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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 30th August 2017 8:34 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
Knowing the Score: My Family and Our Tennis Story by Judy Murray. Which is all [info]selenay's fault. We were in Foyles, she was looking at cookbooks, the sports section was next to the cookery section, I started reading this book and then decided I couldn't wait for it to come out in paperback. I then read it in a day. It's partly what made me watch her Strictly dances, given that she has a chapter on it. It was really interesting to read how she (and then Jamie & Andy) got into tennis. And how much time and money their training took.

I was really interested to read about the gender divide in tennis. Things are starting to improve, but there are very few female coaches and girl players aren't taken as seriously as boy players. No male players were coached by women, and not many female players were either. I thought nothing of Andy taking on Amelie Mauresmo as his coach, but the reaction in the sport was really awful. A lot of people thought that a woman couldn't coach a man, even though it's the same sport. It was eye-opening.

What got me reading was the first chapter when she talked about Wimbledon when she was a girl. Her parents had it on all the time, the channel only got changed when play had finished, her dad was always home from work on time to watch it, and no food was cooked. Sounds just right to me!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I saw this in Foyles, was intrigued by the title and [info]selenay said it was good, so I got it from the library. And then I spent the long weekend reading it. I really enjoyed it. The author said at the end that she'd read a lot of Harry Potter fanfic and it showed. What amuses me is that during the book the main character is writing a fanfic called "Carry On, Simon", generally abbreviated to "Carry On." So then Rainbow Rowell has written Carry On - it's an actual book. Which I will get round to reading at some point, but before then there are some other books by her that are in my library (rather than the county).

What I'm Currently Reading
The Wave by Morton Rhue. I've been wanting to re-read this for a while, but hadn't got round to looking up the author until I spotted it on a shelf in Foyles or Waterstones. We read it in secondary school - the only book I can remember reading that wasn't a book we were doing for English Lit. My memory of it is that it's about understanding how the Nazis sucked people in and got them to do horrible things. Although my main memory of it is that we had to write another chapter at the end (although I remember thinking it ended at a good point). It was one of only two things I did that my English teacher liked (the other was a ballad we had to write - I wrote it about tennis).

Enigma Tales by Una McCormack. Technically I'm currently reading it, although I only got a few pages in before being distracted by Judy Murray and library books.

What I'm Reading Next
I finally made it to the top of the reserve list for the library ebook of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's just annoying that I have to turn my old, slow Windows computer on to download it. And given that I couldn't watch the TV series too late in the evening, I won't even try reading this before bed.

Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman. Because she mentioned it on Twitter and now I have the paperback on reserve from the library (I don't like hardbacks: too big and heavy and hard to read in bed).


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Various things
Monday 28th August 2017 11:52 am

I've been meaning to post all week and keep getting distracted by other things. Sadly not sport (mostly). Although the US Open tennis starts this afternoon.

I had a busy week and a half - I pretty much did all my summer socialising in that time. Most of it was Rock Choir, who did some summer workshops. It was fun to be doing some singing when usually everything stops for the summer. There were a lot fewer people than during term time, but it didn't feel like it when we were singing. I wondered why until the ceiling was pointed out. The room we rehearse in has really good acoustics. I will miss that about Rock Choir - the hall my other choir rehearses in is terrible for sound.

I discovered I'll be watching (some of) Strictly this year. I meant to watch when Judy Murray was on, but never quite got round to it. People have told me I'd like the dances, but the camera constantly moving around is so distracting that I can't concentrate on the dancing. And it makes me dizzy. But then I found all of Judy Murray's dances on YouTube and watched them on my iPod and using such a small screen was such an improvement. (I really should try watching Class on there) I did enjoy the dances - I like how they got tennis in it and other stories. I don't know why people thought she was terrible because they seemed fine to me - although I don't have anything to compare it with.

Although I will this autumn. Susan Calman announced on Twitter she was on it. It sounds like she'll be a laugh. And Jonnie Peacock is on as well. And what with them on Twitter (mostly Susan Calman) I've ended up following Rev Richard Coles (after a brief moment of wondering if it's wrong to follow a vicar on Twitter if you're not Christan). Although he tweets quite a lot and I started following him at the same time as the US Open draw and Andy Murray withdrawal and that end of TweetDeck got a bit crazy.

What I've seen most of, Strictly-wise, is the back stage stuff. When I was lodging my landlady would be watching It Takes Two while I was cooking dinner and watching rehearsals was much more interesting than watching the final dances. I will probably tell my PVR to tape it all and then sift through it sometime.

Otherwise I have been getting some jobs done. I now have new curtains in all the rooms (blinds for the kitchen and bathroom are next). Although in order to get something I liked for the lounge and would keep the heat in in the winter and heat out in the summer, I ended up with black out curtains. Since the lounge is south facing and it is hot and sunny out today I'm therefore sitting in quite a dark room. Although it is getting lighter, the closer the sun gets to shining directly at it.

After owning my new computer for three and a half months I finally got tired of turning the old one on to print and decided to install it on my new one. And then I discovered it doesn't work on Linux Mint over 17. And possibly doesn't work on Windows 10 either. It is an old printer. So now I have a new one. At least they're cheap. Of course installing it and getting all the functions working wasn't easy, but it wouldn't be Linux if it all worked out of the box (and who wants something that just works and doesn't let you tinker with it - where would the fun be in that?).


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SJA Reunion
Monday 14th August 2017 9:23 pm

A couple of weekends ago I went to the SJA Reunion one-day convention in Cardiff. I wasn't too sure about it, I had a bit of "who are these people, how do I know they know what they're doing" as if I know everyone in the world. But Katy Manning (Jo) was going to be there and I've never met her, so I went. If I'd been the sort of person who'd go up to her on the street (or train station platform) I'd have met her at Cardiff station where we were waiting for the train to the tiny little station that was just round the corner from the con. But I wasn't, so I didn't. But since I'd already planned to be a bit late (given that I got up at 6am!) and the train was late, I felt better knowing that at least I wouldn't be later than one of the guests. Incidentally, I ended up getting the same train back as John Leeson. Read more...


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – August
Tuesday 1st August 2017 7:53 pm

This month I'm going to be trying yoga. It's something I've seen cropping up all over the place (or at any rate, being mentioned by all sorts of people). So I was interested to see what it's like. [info]just_ann_now has given me links to videos so I can try it out at home.


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