Ramble #4

It’s been a funny old week! I had some extra holiday left to take, so I had Monday, Tuesday afternoon, and Thursday off work. I still haven’t read any books – doh! – I am reading like 4 at the moment, they’re all very good, I just haven’t managed to finish one yet.

On Monday I went shopping with my Mum. I bought a lot in Primark…I only went in for a red hoodie and some socks but thus is the nature of walking into Primark, you always come out with more than you went in for! I did some secret shopping for my Dad (i.e. buying presents for Mum on his behalf) and I bought 3 books…mainly because my primark bag was about to break…at least that’s what I’m telling myself. 2 of the 3 books I got are sequels to two different series I’ve been eagerly anticipating, the third was an impulse buy because I was lured by the ‘buy one get one half price’ offer.

We also had cake and hot chocolate/tea at M&S in the afternoon, which was both delicious and naughty as both of us are not supposed to eat sugar!

Tuesday was exciting, my friend and colleague had her 60th birthday and I had been hording her Birthday presents, anxiously and eagerly awaiting to gift them to her. I got her 8 books…but I thought long and hard about our book conversations over this year and picked some books I knew she’d like and some books I thought would expand her interests. She was very pleased with them, which in turn made me happy.

I got my hair done on Tuesday afternoon. I always have to book 1/2 day’s holiday for my hair as it takes about 3 hours to get it done. I have thick hair! My hairdresser always jokes that it takes him longer to dry my hair than it does to put dye in it! I just get a warmer brown on my roots and to cover my expanding grey hairs. It is my one expense in life and one I’m happy to spend.

I think I spoke in my last ramble about how un-christmassy people in my office are. I gave out my Christmas cards on Wednesday and people moaned that I was too organised and too early…We break for Christmas on the 20th. I don’t think it was that early?!?! What do you think?

I had Thursday off also. I helped my Mum to set up the nativity at her church, we got hay and straw everywhere! We went to Secrets Food Shop and Secrets Garden Centre. It was a miserable rainy, windy, cold day, so we tried to make the most of it. In the Food Shop – which I could literally spend all day in! – we mostly bought cheese for Christmas. In the Garden Centre, we got some more pink baubles – pink is the theme for this years Christmas Tree – and I got some last minute treats for my nephew and some acrylic paint for glossing the boxes I sell on Etsy.

For reference, this is the type of thing I sell. Actually this is one of my favourite pieces I’ve created this year. I get better the more I do, and it really helps with my OCD and learning that not everything can be perfect.

People at work, at home, and friends have been teasing me about my Christmas spreadsheets. Listen, I love a good list. I have a big family on both sides and many friends and I LOVE giving gifts. The spreadsheets are necessary to keep track of presents and spending and make sure I don’t get confused. I’ve already done the layout for next years spreadsheet – and just because I’m proud of it, here it is:

I colour-coded it for next year! You can’t see it but on the next page is my budget for Christmas. This year I was under the budget I set, so I hope I will be able to stay under it again in 2020. It’s my preferred way of doing things and this December is the first when I’ve not had to worry about money because I’ve had everything sorted – Christmas Wise – by end of November. I’m a big believer of only gifting presents that people will use. Whether I’m shopping online or in store, I’m always asking myself the question ‘but will they use it?/will they enjoy it?’. Because, I think, at Christmas especially, people get wrapped up in the idea of all the presents and the commercial aspect that I think some of the magic is lost and people get grumpier about the whole idea.

Book wise, because otherwise I’ll never stop talking about Christmas. Over this weekend I hope to finish 5 books, these are the books I have on the go and I’m about halfway through each of them!

  • Bring Them Home by D.S. Butler – Kindle
  • The Good Sisters by Helen Phifer – Kindle
  • Ragdoll by Daniel Cole – Kindle
  • Possession by Peter James – Paperback
  • Prophesy by Peter James – Paperback

I’ve kind of got a busy Saturday but Sunday is empty and I have Monday off as well.

I reached my reading goal back in September. To read 100 books in a year was something I thought was going to be challenging and I didn’t think I would finish it so quickly. As of now I’ve read 130 books, and I hope to reach 150 by the end of this year. My goal for next year will be to read 150 in the year. If I can pass that, I might up it to 200 in 2021!!!

My tastes have changed again this year. I used to read books across all genres but in the last few months I’ve only been reading Children’s books and Crime/Thriller novels, and that suits me quite fine. I stay away from YA books, romance books and non-fiction books, the first two because I find them too predictable and the latter because I usually find it hard to process.

I’ve started to pick my Top Ten for 2019, but I had to make 2 lists. One for series and one for stand alone books – because I had too many that I thought were winners.

I’m kind of cruising till the end of the year because I’ve done most of the things I needed to do for Christmas and to see me through till the end of the year.

I’ll end with this joke, which was today’s advent from the people I save money with:

Why are Christmas Trees so bad at sewing?

Because they always drop their needles!

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