Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Book Review: Life of Pi

An Unexpected Adventure.

My second book of the year was a very different choice for me. I read the blurb of Life of Pi and was in no way gripped or even intrigued to open the cover (very judgemental of me I know). This book however was strongly recommended to be by my family and with the film release I thought I would explore what this book was about.

The blurb reveals that the story is about Pi who is stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger. When I started the book however I was utterly confused. Nothing of the sort was happening. There was no boat, no sea and although there were animals they were definitely not trapped in the ocean. I was a considerable way through the book before I felt I got to the story. I understand the importance of character development but for me I just was waiting for an actual story to begin.

Once you arrive in the ocean it starts to become a more interesting story. However, from my perspective it was still not enough to keep me turning the pages hurriedly. The end of the story left me somewhat confused. This was a book with a very long start and middle but the briefest of endings.

Having said all this it is a good story. It is full of bitter sweet moments and an undercurrent of humour throughout. I enjoyed it but not as much as all the hype had led me to believe.

Don't waste that precious reading time

Currently Reading: Money Run by Jack Heath (Brilliant Book Award Book)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Planning Ahead...

I have had a small blog hiatus. Unfortunately I got poorly and this changed my goal to complete Janathon. A lovely twitter follower suggested I try Juneathon and I think I will give that a go as I was unsuccessful with January. Sometimes stuff just gets in the way and there’s nothing you can do about it. I was very disappointed to have stopped running. More so because I am training for a half marathon and I feel VERY unprepared. On the plus side it has meant so far I have avoided running too much in this freezing weather. However, now I am 100% I want to get back into it and start building my mileage back up.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about what I am planning on doing next year. I think that always happens with a new year. You start thinking about the coming months and trying to plan things out. I am one of those people that feels a lot calmer when I know my plans. Sometimes that means I try plan out the next few years and that just doesn’t work but when it comes to the next year I want to know what’s coming out and what choices I need to make.
One of those choices at the moment is with my degree. I am currently studying a MA/MSc In Information and Library Management with the option of leaving in December with a PG Dip. This is a post graduate diploma. I have start genuinely think about whether it would be good to exit at this point, especially as there is always the option of returning within 5 years to complete.
My main reasons for exiting are nothing to do with the course. I know I would enjoy the dissertation and I know it would be lovely to have the Masters. However, It will cost 3,300 pounds to do the second year and furthermore I could study the remaining year, pay all that money and find the job I get at the end of it did not require the masters qualification. This is more prominent a reason if I stay in school libraries.
The CILIP organisation will also allow me to apply for chartership as a librarian without a masters.  I feel a little bit like I have made my mind up already and I just keep trying to justify to everyone why I am not continuing. Some of this is probably pride, I know I just love the idea of having a masters. There is also a little bit of fear. I don’t want to make the decision to early and regret it. Thankfully I don’t have to inform the university of my decision until nearer the end of the PG Dip.
Are there any librarians out there who left a  course with a PG Dip and are happy/unhappy with their decision?
I would love to know what people found were the pros and cons of having PG Dip as opposed to a master’s degree.

Currently reading:  Syren by Angie Sage ( I keep taking breaks from this book and have read two other books The Life of Pi and Sworn to Silence)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Naturally does it!

Today was my first day back at work. It was a struggle getting up this morning as it was so early and so dark but I made it. The day actually went very fast and was just as enjoyable as I expected.

Today I have been thinking of money saving ideas. I downloaded, for free, several apps on my ipod to keep an eye on how much we are spending. I am try to help us curb our spending so we can up how much we are saving with the hopes of sometime in the foreseeable future being able to buy a house.

One of the ideas I had to save money was to do with my hair. I have been dying my hair since I was a little girl. My mum as a treat dyed my hair semi permanent a warm mahogany colour.  I was the tender age of 7. Obviously I could have grown this out. However, I didn't I just kept persuading my mum to dye my hair  a variety of colours. Sometimes I just dyed it for fancy dress.

I was about 10 when I decided I wanted to be blonde. This meant a switch from semi permanent to permanent hair dye and to be honest I have never stopped. Whether it was blonde, brown, black and even a odd orange colour at uni I have always dyed my hair. It means my hair is not very strong or healthy it is on the whole pretty dry.  There have been a few times over the last few years I have contemplated growing my dye out. The main reason has been wanting to be natural to help my hair recover or to change. I get bored and restless quite easily with my hair.

However, looking at our accounts at the start of this year woke me up to the fact I have been spending over a few 100 pounds a year! This makes me feel pretty cross as its just hair and that's a lot of money just on me. If I add up the cost of dying my hair since I started paying (13) then I have spent a whopping 3000 on my hair and that's if the cost of all the appointments was all the same amount. This would pay for one year of my masters or go towards our future. If I keep dying my hair I imagine the cost will get more expensive and I could double this figure in less then 10 years.

So now I have to make a tough decision. Do I commit to going dye free for 2013. Returning to the hair colour God intended me to have and save myself a good amount of time and money over the next year. I think its worth a try but I am so nervous!

Anyone else out there grown out a life long habit of hair dye? How did you find it?

I feel pretty confident this is a good decision and if I do it I might post some photos of the journey!
If only there was a quick fix!

Some photos of previous hair changes!

Janathon went well today yesterday I did 4 miles and really enjoyed it! However today I woke up with a really sore throat and felt rough so unfortunately no run today gutted!

Currently Reading: Life of Pi by Yann Martel 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Back to routine!

I return to work tomorrow and I am really looking forward to getting back into my usual routine. I need to get back to doing my masters work and just going back to a normal sleeping pattern will be good. Having said that I am sure I shall struggle waking up at 6:30 tomorrow!
Janathon has been going alright. However I think going back to my routine will help improve getting a good run in to each day.
I was determined to run everyday even though janathon is about getting exercise each day not just running. I managed a mini 1.5 mile run with some hill work yesterday however today I went for a lovely walk in Alton for over an hour and I decided to count it as part of my janathon month especially as there were loads of hills! Hopefully as I get more into my routine I will start upping my mileage for my half marathon in March

I am looking forward to the next term at work and the new challenges it will bring!

Currently reading: Syren by Angie Sage. Although I had a break and read my first book of 2013 which was 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. It was lovely. 

Friday, 4 January 2013

Better late then never...

I ran 2 miles as part of janathon tonight. Just forgot to blog sooner! I got distracted by watching the very emotional film The Help. It's is worth a watch. The book is brilliant aswell!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Making Good

I am starting to make good on my new years resolutions. My dream of learning to sew is taking shape and so far with janathon I have run 3 times this month.

Today I managed 3.5 miles building up the bigger runs for my next half marathon.

BUT in reality these were the easier options on my list. One that I have not really started or even thought of a plan how to start is driving lessons. After attempting to plan a train journey that would require me to take out a small loan I realised I need to get started otherwise this is just going to keep happening.

So tomorrow I plan to get on the phone and find a good affordable instructor. Not only do I plan on finding one I plan to book a lesson. As simple as its sounds this is big step for me.

I have been talking about learning to drive since I was 18 and stopped having lessons. Yet no matter how much I said I was doing it and even contacted instructors I have not booked an actual lesson.
In an attempt to gain more confidence and skill I am rooting out the dusty old L plates and the hubby is going to attempt to take me driving...I feel a bit sorry for him but he has agreed so hopefully it goes smoothly!

So as of tomorrow I shall have started making good on this resolution and maybe my green license will soon by pink....

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Janathon- Day 2

This Janathon thing is not going to be easy. Its not the actual running part at the moments that is causing the issue. Its the fitting the run into my day. I made myself a bit too busy today and had to squeeze in a small run. I even got the hubby to run with me as it had got so late and was really dark.
So we ran another mini one as it was late. So that is another 2 miles to the total. It was a good run and my first of the year back home so it was nice to be in familiar surroundings.

Hopefully I shall plan better from now on and get the run done much earlier!!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Hello 2013!

Reflections, resolutions and Janathon!

As its the first day of 2013 I thought it would be a great idea to reflect on 2012 and to decide on some resolutions. I don't always stick to my resolutions but maybe if I post them on a blog I might do!

2012 started off with me in a job I greatly disliked and no ideas on how to leave or what to do if I could leave. So it is with great joy I can say that the start of 2013 begins with me in a job I love and a plan to study more to gain a qualification and become a librarian. I am so thankful to be able to say i love my job and I have been grateful for the continuing support of my husband. Not only did he support me taking a job that pays me less than half then I earned in the call centre but he also actively encouraged me to spend the little I earned studying a masters . I am not sure I would have been brave enough to take such leaps of faith without his unwavering support! That's all the slush in this post I promise.

Although there have been many other highlights in 2012 this has by far been the greatest change for me and has had the most positive outcomes. I am excited to see what 2013 holds for my job and course.

I have done many things this year which has sparked some of my resolutions!

I read 60 books in 2012 :)

This is a personal best for me and is one I doubt I will match ever again but I am attempting to read 50 books in 2013!

I  ran my first half marathon in October 2012 and really enjoyed the challenge. This year I hope to run 2 halves.  To get me off to a good start in 2013 with my running I have signed up to do Janathon. This is where you run daily and blog about it. Some blogs will be short and sweet and simply about the distance I ran. Others may be part of a larger blog post like this one.
I ran a chilly 2 miles this morning to ease myself in gently to my half marathon training!

Finally and the biggest resolution I have at the moment is that I am going to attempt to learn to drive. I have built up learning to drive so much I am now a bag nerves but it is about time I commit to learning again. I am sure a blog will be posted about this particular adventure.

I have other resolutions but I shall post about them another time.

Wishing you all a happy and fulfilled new year!

 Currently Reading: Syren by Angie Sage