Bookloving writer

Bookloving writer

I love books (fantasy, mysteries, YA, historic, science fiction and non-fiction) and writing. Check out my Gravatar profile for more info, if you're interested.

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OT: A little trip to Tallinn, Estonia

My family and I have been on a little vacation trip to Estonia. We thought it might be fun for the twins to travel on a big ferry and it turns out we were right. Though actually it took them a very long time to realize we were on a ship. It was only when we had left our cabin and were waiting to be allowed to disembark that the children saw the ocean through the big windows in a lounge area.

 

The trip was ok, if not quite as much fun as my sister and I had hoped.

 

We took a new type of train that we'd never travelled on before. They use the same tracks as the old state monopoly's trains but the actual trains are a lot nicer. We'll definitely travel by the same trains again. On the way out, the children were on their best behavior. Unfortunately, they weren't on the way back. Maybe they were tired.

 

We had to learn how to fold up (?) the buggy several times, which was a bit tricky. The first time was on the way to the ferry terminal, the second when we had to get it inside our cabin. But everything went fine and my sister got a little practice in, in case we'll need to do it again on other trips.

 

The children loved the cabin and at least the playroom on the second ferry on the way back. The first one was too small and my son was a little scared of the slide.

 

The food, as on our previous trips to the Baltic states were delicious. Unfortunately, the beds (bunks?) in the cabin were really uncomfortable and I woke up several times a night because of back pain. On the way back, my mom let me have the least uncomfortable one, but it still hurt quite a lot.

 

The positives (other than what I've mentioned above):

 

On our way to a park where we'd be waiting until we could check into the hotel an Estonian man who didn't speak English offered my mom a seat on the bus.

 

In the park, an Estonian family who had been given three balloons for their three children gave away the one the baby had got. I think she was too young to appreciate it and my daughter really did. She watched as the two older children played with theirs and laughed out loud with delight. We still have that balloon but neither twin really cares about it now. They tire easily of everything.

 

On the ferry terminal, on the way back, a Swedish boy gave away two emoji toys to my twins. It was really cute the way this kid of about ten or so, kneeled in front of the buggy and handed over his toys. Very kind of him. His whole family seemed to enjoy seeing the twins so happy about their gifts.

 

When we got off the ferry, the bus we were going to travel on back to the city center didn't have room for our buggy, so we had to wait for the next one - but then the driver of one of the other buses from the same company offered us a ride out to an area of Stockholm where his passengers were going to get off, one where there are plenty of museums and other interesting sights to see. I only wish we could have stayed and visited a few museums, particuarly the Historic museum and the Medieval Museum.

 

On the bus back home, after we got off the train, a nice lady helped me get the buggy onto the bus and when were about to get off, a likewise nice kid of about eighteen cheerfully offered to help me get the buggy off the bus. We're not used to being treated that nicely so that was a really pleasant surprise.

 

The negatives:

 

A really unpleasant drunk woman complained about my children's messy eating. I suppose she doesn't have any children or grandchildren of her own. I got so angry I just picked up my daughter and carried her back to the cabin.

 

The internet connection was really bad pretty much everywhere. That's something new, because as I remember it from the last time I was in Estonia, there were plenty of wifi hotspots. We could barely use our phones at all.

 

The hotel was rather dull and uninspiring - an old Soviet style building with really depressing colors, at least in my opinion. The color scheme was beige and black. And the wall to wall carpet in the corridors smelled.

 

The food in the restaurant was good, but there was so little of it, it was practically like an hors d'oeuvre, not actual dinner.

 

While we were waiting in line to be allowed off the ferry, a rude man bumped into my sister with his huge backpack and almost pushed her over. She's usually very steady on her feet so that was really unpleasant.

 

Some photos:

 

Tagetes

 

Pigeons

 

A real pigeon

 

More pigeons

 

Statue

 

Advertising thing

 

View from the hotel window

 

Signs

 

Magical Portal

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/181816.html
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Describe yourself
Describe yourself
OT: A little outing

Today, we went on a little shopping trip to a bigger town. Even though this little town/village has surprisingly many shops it's nice to be able to get away to somewhere a little bigger. We took the twins and went to the pastry shop/cafe in the former town hall. They now have one vegan item on the menu - a delicious rye bread sandwich with fresh vegetables. Later we also bought some vegan ice cream in a shop. Unfortunately I spilt a tiny flake of chocolate on my dress so there was a stain. I hope it will wash out.

I took a few photos. It's an interesting town from the perspective of architecture, with lots of huge villas where I imagine doctors used to live (there's a hospital not far away). Outside a beautiful building that I wish was the town library, which we were looking for but didn't find, and might have been at one point, I found this cute lion.

White lion


This is a close up of an ornament adorning the fence around the same building:

Decoration

I'm hoping my sister, Minwynn, will post about this outing too, with more photos.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/181330.html
Review
4 Stars
Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1)
Lady of Devices - Shelley Adina

From Amazon's book page:

 

Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices, Book 1):

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.

At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . but sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .

I just finished reading this free e-book, and I must say I was positively surprised. Since I bought my Kindle Touch I have downloaded and started reading so many free books and most of them weren't good enough to finish. This turned out to be among the few that was well worth reading to the end. My main complaint is that the story is a little too short and seems to end sort of in the middle - not quite - there is a resolution of sorts - but it comes rather quickly and feels a bit sudden. Normally, I wouldn't buy the next book when the author leaves the reader hanging, but in this case, I might make an exception. As I mentioned above, there is a sort of ending, even if it's too sudden for my taste.

Claire is a likeable character. As the book progresses we get to know more likable characters, mainly young women. There are of course a few men - one sympathetic and another less so. Time will tell how they will develop. When the story begins Claire belongs to the upper class and is miserable that her mother won't consider letting her go to university. She is passionate about engineering and loves to drive a steam driven car, even though it's not considered 'ladylike'. Soon her circumstances change dramatically. Being a resourceful young woman, she handles her situation well and manages to save herself.

 

If this sounds like your kind of thing, visit Amazon as soon as you can. The book is still available for free if you hurry.

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Devices-steampunk-adventure-Magnificent-ebook/dp/B0053CYXS0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501145280&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+of+devices
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Magi, Mystik och det Okända
Magi, Mystik och det Okända

Magi, Mystik och det Okända.

Source: http://missmagicgirl.wordpress.com
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Birthday books
Birthday books

These are my birthday books. Only two, because Amazon will send the rest about a month from my birthday, which is today, and about two months since they were ordered. :/

Review
4 Stars
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Lexicon of Life Hacks for the Modern Lady Geek - Sam Maggs

My sister recently got this book for her birthday, and since she hasn't felt up to reading for a while (she's burned out, among other things) she let me borrow it.

 

Now that I've read it, I must say that I really liked it. It made me really keen on going to a fancon (but things are really different here in Sweden and even though there are fancons here, lack of communications out here where I live, makes it more or less impossible for me to go anywhere fun). Cosplay is out of the question after having my twins.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/180743.html
OT: Some photos from our yard

 

I also have a photo blog on Tumblr if you'd like to check it out.

OT: Intruders in the yard

Today, we caught some intruders snooping around our yard, and our neighbors', taking photos with a long lens. They'd parked their car in our yard and had picked some flowers but didn't treat them like they cared.

My sister went outside and confronted them. The woman claimed that it was 'so beautiful' here. (Which it isn't, not particularly). She also said that they'd been here yesterday and since didn't see any car, they assumed no one was at home. Like that's an excuse to trespass. We don't have a car, so there's never a car. What's a bit unnerving is that we never noticed them yesterday. I just happened to be looking out the window and caught sight of the woman on the dirt path outside.

I really don't like living here. Hopefully, we'll be able to move soon. It's not a good place to live for more than one reason.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/180632.html
Book meme

I found this on Litsy and I can't get the photo that goes with the meme, even if Booklikes had let me post it, but I decided to do the meme anyway.

 

You've been kidnappted.

 

You can call on one fictional character to make a rescue attempt.

 

Who do you choose?

 

I choose Chrestomanci from Diana Wynne Jones' Chrestomanci series. Fortunately, I know how to call him. :)

 

In the comments on the Litsy post I found other great suggestions: The Doctor (I'd like to add Jack Harkness), Ranger from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, Murtagh from the Outlander series (but I'd prefer Jamie, he would be great to look at too.)

 

 

Quote
“I don’t really understand the world anymore. But maybe there’s some faint hope that the good people on both sides can come together.”

 
~ Mississippi Blood, written by Greg Iles

Source: http://ryanlanz.com/2017/05/31/book-quote-corner-69
Library meeting for children

I was going to post a cute photo of my son at the local library, but Booklikes decided to refuse my photo, so I posted on my Dreamwidth journal instead. You can visit it here, if you like.

Literary dinner guests

After reading about a book blog question on a Swedish book blog, I began to consider what, if any, literary characters I would like to invite to dinner. I've been blogging about similar topics earlier, but not, I think, about inviting characters to dinner.

Dinner itself might be a little problematic, since I'm vegan and I wouldn't like to offer any guest of mine anything not vegan. However, there are plenty of common and popular dishes that are, or can easily be made, vegan. For instance pancakes, lasagna, potatoes au gratin etc. At least one of my guests is vegetarian and at least another might be positive to eating vegan food anyway, see further below.

As for the others, I'd simply have to cook something really delicious so their potential prejudices won't be realized.

When it comes to the actual guests I had to do a bit of thinking. Meeting characters face to face is different from merely reading about them. Many characters are fascinating to read about but would most likely not be very pleasant to meet in real life, if it were possible.

Still, after a bit of consideration, here is my list:

Cat and Janet (Charmed Life), Conrad (Conrad's Fate) and Nan (Witch Week) from Diana Wynne Jones Chrestomanci series.

Bix from Dinotopia by James Gurney.

Bix, who is a protoceratops, must be vegetarian, so a fresh salad would probably work for her. I would just hope that the human guests would accept sitting down to dinner with a talking animal. If not, I'd love to meet her one on one. Bix is so cute and I'd really love to get to know here better.

Lucy from C S Lewis' Narnia books.

In a passage in one of the books, Lucy reacts strongly when she finds out that a meat dish she's offered contains the remains of a talking animals, so I can imagine she'd be open to eating vegan food, to make sure that she's not consuming parts from a talking animal.

The Midwife Serafina Flores, from Susan Russo Anderson's historic mysteries set in 1860's Sicily (and later France). Serafina seems like such a nice person, but since she's from the 1860's the food might be a problem. Or maybe not. Maybe a simple pasta dish with tomato sauce, herbs and some pine nuts might do.

I would have loved to mention some Swedish characters but I couldn't think of any. I read some Swedish crime series and some children's and YA books, but the characters aren't the type of people I'd like to meet. In the books for younger people the main characters aren't that interesting, it's more the plot and the setting I appreciate.

OT: Mother's Day

Today it's Mother's Day in Sweden, and since I have a mother and I am a mother, I thought I'd write a post about that. I'd also like to mention my dad, who is no longer with us, and my grandfather who left us even earlier, but I think I'll save that for Father's Day even if it makes me sad thinking about all those who are no longer with us.

So, today I'd like to remember and thank all the wonderful women in my family who are mostly no longer with us. Some were mothers, some wanted to be but weren't.

Thank you aunt G, who was such a wonderful aunt and who had a fascinating and varied life, despite claims to the contrary. Thank you great-aunts S, M, M, A and the two E:s, for being such kind and thoughtful aunts. I'd also like to mention 'aunt' E (another E) who I never got to meet, but who according to my mom was a really funny, cheerful and inspiring woman, despite a very difficult life.

 

Then there's my maternal grandmother S, who I resemble a lot. I can still hear your voice in my head and I know what you would have thought or said about all kinds of things in every day life.

Also, my mom who is still alive and well and living with us. You were a wonderful mom when my sister and I were children. We've all had a difficult life and you may be a touch grumpy and harsh these days, but I can understand why.

I'd also like to thank my sister G who is not a mother yet, but hopefully will be soon. You're my best friend and my role model. I admire you so much. This family would be nothing without you.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/179881.html
OT: My shadow and my new handbag

Yesterday, my sister and went shopping for groceries. It was relatively hot, things worked out fine and I was more or less content with the little outing. However, lately I've begun to whine a lot about having put on so much weight - rather unexplainedly, I think. It's occurred to me that it might be a side effect of my medication against high blood pressure, that I got from being pregnant. I'm not sure about that, but it might be an explanation. In any case, I'm pretty unhappy about looking the way I look. For instance, I've had to put away most of my clothes and had to try and get new ones (not quite successfully, at least yet). Anyway, to cut to the chase, I decided to take a photo of my shadow, or at least part of it because it seems to be better looking than I am.

 

 

I've also started using my new handbag. It's pretty big and not my usual style (I'm not really a handbag person, to be honest). I've just been thinking I should develop my Moomin Mama traits. :) I'm going to be carrying around more stuff, that maybe my children will need (other than the contents of of the changing bag).

 

 

 

What do you think? Is it too big for me? I thought it would be difficult to carry it,

without a shoulder strap, but it wasn't. 

 

Silly trivial stuff, I know. Just ignore this post if you think it's boring.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/179651.html
Warning: grumpy post

Apparently, The Eurovision Song Contest is over. I say apparently, since I don't keep up with these things. Usually, my mom does, for some weird reason, but this time she only watched some of it and mercifully spared my sister and me the whole house shaking ear drum breaking noise attack. Do I sound negative? Sorry. I'm having a bad day.

When my sister and I got curious, after the fact, as it were, about why many people were unhappy about the song that won, we decided to listen to a minute or so of each of the top ten songs. So we did, and I quickly realized that while the winning song definitely wasn't my thing, I could tell that it actually was a good quality song. The others were meh at best. To me, that is. I'm not judging the people who liked the others.

All this is just a prelude to what I really wanted to say.

I feel out of touch with the world. And considering the way the world is going, that's fine with me. But it does make me feel like some weird freak. I hate the music most people like. I hate most tv series and movies released these days. I hate the aggressive marketing strategies that most people seem to take in their stride. It makes me sound like some grumpy old 100-year-old and I hate that too. LOL.

So - what did I want to say? I'm not sure. Maybe that I want to take my family and find some out of the way place and at least be safe, if not happy. And dive into books and (probably old) movies and tv series and forget about the rest of the world.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org