Tag: Empress Orchid

Words and books

I’m blaming Stephen Fry.

I tried, I really did try and read his autobiography but it just didn’t flow for me. As wonderful a wordsmith as he is, it just didn’t read well, the flow and cadence was wrong and I found myself slowing down to read things in his voice. Whilst I like Stephen Fry, taking him to bed every night got a bit taxing.

So I gave up. I stopped. I admitted defeat and stopped reading which isn’t something I’ve done before.

Actually that’s a lie, I’ve given up a several books after faltering in the first few pages but that’s different. That’s like taking the first bite of a meal before realising it’s not what you wanted, or isn’t sitting kindly on the palate, and so you call over the chef (cook, wife, whatever), send the meal back and ask for something else.

No, this was different and it took me a while to realise that, although I’d read over half of the damn thing, I just wasn’t enjoying it.

That got me thinking about things I do enjoy, things I don’t enjoy, and which things I would have to change in my life to get more of the former and less of the latter.

And before my mother pitches up, yes I know life includes things you don’t enjoy but need to do but gosh darnit I’m all grown up now and if I can’t sway things more in the favour of enjoyableness then… well… that’s just not fair! Or some other slightly more reasoned argument that I can’t quite think of at this time of the morning.

With that in mind, one of my New Year resolutions (and I’m very aware of such things, setting yourself up for failure and all that) is to read more. Like my resolutions of last year, I’ve written it (and two others) on a piece of paper and wedged it in the frame of the mirror I use everyday, so I have a constant reminder of such things.

I am now reading, and enjoying, Empress Orchid. A tale of the last Empress of China, a story with characters, intrigue, passion and no small amount of gorgeous imagery. It’s nice to find myself enjoying the act of reading again, and perhaps I’ve dwelt too long on “professional” books in the past couple of years. I need to make more time for the novel.

Which means my rather quiet Goodreads account should start seeing a few more regular updates. It also tells me I have 34 books in my ‘to-read’ pile but don’t let that stop you recommending me more.

This is not Friends

If it was, this would be the “one where nothing that interesting happens because, you know, life is mostly like that”.

Or perhaps it would be the “one where all anyone seems to be talking about is the snow and ice”.

Or, most realistically, it would be the “one where he spends all day doing nothing much despite the fact he has two websites to design yet can find no inspiration whatsoever, so instead he’s been reading Empress Orchid which he is quite enjoying”.

Which basically means that one of my quieter, unspoken, New Year resolutions has kicked in (read books), where as the ones I spoke out loud have faltered already (exercise and lose weight). Not that I take these things seriously, they are more a passing curiosity to be honest.

And it’s not like I don’t have other things on my mind.

Like the fact our boiler packed up on Friday. Well, it didn’t pack up, per se, more just stopped working and, it seems, I won’t be the only person suffering as it’s a ‘known trait’ of the modern condensing boiler for the very mechanism it uses to fail in cold weather.

I’d be less miffed about this if we’d been allowed to choose the type of boiler we got fitted a couple of years ago but we didn’t, the government chose it for us. So we have a condensing boiler, which includes a condenser trap which, in very cold weather, freezes. It’s a common complaint, apparently. Which helps us not a jot.

Although it’s fair to say the government did help me find out that we have cavity wall insulation in the house, something I didn’t know already but which the nice man who came round to talk about the government grant figured out after drilling a hole in the wall.

Ohh and I’ve had a haircut.

Yup, life doesn’t get much more interesting than this people!