Posted by September Blue Saturday, 20 June 2009 1 comments

My dad and my brother might lose their jobs. They might not have jobs now, by this morning; my brother might have decided to jump overboard and swim for something more stable, my dad might have decided to walk out rather than fire a whole workforce and tell half of them to reapply for their own jobs. But they probably won't. It's only a little company that they work for, and my dad's been there for thirty years; even if they could afford to leave and not look back, there's more there than money.

But the company might not still exist in a couple of weeks, so all that might be irrelevant.

I've never felt further away from home than I do right now.

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Do you read like you used to?

Posted by September Blue Friday, 5 June 2009 3 comments

I ask because I don't.

Once, back when I was twelve or so, I built a little cave behind some cupboards and some junk in the spare room, lined it with some cushions and a motheaten quilt and hid away in there every afternoon after school, reading myself into oblivion for hours at a time. I went through books like air back then. I could read a whole book in one sitting, ignoring any kind of siblings-and-pets chaos that was erupting around me; my parents used to take me shopping, leave me in the library, and find me at the end of the day, usually carrying a pile of books I could just about see over the top of. I read a lot now, but nothing approaches the kind of total, overwhelming, put-that-book-down-and-look-at-the-scenery! immersion I could manage back then.

Other things haven't changed. I still read four or five books at once, and I still have a pathological aversion to stopping at the end of a chapter. Books I like get re-read over and over again (although not quite in the way I used to when I was younger - read the last page, turn straight back to the first page, and carry on without a break). It's not quite the same, though.

This is what I'm reading at the moment:

Ruth Brandon, Other People's Daughters. The lives of governesses in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Like Brandon's other books (at least, the ones I've read), it's very good and very detailed at the same time as letting you know exactly who she disapproves of.

Danny Wallace, Yes Man. It's very good. I've liked Danny Wallace since Are You Dave Gorman?. This one, though, I'm reading a couple of pages of before I'm going to sleep, sometimes, which is why I've been reading it since January and am only 2/3 of the way through.

Virginia Nicholson, Singled Out. The lives of single women after the First World War, and fascinating. I can't say enough good things about this book; in fact, I'm deliberately reading it more slowly now so that I don't have to finish it.

Markus Zusak, The Book Thief. Lent by someone who thought I'd like it. I've only read the first two dozen pages or so, of about four hundred, but, yes, it seems good so far.

China Mieville, The Scar. I bought this in October and only started reading it this week, tsch. As with his Perdido Street Station, which is set in the same world, I'm very impressed at the same time as being vaguely annoyed by how the biology works - how is it a human with the head of an insect, or the body of a crayfish? How? I know, I know, it's fantasy, and he doesn't care about that sort of realism, but dammit, I care! Which is why I'm reading this one slowly, too.

Hmmm. Needs more short stories.

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Posted by September Blue 0 comments

Work remains good. But so busy. And yet, I go home before six every day, I sleep properly every night.

I've discovered that under normal circumstances, like when I'm not juggling four jobs and pulling thirteen-hour shifts, I don't sleep that much. Maybe six or seven hours a night, before I wake up, all refreshed and happy. Compared to the PhD years - staring blearily at the TV over my breakfast, watching Everybody Loves Raymond every morning for ten months before working out that there were two of the little blond kid - it's a new life.

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