Todays steal is less of a thing, and more of a service. You see going back to university I was worried about having time to read regularly because of the insane workload and my nice commuting schedule which will see me leave my house before 7 every morning and not get back ’till gone 7 every night. And this is obviously not acceptable to me; I love reading for pleasure too much to give it up completely… stupid amounts of work be damned! (No I will not be teaching my students that using ‘and’ as the start to a sentence is grammatically acceptable; yes I do know its a conjunction!)
No time for reading? What do I do with all of these?….
So what I needed was a way in which to read which was not overwhelming and was easily accessible… enter dailylit.com. This is a website, that FREE of charge, emails you instalments of books of your choice. You can choose the frequency that you get emails (daily, only on weekdays, 3 time a week etc…) and pick the time they come to you.
I might be in love with this service. Most of the books they offer seem to be either out of copyright or less well know, which is perfect for me because I love reading little obscure things.
So this is my steal, books delivered to me daily, free of charge, to my email so I can read them on the train without having to carry anything else. I’m starting off with a Norwegian play called Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen because, well, why wouldn’t you really?!
Happy weekend my friends
I didn’t manage to get much reading done last month, mostly due to the excitement of going back to university and all the reading and tasks which I have to do for that. But limited time aside I did manage to read four books, so without further ado…
Spider Bones: Kathy Reichs
This was another enjoyable Kathy Reich’s novel. Whilst most of them aren’t anything new per se I do find them a comfortable and familiar read. Reich’s writing is fast paced and and I find her insights in to the workings of real life institutions such as The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (the focus of this novel) particularly fascinating because she has first hand experience with working with them. I would defiantly recommend this book as an enjoyable summer read with a strong science background which makes it a little more interesting than your average fluffy novel!
A Beginner’s Guide to Reality: Jim Baggott
This was my non-fiction read for the month; its an exploration of how we can determine what reality is and what is real. Whilst that sounds a little heavy this book was really interesting until it got to the chapters on Quantum Physics which I just cannot get my head around. How can a particle be in two places at once and how can one particle have an effect on another particle it is not near????!!! It boggles my mind, just utterly and completely. I’ve read a couple of what could be termed ‘popular science’ books to try and understand this but I’m still no closer to understanding it at all. Maybe its just one of those things that will be permanently beyond me!!
Listening to God: Joyce Huggett
This book is on the opposite end of the scale to A Beginners Guide to Reality; it was one woman’s memoir of her journey through discovering the power of prayer. Whilst I don’t fully believe in or really understand prayer all the time Huggett’s response and the way in which she describes her experiences is very touching. This was a very interesting little book and opened up to me a different way in which to view the world.
The Captive Queen: Alison Weir
I rarely complain about a book on here- I try to find the positives in what I read but this time, really I just can’t! I think part of my problem is that I feel as if I should like historical fiction but I do really struggle to find novels that I enjoy. This one was based around the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine (an amazing Medieval Queen who I wrote part of my dissertation on). The problem that I had with this novel was that Weir seemed to think that the only motivation that a character could have was a sexual one. The entire novel was based around who wanted to sleep with who and it seemed that the only basis on which the main characters could make major decision was one based on sex. By the end of the first couple of chapters I just wanted to scream that people had other motivations and that sex wasn’t the only thing in life! All in all I was disappointed with this novel because Eleanor of Aquitaine’s life was so interesting, varied and politically important that she deserved a far better fate than this novel!
Sorry no photos today- I couldn’t get photo booth to take pictures which were not glared and very very over exposed!
What was your favourite book last month?
Saturday Steals is back! My oh my this makes me so happy! So right… todays Saturday Steals comes to you in three parts…
James has gone away for two weeks! (Which is why I’ve been a bit absent this last week.) He has gone on a charity mission to Moldova to help rebuild a school- all very noble and commendable and all that but it does mean for the first time I am living on my own! Scary! This is going to take some getting used to! I am so used to living with other people (I’ve only ever lived with my parents, in a shared house with friends at uni or with Jim) that being on my own is very weird. I keep on coming home and expecting him to be there. Oh well….
Some very big news…. Drum roll please…. I’m going back to university in September!!! You have no idea how excited I am about this and how much I’ve been busting to tell the world but I’ve had to wait until I’d told all my various employers etc… I’m going back to study to be a Primary School Teacher which just fills my heart with joy because its something that I love and have wanted to do for a very long time.
(Yes I really am that excited and happy!)
Which brings me on very nicely to part there, my Saturday Steals. Going back to train to teach means a few things but one of them is that I get to read children’s literature again! Guilt free! And call it studying! Ace! I walked past an independent book shop in the town where I work last week and saw one of the things I love the most in the world… a book sale; and a 10p book sale at that! I immediately snaffled up some amazing bargains which will be invaluable to me on my course next year.
(Yeah James took my camera to Moldova with him so all photos for the next few weeks are going to be on the iSight camera I’m afraid!)
These are double sided books which means I got two separate books in each volume for the grand total of 10p each! You just can’t complain at that.
This book retails for £11.99 on Amazon at the moment (new) and I got it for 10p! This might be the deal of the century!
These are brand new never been opened practice test papers for the national exams which all British children have to take at the age of 6 and 11. Whilst they are a few years old they will be able to give me a good idea of the kind of questions which are asked and hopefully some good ideas about how to teach the kind of knowledge the kids will require.
There is a move in British primary schools at the moment to start language tuition at a younger age (when I went to school you didn’t even start languages until you reached high school at the age of 11) because studies have shown that children are far more receptive to learning different languages which their brains are younger. Tricolore was the brand of textbook which I used when I went through high school and I thought it would be invaluable to me to have a bit of brush up on my French skills because I haven’t done any formal language lessons since I was 16!
All of these amazing resources together cost me the grand total of £1.20- I don’t I’ve ever been so happy about some steals before- not only did they cost me almost nothing, they will also be amazingly useful to me on my course next year.
Whats your favourite recent bargain friends? Don’t forget to check out some more amazing steals over at Archive of Our Lives.
Filed under adventures, Books, childhood, degree, James, Life, PGCE, Primary School, Saturday Steals, Stuff, Teaching, University
Well, I say wanders, it was more of a driving tour with a little bit of crutching on my part, but still! My Dad took me out for lunch today and I took some pretty cool photos…
The view from the pub garden
this little fellow was so co-operative and stayed still for ages!
the weather turned a little grey on us
We also went to see the Wenhaston Doom, a medieval church painting that through some strokes of lucked survived the reformation and was rediscovered in the late 1800s, when rain water washed off the coating of white wash. It is generally considered one of the best preserved examples of this type of painting in the country. When you consider that it is over 500 years old and spent a large amount of time white washed, you can see why the history geek in me did a little dance. (Yes this is what a history degree that focused on the medieval period does to you!)
The Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist
On the left St Peter with a Bishop, King and Queen (earthly centres of power) and on the right St Michael and the Devil
The spectacular quality of this painting is even more remarkable when you consider that it is preserved and maintained by a small, country parish church. We walked in there for free, and whilst we did give a donation towards the church, there was no imperative to do so. The doors were unlocked, and whilst I have no idea how much the painting is worth, I imagine it is a substantial amount. The fact that anyone can walk in and bask in the glory of this amazing art work is a testament to church which maintains it, and a culture which values such historical statements. I was impressed.
I’ve been inside churches in Italy and Poland, which were obviously untouched by the reformation and seen the effect which this amount of religious art can have whilst in a place of worship. I am so used in British churches and to just seeing whitewashed walled everywhere, so I think it is worth a moment to imagine what the effect of these painting would have been to their original audience. They depict certain scenes from the Bible which tell of Judgement Day, and the effect on a largely pre- literate congregation cannot be under estimated. It was a good trip.
Okay, history lesson over!
How has your Thursday been friends?
>I have to say that 2010 has been a bit of an up and down year for me. Obviously there have been some great highs- James and I brought our first home together, I finished my degree, I got a proper job; these are all good and exciting things. Yet amid all of this I have struggled with unemployment for a time, I mostly hated the last semester of my degree and I have over stressed and worried about just about every decision that I’ve made. Grown up life is scary. And after writing that it sounds to me like it was the process of this year that I have struggled with whilst I enjoyed the outcomes, which is possibly a good description.
All over the blog sphere there are plenty of inspirational posts from amazing women who are reveling in the goals which they achieved in 2010 and setting themselves new ones for 2011. This is a laudable process and I truly, truly admire people who have the self discipline and will to make these things happen for themselves on their own. I am not that girl. I struggle with motivation and general all round laziness. I need a good kick up the butt from our old friend motivation to get me doing things.
Thus I have decided to make myself small goals. Achievable goals. But goals which I think will be beneficial to me none the less. Goals where I will have help getting there. A hand to hold on my way. I am guilty of not taking the time to care enough for myself, I get too wrapped up in working, stressing and letting tiredness overcome me, so my goals are designed to help me overcome these traits.
With this in mind my aims for 2011 are centered round the idea of happiness. I want to be happier. Less worried and more accepting of ‘what will be will be’. Not complacent. But to get a greater appreciation of the idea that there are things in this world which I cannot change and that worrying about them will not help. To be generally more at peace with the world.
So without further ado in 2011….
1. I want to take the time to nurture my artistic side. I love drawing, taking photos and creating things. But this often takes a back seat. I want this to change for me and spend more time making myself happier by letting myself feel free to do this sort of thing.
2. I want to create myself some ‘downtime’ one evening a week. Some time just to relax and not worry about achieving anything.
3. I want to drink more water and exercise more.
4. I want to create myself a regular posting schedule on this blog and be more disciplined in my writing.
There we go. No where near as far reaching as some of the goals I have seen people try to attempt, but these are goals which I really think will help me be happier and more focused in 2011.
I hope everyone has a relaxing and safe New Years Celebration planned. As I am working tomorrow I don’t think James and I will get much further than a bottle of wine and some time on the sofa, but still, sometimes those evenings are the best!
Its been a pleasure to write for you in 2010 and I look forward to continuing this conversation in 2011.
Stay safe, Lindy xxxx
>Today was an awesome Monday – and that doesn’t often happen!
Today I handed in my dissertation! Yes people I am finished. 11500 words. 32 pages. 1 appendix. 40 entries in my bibliography. All done. I’m so happy my face almost split from smiling so much.
In more good news- MY HOUSE IS FINISHED! And yes, that deserved capitals! The building work is done on J and mines first house. We can move in during the next couple of weeks and I am so excited. We have been waiting so long its almost unbelievable that its finished!
I also got these amazing shoes!
I love them, heels that are comfortable and look good. How can you beat that?!
I hope everyone else had such an amazing Monday! xxx
>Ahhhh. My poor little blog is feeling somewhat neglected this week. Unfortunately real life intruded in the form of my dissertation to finish, which I have nearly done! Happy, happy days. I will be singing from the rooftops when I hand this baby in!
So yesterday in order to distract myself from the fact I had just mauled a 1000 words out of my footnotes (i’m so over my word count its not even funny anymore!) I made this baby of a cake.
Now I like baking. This is no secret. I also like the Pioneer Woman. (If you haven’t found her blog yet check out the link) So baking Pioneer Woman style seems like a good thing to me. Hence this cake. Its a tomato soup cake- yeah I made that face too. Yet my curiosity is insatiable to I just had to bake this one. And unsurprisingly for a recipe recommended by P-dub herself it is delicious. It also tastes noting like tomatoes which is a good quality in a cake I think. The soup just has the effect of making the cake a gorgeous orangey red colour which is also a good quality in a cake.
I would highly recommend that every bakes this cake, gives it to their friend and loved ones, wait until they have tried some, and then tell them the surprise! Its so much fun!
Whilst your over at the ranch I would suggest checking out some of the other recipes on the Tasty Kitchen as well as the main site. There are some seriously talented cooks over in that part of the internet.
Just on a side note to brighten up the seriously grey day we are having today (thank you big cloud of volcanic ash!) this is where I went for a walk at the weekend. When the weather was considerably better. I love the beach!
I will see everyone tomorrow for Saturday Steals, have a happy and productive Friday. xxx