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Most of yesterday I was at a funeral. A relative has passed away. She was old and I suppose we should have expected this, but somehow, you’re never prepared. In a way, we weren’t all that close, but in a way, we were. It’s only now that I’ve realized how different it will be without her. We didn’t meet in person, not for a long time, and now I feeel guilty about that. I always meant to try to see her one way or another, but it never happened and now it’s too late. We did talk on the phone now and then, but it was mainly my mom she called. They were cousins. For many years she was the only person, outside the immediate family who remembered my birthday. She always sent me a postcard and I always called her and thanked her. She was also my sponsor, at my christening.
That meant that there was no question of my not going to her funeral. I hate funerals, but this time, I definitely needed to go. After the ceremony – which made me cry – all that talk about death – all visitors were treated to food and coffee and cake. Not for me though. Being vegan, I couldn’t eat anything that was on offer. Not that it mattered to me. I’m used to it.
During the meal, we were encouraged to share memories we had of our relative or friend. I couldn’t think of anything in particular. Partly, I suppose, because I was so tired. I hadn’t slept all night. I sat at the table, next to my mom, in a room full of strangers. Some people were nice and tried to include me in their conversations, but most ignored me.
Losing someone always makes me think about others I’ve lost and that definitely didn’t help. While we were in church, it started to snow. I’d been hoping we wouldn’t get any more snow, but as it turned out, none of it remained on the ground. It all melted away before the guests began to disperse.
It was a bit slippery though and I’m totally out of shape, so when I got back, I was hurting all over. (Shame on me.) I was completely exhausted and had to go to bed early and slept until very late. I’m still not back to normal.
There’s another thing that’s made me think about dead relatives. A while back, my sister had someone ask to do a ‘reading’ on her. She didn’t feel she could refuse. Some of what this woman told her could be just general stuff she could have told anyone, but there were a few things that made us think. Stuff only we knew about the relative she claimed to speak for. It was an eerie sensation, being forced to consider things in a new way. Whether or not there’s anything in these psychic readings, it got me thinking about this relative. What we knew about him and all the things we didn’t.
All this has put me in a very strange mood. I hope I’ll snap out of it soon.
Perhaps some of you have noticed that there have been no new fanfics from me for at least a year, so I thought I’d give you a list of fandoms where you can expect new fics. I can’t tell you when this will be, but presumably relatively soon.
Star Trek (the movie, this time)
Crossing Jordan/Silent Witness
My Beautiful Laundrette
Gattaca (not a new fic, but a thoroughly revised one, thanks for your help K J!)
Rex, a Cop’s Best Friend (Kommissar Rex)
Robin of Sherwood
Without a Trace
A number of new fandoms that will be coming up:
Lark Rise to Candleford
Waking the Dead
The Grand Ellipse
Pirates of the Caribbean
Again, I can’t say when new fics will be appearing on the site, but hopefully this year, at least some of them (can’t promise too much).
I’ve been re-watching a number of old tv series and new ideas may occur to me, but again, I can’t make any promises. Recently I’ve also begun to watch a new, historic tv series I really like – Downton Abbey – so who knows? There might be something in that. On the other hand, I’ve also watched the three first episodes of Sherlock and enjoyed it a lot and Cranford which I loved, but no ideas came to me, so there are no guarantees. Also, there should be more reviews, perhaps sooner than fics.
Perhaps I should mention that I also have plenty of ideas for original stories, ideas I’m really looking forward to working on, as well as two novels to finish (both more than two thirds finished, I think), but hopefully, I’ll find the time for all kinds of writing – when I get my inspiration back..
I just posted some new reviews. This time it’s about three historic tv series and one very special mystery – set in Tibet.
Take the poll on WordPress.com. What do you think I should be blogging about in 2011?
A little Christmas (or any other holiday you prefer) card for you.
Since I found out that library books are available as free downloads here in Sweden, I’ve wanted to try. For various reasons, I’d really prefer not to have to go to the library and pick up actual books (though when it comes to buying new copies at the book store, it’s the other way around.)
Anyway, last night I decided to have a go. I did a search for a couple of mysteries I’ve wanted to read, but not felt able to buy – a combination of lack of money and doubts about the quality of those books – and found five titles. I thought ‘Great!’.
Most of the books were supposedly available in several different formats, including mobi and epub. I’d read that you could download the books from your computer to a portable device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, any kind of e-book reader…). That’s interesting, even though I don’t own any such device, not personally. However, it was soon evident that all those symbols next to the title didn’t mean a thing. Adobe Digital Edition was the only software that worked. It gets worse.
I typed in my library card number and borrowed the first book on my list. So far, so good. I checked that I could at least open it on the computer and I could. Then I went on to the next two books and unfortunately, I got them in the reverse order of publication. When I’d finished the download of book nr 2 in the series, I get an error message saying I can only download three books in a seven day period. Three? I looked over the download window and the file where the books were saved. No. Just two. But the site was convinced. I’d already downloaded my three books. Since I refuse to read book 2 in a series before book 1, for all intents and purposes, I only got one book out of the whole frustrating experience. Three books might have been enough for seven days, one definitely isn’t.
Then my sister tried to transfer the book to her iPhone, just to see if it could be done and – to make a long story short – it couldn’t. Well, to be clear, it could be transferred, but then it couldn’t be opened. She went to check on the newspaper article where we’d found out about electronic book borrowing, and eventually found a couple of solutions that were supposedly going to work. Again, to make a long story short, neither of them did.
By that time, I was beginning to regret thinking of this idea in the first place, but at least I’ll now be able to read book three in a series where I’ve actually read books 1 and 2. And I’ll be able to try again in seven days time.
All this has also given me food for thought.
After our successful experiment with the Kindle, I had begun to plan ahead to a time when I’ll be able to afford an e-book reader and/or an iPod Touch or possibly an iPad. Now I’m wondering if I should bother. I love the Kindle. I’m sure I’d like the iPod Touch and the iPad, but would I actually have any real use for them?
I’m a book lover first and foremost even if I do love a shiny gadget, but the way I see it, I’d primarily be getting the e-book reader so I can download all those free books from Project Gutenberg and similar sites. I don’t see myself spending any money on new e-books. For one, they’re actually a lot more expensive than a paperback, and as far as I can understand, I won’t be able to read my free downloads on the Kindle. Secondly, in my opinion, nothing beats the feeling of holding a ‘real’, printed paper book in my hands.
I could get an iPod Touch when my old iPods (very old) stop working, which might be relatively soon, judging by the time it takes to charge them and how long they last before the next charge. But if I can’t even read my library books on it, maybe it won’t be worth it. As it happens, I really prefer listening to something with better sound quality. I’m not into taking all kinds of gadgets along when I go out. It’s just not worth it.
Maybe I should just be grateful I’m leaning towards an option that will save me a lot of money, but somehow that doesn’t seem very cheering. At this time I could really use some cheering up.
Oh, well, I should probably just wait and see. For all I know, my financial situation could change in the near future and then I could take the whole thing under consideration again.
My sister and I are working on getting our own books published. Eventually, we hope to be able to publish other people’s books too. In the course of our work, we decided that we’d need an e-book reader to optimize the file formats.
So I set to work doing a bit of research online.
To begin with, the Kobo was my primary choice and my sister was preferred the Nook. Unfortunately, we found out that neither are available here in Sweden, or at least that they’d be very hard to get. The only readers we can easliy get our hands on are some European ones, that were probably great when they were first made, but are beginning to look old. The iRiver Story looks great, but for various reasons I won’t go into now, eventually we decided against that too.
So we were back to square one. Early on, I’d looked at the Kindle and been very impressed, but I didn’t like the fact that you can’t change the internal battery. If the battery dies you need to send your Kindle back to Amazon and get a replacement, which will cost you almost as much as buying a new one, if I’ve understood correctly.
But since we felt that the Kindle was our only really positive option, we looked into it again. Apart from the battery issue, everything else I’d read about the Kindle was fantastic, so in the end, we decided to get one.
Ordering one to have it shipped to an address in Sweden was no trouble at all. We just had to get an adapter, but that was easy enough.
Then we just settled down to wait. Can you imagine our surprise when we got a notification only two days later? Two days after we ordered it, it was delivered to our house. All the way from America.
Alright, I’ll stop gushing now. LOL.
Perhaps I should mention that I’m a major book lover, if you didn’t know that already. Books (and animals) are my life. Printed books, that is. However, there are thousands of free books available on Project Gutenberg, and though in the past I’ve read some of those on my computer, I thought it might be time to get something more lightweight. (Not that my laptop weighs more than about two kilos.)
I don’t think e-book readers will ever replace the feeling of holding a paper book in my hand, but I’m also a bit of a tech freak, so the thought of another gadget is rather appealing.
In any case, iearning how to use it was very easy. I only glanced at the manual, because the controls on the device are more or less self-explanatory. Easler in fact than handling my sister’s and my mom’s iPhones.
It’s also really cute. And not very heavy. Holding it with one hand for a long time, might get a bit much, but you can always switch hands or put it on the table or on your knees etc. We named it Spock, because my sister’s iPhone is Uhura. (Ok, enough with the geek talk.LOL)
My sister promised she’d get round to writing a more detailed review of the Kindle including a comparison with an IPhone as an e-book reader, and also, if we’re lucky, and some store near us begins to sell it, with an iPad (at least as much as they’ll let you play with it without buying it. LOL:)
I just finished a review of Danish cop series ‘The Crime’ (Forbrydelsen 2). Just like most Danish cop series (and other similar series) it was excellent. Visit my reviews blog to read more.
I’m a big fan of 80′s music. From what I can tell, without being an expert at music, the songs made in those days really were good, no matter how you define ‘good’. In any case, I’m not the only one who thinks so. I rather like 90′s music too, but not quite as much. The same goes for 7ö’s music and older music as far back as to the 1950′s.
Lately, I’ve begun to realize that at least in my opinion, the 90′s was a time of great tv series and movies. That didn’t dawn on me until relatively recently, when I was considering the lack of good tv series these days. Up until 2004 or so, there were still a few good series coming along and movies too, but from then on they’ve become more and more scarce. Fortunately, there are still exceptions but I’m dreading a future when no good tv or film will be made. But to use an expression from the Oz books: no need to borrow trouble. Here we say ‘don’t grieve over a day you haven’t seen’. Who knows? The current penchant for ‘reality’ tv and game shows might vanish.