Oh, I am so happy the big conference week is over.
Yesterday I had most of the day to myself - first thing in the morning, Jody made blueberry pancakes & bacon at home, and I cleaned up after he and our three guests had left for a "code sprint." As far as I can tell, a bunch of coders and users get together and try to solve a problem using only the power of many laptops & some serious wi-fi.
I put on sunscreen and a hat, downed a glass of water, and walked to the next suburb to find the library. It was a nice walk, just under half an hour, and I walked slowly because it was noon and getting quite warm. I had my iPod (2nd gen turquoise 4G - still good!) so it was quite an enjoyable trip.
The library did indeed have the aforementioned book on the hold shelf for me, with the "J" in my name written backwards ( I guess her hearing isn't the only difficulty the staff member I spoke to has). They also had the fourth book, and I already had #3 from my last library run - so now I have books two to four of The House of Night to churn through. Yay for light reading! I wouldn't say they're phenomenal, but 1) the pace makes them hard to put down, and 2) I am trying to write a story with some similarities, and am hoping that mine isn't so parallel it will look like a House of Night rip-off. So far so good.
To those of you wondering, I'm halfway through book 2 now (Betrayed) and, while it's a fun series, I wouldn't likely read it more than once - and despite Visual Bookshelf app's combined reviews stating it's "Not to be Missed," you could miss it. But if they're at your library, you may want to pick them up for something fun - just don't expect the teenagers to actually sound like teenagers. The language is a little too clean and there are too many full sentences, compounded with the irregularities of words and phrases that are supposedly slang. Unfortunately for the Cast writing duo, teen speech is hard to master on the page. (I hope I can do a good job with my own writing - but I am definitely concerned about that.)
I meandered through Vinnies (Australia's short form of St Vincent de Paul thrift shops, aka "Op shops," yet another short form - "opportunity shops") and found a cheap towel to aid in hair-colouring, a pair of brown sandals, a short sleeved white blouse, a cute casual skirt, and FINALLY a collection of charms I can use to make a necklace I've had in my head for months. I also picked up a lovely Portmans blouse that is minus its belt, which I will be mailing to someone in Canada in the hopes it will fit.
Hungry, I chose a friendly-looking cafe and ordered a beef burgundy pie & side salad and a Sprite. It was a little while in coming to my table, but I realised that I had nowhere to be, and could simply sit at the table with my book and watch the world go by. Such a nice change from all the madness of these past several weeks. I had a serving of house-made Strachiatella ice cream to top it off, then took a walk down the main road.
The nail salon I'd already passed a few times was still busy, and I thought that must be a good sign. They had time for me, so I booked a mani-pedi and spent some time being pampered. My nails are now a lovely shiny cranberry. Usually I do my own nails (unlike most Sydneysiders) but it was such a treat to have someone else tend to them. I had just finished up when Jody called to say the code sprint was over and people were heading out for burgers, so I hopped on the tram to save time walking and met up with the nine of them for dinner.
Dinner turned naturally to drinks at our place, and later in the evening I improvised a mango and puff pastry dessert, so it was quite a nice evening, if impromptu. And plans were made for breakfast (at a cafe this time) before Code Sprint Day Two.
Corn hotcakes with poached eggs, bacon, and tomato ragout with a side of potatoes. Delicious!
It's noon now and it's been raining, so I am going to take it easy - do a load or two of laundry, make some tea, read my book. Other than taxes (due Oct 30th) I am actually winding down now. It is such a nice feeling to have my spouse paperwork done - and now the wait begins.