Monday, 14 January 2013

Lackaday!


My Nanna in law used to keep a notebook in which she wrote down every book she read. I thought at the time it was a good idea, but I didn’t start doing it myself until about eight years ago.

I give the books I read marks out of ten – a ten usually means one I’ll keep to read again. Some books get a DNF – did not finish. It’s a good way to remember the names of writers you’ve enjoyed too – and those you haven’t.

There are also lists in my notebook of books written by my favourite authors, so I can cross them off as I go through them.

Anyway, I usually read around 50 books a year, give or take a few. Last night I totted up how many I’d read and I was truly shocked. No really, I was! I even rubbed the pages thinking I must have had some stuck together somehow.

So how many books did I read last year?

Sixteen.

I know! Awful isn’t it? And what makes it worse is that my writing output has fallen sharply too.

It doesn’t end there. I struggle to keep up with blogs, don’t read my magazines and the only time I’ve had my sewing machine out in ages was to make Lachlan’s Egyptian costume for school.

I feel as if I’ve just discovered a giant red spot on the end of my nose that’s been there for months, glowing, visible to everyone but me. I’m not myself that’s for sure.

I seem to be suffering from chronic lackadaisicalness, which has always been a favourite word of mine as is lackaday which is of course an expression of dismay and sums up how I felt when I tallied up my Books Read.

This year I am going to do better. I don’t usually make resolutions, but last night I found myself absolutely determined to read more and write more.

On a completely different subject, last night Indy slept properly through the night for the first time since his insulin dose was changed. Tom warned us there might well be a wobble when he started the once a day insulin injections and there was.

Next Sunday I’ll do another curve and we’ll see how well, or not, that he’s doing. There’s no doubt his sight is getting worse, particularly in his right eye, but if I throw it right, he can still fetch a ball. He’s still perfectly happy and that is what counts.




50 comments:

  1. Oh, Teresa - I do sympathise. I read a lot of books last year, but my writing dwindled badly. I waste too much time generally, don't get down to things, and generally underachieve. Massively.

    Could do better...much better...

    Good news about Indy, though!

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    1. You had a very difficult year, Frances. I hope this year proves to be much better x

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  2. So glad Indy (and you) had a full night's sleep! It isn't surprising you haven't read or written as much as usual, Teresa; it's hard to keep up when worrying about and looking after a pet (or a person).
    xxx

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    1. Thank you, Pat. I used to be able to escape with fiction - reading or writing it, but it's almost as if I've forgotten how to switch off x

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  3. I have long lists of books to read but I never thought of keeping a list and grading those I have read; a good idea.

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    1. It is a great idea isn't it, L. It does help when choosing new books if you've a record and saves mistakes (such as once when I bought a book I'd already read - oops) x

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  4. This is such a good idea and I wish I'd done it years ago. Too late now. Don't be too hard on yourself - your writing output seems phenomenal - and I'm sure things will improve now Indy is on the mend.

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    1. No, it's not too late, Gail. I told myself it was too late for about 15 years after Nanna first showed me her notebook and I'm glad I finally started when I did x

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  5. I really sympathise, Teresa. That feeling can take over without us realising. It was interesting that your notebook brought it to your attention.
    I think the most important thing is not to mind too much about it. It's natural to experience those times when you aren't quite yourself. And it isn't easy to carry on as usual when you're worried about Indy and looking after him round the clock. I find it hellish trying to concentrate when something is unsettling me.

    Make sure you look after yourself. And as long as you get pleasure from reading, it doesn't matter how many books you read. I keep re-reading the same one at the moment, but since I love it, I'm going to keep doing it until I feel like starting something new! x

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    1. Thank you, Joanna, that makes a lot of sense. I have just treated myself to a batch of old favourites, What Katy Did, Heidi, Little Men and the like and I am looking forward to reading them again :-) x

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  6. I didn't read as much as I'd have liked last year - but it was more than 16, I'm sure.

    Glad Indy is happy even if his health isn't great. As you say, that's the important thing.

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    1. Thanks, Patsy. He's definitely happy - he met a beautiful young dog this morning and they had a bit of a frolic round the field which was lovely to see x

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  7. I bought a reading journal a couple of years ago but haven't written anything in it yet cos it's too nice - I know, I know, I'm mad, but I do the same thing with notebooks. Anyway I've just finished reading my first book of 2013 and have promised myself I'll write it up in my journal this evening. Deep breath...

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    1. You're not mad :-) Good luck with your first page :-) x

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  8. I don't make a note of the books I read and consequently forget them within a few days (unless they are really good). I dread someone asking me what the a book was like if its not the one I'm reading at the moment. Hopeless memory! Glad Indy had a good night. Vet couldn't find anything wrong with Bobby and don't know why he's losing weight. - told me to double his food!

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    1. Me too, Wendy. I even look at ones in the book and can't remember reading them, but at least I know what I thought of them :-)

      I was wondering how Bobby got on. When Sammy had hyperthyroidism, he was ravenously hungry and no matter how much he ate, he was like a skeleton. He also had some sort of inflammatory bowel condition they couldn't identify and he was lactose intolerant, poor old thing.

      But it is a worry when they can't pinpoint what is wrong. I hope increasing his food works, but if it doesn't, is there a different vet you could see? I hope you won't need to and that he'll start putting on weight again x

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    2. We are seeing the vet again in 3 weeks which will give time for the extra food to work - or not. Also, I will make sure I don't see the horrible one agian!

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    3. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, Wendy xx

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  9. My mum does what you do and while she was here over Xmas got out her notebook and announced she'd read 81 books last year!!! I read a lot, but that's ridiculous! Mind you, she does have a lot more time on her hands.

    Real life has a habit of taking over at times, but it's good to feel new resolve - and how lovely that Indy slept properly x

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    1. Good for your mum, Karen :-) My mum used to go to the library every week and pick up between four and six books. She used to read, knit and watch telly all at the same time. I seemed to spend most of my childhood waiting outside the library for her :-) x

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  10. Sympathies, Teresa - my reading and writing activity has dwindled terribly and I feel so bad about it. Glad Indy slept through. Love.x

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    1. I can understand why, Lydia and I'd say don't beat yourself up about it.

      I spoke too soon about Indy - bad night last night, plus a dash to my daughter's for some emergency babysitting while they took their youngest to casualty x

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  11. Going by your blog you've had quite a bit going on with Indy and your family. It's called life and sometimes time runs away from us when we are busy fitting everything in.

    I've only just started making notes on which books I have read even started to put them up on 'Goodreads' the only problem is I haven't got the time to write, read, then write about what I've read, blog then facebook it, read blogs then write comments and posted about writing and reading oh and then there tweeting about writing and reading.
    Oh to hell with it, I'll just write my novel.... reading my pile of bedside books and if I get time inbetween looking after my husband I might just have time to blog and facebook my thoughts.

    Could that be why you haven't had time to read, Teresa?

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    1. Very true, Paula. Life was easier before the internet, but I'm not sure I'd want to go back :-)
      I still haven't quite figured out how to use Goodreads, but I'm leaving that one aside for now.
      Good luck with the novel :-) x

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  12. Hi Teresa,

    Then there's the book in the 'DNGPTFS' category, or in full 'Did Not Get Past The First Sentence', category. It seems you went through a bit of a lethargic state. Perhaps you need to recharge your batteries and I wouldn't want you to put too much pressure on yourself. All will fall into place. And as noted in Paula's comment, life and all the trials and tribulations can get in the way of your writing passions and reading passions. I think what you are experiencing can be incorporated into your writing at some point.

    Thank goodness, despite your understandable worries, Indy seems happy. That makes Penny and myself, happy.

    Blessings and peace,

    Gary x

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    1. Thanks Gary and Penny :-) Yes, definitely a few of the DNGPTFS on the go there. A Borg alcove for regeneration 7 of 9 style would be nice ;-) x

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  13. I have a special little book (a gift) for writing down books I've read and guess what, I keep forgetting to use it! You've had a few worrying distractions last year, Teresa - you'll probably catch up again soon. I'm glad to hear Indy had a better night - make you feel much better.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I finished a book last night (Michael Morpurgo), but it's my second book of the year. Don't forget to use your book :-) x

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  14. As I've stated a number of times, Teresa, I'm so easily distracted. So, you're definitely not alone. I'm beginning to think my school reports were accurate after all, "Must try harder," "Could achieve much more if he wasn't so easily distracted."

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    1. Ah yes and "If only she would apply herself" - then it sounds as if you're deliberately dragging your heels! I suppose if we weren't easily distracted and off in a dream world, we wouldn't write :-) x

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  15. Aww hugs Teresa. If, like me, life gets in the way of writing, maybe all that's been wrong with Indy has upset your mojo? When I lost my Molly last March it really hit me for sixty, never mind six! It's taken me nearly a year to write something and post if off! Hugs again....Caroline x

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    1. Hugs to you, Caroline. It's so hard to get over isn't it - and I don't think you ever do really xx

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  16. Hi Terea.

    I know what you mean. My reaing has slowed down a lot lately. Books that I would have read in three hours are taking me three and four day. It's so strange.

    Maria

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    1. It's strange isn't it, Maria. So many of us seem to be having the same problems x

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  17. Teresa, sometimes real life gets in the way of our reading and writing. I have also become a very 'slow' reader, I try and plan 'reading' and 'writing' time in each day, but honestly it is very difficult with all the other necessary tasks that require attention in the average day.

    Just keep plodding on and don't beat yourself up too much... ;-)x

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    1. Thanks, Maria. I suppose I'm finding it hard to cope with because I always used to read and write lots, no matter what, I'll keep plodding on ;-) x

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  18. We're all very good at beating ourselves up, aren't we, Maria? Hope Indy is sleeping better, Teresa and that family emergency is working out O.K. x

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    1. Thank you, Lydia, the little one is fine. Horrible cut very close to his eye, but needless to say running round like a typical two year old again :-)

      Indy was up three times last night having slept through the previous night. I don't know if I'm coming or going at the moment x

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  19. Well I could be reading about myself Teresa!! And I'm sure many people would say the same. It's called LIFE I think! Welcome to my world (and I'm sure I've got more time on my hands than you have) You have had a lot of worries lately and something's got to give. Be kind to yourself and think about what you HAVE achieved (phenomenal) Love n hugs xx

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    1. Thanks Sue, for your wise words :-) x

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  20. I have a lot of books and I think grading them is not such a bad idea. Thank you for the tip :)

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    1. I've found it very useful when looking for new books to read, Dorothy - a reminder who I've enjoyed and who I haven't :-) x

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  21. I read a lot less than you but I try to compensate it by writing. I believe in doing whatever one pleases...you'll feel a lot happier. Kisses magical Teresa, I am happy to hear Indy is better. My 17 year old cat is losing her eyesight too and it's very painful.

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    1. That's so sad about your cat, Petronela. They do seem to cope better than us though.

      And you may not read as much as me, but look at all that wonderful baking you do! I wouldn't read much if I could cook like you :-) x

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  22. I started recording the books I read when I retired 4 years ago, as it's a great way to keep a record and hopefully prevent me from picking up a book twice. My writing is practically nil at the moment and don't mention sewing. I still have that material I bought to make my granddaughter a dress. I've gone off the idea completely and it will probably end up at a jumble somewhere. But I had some cards and notelets printed before Christmas of some drawings I did. Everyone has commented on them, which has given me encouragement and a whole new outlet for my creativity. Things don't stay the same for ever, and why should they. Just carry on doing what you do. And a big wuff to Indy.

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    1. I wondered how you were getting on with that dress, Maggie! I made loads of stuff and bought loads of material intending to make loads more, but I've lost my oomph!

      Your notelets sound wonderful - so although you're not writing or sewing, you're still being creative :-) x

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  23. I wouldn't say you were a lackaday Teresa, I've just read the story in W>W> about the goldfish. And all those e.books waiting to be read. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you, Sue - that goldfish story, I had the title first, then wrote a story to fit it, which isn't my usual way of doing things :-) x

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  24. I think I had a case of lacky whatsit last year.:)
    I've probably read more books while I was ill over the New Year than I did for the whole of 2012.

    Hope Indy gets on okay with the one dose a day.

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    1. Lacky whatsit - I think that sounds even better than lackaday! It's nice to read more books, but a shame you had to be ill to do it. Hope you're feeling much better now, Carol :-) x

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