Monday, October 31, 2005


I apologise for the lack of posting here recently, but my lack of computer at home is really starting to get to me! The only chance I have to do this is at work, and we have recently been warned about the use of the Internet and especially the updating of blogs at work. So I guess I have to be quite careful when doing this!

Anyway, I have a few bits of news to report. This weekend I went to Somerset to visit my friend and go to the most amazing Halloween party ever! Over here in the UK, Halloween isn’t as big as over in the States, although I’m sure every year the shops are becoming more and more ‘Americanised’, and are stocking the shelves with pumpkins, and outfits, ghosts and ghoulies to fill the need of any imaginative person! But anyway, I digress. This party was incredible. The guy who owns the house takes the week before the party off work to decorate and get things ready. He didn’t have the biggest house, but absolutely everywhere that could be decorated was. There were skeletons that talked monsters that groaned, and Ghouls that squealed hanging on the walls. Spider webs adorned every surface and corner, complete with spiders (ick!). There was a buffet, and a BBQ, homemade cocktails consisting of Vampire Blood, Green Gloop and biohazard. My friends and I went dressed up as witches, with wigs, hats and cloaks, with my friend’s husband as a Ghostbuster. He’d spent about 6 hours making the proton pack and the box to contain the Ghosts in. He looked awesome! All in all it was just an amazing night, we spent the evening standing and chatting, having a good catch up, then mingling with some of the other guests, have those random conversations that only happen with strangers after a few drinks. I met this one guy and we had a very in depth talk about destiny and how to approach life! I love those types of chats! Then as we were leaving the party to walk home, the heavens opened, and it absolutely poured down with rain. But it didn’t matter to any of us; it was just a bit of fun! Splashing in puddles like we were six years old again! Soaking wet but full of giggles, we stepped into the house, and put on our pyjamas, then proceeded to dance around the kitchen like mad people! Listening to The Killers Hot Fuss album, and Tenacious D, we were head-banging around the kitchen floor! My neck is now very painful! :-)

My journey back from Taunton, however, put a bit of a downer onto the whole weekend of fun. It took me 5 ½ hours to get back to Derby, due to the train services being cancelled. I had to take a coach for most of the journey, which is just so slow. However, a plus to this is that I met the greatest guy. We were sat on a coach from Gloucester to Birmingham for about 2 hours, and we just started to chat. It was so easy to talk to him. He’s a French and German teacher in Birmingham, teaching 11-16 year olds. He’s been to South America, Canada and New Zealand, been sky diving, bungee jumping, skiing. He’s into similar kinds of books and films as me, and had the same kind of opinions on many things that we talked about. I think the longest we went without talking was about 5 minutes when we were just arriving into Birmingham Station. We parted ways at the train Station and I didn’t even find out his name. At the time I quite liked the anonymity of it all, to have such an in depth conversation with a total and utter stranger, but as soon as I got on my bus to get back to Derby I regretted not finding out his name. We got on so well and as far as I was concerned there was a little bit of chemistry going on there too. I was tempted to ask him if he wanted to go and get a coffee before setting off for home, but I chickened out! I guess it’ll just be one of those regrets we have that we can’t change. I am a believer in fate, and if I’m meant to meet my mystery man again, then I will, if not then the whole experience will just be a story to tell the new people I meet instead.

On the train on the way down to Taunton though, I finished another book, The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shrieve. It wasn’t the best book that I’ve ever read, but it certainly wasn’t bad. I got so sucked into the book again that when certain things happened (I won’t go into what in case people want to read it) I felt the same emotions as the characters. I always think it quite silly talking about that, because it is essentially just a book! It’s not real. But I still can’t help becoming part of it, and going though what the characters go through too. I do recommend other people to read this, it’s quite an easy going book, but has lots of intrigue that will keep you turning the pages, right up until the very last sentence.

My T’ai Chi is going well, I’ve had two lessons now, and I’m loving it. It’s much harder work than I thought it would be, but it makes you feel great after. You feel so chilled out, centred and relaxed, but totally energised at the same time. As if you could take on the world! I am looking forward to lesson number 3!

Well, as I’m at work, I should probably go. I hope every one is well, and that you all have a safe but wonderful Halloween!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Just some random thoughts from the past couple of weeks…

I’ve finished Harry Potter. WOW! I need the next one now, but it’ll take forever to come out, like the last ones! I was reading it on a train, and at one point, I was sat at a train station platform trying very hard not to cry! I was getting some very strange looks from passers by. But the book was wonderful, one of those that you really can’t put down. I would start reading as I got into bed, thinking, "I’ll just read for 10 minutes or so." 2 hours later, I’d still be going, only just able to see the words, because my eyes want to sleep!

Derby is looking so pretty at this time of year. The leaves are all changing colours, and as I walk down the street towards my house, it’s like walking through confetti. The trees are shedding their leaves like rain. I love the variety of shapes and sizes, there are big star shaped ones, small heart shaped ones, middle-sized arrow shaped ones, in brown, yellow, red and orange. It’s beautiful. Hopefully in the next couple of days I’ll have the software I need to be able put photos on here, so you’ll be able to see for yourself what I’m talking about.

I am starting a T’ai Chi class this week. I went to an introduction class last week and have decided to sign up. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for so long now, and what’s more, is it’s taking place just down my road. The introduction class was awesome. There was a fair amount of people there, and we all sat and listened as our teacher gave a quick talk about the WuTan School of Martial Arts, and how it was set up. Then he told us about the different forms of T’ai Chi, and which one we’ll be learning, (which I’ve forgotten already!). After that, we all got up and did the warm up, and then he taught us the first section of the form. It was amazing; my fingers were tingling with the energy. The whole room was filled with the energy being emitted from us all, and by the time we had finished I was so relaxed it felt amazing, but at the same time I was totally energised. I am really looking forward to this Thursday for the first proper class. It’s a 16-week course, by the end of which we will have learnt the complete form. After we had done our little bit, the instructor and his intermediate class performed the full form for us. It’s so graceful and peaceful; I can’t wait until I can do that too. I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s going.

There are so many movies out right now that I really want to see, but I have no one to go with, or even the money to buy the tickets with. I know, I know, get out those tiny violins for me! But I love going to the cinema, that suspended animation, and I haven’t been for so long. Unfortunately, here my nearest movie theatre isn’t close enough to walk to, and as I don’t have a car, I either have to rely on other people, or get a taxi. I don’t really like to do either, so I just have to wait until one of my friends with a car suggests that we go! I guess I’ll just have to wait until they come out of DVD. Anyway…rant over.

As I touched on earlier, I should hopefully have the means to download photos from my phone onto the computer sometime this week, which means I’ll be able to illustrate my little blog with a few photos from here and there. Everywhere I go, I see things that I want to take pictures of, and now that I have a camera phone, I’m able to do it. However, the quality of the pictures is not amazing, but it’s better than nothing. I have a theme that I’ve been working on for a little while, that I think will make a lovely blog entry, but you’ll just have to wait for that I’m afraid!

Well, I’m at work, so I should probably get back to it. I hope everyone is well, and looking forward to Halloween – I know I am!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Rach's Book List

I have been asked what is in my current pile of books, and what else I would recommend to read. Well, right now I'm reading the latest Harry Potter Book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. When the books first came all those years ago, I was determined not to get sucked into the whole Harry Potter mania that came with it. I didn't want to just jump on the bandwagon because everyone was raving about them. It took me until the 4th book had come out to start reading them, and only then it was because my older sister had read them all, and she literally threw the first one at me saying, "READ IT...YOU'LL LOVE IT!" So I did, and she was right...I read all 4 in about 3 weeks, which is good going for me! And that was it, I was hooked. I've read them all almost as soon as they were released, with the exception of this one because of my addiction to the Dark Tower series! But now that I've started it, I can't put it down! I think one of the reasons I like the Harry Potter so much, (and one of the reasons J.K. Rowling was criticized for it) is because it's not always good winning over evil; bad things happen, and yes, people die. She was slated for it because it was upsetting to children, her primary audience. But I disagree, I think it prepares them for the life ahead, when evil things do happen, and the good people don't always win.

After that I have list of books to read in no particular order that include:-

Lucia Lucia
- Adriana Trigiani. I have never read any of her books before, but both my mom and my sister have and say that they are just lovely. This one was given to me by some very good friends, who pretty much ordered me to read it, because they think it will change the way I look at life. So when I've read that one, I'll let you know what I think.

The Devil and Miss Primm
- Paulo Coelho. I absolutely love his books. The first one I read was The Alchemist a few years back, and that really did change the way I looked at life. It was the kind of book that I couldn't put down, no matter what time of the night it was, and when I had finished I just sat there on my bed and couldn't think of a thing to say. I love the way he writes about religion and the like, without preaching, and without stuffing it down your throat. Last year I read The Fifth Mountain which is about a small town's struggle with differing religions, having been introduced to Christianity with the arrival of a stranger. It was very much about there being just one God to worship (which I am not a big believer of), but it never felt like I was being told that I must believe it. Veronika Decides to Die is also a life changing book. Although the title suggests a depressing subject matter, and in parts it does touch on it, the basis of the book is actually very uplifting. I'm looking forward to reading this next one.

The Pilot's Wife
- Anita Shreive. Again, this one was given to me by my sister, who as already read it, and raved about it. I haven't read any of hers either, but I'm told that this one in particular is very good. I don't even know what it's about, so I can't really say much about this one, but once again, when I have read it I'll let you all know what I think about it.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven -
Mitch Albom. I started to read this ages ago, but surprise, surprise the next Dark Tower book became available, so I need to finish this one off. Most of my friends have read it and say it's lovely. So I'm looking forward to finishing that one off!

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Douglas Adams. I read the first book years ago having listened to the old radio show as a child. I loved it. It was normal enough to relate to, but out there enough to be absolutely hilarious!!! For Christmas last year my friend bought be the complete series, so I have all of them to read now!

Books 5 and 6 of the Anita Blake - Vampire Hunter Series - Laurell K. Hamilton. However, its been so long since I read the other 4 that I think I might have to start from the beginning again! These books are amazing. My friend in America gave me the first one to read telling me that I would be hooked within the first 30 pages...Boy was he right! They are full of excitement, thrills, a bit of a love story going on in there too! They're awesome! I'll have to pick them up again when I have a load of time to re-read the first 4!
I think that might be it for the time being, but there are always books that I want to read, and everytime I go into a bookstore I have to restrain myself from buying more!!!

As for books that I recommend - that I have already read...Anything by Nicholas Sparks. He wrote The Notebook, Message in a Bottle and some others. They are wonderful feel good books. They are so beautifully written too, the descriptions are so detailed you're in the book with them! Or the three books by Nicholas Evans - The Horse Whisperer, The Loop and The Smoke Jumper. All three are wonderful books that again, I could not put down. I cannot recommend these highly enough! For those of us who are science fiction/fantasy fans, David Eddings' books are fantastic. The Belgariad a series of 5 about a small boy who discovers he is actually a very power wizard is the first set, followed by The Mallorean - same characters, different story. I have read them over and over again, and they never lose their magic (excuse the pun!!!!)

Well, I think that's probably enough about that....Thanks for sticking it out if you've got this far....lists are never fun to read!

I hope I've inspired some of you to check out some new stuff!

Happy Reading!