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Lunacat is alive and reading for 2017 (4)

This is a continuation of the topic Lunacat is staying alive for 2017 (3).

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Mar 10, 12:15pm Top

It's 5 weeks until I'm off to Andalusia. I cannot wait.

Edited: Mar 10, 12:17pm Top

Welcome to this corner of the world. I'm a country girl from the east of England who has too many animals, too many books and not enough concentration for any of it! Because of currently spending a lot of time on the road between home and my boyfriend, I am addicted to audiobooks but I do still read paper ones, if rather more sporadically and only when my struggling brain will allow.

I mostly read history, historical fiction, fantasy, YA fiction and short literary fiction, but I'm always trying to expand my reading.

Other interests currently are baking, gardening (mostly vegetables) and making homemade gifts. I'm also looking in to beekeeping, though I'm not sure if I'll get round to it this year!

The only challenge I'll be even attempting to do is the bingo card:


1. The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle (BINGO - book about books)
2. More Than This by Patrick Ness
3. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
4. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (BINGO - set in a time before you were born)
5. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
6. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
7. The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys (BINGO - short stories)
8. The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (BINGO - debut work)
9. A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig (BINGO - set in a country you've never been)
10. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz


11. Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray (BINGO - book or title about an animal)
12. The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
13. The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
14. A Plague on Both Your Houses by Susanna Gregory
15. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
16. The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson (BINGO - published in the 1940s-60s)
17. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (BINGO - next book in a series)
18. Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson

Edited: Mar 19, 6:02pm Top

Mirrored sisters


19. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
20. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
21. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
22. March: Book One by John Lewis
23. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
24. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
25. The Gathering Night by Margaret Elphinstone
26. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
27. Persepolis: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi
28. The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean
29. Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary M. Talbot
30. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Edited: Mar 10, 12:17pm Top

Currently Reading:

The Gathering Night by Margaret Elphinstone

And I'm done :).

Mar 10, 12:24pm Top

Happy new thread!! I love Bingo Card challenges. Not this year though...I am full up!

Mar 10, 1:02pm Top

Happy New Thread, Jenny!

Andalusia - looks lovely in that painting, and even the name sounds romantic.

Mar 10, 1:34pm Top

Hi Jenny! Happy new thread.

I adore that picture of the kitties - are they yours?

Mar 10, 1:44pm Top

>5 Berly: It's the only challenge I'm doing this year, Kim. And I'm only doing it because I think I can hit all but about two squares from books I would read anyway. It will be a fun way to keep my reading going.

>6 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I can't believe I'm on thread four already. Who'd have thought people would come visiting so much :) it's certainly been a help over the last few weeks. The Alhambra, which is in the painting, is going to be one of the highlights of our trip. Although we might not have any spending money if TheBF doesn't sell his old car in order to fund it!

>7 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Yup, the cats are ours, those two are Zita and Mouse. We've got five here altogether. The two pictured were born on that very bed - their mother, Luna, is my LT name, and is in my profile. She's mostly known as Mummycat now though.

Mar 10, 2:32pm Top

Happy newone, Jenny. Only five weeks to go. Yeh.

Mar 10, 2:38pm Top

Happy new thread, Jenny, love the picture of the furballs :-)

Mar 10, 3:58pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 10, 3:59pm Top

>9 Ameise1: I'm bubbling over with excitement when I think of it, Barbara. I've been away on 3 or 4 day breaks a few times in the last couple of years but it's been at least.....5 years since I've been away for longer than that so I can't wait.

>10 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. They are pests, but adorable ones.

Mar 10, 4:00pm Top

>11 drneutron: You snuck in there! Thanks, Jim.

Mar 10, 4:02pm Top

Have a Great Adventure!

And, is that a Lion Head carved into the front of the green hill?

Thank you.

Mar 10, 5:28pm Top

>3 lunacat: I love how they are all curled up.

Mar 10, 6:34pm Top

Happy New Thread, Jenny! I love the Andalusia topper. Lovely.

Hooray for RPO! I am looking forward to a reread too. Sorry, Lucy Barton fell flat for you. I liked the book. Don't give up on her until after you read Olive Kitteridge. Her masterwork, IMHO.

The Burgess Boys was good but not great.

Mar 10, 7:31pm Top

Hi Jenny! Sorry that Lucy Barton did not work out for you. I loved it, and I'd tried Olive Kitteridge and dropped it. I might try Olive Kitteridge again. We are all so different in what we like.

Mar 10, 7:51pm Top

Happy new thread, Jenny.

I look forward to plenty of tales of your adventures in Southern Spain (with photos of course) - hope that bruise clears up too so you can get a nice tan in the process.

I am with you on Lucy Barton. I didn't hate the book but I thought it uninspired.

Mar 10, 9:33pm Top

Checking in on the new thread, Jenny!

Mar 11, 2:10am Top

>1 lunacat: you are counting down to the lovely overseas trip, I cam counting down the same amoint of time to the kids' school holidays- when I will have to find 20 hours per week to work that doesn't coincide with my lovely others work hours. Meaning- evenings and weekends. It'll be hard core :)

>3 lunacat: two fluff balls! Cute :)

Mar 11, 9:07am Top

Hi Jenny! Five kitties. Good stuff. We had five at one point, but by old-age attrition, we now only have two; one of them is 17 or 18 and the other one is 10. I keep resisting the idea of getting another one, but kittens are so much fun.

Anticipation of a trip is half the pleasure. Your Andalusia trip sounds wonderful.

I don't feel the urge to read Lucy Barton, but I do have Olive Kitteridge on my shelves and may have a go with it soon.

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Mar 11, 4:15pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 11, 5:03pm Top

>14 m.belljackson: It certainly looks like a lion's head, but I'm assuming not. If one jumps out at me, I'll know I was wrong. I can't wait for the adventure :).

>15 Morphidae: They do love each other. The black one, Zita, adores her family and is never happier than when she's got other cats or humans around her. Her favourite thing in the world is to curl up with Mummycat.

>16 msf59: I've got The Burgess Boys already lined up on my Kindle, but if I like (or at least tolerate) that, I'll give Olive Kitteridge a go. Thanks for the recommendation, it might keep me going with her if I'm struggling. She was an easy read, I just don't think I found her that enjoyable.

Mar 11, 5:13pm Top

>17 vancouverdeb: Isn't that part of the joy of books, how so many of us have different reactions to the same stories? I love the varied opinions, and it's part of the fabulousness of this community.

>18 PaulCranswick: There will certainly be plenty of photos, Paul. In fact, you'll probably be sick of them! I don't really tan, being a true English rose, but hopefully I'll get a vague bit of colour. TheBF bought me a beautiful dress today to take with me, very summery and light. I should look the part anyway.

Uninspired is a good description of Lucy Barton for me.

>19 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia, lovely to see you here.

Mar 11, 5:26pm Top

>20 Ireadthereforeiam: Yikes, that's not ideal. I'm glad I'm not in that stage of my life yet. TheBF keeps saying that if we ever have kids, he's more than happy to find the money for an aupair, but whether that would happen is another matter. I have so much respect for parents - the thought terrifies me!

>21 karenmarie: Kittens are wonderful. I'm very wary of when the cats start getting elderly here, as they are all close in age, so I think we'll be in for a hell of time :(. But not yet, touch wood. Anticipation is so much fun, it's like Christmas - at least half of the enjoyment comes of the thought and excitement about it! I hope it's going to be as good as it feels it will be.

The weekend is pretty good - I've got a new dress (thanks to TheBF), a lovely lunch, and we watched the rugby with some friends of his. Now we're curled up in bed and chilling out.

>22 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle! I hope your weekend is going well.

Mar 11, 5:37pm Top

It's been an extremely nice weekend.

Last night, we went for quick Japanese/Chinese food before going to see one of TheBF's friends play blues in a tiny club. It wasn't the best, but at least we showed our faces.

A lie in this morning, and I worked Connie while TheBF caught up on some much needed rest as his week at work was hell on earth. We tootled off to the local town, he bought me a beautiful dress ready for our holiday, and we got fresh meat and veg ready for dinner. Then we went to the pub with his friend (from the blues club) to watch England (unexpectedly) demolish Scotland and win the Six Nations (Rugby) before coming home, stopping for wine en route. Tomorrow will be a day of rest, catching up on irritating chores and errands we haven't achieved, and playing badminton, before a dinner of roast pork with all the trimmings.

All in all, it's been fairly good, only blighted by constant and fairly high level anxiety from me that had me in tears on several occasions. But I'm curled up in one of my favourite places now (next to the radiator in his bedroom), and all is OK with the world for now.

Mar 12, 1:01am Top

Hi Jenny! I love your no-tanning description of being "A true English rose." Perfect thing to be! Hope the anxiety settles down; and glad you found a happy spot. Best wishes for Sunday. : )

Mar 12, 5:23am Top

Happy weekend, Jenny. I hope you have a lovely spring day as we have.

Mar 12, 10:23am Top

Happy new thread, Jenny! Watch out for those pesky rosemary sellers when you're in Granada.

Mar 12, 10:57am Top

>27 Berly: My hair is possibly too dark for me to be considered fully English rose but my skin is the pale kind that goes freckle-y in the sun. If I'm careful and use sun cream, I can get a gentle tan but never very much! My dad had the most wonderful skin that, infuriatingly, I didn't inherit. He only had to stand outside for five minutes on a vaguely sunny day and he'd get a golden glow. I just go red!

>28 Ameise1: Thanks, it's very mild here Barbara. We've been outside potting on our tomato and pepper plants, and measuring glass to replace the broken panes in the greenhouse.

Mar 12, 10:58am Top

>29 kidzdoc: Lovely to see you here Darryl. I shall be wary of rosemary sellers indeed - I'm pretty good at avoiding that kind of street vendor :).

Mar 12, 11:49am Top

>31 lunacat: I thought I was good at avoiding them, until a middle aged gypsy woman grabbed my arm and would not let go as she tried to force a spring of rosemary into my hand during a tour of the old city in Granada last year. My biggest mistake was communicating with her in Spanish, so she knew that I understood her when she offered "Un regalo para ti, mi amor." ("A gift for you, my love.") It's a scam perpetuated throughout Spain on unwary tourists. If you take the sprig of rosemary you'll be asked "Una donación, si por favor." ("A donation, if you please.") If you give the gypsy a coin it's "mala suerte" ("bad luck"), so if you go along with the game you're automatically out 5€. If you pull out your wallet or purse, though, you run the risk of getting it snatched if the gypsy has a partner, so you're out far more than that. I struggled to get away from the gypsy while the rest of the tour group, including Bianca, left me in their wake, but she had to literally fight to get away from two of them the following day when she visited the Alhambra.

I loved Sevilla, along with the Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) of Andalucía, especially Arcos de la Frontera and Ronda, but I was far less fond of Granada, although I did like El Albaicín, the old Moorish Quarter of the city.

Mar 12, 4:12pm Top

>32 kidzdoc: Thanks for the tip, Darryl. We shall be careful. TheBF is a fairly forceful human being at times so fingers crossed we'll be OK.

We looked at staying in Arcos de la Frontera but settled for Ronda in the end - we may end up driving that way on our way to Granada but at the moment we're just planning on heading the direction our feet take us and seeing where we end up.

One of the nights in Granada we are staying in a cave which is ten minutes walk down to El Albaicin, so I'm looking forward to sightseeing in that area. And we've got three nights in Seville so we should be able to see at least a small amount of what we want to. TheBF desperately wants to do a food/wine/tapas/market tour of Seville so we'll be signing up for that soon.

I cannot wait. Any tips of things we absolutely must see or do?

Mar 12, 4:14pm Top

So much missed, Sir Terry Pratchett. This made me chuckle out loud in a bittersweet way when it popped up on my FB.

Mar 13, 7:00am Top

Happy new thread Jenny. Sorry to hear about your bumps and bruises rom Connie. Hope you are healimg and getting less sore.

>34 lunacat: Oh yes, bittersweet.

Mar 13, 7:29am Top

"It's been an extremely nice weekend. " This is always a good thing.

>34 lunacat: LIKE!

Mar 13, 7:42am Top

>35 souloftherose: I'm getting there, thanks Heather. Hopefully she'll treat me more kindly this week.

>36 msf59: It is indeed. I hope that your weekend was similarly pleasant.

Mar 13, 7:47am Top

Happy new thread, Jenny! Beautiful topper. I have a friend who told me Ronda is her most favorite city in Spain. I think you and BF are in for a real treat.
I agree with others, preparing for the trip is almost as good as being at your destination. Are you bringing books? I often change the books I'm taking right up to the time we leave the house but that too is great fun!

Mar 13, 9:35am Top

Happy new thread, Jenny. Have a great week full of holiday anticipation and, hopefully, good behaviour from Connie.

Mar 13, 10:41am Top

>38 Carmenere: Excellent, it all sounds like we've made the right decision in heading that way then! I love the anticipation, but I'm hopeful being there will be simply fabulous. As long as TheBF and I don't tire of each others company ;). I'll probably take 3 books and my Kindle, so I won't run out of reading material. Choosing the books will certainly be tricky!

>39 Familyhistorian: Thank you. Good behaviour would be wonderful, but she likes to keep me on my toes.

Mar 13, 10:43am Top

It's been an absolutely beautiful spring day outside, so after a rough start this morning I spent some time in the garden helping TheBF's father fit new panes of glass to the greenhouse. Much swearing ensued, but no blood was split and it is now watertight and ready to go. We potted our tomato plants on yesterday so it shouldn't be too much longer until they can go out there, unless we hit a cold snap. It was so nice to be outside with only a jumper on.

Mar 13, 11:06am Top

It really is lovely out there.

Mar 13, 11:10am Top

Wishing you a lovely spring day.

Mar 13, 11:11am Top

Awesome weather!! And nice job fixing the green house without spilling blood. ; ) Happy Monday. Connie: Be nice!

Mar 13, 11:17am Top

>43 Ameise1: Hah! I love it! Definitely me on most days, not just Mondays. I hope your week has started off as well as possible.

>44 Berly: Thanks Kim. I've got a few 'almost scratches' but nothing worse. I'm looking forward to getting it into production in the next few days. I shall pass your message on to Connie and hope she listens to you more than she does to me.

Hope you're feeling better now.

Mar 13, 7:09pm Top

Question: What are your favourite board or card games to play, particularly with a variety of people?

I'm looking for a couple of games to take to Spain, that are small, easily transportable and playable with two players. So far, we'll take a pack or two of cards, travel Scrabble, and maybe Bananagrams.

I'd also like a few games to take to France, which we're driving to so space isn't so much of an issue. Games that can be easily picked up by people, and enjoyed by a wide range. Again, Scrabble and Bananagrams will come, as well as Cards Against Humanity, but other simple game recommendations would be great. Stasia has recommended a few which I shall investigate, but I thought I'd ask here as well. The more the merrier when it comes to suggestions!

Mar 13, 8:24pm Top

Mar 13, 10:25pm Top

>46 lunacat: Trivial pursuits used to be the game for me. Unbeaten in my family which, knowing my family, is hardly surprising.

Mar 14, 11:16am Top

>48 PaulCranswick: I find Trivial Pursuit insanely hard, but I saw a card game version of it that I'm tempted to try. I'm not surprised you are unbeaten :).

Mar 14, 11:26am Top

22. March: Book One by John Lewis

Before he became a respected Congressman, John Lewis was clubbed, gassed, arrested over 40 times, and nearly killed by angry mobs and state police, all while nonviolently protesting racial discrimination. He marched side-by-side with Martin Luther King as the youngest leader of the Civil Rights Movement that would change a nation forever.

BOOK ONE of this graphic memoir spans John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Dr. King, the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

The first I had heard of John Lewis was when the ghastly orange gas-Trump turned on him via twitter in January. I'm so glad that it happened, because otherwise I doubt I'd have ever read this brilliant graphic memoir. Compelling, heartbreaking, and inspiring, the artwork is clear and makes the events come alive. The simple black and white theme accentuates the memoir's topic, and the visual impact matched the emotional impact perfectly.

I wish I'd taken the plunge and ordered these so I could have raced through them as a set, but as it is, I need to wait for my library to get the second volume in. I loved every frame of it.

Mar 14, 11:44am Top

Hi Jenny!

Cribbage? Backgammon? Enough decks of cards to play Spite and Malice (aka Cat and Mouse and my favorite, used by my Grandmother - Shit on Your Neighbor).

I hope Tuesday is treating you right. Thanks for sharing the pic in >42 lunacat:! it's cold and icky and dreary here in central North Carolina USA.

Mar 14, 11:54am Top

>51 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

I've never played cribbage or backgammon, though I have obviously heard of them. We'll certainly take a few packs of cards with us. Sorry to hear it's so cold and icky, but at least no snow, hopefully!

Edited: Mar 14, 12:02pm Top

Currently reading:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, part of the Sherlock Holmes omnibus read by Stephen Fry

Mar 14, 1:42pm Top

So glad March Book One worked for you, Jenny. The other two in the trilogy are just as high quality. What a story. And Persepolis is by now, IMO, a classic GN. A number of years ago, before GNs became so popular, it's the one I gave to my skeptical English prof BIL to convince him that GNs could be readworthy. He ended up wanting to teach it in his class.

Mar 14, 3:11pm Top

>41 lunacat: It was lovely yesterday wasn't it? And then overcast and grey again today. But I have hopes that Spring might be properly springing soon. Also yay for no blood being spilt when DIY is happening - not an insignificant achievement in my experience!

>46 lunacat: I'm not sure how many of these work as two player but we've enjoyed Dobble and Ligretto which are quite fast paced card games and relatively easy to pick up. San Juan is another good card game but requires more brain and tactics and time learning to play.

>50 lunacat: I really enjoyed March, Book One too - need to buy the next two volumes as my library doesn't have any of them.

Mar 14, 4:44pm Top

UNO and a set of magnetic Dominoes?

Mar 14, 5:35pm Top

>54 jnwelch: I enjoyed March Book One more than I did Persepolis, but I liked both more than I expected. I found some of the teenage segment of Persepolis a little wearing at times, but it was interesting to see how honest she was about her flaws, as well as the flaws of those around her. Both books have given me a lot to think about. I'm really disappointed that my library doesn't have book 2 or 3 of March available currently, so we'll see how patient I can be in waiting for them.

>55 souloftherose: Same here with March Book Two and March Book Three at the library. I may well resort to buying the trio, given how much I liked Book One.

Thanks for the card game suggestions. I haven't heard of any of them so I shall investigate.

>56 m.belljackson: Uno is always a classic, thanks for the reminder!

Mar 14, 7:48pm Top

I'm a bit late to the party, but happy new one, Jenny!

I'm glad you had a (mostly) good weekend.

As for games, The Wayne and I love "Pass the Pigs," which is kind of like a dice game but with plastic pigs. Umm, it sounds weirder than it is...

Mar 14, 7:51pm Top

>57 lunacat: I will be reading Persepolis next month so I am pleased to see it was not an absolute disaster.

Mar 14, 8:04pm Top

>27 Berly: >30 lunacat: fair is fine! So many people tan to within in inch of their lives (in NZ that is quite literally a health hazard on account of the incidence of skin cancer). By that I mainly mean the orange glow that tanning gives....*shudder*. It is so obviously fake, I don't know why people do that to themselves. Maybe they like that people know they can afford to tan? Who knows?

>46 lunacat: I have been looking to create a 500 group for YEARS now. I love playing 500, and I only need 3 more people to make a game. It's a shame my Lovely Other wont play. Harumph.

Mar 15, 6:50am Top

>58 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! I hope your week is going as well as possible. Pass the Pigs looks hilarious - what's not to love about throwing pigs around :)

>59 PaulCranswick: Definitely not a disaster, Paul. Do you have the omnibus edition that contains both books that make up Persepolis?

>60 Ireadthereforeiam: I'm never going to be orange so I'm certainly not looking for that. I know tanning is a health hazard and I shouldn't be looking for any colour at all - I guess I would like to be able to stand out in the sun for more than 10 minutes without thinking about burning though. So mostly what I'd like is for my body to put out a little more melanin to protect my skin. But it isn't going to happen so I'll resign myself to lots of sun cream.

500 looks incredibly complicated - I think I might side with your LO on that one. Sorry you can't find people to play with you though, that must be frustrating.

Mar 15, 7:43am Top

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I'm.............not feeling it. Even caffeine isn't assisting. Blah, bleugh and meh are the descriptors of today. Here's hoping yours is going better!

Mar 15, 9:11am Top

>62 lunacat: Aww. Love that poor pup. Someone give him a boost!

Hope the blah, bleugh and meh pass for you, Jenny. I haven't had enough coffee yet to be able to assess. :-)

Mar 15, 11:31am Top

>63 jnwelch: Those little wrinkles on his face completely resemble mine today. I hope you can imbibe enough coffee to find it is a good day, Joe!

Edited: Mar 15, 4:08pm Top

23. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.

I haven't experienced the loss of elderly parents, but I was old enough to watch the process with grandparents, and I am going through a similar process of change with my mother, as the roles slowly reverse themselves. This was touching, heartbreaking and oh so familiar, as Chast's sadness, frustration and difficulties adjusting become clear. I can't imagine there are many people of 25 or over who haven't had to go through some of the things she talks about, whether with grandparents or parents, and it can feel impossible at times. The funny moments are a lovely counterpoint to the sadness, and make it clear that humour can, and should be, found in even the most difficult of places.

This is up there with Being Mortal as a book that should be read and discussed by families, so that everyone has some idea of what they want to occur, and where they see their lives going when they reach old age. I raced through this, and will likely read it again before I have to return it to the library.

Mar 15, 11:51am Top

Mar 15, 12:23pm Top

Jenny, I know I was here when you were first setting up your thread, but evidently I never posted. Bad Mamie! Your trip planning is going well, it sounds like. We love board and dice games of almost any kind. Yahtzee and Farkle would be easy to travel with. We also love Boggle, which is a word game and any number can play.

Mar 15, 1:09pm Top

>65 lunacat: Yes. Well said, Jenny. If you post the Can't We Talk About Something review on the book page, I'd be happy to thumb it.

Mar 15, 1:21pm Top

>65 lunacat: Loved this book! Very nice review. Okay...games! Bananagrams is a yes, and it takes up like no room. Also Farkle, a dice game, is really fun. And then what about Catch Phrase?

Mar 15, 4:44pm Top

>66 ronincats: Me too. It made me smile a lot, as I'm sure it would have done for him too.

>67 Crazymamie: Bad Mamie indeed! Disgraceful behaviour. I shall have to lodge a written complaint with..........well, someone. I grew up playing a lot of Boggle but haven't played it in a long time - I was a bit Boggled out. I'll have to give it a go again at some point. Farkle looks good, I shall round up enough dice and give it a go.

>68 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I've duly posted it, but I don't expect thumbs, my reviews are never very good. I just note down a few thoughts.

>69 Berly: Bananagrams is in the Amazon basket so it will go through soon, as will some more dice for Farkle. I am loving all these suggestions.

Mar 15, 4:46pm Top

>70 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny. Those few thoughts were very good, IMO. It's thumbed.

Edited: Mar 15, 5:18pm Top

>71 jnwelch: Thanks Joe

Connie was enjoying the sunshine today

Mar 16, 3:20pm Top

I hope you had a better day today, Jenny. Love the red on Connie, it looks really nice,

Mar 17, 12:34am Top

Doesn't she just look as though sugar wouldn't melt in her mouth? She'd never do anything as nasty as nip her owner, right? ;-)

Mar 17, 3:03am Top

>61 lunacat: I guess I would like to be able to stand out in the sun for more than 10 minutes without thinking about burning though
We burn quick down here. Even with my religious suncream application I still note that Lenny's torso is really brown, especially compared to his little white bottom!

Mar 17, 4:28am Top

>73 Ameise1: It's been a tricky couple of days, but onwards and upwards! Thanks Barbara.

>74 ronincats: She doesn't really do nipping, but she will happily tread on your feet! Butter wouldn't melt, indeed. She's such a monster.

>75 Ireadthereforeiam: You've got to love strange tan lines. We tend to get weird ones as we often wear thin gloves when riding for extra grip, and then short sleeves. So we have white hands, brown arms, white shoulders!

Mar 17, 6:33am Top

Happy Friday, Jenny! Yah, for Connie and the sunshine. Such a good looking girl.

Good review of the Chast memoir. I am a big fan too. How are you enjoying Persepolis? It is also one of my favorites.

Mar 17, 10:29am Top

Hi Jenny!

I was off visiting a friend in RL Wed/Thurs, so got a bit behind. Sorry you've been feeling meh.

Connie's a very pretty girl.

I hope your Friday's been a good one.

I was always envious of people who could tan. In the summer I'd go to the beach with high school girlfriends a couple of times a week (about 1 1/2 hours drive), tan in the backyard reading a book, get this slight golden glow which I thought was a tan after almost 3 months of hard work, then one week after I started school again in September would have lost even that little glow. Then it was distressing, but now, of course, I'm grateful that my face doesn't look like leather and I don't have wrinkle lines.

Mar 17, 12:55pm Top

>72 lunacat: Love Connie in the sunshine! It's shining here and it's wonderful

Mar 17, 1:55pm Top

Beautiful photo of Connie, Jenny.

Happy Friday!

Mar 17, 4:36pm Top

>72 lunacat: Connie looks happy in the sun :-)

Mar 18, 4:09am Top

Happy Saturday, Jenny. We have a rainy dsy.

Mar 18, 6:46am Top

>61 lunacat: Yep it is the omnibus edition of Persepolis.

We have monsoon weather here at the moment so it is a job staying dry and getting through the drenched streets in the car.

Have a lovely weekend.

Mar 18, 2:26pm Top

>77 msf59: I definitely enjoyed Persepolis, though not as much as I liked March: Book One or Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant?. I'm appreciating GNs more and more so I'm looking forward to continuing to explore what is out there.

>78 karenmarie: Friday was a busy day, as today as been. More on that in another post. I hope you had a lovely time visiting your friend, and that your weekend is a good one.

>79 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! I hope your week has picked up. No sunshine here, winter appears to have returned to a certain extent. Hopefully spring will return soon.

Mar 18, 2:29pm Top

>80 jnwelch: Thanks Joe, she can be pretty when she turns on the charm.

>81 FAMeulstee: Happy indeed, thanks Anita.

>82 Ameise1: Same here Barbara, Spring seems to have vanished for a few days. We'll hope for a quick return all round.

>83 PaulCranswick: I hope you manage to stay as dry as possible, Paul. We mostly dodged the showers today, thank goodness.

Mar 18, 2:38pm Top

It's been an exhausting few days as we've started the monumental job of clearing my mum's house of 25 years of accumulated stuff. She is a serious hoarder so there is a HELL of a lot of stuff to sift through. So far we have filled two huge skips, with another two required to clear it. White goods (big chest freezer, fridge, tumble drier and oven) still to go, as well as a what feels like a million books to donate or sell. Then some other furniture to sell, and boxes and boxes of things to take to a car boot sale.

Once that is all done, it is carpets up all through the house, the kitchen knocked out, wallpaper stripping, getting a plumber and electrician in to check things and replace as need, the central heating system to be replaced, a ceiling to be torn down and replaced, and plain paint etc on the walls. And the garden to be stripped down as close to the ground as possible.

As I said. Exhausting. It will be cathartic and useful in the end, and I will be SO relieved when the house is sold and she can set up anew. I'm desperately hoping that she doesn't do the same with a new house - I shall be keeping a close eye on her acquisitions as I don't think I can bear doing such a process again. Certainly not to this extent.

Mentally it's one of the most tiring things I've ever done - going through the house of my childhood, finding things both positive and negative, and slowly saying goodbye to it. It will be SO hard to let it go for good, as nearly all of my memories of my dad are wrapped up there. I can't imagine what it's going to be like, not being able to walk in there and remember moments like they were yesterday. But it's time for us all to move on.

Mar 19, 9:01am Top

>86 lunacat: That sounds like an awfull lot of work, Jenny!
And a trip down memory lane... (((((hugs)))))

Mar 19, 1:05pm Top

>87 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. It's hard work but we're plodding through. It will be nice to have a rest tomorrow.

Mar 19, 1:48pm Top

No book reading over the weekend, alas. I tried to read a bit earlier but ended up having a 3 hour nap with my book in hand! Maybe this evening will be better.

I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend.

Mar 19, 3:12pm Top

This made me chuckle today:

Mar 19, 3:17pm Top

>90 lunacat: Made me chuckle too.

Happy Sunday, Jenny!

Mar 19, 4:06pm Top

>86 lunacat: {{{hugs}}}

Connie is so gorgeous (and looks like she knows it too)!

So glad you're enjoying the GNs you've been reading! Another great duo are Maus 1 and 2, if you haven't already read those. Also, I love Alison Bechdel's stuff, especially Essential Dykes, though that is more a compilation of her comic strip from over the years.

Mar 19, 4:17pm Top

>91 alcottacre: I'm glad it raised a smile! I hope your Sunday is progressing nicely.

>92 Storeetllr: Hi Mary. I've got Maus on my shelves, but haven't got round to it yet. I shall have to remedy that. Essential Dykes looks intriguing, I will investigate. Thanks for the recommendation.

Mar 19, 9:21pm Top

Mar 20, 7:49am Top

Hi Jenny!

>86 lunacat: Wow. What an emotional ride for you, much less the physical work of clearing out and getting things done. Your mother is the opposite of mine - my Mom and Dad didn't keep hardly anything. I'm glad I took away most of my stuff over the years, otherwise I'm sure they'd have thrown it away.

>94 lunacat: We're in the same boat - I got 2 1/2 hours of sleep last night, have been up since 4:30 a.m. I'm okay right now, although my eyes are a bit gritty, but know that later on will be rather more hellish.

Mar 20, 8:03am Top

>95 karenmarie: That gritty feeling is the worst. I'm sorry you're running on so little sleep as well. Hopefully you can stumble your way through the day and get an early night tonight.

I'd definitely like a bit less stuff, but there are small things that could have been thrown away and I'm glad they weren't. Like a small business card type size ID card from Dar-Es-Salaam Hospital for my mother in the 1950s! So funny to come across. There will be a few shoe boxes of things like that that will be saved, to go through and reminisce about later. I'm glad you were able to rescue most of your stuff from the clear outs.

Mar 20, 3:06pm Top

Mar 20, 4:48pm Top

>86 lunacat: Well said, Jenny. Sounds like a monumental task, that also tugs on the heartstrings. Your mother is lucky she has you.

Mar 20, 7:15pm Top

>97 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara, you too!

>98 jnwelch: I'll simply be glad when it's done and dusted Joe.

It was a less mentally exhausting day today, or it should have been, but I think I had a mental hangover from the weekend as the silliest little things have stressed me out. I went for a run to try and blow off some steam but that didn't work either.

I'm simply going to have to accept this is an extremely stressful and tiring process, and I need to adapt accordingly. Of course it doesn't help that I am now on 1/3 of the antidepressant I was previously on, in preparation for the change, which is making me very snappy.

This too shall pass and all that!

Mar 21, 5:04am Top

I'm dropping balls all over the place. Mainly the ball being dropped is the Connie, unfortunately. She's fine in terms of welfare etc, she's extremely well looked after, but the time/energy/logistics of keeping her fully fit and exercised at the moment are failing.

For example, I was going to go and ride her this morning but I messed up ordering a skip for my mum's and stupidly asked for it to go there AM. When I knew I was planning on riding Madam. I've called and tried to get it changed, but it's now an unknown, so I daren't go and ride Connie in case the skip delivery rings and needs me there in 10 minutes to sign for it. If I'd managed to use my brain yesterday and NOT order the skip for the wrong time, none of this would be an issue.

I feel like I'm failing her, even though TheBF points out she is a recreational animal and there to make me happy, so me 'failing her' doesn't really apply. As long as she is fed and well taken care of, the rest isn't so important.

I'm trying to use the enforced time at home this morning to rest and recharge, but it is never easy to do so with a lump of guilt. At least the sun is shining!

Mar 21, 5:09am Top

>86 lunacat: yikes. That does sound like a process. How lucky she has to have you to go through it with her! And I totally get how it must have been a process for you too, all those childhood things. I am dreading helping my mum with her stuff.

>100 lunacat: If I'd managed to use my brain yesterday..
Using your brain ALL THE TIME is impossible, and highly overrated. Connie will be OK, and you will ride her another day.

PS what time is it there? Should you be in bed, or is it me that needs a talking to today? ;)

Edited: Mar 21, 5:17am Top

>101 Ireadthereforeiam: Thank goodness it's highly overrated, I'd hate to be aiming too high ;)

Thanks for your words, they've made me smile and I feel a little better. I'm not actually going through the process with my mum as she's distanced herself from the project. It's frustrating that she isn't required to deal with the aftermath of her actions, as I fear it makes it more likely she will repeat the behaviour, but having her there to try and cope with simply isn't worth it. It's easier for everyone concerned if TheBF and I take control of the situation and do it ourselves, without her physical presence. She will see the house for the first time since we've started the work when she comes to pick up some last things tomorrow, and I'll be interested to see her reaction.

It's morning here, so no lecturing required. I'm dressed, but back on my bed trying to gather some energy.

Mar 21, 5:23am Top

>102 lunacat: probably easier for her not to see it all *disappearing*. I know for myself when I try to downsize possessions, I pick up an item and think "I can get rid of this" ad then my inner self chimes in with "but, then again, I remember when I found this in _____, it was such a special time, I think I'll have to keep it". Etc etc, ad infinitum....
I sometimes say to mu lovely other, if you wanted to get rid of this one day when Im not here, I probably wouldn't miss it? But he is too scared to test it out, in case I flip ;)
(talk about being kept on his toes!!)

So it is me who needs to go to bed then. It is 10.23pm. And I do have a big day tomorrow. OK, I can self-manage.
Good night. :)

Mar 21, 6:44am Top

Thanks to Megan, I know that a skip is a dumpster - learned that a few years ago when we were discussing dumpsters on my thread. Ordering it for the wrong time sounds just like something I would do. And UGH for the clearing out of your mom's house - my sisters had to do that a few years ago when my mom had to move in with my sister for health reasons, and she decided to sell the house. Very draining both physically and emotionally. Keeping you in my thoughts and wishing you luck.

Mar 21, 7:38am Top

>102 lunacat: Much easier for her. I'm so lucky to have good people around and helping, who can stop me when I start with the 'but it might come in useful one day'. Lots of stuff will be going to a car boot sale. I hope you've self-managed yourself and went to bed!

>104 Crazymamie: Ugh indeed, but once it's done, it will be a huge relief. We're about 1/3 of the way there on clearance etc, and then it's the easier bit of DIY etc. Not physically harder, but mentally so!

I feel like I should display this sign every morning to get through this process:

Mar 21, 8:06am Top

>105 lunacat: LOVE that!

Mar 21, 4:18pm Top

>106 Crazymamie: Thanks. It's definitely the way forward! I've done 6km of steps today just going to and fro from the house to the skip and back. The kitchen units are almost completely knocked out and all but one of the carpets are up.

Mar 21, 4:32pm Top

>105 lunacat: Love the sign! I need to get one of those for my youngest.

Edited: Mar 21, 6:27pm Top

>108 alcottacre: I'm thinking of having it tattooed somewhere. Maybe straight down my back so I can sit facing the wall and have my needs clearly understood.

In mother/house sorting news, I came across the first ten Andrea Camilleri books while organising, so I'll be liberating them rather than donating or selling them. The duplicate copies I have can been donated instead. I'll need to be brutal about the books I bring home with me - there will be a mass cull of the books from my shelves here to make room as it is. So far there are eight huge bookcases and about fifty boxes full of books that I need to sort through at my mum's house. Gulp.

Yesterday, 12:06am Top

So far there are eight huge bookcases and about fifty boxes full of books that I need to sort through at my mum's house. Gulp.
Gulp indeed!!! Yikes.

PS I did self manage, and I did go to bed. And today I have been fairly productive as a result. *pats self on back* (fairly is good enough)

Yesterday, 6:37am Top

Hi Jenny!

>96 lunacat: I'm glad, now, that there's so little to go through, although also sad that 84 years of her life and 84 years of dad's life have been reduced to so little. I brought back her thimble in January, regarding your mention of little things, and it's on the organizer on my desk.

>105 lunacat: I really like that a lot.

Yikes. 8 bookcases and 50 boxes of books. As much as I love books, that seems daunting even to me!

Good luck with the continuing house saga.

Yesterday, 7:56am Top

>110 Ireadthereforeiam: Hurrah for self management and productivity! Both are good :)

>111 karenmarie: Some are fun to go through as they are old favourites from my childhood, but the sheer amount is daunting. In the spirit of things, I bagged up 30 books from my own shelves at home to add to the pile of books to donate/sell.

Yesterday, 10:16am Top

Another step forward - today my mum came and picked up the last things she wanted to keep. There is one table that wouldn't fit in her car that I will take to her at some point, and a couple of books I need to look for. But at least we now have free rein to dispose/sell/donate everything else in the house. It's not a huge step but it will be nice not worrying I'm throwing the wrong things away.

It's pouring with rain here, so I suspect I'll get soaked when I go to do Connie later. I am a true fair weather rider and won't ride in the rain, so she'll have another day off. At this rate, no competing will happen this Spring at all! So far, March is turning into a month of high stress.

Yesterday, 10:36am Top

>113 lunacat: I think, based on what you've said, that it is a huge step to get your Mum's 'keep items' out and have the rest available for disposition. Yay.

Yesterday, 1:42pm Top

Eight bookcases and 50 boxes of books.

Sounds like your mum and I are kindred spirits. Even with the close-to 300 books I've culled, I'm still looking at around 30 boxes of books.

And I too save little keepsakes from the past. Yesterday, I found the business card of the woman who counseled me after my first baby was stillborn. I doubt she's still there, but I love having that little reminder of a caring therapist who helped me survive 40 years ago.

But, I'm getting rid of a lot of clutter because I don't want my daughter to someday have to do what you are doing for your mum. My goal is to have almost empty cupboards that are filled only with things I actually use, and to display only the things that make me happy. That's hard for a hoarder like me, but honestly, as I go through my "stuff," I'm constantly astonished at some of what I've kept over the years!

Congrats on getting everything in order to sell/donate/trash! That is a huge step!

Edited: Yesterday, 2:03pm Top

>114 karenmarie: Yeah, it's a good step.

Saddened to see breaking news of the terror attack at the Palace of Westminster in London, and on Westminster Bridge. It comes so close to home, seeing these things happen in places I've been. TheBF used to work in London and these events are so scary. Four people are now known to have died, including the attacker, an armed police officer who was stabbed, and a member of the public. The fourth person is not known.

Yesterday, 2:03pm Top

>115 Storeetllr: There are some items that we're glad have been kept, but I'm determined to keep sorting and re-sorting until it gets to a manageable level and the only things being kept are either usable and required, beautiful, or have really strong emotional value and historical significance to us.

We found a hospital card for my mum from the Dar-Es-Salaam hospital, assuming from the late 1950s. That kind of thing is cool to have and doesn't take up much space. `

One of our big problems currently is the logistics of getting rid of things. A fair amount of it is usable and could be wanted by someone, but only worth £1-2 so the question is, is it worth trying to sell it? We're going to gather usable things together into boxes and try and sell it at a car boot sale, and take whatever we get offered for it.

I can certainly sympathise with your struggles with getting rid of things. I have the hoarder gene as well. But hopefully, this process will lessen my own hoarding desires.

Yesterday, 8:53pm Top

>46 lunacat: Munchkins. You can play with 2 players though 3 - 4 is more fun.

>72 lunacat: Gorgeous picture of Connie!

>86 lunacat: Why is she moving out of the old house? Something closer? Smaller?

>109 lunacat: I'd consider that a treasure trove but then I'm not having to clean up that house!

Yesterday, 9:04pm Top

>116 lunacat: Very scary news! I did not hear about it until I got home from wok this evening.

Today, 9:30am Top

>118 Morphidae: Morphy! Lovely to see you here. Treasure trove indeed, But I simply don't have the space to keep them so I'll have to go through and cherrypick the ones I desperately want. TheBF has said I can keep a couple of boxes at his, so at least I can keep a few more. I wish I could send box loads to people here at LT but alas, the cost would be so prohibitive. I will probably send a few out though, when I know they are things people have mentioned.

The house is too big and in terrible condition, hence the clearance and renovation. She got to the point where she just wasn't coping, and had buried her head in the sand for far too long so things were out of control. We've been offering assistance for years - at one point I was cleaning for her - and I've discovered plenty of help has been on offer from neighbours etc as well, but she just didn't want it. Or couldn't accept it.

Anyway, she's now moved about 90 minutes away, into rented, and although she won't admit it she seems happier. We have a very difficult relationship but keep plodding on regardless.

>119 alcottacre: Scary initially, and now just sad. Londoners are more used to this type of thing than many, given the IRA activities in the past. Brits in general just pick up and carry on. What is scarier is the fuel this gives to the prejudice and hatred out there. A particularly repellent human being called Katie Hopkins appeared on Fox news saying people are scared and divided. A few are, the vast majority are NOT. Her agenda is spouting hate and vitriol. It's most upsetting to think that her narrow-minded and vile views are considered the views of the UK as a whole.

Today, 9:59am Top

Today is my first day on a new drug, albeit at an extremely low dose. So if I start saying bizarre things (or more bizarre than usual, as TheBF commented) then you'll know why!

Today, 12:36pm Top

>121 lunacat: Oh? I just figure you ran out of booze or chocolate.

Today, 12:51pm Top

>122 Morphidae: That could also be the issue ;)

Today, 5:16pm Top

>120 lunacat: This article from the Grauniad is very good on Katy Hopkins

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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