Sunday, 4 November 2012

Project 365+1: Days 301 - 307

It's been a pretty busy week, what with Halloween, the beginning of National Novel Writing Month, a TMA just begging to be written and a shopping trip off the island. I'm beginning to feel like I need another weekend to recover from the last couple of days. Come next week I think I'm just going to spend all Saturday in bed!

Day 301: Bookcase Staples
These battered old books have been on my bookcase for as long as I can remember. The copy of The Wind in the Willows is actually a couple of years older than I am. When I rearranged my bookcase the other week I dug these out and gave them a slot, partly because I need a book beginning with 'W' for the upcoming Winter challenge during HTV's Reading Challenge, but also because it's been a long time since I read them and I thought they deserved an outing.

Then I couldn't actually wait to get started, so I read The Wind in the Willows. I have such fond memories of these books. Compared to some modern editions, the covers are quite plain, almost boring, but I have so much love for them that it was never something that bothered me as a child. I'm not sure why I've held onto them for so many years when there's so many less battered and better smelling copies that I could have replaced them with, but these are all I have left of my childhood bedrooms, and I want to use these to introduce other children to the lovely stories.

Day 302: Getting It All Planned Out
Having written out my TMA draft, I then discovered that I'd completely overlooked the guidance notes, so I drew coloured lines round each section to see how relevant what I'd already written was. Then I replanned it with the above mind map to make sure that I was covering all of the information I needed to. Then I pretty much avoided touching the stupid thing until 7am today because I'm just not motivated to actually write it at all. But at least my planning makes it look like I know what I'm writing about.

Day 303: Backing Up
I've been far too lax with my back ups recently. It suddenly hit me when I realised that I had seveal Gbs of photos that hadn't been copied over to my external harddrive, and that I was rapidly running out of space for non-photographic things on my computer. With NaNo fast approaching, it seemed like the right time to get everything backed up. Unfortunately this meant that I couldn't actually start work on my assignment because of the backing up kind of taking priority... oops.

Day 304: Halloween Reading Material
I'm not really a big fan of spooky stories. I'm too chicken for scary movies and if anything scary books are worse because I have an over-active imagination and whatever is described in the text, I will make even worse in my own mind. But I wanted to read something which was suitable for Halloween, and The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories fit the bill perfectly. It's by Tim Burton and is a collection of little poems about some very strange and unusual children. It's a little bit creepy, but fun too, exactly what I wanted from my All Hallows Read book of choice.

Day 305: An Unexpected Party
This week I started my annual re-read of The Hobbit. I first read this when I was six and it's easily still one of my favourite books. It's stuck with me because at the time the school were trying to make me read those Oxford Reading Tree books and I just wasn't interested. Why read about boring children when you can read about people having adventures with goblins and dragons? I ended up having to take The Hobbit into the school to read several pages to a teacher to prove that I was able to read these 'harder' books, hehe.

Normally I'd read it a little earlier in the year. I like to read it before I start The Lord of the Rings which is traditionally my summer read, but with The first of the film trilogy coming out in December, I wanted to read it a little closer to when I see the film so it'll all still be fairly fresh. I've got the opening memorised, I love it, I can't wait until I have a little person of my own to read it to and hopefully make them love it as much as I do.

I love the story of how it came to be written too, with Professor Tolkien marking essays and finding a blank sheet and writing 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.' which led to all sorts of marvelous and interesting things. Plus from a geeky linguistics perspective it makes me laugh because 'holbytla' means 'hole-dweller', and where else would you expect them to live?

Day 306: The Trolls
This is a late-night snap while I'm reading the aforementioned book. The copy I'm reading was picked up in a secondhand shop and I quite like it because it's inscribed with a message from Nigel to Rosalind, Christmas 1988 with the words 'I'm sure it's a good read' in brackets underneath. I like to think that Rosalind enjoyed it because it was certainly well-read by the time it came into my possession. I've got several editions of The Hobbit but this is the first with illustrations by Tolkien himself. I'm resisting the urge to skim on ahead to pick them out because I'm enjoying suddenly turning the page and finding one of them there. It's making me look forward to digging out my copy of The Father Christmas Letters next month and enjoying the pictures in there.

Day 307: Successful Shopping Trip
Yesterday we were very busy. We trekked off the island in the direction of Ikea (via Pets at Home) and bought interesting goodies such as a coat stand, a lampshade for the bedroom and new crockery. Then we visited Braehead where I did not find any trousers for work (silly me thinking that because the jeans and trousers I've been wearing are the same size, any other trousers I try on with that size on the label will fit) but I did find new work boots so I don't have to worry about finding various things to stick my buckle back on with anymore.

I also finally got to spend my £5 voucher I got from work in HMV. Ever since I got it (way back at the end of August) I've had plans to get The Hunger Games on blu-ray. We then did our regular two-month shop in Lidl plus picked up a few things in Tesco, such as the Taylor Swift CDs seen above. I've wanted to get my hands on Speak Now for about two years, but it never seems to be in any shops when I'm looking for it. I listened to it for the first time this morning while I was working on my TMA and I'm already in love with a couple of the songs on it (Never Grow Up in particular makes my chest feel all tight). I'm holding back on Red until I've finished my assignment, then I'll reward myself.

The visit to Ikea has given us plenty of ideas for things we can do with various rooms in our house, as well as a few storage ideas. Our next big thing for the house will be a chest freezer in the new year, but after that, possibly by the summer, we'll be getting a new bed, and I've a funny feeling it might be coming from Ikea.

And this coming week?

Well, we're hopefully having a bonfire tomorrow night, if the weather stays dry. If not we'll sit inside in the warm and eat hot dogs anyway. Tuesday is my personal deadline for my TMA. I'm almost done, I've got best part of it finished today, all that's left to do is wrap it all up with a conclusion and make sure all of my references are in place. I've not had my dummy TMA back yet so I'm assuming I just format it the way I normally would. There's also plenty of NaNoing still to be done. I slipped a little behind my target yesterday as the shopping wore me out and I didn't want to get my laptop out during The Hunger Games, so I'll be catching up with the odd word here or there.

Plus I'd like to sleep a bit, maybe have a lie-in or two. Oh, and I need to finish my Christmas shopping. Fun!

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