Independence Day

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I have lots of news since I last wrote. Firstly, thanks to all of those who helped out with ideas for my books – much appreciated! Of course, I’m going to need ongoing help throughout the year… I think I’ll wing it so I’ll know the books for about a month in advance. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my blog fixed too so it looks prettier! (Miss S, if you’re reading… J )
I might even be able to do something fun like get a bit of a book theme going on. Book wallpaper to make it look like a library. Hmm. Hints and tips on how to store and organise books.
Someone suggested I read the Bible, which is a great idea apart from the dubious authorage… It might take me more than a week to read as well!
I am being decidedly rubbish at the moment with books. I’ve been reading “The Lollipop Shoes” for about six weeks. Well, I’ve probably read for about six hours in all of that time. I’ve read about a million magazines and blogs inbetween too, but it’s still taken an inordinately long time for me to read a medium length book. It doesn’t bode well. I have three other books from the library I want to finish before the end of the year, too – Hallam Foe, a Sherlock Holmes one and another I’ve forgotten. Lots of reading for me over the next fortnight!

My first book, the ‘A’ is going to be “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. I urge anyone who hasn’t read it, to read it. I don’t know anyone who has read it who has disliked it. I know a couple of people who have managed the first chapter and no more, but they’re quitters. Quitters! The plot sounds a bit schmaltzy but basically it’s a love story between Henry and Clare, where Henry is a time traveller. One of the things I love about it is how brutal and physical his time travelling is – it hurts, it uses up a lot of energy so he’s perpetually hungry and it’s nearly always inconvenient. A bit like having an unusual form of epilepsy.

I had a half day off work yesterday to sit my driving test and I passed! I have to admit, it was the second time. It was different this time – I was nervous but not terrified, like I was the first time around. It helped that some plonker decided to walk out in front of me and wave through the window, and I dealt with it like a pro. As in professional, not prostitute. Still, I suppose that’s what happens when you sit your test in Lowestoft.
I still can’t believe that I’ll never have a driving lesson again. It’s been over a year of a two hour lesson every Saturday, which has been nice but I’m very glad to have my Saturdays back. Mrs Mum Charming has offered to teach me how to knit and other crafty stuff, so I probably will go over on Saturdays anyway – just not every Saturday and I can drive myself! I haven’t driven by myself yet – boring insurance type stuff. I’m a bit nervous to, to be honest. It’ll be fine once I’m in though. I’m very pleased that I’ll be able to help out Mr Charming with the drive down to the West Country at Christmas, though. The last time we went the car had four people in it and only Mr Charming could drive – now if we went there’d only be one person who couldn’t! Still, that was about four years ago now so it was about time.

Last weekend I hopped on a plane to Edinburgh to see my sister and my nephews. As I’m not spending three hours a day travelling and I’m in Norwich all week, it seemed crazy that my sister lives an hour away (by plane) and I haven’t seen her since my brother’s wedding 18 months ago. It was a whirlwind visit but definitely worth it – it’s made me determined to go and visit more often. I also saw my Dad and my wee brother for lunch on Sunday, which was nice too. Not to sound like an old lady, but it’s amazing what we can do now. My family are scattered far and wide but technological advances like the internet means we can keep in touch as if we were round the corner. Of course, nothing’s as good as a face to face chat and a good hug.

Mr Charming and I watched “Elf” while we hoisted the Christmas decorations last week. Very festive, I think the next Christmas film we watch will be “Love Actually” on Saturday while we wrap all of our presents in preparation for the West Country exodus. Yes, you may congratulate me on my organisational skills. *Smug* However, it’s down to necessity more than anything else – Saturday’s the last day we have to wrap!

I am most looking forward to Sunday. A big group of us are visitng the region’s premier independent cinema to see the best Christmas film in the whole world. In fact, it’s a serious contender for best film in the whole world. “It’s a Wonderful Life” and by Jove, it is. That’s another reason I love “The Time Traveler’s Wife” – there’s a big section where Henry and Clare watch it and describe what’s happening interspersed with conversation. The first time I read it I hadn’t seen the film, so I had to question if there really was a swimming pool under the gym floor and a moon on a stick and a violent Old Man…
That’s not all we’re doing on Sunday. Those who can/wish will be dining at a pub along the road from us and exchanging Secret Santa presents, huzzah. We decided to do that this year instead of worrying about who to buy for, and what to buy for them.
Basically, “It’s a Wonderful Life” makes me cry from the very beginning. You know, that bit where all the people are praying for George Bailey as he’s a good man, fallen on hard times? I’m welling up just writing this, big sap that I am. No doubt I will win the contest over who cries first, this year at least!

So what’s on you Christmas wishlist, dear readers? I will be sending out Christmas parcels asap (darn those of you who live far away!) so hopefully Royal Mail will deliver. Ha.
Apparently I want quite a lot of stuff. It’s all bits and pieces though – Mamma Mia DVD, Vampire Weekend CD, a year’s worth of books…

I hope Santa brings you what your heart desires.
Merry Christmas lovelies, and a Happy New Year for 2009!

xx

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