Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Half Way Checkpoint!

I seriously can’t believe we’re half way through 2013 already! This year has been totally mad and gone by so ridiculously quickly, considering ‘all’ I’ve done is be at home with a baby. I know before I start that I’ve not done a lot of the things I said I wanted to do and not read a lot of the stuff I wanted to read. I will not feel bad about it. Before we start, here’s a list of things I have done in 2013:
·         Brought up a gorgeous baby boy who is turning into a proper little person in front of my eyes and now ‘reads’ his That’s Not My...series of books by himself!
·         Started a business (so far mostly theoretical) selling my handmade things. If you know a small person and want something bookish for them, check out my Fairytales in a Bag! I love them J
·         Signed up for my first craft fair, which is in just over a month and I’m quite scared.
·         Met Hanna and Laura! This is a major win for me and my social anxiety and also just for the awesomeness of internet people. They rule.
·         Negotiated my part-time return to work in September, specifics of which are still pending. Watch this space.
·         Cancelled my TV licence, and therefore freed up approximately 8 hours of the day I used to spend watching Jeremy Kyle and The Real Housewives series to do useful, productive things.
·         Made a lot of jams and chutneys (lemon curd, rhubarb & orange jam, strawberry jam, tomato chutney...
Challenge-wise, I signed up for seven challenges in 2013. Here’s what they are and what my progress is so far:
1.       The Telling Tales Challenge – My own challenge of all things fairytale related. I’m not doing at all badly on this one. So far I’ve read Fables Volumes 8,9 and 10 by Bill Willingham, and Naming Monsters by Hannah Eaton for the Troll Under the Bridge category, and watched Mirror Mirror and read Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and watched Beastly and read the novel for the Queen of the Silver Screen category. I also watched Alice in Wonderland (the Johnny Depp version, obviously) the other day, so I just need to read Through the Looking Glass  and that’ll be another one ticked off! I really like this challenge, I think I’m going to keep running it for ages. 6/10
2.       The TBR Pile Challenge – Hosted by Adam of Roof Beam Reader, I am failing dismally at this challenge. So far I’ve read nothing, but that said, Eternals is currently sat on a chair next to me and I could probably read it in about an hour, so that could be rectified by the end of today, and may have to be!
3.        Translation Challenge – Hosted by Ellie at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm, this is the challenge I was probably most excited about and also have yet to read a single thing for. I started The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, but I got distracted. This is part of the reason why I’m on a library ban at the moment!
4.       Young Adult Reading Challenge – I’ve actually read two for this – Looking for Alaska by John Green and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I don’t think I reviewed either of them but I loved them both.  I watched the film of Perks first and I seriously loved both film and book and have been recommending them left right and centre, even to Emma Watson haters, because she is excellent in the film! Looking for Alaska just helped to further reaffirm my growing John Green love (as a side note, everybody I talk to seems to obsess about John Green, even people who read no YA ever love him.)
5.       Graphic Novel Challenge – As usual, this is the one I’m doing the best with. By my count (for some reason I’ve totally failed at keeping any kind of list that’s representative of what I’ve actually ended up reading) I’ve read six which is exactly where I should be J A few (Maus, the three Fables I’ve read) are among my favourites of the year, so well done Graphic Novel Challenge!
6.       The Wishlist Challenge – I’ve read two books for this (The Library Book, and The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer) and got two more out of the library but had to return them before I could read them. Hopefully I’ll do better in the next 6 months!
7.       The Essay Reading Challenge – I’m currently reading Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron for this. Also The Library Book counts, so I’m definitely going to complete this challenge.Hooray!
I think I’m actually doing better than I was this time last year, and hopefully over the summer I’ll do a lot of reading my own books which will be good J
Now, my list of goals for this year. I’m only going to write about the ones I haven’t totally failed at, for the rest, you can just assume...
·         Book Buying Ban – My goal was to beat 3 months without buying books. I HAVE DONE THIS!! It’s been six months and I will stress that I haven’t bought any books for myself. I have bought quite a few for Benji and also a couple which relate to selling crafts and so don’t count as they are for business purposes. Either way, I’m extremely proud of myself.
·         Go the whole year without buying anything from Amazon (except if I win/am given gift certificates) – Doing well with this one as well, with the exception of Laura’s birthday (basically I left it too late to wrap the stuff myself, wanted an option to send giftwrapped which The Book Depository don’t have (??!) so gave in to Amazon, then totally missed the box to tick for giftwrapping thus rendering my whole argument entirely pointless. Never mind.)
·         Get over my aversion to YA – I’m doing well with this as well. Although I’ve not read a huge amount still, I spend a fair amount of time browsing the ‘teenage’ section in the library and I just started Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter which is interesting. Also I still have Paper Towns by John Green sitting on a shelf staring at me with big sad eyes, begging me to read it..
·         Read more non-fiction – I’ve read 9 so far, and last year I read 14 so I think I’ll do it easily! I keep picking stuff up from the library which looks interesting, got a lot of Nora for my birthday and also I WANT MORE JESSICA VALENTI!
So that’s that. June is done, and I’m not doing too badly at all for a person who’s trying to raise a baby, not die buried under piles of laundry, meet new people, do new things, make sure said baby is properly sociable (thanks, Baby bounce and Rhyme time at the library!), see family and friends, run a small business, keep up with two blogs, a facebook page and not make my husband feel totally neglected J I would be doing nowhere near as well if he didn’t do more than half of everything, he is awesome. 


  1. YOU ARE DOING AWESOME! :) I am properly impressed that you cancelled your tv license and feel like it would be churlish to remind you that you can pretty much watch everything worth watching online. But, you know, you're never going to like SEEK OUT Jeremy Kyle (amiright?!)

    Also I feel sliiiightly bad that I made you break your amazon ban... let's just pretend THAT'S not true. Besides, birthdays don't count. OBVS.

  2. Whoa! I'm exhausted just reading all that :) Not sure we could cancel the TV license but when first married we didn't have TV for a few years. You have achieved a lot and your little boy sounds absolutely gorgeous. Good luck with your new business and return to work.

  3. What was the amazon ban for? You know The Book Depository is owned by amazon, right?

    It sounds like you're doing really well. Good luck with the no TV licence, I pretty much watch everything online so don't really feel the need for one myself, but I live with my parents who still watch TV so it's nice to have the option

    1. The Amazon ban is cos of how they're destroying independent (or just offline at all) shopping,especially bookshops. I think I did know but was blocking it out. Is there anything they don't own?! Oh well,100% offline book shopping for me! I'm not missing the tv licence so far which is weird as i expected to!