I am so happy that I have finished and submitted my assignment, I am hoping to celebrate by getting to read some fun things and not things about Ancient Roman funeral rites.
This week has mainly been spent on the assignment and teaching but I have managed to fit in some other things as well.
I haven’t really managed any of my fitness due to time constraints but I have managed a few long walks and on one of them we met this lovely pony who came over to meet us. My husband is allergic to horses and ponies so he couldn’t make a fuss of the pony but I made sure I gave the pony lots of nose scratches.
I’ve managed a bit of piano practice and it has been a welcomed relief from studying. I am learning two of the grade pieces and I am absolutely loving the challenge. One of the pieces is by Chopin and I must admit I have never really been a fan but I think this piece is going to convert me.
Today has been taken up by moving approximately 3 tonnes of logs from the drive to the log store at the back of the garage. This was a long process and I must admit when we finally moved them we rewarded ourselves with a hot chocolate and I promptly fell asleep on the sofa.
We have just finished the TV series Spooks and I must admit I was left a bit shell shocked by the last ever episode. We have now started the series 24 and I must admit I am hooked already. Oh and I have also been watching the Masters Snooker as I do love snooker.
Welcome to the first This and That Thursday of 2021.
I will be honest as we are back in Lockdown yet again I am doing the same old things but I have had some highlights.
Before Lockdown I popped over to see my cousin and dropped off his Christmas presents. I obviously did not go in but thankfully the two dogs came out of the house to see me and I had lots of fuss off Daphne the Shar Pei and Daisy the Westie.
The Christmas decorations were all taken down this week as well which I never enjoy. I always leave it for as long as possible before I take the decorations down as I always find it so depressing and the house always looks so bare once they are down.
This week has involved lots of nice walks and I have been getting back into my exercise by doing lots of cycling on the exercise bike and strength workouts. It has been nice to get back into fitness but I must admit I am finding it harder to get back into the healthy eating after Christmas and New Year.
Today I have spent nearly all day researching and writing an assignment. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to find a reference that you know exists but you can’t find it! An hour later I found the reference and managed to write a bit more of the essay.
For Christmas my husband got me the game 51 Worldwide Games. This has been great because it has meant we have lots of games we can play together. I must admit I am a little bit obsessed with the fishing game and the darts. My old headmaster would be proud of my new found darts skills as during a school summer fair he tried to teach me how to play darts but I made more holes in the school gym wall than the darts board.
Piano and Ukulele
I have just started looking at the new Grade 6 piano syllabus and have chosen some pieces to learn and I must admit so far I am really enjoying the new challenge. I’ve been practicing the ukulele again and I am determined that 2021 will include some ukulele exams.
So there is my week so far. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.
Well 2020 has gone so it is time to look back and see how it went.
Firstly, I would like to say a massive thank you to all my followers for supporting my blog and encouraging me. I would also like to say a massive thank you to all my fellow bloggers for writing such fantastic posts that have kept me entertained through 2020 and have also made me buy and read some books that I would have never thought of reading.
I read 71 books in 2020 and was really pleased with that result as I had a reading slump in January and February that made a dent in my reading time so I was concerned I would not reach my reading goal. Lockdown 1 and 2 helped because it gave me more time to read – about the only bonus of the lockdowns.
I also discovered that I think my favourite genre is now historical fiction, it was always fantasy and sci-fi but I think historical fiction has taken over. I still love fantasy and sci-fi though and the first two books I am reading in 2021 are from the genres historical fiction and sci-fi so I am having a nice balance.
I read 18,043 pages in 2020 so I obviously read longer books than 2019 as I only read 15,902.
The shortest book I read was Letters from Fairyland by Charles Van Sandwyk at 24 pages.
My average book length was 254 pages.
I haven’t actually got a favourite book of 2020 but I have a favourite series instead and that is the Six Tudor Queens series by Alison Weir. I love this series and I can’t wait for the last book in the series and will definitely be reading more books by Alison Weir.
Sadly, my Waterstones Challenge has had to be put on hold because I am shielding as much as possible due to Covid and underlying health issues.
So I think that is about a wrap of my 2020. I have some great plans for the blog in 2021 and can’t wait to get reading and blogging.
I hope 2021 is a better year but to be honest I can’t see that it will dramatically change straight away. However, I still plan on having a good reading and blogging year.
My reading goals for 2021 are as follows…
My Goodreads reading challenge will be 70 books again as I only just managed 70 in 2020. I have to do a lot of reading for studying so need to factor that in.
I plan to do a few buddy reads in 2021. We are starting with Dissolution by C. J Sansom, hopefully if we enjoy the book we will carry on with the series.
The ExpanseseriesbyJames S. A. Corey. I plan to read the series this year as I love the TV series and have just started reading the first book in the series and absolutely love it.
Agatha Christie. I have only ever read short stories by Agatha Christie so 2021 is my year to read more of Agatha Christie’s full novels. I won’t set a goal of how many but I plan on reading the books in order of publication.
Shakespeare Challenge. This challenge I started in 2020 so I hope to get a few more ticked off the list in 2021.
So there are my Reading Goals for 2021. Hopefully, I will get to tick them off as I don’t think they are too strict, after all I am a mood reader and reading should always be fun and not restrictive.
Please drop me a comment with your 2021 reading goals.
I haven’t done a This and That Thursday for a while so I thought I would do one this week.
The studying and teaching is still going and this week I was really pleased to find out my two students who had completed their music exams at the beginning of the month had passed with a merit and a distinction. In these difficult times where their lessons have been online via Zoom since March it was an excellent result.
So here is what I have also been up to…
Yes, we have been getting the house ready for Christmas. I love decorating the house for Christmas and I would have a Christmas tree in every room but my husband reigns me in so I just have 3 instead. Here are a few snaps of the house so far as it isn’t finished yet.
The walking continues, we have been sticking to local walks recently and only averaging 1.5 miles but I always struggle at this time of the year with my asthma.
I’ve got back into my fitness again and have been enjoying my regular workouts on my exercise bike and doing some strength training. I have also come to realise that I really hate ab work on the floor so I have been trying out some standing ab workouts and have found I much prefer them and the aching I feel the next day shows that they must be doing me some good. I also treated myself to some Christmas leggings for my workouts through December.
So there is my week. I hope everyone is having a good week so far and managing to stay safe in these weird times.
Another busy week has gone by with teaching, studying and throwing things away.
Yes I have had a big clear out of my music room and changed the position of my online teaching setup and I love it. The room is so much calmer now it is all organised. I am aiming to do every room before Christmas so the bedroom and music room are now done, so kitchen and dinning room are next.
Here is my lovely music room
I have been after an exercise bike for ages and I now have one and so after a busy day I have been chilling out with a session on the bike whilst watching an episode of Criminal Minds.
We are still walking and have recently discovered a lovely walk which is really close to where we live and I loved it. Lyra has been helping us choose some new walks to try as well.
I have started practicing Christmas music on the piano. Each year I try to learn new Christmas pieces on the piano and so hopefully I will be able to play some new tunes at Christmas. So far there has been some terrible Christmas tunes in this house.
So there is my week. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.
I hope all my fellow Book Dragons are well and having a good week so far.
This week I have been organ playing and back to teaching again which has been a bit of a shock to the system after a week off.
So here is what else I have been up to this week.
The studying is going well and I have now begun planning my two essays for my first assignment. They are very different to anything I have done before and I will be honest I am rather nervous about them. Hopefully I do a good job.
The cowl continues! This cowl has been unravelled and restarted several times as I haven’t been happy with it. The husband has threatened to throw it in the bin several times but now I have got the ripples correct and it is going well.
The Great British Bake Off is having a bad influence on me because it keeps making me want to bake lots of yummy cakes. This time I chose to do some chocolate brownies. Thankfully, they came out of the oven a success with that all important gooey middle.
This week has also included lots of hot chocolate sampling as we work through all the different flavours that Hotel Chocolat does for the Velvetiser. So far my favourite is the mint and dark chocolate.
To finish here is a cute picture of Lyra who decided she needed to be under the blanket rather than on top.
This week has been my birthday week and I decided to take a week off from teaching for the first time since April so it has been a lovely week so far.
A birthday book haul post will be appearing soon.
This week we went to some English Heritage places and thankfully the weather was wonderful. I also got some good Pokemon Go playing in as well.
Obviously there were some birthday celebrations that involved a little treat which is my all time favourite drink.
Hot Chocolate and Reading
For my birthday I had a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser and so this has meant some amazing hot chocolates to curl up and read with. So far we have tried salted caramel and hazelnut praline.
Another present I had was a crochet pattern and the wool and hook to go with it which my sister gave me. I haven’t done any crochet since I was at uni so this has been a shock to the system. The wool is beautifully soft to work with which is an added bonus. The pattern is for a cowl but at the moment it looks like a beret so this might need to be looked at again, it was all going so well!
I have still been studying this week as well but it has been nice to have a break from teaching.