Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off overseas...

Europafox asked if I was off to KL soon. I'm not but I thought I should update you on my travel plans. DH has his ROCL (R&R for those who don't speak military) leave starting on Monday. We have two weeks. We are spending one week in Penang (so flying through Kuala Lumpur), then we have a week in Singapore. I am so excited. Only 5 days to go....I can't wait to see DH! I have sorted out our flight issues and now will be able to meet up in KL and catch the connecting flight to Penang together. I am finding it so hard to concentrate at work this week because I just can't wait for Monday. Ok, so I don't actually see him until Tuesday but once you are on the plane time is somewhat redundant.

And Ladies, the crazy man thinks he will be able to spend back stuff from Iraq with me. Uh, hum I have some serious shopping to do....there will not be room for his stuff in my suitcase. Well, there might be room but their will be no excess weight capacity available;)

Anyway a weeks time should found us relaxing at the Swiss Club. Fortunately, my in-laws have membership so we will be able to spend lazy days poolside.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Ya Readin': Some Diverse Reads

I have been reading some varied genres in recent weeks.

First, I read "The Misses Mallett" by E.H. Young, a Virago Modern Classic. I picked my copy up at a book fair and I am glad I did because I loved it. The back of the cover says it is "reminiscent of Jane Austen". How very true that is. Good thing I have a couple more E.H. Young novels on my book shelf.

There are three Mallet sisters and one Mallet niece who live together in a house the small country town of Radstowe. The two oldest sisters - Caroline and Sophia - are large, jolly and aging spinsters.

While the bossy Caroline asserts that "The Mallets do not marry", their beautiful younger half-sister Rose awaits the arrival of a man who will take her away to an exciting life. She turns down the advances of the young Francis Sales - the eligible local squire. Only when Francis marries does he gain allure in Rose's eyes. When his young wife is tragically injured in a riding accident, Rose and Francis commence a love affair - emotional only, because Rose refuses to give herself to Francis while his wife is alive.

Then comes Henrietta, the daughter of the Mallet's wayward brother, who arrives in Radstowe after the death of her mother. She shares the beauty of her Aunt Rose and has a wilful spirit deciding that she will break the Mallet mold and marry. Unfortunately she falls in love with the unavailable Francis Sales. Henrietta and Aunt Rose gently compete for the love of an ineligble man.

I just finished "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. I ordered it a couple of months ago to read for Cornflower's book group, but never got round to doing so. The novel is set in Germany in 1939 as the Nazi's reach the height of their power, is narrated by death, and is the story of a young girl - Liesel and those around her. Her foster parents, her best friend Rudy Steiner, and a Jew named Max whom her foster parents shelter. Their world slowly disintegrates as the allied bombs start to fall.

This is a very unique book. I have heard diverse views on it. Though it took me a while to get into, I enjoyed it. It is stylistically unique and if you enjoy reading modern fiction I would recommend it.

Finally, I read "The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny" by Jonathon Gathorne-Hardy. Interesting if you are curious about Victorian and Edwardian English history. Gathorne-Hardy looks at the socio economic conditions that gave rise to the existence of the Nanny, and the social impacts of a Nanny raised generation. For instance, Gathorne-Hardy talks about how 'lower class' Nannies shaped the habits, mannerisms, speech and knowledge of upper class children. Gathorne-Hardy also posits a fundamentally important question "How was it that hundreds of thousands of mothers could simply abandon their little children to the absolute care of other women?". I could see parallels between this question and the debate about childcare today.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Busy Long Weekend

I had quite a busy long weekend here. I love Bank Holiday Monday - cos no-one that doesn't work for a bank gets it! I got some good books read (I'll post on that later).

I did so much cleaning! One of the Managers at work was telling how FlyLady has revolutionised her life. With a commendation like that I had to give it a go. I am up to day 7 of a polished sink! I still can't believe I am using windex on my sink! LOL

I had an Irish Dancing Competition on Sunday. I got a gold and a silver for two of my dances. Ironically, I completely stuffed up my premiership dance and I had already danced it once and won a silver. I got to the middle of it and couldn't remember the next step. So embarassing:)

On Monday I tore around everywhere. I got my hair done. I was there 3 and a half hours! It is very blonde. The hair dresser is a bit of a flibity gibbet and walked off in the middle of the streaking process. It was a bit of a shock when I came out, but I am getting used to it and have got quite a number of compliments on it which has been reassuring. I wasn't sure if it was too blonde - I am naturally a dark honey colour kind of blonde, this is verging towards a very pale blonde.

I also went to the Sheridan outlet and got some fresh white sheets for the spare bedroom. Can't wait to put them on the bed. I think they will make it look really special. I am going to try and sew new doona covers for them too. Hopefully I will get them all done before DH gets back from Iraq.

I also had a private ballet lesson and bible study. So, all in all I think that my day off was more pressured than my normal work day!