On Bank Holidays

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When you work in an office, Bank Holidays (or public holidays, or whatever you call them in your country) are really important. There’s lots of discussion about what you might do on the Bank Holiday, and what you did, afterwards. Lots of chat about “don’t forget not to come in on Monday”. People who have odd working schedules get upset or pleased about how Bank Holidays are treated in their pay and holiday schedules (if you don’t usually work on a Monday, do you still get an extra holiday, etc., etc.)

If you’re a freelancer or run your own business, especially if you work from home, alone, let me tell you that Bank Holidays disappear into the ether. They do not matter. They might as well not exist, except that a) there might be extra people around the house, startling you with their presence occasionally, and b) people might expect you to be free to do stuff.

I’m not sure if this is limited to people who, like me, have a lot of international clients whose public holidays are at different times to ours. But I bet anyone with a big project to complete doesn’t stop just because it’s Bank Holiday Monday. I’ve coped OK with this double one for the Jubilee, but the  early May one was a different story. Up the stairs I popped at 6 am, as usual. “See you at 8 for breakfast,” I cheerily called to M, as usual. “Eh? What?” I’d completely missed the memo that there was a Bank Holiday. Oh, because there are no memos when you work alone …

By the way, I have been known to check what day it is, or whether it’s morning or afternoon, when entering the gym, for example. I know which column I’m in on my Gantt chart, and I’m never startled by my deadlines, but I do hope that other home / lone workers are the same and I’m not starting to go a bit odd …

State of the TBR – June 2012

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TBR shelves as of 1 June 2012

It’s that time again – time to report on the State of my To Be Read (TBR) shelf and upcoming reads.

First of all, I’m happy to say that I managed to read 12 books in May, the highest total this year so far. OK, 10 of them were fiction, but I’m still pleased with that.  I’m also pleased to say that only 4 books appear to have added themselves to the TBR shelf, compared with this time last month: three Dodie Smiths from The Works (3 for £5, how could I resist?) and “The Secret Olympian”, which will need to be promoted, as I need to, well, read it before the Olympics.

It’s a bit hard to see, but that third Persephone, just to the right of Tony Blair (no comments there, please!) marks the end of the front shelf – there are books behind those. But the front shelf is still smaller than last month.

Currently reading

As to my current reading: oh, the shame. Sorry, Denis Healey!

  • Denis Healey – “The Time of my Life” – I am over half way now. It’s a bit dry, and I only seem to read it at mealtimes, as it’s my big book for reading in the house (and by the time I go to bed at the moment, all I want is a novel!) but it is also worthwhile and interesting. Maybe he won’t feature in July.
  • Ethan Gilsdorf – “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks” – this is a really interesting foray into the words of D&D, MMPORGS, LARPs and all the other gaming and fantasy things people get up to. I’ve never been into that stuff myself, but I find it interesting. I’ve almost finished this one.
  • Zora Neale Hurston – “Collected Works” – I’m savouring this beautiful book of her novels and stories, so reading them interspersed with other books. It might be one  a month, or more frequent. I have “Their Eyes Were Watching God” up next, which I’m looking forward to, although it will need to come after the next two .

Upcoming reading (1)

These two books are both being read for reading projects I’ve got involved in. The Elizabeth Taylor (love the cover; another “Elizabeth” bookplate tells me I bought it aged 17 or younger) is for the LibraryThing Virago Group Elizabeth Taylor a month project, and the Hardy (from the same era! I know because it’s covered in sticky backed plastic) is for Ali’s Hardy reads. I got behind with that, so I do have this month left to read it but could have started last month. Anyway, they are the must-reads for this month.

Upcoming reading (2)

And then I have these lovelies – some Persephones, a Heyer I’ve been saving up because I’ve had a bit of a Heyer-fest recently, some light novels and some travel, and the Diaries one at the front is my next Big Book for Reading in the House, so has to wait until Denis is finished …

What are you reading this month? Can you date your collection by covers, bookplates or a handy acquisition date inside the front cover (I do that now except with Persephones, which get a slip of paper inside instead).

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