I have been addicted to books since I learnt how to read, and have taken the BBC Big Read as an opportunity to catch up on some of those books I've always meant to read but never got round to. It's a pretty good reading list - I've read about two thirds of the books on the list at some point, and it's a pretty varied selection. A fair amount of "proper" literature like you read at school, but a lot of lighter stuff too and a good smattering of children's books.Monday, September 15, 2003
I tactically decided to use my time off work to tackle one of the weightier tomes too big to carry around for train journeys, and opted for the 1000-odd pages of Gone With The Wind. I haven't seen the film for a good 20 years or so, when we only had one TV in the house and Mum's choice always ruled. So the story was sort of new for me (except for the ending, which is one of those quotes everybody can do). I was completely hooked from start to finish - this book fully deserves to be in the top 100.
Having just looked back through the Big Read list to pick my next target I noticed that Vanity Fair is missing. There are quite a few there that I don't think should be, and it's sad that this one isn't. I don't think many people have read it, partly because it's one of those huge books that looks like it will be hard work. It's one of my favourites - I've read it 3 or 4 times now and always enjoy it. Come to think of it, Vanity Fair is the same book as Gone With the Wind only set in the Napoleonic war and with some comic relief thrown in. I'd recommend them both, but wouldn't suggest reading them back to back :o).
My favourite book of all time is on the BBC list, and I wouldn't be surprised if it makes the top ten. I was given a copy for Christmas about 15 years ago and I've read it pretty much annually since then. It's Pride and Prejudice.
posted at 9:56 PM
The original plan for our break from work was to spend half our time working on the house and the other half taking a holiday in London. We live in this fantastic city with loads of interesting places to go and see, but we never seem to make the time. In 30ish years of being a Londoner I've never taken the traditional Red Bus tour. I've never been to the top of Tower Bridge. Millions of tourists flock here annually and explore more of the place I call home in a few days than most locals visit in a year. Then we sat down and wrote out the To-Do list to work out what we needed to do to reach the target of finishing the next two rooms by the end of the year.Tuesday, September 09, 2003
So, in the last week we've had the boiler repaired, the digital TV fixed, and new a computer delivered. We've also plastered, painted and put up coving in the utility room. I built a new doorstep out of concrete, and I have to say I'm very proud of the results. Owen has fixed the front room door so it shuts properly. And those are just the bigger jobs - we've also been knocking a lot of those little jobs that pile up despite only needing 15 minutes to complete. When I've got this posted I'll be off to lay the flooring and start building the units. There's been a mountain of flat packs in our study for months now in the space destined to be my very own computer desk (we've been sharing one big desk for years and we don't have a lot of space). My new desk is itself in a flat pack at the bottom of the pile, acting as my incentive to carry on working. At just over half-way through our holiday we're well on schedule to achieve what we were hoping for. It's going to be a busy few days though!
To balance out the work, on Friday we went to Jon's birthday drinks. On the way, we took the scenic route along the river from London Bridge to Blackfriars with Cath, taking in some cool giant inflatable sculptures outside the Tate Modern along the way. They are absolutely massive, and they'll be there until October so wander along if you're in the area. Owen took some nice photos, which I'm sure he will show you later. Jon's bash was great - alcohol flowed freely and much conversation about everything, nothing and blogging was had. The addition of Gert to the crowd led to a mini-blogmeet at one end of the table. We'll have to get together again soon - preferably with some food to slow done the rate of drinking:o). Hangovers behind us, we headed to M&S to buy a picnic for the Proms in the Park, joined by various family members. It was one of those perfect late summer evenings - the sky was clear, the ground was dry and we got to sit and watch mars crossing the sky during the concert. The middle of Hyde Park is one of the few places in London where it's dark enough to really see the stars properly.
posted at 9:59 AM
We're on "holiday" at the moment, which predictably means we're decorating. So far we're on schedule, but the To-Do list for the next couple of weeks is quite ambitious, and it's early days.
It's not all work though - on Saturday we went to Greg & Caroline's stag/hen do, involving quadbiking and archery. As I'm a bit wet at times these activities didn't really appeal to my spirit of adventure, so I took some photos instead.
Hopefully there should be some more photo albums up soon (not all DIY related).
posted at 10:52 AM