Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Casual Vacancy

The Casual Vacancy
By: J.K. Rowling

Inner front cover: When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock  Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenager at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with the pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the Parish Council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

It's more of a character study than a book with a plot, maybe in a few years I'll read it with that in mind and like it a little better, but this time it was just a bit too slow... It's not like I expected any of the Harry Potter magic or anything, but I thought something would actually happen in the book. More than just every day stuff.

I think a lot of people will read the book just because it's J.K.Rowling and they are interested in finding out what her "grown up book" will be like, that's why I read it. But like me I think a lot of them might get disappointed when they realize there's no real excitement. I'm not saying it's not a good book, I'm just think you REALLY need to be prepared for it to just be a character study with no plot.

I think I'll keep this book, partly because it's a hardback and I don't like giving those away, but also because I'd like to read it again some time in the future now that I know there is no plot, just to see if I like it better then.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

I have decided!

I am going back to Chesterfield. I did think about going to a different part of the UK, just to see somewhere else, but I miss my friends in Chesterfield, and I know Chesterfield, it's easy to get to other places from Chesterfield.

I had put up a profile on Au Pair World, and I did get some interest, I was in dialogue with one family that seemed very keen and only wanted me to work for them for 3 months, but once I decided I want to go back to Chesterfield I didn't see the point of waiting another 3 months, I would have had a job and a place to stay but I would be in the same situation again once I actually went back to Chesterfield. I hated to turn the family down but from their profile page I know they had received some other applications as well so I hope they find someone perfect for their family

I have been busy updating my CV and general covering letter the last few days. It will be interesting to see if anyone contacts me at all while my address is still Norwegian and I've got a Norwegian phone number... I have written on them that I'll be back in Chesterfield at the end of March though so hopefully someone will be in touch.

I am also thinking about some things I might want to study part-time, but I'll write more about that in a different post...

As for a flat to rent... All the ones I see online are available now, so I think I might wait with that until right before going back, maybe set up a few viewings for when I get there, at least I have some friends I can stay with for a bit while I sort it out.

I am hoping I get a job that's permanent and full-time, just so that I know I have a steady income, because I have plans for if I do! Now, I will of course make sure it's a job I can live with doing for a few years before I take this next big step, but I'm thinking I might get my first ever loan, a mortgage to be exact! I will rent first of course but I would love to buy a house, somewhere that is actually mine, that I can redecorate and do whatever I want with without having to ask a landlord. But that's way into the future. First I have to get a job!

I am so excited about moving back, I wish I was moving tomorrow!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Chocolate balls

Last year I used to arrange a little competition at work, where the department that managed to empty the most pallets during the week got brownies on Friday. While I was on holiday the other girl in my group made chocolate balls instead. Luckily she made them again after I got back so that I got to try them as well, and they were delicious!!

This weekend I just had to try to make them myself. The recipe is from this Swedish webpage, look below for the recipe in English. Be careful, they're very addictive!

This recipe is for about 20 balls, depending on size. I suggest you double the recipe and just keep them in the freezer.

100 grams margarine or butter, room temperature
2 decilitres sugar
3 decilitres rolled oats
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (in the UK they don't have vanilla powder so I used 1 teaspoon of icing sugar with a little vanilla essence instead)
3 tablespoons coffee (cold)
shredded coconut

1. Mix together the margarine and sugar to a fluffy consistency
2. Add all other ingredients except the coconut and mix to a kind of dough
3. Put some shredded coconut on a plate
4. Shape the dough into balls and roll them in the coconut
5. Put the balls in the fridge to cool.

The ones I tasted at work also had a teaspoon of cinnamon in them as it was close to Christmas, that was really tasty as well!

I would also suggest putting them in the freezer, it actually makes them taste even better! Just remember to take them out a few hours before you're planning on eating them.

Try them and let me know what you think!

Monday, 7 January 2013

One step taken...

I just booked my return flights to the US and my ticket to Orlando!!! It's quite scary! I'll need to transfer some of my saving into my account before I can book anything more though like a place to stay in Boston and tickets from NYC to Orlando. Anybody know the cheapest way to get there by the way? Plane?

I'm so excited!!

I was going to have a meeting with the store manager today but he pushed it back until tomorrow, about what I don't know, but I will tell him that I'll be resigning soon at the meeting. I'm both dreading and looking forward to telling him when I'll be resigning. My work hasn't been the best lately, that's what I think anyway. I think it's because all I can think of is getting back to the UK. And visiting the US of course.

Right before I booked my tickets I also made some enquiries about a place to stay in the UK. I sent a message to my friend if his offer to let me one of the rooms in his house was still standing, and if not if he knew anyone else that was letting rooms. So hopefully it won't take to long before he replies. I know from last time I moved to England how difficult it is to find a place to live and a job while I'm still in Norway. Before I became an au pair I was trying to just get a "normal" job, but it proved too difficult when I was still in Norway. However, I didn't know anyone in the UK back then, except for my friend who was studying in Wales, so it might be easier now.

It's a bit scary to think about all the things I still have to do both for my holiday and my move, I kind of just want someone else to do it so I don't have to deal with it, but at the same time it's quite exciting.

I can't wait for my new adventures this year!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The wheels are in motion...

2013 has started and I want to start living the life I want.

I have been looking at tickets to America and Disney World, there is a big sale on at one of the airlines in Norway so I can get cheap flight tickets. There is also a sale on at Disney World, it's still expensive but I think I know the dates I want to go. There is a big chance I'll book it all when I get paid tomorrow.

I still really want to do the road-trip with my friend but after looking at the prices a bit more I will have to save up for so much longer, and I'm just not able to wait any longer. After my boss told me I don't have to worry about staying on for a whole year I can't stop thinking about the US and the UK.

I am going to hand in my resignation in not too long and when I'm finished at work I'll take a flight to Boston where I will stay for a few days and hopefully see my friend, while I'm there I also want to visit Salem. New York is next on the list for a few days just to see the sights, maybe my friend will be able to take a few days off work and we can do that together.

After New York I will fly to Orlando and stay there for a few days. I have a friend there as well that just got engaged so I'm hoping to visit her, as I haven't seen her in a few years and after Orlando I'm going home.

I won't see as much as the US as I first planned, but I will be able to spend a longer time at each place to explore and make it a bit more relaxing. I will just have to go back later to see more of it. I would love to experience some of the major holidays in America, everything is so big over there! But it will have to be another time.

When I get back I'll give myself a week or so pack and sort my things out and then hopefully move straight to England. I just hope my mate still has an available room I can rent and that it won't take too long before I find a job. Of course I hope I still have enough cash left after America to be able to do this. I did think I could just take a holiday at work to go to America and then wait a month or two before I move to England, but I just can't wait any more!

It's scary, I have no idea what I want to work with, and I really would like to start on a career, but I guess I will just have to take whatever I can get in the beginning and then see what happens.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The first pictures of 2013....

Happy New year all!

You don't think about how low the clouds are actually hanging until something get's hidden in them.

Happy New Year!!

How was your 2012? 

Mine was amazing! I travelled around Australia, visited Kuala Lumpur, Rome, Paris, Dublin and the UK. I made several new friendships that I hope will last a whole lifetime! I hope 2013 will be just as magical!

I saw a great idea on Tracy's blog, Pen and Paper, it's called the first lines meme. Want to join me? What you do is:

"Take the first line of every month's first post over the past year and see what it tells you about your blogging year."

January: Before I start telling you all about my holiday and stuff I thought I'd do a wrap-up of the reading challenges of 2011.

February: Continuation of last week's Sunday Stealing.

March: The highest tide.

April: Living with the carnivorous host family again after I turned vegetarian was a lot easier than I expected.

May: I arrived in Perth around 11pm, I had called Planet Inn Backpackers in advance to ask if they had free airport transfer, which they did, but as I arrived late it might not be available.

June: A Norwegian TV program is currently filming in the place that I'm from, Vestnes.

July: Do you know what's great to have when you have one present that's made up of loads of little things?

August: I'm heading to Paris in the morning!!

September: September has started, this being Norway, the snow might come any minute!

October: I've been wanting to try pumpkin soup for a while now, and when I saw some pumpkin at the local fruit and veg store I just had to buy some.

November: I always get in a bad mood when I get back to Norway after being abroad, probably because I don't actually want to live here.

December: Even before I worked for them I had always enjoyed XXL's ads on TV.

It's been fun to look back at my old posts, and I think you get a good representation of what my blog is: Book reviews, travel, reviews of places I've stayed, memes and the randomness that is my life.


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