... I'm still here. I haven't vanished off the face of the earth, I've just kind of had a bit of a blogging hiatus. In fact, it's actually been a computer hiatus. It occurred to me - or rather, I finally admitted to myself - that I was spending far too much time on my laptop. The general routine was: come home from work, have a chat with Chris, make and eat tea, and then get laptop out with the intention of only spending an hour or so on it. Three or four hours later, the evening was gone, it was time for bed, and I hadn't really done any of the things that I'd wanted to do. Along with my 2012 'intentions', I also made a kind of 'self-help' list, at the top of which was the fact that I always felt like I didn't have enough time to do things. That was the problem, and the solution was that I was going to have to cut down on the thing that was taking up all my time, ie. the computer(/internet). I never actually made a conscious decision to do it, I just found that gradually I was spending less time on it, until I'd got to the stage of only switching it on for a few hours at the weekend, but avoiding it for the rest of the week. And do you know what? I survived! It's really not that hard!
However, the main thing that I had to sacrifice was the writing of this blog, and the reading of several others. I think the whole blogging thing was getting a bit overwhelming for me, and I'd lost my way with it. I'm still not sure what direction I should be going in. And as much as I love reading blogs, I have so many favourites that by the time I'd read them all, there was no time for anything else. So it all just kind of stopped for a few weeks.
What else have I been doing? Well, I've managed to get some reading done. I kind of had another epiphany about my books. I've got loads of new books that I really want to read, but I tend to save them up and try and read some of the ones I'm less bothered about first, just to get them out of the way. Then it dawned on me that if I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I'd be really annoyed that I hadn't read any of my new, favourite books. So what the heck, I'm not 'saving them' any longer, I'm going to read them all first, and the other boring ones can wait! These are the new books I got for Christmas/my birthday:
I've decided that I quite like gothic novels and ghost stories and the like, and a while ago I came across a link to an article by an author (can't remember who), who had chosen his top ten favourite gothic/noir novels. Falling Angel, Let The Right One In and Mysteries of Winterthurn were on the list, so I've made a start on my own collection. I've already read Falling Angel. It's set in (I think) the 60's, and follows a New York Private Detective called Harry Angel, who's called in to investigate the disappearance of a well-known singer from the 40's. He ends up getting involved in voodoo and black magic, and there's a very unexpected twist at the end of it all. I haven't really read anything like it before so it was a bit strange, but I did enjoy it. I'm currently reading Blackmoor by Edward Hogan, which is also going well. As you can see, I also like Jodi Picoult and Dorothy Koomson. Jodi Picoult always guarantees a good read, although her format (moral/ethical dilemma, usually involving a court case) is a bit repetitious now, but at least you know what you're in for. I think Dorothy Koomson studied at Leeds University, and one of her other books was actually set in Leeds, which is always a draw for me. That's also why I got the Kate Atkinson, because I think that one is based in Leeds too, but it's one of a series and I need to read them in order, so I probably won't get around to that for a while.
Speaking of gothic ghost stories, we finally got around to seeing The Woman In Black yesterday. We'd hoped that the cinema would be fairly empty at 12.10 on a Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately I didn't take into account the pulling power of 'The Radcliffe'. Group after group of silly, annoying teenage girls filed in, who seemed to think that they're still allowed to talk when everyone else is being quiet and trying to enjoy the film. Every time there was a 'scary' bit that made everyone jump (and there were a few), they all squealed and giggled and then had a conversation about it. About half way through I think someone must've gone to complain (not me, honest, but only because I didn't want to miss anything!), because then a couple of members of staff came in and started walking up and down the aisles. I heard the girls that were a few rows behind us being told to take their feet down off the seats in front, so I guess they weren't just being noisy. What annoys me is that these types of girls try to dress and look older than their age, and yet don't seem to realize how immature their behaviour is. Grrr, I'm turning into a Grumpy Old Woman!!!
Anyway, apart from the disruptions, the film was brilliant. I look forwards to it's DVD release, so that I can sit and watch it on my own, preferably on a dark, foggy evening!
Something else that I got for my birthday, after wanting it for ages, was the box set of the whole series of Twin Peaks. I remember watching it on tv when it was first on, but I don't think I watched many episodes, as most of it was unfamiliar to me. Since my birthday, I've tried to grab a spare evening here and there, or a weekend if Chris has been out, and gradually worked my way through all 29 episodes. I've been fully immersed in the world of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, Sherriff Harry S Truman, Shelley, Bobby, Ed, Nadine, Ben Horne, Pete Martell and others, not to mention, of course, Laura Palmer. It's a weird and wonderful world, and I've enjoyed every minute of it!
I haven't done any crochet for a while. I would've worked on my blanket while watching Twin Peaks, but it's one of those shows where you really need to concentrate and you can't really take your eyes off it in case you miss some crucial clue, so I thought I'd better leave the crochet for another time. I'm sure I'll get back to it soon.
Anyway, I better go. We're going out for a meal tonight, so I need to get ready (not that it's going to take me 2 hours to get ready, more like 2 minutes!). Hopefully I won't leave it so long before my next post, but we'll see. I don't want to get sucked back into being on my computer every night!