OK peeps let's do this in list format, it's late on Thursday and I'm having to engage my brain - neither of which is a great mix!
- A week off from work
- Two yes I said two ice hockey matches to see Sheffield Steelers last weekend, not been in forever and we won both matches!
- Said 12 year old getting the 'ice hockey' bug - this I like!
- Time with my sister and my niece at the ice hockey!
- Time with my Mum making a mini book on Sunday and then finishing it on Monday
- Keeping in contact with my Lil Bro!
- Said 12 year old being happy with his new phone!
- Having my hair cut
- Hubby rocking my world as always, putting up with the mood swings I'm having with these crazy tablets, and coping with my general stupidity - thank you hun!
- Having a lie in - something we sometimes take for granted around here!
- Crafting time!
- The Wednesday Whine girls keeping it real - thank you girls!
It's been one of those weeks, where the time disappears but you can't quite put your finger on what you've done! Overall it's been a good one, I hope yours has been too!
If you fancy joining in pop yourself a post together and head back here to link up, we are a bit low on participants but I love to see others join in!
Mr Linky is at the bottom of this post
A CASUAL VACANCY
Well in hindsight picking what is probably the longest book during the shortest month was not my wisest of moves, I've struggled with fiction for years probably because once I'm caught up in a story I get completely absorbed, this book being no different by the 19th February I was only just 200 pages into the 501 page book, this morning I find myself collecting my thoughts on the book, having completed the same last night at 12.30am and today is the 20th - like I said I get absorbed.
So the review, having been
an avid J K Rowling fan it took some getting used to as a book, no wizards in sight for a starter, the first part of the book is, as would be expected well written but hard work trying to place the characters of which there are many. The book is based on a fictional village called Pagford which has a long local political history with the nearest town Yarvil which has encroached on it's land by building social housing accommodation which has impacted on the local school. The book doesn't centre on a single character but rather on the interactions between people. The casual vacancy being the death of a local Parish Councillor which sets the scene for the political turmoil that follows. Within the melee of characters you have school teachers and social workers, delicatessen owners, surgeon's and GP's, those that are on benefits, users of drugs the depth of characters is significant. Those that were born there and those that were still deemed 'outsiders'. You also have the difference between young and old, the teenagers in the book, developing their own characters and personalities and all that comes with growing up.
It's a book that makes you think, in 501 pages JK Rowling has summed up perfectly the sorts of issues that affect people every single day, it's easy to see that past circumstances have moulded each and every character, some are still tainted by it. The book challenges you to make assumptions not because you are superior or better but because it's human nature to rationalise who someone is. What it actually achieves is that we are who we are because of circumstances and choices sometimes beyond our control and that is what is the most deeply troubling aspect of the book.
The book is a page turner, you really want the story to 'come good' to be neat and tidy and happy, but the book is real life, it isn't neat and it isn't tidy or even happy in places, what it is is real. It gives you a new perspective a deeper understanding and breaks those taboos that many choose no longer to talk about.
It's about chances and opportunities, it's about rare people giving others a chance, it's about the culture in which we now live and what lies ahead for future generations, its about consequences, from a personal level, to a local level to a national level.
Although at a national level you only touch on the implications of cut backs, the book shows at grass roots level the real impact. Cutting local government funding, who in turn pull back the axe to fall on the services for the most vulnerable in society who in turn affect the lives of people needing help and in turn damage the next generation forever. It's not far fetched it's reality and that's what probably made it all the more shocking.
It made me cry, I didn't laugh or even smile through the book, it's one where you nod and understand and 'get' what it's about but as the book draws to a close it did make me cry. Circumstances and people, people and circumstances.
About three quarters of the way into the book I commented to my hubby that the book didn't actually have anyone that was happy and that I found frustrating because to reflect real life surely there must be people within that village who were happy?
Would I recommend it, absolutely, did I learn anything from it - it reminded me that those small gestures that we make to others are like the butterfly wings flapping that eventually cause the hurricane, we often don't see what those small gestures do, we don't see the impact or the benefit likewise we don't see the impact of an unkind word or an argument, it makes you realise that each and every one of us makes a difference, if you want yours to be a good one, make each of your interactions positive and considered and thought out.
The art was hard work, probably because I couldn't quite tell where I was coming from with it but this is my attempts this month, a journal page, the background writing was the word 'responsible' repeated over and over I think it sums it up!