Tagged: Christmas

re:View – The 2011 bookshelf III

Well, this has certainly been my discovering Pratchett year. I fell in love with Discworld after a friend gave me The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky (both reviewed in part 1), and once I’d got hooked on the magic there was just no stopping. I particularly love the witches, so I went with their storyline for my first proper exploration of the Discworld universe…and then spent the rest of the year reading mostly Pratchett as well. So here we go, the third and last part of my epic 2011 book review.

I Shall Wear Midnight
by Terry Pratchett | amazon (UK)

Oh wow, that was dark. Prattchet’s teenage witch has certainly grown up, and for a witch that means facing a whole lot more than puberty. This book made me realise once again why I love Pratchett so much: It’s comic fantasy, but there’s a balance, a kind of very practical-minded morality to it. With Pratchett magic’s not all sparks and glamour; it has consequences and requires sacrifices. And so I Shall Wear Midnight reveals that Tiffany’s dallying with her magical powers in the previous volumes didn’t only lead her into immediate showdowns with mythical enemies, but has also conjured up a much more complex force from a deep, dark corner of history – one that’s frighteningly human. Where there’s witches, there’s always people with a stake, and history tends to go in cycles and repeat itself. And with the ancient spirit of a powerful witch-hunter on the loose and turning her land against her, the stakes are high for Tiffany. Meanwhile, there’s still that issue with boys being idiots…

Read it? Yes. And read the other three first!

Continue reading

London Christmas lights cheat

Christmas lights. All over Oxford Street.

Have I somehow dropped out of the general timeline? Because in my world it’s not Christmas. It’s not even December. It’s the first week of fucking November. I mean, come on. The Halloween pumpkins aren’t even done rotting yet!

And then, they’re not even real Christmas lights. They’re fucking sparkly advertising screens for A Christmas Carol. I know Christmas is all about selling stuff, and then selling a little more stuff. But shouldn’t at least the Christmas lights be, like, sacred? Just a little?

Or maybe it’s just little, naive me, from my little small town full of 100% Christmas-y, non-commercial Christmas lights. (In December. Where they belong.)

Talk about selling your soul to Disney. Ur doin it rite, London.

It’s a hard elf’s life

The good thing about sitting at your desk day and night in a complete deadline panic is that you get a round the clock insight into your neighbours’ lives. Well, at least if your desk is right next to your window.

Mr and Mrs Across the Street had their decorating day today. I watched them wrestle a fat, dark green needle monster out of the boot and through the front door. A few seconds later, they wobbled it into the living room.

Now, you need to know that Mr and Mrs Across the Street, for some reason, leave their enormous front room window completely uncurtained (and otherwise undshielded from nosey passers-by) at any time of the day. And since the room is just opposite my own and across the street from our backyard, I’m the lucky owner of a front-row ticket to The Life of Mr and Mrs Across the Street.

(The downside is that they, in turn, get an unobstructed view of my late night Salsa body movement practice in front of the mirror. Obsessive hip pushing and nearly-there body rolls may be acceptable if executed in a frilly red skirt in the pseudo-Cuban atmosphere of a badly-lit Salsa bar, but a South Yorkshire terrace house and fluffy baby blue Primark reindeer pajamas are just so not latina. I do use my curtains now.)

But I digress. Having witnessed the arrival of The Tree, I moved my writing agony business from desk to bed for a while – change of perspective and stuff, you know. For the rest of the afternoon I only occasionally noticed some elf-like tree-orbiting across the street when I left my position on a tea or chocolate quest.

As the semi-daylight surrendered to the general meteorological misery and made its exit around four o’clock, I ventured to the window, prepared to admire the seasonal masterpiece.

And there was the needle monster, its vast body embellished with a breathtaking total of five yellow lights blinking a little lost and rather nervously at me across dusky suburbia.

Merry Christmas, Mr and Mrs Across the Street.