as I don’t really plan on growing up.

In the meantime I do typing and temping to attempt to pay the bills, and the rest of the time I do what I love; reading, knitting, interneting, watching great and not so great films, play and listen to music, and attempt to write.  I won’t blog about the knitting as I do that elsewhere (I may show you the occasional amazing thing in a fashionista styley way – except if you could see me now you would know that I could never claim to be in anyway a fashionista!)

As I don’t have a lot of money but have an addiction to nice things I will attempt to do some kind of product reviews for stuff I can afford/already have and window shopping things on here as well. Plus I’ll tell you about the books I’m reading, stuff I’ve watched etc.  There will be links to buy stuff (I’m nothing if not an enabler), some of which will benefit me if you click (at least I’m honest), but you can always just go to a website directly via google, that’s fine too.

I know there are about a gazillion navel gazers, but I do hope you like this tiny little corner of the Internet (does the Internet have corners?).