If We Were Having Coffee… On Jan 7

Hello my lovely booklovers,

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

Can you believe we’re already a week into the year 2017?? I rang it in last Sunday with the Season 4 premiere of Sherlock and O.M.G. my poor babies! That show is brilliant and devastating in equal measures. It continues tomorrow and I have already ordered the DVD. Did / Do you watch Sherlock? What did you think? I have so many theories after The Six Thatchers!

If we were having coffee today, we’d sit inside, wrap up warm in blankets, and sip hot beverages. I got my new Senseo coffee maker working, so I am offering coffee, hot cocoa and tea. It’s -5°C outside and the streets and pavements are covered in black ice – I actually had to hold on to the picket fence in front of the house, grab the concrete bin boxes and lastly crawl across the driveway on my hands and knees so I wouldn’t fall again, because I’ve already landed on my behind once today. We’re halfway up a hill, and the driveway is split into a level entrance and a basement parking structure, so the top of that ramp is incredibly slippery. Unfortunately, it’s also right outside my door. My fingers were burning it was so cold, and my coat stuck to the metal of the bin box doors.

Have you read any books yet? I have joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge and set myself a goal of 70 books this year. I have read Ajax Penumbra 1969, which I loved, and I am currently reading A Darker Shade of Magic and listening to How the Marquis got his Coat back. So far, I have been asked by one author to review their book (which I will do next), and I have purchased a few books from an indie bookstore in the US that not only stocks signed copies, but also organises readings and signings. Two of the books will hopefully be personalised next week when the authors hold their readings there. I’m also making an effort to support more of my Nanohana (the FB NaNoWriMo family of writers) and my first NaNo book of 2017 will be Grae Beginnings by the lovely Ronnie (R.R. Virdi). Have I mentioned that it’s not hoarding, when it concerns books?

My plan for 2017 is to review everything as soon as I’ve read it – and I am still playing catch-up with the reviews I know I should have posted in 2016. Those will be back-dated and should be going live on this blog oer the next few weeks.

Writing-wise, I have quite a few little projects in general this year:

  • book reviews and posts for this blog
  • a recipe collection (preserve gran’s recipes)
  • a novel (NaNoWriMo?)
  • a new research proposal

Yes. A new research proposal! And I will have to write this very quickly, as my deadline is Feb 1. That’s because I have decided that I want to continue my studies and hopefully start the journey towards a PhD. There’s a university about 2 hours from here that offers an international PhD programme focusing on cultural and literary studies, which sounds perfect to me. And I even had an offer that, should I get the place, my tuition fees will be paid for me (for a private source, though it’s just €300 per semester, so not that bad). We also have friends in the university’s town, so I might be able to stay with them until I find my own place or they could at least help me orientate myself there. BUT, deadline for the October 2017 start is February 1, so I don’t have much time to prepare. I’m a bit worried, because it all stresses me out. Getting my M.A. while battling mental health issues was hard, and feel a bit overwhelmed with the idea of doing it again. But at the same time, I’m good at research, and by moving away I will get a bit of distance from everything here which should help me a lot. I’ll also be starting hypnotherapy on the 17th, so I hope that this time around I will be better-equipped- Having said that, I DID graduate summa cum laude, so I didn’t do too bad, it was just hard. I have no idea where even to start with going about it all – applying for a PhD in Germany is not as straight forward as applying for other degrees is. I’ll be reaching out to current students next week to get a feel for the programme and how they applied. Fingers crossed!

Despite that, I am still looking for a new job. The problem is, I never know what job titles to look for. I need to sit down with my sister at some point – she’s a pro at getting good results from job sites.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am starting a proper effort to lose a considerable amount of weight and get fit again. Not only do I have to fit into a (decent sized and emphasised at the waist) knee-length Rockabilly-style Maid of Honour dress by October, I also want to improve my health and flexibility. So I’m doing DDP Yoga, I’ve had a food intolerance test done and will avoid quite a few things like dairy, wheat and yeast in the future, and I have joined weight watchers. Between all of those, I hope I can get closer to my goal.

If we were having coffee today, that’d be it from me. It’s got even colder outside, so be careful on your way to the other Weekend Coffee Sharers! Take care out there!

Thank you for having coffee with me today. Same time, next week?