Tag Archives: Books

Moving Part 3: Boxes – yay!

We have boxes – hurrah …

… All over the living room floor – not so hurrah.

Packing has begun and will be finished by this time tomorrow (blogging machine possibly excepted). I am determined to observe the Sabbath (even if it means getting up at stupid o’clock on Monday), so I can say goodbye properly to my lovely Church.

I have still got a bar and a bit of chocolate left, although it is left out in case it is needed. I have not turned the tokens into books yet since (thank you Daisy) tokens are easier to pack. I did, however, go and cash in my loyalty card at the local Christian bookstore and got 5 quid off Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (title may not be quite right – I have packed it).

Time for sleep I think.

I think I want to talk about NaCl, but I am not sure

I just wrote a really long post and clicked something which made it disappear into the ether. Lets hope that I can remember most of it.

Despite my earlier post, I haven’t yet posted anything about books. There are three reasons for this: firstly, I was saving it until I had nothing else to say; secondly, I haven’t been reading anything I would admit to recently and thirdly, I want to link to other websites, so need to give myself the time to remember how html works. Thanks to the wiblog FAQ, I think I have this last figured out. Time will tell.

Has anyone come across Library Thing? If not, make sure you have an hour or two to spare before clicking since it is the most effective procrastination tool I have yet come across. It allows you to create your own library catalogue of books you own, look at how many other people have the same books as you, and much, much more. The most addictive thing I have found is applying the correct cover to each book in your collection and then viewing them as a virtual bookshelf. I’ve not yet upgraded to a full account so I am limited to 200 books. This means that my collection at the moment is rather skewed towards books I want people to know I read. I actually read a greater proportion of rubbish than appears here.

Note: since starting to retype this post, library thing has been unavailable. Hopefully it will be back up again before too long. Thanks to Daisy, my regular commenter (commentator?), for the original recommendation of Library Thing.

Onto one of my favourite books from the last few years:
Salt by Mark Kurlansky
This is, no really, a book about salt, as in the stuff you cook with and spread on icy paths. It includes the history of salt making/harvesting/mining, the political significance of salt, the importance in food storage pre-refridgeration, some rather worrying recipes (take a barrel of salt, top up with X, leave for 6 months, pour into a jar) and other fascinating stuff. Kurlansky writes in a really engaging style, with stories interspersed with facts and information. I first read it on a train to Cologne, hardly noticed the channel tunnel and nearly forgot to change at Brussels. Since then, I have read it again on more than one occasion and found it just as interesting.

This book changed my life because: when I read fiction, particularly fantasy or historical fiction, I get distracted by working out how this community must get enough salt to preserve meat/fish etc. I also have a new respect for parma ham, one of my favourite things.

His other non-fiction is definitely on my wanted list.

On a related note, this is my favourite salt. It is nice enough to eat in small quantities straight from the packet and goes really well on a spinach and tomato salad with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Having just checked out the website, I can see that I am going to have to acquire some Maldon Pepper as well.

There, I think I remembered most of what I was going to say. One final question: Did I use the semi-colon in the first paragraph correctly? This punctuation lark is causing me no end of bother.

Moving Part 1: A deprived childhood results in some life lessons being missed

My colleagues have been asking me for the last month if I have started packing for the move. I haven’t, mainly due to a lack of information on various points, but also because I WAS CLEARLY NOT TAKING IT SERIOUSLY ENOUGH. I discover that this is not meant to be easy or fun, but a challenge to sanity and stress levels.

I have never moved house properly. I contrived to be out of the country both times my parents moved (not intentionally out of the country you understand, just conveniently) and I have always shoved stuff in the back of a car or van (driven by a parent). I now own a sofa, among other items of furniture, and so much random stuff that this approach will not work. I need complicated things like removal men and boxes. This scares me. Mr Farli is on holiday, so is excused from assisting at the moment. I am in charge.
[quantum leap] Oh boy. [/quantum leap]

My future employers are paying for the move, (hurrah!), but require multiple quotes to be sure they are getting a good deal. It took them a while to get their act together and tell me how to sort the paperwork, so I am left with only just over 2 weeks to organise. This is not enough time for removal men to come and look round to give a quote, so last night I found myself sitting an exam on my furniture and belongings.

Questions 1 through 3000(*): How many of X item of furniture do you have?

I had already made a list of furniture, so this was not too bad, but of 40 things I ticked, I had to item 10 of them separately, since they weren’t on the list. What is a “tallboy, normal” and, more worryingly, what is an abnormal one? Does it matter that I don’t possess one?

Question 3001: If a box for books holds 2 feet of shelving, how many do you need? Add in extra boxes for food and other small, heavy items.

Answer 3001, obtained after an hour of wandering around finding all the books and small heavy stuff (NB, maybe I should have paid attention in applied maths classes – this taxed me more than it should): 45.

45? Forty five? FORTY FIVE? I never thought I would say this, but I may have too many books. The trouble is that a lot of the shelves are double stacked, so I had to count them twice, and then there are the shelves where the books are stacked vertically. Then there was my current reading pile, which will require a special box all to itself.

Note to future self (1): Buy bookcases with shelves that are 1 or 2 feet wide, not 15 inches. Multiples of 15 inches are difficult when you are hot and tired.

Note to future self (2): You weren’t ever planning to move the bulk of your book collection out of Parents’ house were you?

I have been cunning: when the next exam paper arrives, I will cheat and use the answers from this one.

I can do this, no problem.

(*) An exaggeration? Maybe a little bit.

Reading matters

I like to read…

…a lot.

I’m guessing I’m going to be writing quite a bit about books so I thought I ought to warn you.

I’ve recently discovered essay anthologies as a concept. Previously, I’ve only really read novels, but threw myself into them, skipping at high speed through places like Middle Earth and Discworld. With essays, I have found I like to savour them, read them more slowly and enjoy the language. The lucky dip approach works well, flicking the pages until something catches the eye. This works with reference books too, particularly Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

I started to write about all the books I’m in the middle of reading at the moment, thinking that this might be an insight for you into the sort of person I am. The list got too long so I think you can safely conclude that I am better at starting things than finishing them. You will have to wait for more.

I think I shall go and push on with a worthy book, in the hope of getting quickly off to sleep.