Mama Mia, thank heavens for Freedman

Hello. It’s Friday afternoon. My laptop got switched off approximately thirty seconds ago, then I decided you deserved a new blog post and you’re going to get one. I have also just realised that I went to the kitchen to put the kettle on – that’s where I have my best ideas – and didn’t actually put it on in my haste to fire up the laptop once more. One moment, please... ...Okay, we have tea. So, it’s a round-up post; haven’t done this in so long, but there’s a fair bit to run through. By the way, Twitter is starting to scare me: I might have to give that one up. I don’t think I like it :(

Twitter fears aside, this week I have been...

...getting back into the groove. I have not really missed exercising as such, but I have missed its effects. So I didn’t take any persuading to book in a month’s Xtend Barre classes upon arriving home from my holiday. I got back last Monday and went to classes on Wednesday and Thursday. My body was unhappy about the Thursday class (I was shattered), so I took the Friday off, did a Stick Fusion - don’t ask - session on Saturday, rested Sunday, went Monday, rested Tuesday, then decided I was back in the game, went Wednesday, Thursday and today and am booked in for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Also decided – for first time ever – to use heavier weights in class. Got to keep progressing! That has been an excellent move. I now look pretty much as I did before injury/hosting guests/month-long trip.

...having fun guest blogging. You will probably only know about this if you follow me on social media or know me in non-blogging life. I don’t like the idea of re-blogging – okay, I don’t really know what it is and have no desire to find out, because it sounds like reproducing another’s content on your blog – so I didn’t do it and instead just posted a message on Facebook and one on Twitter saying something about my little collaboration with the beauty blog Why Hello Beauty! So that was that.

Actually, I planned to contact the owner of that blog – a lady called Emily – to ask about her site traffic after my blog post went up, but I realised that I didn’t care if I’d been a mega-hit (there’s a good chance I will have been, of course!).

I should do it anyway, in case other people want me to guest post; would be good to tell them I broke the internet with my first one. For info, I’m doing a second guest blog post already (I’ll be going viral soon) and will endeavour to let you know more about it this time. Probably a bit shoddy of me not even to link to the last one from my blog. It felt weird, though.

...reading a decent book for the first time in ages. This has made me extremely happy.

I took a few books on holiday. Now, it is a sad state of affairs when the in-flight magazines are more interesting than your own reading matter. Ooh, more on the in-flight magazines in a minute, though. First, the stupid books. Perhaps I should just call them books, although I guess there’s no need for a review now – you already know they’re stupid! First up, I finished off The Boleyn Inheritance, by Philippa Gregory. This falls firmly under the NOT STUPID category. I enjoyed this. I like reading about Henry VIII, until I remember that he was real.

Then I moved onto A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. This was distinctly underwhelming. What is all the fuss about over this book? It wasn’t an utter disgrace, and some bits were mildly amusing, but I cannot recommend it. So I won’t.

Then I tackled my first Jack Reacher book. Bloody hell. The stupid internet said this was an awesome series, blah blah blah, so I bought two of them – A Wanted Man and The Affair – and took the former away with me. Waste of time. Not intelligent (in my opinion - the back cover said it WAS) and not even exciting. Jack Reacher is however revered as some kind of literary demi-god, so I plan to at least start The Killing and see if I change my mind. (I love books; I really do want to be positive about them, hence the second chance for Child and Reacher. Oh, I risk angering a legion of Reacherites here, but really, what is supposed to be attractive about him?)

Moving on. I then bought two books in England: Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. Decided to start with WAACBO (as it is known on Twitter). Hating it so far. Very cross, particularly as my mother said it sounded like me writing (it had better bloody not do). That has now been put on the backburner whilst I contemplate whether or not I’ll feel I have wasted my life if I persevere with it. God, I’ve had such a good week, then I get started on my recent reading woes and I’m a horror! It does get better, I promise.

But not yet. Next on the list was Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I had read good things about Murakami and I love running. Should have been a win.

No. Nice enough, but felt self-indulgent and unnecessary – what is wrong with the world? Perhaps it’s me.

Got home, went to the secondhand shop in our town and picked up a copy of Mama Mia, by Mia Freedman. Not sure what drew me to this, except that she was a magazine editor and I sometimes think about working for a magazine. And I am editing my novel at the moment. And she is Australian and I love Australia. Actually, it’s pretty obvious why I’d be drawn to it. I bought it.

Anyway, exciting thing number 1: I discovered it was a signed copy.

Exciting thing number 2: I loved it!

Mia can definitely write (take note, all you so-called authors). She knows how to tell a story. Even during the most hideous parts of her childbirth experiences, she managed to make me sympathise, wince and laugh all at once. That is gifted! I almost felt bad for laughing at her retelling, but it was written to be humorous, even whilst I experienced outrage on her behalf (see chapter “A B*tch Called Amy” – Amy is her midwife). Ah, Mia, Mia, Mia, I think you’re wonderful.

Troublesome thing number 1: I now need to start a new book (or two, or three) without getting into the afore-mentioned Book Hell.

This time I plan to stop if I hate it rather than persevering just because a) I love books and b) often they get better and c) I want to support the print industry and d) blah blah blah. No more: I could get run over at any time – although more likely when in the road – and would hate to have wasted time on unworthy literature. In fact, even if I have another seventy years, wasted time would not be a good thing.

Feeling a little bit as though I should remove the “unworthy” comment (and perhaps the “hating it” bit) but what the hell. When my book is published, I’m sure there will be plenty of people ready to slate it. So be it.

Okay, this post is getting massive. I have recently become aware of the length of some of my posts, simply because in looking at other people’s blogs (which I do – big supporter of other bloggers), I have noticed they post most days, but only about five words per post. I post sporadically (against all the rules of blogging) and my posts are generally all words (another blogging crime) and a lot of words at that (bad, bad blogger).

So I’d stop here, only I have just reread this and seen the bit about the in-flight magazines. I read two Singaporean women’s magazines on one flight, both of which were excellent. I’ll have to grab my travel notebook – grab grab, here we are – yes, the first was called SHAPE and the second Simply Her. Better than anything I have picked up off a newsstand in months. SHAPE is a fitness magazine: informative and enjoyable rather than trite and full of annoying workouts than nobody ever does. Simply Her is lifestyle, fashion etc and knocks spots off most of the rubbish out there. Both highly enjoyable ways to pass the hours in the air. So glad I remembered about those magazines: it has made me feel much better about the future of publishing.

On that note, I’ll publish this and wait for the glowing reviews! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone x

PS. Decided the next book - at least one of them - should be Bring up the Bodies. I know Hilary won't let me down.