The Beach Hut

The Beach Hut

Thursday, 12 March 2015

This can't be right, this is for the Radio 4 Book Club

Terry Pratchett had a very devoted following but I was never into the Fantasy genre so had barely even heard his name until about eight years ago.

I was following the Radio 4 book club; one book a month with a radio interview with the author at the end of the month.  I started because I felt I was too unadventurous in my choice of books; I invariably chose something classic like Dickens or Steinbeck, or biographies and autobiographies with a very occasional romance, and I really wanted to read something a bit different.  I bought the books every month from my local Waterstones but when it came to the month we read Mort by Terry Pratchett I couldn't find a copy on the shelves.  I asked the assistant for help and she went off and came back soon after putting on the counter an average-sized paperback and I could see from the picture on the cover that it was fantasy.  "This can't be right," I said, somewhat imperiously, looking down my nose at the book and the assistant, "this is for the Radio 4 book club."  "Well that's Mort by Terry Pratchett," replied the assistant, so I swallowed my pride and paid for the book which I quickly slipped into my bag before anyone else saw what I was buying.

During the 12 months that I followed the book club on Radio 4 I read 11 books, none of which I would have read otherwise.  There was only one book that I gave up on - there are times when you just feel that life's too short.  While all 11 books were an experience that I wouldn't want to have missed I actually only truly enjoyed two; and Mort was one of those.  It was unputdownable, total escapism, and beautifully written.  To this day I've only ever read that one Terry Pratchett book and I loved it. 

RIP Terry Pratchett.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Excuses, Excuses, Nothing but Excuses

Not much seems to have changed since I wrote my last blog.  I'm registered on my chosen course but it's take me until now to get onto the website to download all the course material for my first module and order some of the books which are required reading.  I seem to have forgotten my email password so am having problems communicating with the university and getting access to the journals I need in the library.  In addition I have a new computer - it seemed a good idea since my old one was a small netbook and had become very slow; well, it was four years old.  This will be a benefit but for now I'm held up again because my new computer works with Windows 8.1 and so I have a whole new operating system to get to grips with.

On the plus side I have received my library card and hope to soon have permission to use my local university library, I have also received my NUS Extra card which means I can get discounts in various places - something I knew nothing about for the five years when I was studying before.

For now I have lots of reading to do if I'm going to finish my first assignment by 22 April.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

What happened to 2014?

I knew it had been some time since my last post, but October 2013?!

A lot happened in 2014: My youngest son and I both graduated, him with a 2:1 in Politics and Social Policy and me with a 2:2 in Voluntary Sector Studies, my eldest son got married and my middle son became a father.  Once I graduated I spent a lot of time on some long neglected hobbies - sewing and knitting.  I've uploaded some photos below.

So much for 2014, how's that for a quick update?

I spent much of the last weeks of 2014 trying to make up my mind about following up my first degree with a post-grad in Health, Ethics and Society and I finally made my decision last week and signed up.

I foresee my blog from here on largely being about life as a mature distance learner working full-time.