New Adult

When I first heard the term New Adult, I was sceptical. It didn’t seem to make sense. New Adult? What’s a one of them? But, after thinking about it, I suppose it makes sense. These books are books for people who have just become adults, so I suppose you could call them new adults. So, it does make sense. I wasn’t sure if I was going to read the genre, I have too much Chick Lit to read along with the odd crime novel and young adult novel and I just wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to fit a new genre into my reading schedule, which is already tighter than I’d like it to be. In reality, I’d like to be reducing the 350+ books on the to be read shelf, rather than adding to it (which will never, ever happen; I am always buying new books).

But then I read Easy by Tammara Webber and I loved it. Then I read Reason To Breathe by Rebecca Donovan and I loved it and I saw that the New Adult genre was basically talking to me! Young Adult is generally about teenagers, Chick Lit about grown ups, but New Adult, New Adult is the middle bit between the two! The heroines are generally in their twenties, like me, and it’s ACE. I’ve since read Losing It by Cora Carmack and The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen, and oh my God, I love this genre! So much. I love the girls. I love the boys (oh, the boys! Garrick, Micha… all of ’em).

The New Adult genre has really taken off. Previously self-published authors are suddenly being offered book deals left, right and center as publishers find a market for these books about twenty-somethings (isn’t it rather silly, though, that it took until now for publishers to find a book market that suits twenty-somethings?) and are desperate to be getting onto the New Adult bandwagon, and what a wagon it is. My Amazon wishlist has trebled, I’m learning about new authors on a daily basis, and all of the books sound utterly amazing. I am craving New Adult daily, and I’d love to read it for all three days I’m off, but I’ve settled for it being just once a week, otherwise I’d no longer be reading Chick Lit, and I still love Chick Lit.

My light for New Adult is burning brightly. I really hope the genre continues to thrive because it makes sense. It’s the perfect genre for me, the perfect genre for the millions of twenty-somethings around the world, and there are so many authors out there who are finally having a voice. A loud, booming voice. Long may it continue because I LOVED it!

Formula One Returns

The Formula One returned last week with the Australian Grand Prix, it was excellent, with Fernando coming second! I thought he was going to win – he had an excellent start, excellent pit stops, drove fantastically, but because Kimi Raikkonen managed to make one less pit stop than Fernando, and drove just as well as Fernando, he won and he thoroughly deserved it. It was so good to see the Ferrari performing well right from the off, for a change.

It was the Malaysian Grand Prix this Sunday just gone, and it was a good race. Not brilliant, as for the first time in a long time, there was no rain during the Grand Prix. Plus, Fernando went out on the second lap after knocking his wing off at the first corner. He managed with it during the first lap – even managing to keep Webber behind him, but it came off on the main straight and went straight under the car leaving him with no steering and he went into the gravel.

The race from then was a three-horse race, with Webber in the lead but Vettel and Hamilton chasing him down. Webber was on for the win after the last round of pit stops, Hamilton faded away, but Vettel started chasing Webber down again, having cut the gap from 5 seconds to less than 1 after the final round of pit stops. He was told to hold station by the team, was told repeatedly by his engineer to cool it, and was even told by Christian Horner that he was being silly (which he was) but he chased Mark Webber down, who had turned his engine down, and over took him. Vettel was driving like a maniac. I love to see drivers race, really, I do. But what Vettel did was dangerous, getting right in between Webber and the pit wall at 200mph, before overtaking him during the first corner as they dueled for the lead. Webber put up a fight, but he’d turned his engine down and eventually gave up the chase.

What Vettel did was wrong. Yes, we should want drivers to fight for the win, and seeing them dice was exciting, but you can’t overtake someone when they think you’re not going to do it, you’ve turned down your engine and you’re cruising to the win. Vettel apologised, but it was a hollow apology. He still won and he cannot undo what he did. It’s fair to say Vettel and Webber don’t have the best of relationship anyway, but this time, he didn’t just anger Mark, he angered his team, and you could cut the tension on the podium with a knife. Vettel should have done what Rosberg done, cooled his jets and let his team-mate stay ahead.

It’ll be very interesting to see what follows. Red Bull, as Webber said, won’t do anything to Vettel. Ex-drivers are saying he should be sat out, but there’s not a chance on Earth Red Bull will do that. Vettel is very much protected by Red Bull, and to be fair, they made this monster. This is someone they’ve created, and he seems to have gotten too big for his boots, thinking he’s even too bigger than the team, which he isn’t. As we know, no driver is bigger than their team. He’s quite obviously as ruthless as Schumacher, and I think he’ll have lost a lot of fans this weekend, I for one will be championing Webber from now on, and I don’t really care what happens to Vettel any more. I used to like him, but not any more.

Manchester United have one hand on the Premier League title!

So, we may have lost to Real Madrid in very controversial circumstances a couple of weeks ago. For the record, Nani should never, in a million years, have been sent off. It RUINED the game; we were cruising at 1-0, at home, we were stifling Madrid, and Nani is sent off for trying to control the ball. As soon as it happened, I said we were going to lose – Madrid sniffed blood, and they duly scored two goals in the space of four minutes, and we were out of the Champions League. It was so disappointing, we were doing so very well, but that’s football. That’s how it goes sometimes, and on that night it didn’t go our way.

But, the flipside of that, is that we can now concentrate on the Premier League and the FA Cup. We’ve got a replay against Chelsea at the beginning of April, after they came back from 2-0 down to draw with us 2-2 last Sunday, then whoever wins will face Manchester City (of all the teams, in all the land). The funniest bit is, if we win those two matches we’ll play a team infinitely easier (no disrespect): Wigan or Millwall. So you’d like to think that whoever of Chelsea, us or City get to the final will most probably win it. (Again, no disrespect.) So we will see, that’s perhaps the more difficult trophy for us to win, but it would be nice to win it because it has been way too long since we’ve lifted an FA Cup.

As for the Premier League, we have one hand on the trophy. We’re 15 points clear – which is massive, and really City should not be able to catch us by now and if we were to let them to, well, it would be a disaster. City lost to Everton on Saturday and we beat Reading 1-0 later on. I didn’t see the game (ESPN no longer works on my Sky Box), but it seems we were perhaps a bit sluggish. We won, though, so that’s great, as long as we can keep grinding out the wins we could wrap up the Premier League title mid-April, which would be BEAUTIFUL.

It’s also the point of the season where relegation is serious business. I’m still not entirely sure who’s going to go down, though I suspect QPR are definite goners after losing to Aston Villa on Saturday, Reading and Wigan are also in the drop zone, and I suspect Reading are also goners (and deserve to be, frankly, after sacking Brian McDermott), but Wigan are the danger men. Wigan come alive at this time of year (and they are a good team, they just can’t seem to string together a full seasons worth of play and always seem to end up scrapping at the bottom of the table) and beat Newcastle 2-1, a lucky win filled with controversy, but a win is a win. It could be any of Wigan/Aston Villa/Newcastle/Sunderland/Southampton/West Ham that could go down. All I know is that I’d like Wigan to survive, and possibly Villa who are definitely pulling it out of the bag at the moment, and Paul Lambert was SO excited when Villa beat QPR on Saturday.

There’s 8 games left of the season, and the relegation battle is going to be tight, though hopefully the title is now very much wrapped up and we’ll soon be lifting it, oh how beautiful that will be!

My Trip To England

So I’ve been back in Tenerife a few days now – I’ve even been back to work since I’ve been back, which wasn’t in my plan as I was meant to start work tomorrow night, but ended up doing a 7-4 today. It was alright, actually, and it was nice to do a day shift for once (though, I will stress, once is enough!). I much prefer nights, let me tell you and I’m looking forward to seeing my night shift crew tomorrow night!

So… England. How to sum up England. Well, it was cold. But you knew that already didn’t you? Because England is ALWAYS cold. It’d have been more of a surprise if I had been able to say England had been warm, but it wasn’t. I think I spied the sun just the once while I was there. It rained, it was foggy, it was cloudy and it was just really, really cold. It snowed overnight Friday night and I woke Saturday morning just before I left for the airport with a dusting of snow on the car roofs. SNOW!!!!! In MARCH!!!!!! Though, to be fair, when I went to England at the end of March last year it snowed then too, so why I’m surprised I don’t know.

The driving went awesome, would you believe? I loved it. I got straight back into the swing of it and although driving in Durham fractured my nerves – it’s one thing navigating long, winding, fast country roads, it’s another beast entirely dealing with what seems like thousands of other cars, numerous junctions and traffic lights and sirens and all other manner of things that will frazzle you when you drive and when I got home after driving in Durham, I was sure I was going to fail my test if they took me ANYWHERE NEAR Neville’s Cross, which is quite easily the worst set of roads I will ever drive on in my life. I’d booked my test for the Friday morning, and I was nervous, I’ll admit. I wasn’t sure I was going to pass, I was worried about failing because everyone knew I was taking my test and I didn’t want to mess up. In the end, I didn’t mess up. I did REALLY well. I think I would have passed. Had the clutch not failed 30 minutes in. Yes, you read that right. The clutch on the car FAILED 30 minutes into my driving test. For those who’ll say we should have known and clutches don’t just fail, yes they do and yes, it did. I drove it all week, I drove it down to Durham, to the test center, I did manoeuvres before we went there, and the car was FINE. The test was going well, I was feeling pretty confident, then I stopped because there was a car parked on my side of the road and a car was coming up the other side, so I had to stop. As I lifted the clutch to bite it started shuddering, then the gears wouldn’t go in. Then it was OK for a bit, then we hit a 60mph road and the engine was spinning up but the clutch wasn’t happening. My test was abandoned and I will have to go back to England and do it all over again. I was gutted. But, it is what it is, isn’t it? Sometimes these things happen, yada, yada, yada…

I came back to Tenerife with a bulging suitcase (DVDs, books, lava lamp, clothes, the usual…) and I was so glad to be back. I text Fiona to ask about my shifts for this week and she rang me and dropped a bombshell on me. My best friend, Michelle, had just upped and left the day before I got back into Tenerife. Booked a flight to Newcastle and left, without a word to anyone at work. She didn’t turn up to work on Saturday, her house was empty, her car was missing and someone who used to work for Iceland came in and said he’d booked her a flight and she had gone. That hurt more than my abandoned driving test. She was my best friend and she just left everyone in the lurch. Her phone is off, no one has heard from her, so who knows where she is now. My “Best Friend” Boofle bear is staring at me from his perch on the candle and I have no one to give it to.

So as you can see this past week has been beyond eventful, but I have some very pretty pictures of Tenerife from the air to show you as soon as I can be bothered to put them on my computer! It’s been a pretty tough week all things considered, and the worst part is I have yet again come back from England ill. My left ear has not popped since I got back and it’s doing my head in. I appear to be allergic to England, which is quite disappointing. I will clearly have to just have antibiotics before I go, while I’m there and after I’m back to keep diseases at bay. I am a germ magnet in England, it seems. The worst part is, I have to go and do it all again soon! Hehe.

A Trip To The Post Office

I love getting books to review. I love when the postman rings the doorbell and I have packages to open. I think it’s the whole present thing. It’s like Christmas or my birthday and you never really know what books will be in the post. Sometimes you do, but mostly you don’t and it’s ace when you receive a book you’re REALLY looking forward to (although there is the downside when it’s a novel you’d never, ever read like all those 50-Shades-type books that I DO NOT and WILL NEVER read or a historical novel or obscure sci-fi etc, then it’s disappointing). One of the worst parts, though, is when I get a yellow slip from the Correos because they couldn’t be bothered to deliver my package, though they manage to deliver them 90% of the time, and I have to go to the post office to pick it up. The post office that is TWO bus rides away, and is only open between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. That’s the Spanish for you, God forbid a post office should be open ALL day. Tomorrow I will finish work at 6 a.m. then have to set me alarm for 11 a.m. and go to the post office, but I think I know what’s coming  – Julie Cohen’s new novel, Dear Thing, so I’m happy to lose some sleep. (Whether I will still feel like that tomorrow at 3 a.m. is another matter entirely).

A book I got REALLY excited about receiving!

A book I got REALLY excited about receiving!

It’s three days until I go to England, and I cannot wait! I’ve got a list of things I need (nothing major or too expensive, because I don’t have a lot of spending money at all) and I should be able to stick to it because I’m only going back for a week and time at the Metro Centre will be sadly limited – much as I’d like to go every day, I’ll have to wait until at least Wednesday as I should have been paid by then! I’m so excited to see my family, and it should be great, if a lot cold. It snowed when I was in England in March last year, so at least I’m well prepared.

Work is going very well, I am really enjoying the nightshifts, though I admit, I am struggling to sleep on my days off at night. I think my body is perhaps used to sleeping during the day, and seems to prefer to sleep during the day, which is weird. My boss, Fiona, is off at the moment with a bad back, which is really horrible. I hope she’ll be back as soon as possible, and fighting fit again, though it might take a few months.

Only three more nightshifts to go and I will be on my holidays, and I am really excited. England is going to be fantastic!

The boy wonder returns (soon!)

Manchester United took on Real Madrid on Wednesday. I missed it – despite being off until Thursday, Fiona wanted to change it around and wanted us to start on Wednesday instead, which was fine by me, really. Yes, I missed the Man Utd match, BUT, I saved myself 2 hours of tension-filled watching. I am a nervous wreck whenever we have to face somebody massive, and Wednesday night would only have been worse if we had had to play Barcelona. We play fantastic football, and can beat anybody on our day, but the Spanish play an entirely different game. It’s bamboozling, as proven by the fact that we’ve played Barcelona and lost on numerous occasions. Possibly they were just better than us, but also, it’s that Spanish style of football, too. I’m sure of it.

Plus, it’s Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho. RONALDO. Our Ronaldo. The boy wonder. The man who spent his younger years with us, and is a massive threat. The only reason he’s NOT the most lauded man in football is because of Lionel Messi. Otherwise, it’s Ronaldo who runs a very close second. I know how terrifying he is to play against – I watched him dazzle defences left, right and center when he was with us, and as much as I trust our midfield and defence, I knew it would still be a massive ask to keep him quiet.

The game ended 1-1, we scored first with Danny Welbeck scoring it (up until that point, I wondered where on earth he was as I was sure I’d seen his name on the team-sheet). I don’t need to tell you who scored Madrid’s equaliser, and it was an exact replica of the goal he scored against Chelsea in the Champions League final when we won it. EXACTLY THE SAME. He quite clearly has wings.

So, to Old Trafford we go in three weeks (I know, three weeks, what a joke). I hope we win, I certainly KNOW we can win. We just need to be a lot tighter than we were, we were a bit slack in defence and we’ll need to shadow Ronaldo the way we shadowed Fellaini in the Everton game last weekend. Ronaldo should get a fantastic reception, we still love him. I do, anyway. It’ll be a good game, but I’ll be a nervous wreck (and probably working, which is a lot more disappointing). We have an away goal, so we’ve got a good start. Let’s see, shall we?

Night Shifts

When my boss Fiona asked me a couple of weeks ago how I felt about nightshifts, I told her I was totally up for it. It seemed like win-win for me: I can spend days in the house by myself, read more books as long as I manage to sleep correctly, and I can actually get stuff done at work. When you’re working during the day there’s always customers to chat to, and it’s great, I love interacting with customers, but you sometimes feel like you get nothing at all done. A nightshift means 8 hours spent filling the shelves – well, 6 hours for me as I cash up for the other 2 hours (yes, I can do the morning cash and the evening cash in 2 hours flat, something that normally takes 3 and a half hours when you split it in 2!). 

It was meant to start next week, but Kenny our area manager wasn’t happy with the amount of stock we had in the warehouse so Fiona started it early, and we’ve had 4 nightshifts this week, 3 of which I’ve been part of, and let me tell you, it’s great! There’s three of us who are going to do the nightshift, me, Jordan and Simon but Sonic has been helping us out before he went on holiday and we’ve got LOADS done. I’m talking pallets and pallets of stock. We’ve done like 13 pallets along with numerous trolleys. The shop looks so much fuller now and this is definitely the way forward.

The only thing that worried me about nightshifts was the lack of sleep. I LOVE my sleep. I think it’s a Geordie thing. I just love my bed. So I was worried the lack of sleep during the early hours would cripple me the next day but it hasn’t. I have found a formula. I get in at about 6.30 a.m. go straight to bed and either sleep til mid-day if I’m not working the next day or sleep til 2 or 3 p.m. if I am working the next day. Then I can spend the afternoons reading and catching up on TV, it’s ace. I can watch the football and the formula one, it’s just the best idea ever, and I love it so far. The hours don’t drag at all, even though I thought they might, and the banter is brilliant. I will miss the rest of the staff especially as we’ll only ever see the late-shifters for 10 or so minutes before they leave and we start. So, yeah, I’m loving it so far.

The nightshifts also mean I eat less, because I spend more time sleeping during the day and less time awake and eating and I don’t even feel hungry during the night because my body thinks it’s asleep (or thinks it’s meant to be asleep) and I have now lost 5kg. Go me! This is the longest I have ever been on a diet and y’know what? It isn’t as bad as I thought and I’m not missing chocolate as much as I thought I would, so yeah. 

I’m now off until Thursday night, woooooooohooooooooooooo!!!