Ten on Tuesday

Well, here we are… Tuesday again. And I’m back with ten random and possibly mildly interesting (or not) things to tell you about my life.

1.  A new cooker has been purchased and installed chez Mallon, although not without a great deal of angst and difficulty. If you are friends with me on Facebook or Twitter, you are perhaps already bored with the saga. Suffice it to say, the oven (which we meticulously measured for before its arrival) did not fit into its allocated space. The marvellous Mr Mallon, however, managed to take apart nearly an entire wall of our kitchen and sort it out. We now have a lovely, new and working oven. We will be consuming only foods cooked in said oven for the next week!  Hooray! And we now await delivery of a new dishwasher… the most life transforming of all major appliances in my mind.

2. Yesterday the kids and I conducted our weekly grocery shopping trip. The Boy walked next to my trolley singing “Call Me Maybe” at the top of his voice the entire way around the shop. I have to admit that I found his enthusiasm for that particular song quite embarrassing. I try to expose my children to a wide range of music. If he was going to cause everyone we walked past to look at us and smile, he could have at least picked a song that would make me feel smug about his erudite musical tastes!

3. Over the weekend I read The Fault in Our Stars. It was amazingly good. It’s not the sort of book that I normally read (being firmly grounded in reality) but everywhere I turn people are talking about it. I’m not going to say too much about it here as I read it as part of a book club and we haven’t discussed it yet. But I will say… you should all run straight out and read it. It’s about two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. It is not as depressing as it sounds, in fact, it is far funnier than I was expecting. It is also desperately sad. But very lovely. Seriously, go read it.

4. I also read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller this past weekend. Again, it was a fantastic read. I’ve had it on hold at the library since September when I’d heard several people saying good things about it. It was worth the wait. It tells the story of The Iliad from the perspective of Patroclus, the companion of Achilles. I have never (as I realised when I started reading this book) read all of The Iliad, although I am familiar with many parts of the story. The sign of a good adaptation/retelling – as soon as I finished this book, I ran off to start reading the original. So again I say to you… go and read this book. (A small disclaimer… it is a homosexual love story. That might bother some of you, so I thought I should mention it!)

5. During my weekend reading a question came to me. Why do so many characters in books have green eyes? I have known only one person in my life that I can recall who had really green eyes. But so many book characters have green eyes… Harry Potter, Lily Potter, Percy Jackson, Howl Jenkins, Achilles, Erl King… these are just off the top of my head. And it’s usually guys with the green eyes. So what’s up with that, I ask you? Actually, people spend a lot more time noticing one another’s eye colour in books than in real life. Or maybe it’s just me; I don’t immediately check to see what colour people’s eyes are and could probably only give you a definite answer about the eye colour of a handful of people who I know. Authors, however, seem to think it is an essential detail that we must know about a character. Odd.

6. My friend Anna and I decided that a weekly feature of my Ten on Tuesday should be a little fact from her. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the fact that she gave me for this week. I think it had to do with vultures… maybe? But anyhow, Anna has started a blog too, Pop to the Green Man. It’s all about low impact living. Go check it out. And next week I will bring you the vulture fact (because I know you are dying to hear it) as well as another.

7. It is the time of year when Mr Mallon begins talking about tents. We own 6 tents (could be 7, I’ve lost track). I think this year he may actually not be coveting any more tents. He always has a couple “dream tents” on a list somewhere that he would snap up if he could. But we may have finally reached the stage where he agrees that we have a tent for every eventuality and should just get on with the business of camping instead of just lusting after gear. This year my goal is to go to Anglesey. This is not a lofty or ambitious goal, it’s only an hour and a half away for goodness sake! But I have never been, and I know that is utterly lovely. I’m thinking a plan is needed and I should do some research. Anyone know of any nice campsites in Anglesey? (Our standard of nice – lovely setting, toilets and showers, not too regimented. We’d probably even settle for something without toilets/showers if need be!)

8. I dusted my chest of drawers yesterday. This may not seem like news to you, but believe me, it’s pretty big news around here. I’m not sure I had ever dusted it since we moved into this house 2.5 years ago. Seriously, the top of the dresser was so bad that my earrings would get lost amidst the piles of dust! It’s now clean and organised. All jewellery has a home and large tumble weeds of dust are no longer roaming throughout my bedroom. It’s very pleasing.

9. The other day, I observed They Boy walk over to a Barbie and say, “Hey, sweet-cheeks.” I think we need to monitor the kids television viewing a bit more closely!

10. Betsy has started recommending books to me. I’m loving this! I am just the same. When I read a book that I love, I want everyone else to read it to, so that we can all talk about it endlessly.(What? You’ve already noticed that about me? I’m shocked!) Betsy seems to share this passion. So I will shortly be reading the first four Betsy-Tacy books at her request. I’m thinking it’s a good thing I enjoy children’s books…

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