Roundup: July

July, it was a fruitless month

Martin Stephenson & the Daintees, Goodbye John

Indeed, July has felt like a fruitless month in many respects. June left a large hangover after the influx of visitors, July brought fresh hangovers of the alcoholic variety that have left me shaken but not stirred. Those mornings after the 3 nights before when you can’t take your own face in the mirror? That was me on Monday. This week I decided to detox. Hades, it’s been painful. The insomnia led me to pull my first all-nighter (involuntarily) since university. I’ve been rather ashamed of my treatment of my poor little body over the past two months, so taking a break from alcohol for a few weeks. Husband Underfoot is feeling much the same, which helps.

I’ve read two crap books, one for book group, the other for curiosity. Really, what is the point of Cassandra Clare? I did get my sticky mitts on the new Joe Abercrombie, signed by his own fair hand. I have a bit of a crush on the lovely Joe, have met him twice – this picture is from last year’s signing:

Something tickled our fancy!

Something tickled our fancy!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research – on being in the Durham Light Infantry during World War 1 (both as a private, and as a PALS officer), plus some pretty grim stuff about northern mining disasters between 1910 and 1920. My admiration for my ancestors grows with each book I read. Finally I am beginning the process of pulling the scene / chapter cards in the box on my desk into a structure for the novel.

Work in progress

Work in progress

In the box is an origami pig. It was given to me 6 years ago by a lovely man in his 30s who was on the acute cardiology ward with my dad. He had a tumour on his heart. To pass the time before he was well enough for surgery he made origami animals for his daughters to play with when they visited. My dad was moved to a different ward before his op, I hope that today this lovely man and his gorgeous family are not just surviving but thriving.

My origami pig

My origami pig

Yesterday I went for a walk round Whitley Bay, and took in the strange juxtaposition of the town which is currently at the stage of regeneration and renewal which makes it look worse before it looks better. There are huge new flood drains going in all along the seafront and some impressive craters. I didn’t take pics, but there are flags flying proudly proclaiming the beach and water quality as amongst the finest in Europe (rightly), next to derelict concrete promenades and balustrades which are all earmarked for development. Nothing can be done until the drains are in, but its sad to see my little town look so shabby.

On my way home I wandered into a local second hand book store. I saw what appeared to be an apparition before me – a tall, slim chap with spectacles – my good friend Jim who now lives on the West coast. Fellow bookworm, Jim & I have worked together in two places and he taught me to be an excellent grant manager. He left a year before me, and it was delight to see him. I whisked him off for coffee in the rather wonderful, quaint Olives at the Station, a new community cafe / garden not far from home. Coffee turned into lunch, the most wonderful hot smoked salmon for me, smoked haddock fishcakes with kedgeree and poached eggs for Jim. Call me a regular, I’ll be back! No pics sadly, but this is the station building in it’s heyday (Olives being in the building to the left):

Whitley Bay Station

Whitley Bay Station

I’ve been having a good bit rummage in charity shops and picked up a couple of lovely things – a pretty black dress with a lace neckline (a little damaged but perfectly wearable), a large olive green scarf, a book of steampunk short stories and a beautiful beaded cardigan. My pics don’t do anything justice, but It’s nice to buy pretty things, and the total cost of  all four items was £11 (the dress the most expensive, the cardy was an astonishing £1.49).

Dress neckline

Dress neckline

Pretty dress & Scarf

detail on the back of the cardigan

Pretty dress & Scarf

Pretty dress & Scarf

Think my next post will be a Bat Fit update.

Finally, an apology to all the bloggers I visit who use the Blogger platform. For some reason my WordPress credentials are causing Blogger problems – its very annoying, so I’ve been using my google ID in some cases, but lost count of the amount of comments I’ve left that have vanished in the ether. I am here, I am reading and I am about to throw my laptop down a steep flight of stairs!!! If anyone wants to say hello to me on Facebook you can find me here. I have a tendency to witter a bit, and post pictures of bad / amusing taxidermy…

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5 thoughts on “Roundup: July

  1. The dress is amazing! I love Cassandra Clare, but I guess it is a question of taste. It is really nice to see non white, bisexual and gay characters though, who are still left oit of a majority of books.

    • That’s true, I think I just get irritated by the repetitions in her books, and her ‘borrowing ‘ of other peoples work which I became aware of via Goodreads. I liked the series set in Victorian England but I’d happily boil Jace’s head!

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