1. Mr Mallon and I finally managed to see The Hobbit on Sunday. We’ve been wanting to go ever since it came out, but organising babysitting proved to be trickier than we anticipated. But on Sunday, some lovely friends from church took our kids home with them and we set off for Middle Earth. I really loved it. I was a bit concerned because we saw it in HFR 3-D which I had heard not very good things about, but I am obviously not a film-y enough person for it to matter as I couldn’t really tell much difference from a regular film. I am, however, geeky enough that I really enjoyed all the extra bits from elsewhere in Tolkein that Peter Jackson added into the story. I’m also exceedingly glad that he kept in the dwarves’ songs that they sang at Bilbo’s house. I’m very much looking forward to the next instalment. It should include my two favourite bits of the book – Bilbo rescuing the dwarves from the spiders in Mirkwood and Bilbo’s riddling conversation with Smaug. Can’t wait to see Smaug properly!
2. I have been reading Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. I mostly read fantasy, usually fantasy written for children or teenagers. So I recently decided I should stretch my wings a bit and read some grown up fiction, possibly in other genres. I wasn’t actually expecting to enjoy Mrs. Dalloway. I thought it would be a bit of a slog, probably mostly boring with a few mildly interesting bits. But it’s pretty short, so that seemed easy enough to deal with. Actually, I am loving it! It is very full of words (I know that all books are full of words, but this is very full of words in a different sort of way) and I have to slow my reading right down to take it all in, but I really enjoy the sort of stream-of-consciousness flitting about from one topic and character to the next. Who knew? I guess this is why it’s good to try new things. You never know when you’ll stumble across something new to love.
3. Betsy has just finished all the books we bought her for Christmas and was in need of some new stuff. So I went online and reserved her some library books that I thought she might enjoy – just like I do for myself. (In case you’re wondering they were: How to Train Your Dragon, a Fantastic Five book, the first book of The Spiderwick Chronicles, the first from A Series of Unfortunate Events and one of the Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence). She found this immensely exciting. I guess reserving specific books instead of just turning up and seeing what’s on the shelves is a very grown up sort of things to do in Betsy’s mind. Now we’ll just have to see what she reads. She has inherited my habit of keeping lots of books on the go at the same time, so it will take a few days to see what she ends up settling down with and actually finishing. This new world of Betsy being able to read whatever you put in front of her feels like strange, uncharted territory for us at the moment. I guess I’ll soon get used to vying with her over who gets to read what first. (I’ve got my eye on her Roman Mystery book – I’ve never read those and it looks fab.)
4. Last night we finally put away the last of our Christmas decorations. This has been the one thing that’s made me realise we no longer have very small children. In years past I’ve been more than ready to take the tree down on New Year’s Eve due to the stress of grabbing hands and fragile, sentimentally valuable glass things, but this year there has been almost no shouting about people keeping their hands off the Christmas tree and the ornaments. My babies are getting so grown up!
5. This week (hopefully) we will be getting a new cooker and a new dishwasher. The cooker has been broken for a month, and the dishwasher hasn’t worked properly for 3-4 months. I was hoping we would be able to just get them repaired, but it turns out they were a bit too broken for that. I’m thinking that life will seem an awful lot easier once the new appliances are installed and working!
6. I told my friend, Anna, that I started a blog and was trying to explain Ten on Tuesday to her. She’s not a very internet-y person (despite being a professional website builder and search engine optimiser), being far too busy with useful, real life tasks and hobbies. I don’t think she completely grasped the concept, but she wanted me to share a fact with you all. When you break down people’s overall energy consumption, 13% of an individual’s overall energy usage goes towards infrastructure like the energy it takes to build and maintain roads and stuff like that. Anna is an eco-warrior (her ultimate goal in life is to live in a yurt next to her forest garden, and she’s part of a group which is hoping to make Frodsham a Transition Town). She seems very concerned about this statistic. We should all be trying to live off grid with our own water source… that would make her happy. 🙂
7. I suggested to my lovely sister that my kids may like to receive sticker books for Christmas, and she obligingly bought them several. Now, I’m wondering what possessed me to make such a suggestion. Sticker books always sound like a great idea to me in theory, but they inevitably just mean that I find bits of sticker all over the house for weeks on end. It drives me completely nuts. They do seem to derive a great amount of pleasure from them, though.
8. Birthday season is swiftly approaching here in the Mallon house. We have 3 birthdays in 3 weeks beginning at the end of January. There is me, then The Boy, then Pippi. Perhaps one day I will learn that I need to be super organised in the run up to birthday season, and that parties really need to be planned sooner rather than later. But it’s not a lesson I seem to have learned yet. Really must get on to the birthday party planning!
9. On Friday, the kids and I along with another American friend and her kids made a pilgrimage to one of the few Taco Bells in the UK. I guess this particular Taco Bell has been right there in Manchester, practically next door to our town for quite a while without my realising. I can’t say Taco Bell was ever a particular favourite of mine before I moved here, but it is super-cheap and therefore, I ate there pretty regularly. And as fast food is the number one, non-family related thing I miss from America, I had to go. So we made the epic journey into city centre Manchester (I despise driving in unfamiliar places especially when I’m not entirely sure how to get where I’m going) with a people carrier full of hungry children. Of course, the hungry children refused to eat the food I bought for them (since their default position is to reject anything new that is presented to them for eating). But I enjoyed my little meal of nostalgia.
10. I have decided that thinking up things to talk about on the blog is not as easy as I expected. What do you guys like talking about and hearing about?