Friday, 30 November 2012

November's Number News

Eek - what happened there?  November's End crept up on me very suddenly!  Part of the reason was a scare with my Mum which has distracted me all week.  My CKCB projects didn't get any attention and there was no question of blogging creatively.  Hopefully things will be calmer for a day or two before the Christmas panic ramps up!

So here are my Numbers for November (joining in with Julie's Month In Numbers as a way of recording the year's activities):

4 = books read, bringing my total so far this year to 44, which neatly means that my monthly average is also 4

Book Cover - Star Of The Sea - Joseph O'Connor
"Star Of The Sea" by Joseph O'Connor was October's book club choice and proved to be a very interesting and educational novel set in the time of the Irish famine.  Quite an eye-opener about conditions on the ships taking people from Ireland across the Atlantic, the awful straits that Irish tenants struggled under and the disgusting racism that many Irish endured.  Based around a murder on the ship, the book was written from several people's points of view, with songs, newspaper articles, letters and diary entries interspersed with narrative passages.
Jeffery Deaver's "Death Of a Blue Movie Star" and James Patterson's "Toys" were random picks from the library shelves and both were readable, but ultimately I learnt too much about bomb disposal from the former and too little about character development from the latter!
Book Cover - The Readbreast - Jo Nesbø
Jo Nesbø's "The Leopard" was November's book club choice, but I haven't got hold of it yet.  Instead I thought I'd compromise by reading "The Redbreast" which seems to be the first translation for the UK market.  I found this quite heavy going but considerably less gory than Nesbø's "The Snowman" and "Headhunters" which I read earlier in the year.  Lots of flashbacks, different voices and Norwegian names added to my confusion, but by the end I had learnt quite a lot about Norway's experiences in WWII and was keen enough to grab the sequel "Nemesis" from the library straight away!  This was pacier (perhaps I was also more familiar with the main characters in Inspector Harry Hole's police department) and I was desperate to read more, yet also sad to reach the end of the book; while the case might be closed, there are enough threads running from book to book to make me want to grab the next in the series a.s.a.p.

5 = days course on "Advanced Employability" attended by No.2 Son at the Job Centre {I don't think there's actually a "Basic Employability" course}.  He has given up on university and now needs to find his first job.  I'm hoping that he's now motivated enough to send out his new CV, that his role-played interview skills are effective and that satisfying employment is quickly found.

½ = size of our family Christmas fund compared to last year!  Hubby's family is HUGE and, rather than each family unit buy 40+ small gifts for various siblings, their partners and offspring, each one contributes to a central fund which pays for one larger gift each. Belts have been tightened this year and the whole thing was under threat, but we have managed to prune it back a little and cope.

2 = friends I met for a belated {August} birthday lunch; my turn for a belated {October}birthday lunch will have to wait until after Christmas now!

3 = alternate destinations that Child No.3 was given when her forthcoming 2013 expedition to Madagascar was withdrawn due to potential political unrest next summer.  We now have to start researching inoculations for Costa Rica/Nicaragua!

5 = shifts at work for Child No.3 - she was successful in getting an out-of-school job as usherette in our local theatre back in August, but the wheels of local government (who own the theatre) run very slowly it took ages to get the paperwork and forms done!  She's discovered that Ken Dodd certainly does carry on and on and on telling jokes (well past midnight), but that she doesn't mind when she's being paid time and a half for working on a Saturday!  Potentially plenty of money to pay for her share of the expedition costs!

Photo - Uggly Sisters & Buttons @ Crewe Lyceum Theatre 2012

4 = free tickets to see the preview performance of "Cinderella" at the theatre: great fun, lots of cheesy laughs, brilliant costumes for the Ugly Sisters and a wonderful start to the festive season.

125 = cubic centimetres of engine capacity of the motorbike just bought by No.1 Son who is determined to turn his mother's hair grey!

If you want to see what else has been happening in November then pop over to see Julie at Notes On Paper here.


helena said...

I love panto and those dames look great. Hope your Mum is OK.

Sian said...

Gosh, you have a lot going on at the moment - hope you get a chance for some peace and quiet over Christmas.

I read that Star of the Sea years ago and it made a big impression on me. Wonderful book

Missus Wookie said...

Was talking to another class participant about her plan to stay longer and research Norwegian history w Quakers during WWII on Wednesday. We saw the Irish Famine statue in Boston - sad times for so many. Hope your Mum is better.

Qs also have a project in Madagascar, we've been raising money for it recently. One of my old Sunday school kids (now over 30) goes out there regularly. The unrest is hard on everyone, including the wildlife :(

Julie Kirk said...

Oh Jemma - about a month ago I could have written your first paragraph almost word for word myself. Warm wishes to you + yours x

Now I've been using the library regularly I really wish I'd kept a tally / record like oyu have [I feel a new book log project coming on ...] And, while I hope this never happens ... if you're ever anywhere that needs a bomb disposing of ... you're going to be such a heroine!

You're on the board now:

Happy December!

Julie :-)

Tamara said...

What fabulous number. I love that pantomime photo. It looks like you are back on track with your numbers.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

Thanks for the reading recommendations! I haven´t read a "real" book for a long time and I wanted some new ones for the summer.
Hope things go smoothly for you and your family this month.

KraftyKaren said...

I can testitfy that Ken Dodd does go on and on - I use to do the first aid cover at our local theate on a voluntary basis and use to dread Ken Dodd being on the bill - if you got out of the theatre before 1am then he was having a bad night LOL!!

Looks like you had some great reads this month - I must find time to do more reading

Miriam said...

What a busy month. I feel for you with son + motor bike. We have been/still go through that every time he goes out on it. Hoping your other son gets some work and what a brilliant idea your family have for dealing with the gift giving nightmare that is Christmas!