Thoughts and other Miscellany

Thoughts for the end of the summer

which I just found lurking in my drafts. Thought it might be interesting anyway.

(this was supposed to be posted at the end of September).

Well, it’s wet and rainy in London; it was before I left for the US, it rained in London while I was pleasantly warm in the US, and it was still raining when I got back. I think we can comprehensively say that summer is over in the UK. Time for a review of the year so far.

I do 90% of my work between mid February and mid September. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t read a lot in that time. Things I have done instead of reading:

–    Learnt some basic Spanish: “According to him, she is not already walking towards the onions” (Segun él, ella no ya camina hacia las cebollas). I love that I can use Duolingo offline on the Tube and sync it at the stations. Now I just need a way to learn Korean for free online at my own pace, because I seem to have picked up a Korean client and I have NO Korean. I don’t even know the names of any Korean foods. Except kimchi, but I don’t know what that is.

–    Played quite a lot of cricket. Figures for the season are: with a top score of 51* against a team of 11-year-olds at Horsham (yes, I felt a bit mean), and best bowling figures of 7-2-9-5. I got through a whole cricket season without a shoulder or back injury, without dropping an important catch in a match (NB no catches came my way at all in the season, and I’m just fine with that), and without too many bruises.

–    Drove. A lot. My summer client is based outside London with regional offices all over the UK; Bunbury and I did 5,000+ miles together in the space of 2 months.

–    Visited Oxford a number of times: passing through for a wedding, passing through between Cheltenham and Bedfordshire, visiting Mini-Me.

–    Eat pad thai. Yum.

–    Go to the dentist.

I’ve discovered some new music:

–    Passenger’s Let Her Go is one of my favourite songs these days, I smile every time it’s played on the radio

–    Never having listened to any Daft Punk ever, this year’s addictive Get Lucky has wormed its way into my head. Stylist’s Spotify playlist “Not Get Lucky” also got a fair bit of airtime in Casa RWT.

–    (Gentle) electronica might be my new genre of 2013 – I’ve always derided it as mindless but it’s actually rather pleasant as background noise while I work. Is that damning with faint praise?

Things I should have done this summer that I haven’t:

–    Worked on my translation business – I’m over here at YES Languages if you want to hire me.

–    Worked on my university degree – “I love deadlines. I love that whooshing sound they make as they go by” pretty much sums up my approach to this degree unfortunately. Nearly done though.

–    Pretty much any form of exercise other than cricket. And let’s face it, in a cricket match, I run about 130 x 20m. (8 overs x 6 balls/over plus 2 extras in a spell = 50 run-ups; field the ball once per over for 40 overs = 40 short chases; bat for an average of 10 overs, running 4 singles per over, very few off my own bat = 40 runs = total 130 x 20m). Over the course of 6 hours, that’s not exactly high intensity exercise.

–    Got a haircut. I had my hair styled a la Kate Beckett from Castle back in January, and now it’s September. I think it’s the £50 price-tag on a visit to the salon that’s so offputting.

Things I am hoping to read in the next few months:

–    Gold by Chris Cleave because I borrowed it from a friend a long time ago, and it’s about cycling.

–    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn because everyone’s talking about it

–    More Elizabeth Wein because I loved Code Name Verity

–    More John Green because I quite enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, enjoyed Looking for Alaska more, and I’ve borrowed most of his work from Mini-Me in German so that should be a good linguistic challenge.

–    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo because my birthday present to myself will be a trip to the musical and it’s about time I read the original text.


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