Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs….

I know! I know! It’s been far too long that I have been away! The leaves have fallen from the trees and children have grown old and all that! (Yes! I know I am indulging in simple bombastic melodrama, including the blog title) But I have been again on a mini blogging hiatus, simply because my day job, aka. The Project Manager got really crazy and we had two back to back conferences, where everybody had a point and I had to ensure every one’s point was accommodated and yada yada!

In between all of this, I had several minor technology crises – my phone died! I mean it died. It simply refused to work again, no amount of charging and attempts to power on worked and I realized that I had to (Sob! Sob! ) buy a new phone! I am not a gadgety person – give me a cell phone and I will make it work for atleast 5 years and this one broke down after only 4 years!! I am so not impressed. Anyway so I bought a phone and there was all the hullabaloo about switching plans and moving all my contacts and getting used to a touch pad (which I hate! And yes! My phone was that old – when keypads were a REQUIREMENT). Just when I had the phone figured out, my laptop screen decided to crazy and developed streaks. Suddenly everything came through in various shaded of grey, light grey, blue and dark blue. So the screen had to be replaced! Needless to say there was not too much time left to do anything!

I was so exhausted most of the days after managing projects and technology that all I wanted was a light read – so I dug up all my old Asterix Comic books and I read them all. I know the plots are all similar and kind of repetitive, but I do love the puns and the “foreign relations”. They gave me a good break from all that was mundane and stressful.

I am also almost through with Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day”. I want to kick myself for having waited so long to read this. It is such a brilliant piece of work, with subtle humor and deep insights. I have to read more Ishiguro for sure! I will hopefully be able to share a more detailed review in a day or two

I am also really enjoying Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey”. I had completely forgotten how witty the book is. I also somehow cannot recollect why I thought Henry Tilney to be such a colorless character. True he is no Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth, but that’s where his worth is – in his being absolutely every day, but a good every day! I so loved his dry irreverent humor!

My progresses through my non-fictional works have been sporadic and surprising. I kind of thought that John Norwich’s tome “The Short History of Byzantium” would be heavy and difficult to get through. It is very academic but it’s also interspersed with anecdotes and humor that not only is it a historically rich book, but actually a fun read! The same cannot however be said about Gerard Russell’s “Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms”. It’s kind of all over the place that as a reader you are constantly worrying as to how all the dots are connected! I still have a couple of chapters to go, but I am not holding out much hope!

To finish this reading update, I want to just touch upon the serious genius of Terry Pratchett – my flatmate says he is not an author, but a do gooder, altruistic man. I have to agree – in one of those bizzare and extremely stressful days, I picked up his “Feet of Clay” for a re-read and within 2 hours, he had made the world a far better and humane place for me, without being didactic or pedagogic, all the while managing to tell a great story with a LOT of ROFL moments! You are a genius Sir Pratchett and the world is a better place because of writers like you!

That’s my “small” note to put you all up to speed with my “happening, fast paced, never a moment to breathe” life! I will be back soon talking more about books!!

This and That….

It’s been a trying week from technology perspective. First last week, on a bright Saturday morning, I woke up feeling at peace with the world in general and with great ambition of penning ..er…it is typing some magnificent words in prose for my never –will-be –completed novel. I made myself a large cup of tea, switched on my laptop and then sat down to write in earnest; the screen went blink and fuzzy in 5 minutes and then completely white. No amount rebooting and lopsided shaking (Yes! It works!!) could get the screen to display anything but the pristine whiteness, something that did not help my rising temper. Frustrated by the evening I dropped it off to a repair center, who called me a day later and said that it would take 4 days or so to fix it and the reason my screen had given up living, (I do believe that inanimate objects have a soul!) is because some tea had fallen in its junctures (you know the place where it connects to the motherboard!) Oh!!! Sob! Sob! Wail!!! Naturally the repair would not be cheap (More Sob! Sob! Wail!!!) and just when I thought I would have some extra cash in my hand! The road to hell is truly and honestly paved with good intentions! Finally after 5 days when I got the laptop back, the internet stopped working due to a terrible storm that hit this part of the world and finally after another two days of enforced hiatus from the cyber world, last evening my entire technology related puzzle fell into place and now everything is working as it is supposed to. Or so I thought…then suddenly I realized by Blackberry’s keypad has stopped typing ….they will not type a thing!! This to me who texts more than she calls…and I DO NOT have the energy to chase down Blackberry Customer Service anymore!!

In other and brighter news, my best friend and flatmate, decided to take pity on my ghastly week and treat me to an awesome Italian dinner last night. Lots of cheese, cream and an amazing ice cream pudding made the world a much better place (I am aware of cholesterol and all that…but everyone is allowed an indulgence!!) The evening got better when we made an impromptu detour to our favorite bookshop where I promptly dispensed with all my remaining savings in buying all the below –

bpic

It’s not like either my flatmate or I needed new books…we had plenty to in our reading list, and I know I need to really save and well there are reasons for not buying anything but this is what happens when I go there – everytime!!

Bookstore

Hence the splurge and I could almost justify all the books I bought…almost!!I had lost my copy of Rebecca and Sherlock Holmes and no collection can be called complete in the absence of these two books. At the shop owners recommendation and he really knows good books and what I like, I bought Robert Galbraith (aka J.K.Rowling’s) Cormoran Strike novels. My sister had ranted and raving about Guy Gavriel Kay ‘s The Lions of Al-Rassan, so naturally I had to pick that up and then Jane had such high praises for The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric that I could not let that go either. I also picked up for my history reading project War and Gold by Kwasi Kwarteng (Yes! I have been reading History…just not blogging about them…don’t ask me why!! And finally for a no better reason than a whim, I also purchased Bernard Cornwell’s Stonehenge.

Considering the troublesome nature of the week and the temptations that lie waiting in form of brand new unopened novels, I keep this post short! I hope your week went better than mine and your weekend as wonderful if not better!!